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Wedding Bakers and What They Provide
Wedding bakers are essentially companies that specialize in making pastries for weddings. Most of them bake and decorate wedding cakes and groom’s cakes for couples on their wedding day, along with cupcakes, cookies, petit fours, and a variety of other delectable pastries either for the main wedding dessert attraction, the dessert table, or even for delicious wedding favors for guests to take home.
Although some company will stretch and also make pies, and culturally themed desserts like baklava, a croquembouche, or even a kransekake, most of them focus specifically on wedding cakes. Like traditional bakers, most wedding bakers don’t rely specifically on weddings for their sole income.
Consider the types of delicious pastries you can find at any baker; cookies, cupcakes, croissants, bear claws, birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, etc. Just like photographers, who balance their wedding business alongside family, baby and graduation portraits, bakers usually retain business for a variety of other occasions, and any wedding cake orders coming in are a bonus.
However, there are also those that specialize in just making cupcakes, just making cookies, just making pies, just making specific cultural foods/desserts, and even just making wedding cakes. In fact, becoming a well-known wedding cake baker and designer has been a popular specialty that many have found success in! This is one reason we offer this specialty in our certification programs.
Wedding Cake Designs
Wedding cakes are changing rapidly as each new decade rolls by. Shapes, sizes, colors and flavors are all evolving as brides and grooms are getting more creative and traditions are relaxing in this area. The wedding cake has even become the main attraction per se, or the one element tying the whole wedding theme together. It is even more important today that these cakes are not only beautiful, but delicious, as expectations for wedding cakes are rising quickly.
Unfortunately, this means that groom’s cakes are slowly disappearing as couples are both getting what they want from the main cake, regardless of the effort that has been put into keeping them popular.
The more creative (and demanding) brides become, the more creative and talented cake designers seem to surface. Wedding cake design is quickly becoming more of an art than simply a requirement of wedding cake bakers. Just plain sheet cakes, or simple white layered cakes just won’t cut it anymore. Brides want bright colors, unique designs, talented bakers, and a reflection of everything they’ve ever wanted in a cake. Now, wedding cake bakers can give them exactly what they are looking for.
Let’s look at some of the basic design elements that go into wedding cakes so you can identify them.
By combining some or all of these elements, along with the right colors, words/symbols, any hobbies or interests, and the theme of the wedding, bakers have created some of the most amazing cakes. However, we also need to look at another quality that comes into play when creating the look of the wedding cake. Wedding cakes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Alongside décor, the shape of the wedding cake helps with that overall look.
Obviously all of these elements help with the overall feeling of the cake, but are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating the perfect wedding cake. The flavors used in the wedding cake are just as important.
Wedding Products and Services
Of course bakers provide delicious baked goods for their brides and grooms. Although the yummy desserts they provide can vary based on taste, design preference, or even culture, the type of products, being sugary desserts, don’t really change. The services provided by each and every baker, however, do. Here’s an outline of many of those services.
Rentals – Many bakers you encounter will offer a number of items that individuals don’t normally have at home, to their couples to rent for the big day. Some of these may be columns to display the layers of their cake at different levels, pedestals (or cake stands) to give the wedding cake an elegant look, cake servers so couples don’t have to purchase them, and beautiful cake toppers. All of these would most likely require a rental deposit that would be returned when the items were brought back.
Styrofoam Layers – These can be used for a number of reasons. Many brides would like taller cakes, but have no need for the extra slices. Some brides wish to display a “fake” wedding cake, all the while serving guests from less expensive sheet cakes in the kitchen. These Styrofoam layers are even great for replacing cake layers that get damaged before the big cake cutting moment.
The only problem with using Styrofoam layers is the cost incurred for them. Where some bakers will charge a reasonable rental fee for their use, others will charge just as much as the real cake would have cost, and sometimes even more. This just makes their use rather pointless.
Delivery/Setup – Yes, you have to pay for this service. Some bakeries will waive this fee for you if you are willing to pick up the cake yourself, take it to the wedding venue and set it up yourself. But even the most capable of individuals is wary of taking on the responsibility of caring for the wedding cake on the big day. What if it falls over or is dropped while in your capable hands? If something happens to it while the baker is delivering or setting up, then they are responsible for fixing it. Totally worth the cost!
First Anniversary Cake – Only a few quality bakeries will offer this service. Ultimately, this is a free duplicate of the top layer of the wedding cake for the couple to share on their first wedding anniversary. This way, when factoring in how many slices will need to be ordered for the wedding day, the couple can factor in the 6 slices that normally comprise the top layer as well.
Most couples save the top layer of their cake to eat together a year later. One reason bakers can offer this service without losing a good deal of money, is that most couples don’t remember to go back and request it.
Classes – Finally, a few bakeries here and there will offer classes to anyone interested in learning how to make their own cake, how to decorate cakes, and even those that want to learn how to cut a wedding cake. This can be a lot of fun for anyone interested. Sometimes these classes are free, but normally they come at a small fee.
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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness