Selecting A Baker For A Destination Wedding

Springtime wedding cakeSelecting a baker to create the perfect wedding cake can be tricky.

What makes it even more challenging is selecting one for a destination wedding that is thousands of miles away.

After all, how would you know what the cake will taste like on the day of your wedding?

Ensuring that you select a baker with a good reputation and a record of timelyliness is paramount when it comes to planning your wedding.

Here is how to select the right baker for a destination wedding

In order to find the baker that will make your dream wedding cake, you will have to do one of the following:

  • Take an advance trip: Many couples take a scouting trip ahead of the wedding to select vendors like florists, bakers, and caterers. Doing so gives them a sense of security and brings about a level of comfort. In addition, you can make your selection a lot faster and get a contract done before you leave for home. Read “Vendors to see during a site visit”
  • Let your wedding planner select a vendor: Planners have a lot of experience with local bakers so if you have one, let them present three to four choices so you can make a selection. Learn how to select a wedding planner.
  • Get recommendations from the sales manager at your wedding venue (this is the easiest way to get a reputable baker that has already been approved by your wedding venue).

But before you hire anyone to bake your wedding cake, make sure to interview them.

Here are the questions you should ask the baker

  • Are you available on the day of my wedding?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many weddings cakes do you make in any given year? What is your busiest season?
  • How much does the average cake cost? Do you charge by the slice? Remember that the cake itself is not expensive. It is the additional decorations that take up a lot of time and expense. Just so you know, the cake will cost around five to ten dollars a slice (Yikes!) depending on your decorations.
  • What if I want to customize the decorations? How much more is that going to cost? Take a picture or show them a Pinterest page that shows the kind of wedding cake you want.
  • Does the price include the top tier? Some bakers include it and others don’t. Make sure you know ahead of time as it will make a difference in the final price.
  • How far in advance should I order the cake? Wedding cake bakers are in high demand during busy season (especially because of the all inclusive resorts) so you need to start looking early.
  • What are the most popular types of decorations? Flavors? Fillings? Frostings? Do you offer fresh local ingredients?
  • How can I save money on the cake? Many brides that don’t have a large cake budget will order a smaller cake to cut and a larger sheet cake in the back that they can use to serve guests. This results in huge savings.
  • I am having [X] number of guests. How much cake will I need?
  • Do you have a list of your top ten best selling wedding cakes?
  • Can I see the most elaborate cake you have ever made? What you are looking for is whether they have worked with fountains, beading, pillars etc.
  • Can I see some custom cakes that you have created in the past? In doing so, you will get an idea of their creative abilities.
  • How do you deal with allergies? Do you bake a special smaller cake for them?
  • How far in advance do you bake these cakes? Ideally, you want the cake to be made the day before. However, it should be make no more than two days prior to the wedding.
  • Do you deliver the cakes? Is the delivery free? It is a lot easier to have them deliver it instead of having to pick it up yourself. Neither you, nor your bridal party will have the time to drive across town to pick up a cake right before the wedding. In your contract with the baker, make sure you specify what time the cake will be delivered by, and who is going to set it up onsite (The baker or the wedding venue employees). Also, include the address of where the cake will be delivered just as a safety measure.
  • Do you assemble it onsite or it is prepared and then sent whole?
  • If you are not taking an advance trip to do a taste testing of the cake, then will the baker be available to give you a taste of the cake a few days before your wedding so you can ask for final adjustments? When tasting, make sure you look at color, texture, taste, and consistency.
  • What happens if there is cake left over? Do you pack it for us?
  • What about the top layer of the cake? Do you prepare that for me to freeze?
  • How much is the deposit? When is the final payment due?
  • What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  • Do you have any additional fees that I should be aware of?
  • Can you provide me with references?

It is always a challenge to hire a vendor from afar for your destination wedding. But a baker is even harder because you have no idea what your cake will taste like. And your wedding cake will only be as good as the baker you hire so you have to be sure you are hiring someone who has experience and skill.

By following the steps above, you will make the process of finding and hiring the right baker a lot easier.

What should you read next?

Read our tips on negotiating with wedding vendors.

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