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Monday, December 8, 2008

Choosing Vendors

Selecting the vendors that will carry out your wedding day dreams is one of the most important parts of the planning process.  Remember, that just because a certain vendor was perfect for your friend, sister, or neighbor, does not mean they are the perfect florist/cake designer/photographer for you!  This week I'll be featuring what to look for in every vendor category... stay tuned!

Today : Cake Designer

When choosing the designer that will create your wedding cake...

(This cake is by Natasha's Mulberry & Mott)

1st : Browse their website and blog.  Most cutting-edge designers are hip to the internet...  Look for varied styles and techniques.  

2nd : Set up a consultation.  You are welcome to bring photos of cakes you like, but most great designers will only want to use them for 'inspiration,'  as they are artists!  I do recommend bringing swatches of your wedding colors (tip: bring your design board!) for their reference and to avoid confusion (cherry red vs. bright red vs. scarlet... what?!).  Be sure to discuss potential flavor combinations... it is nice for the exterior of the cake to compliment the interior, if possible.  Set a per slice budget so they know how detailed or intricate the cake should be.  Share your plans for the cake table and display with the designer, as if can effect the design of the cake.  From there, they will be able to put together a proposal and design.    






Other Things to consider :
-Does the designer allow fresh flowers on the cake?
-Does the designer provide a professional to slice the cake?
-Do you want to keep the top for your 1st Anniversary?  
-Are there any materials that will need to be returned to the designer post-wedding?
-What cake stands do they have available?  Can you provide your own?



3rd : Set up a tasting!  At the second meeting/tasting, the designer will have sketches of the cake and a proposal.  A great pastry chef will have classic combinations for you to try, as well as fun, unexpected combos... like pistachio cake, vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache, or strawberry cake with peanut butter buttercream-both delicious!  By the end of this meeting, you should be able to finalize your plans.  At this time, be prepared to put down a deposit (20-50%).  




4th : Two weeks prior to your wedding, place a call to the designer to arrange the delivery and set-up of your cake.  You may want to mail a hard copy of the directions to avoid any potential mishaps.  Also, finalize the payment terms- if they need to be paid prior to delivery, or on delivery, make arrangements!

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