As a bride there are so many vendors to contact and so many different types of questions to ask each one depending on the role you're looking for them to fill on your wedding day. As a wedding planner I do my best to provide insight for each of my brides regarding what questions they should be asking to make the vendor hiring process as easy and unstressful as possible. In my experience with weddings, especially when I'm just brought in during the final weeks to coordinate the event, there are two important questions that I wish more brides thought to ask their wedding cake designers. It may feel as if these questions are a given, but they are not, so asking them will give you knowledge and the ability to find a vendor that offers these services or to prepare for potential mishaps depending on which route you decide to take.
I've swooped in to resolve situations caused by these questions not being explored before, and I'm sure I will continue to do so, but, brides, please ask these questions to save yourself from some potentially disappointing experiences involving your wedding cake!
Question 1: Will you bring supplies with you to fix any damage that might occur to the cake in transport?
Why should you be asking this question? Accidents happen. Whether your baker is experienced or otherwise, accidents happen. I've had a baker arrive at the venue only to inform me that one of the cakes had been damaged in transport and nothing could be done to fix it. Thankfully the main cake was still fine, but it was still disappointing for my bride. If the baker had brought extra fondant or icing with her we may have been able to salvage one side of the cake (part of it really was completely crumbled), but since she hadn't there was very little that could be done except tell the bride and groom to call her when they got back from their honeymoon so she could reimburse them. Avoid this horror story by talking with your baker about their plan to fix any possible damage that may occur during transport!
Bonus questions: Do they have a plan to reimburse you if a cake is completely ruined in transport? What if it arrives and it's not what you ordered? Will they be transporting the cake in tiers with plans to assemble it on site or will they be transporting the cake assembled (tiers is generally much wiser, especially if it's more than 2 tiers)?
Question 2: Will you stay on site to cut and serve the cake? If not, will you explain the inside construction of your cake to the designated cake cutter before departing the venue?
Why should you ask this question? Communication is key. I've asked caterers (who have their own jobs unless they're already planning on using one of their team members to cut your cake) if they're ready for the cake cutting before only to be met with blank stares because the bride assumed they would take care of the cake cutting but never communicated with them. Usually they are more than happy to help out, but it's important to the other vendors to know exactly what jobs they are expected to fill on a wedding day. It has a huge impact on making your reception flow seamlessly.
I will be open and honest with you and tell you that as your wedding coordinator I will jump in and cut your cake for you if there is absolutely no other option. However, cakes are not one of my areas of expertise and having my hands covered in icing when I need to be gathering your maid of honor and best man for their toasts or any other job I may need to be doing for the bride and groom is not the wisest plan. Having a designated cake cutting person makes the entire reception more seamless. And having your cake designer talk with that person about the interior structure of the cake so that it can be cut and served correctly is important. It's always an adventure trying to get a hold of a cake designer while they're driving so that they can explain the internal structure of the cake.
The Bottom Line: No Question is a Bad Question
Above all else, don't feel silly for asking these questions. An experienced vendor shouldn't be offended by you asking these things and should be more than prepared to answer them. Wedding vendors understand that most brides are walking through this process for the first time (and hopefully only time) and that you want to get it right. We want to get it right, too. The more questions you ask and the more information you communicate with the relevant vendors, the better we can all work as a team to make your wedding day flow as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes the things you feel as a bride must be a "given" are not, so don't be afraid to open that dialogue with your vendors. We're here to help you!
Are there any wedding related questions that you feel silly for not knowing the answer to? I'd love to help! :)