Saturday, June 19, 2010
Getting the Cake of Your Dreams Part 9: OTHER ESSENTIALS
Today's post contains a collection of details that are important to know. They are all cake related, but didn’t really fit in to the other categories. Here we go!
Cakes are time consuming to make, and often bakers have more than one cake per weekend to prepare. Don’t be surprised if your baker makes your cake three to four days prior to your wedding day, but ask about whether or not they freeze their cakes. Freezing often makes the cake dry and is best avoided.
Listen to what the cake baker recommends, and understand their recommendations about your cake. For instance, a white buttercream cake decorated with black piping is not going to hold up well in July at an outdoor wedding with high humidity. If the cake “sweats” then the black runs all over the cake and it looks horrible. If the decorator suggests switching to fondant or very slightly changing the design, then keep in mind that they probably know what they are talking about!
Review your contract thoroughly and making sure every last detail you and the designer agreed upon is in writing well in advance of the event. This protects both the bride and the designer. Before you place an order, your cake contract should include contact info for the vendor; wedding date, time, and delivery location; delivery and setup fees; total amount due; cake design specifications and flavors; plus their cancellation and refund policies. It may seem like a silly question, but it's worth verifying that your baker is licensed by the state health department. If they are baking from their home, make sure that their facilities and methods meet state health requirements and acceptable food handler methods.
Some cake bakers will deliver your wedding cake to the reception for an added fee, while others ask that you have someone pick it up that day. Ask the baker how deliveries are usually handled, and if you're planning to order a large, delicate, or at all complicated cake, know that delivery is well worth the peace of mind. They should have appropriate boxes, packing materials, and ways to keep it from sliding around or falling over en route. Include all the transportation and travel details in your contract.
Designate a place to put the cake once it arrives at your reception site. If arrives several hours before the reception, you may require refrigerator space at the venue. In this case you should also have someone on hand who can transport the cake to the cake table right before the reception is scheduled to begin so the cake is in top form.
Traditionally, the cake cutting signifies that the end of the reception is near, so couples typically wait approximately an hour into the dancing to cut the cake. This way, you could serve an additional dessert with the meal. In other receptions the cake cutting may occur first if there isn’t a luncheon. Also, you may not want to interrupt your party so you can cut it at the beginning of the reception right after you make your grand entrance while everyone's eyes are on you.
Don’t forget to enjoy a piece of your own wedding cake! Couples often get busy with the reception and forget, so ask your caterer to save some for you. Share it with your new spouse as a snack that night or taste it at the post-wedding brunch. You deserve to enjoy the cake you worked so hard to help create. If you're planning to keep your top tier for your one-month anniversary, make sure that your caterer wraps it in tin foil and packages it into a tight storage container for the freezer. Even then, don’t be angry if your new husband cuts into it the next morning for breakfast!