Today, I’m so excited to share something extra sweet with you all. Amy with Sprinkled Confections is here to talk all about wedding desserts; what’s trending, pros / cons of small bakeries and SO MUCH MORE! Check out the Q/A below and all the goodies (no pun intended) she shares.
Q: What’s trending in the wedding industry?
Currently, I am seeing a big comeback of a larger tiered wedding cake that gets cut up and served to guests. Couples are valuing the appearance and artistry that the “cut cake” is bringing to the overall ambiance of the venue and feel of the theme they are going for. With the rise of Covid-19 throughout the United States, sweets tables are being put on hold and couples are opting to have kitchen staff serve individual cake slices or cupcakes to tables in order to avoid a mass gathering by the desserts and possible contamination.
The styles of this year include a lot of greenery, whites, burgandys, soft pinks, and a few accents of metallics. The ever classic buttercream cake with fresh florals is still as popular as ever and I don’t see it going out of style anytime soon. In 2021, the upcoming trends seem to be more edgy, with more stone and natural texture type cakes. The continued use of buttercream and a rise in fondant will be prominent in order to achieve these looks that are desired.
Q: Pros and Cons of choosing a smaller bakery versus larger big box stores?
When deciding on what bakery to choose for your upcoming wedding, the first and foremost thing I recommend is looking at their portfolio of work. This will speak volumes on what the baker can do and has done in regards to the artistry of the wedding cake vision. Most bakers specialize more in a few types of styles versus being capable of replicating every design out there. Be aware of reviews and make sure to feel comfortable asking lots of questions on your design.
If you decide to use a small home baker as your choice there are a few things you should consider; are they able to make the flavors you want, can they execute the design, and are they available on that date? Many small bakers may only have one assistant on staff so they are not able to take on as many orders for a specific date. If you choose to go with a small home baker, there are so many benefits that come along with that as well, including; easier access to chat about your design, to answer any questions, more customization options, and you have a larger selection of bakers to choose from versus only a few grocery stores. You should be able to click with one that truly understands your vision. If you are looking for a more personal experience I would choose a home baker, if you are looking to just order a cake and get it done on a low budget maybe choosing a big box store is your better fit.
Q: How do we find you?
For Sprinkled Confections, I have had many wedding couples that find me via Instagram, Facebook, and of course word-of-mouth. Once you get into the wedding scene, your name spreads throughout the guests and they tell all their friends who have upcoming weddings. I have done a few wedding shows, but I still prefer my customers to seek me out via my portfolio on social media. Using hashtags with location has helped people find my work and place orders. I have had a handful of out-of-state brides this year who found me this way!
Q: What are the top sellers?
With my business, I do all kind of events including a lot of celebration cakes, wedding cakes, corporate orders, religious milestones, baby showers, bridal showers, and so much more! Some of my more popular cake flavors include: rainbow sprinkle, chocolate fudge cocoa, wedding white, white chocolate raspberry, and lemon blueberry. For sweets, my top sellers are a variety of rice krispie treats, cake truffles, and macaroons. Additionally, I make a soft sugar cookie that can be customized to your theme with royal icing or fondant and these are always a great personal item that people enjoy. The most popular cookie I sell though, would have to be my buttercream rosette sugar cookie and these come in a mini and regular size.
Q: How to stay on budget and any tips?
When setting up a budget for your desserts, I would first start by figuring out the approximate number of guests you will have in attendance. Then decide on if you want to cut your wedding cake up and serve it to your guests, or just keep it up all night as a beautiful center piece to take home and enjoy over the next few days. Then you can figure out what you were thinking for the rest of the guests…such as cupcakes, mini cupcakes, a sweets bar, or kitchen cake slices. If you are budgeting, I feel like $2.00-$3.00/ guest is a safe estimate to assume. If you are wanting to do a mini dessert table with bite size options, the rule of thumb is 2-3 per guest.
Q: How to consult with your baker?
In the initial correspondence have ready the following: wedding date, how many tiers you would like with your cut cake, some idea of design for cut cake, how many guests you will approximately need to feed, what you were wanting for guests sweets, what time your reception/cocktail hour will start, and venue location.
Ask about delivery and if they do it and how much it will cost. Also if they will set up a sweets table or if you will need to find someone to do this.
Ask if they have any rentals available, such as a cake stand, cake knives, or cupcakes stands and platters.
Chat about if you want to cut the wedding cake up to serve, or save the top tier for later. This helps the baker write directions for the catering staff who is cutting it up later on.
If you have pictures, make sure to email them or print them off so you can discuss what you like or don’t like
Make sure to check out their website for flavors and what is available for weddings. For Sprinkled Confections, I have a wedding section on my website with FAQ’s and a PDF that is a download of sweets items available. There is also base pricing per servings listed.
You can ask about the retainer fee and how to go about setting up a consult/tasting after the initial chat via email, message or phone.
You can ask if they are to be the exclusive provider of the desserts or if it is okay to bring in outside sweets. Ask if they are insured as well to cover any problems that could possible arise.
Q: Final words?
The one thing that I really want couples to think about before booking is to hire a baker to be the exclusive provider for all the sweets at the wedding and not just booking them for the tiered wedding cake. This was becoming quite trendy over the past few years to have other people (friends, family, etc..) bring in outside sweets at a cheaper cost and just getting their tiered wedding cake from the professional baker in order to keep their cake budget down.
As a professional baker, this idea didn’t sit well with me, so I decided to implement an exclusivity clause in my contract and informed couples of the change right away when they were interested in booking with me. This change was implemented in 2020 when I was starting to have my work be associated with work that wasn’t mine, and that was leading to some negative comments on items that I did not provide. I take pride in my work and I do not want my clients confused with other people’s work. I am also an insured bakery incase something happens, which most family and friends are not and have never even considered. So please take that into consideration before ordering an artsy cake and then getting cheap sheet cakes/cupcakes from elsewhere.
Photos by Annaberry Images and Amy O’Connell