How to find and book a wedding cake maker
The idea of choosing a wedding cake may be one of the parts of wedding planning you’re most excited about, and totally understandably. Good cake is literally one of life’s greatest joys – as are weddings – so put those two hands together, and what do you get? AMAZING WEDDING CAKES.
But having said that, choosing a wedding cake can be a difficult process. It needs to look great and tie in with the vibe and theme of the day, it needs to survive the logistics of the day (transport, set up and weather) and it absolutely non-negotiably needs to taste incredible too. How do you find a wedding cake maker who’ll tick all these boxes for you and more? Well, that’s where I can help. I asked two amazing wedding cake makers for their advice on choosing a wedding cake, and in the process got all the wedding cake tips you’re searching for. Before I hand over to the experts for their advice, may I proffer some of my own – you might need a slice of something delicious to help you read this as your tastebuds will be going wild!
What should you look for when choosing a wedding cake maker?
Sarah from Tiny Sarah’s Cakes has 2 key pieces of advice for choosing a wedding cake maker. “First, you should be looking out for someone who could be your friend,” Sarah explains. “I highly believe that you should only hire people as your wedding suppliers if you feel like you belong to the same gang. Your wedding is one of the most emotionally charged day of your life, so you should make sure you spend all the time prepping for it and eating or enjoying the results of that prep with the best people. It’ll make you feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe – especially when it gets tough and stressful.
“My second piece of advice for this question – someone whose style you go WOW for. It’s easy to make the same decisions as your friend who got married a year before you, or what you’ve seen on pinterest, but trust me, there’s so much more to wedding cakes than naked cakes – it’s obviously totally fine if that’s what you want, but most couples who enquire about them do because they don’t really know what is possible! Cake makers are basically edible artists and you shouldn’t ask someone who specialises in buttercream and fresh flowers to make you a fondant cake with lace details.”
Laura from The Cake Spa also points out that you should “Always check they are registered with the council, have a good hygiene rating and have insurance. It also helps to look for businesses in your area, as generally they will need to be local to the venue!”
Where can you find a wedding cake maker that suits your wedding?
Lucy from Lil’s Parlour suggests Instagram as the first port of call of wedding cake ideas. “Social media is a great place to start. Most of my wedding clients come through Instagram because they like my style.” To fully maximise your Instagram searching (because we all know what a time thief that app can be), think of hashtags that could describe your wedding aesthetic as well as whereabouts in the world you’re getting married. #weddingcake may give you ideas, but it probably won’t seem like so much help when you fall in love with a design exclusively made by a fondant artist in Kuala Lumpar. Instead, try searching things like #weddingcakebirmingham or #kawaiiweddingcake.
Laura also suggests searching your other suppliers’ profiles as a hack to find well-suited wedding cake makers near you. This is true for all social media, as she explains: “Your venue should be able to put you in touch with trusted suppliers, and you would hope their style would be inkeeping with the venue, and therefroe your wedding!” So get scrolling through their photos to see what impresses you and who’s credited to it.
Another good place to look for wedding cake ideas is on wedding blogs. “If a wedding blog suits your wedding style, then browse who they’ve already featured! Chances are you’ll find different styles of cakes that all work within that certain aesthetic – you’ll have plenty of inspiration and a list of people to contact.” Sarah explains.
And, as Lucy points out, don’t forget about word of mouth and ye olde wedding fairs – if you find a wedding fair with a good style that matches yours, it’s always nice to go along to meet people face to face.
How far in advance do you need to book your wedding cake?
“This obviously depends on a few things,” Sarah explains, “for example, if that cake maker works alone (most do) or have a team of people, if your wedding is during summer and the busier months or quieter, and the cake maker itself. I think the earlier the better to enquire – if it is too early, they will just let you know! I can get booked up up to six months in advance, and already have dates booked for next year.”
Lucy agrees with the mantra of booking the sooner the better. “I would say as a rule 8-12 months before the wedding is the “golden time” to get your cake sorted. Some brides are super organised and like to get booked in several years in advance which is brilliant, but it can sometimes be difficult to do an accurate quote as with the current financial climate in the UK prices are changing so quickly. On the other end, I have fitted people in at really short notice – there’s no harm is asking!”
Laura’s guidance is the same – and she says, regardless of what type of supplier you’re thinking of, the best advice is to get them booked asap if you love them.
How should couples deal with guests that have very specific dietary requirements?
