More people get engaged between Christmas Eve and Valentine's Day than any other time of the year. After trying on dozens of gorgeous gowns, brides-to-be have lots of decisions to make with their grooms -- setting a date, booking a venue, hiring a photographer, picking out flowers and sampling endless flavors of cake.
We meet with brides on a daily basis in January and February -- sometimes two or more in a single day -- and I never tire of it. We try to make each one special, and every bride gets her own little cake to taste and take home. By early March, our weekends are usually booked through September with stacked cakes, buttercream and fondant.
Many brides ask similar questions. These are our five most frequent questions and answers:
1. How much wedding cake do I need?
The general rule of thumb is to order enough bride’s cake to serve all your guests, and enough groom’s cake (if you are getting married in a region where groom's cake is served) for half. So, if you expect 100 guests, you should order a bride’s cake that serves 100, and a groom’s cake that serves 50. If you are expecting fewer than 100, you can order proportionately smaller cakes.
2. How big is a serving of wedding cake?
A standard slice of two layer wedding cake is one inch wide by two inches long. So it should go without saying that if you can serve more guests if you cut smaller slices.
3. Who cuts the cake?
The bride often designates a friend or family member to cut the cake or cakes. When this is the case, the bride should choose one or two people to cut and serve the bride’s cake and one or two people to cut and serve the groom’s cake.
If you are expecting the caterer to cut the cake, you should arrange this in advance, as the caterer must often hire one or two people specifically to cut and serve cake. At a country club or hotel, a member of the serving staff is often given the job of cutting cake, but again, be sure to arrange this in advance.
If you have ordered a sheet cake to be cut and served in addition to the main cake(s), the people responsible for cutting the cake should be informed in advance when, or under which conditions, the additional cake should be cut. For example, should the additional cake be cut first and brought out on plates, or should it be cut only if you run out of the main cake or cakes?
4. When should I order my wedding cake?
You should order your wedding cake as soon as possible after you choose the date and book the venue for your reception. In most cases, this is six to nine months in advance. This is especially important if you will be ordering cake to serve 150 or more guests, You can assume that if other brides are competing for a church and reception venues, they will also be competing for bakeries.
Many bakers limit the number of wedding cakes they make any given weekend based on size and complexity. Most bakers can fit a smaller cake into their schedule, but may not be able to decorate and deliver a larger cake if they already have a wedding booked the same day.
By placing a deposit on a cake, you are reserving the date, but not necessarily a specific design. Most bakers will allow you to change the style and flavor of the cake until about 2 weeks prior to the wedding.
5. What is included in the price of a wedding cake?
You should ask your baker if the quoted price includes:
- Delivery and set-up to your reception venue
- Cake stand rental
- Different flavors and fillings
- Edible decorations such as fondant flowers, fresh fruit, candies or chocolate
- Non-edible decorations such as fresh flowers or a cake topper
To schedule a consultation, please call us at 205-345-8610.