Monday, July 29, 2013

Brides and Grooms

This post is dedicated to you and anyone else planning the day they have dreamed of since childhood.
Getting married is an expensive adventure but you can cut costs.
I have been to weddings where the couple made their own center pieces, wedding favors, chair covers, even weddings where the Mother of the Bride had sewn the bridesmaid's gowns and the Sister of the Bride picked flowers from her garden for the bridesmaid's bouquets.
All have looked great and were a great way to shave some money off the wedding tab.

Two things that people cut corners on that should never be cut, the photographer and the wedding cake.
Sure, as a cake designer you would expect me to advise you not to cut corners on the cake, but when it comes to the cake, you get what you pay for.
The cake is a very important element of the wedding.
It's photographed, it's ceremoniously  cut and smashed in the bride and groom's face, it's your guests dessert after a 5 star meal for goodness sake.
Would you serve prime rib with a Twinkie for dessert?

The cake is also a great way for the bride and groom to express themselves, it can be customized to reflect their taste, interests, sense of humor...anything!

When shopping for your cake always ask to see cakes similar to what you are interested in made by that designer.
They probably have not made your exact design before but if your cake is to be iced in fondant and covered in gumpaste flowers ask to see something the designer has done that is similar.

Last weekend I rescued a cake that was collapsing, come to find out the designer had never done a tiered cake and did not use any kind of support.
But the bride got a great deal....

This is what a wedding cake looks like without support ( this is just an example, not the cake I fixed. The one I fixed had collapsed by the time I arrived, but I was able to save it )

Every baker who gets into cake design will make mistakes. We learn from them, but trust me you don't want the lesson to be learned on your wedding day, at your expense.

Too often home bakers will undercut the professional , they will even undercut other experienced home bakers who are operating legally.

The going rate for the average wedding cake ( not a Ron Ben Israel cake ) is anywhere from $3.50 to $7.00 per serving depending on where you are located and the design.
If you are being quoted less it's buyer beware.
Trust me!

I have fixed two wedding cakes recently for friends of friends.
Both cakes were done by home bakers who had charged around $1.50 ( or less! ) per serving and were clearly still in the " beginner" level.
The bride and groom cut wedding costs by ordering cheap cake.

Here are a few of my favorite what a bride wanted and what the bride got photos from Cake Wrecks.
Inspiration cake made by Lisa's Creative Cakes

I see a resemblence...kinda.

Here is one of my favorite food safety fails, also from Cake Wrecks.

 The inspiration cake.

What she received.

Close, but instead of gumpaste flowers the decorator used real flower petals stuck all over the buttercream. ( real flowers should never be placed on a cake without flower spikes for food safety. They contain dyes, pesticides, and sometimes even the pests. )

I understand that weddings can be outrageously expensive and many people are on a very tight budget. In that case even some advanced designers will work with you to create a cake in your price range.
Taking your elaborate design to a cheap ' cake lady'  usually won't get you THAT cake anyways.
Better to design a cake in your price range with an experienced designer that will still look great and taste excellent as well.

Even seasoned designers have " oops' moments, but the chance of that happening is considerably less than if you go with a " cheap cake lady".

Please save yourself the aggravation and budget a little extra money for your wedding cake and a little less for your horse drawn carriage or helicopter grand entrance.
Your guests don't have to eat those.

...oh yeah, the photographer.
It's one of the most important days of your life, you want this documented. Every important step needs to be captured.
I have talked to brides whose photographer missed the wedding kiss, missed the grand entrance because he was texting, missed the cutting of the cake because they were outside having a cigarette, and missed the wedding completely because their phone crashed and thats where all their bookings were stored.
You do not want to end up with cell phone photos of your $20,000+  day.
You want photos you will be proud to have passed down through generations that capture the magic of the moment.
NOT photo's like these from the Daily Mail

Good thing she has her dress on so I can identify the bride in this photo.
Here is a photo of...huum, not sure.

Ooops, just missed the bride.

Your photographer and cake designer are very important as you can see, please don't skimp on them.
You get what you pay for.

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