Both Sarah and Lucy say that a good wedding cake maker should be able to cater for specific dietary requirements. They both actually specialise in vegan wedding cakes (and, as Sarah points out, if you have a good cake maker you won’t be able to notice a difference in tastes between different dietary options!) “In my experience, I think asking your guests honestly is the best way forward.” Lucy says. “I do however express that it’s YOUR day and you should have what you want. For example, a couple I worked with were going to have their whole cake made with gluten free ingredients for the sake of one guest. It really wasn’t what they wanted and after a lot of chats we all decided that a cupcake for that person would suffice. The guest was thrilled.”
Sarah also suggests a smaller additional version in these kind of situations – especially in the case of gluten-free wedding guests, as she explains. “Whereas making a nut free cake wouldn’t cost me more, gluten free flour is veeeery expensive, so I suggest a gluten containing cake as the main cake and a smaller cutting cake that is gluten free. That way, when plates arrive, the gluten free people have visually the same dessert as others, and it hasn’t cost a crazy amount extra either. I am personally always very touched when people think about me at events and if I’m not singled out, even better!” Sarah’s website also has quite an in-depth section on allergy info to ease any anxiety, which is super helpful. https://www.tinysarahscakes.co.uk/allergy-friendly-cakes/
And if you’re worried about flavours, Laura says “I tell couples to pick flavours for them, not for the masses as its their day.”
What makes a fun wedding?
“For me, fun is all about being yourself and singing to your own tune. Your day is about you and your partner, so have what YOU want and the fun will happen automatically!” Lucy recommends.
“SO many things,” Laura says, “but personally I think losing the traditions and just doing what you love to do! Drink, dance, be merry, sing, glitter, games, live music, confetti, cake! I love to add fun to my wedding cakes with a cheeky cake topper or some rude phrases on biscuit favours!”
“Having activities and various ways to break the ice between people who don’t know each other is fun!” Sarah suggests. “We had loads of board games so people sat together and played together – and we also had a buffet and no staff so everyone took turn washing the dishes, serving food and drinks, and setting stuff up!”
What do you wish all couples knew?
Brace yourselves, team – we’re about to not only hit you with our rhythm stick, but with two waste-reducing, budget-conscious wedding tips. Don’t say I don’t treat you, okay?
“I wish all couples knew that dummy cakes are an awesome way of having those 4 tiers without waste.” Lucy says. “They also cost slightly less – and no one knows the difference. You could claim I am a terrible sales woman but I always express to my couples that less is more!”
Laura’s about to burst another myth too – “Naked cakes aren’t that much cheaper in the grand scheme of things, despite what everyone thinks!” she reveals.
And from pre-wedding to post-wedding, as Sarah learned this from her own day. “You will forget things that happen on that day, because there is so so much to take in. My best piece of advice is to write EVERYTHING that happened and that you remember on the day after your wedding. You will be so glad you did a few years later when you read that – all the little jokes, all the hugs, all the tears. That moment in the toilet when everyone was removing their make up, or the one your sibling held you tight and told you they loved you.”
Tiny Sarah’s Cakes is a Reading-based bakery specialising in utterly unique and beautifully breathtaking vegan wedding cake designs. “I love making kawaii cakes but also art-inspired ones; my inspirations range from Van Goth to My Little Pony… I also love working with fresh flowers but I like to make cakes that are different. I am a massive texture and paint geek so I love incorporating that in my cakes too.” Check her website out for a) stunning vegan cake designs with the cutest fondant decor b) an about page you’ll fall in love with and c) loads of great info and helpful wedding cakes tips. https://www.tinysarahscakes.co.uk
The Cake Spa is a Midlands-based bakery producing modern, stylish cakes often with an industrial or urban feel. Laura gets a lot of inspiration from raw materials, buildings, structures and textures. She lives by the motto that “Your wedding cake and its display should be a bit different, something people haven’t seen before that makes it a talking point, memorable and a feature of the day. So whether that’s a cheeky topper, a black cake or a cake on a swing, people will talk about it for years to come!” She also has a facebook group, The Insider Bride Guide, full of useful tips and resources for couples getting married. https://www.thecakespa.co.uk/
Lil’s Parlour is a Birmingham-based bakery with a focus on the good life. Using only the best ingredients, Lucy’s buttercream creations and baked goods are fun, contemporary, and very very tasty! As well as making delicious wedding cakes, Lil’s Parlour can do mobile pop up tea parties in traditional vintage or super cool Mid Century Retro style. http://lilsparlour.co.uk