Purple and White Wedding CakeShould you shop for a wedding cake from home? Virtual taste tests don’t exist (yet), but technology can help you find vendors, peruse their products and services, and even assess whether they’re good matches for your event. If you want to get a head start on hiring your ideal wedding bakery, here are a few things you need to know.

When To Shop for Your Baker

Organization is key when you’re planning a wedding, and that includes hiring your vendors. The Celebration Society recommends shopping for your cake baker once you have other details nailed down:

  • Your wedding date and time
  • Event location
  • Estimated guest count
  • Proposed wedding cake budget
  • Preferred flavors and icing
  • Theme and colors
  • Design ideas
  • Any flowers you wish to use

Zola’s wedding planning timeline recommends scheduling cake tastings and ordering your cake about six to eight months before the big day. By having major details like your date and venue already established, you’ll best maximize your time and efforts as well as your baker’s.

How To Read Online Reviews

Wedding Wire’s Kim Forrest offers many useful tips on hiring wedding vendors from home. Customer reviews offer a wealth of information: You can gauge a bakery’s product quality, level of service, professionalism, and integrity. Forrest advises looking at other details such as how recently their reviews were written and how vendors respond to negative ones.

Meanwhile, journalist Caroline Beaton points out in a June 2018 New York Times piece that we tend to pay more attention to negative reviews than positive ones. The Journalist of Consumer Research discovered that only 1.5% of consumers write reviews, so we’re seeing a just small cohort of opinions when we read them. With that in mind, Beaton suggests a savvier approach to looking at customer feedback: Ignore the extremely positive or negative ones and focus on those with more moderate opinions. These tend to be less biased and can more accurately reflect actual experiences with the vendor.

Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

You wouldn’t hire a bakery without tasting their wares, so it’s a good idea to see photos of their work early in your shopping processing. Loverly warns that a lack of photos is a red flag, but you’ll probably encounter the opposite: websites and social media pages filled with delectable, artfully constructed masterpieces. A sizable online portfolio is usually a good sign, but don’t forget to ask for more photos of the baker’s work.

Using Virtual Meetings to Your Advantage

Forrest also mentions that virtual interviews are useful tools during the vendor hiring process. Just as with an in-person meeting, you’ll want to prepare a list of questions in advance. The Knot lists several that you should ask bakers during these interviews. Some of this information may be on each bakery’s website, but you can clarify important details such as delivery and setup.

If possible, try to conduct the interview through a video chat or conferencing platform such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Google Duo. Video technology may not offer the same feel as an in-person meeting, but being able to see bakers while interacting is still invaluable.

What About In-Person Tastings?

Social distancing poses some challenges in hiring wedding vendors. Without an in-person tasting, your best bet is to choose an established bakery that’s highly favored by locals and has been operating for several years. You’ll probably get a gut feeling about each baker, so let your instincts guide your choice.

In these unusual times, you’ll have to play wedding planning by ear. Couples and vendors alike are adapting to the new landscape by putting technology and creativity to work. Many aspects of hiring a cake baker can be accomplished through virtual means. As always, it pays to do your homework and shop diligently before you choose the artisans crafting your delicious dessert.

Category: Wedding Planning

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