The sweetest part of wedding planning is the wedding cake tasting. It's also one appointment your groom is equally excited about!
While this is the time to debate the champagne-vs-strawberry filling (and I can totally see his point about having a chocolate cake layer), there are a few key pieces of information you need to gather from the baker.
What are my flavor/filling options?
They might not include every flavor and filling option in their preset tasting. Check if they have a list of all their flavors and fillings – and see if they're willing to mix and match. Is there another flavor you wanted to try? Will it cost extra to add a layer of strawberry cake in the middle?
Do you work with buttercream or fondant?
Some bakers specialize in fondant, some prefer buttercream. And some design with both. If you love a certain type of frosting, you should confirm before signing on the dotted line.
Can you make sugar flowers? Will you work with my florist if I want fresh flowers?
It's amazing what some bakers can do with a cake! They're true artists. If you've fallen head over heels for a certain design, ask if they can recreate it on your cake. If you're planning to incorporate flowers or greenery, confirm they're willing to work with your florist (most will).
Do you have a portfolio I can look through?
This is a chance to check their background and get a feel for their design skills. Make sure the vendor baked the actual cakes in the pictures. You'd hate to fall in love with a picture from Pinterest they've never even tried to make!
Are you licensed and insured?
Most venues will require the wedding cake vendor to be insured by the state and the health department. It's a good idea to check that box early, especially if they'll be delivering your cake the day of the wedding.
What's your delivery process?
Ask how much time they need to set up at the reception venue and if they charge an extra fee for delivery. You'll also want to see if they've delivered to that venue before. That way they'll already know if there are any special instructions (like freight elevators or a catering kitchen for touch-ups) before the day of your reception.
Do you rent cake stands/toppers?
Some vendors include day-of cake stands and toppers at no additional charge. If you need to rent a topper, cutting knives, serving utensils, etc., find out their pricing and when/how they need to be returned. If they have a relationship with the venue (see above), they'll often work with them directly to retrieve the items.
How can I maximize my budget?
Some vendors price by the serving, some by the layer, and still others by the flavor/filling combination. Now's the time to talk through pricing – and how to get what you want in the price point you need.
Does the price include the top tier?
A lot of vendors include the top tier (the tier the bride and groom usually freeze for their first anniversary) at no cost. But that's not always the case. Find out their policy – and whether they'll include a box to take it home.
Note: You'll want to order your cake 6-8 months prior to your wedding date. If you or someone close to you has a food allergy, you might also want to do an ingredient check while you're there. Maybe they'll throw in a special cupcake for your gluten-free bridesmaid...
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.