Just some really good things to know about cakes before choosing one:
-Sources: If your reception site has a caterer or baker who makes wedding cakes, you might find your piece de resistance there. Other options include a local baker who does a substantial business in wedding cakes, a cake designer, or a talented friend whose culinary work you’re familiar with.
-Cake-cutting Fee: IF you choose to use an outside vendor for your cake, your caterer/banquet manager might charge a cake-cutting fee (typically per slice) for cutting and plating the cake, so be sure to ask. Some off-site cake designers will come to a wedding to slice and plate the cake themselves — for an added fee, of course. If you’re thinking of having a close family member do the cake cutting for you, make sure they have done it before and know the proper way to cut a wedding cake. It’s a much harder task than most people think.
-Equipment: If your cake designer is going to deliver the cake to the site and leave in in the hands of the caterer, get a list of all the items that need to be returned, such as dowels to create the tiers, cake boards, special cutting knives, etc.
-Groom’s cake: Typically smaller than the traditional wedding cake, this confection is often chocolate, though it can be made in any flavor that the groom desires. Some opt for a fruitcake iced in white, as a nod to the English wedding cakes of old; others select cakes with a more creative bent, designed to resemble everything from pieces of sports paraphernalia to a tuxedo. Often included in souther weddings, the groom’s cake has been gaining more widespread popularity in recent years. When deciding whether or not to include one in your celebration, consider this bit of lore:
It is said that a single woman who sleeps with some of this cake under her pillow will dream of her husband-to-be.
For this reason, some couples have the groom’s cake sliced and boxed for guests to take home as favors.
Brides in Eastern North Carolina area: I have a fabulous vendor for groom’s cakes. (Lovely Cakes By Mel) Email me for additional info.
-If you are having a large reception, ask the cake designer about creating a smaller wedding cake for display during the reception and making a sheet cake that can be sliced in the kitchen and served. The sheet cake will be just as delicious but not as expensive, since it is easier to make.
-Ask the cake designer about having stacked tiers (where each tier sits directly on the one beneath it) as opposed to raised ones (where dowels separate the tiers). Because the former approach requires less skill and preparation time, the provider may charge less for it.
-Keep your cake simple. Choosing one or two fillings total as opposed to having different flavors for every layer will help keep costs down; when it comes to trim, opting for piping in royal icing or buttercream will be less expensive than having elaborate sugared flowers or handmade marzipan fruits.
-If you would like to have a cake topper, ask to borrow the one that your parents or grandparents used instead of purchasing a new one — doing so will also allow you to incorporate a touch of tradition into your festivities.