Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fondant Favorites

I think choosing the wedding cake was probably Faye & I's favorite part of wedding planning. We found ourselves leaning towards the smooth finish of fondant (which some say they don't like the taste of, but our cake lady's fondant tastes like rich buttercream icing!) and clean lines with simple accent flowers. If you are at all like us, you had no idea what fondant even was before all this, so study up on some common cake terms before embarking on choosing a cake baker. Some of our favorite designs have come from The Cake Girls in Chicago and April Reed in New York:
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{Top: The Cake Girls; Middle: April Reed; Bottom: L by April Reed, M & R by The Cake Girls}
{For more browsing, check out Abby's cake gallery on Style Me Pretty.}

Once you have an idea of what type of cake designs you like, then you should start shopping for cake vendors. Don't forget to ask each vendor about the freshness of their ingredients (maybe it is important to you that the filling is made from fresh rather than frozen berries), their timeline for baking a wedding cake (you don't want it to be made too far ahead of time and then frozen!), and if you want fondant be sure to ask if they use pre-made fondant or if they make it from scratch (totally different, and the latter is tastier). Also ask about their price per slice of cake- generally, $3 to $5 per slice is considered an average low-end range, depending on the complexity of the cake design and the flavors, with $5 to $8 per slice as the upper-end range. If you pick a well known cake designer such as Wendy Kromer, Kate Sullivan, The Cake Girls, April Reed, etc., you can expect to pay around $10 to $15 per slice.

One thing we learned is to bring pictures with you! We forgot to bring some to our first consultation and ended up wasting a lot of time thumbing through our cake lady's library of wedding books and magazines. After you give your cake designer an idea of what you want, she should draw a sketch for you to show you what she is envisioning to make sure you guys are on the same page.
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{image from April Reed}

Remember to think about the actual display of the cake at this point; I forgot and realized later when I met with my florist that our cake was going to be on a board (see the first row of pictures above). Boards are fine and can often be very pretty, but if you love the look of cake stands and pedestals like I do (see the second row of pictures), then you may be disappointed if you forget to discuss this detail. Luckily, my florist has a beautiful silver cake stand for me so all turned out well in the end. Finally, after all is said and done, you will probably need to write a check for a deposit to hold your wedding date, but be sure to discuss contract points such as delivery and set-up the day of the wedding before signing off.

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