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Questions To Ask A Cake Decorator



Questions to ask a potential Wedding Cake Decorator


Do you have a portfolio of previous wedding cakes you've made that we can look at?     


Will you be having a tasting soon that we can attend and try various kinds of wedding cake and cake fillings?


Can you supply references?


Will you do a custom wedding cake, or are there a set number of designs for us to choose from?


How adaptable are wedding cake designs, especially due to budget concerns?


Do you have or can you rent items like cake toppers, stands, tiers, fountains, and cutters? Will we be billed extra?


If I want to use fresh flowers on my cake, will you coordinate with my florist, or will I have to manage getting the flowers to you?


What kind of icing do you use?  What ingredients do you typically use?

(Better ingredients will cost more, but will make the cake taste better)

Some advice: 

If your wedding is in the summer, ask the decorator if he/she uses vegetable shortening instead of butter.  Shortening has a higher melting point and will be less likely to melt on a hot day. Usually, when shortening is used, the icing will contain vanilla and possibly butter flavor &/or almond extract.  Also, using real butter will not allow for a true white icing--something to consider.

How long before our wedding are the cakes prepared? How long does it take to make a cake?

Some advice: 

Anyone who tells you they can whip up a wedding cake for you overnight is definitely not being truthful with you.  That, or they have no idea about what is involved in making a wedding cake. 


Are your wedding cakes priced by the slice? Is there an extra cost for special fillings or details? Will you charge extra for my design? Is there a price list I can take home with me to study?

More Advice:  Never compare a private cake decorator’s prices with that of a grocery store’s prices.  Grocery stores typically do not bake their own cakes.  They are shipped to them frozen in cardboard boxes, ready to decorate.  Some stores order their cakes already decorated.  Realistically, paying $5 or less per serving from a private decorator is considered very low.  Grocery stores are currently charging about $2.50 per serving, and I have found that their serving charts for round tiers are many times inaccurate.  They claim more servings than a cake will actually serve.  This way they can charge more while making the customer think she’s getting a better deal.  If you do go with a grocery store, stick with the square cakes, as they aren’t able to hide the actual serving count as easily with squares.  If price is your main concern, and taste and quality are not an issue, then a grocery store is probably right up your alley.  Also, be careful of some private decorators.  Make SURE you see their portfolio, sample their cake, and/or look at their references.  Some private decorators, who are just starting their careers, might charge less at first, and you might get a good deal there.  But again, look at what talent they possess.  Also, when checking references, keep in mind that there will always be one or two dissatisfied clients (you can't please all of the people all of the time), so make sure you get a good sampling of comments.


Can you give me a written proposal I can take home?


Do you do deliver? How much does it cost? Will the delivery person be able to make emergency frosting or decoration repairs and arrange the cake table?

(For anything even slightly complicated, getting them to deliver is best. You won't want to be stuck with 150 ruined pieces of wedding cake at $8 per slice, much less on the morning of your wedding.)