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					WEDTIPS Cakes (25) Word Count: 647 FINDING THE BAKER  Begin your search for a baker six to eight months prior to the wedding.  When viewing a baker’s portfolio, pay attention to the execution of design. Is the work clean and well presented, or do details appear rough and amateurish?  When meeting with cake designers, visually check to make sure their business license and health department certificates are posted.  Inquire as to the number of wedding cakes they do per month, and whether their cakes are ever frozen. DESIGNING YOUR CAKE  For your first meeting with a baker, know the approximate number of guests and your cake budget. Factor in whether or not you’ll be saving the top tier for your one-year anniversary.  Three key elements of designing a cake: the cake flavor, the filling, and the icing or finish.  Fresh, quality ingredients make all the difference.  Choose different flavors and fillings for each tier. You’re bound to tempt every guest’s palate with such variety.  The average wedding cake consists of three-tiers: 12”, 9” and 6”, or 15”, 10” and 6”, and serves about 125-150 people.  If using fresh flowers, confirm in writing exactly who will procure and place them.  Certain flowers can be poisonous; if using hydrangeas, foxgloves, calla lilies or delphiniums, keep a protective surface between the flowers and surface of the cake. ADDITIONAL OPTIONS  The “groom’s cake” is back in vogue. Think dark, rich, decadent and decorated to represent the groom’s hobbies or interests. A tasty sliver may be served alongside the wedding cake, or sent home with guests in a ribboned box.  Individual “baby cakes” are tres chic. Include as part of the tabletop design at the reception, plate and serve to guests in lieu of the traditional cake, or fancily box and present to guests as a favor at the end of the reception.  In addition to the wedding cake, consider a “sweets table.” This can be a decorative showcase of small pastries and confections prepared by your catering staff, or treasured family recipes (prepared by family members) to be arranged by your catering staff for guests to enjoy before the cake cutting ceremony. COST  On average, about 25% of guests will not eat cake.

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If cost in an issue, have a smaller decorated wedding cake, accompanied by sheet cakes of the same flavors and finish, to be cut and served discretely from the kitchen. Serving slices instead of square chunks of cake will make this budget saving trick less obvious. A potential cost, unrelated to your baker, is a facility or caterer’s fee for serving the cake. In many instances, this fee is negotiable. Have all details outlined in your contract.

DELIVERY & SET-UP  Inform your baker as to where the cake will be displayed, indoors or out, and ask for recommendations on the most appropriate icings and coverings.  Complement your masterpiece by decorating the cake table with a rich velvet table drape, bunched overlays of organza or chiffon and fresh petals.  The base of a cake determines the size of the table. If the table is too large the cake will appear dwarfed. Discuss the appropriate table size needed with your baker before finalizing your rental order. THE CAKE CUTTING  This is a great photo opportunity. Freshen up the makeup and straighten the bow tie.  The cake cutting is an appropriate time for the bride and/or groom to make a toast.  Unless your cake cutting denotes the end of the reception, make sure the band or DJ is ready to crank up the tunes full-steam after the cake cutting. You wouldn’t want guests to think the party was over.  Add even more meaning to the moment by personally serving a piece of cake to one another’s parents after you’ve fed each other.

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