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Tips on Selecting a Bakery
Article contributed by Francine, Owner of Sweetcakes

If your wedding cake is not supplied by the hall or caterer, take time and care in choosing a baker. Your wedding cake is an important part of the wedding celebration. You will want it not only to look wonderful, but taste fabulous. Today there is a great variety to choose from. You may want to stay with something traditional or you may prefer something unusual and unique. Start looking at least 4 to 5 months in advance and get recommendations from friends or your caterer. Check a number of bakers, discuss the various styles and flavours available as well as the prices.

Commercial Bakers

Commercial bakeries: Commercial bakeries are the most commonly used source for wedding cakes. Some specialize in nothing but wedding or special occasion cakes. These bakeries produce a large quantity of cakes as well as other baked goods and generally only have a few cake styles and flavours to choose from. One disadvantage with this type of bakery is that because they are so busy, they may not be able to deviate from their set designs in the event you wanted something unique.

Caterer or Reception Site

Many times your caterer or reception site will provide the wedding cake. In most cases, they must hire the services of a commercial bakery or a private baker to supply them with wedding cakes. It is recommended that you ask to see some pictures and if possible taste a sample. Once again, since wedding cakes are not their specialty, these sources may be limited in design and flavour ability. As well, we suggest you ask them if there is a "cutting fee" as most banquet halls or caterers do charge for this service.

Non-Commercial Bakers

This is a baker who works out of his or her home and specializes only in wedding cakes. This type of baker is preferred and selected by many brides today. Each cake is individually designed to your specifications. Many of these bakers are true artists and they love to create spectacular cakes. The trend to use this type of baker has grown over the years and prices vary widely. In some cases, they can be less expensive than a commercial bakery and will often offer elaborate detail and personalized designs.

Cake flavours available

Traditionally, wedding cakes were all made of fruit. This was mainly because the top tier was saved for either the first year anniversary or to celebrate the first born, whichever came first. Therefore, it was necessary to have a cake that would keep well and still be edible after such a long period of time. It was also covered and decorated with royal icing. This type of icing is very hard and durable and was necessary in order to protect the cake until it was served. This tradition is slowly being changed to keeping the top tier until the newlyweds return from their honeymoon. The cake is then offered to those that were in the bridal party or other close friends and family invited to a small get-together to look at the wedding or honeymoon pictures.

Since the cake does not have to be kept for so long, many of today's brides do not select a fruitcake. There are many great flavours of cakes and fillings available now. Try to select a flavour that most of your guests will like. If you're not sure, select the flavour you and your fiancé like the most.

Although the round cake is still the most popular shape because it signifies infinity and love forever, as do the wedding bands, square, hexagon, petal and heart shapes are also available.


The traditional frostings are either a buttercream or a fondant. Many brides are selecting the fondant for it's smooth satiny finish. It is also recommended for cakes that will not be refrigerated for more than 4 or 5 hours and for celebrations during warmer months. Although it is a soft icing, it is not as soft as buttercream. Both can be coloured to match most colour schemes. Many brides still prefer their wedding cake to be iced in white, however there are many new icing colours and cake designs appearing each day. Cakes of colour are becoming very popular and make an attractive centrepiece for your wedding reception.

To decorate their cakes, many brides are selecting either fresh or silk flowers. Gumpaste flowers are also very popular. These are realistic sugar flowers, which have been handcrafted piece by piece and will add extra elegance to any cake. They are usually sold individually and vary in price according to size and the type of flower you need.

How to find a great bakery

Get recommendations from friends whose weddings you have enjoyed

Ask your reception co-ordinator which good bakeries they have worked with before

Your florist or photographer are also good sources of information

Bridal magazines or newspapers. Many reputable bakeries that specialize in wedding cakes will advertise in these national publications

* Bridal shows

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