(Closed) Wedding Cakes-Professional Bakery or Someone that does it on the side

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I wouldn’t say I feel really strongly about this. But I was convinced when I started looking that I would only go to a professional bakery. We are actually now using someone who makes the cakes out of her home. She was very highly recommended by wedding boards and our florist (who used her for her own wedding).

I will say I was a little worried, but she responds very quickly whenever I have a question and had the best cake I have ever tasted in my life.

Post # 4
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It just depends on what you want out of your cake.  If you’re looking for a show piece that happens to taste good, then I’d go professional bakery.  If you’re going for something casual or more concerned with taste/price, then a side business might be the right option.  Consider how the cake will get there, what will happen if the side-business has an emergency/family event/etc, and the skill the person has with decorating/construction.  Do you have a simple tiered design or are you going for staggered/sculpted/marvel of engineering?

Think about these types of questions and then narrow down your choices.  The professional bakery might be pricier, but having someone reliable (with back-up staff) might be worth the extra expense.  

Post # 5
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Where I live, in order to make cakes out of your house you pretty much are considered a professional baker because you have to have a professional/industrial kitchen in your home that is monitored and inspected just like a store front baker.

We talked to 6 bakers (mix of store front and out of house) and they all had the beautiful picture albums full of cakes, and most of their cakes tasted really good.

We ended up going with an out of the house baker because we loved her sample cakes, she had a very up to date portfolio, had good reviews on line, and was very agreeable and excited to make our cake.  She also had reasonable prices, as we priced the exact same cake with six different bakers (same flavors, # of tiers, decorations, etc) and had prices ranging from $295 to $1,075.


Post # 6
6824 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Well considering we would have had someone who does them on the side make ours if she didn’t live so far away. From what my Darling Husband has said and the pictures of the cakes I have seen of hers she makes awesome cakes.

However we went with professional due to his aunt who was the person we were going to have make the cake lives 10 hrs away and we didn’t think a cake would survive the trip…

Post # 7
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I originally was going to have a friend do it. Then through a few bridal fairs, I met a new professional who had opened a business in town lastyear. I really wanted to support her new business, her cakes/cupcakes were unreal, and she was very very well priced! So I went with her! Then.. I got an email a couple weeks ago. She went bankrupt! We had given her a $160 deposit that we wont get back. So, now I’m back with the friend who does it on the side. I say, if you know someone who does it out of their home and you like the taste/look go with them! However, the girl who is doing it now also delivers and does set up and has a cupcake stand that we can use. If she didn’t do all that then I wouldn’t have gone with her for the sake of more stress.

Post # 9
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@FutureMrs86:  I can see your concern — we went with a one-person shop, but in our contract she states that if something comes up and she cannot perform the contract, she has three back-up bakeries who would do the cake for the agreed upon price.  Two of the back-ups are actually bakers we had talked to. One of them we loved, but didn’t like the price.

The one thing I didn’t like about the largest baker we went to was that they have 5 full time staff and do 12-15 weddings/weekend.  That seemed like a lot to me. I like the idea of one person putting her time and attention into just my cake and mine not becoming a number. 

There are definitely pros and cons to both choices.

Post # 11
645 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My professional cake ended up being pretty cheap. The friend who was going to do it wanted to charge more! I was pleasantly surprised with cake prices but I know that can be different depending on where you live.

Post # 12
7296 posts
Busy Beekeeper

for my AHR, we went with someone who does it on the side. However, the reason i asked her is because i went to high school with her, so i knew her. She;s on my facebook list and had posted a ton of pictures of other cakes she had done and i thoguht they were all stunning.  So i hired her to do our cake for our AHR.  The cake not only turned out beautiful but it tasted out of this world. seriously better than any cake i had ever eaten ever!  She now officially has my business for life!   I am excited for my baby shower next fall just so we can get a cake from her, lol.  And since our AHR, i got a cake to celebrate when my Darling Husband finished his PhD, and my sister hired to make a cake for her daugher’s first birthday. So i have helpd to get her more clients since my friends all raved about her cakes too when they tried them through me!

However, i guess one thing to be careful with is that when someone works alone, they may not have a back up. I originally asked this person to do a cake for my bridal shower. Sadly, she landed in the hospital right before my shower and had to cancel on doing my cake. it was no biggie as it was just a shower and we were able to get another cake last minute.  But i can imagine that would be a bigger deal if it was for a wedding and this happened.  So if you go with someone on the side, i would inquire if they have a back up plan in case something happens.  Or maybe just create your own back up plan.

Post # 13
4485 posts
Honey bee

Just so you know, those are not your only options. Lots of places sell cakes that are not specialty bakeries that only sell wedding cakes. That said, I go with whoever has the best price for the best tasting cake. You also want it to look pretty and not every hobbyist baker has that aspect down pat even if their cakes are out of this world, and you may run into that fact that they don’t have a license from the health dept to even be making cakes for purchase (whcih many venues are strict about for food safety reasons). In the end, it’s a personal decision that only you can make and you have to explore all your options, not just the two you are deciding between.

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