Cake deliveries, especially wedding cake deliveries, are the part of the job that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most experienced cake makers. So, today, I thought I’d take you behind the scenes again. This time into the world of deliveries……….
I’ll be honest, if I could pay someone to do all my deliveries for me, then I would! But, at the same time, I’m not sure I’d trust anyone else to do it >.< Although my husband is brilliant, and gets way less stressed than me!
Our biggest enemy is the pothole. I joke about doing ‘the pothole dance’ and that one of these days I will get pulled over for weaving all over the road. But I often find that, when looking in my rear view mirror, the person behind had cottoned on, and is following me. You do get to know the ‘cake friendly’ and ‘oh bugger’ routes to venues, sadly the sat nav hasn’t had this memo, and still sends me down some ‘oh hell no!’ roads. I often go a longer route to a wedding venue in order to be on cake friendly roads (or to pass a Starbucks). This is one reason why I always ask what time the cake needs to be at the venue, so that I can allow enough time to get your cake there safely. And also allow for traffic. Usually I will ask what’s the earliest and the latest the cake needs to be there.
I know what you’re thinking, that I surely just pop the cake into the car and away? Ah no, it’s nowhere near that simple.
Firstly the car boot has to be lined with anti-slip matting. This stuff is a godsend!! And sometimes the back seats have to be dropped down. This was the case last Saturday because I had two wedding cakes to deliver, almost two hours apart. Which is another reason I need to know when the cake is to be delivered, and why those timings can’t be changed, more on that later.
Secondly each cake tire has to be packed up individually. I never deliver a cake already stacked. I used to, and I know some wedding cake makers do. But goodness me it makes an already stressful process even worse!! Potholes again, roundabouts, breaking…… you can imagine. And so I deliver my wedding cakes in their separate tires and stack them when I arrive. This takes time. All the sugar work is also packed up and assembled on site.
This cake was a particularly memorable delivery. It was going into a tipi, not uncommon. But this tipi was set up right by the sea at Lynmouth, in the high winds we had a couple of weeks ago. The gusts of wind were so strong that they daren’t open the tipi ‘doors’and they had to keep them strapped to the picnic tables! This meant having to pass each boxed tier under the tipi to someone already inside, then climb under myself. It wasn’t dignified to watch ? But we managed it, and everything was set up safely.
Then there’s the kit I have to take. This is my bag of tricks to help me put your wedding cake together (including a spirit level, yes really). So, as you can see, it’s not just popping the cake into the car.
Now I touched before about delivery timings. These are very important, I even mention this in my Ts&Cs. As a general rule I aim to deliver the cake around an hour to an hour and a half before your wedding starts. This allows me the time I need to get everything set up for you, and also means I’m in and done before people start to arrive, so I’m not in the way. Also I often have more than one wedding cake to deliver in one day. I’ll ask you early on what time the wedding is, or if there is a time window for setting up the cake. Sometimes the cake will be going into the same room that the ceremony has been in, and the venue will need to do a change around. In these cases I usually contact the venue directly and arrange the cake delivery with them.
When I arrive at your wedding venue I will usually find the person in charge. There are a few venues I deliver to regularly, so then I know I can just get on with things. Then I will find the same person again when I’ve finished and ask then to check the set up cake. I also take photos. Mostly these photos are for my portfolio. But they can also be helpful if the cake gets damaged by someone after I’ve left. This has happened, and the hotel was trying to claim that I must have left the cake in that state! Luckily the couple had got to know me over the course of planning their cake, and knew I would never have left them a damaged cake. They contacted me and I was able to provide the photos I took to prove that the cake was in perfect condition when I left. Needless to say they made a complaint to the hotel! Who had also damaged my cake stand!!
Anyway, back to delivering your precious wedding cake. Believe me, it’s also precious to me! Many hours of work (and some swearing) have gone into your perfect wedding cake. So making sure the delivery goes smoothly is vital.
Most of the time deliveries are made in Molly, my black Mokka. Which means I am at the mercy of traffic and roadworks, especially in the summer. The South West is a VERY popular holiday destination, and the roads can get busy. So planning is everything. The summer can also get hot! Even in the UK! Last summer was brutal, but we have a cunning plan for this. Ice. Ice blocks and even bags of ice cubes turn the boot of the car into a fridge.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into delivering your wedding cake. Here are a few tips to make sure the process runs smoothly.
1/ Times. As soon as possible let your cake maker know what time the cake needs to be delivered. This allows us to plan our deliveries.
2/ Postcodes. We often know the venues already, but giving us the postcode, and any special instructions (such as which entrance to use etc) will help.
3/ Contact names and numbers. We will have your contact details, but you have better things to be doing on your wedding day! So the name and number of the person in charge at the venue, or your wedding planner, means we don’t need to disturb you should we need to get in touch.