Luxury Wedding Cakes : The Wedding Cake Ordering Process.

small three tier with silk ribons

Luxury Wedding Cakes : The Wedding Cake Ordering Process.

What is the Wedding Cake Ordering Process?

You’ve found your perfect cake maker and paid your booking fee, yay! One more thing to tick off that wedding planning list. But what is the actual wedding cake ordering process?

Buttercream cake

We understand that planning a wedding is not something that you do every day, and you may well have questions about the process. Even if you have hired a wedding planner, it’s still good to know what the process is. And there will still need to be things you have to do and decisions you have to make yourselves.

An important part of my job is to answer these questions. And there is no such thing as a silly question, so never feel embarrassed about asking anything you need to know to put your mind at ease. Especially in these unusual times.

With this in mind, I thought I would explain what you can expect when you book your wedding cake with me (other cake makers may have slightly different time frames or ways of doing things.) Of course you don’t have to book with me, I promise I won’t be offended.

small three tier with silk ribons

The beginning of the wedding cake ordering process.

Everything starts with a chat. This can be in person or virtual, I’ve finally got the hang of Zoom!! Or you can drop me an email. In fact it’s even easier than that, simply fill in the contact form on my website and I’ll email you back.
I confess that I usually have my phone on silent, I can’t stand all the pings and buzzes all day long, and if I’m mid cake then I can’t answer anyway. It’s hard to hold a phone when your hands are all sticky. But if you leave me a message I will get back to you as soon as I’m no longer sticky.

The very first thing I will ask is the date and venue of your wedding.
This is really important to know at the beginning because, if your wedding date is already booked, then I want to let you know that right away. However, even if the date is booked, this doesn’t automatically mean I can’t do your cake. This is why I ask about the venue location too. If your wedding is close to the wedding already booked in, then I can do both. Quite often I find myself passing one wedding venue in order to get to another.
For this reason it’s good to also know what time your wedding is. Knowing the logistics from the very beginning makes the rest of the process easier going forward.

Black buttercream wedding cake with edible flowers

Next up.

Once we know that the date is available, and that I can do your wedding cake, the next question will be how big the cake needs to be.
Again this isn’t something I will expect you to know. Especially as wedding and events cakes aren’t cut in the same way we cut cakes at home. So the servings you get from a cake cut for a wedding will be more than a cake cut into wedges at home.


pair of buttercream cakes

How big does the wedding cake need to be?

So when we ask about cake size, all we actually need to know is the numbers the cake will need to serve. We can then work out the size of cake you will need for those numbers. And this can be approximate at this early stage. For now it is simply to give me a rough idea of the size of cake you will need, which in turn helps me to give you an accurate quote.

And the numbers the cake is for will depend on when you are planning to serve the cake. Now don’t panic if you’ve not decided this yet either. All this really means is are you planning on serving the small, finger buffet size portions either as part of a buffet, or with coffee after the meal. Or are you wanting larger servings to have as desert. If you haven’t decided this, then I will simply give you a quote for the two different sizes. So no pressure. And you can change your mind later on, the size and price will simply be adjusted accordingly.

cake sizing chart

This is the chat I use to work out the size of your wedding cake

How do you want your wedding cake to look?

This is the next thing to be discussed. And, once again, you won’t need to have nailed down exactly what aesthetic you’re going to go for. Although I know that most couples have a fair idea on the style of wedding they want by the time they are looking for the cake.
I’ve discussed before HERE about choosing how you want your wedding cake to look, so I won’t go back over that now. But knowing how you want your cake to look will make a difference to the cost. Therefore knowing this will mean I can give you an accurate quote.
For example a three tier semi naked cake with fresh flowers from your florist will have a very different cost to a three-tier fondant cake with dozens of sugar flowers.

Fresh flower cake and sugar flower cake

semi naked with fresh flowers or fondant with sugar flowers

When should you get in touch about your wedding cake?

