In regards to planning a wedding, not much is sweeter than selecting the cake you've always been dreaming of. Every stage of the planning process is vital, but none of them will have you savor the flavor of love like choosing the right slice. Unlike selecting a venue or arrangements for your wedding, the complexity of selecting a cake is relative to your taste buds. The real question is finding the right bakery to deliver the best cake imaginable. Fortunately, the Philadelphia area is abundant in ripe bakeries that will surely be able to meet your demands. We have some useful tips for you to peruse on your road to the perfect bakery.
The first tip we have to offer is decide on what style you wish to use for your cake. Most couples have their venue and florist selected by this stage, this will be key in determining what you will want for your cake. With your venue in mind, you will be able to determine what size your cake will need to be in correlation to the size of the venue. Generally, you do not want your cake to tower over your wedding guests, but you also do not want the reverse effect. As a rule of thumb, you should book your venue a year and a half in advance of your wedding, with some high demand facilities requiring a reservation up to two years ahead of the date; book your entertainment shortly after your venue, then your florist, and with about six to eight months to spare before the big day, you will want to choose your cake. Having your florist already arranged will give you a leg up on the color scheme and décor of your cake, while also supplying to your baker any garnishes and toppings that will assist in providing you a seamless theme for your wedding day. Begin searching for cake styles, archiving any pictures that strike your eye. If you have a wedding board on Pinterest, add the pictures for your potential baker to peruse later. During your search, you will want to familiarize yourself with frosting and topping types. The most common frosting types are fondant and buttercream. Fondant is a firm chewy icing that is traditionally rolled thin and applied over cake tiers, it comes in many different flavors, but generally bakers use the regular sugardough flavoring which does not effect the rest of the cake. Fondant is more for aesthetic, it will give your cake that streamlined perfect smooth look. Buttercream is, on the other hand, a soft more satiny or fluffy frosting type which is spread over cakes, and molded into shapes or patterns; it comes in a variety of flavors. Most bakers will use a layer of flavored buttercream frosting under a top coat of fondant. Buttercream is better kept cool before serving, so if your wedding is outside in the sweltering heat of midsummer, exercise plenty of caution.
Now that your taste buds are demanding you start searching for a bakery posthaste, begin by asking your friends and family for their recommendations. We suggest focusing on bakeries that specialize in weddings. The local town bakery you have been patronizing since your childhood may be great at producing donuts and other pastries, but they may not be capable handling the demands and rigors associated with weddings. You can also go online and search the Philadelphia area for bakers via Google and wedding directories. Go to their websites, or review any available information in the directories. Read through reviews and bridal testimonials. You should choose a handful of bakeries, three to six different shops, and write down their information. It is crucial to visit their shop, see their presentation and organization, and taste the product yourself. Bakeries choose the best photos to display on their websites, and those photos are often photoshopped by a professional to remove any blemishes or mistakes.
Call the bakeries up, and set up an interview with them. You will want to share your ideas, the pictures, and/or the Pinterest wedding board with the baker during this first interview. Look over their shop while you are there. You should not feel uncomfortable with any aspect of their shop within reason. Establish a personal contact within the bakery, perhaps the lead baker or manager. It is important for you and your potential baker to connect in order for them to understand your personality and style nuances. You will want to try plenty of samples, and ask the candidate plenty of questions regarding the logistics. How far in advance of the date will the cake be made? It seems straightforward that no one wants a stale cake for their special day, but some bakeries cut corners. That detail can be written into the contract to guarantee freshness, but you should not have to worry too much about this if your bakery is highly accredited. You will want to share the venue information and coordinator contact information with your baker, especially if they are unfamiliar with the location, in addition to your florist's information.
Inquire about the cost of the entire wedding package, and compare prices between bakeries. Generally, cakes are priced by the slice, and are often in the range of $4 and $12 depending on the ingredients. There is plenty of overhead cost that the baker absorbs, so a deposit of some value will be required to get the ball rolling on your dream cake. If you feel as though you have found the perfect bakery, draw up a contract with every single little detail written out, and have both parties sign. Now that everything is signed, you can move onto the next element of wedding planning. Don't worry, it goes by quick, but don't forget to slow down for a piece of your own cake on the night of your wedding!