TIPS... WHO WILL DO YOUR WEDDING CAKE?
Do some research to find your Baker/Decorator. Ask your family and friends for referrals; word of mouth is a great way to find an excellent cake. Go to local Bridal Shows and sample a number of different cakes; this way you will be able to narrow the field as to the ones you will personally visit. Ask for referrals from local cake decorating supply stores. They will most likely be able to tell you who makes great cakes in your area.
If you are looking at a Baker/Decorator that does cakes out of their home, make sure they are either state or county licensed. Ask to see a copy of their license. To be licensed, they must have a separate kitchen from their home's kitchen. Reasons they need to be licensed:
You would have absolutely no recourse if something happens to your cake if they are not licensed. Examples of what has happened are wedding cakes that are dropped during delivery, fall once they are set up, or never delivered at all.
If someone gets sick from eating your cake, you can be sued! Food must come from an approved source to protect yourself.
If the state or county licensor finds out your cake person is doing cakes without a license, they could be immediately shut down and you're without a cake.
Never book your cake before you have sampled some of the baker's flavors. Not all bakeries allow you to sample a variety of flavors. Make sure you taste what you purchase. You want your cake to be flavorful and moist, and one that your guests will remember for years to come.
When sampling it is a good idea to try the cake without the icing. If there are several layers of filling, taste the cake without it. Many times the filling will mask a very dry cake.
Be sure you view photos of the Baker/Decorators own work. Look for a variety of designs, as you don't want your cake to look like everyone else's. Observe their place of business. If it is neat and well set up, that will tell you they pay attention to details and will show that same care for your cakes. The same holds true as to how they keep themselves.
If you are seriously interested in booking with a bakery/shop request references you can call unless you are there as a result of a referral.
Check out several Shops or Bakeries, but don't wait too long to reserve with a Baker/Decorator that you like. It is not unusual for the better places to have dates no longer available 6 to 8 months out. When you have selected the person you want to do your cake, you will need to put down a non-refundable deposit, so make sure you are comfortable with all aspects of their operation.
Be sure you understand all of the costs and fees. These include different flavor cakes, different types of icing, special decorating, toppers, delivery and set up. Some bakeries will provide extra services such as putting the flowers on your cake and providing a free anniversary tier on your first anniversary.
A standard wedding cake serving is 1"x2"x4". Make sure that your facility is cutting your cake according to those standards. If they are not you may need to purchase more cake to make sure you have enough. It is a good idea to purchase 15 to 20 servings more than the number of guests to allow for over cutting.