The BEST part of any wedding is the cake and you cannot convince us otherwise. But if you’re having a hard time finding a Pittsburgh wedding cake maker, we’ve called in an expert to help! Emily, owner of Four Oaks Bakery is dishing all of her best advice on how to find the confectionary creator who is perfect for YOU! With a few factors to consider, you’ll be able to say yes to the CAKE in no time!
My clients have told me that the wedding cake is one of the aspects of the wedding that they are most excited about. With good reason, too – cake is delicious! As with the other decisions you’ve already made surrounding your wedding, you have lots of choices when it comes to your wedding cake. Here are a few things to think about when deciding who is the right wedding cake maker for you.
Look at the cakes that you are pinning on Pinterest and saving on Instagram. Notice the ones that grab your attention the most and start to zero in on what they have in common. What words would you use to describe them? Blingy, glittery, and metallic? Semi-naked with fresh fruit and a ganache drip? Romantic, whimsical, and lots of florals? Modern, clean lines, and elegant? Also, think about your venue and the overall style of your wedding. You want your cake to be an extension of the rest of the décor and theme, not to stick out like a sore thumb. Knowing the style of cake that you are looking for will help narrow down your best options for who can bring it to life!
Research Your Options
Begin to research cake makers in your area. Check out the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide. Search on Instagram for hashtags like #pittsburghbakery, #pittsburghcake, #burghbrides, or #pghbride. Ask your friends and family for reviews and ask any wedding vendors you have already booked (planner/coordinator, photographer, florist, etc.) for their recommendations. Their advice and guidance are gold!
Once you’ve asked around, what names did you keep hearing positive things about? Whose work did you see that grabbed your attention? Begin researching them. Read their reviews, see how they show up on social media, and visit their website. How do they make you feel? Excited or meh? Does their design style match up with the words that you use to describe your dream wedding cake? If you feel excited about working with this person or bakery, and it seems like it could be a good fit design-wise, add them to your short list!
Your wedding budget will guide your decisions, so you will need to evaluate where your wedding cake stands on your list of wedding priorities. How important is it to you? Do you want a cake simply for the cake cutting ceremony and the tradition of it all? Do you love cake and want one that tastes amazing and looks beautiful, fully dressed up with florals that match the rest of the room? Or, perhaps you want a show-stopping centerpiece for your reception that is custom-designed and created specifically for you.
I cannot stress this enough: neither of these options are good or bad, right or wrong. It’s purely up to you and what you want for your wedding! Where you stand on “cake importance” will determine where it fits within your overall budget, and there are options for cake makers within all price ranges!
Contact the cake makers that made your short list. Be ready to talk about yourself and your vision for your wedding. Share as many details as possible, such as the wedding date, the venue, approximate number of servings, style/theme, colors, other décor elements, and cake budget. Tell them what you are looking for in your wedding cake (remember those words that you used to describe your wedding cake style?). The more information that you can provide up front, the better. If you are not sure about your cake budget or what a wedding cake even costs, be honest! We are here to help you! Most cake makers will not be able to tell you the final price before the design and number of servings are finalized, but with enough information, they should be able to approximate a price range for you.
Schedule a Consultation and Tasting
The best part of wedding cake planning has arrived! Hurray! You will want to meet the person who will be creating your wedding cake to make sure that it is the right fit. Bring along inspiration photos of cakes that you love, plus pictures or swatches of dresses, invitations, décor, etc. These items are extremely helpful in the design process!
It goes without saying that you should love how the cake tastes. Not all cake is the same, and each cake maker has their own recipes that they have perfected to suit their business. Some bake using mixes, some bake from scratch, some doctor up cake mixes by adding additional ingredients, some have the cake shipped in from a central bakery and simply decorate at their location. Each business is different, and you should find the one that is the best fit for you!
If it’s important to you, use this face-to-face time to ask the cake maker about their process. How many people work with them? What kind of ingredients do they use? Will they create something custom for you, or is there a book of pre-determined designs to choose from? Will they be the one who will make and decorate your cake? How many other cakes will they have that day? Will they deliver?
If you like what you hear and taste, you may have just found your cake maker! Before you sign on the dotted line (yes, you should have a cake contract!) and pay the retainer, you should feel comfortable and confident that the baker will follow through with what is discussed to bring your wedding cake to life. There are many talented cake makers in the Pittsburgh area – you are bound to find one that is the best fit for you!