How to Find the Right Wedding Cake Designer for You

Written by Charlene Russell
Images by Suzy Elizabeth Photography | Cakes by Charlene Russell, Terre et Lune Cake Design.
When it comes to wedding planning, we’re lucky to have so much inspiration at our fingertips but, at the same time, it could see you heading down a Pinterest black hole quicker than you can say “Mary Berry” and then the overwhelm might really start to set in!

So, with such a variety of wedding cake styles and designers out there to choose from, where do you start, how do you narrow down the search and ultimately find the right one for you?

To help you through the most enjoyable part of your wedding planning (call me biased but you do get to eat cake!), here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions and tips on how to go about it…

Your Wedding Cake Designer

Firstly, how far in advance should we book our wedding cake?

I have found that booking the wedding cake tends to be one of the elements that comes later in the planning process and for logical reason; you will have already decided on your wedding styling and the cake will most likely be an extension of that.

That said, I always advise not to leave it too long before booking your cake, as many wedding cake designers tend to work alone and in turn, they can only take on a certain number of cakes per week to give each creation the time and attention it deserves. As such, it’s advisable to get in early to secure your date. For peak wedding dates (spring, summer and weekends), I would suggest 9-12 months in advance and after you have booked your venue, which leads me to my next point!

How do we find a cake designer to suit our style?

Your wedding styling will most likely start with your choice of venue. Whichever type of venue you choose will tend to set the tone for the whole wedding. From a relaxed, rustic tipi wedding to a formal stately affair in a historic manor house, the cake design will vary significantly to suit the surroundings. As such, I would always recommend exploring your venue’s preferred supplier list first to see if any of them light you up. The likelihood is that if the venue has recommended them then their style should fit the style of the venue to some extent.

If you would like to do your own search however, aside from searching geographically (some may not travel over a certain distance with a delicate cake on board… 1.5 to 2 hours’ journey is generally my own limit), my advice is to look for a cake artist that floats your boat aesthetically-speaking.

Commissioning a bespoke wedding cake isn’t like buying something off the shelf and you will find that, as with all wedding suppliers, one cake designer does not fit all. We all have our own aesthetic, techniques and budgets so look for cake designers that match your style and ethos.

Do their creations inspire and excite you? Does their website and social media content speak to you, and do they have client testimonials to back up their work? Do they fall within your wedding budget? Let’s just say, if you have a novelty Avengers-themed cake in mind and they only specialise in intricate creations covered in sugar flowers, then they may not be the right baker for you!

What if we don’t know what wedding cake design we want?

Firstly, it’s the job of your cake designer to help you. Please don’t feel that you must come to a consultation with a design already in mind (in fact, we almost prefer it if you don’t!). All you need to do is tell us about your wedding day plans; what’s your preferred aesthetic; and what is the feel you’re trying to create? Then let us inspire you!

What I would suggest however is just do a little bit of research together as a couple (from experience, I often find that it can be a one-sided view!). It doesn’t have to be arduous, just get browsing on Pinterest, delve into Instagram and think about the elements that you may have already chosen for your wedding such as the stationery design, your outfits, accessories etc.

You don’t necessarily have to look for other cakes for inspiration either; perhaps you’re inspired by a piece of art or maybe you have a favourite fashion designer that you love. It can be anything! You may even have a definite design in mind, but allowing your baker to flex their creative muscles might just give you a different perspective on it and allow them to create something unique to you and that hasn’t been done before.

How much can we expect our wedding cake to cost?

Not all wedding budgets are equal so unfortunately this isn’t the easiest question to answer but rest assured, there will be a supplier to suit your budget. Where you place your priorities will also differ from one couple to the next and if you’re dreaming of a showstopper of a wedding cake to feed 200 then expect to allow more budget!

Each cake designer will be different depending on their own business running costs, level of skill, level of customer service, quality of ingredients etc. but bear in mind that the more extensive and intricate the decoration, the more investment will be required.

Most cake designers will indicate their starting prices on their websites so make sure that those prices fit within your budget to start with and be prepared to allow extra for decoration. Being open with your cake designer about your budget expectations will also help them design something that works for you!

What happens during a wedding cake consultation?

Surely the best part of the wedding planning! This is where you get to eat cake and discuss your wedding cake design. It’s also your chance to meet the cake designer, decide if they’re the right supplier for you and for them to tease out those design ideas and create something truly bespoke.

My own consultation process takes place virtually, which makes it all the more convenient for my couples. A luxury taster box is ordered via my website so that you can enjoy some cake samples in your own time and in the comfort of your own home. I then set up a date for an informal chat via Zoom, during which we will talk about your wedding plans. I can give you all the necessary advice you need (but never knew you needed!) and I can get a good idea of your personal style.

I do tend to have an initial design idea that springs to mind as we chat, but I will often let my creativity dwell a little and then sketch a design for you to consider, along with a quote, so you can really visualise what it will look like, and we can work on it until you’re completely happy. Then all you need to do is lock in your date with a deposit and be happy in the knowledge that you’ve found your wedding cake designer!

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