I get asked this all the time. And my reply is always the same ‘As soon as possible!’
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Please ignore all the ‘advice’ out there that you can leave the cake until the last minute and that we don’t need much notice. I get really cross whenever I read this or hear that people are being told this by their family and friends.
It’s January 2021 and my whole 2021 diary is closed already unless it’s small, micro weddings or elopement cakes. All my big wedding cake slots have gone. I’ve had to open my 2022 diary early!
The best advice I can give is to start looking for your cake maker as soon as you have your venue booked and date secured with them. This goes for all your suppliers actually. All good suppliers will get booked up super early.

Having said to get in touch good and early please remember that we can’t book you in until you at least have your date set. Although I’m always happy to start the conversation and help to guide you until you are in a position to book.

black wedding cake with fresh flowers

What happens once you’ve booked your wedding cake?

As with everything else there will be that initial flurry of activity while you’re making the enquiries and deciding on what you want and who you want to book with. You will pay your booking fee and can relax and know you’ve got your wedding cake booked in. But then what?
Again, each cake maker will have slightly different procedures. For me you will get an email confirming everything and giving you the date the balance must be paid by. A link to my terms and conditions (which you agree to when you pay your booking fee) and I’ll also ask you to fill in my booking form. The booking form is simply to make sure I have all the details together in the one place. And that’s it!
You will likely be booking many months in advance of your wedding. And so there won’t be any need to do anything more for quite a while. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from your cake maker for a while, this is normal. We don’t want to be bothering you with unnecessary emails, so we will only be back in touch if we need more info from you.
However this doesn’t mean that you can’t email us anytime you need to. I’m always happy to hear from my couples. I had a lovely email from one of my 2021 couples simply wishing me Merry Christmas, which was so nice.

white and red wedding cake

What about the cake flavours?

Ah Claire! What about the wedding cake flavours I hear you ask!
Well, to be honest, the cake flavours won’t make much difference to the cost of the cake unless you’re wanting part or all to be fruit cake. And so it’s not something I need to know early on.
And there’s enough to be thinking about and deciding on at the initial booking stage.
My general rule of thumb is that I need to know the final decisions about cake flavours by around a month before the wedding. Longer if you did want fruit cake.
Of course you may know right from the start exactly what flavours you’d like, and that’s fine to let me know. But it’s also fine to change your mind.
There are a couple of ways to choose your cake flavours. I offer tasting boxes by post (you can find out more about those HERE) Which is a perfect way to decide in the comfort of your own home. Or you can come and see me in my studio in Clovelly (well you can when it’s allowed again.)
You can have these tasters whenever you like. However I would recommend not having them too early. I’ve had it happen a few times when couples have done their tastings really early on, and then I get an email asking what they chose as it’s been so long that they can’t remember! And by waiting you have something more to look forward to.
There’s a list HERE of my most popular flavours, but this is by no means a strict list. If you have a favourite flavour that’s not on the list, then just ask. Everything can be customised.

Clare and George enjoying their sample box at home

In the run up to the wedding.

With me the balance of the wedding cake is due no later than 14 days before the wedding. If the balance isn’t paid on time then it is breaking my Ts&Cs, and you are risking not having a cake! Don’t worry though, I won’t expect you to remember the date the balance is due, I will send you an invoice at the appropriate time. And you can pay it at any time before then.

You’ll also get an email around four weeks before the wedding to confirm everything and double check all the details. This will be the last point at which you can make major changes. It will also be the time to tell me the flavours you want if you haven’t done that already.
This is the time I will also be asking for the contact details for your wedding planner, or the co-ordinator at the venue. Useful to have just in case, and means I don’t need to bother you on the day if there’s anything I need to check regarding delivery.

Art deco cake

On your wedding day.

On the day itself the chances are you won’t actually see me. I usually aim to deliver the cake a good hour or more before the wedding, so that I am out of the way before your guests start arriving. This is best for me as it means I can get everything set up without getting in the way, or without anyone getting in my way either.
Usually I will have already arranged the delivery time with you or your planner/co-ordinator well before, I will simply arrive on the day and set up. So the cake table will need to be in place and dressed before I arrive please (and not in a window or next to a heater!)

Claire setting up a wedding cake

ME!!! Doing my thing 🙂

If you’ve asked me for cake boxes for leftovers then I will leave these with the person in charge at venue, who will also sign off the cake.

And that’s it!
The only thing left to do is to eat and enjoy!

To get in touch with me about your wedding cake click HERE


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