Next to your dress, the cake is probably a wedding’s most important icon. And whether you want a traditional multitiered confection, a miniature Statue of Liberty (hey, that’s where he proposed!) or a cupcake tower, your wedding cake should reflect your personality. Use the following questions as a guide when evaluating a potential cake designer. If you’re not familiar with cake terms, please see the cake glossary.
- Do you have my wedding date open?
- How many wedding cakes do you schedule on the same day? NOTE: You want to feel comfortable that your designer is sufficiently staffed to handle the number of cakes they’ve scheduled to deliver and set up on your date.
- How do you price your cakes? By the slice? Does the cost vary depending on the design and flavors I choose?
- What is your minimum per-person cake cost?
- What recommendations can you give me to maximize my budget?
- Do you have a “menu” of cakes and prices that I can take with me?
- What are the fees for delivery and setup of the cake? Do you decorate the cake table, too?
- What do you do if the cake gets damaged in transit to or at my reception site?
- Do you provide or rent cake toppers, a cake-cutting knife, cake stands, etc.? What are the fees?
- How far in advance should I order my cake?
- How much is the deposit and when is it due?
- When is the final payment due?
- Are there any additional fees that I should be aware of?
- What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel my order? What if I’m not happy with the cake?
- When can I expect to receive my contract from you?
- How long have you been in business? Are you licensed and insured?
- How many weddings have you done?
- Where did you receive your training?
- Can you provide me with 3–4 recent brides that I can contact for references? TIP: Check out the cake vendors featured on HereComesTheGuide.com. They’re some of the best cake designers and they’ve all been Certified By The Guide.
If you’re not familiar with cake terms, please look at the cake glossary.
- Do you have a portfolio of your work I can view, and did you make all the cakes in it?
- What are your specialties?
- Can you design a custom cake to match my theme, dress or color scheme, or do I select from set designs?
- If I provide you with a picture of what I’d like, can you recreate it? Does it cost extra for a custom design?
- I have an old family cake recipe. Can you adapt it for my wedding cake design?
- If I don’t have a clear vision of what I would like, can you offer some design ideas based on my theme and budget?
- What flavors and fillings do you offer?
- What are the different ingredients you typically use? Do you offer all organic or vegan options? TIP: Quality ingredients cost more, but the investment is worth it—the cake will taste better.
- Do you have cake tastings? Is there a charge?
- Do you do both fondant and buttercream icing? TIP: For the skinny on these two icing options, see this article.
- Are there any other icing options I should consider? Which do you recommend for my cake design?
- Can you create sugar paste, gum paste or chocolate flowers? If I decide to have fresh flowers on my cake will you work with my florist or will you obtain and arrange the flowers yourself?
- Will you preserve the top tier of my cake for my first wedding anniversary or do you provide a special cake for the occasion?
- Can you make a groom’s cake? Is this priced the same as my wedding cake?
- How much in advance of the wedding is the cake actually made? Do you freeze your cakes? NOTE: Wedding cakes usually take at least a couple of days to make.
- Arrange a consultation with your potential cake designer in person, and do a tasting before you sign a contract. NOTE: Not all cake tastings are complimentary.
- Make sure your cake designer specializes in wedding cakes. A wedding cake is generally much more elaborate than a birthday cake from your local bakery. Your cake professional should have special training in constructing this type of cake.
- In general, you should order your cake 6–8 months prior to your wedding.
- You might be able to save money by choosing one overall flavor for your cake, or by having a small cake for display and the cake cutting accompanied by a sheet cake to serve to your guests.
Get more ideas for your wedding cake:
Icing on the Cake: One Writer’s Perspective on a Classic Cake Conundrum
Find your perfect wedding cake designer:
Northern California Wedding Cake Designers
Southern California Wedding Cake Designers
Not Done? More Questions To Ask: