Of all the decisions involved in planning a wedding, many would probably agree that the most enjoyable ones pertain to the wedding cake. Still, the cake selection process is not without its challenges; Pinterest can lead to inspiration overload, and finding the right person to create your dream cake can seem daunting. To help those preparing to tie the knot know what to look for in a designer and narrow down the seemingly endless choices, we turned to Columbus, Ohio-based couture cake designer Scarlett Kilzer of Miam Cake to share her expert advice. Here are her recommendations:
Select the right designer. First and foremost, Kilzer says you want your designer to care about you as a couple. “I love to get to know my clients,” she says. For her, this process entails asking couples a lot of questions, from how they got engaged to their favorite flavors to the reception venue to whether they favor modern or traditional influences. Kilzer adds that it’s also important that you work with someone who has a similar aesthetic to you so the end result will be in line with what you’re envisioning. Finally, take a good look at everything around you at the tasting. Does the sample look like the pictures you saw on the website? Is the bakery kitchen clean? If the designer works from a home studio, do they have a license? All of these factors will help you determine if someone is a good fit.
Get on the books early. The amount of lead time required can vary based on the designer. Because Kilzer’s cakes are so detailed and require so much back-and-forth with the clients, she tells potential clients to book a year in advance. As a rule of thumb, consider calling at least six to twelve months before your big day—the sooner the better, especially for smaller specialty shops.
Be inspired—not overwhelmed—by options. When it comes to choosing flavors, Kilzer tells clients to pick two flavors, three at the most. “The more flavors you present, the more flavors your guests will want to try,” she notes, adding, “This could get expensive!” When choosing a design, Kilzer warns that while Pinterest is a great source of ideas, it can lead to inspiration overload. She always encourages clients to think about what they like (versus what’s possible to create or currently trendy) and tends to suggest simple and romantic designs that can be achieved through soft colors, metallics, and florals. Kilzer also gleans insight into what style of cake and reception a couple will have by asking them what textures and styles they like to wear. And since she’s a sugar floral designer, she always asks about their favorite flowers.