If you’ve been planning your wedding for a while, you’ll probably have been to consultations with other suppliers already. Perhaps you’re wondering what you can expect at a wedding cake consultation? In this post, I’ll walk you through what happens at a Love from lila xx wedding cake consultation so that you are prepared and can get the most out of the session. However, if you’re working with another cake maker, they’re likely to follow a very similar process, so it will be helpful for anyone getting ready to attend a consultation.
Why bother with a wedding cake consultation?
A wedding cake consultation is a really important meeting, for me as your cake maker and you as a couple. Especially when creating custom wedding cake designs, it gives me the opportunity to meet you both, see some of the different flowers, design elements and colours that you’re including in your day and get a sense of your style. Just sitting in your living room can often be a really helpful cue for me to understand your style!
From your perspective, the wedding cake is probably going to be a really important part of the day, representing a sizeable chunk of your budget, and so being confident in my skills, style and the quality of my cake is what you might be expecting to take away from the time. At the very least, you get to taste 4 different cake flavours and pick your favourites!
How do I prepare for a consultation?
A productive wedding cake consultation will take between 45 – 75 minutes, depending on the complexity of the design. In order to get the most out of the time, it’s helpful for you to come along with some things:
- Photos or ribbon swatches of your colour scheme or theme (this could be flower related, table decorations or more general pictures of weddings you’ve seen online e.g. Pinterest)
- A copy of the invitations or other wedding stationery that you will have on the day (e.g. table plans, place cards)
- Photos of wedding cake designs you like, styles you like (naked, buttercream, fondant) and a few ideas of what you don’t like (e.g. plain white, heavy decoration) – you might want to start this search on my own Instagram page as you’ll see what I’ve done before
- A bit of background about the cake maker e.g. read their website, look at their Facebook or Instagram profiles, and just make sure you’re confident about who they are and their skills. When you’re doing this, you’ll probably have a few questions that aren’t answered by their website that you can ask during the wedding cake consultation
What happens during a wedding cake consultation?
Every wedding cake consultation is slightly different, but you can expect to cover a few key topics: the cake maker’s experience and business, your wedding colours and theme(s), wedding cake designs, cake flavours (including tasting some samples), cake setup on the day (venue, stand, timing), costs and payment. I usually conduct these in your home, or wedding venue, but other cake makers may invite you to their studio or home too.
They aren’t usually very formal, just a conversation between you, your partner or other helpful individual, and the cake maker. You should always expect cake samples, and in most cases, you’ll get to choose the flavours of these in advance. As you’re talking through designs and ideas, your cake maker may start making some rough sketches of ideas, or may even show you pictures of other wedding cake designs to help you visualise what you’re all talking about.
Questions you might want to ask…
A wedding cake consultation is a bit like a job interview. You want to know that the cake maker you select is reliable, reputable, knowledgeable, operating legally and able to create the wedding cake of your dreams! In some cases, through your conversation, you’ll be confident that your cake maker fits all of those criteria. However, sometimes, you may feel that you need a little bit of extra reassurance about the cake maker, or the process of ordering a wedding cake. After all, this might be the first time you’re planning a wedding so the process will be new to you. A reliable cake maker will be more than happy to answer any and all questions that you have. If there’s anything worrying you, just ask! Here are some questions that you might need answered:
- How long have you been making wedding cakes? How many have you made?
- When will you bake and decorate our cake?
- Do you ever freeze cakes?
- What ingredients or items do you use premade e.g. cake mix, buttercreams, jams, curds?
- How many cakes do you take on each week/weekend?
- What types of wedding cake designs do you make most frequently e.g. buttercream drip cakes, modern fondant, naked?
- How tall are your cake tiers? What size tiers do you recommend to serve the number of guests we have?
- Who will bake and decorate our cake?
- Do you offer any dietary alternatives e.g. gluten free, dairy free, vegan?
- What happens on the day of the wedding?
- What size are your portions/slices?
- Do you include a stand and knife?
- (If cost is important to you) Are there any ways you can suggest to reduce the cost?
- (If renting stands or other items) How do we get items back to you? What Ts & Cs are there?
- What insurance do you have?
- Do you have a food hygiene rating. What score do you have? You can also verify this online.
- How much information do you give the venue/caterers about allergens/ingredients?
- What happens after this consultation?
- What happens if we change our mind about the design and want something different instead?
- How much deposit will we need to pay? How many instalments can we make? When will we have to pay everything up?
- What’s your cancellation policy in case something happens?
- What happens if something goes wrong on the day e.g. you’re sick, the cake gets damaged in transit?
- If we’re not happy with the cake on the day, what happens?
What happens after a wedding cake consultation?
As most of your conversations during the wedding cake consultation will be ‘rough’ ideas and sketches, you can expect the follow-up to be more final and refined. Often, your cake maker will take a few days to sit down, think about what you’ve discussed and then create a full sketch of the wedding cake design you’ve picked. Most of the time, this sketch will be incorporated into a cake specification or contract which will contain everything you need to know about your wedding cake. It will include information about your wedding date and venue, including setup times if relevant. It will also show the sketch, as well as any other design inspiration e.g. colour schemes, photos of wedding flowers, and finally, cost information and Ts & Cs.
There might be small tweaks made to this document immediately after the wedding cake consultation, but it won’t change much. Later on in the planning process, you might also add more photos and information.
All reputable cake makers will offer a wedding cake consultation before you book in. They’re a really great opportunity to get to know the cake maker, how they work and pick their brains so that you can have the wedding cake of your dreams! Good luck and happy planning!
To book your consultation with me, head over to the contact page and get in touch.
With love from lila xx