You’re planning out your budget for your wedding. You make a few calls to local bakeries to find out ballpark pricing for the cake and - boom - it hits you - this is WAY more than my bakery birthday cake. But like, why though?!
I’ve been there. I got married before I was a baker and I could not wrap my head around the pricing. Why was this super average cake so pricey? I mean, I get it - it's 3 tiers, but come on, it was one color.. WHITE. I’m even GIVING you the things you need to put on it (cake topper, flower, ribbon). I’m making this easy on you! I brought you a picture of the exact cake I want. ANYWAY if you’re anything like me you didn’t ask questions. You enjoyed the cake tasting, wrote a check, and decided everyone is a con when it comes to “wedding” things.
Then I became a baker and girl, let me tell you… I had NO idea what goes into these things until I received my first wedding cake order. Let me break it down for you..
First, the stress. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobby baker or have been baking since Betty Crocker’s first picture cookbook published back in 1950.. the stress is overwhelming when you receive an order for a wedding cake. Think about it.. the stakes are high. There is only one chance to get it right. Something as trivial as a slam on the breaks after some jerk cuts your off in traffic on the way to deliver the cake can destroy your whole creation. Yikes, I’m getting anxious just typing that out. ..Or maybe one of the guests is a ninja and karate chops the cake right out of your hands and it crashes to the floor as you’re walking into the venue (ok, little far but maybe). Basically, the pressure to create the perfect cake with a perfect delivery with perfect details is real. You have the ability to make or break a couple’s special “Once-in-a-Lifetime” cake. It’s exciting and intimidating at the same time. Little secret, I usually bake an entire back up cake.. just in case.
Second, the ingredients. My mission is to create cakes only using the best ingredients. This means real vanilla bean paste, organic ingredients when possible, fresh fruits, real extracts, the list goes on! You want your guests to remember your cake as the best wedding cake they’ve ever tasted. You want them to talk about it for years to come. There’s no compromise on taste. Most people only get one wedding cake, it better be amazing and everything you ever dreamed of, taste included.
And last, the time. I can recall the first wedding cake order I received. There was so much work to do before the wedding was even booked! Between going back and forth on colors, style, and flavors to discussing details I had almost forgot about. Days of messages and phone calls. There was a considerable amount of communication and planning that went into the preplanning session. Then came the cake tasting (the best part, am I right?!) I like to create large cupcakes of each flavor for my cake tasting. Do you know how long it takes to calculate and weigh out the ingredients to make ONE large cupcake? Far too long. Come on, it’s 2019, why don’t I have a kitchen robot to do this for me? Anyway…. once I bake my fresh cupcakes, it’s off to the cake tasting. Being that I’m a home based baker, I try to accommodate my couple’s location for tasting.. make life a little easier on them.
Now you have seen my perspective on baking a wedding cake, but let me clarify something, at no point am I ever bummed about a wedding cake order. In fact, I wish I had more! There’s something so very special about getting to know a bride and groom and having them trust you with something that’s so important to them. I mean, it’s cake! Debatably some guest’s favorite part of the reception (besides the bouquet throw) This is serious decision making! What really I love is down the road when that same couple orders their children’s birthday cakes and you are able to stay a part of that family.
So in short, if you want to save a lot money on your wedding cake, just email a baker and say “ I don’t care about the flavor. I don’t want a cake tasting. Style or colors aren’t important. And I won’t even care if it gets ninja chopped on the way into the venue.”
For your viewing pleasure, here's my husband and I cutting our cake / smashing cake into each others faces. ..*judges own wedding cake*