Cakes & Desserts | Vendor Selection Tips
Updated: Apr 26
Just about the most fun you will have during your wedding planning journey will come with choosing your desserts! Both you and your partner can participate, you will get to taste lots of goodies, and see some amazing artisans at the height of their creativity! And while it may sound simple, there are several things to keep in mind so you don't get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. Read on to see some incredible pictures, learn more about your options and link to some amazing vendors you can check out!
1. So Many Options! (And How to Choose) - Even the most daunting decisions can be made easier by breaking them down to smaller questions. So the first thing to ask yourself is, Cake or Not-Cake? If you definitely want cake, all you have left to do is choose your baker. If you want to go a less traditional route, or include a second option for your guests, you still have several options to consider. These days, everything from custom cookies to donuts to personalized candies are available at your direction. You can have a full wall (or tabletop tiered stand) at your event, with donuts arranged to allow your guests to choose their own delight (Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals and Ocean Hawks Rentals both have these). You can have gorgeous glass vases and dishes filled with an assortment of candy, cookies and sweets that would make Willy Wonka blush (Florida Candy Buffets' specialty!). You can even have specially designed and decorated cookies to match your wedding's theme (Morgan Hunter Desserts specializes in these).
So once you have looked at several options of "Not-Cake", decide what speaks to you, what you would like to have your guests experience, and what fits best with your theme.
Start with the links here, google some other options (search something like "Orlando custom cookies" or "Florida wedding candy displays") and pick 2 or 3 finalist vendors. Then find out if they can create to your vision, or just tell them your "must-haves" and let them sketch out a few designs for you. This is food-based art, and they are masters of it, so trust them to take your ideas and give you options you will love!
2. Let Them Eat Cake!
So you've decided you want cake. The good news is, your decisions are much fewer now, and there's really no way you can go wrong with the world-class bakers here in Orlando. The first consideration is, what do you want the cake to look like? Traditional, white-frosted cakes are still popular, but many couples now choose to make a bigger statement with their cake, opting for a theme or various types of decorations, and even no frosting at all (the "naked" cake)! So how you want the cake to look is important, as that will set the wheels in motion for your artist to bring your vision to life.
We have seen so many incredible cakes in recent years, from a Beauty & The Beast cake with an elaborately colored enchanted mirror (an Aunt Gingibread original), all the way to a giant whiskey Barrel that can scarcely be told apart from the real thing (created by Sugar Sugar)!
Even if you prefer something more understated, your cake artist can work wonders with more traditional beginnings. Floral decorations, greenery and fruit are hugely popular right now, and textured frostings create dramatic lines and add visual interest to the creation. The cake topper is another opportunity for self-expression and making a statement, as you can see from these pictures. There are many truly ingenious ideas for toppers, many of which can be purchased on Etsy or from other crafts-people.
3. Flavors, and more Flavors! Do you know how many cake flavors there are? We don't either, but it's a ton, and you better believe your chosen vendor will be able to do a bunch of them. Most shops have somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-25 different flavor choices between cake and fillings, so how do you choose? It can be as easy as just tasting all of them (YUM!), but keep a few things in mind while you are sampling all that deliciousness.
First, do you want something sweet or savory? Ingredients like cheese and vegetables can lend themselves to a non-traditional savory filling creation, or something in the middle of the spectrum like a ginger-lime, lemon or elderberry flavor in one of the cake's layers may be a welcome surprise for your guests. If there are any cultural tastes and traditions you want to honor, the cake is a wonderful place to do that. Italian-inspired flavors like Espresso or Cannoli cream, or Latin-favorite flavors like Guava or Dulce de Leche could be a wonderful nod to the couple's shared heritages. As you are interviewing the cake artists, find out what flavors they can do as standard, and what creations they are comfortable making up for you. They may even have a favorite flavor they created for a past wedding that could end up in your cake!
4. A few more considerations!
It may not be at the top of the list when considering what you want, but it's important to consider the dynamics of your event and venue when choosing your dessert. Will your event be outside during the summer? If so, you want to be sure to choose a style of cake or dessert that will stand up to prolonged heat and humidity (cheesecake is probably a bad idea), or make sure your venue has an air conditioned space to store the cake until its time be cut and served. Explain the details to your cake artist and let them make recommendations, odds are they have seen it all before! Be sure to check with your cake vendor to see if they supply signs indicating the flavors of the various dishes or cake layers. If they do not, you may want to consider making signs on your own to avoid confusion among your guests.
And finally, your decor doesn't need to stop at the cake table! Whether it's an extension of your table decorations, re-purposed flowers from your ceremony, a special linen in a complementary color, or a custom lighted cake stand, there's a world of possibilities for jazzing up the area around your cake! Many times we will see candles included on the cake table, and that is actually a great place for a more elaborate candle display, as it is typically out of the way of the traffic flow and stands less chance of being disturbed. Garland around the table can dress up a plain white linen as well, tying the cake table in with the rest of your decor or creating a visual spectacle for your guests to admire during the event.
We hope these tips help make the plethora of options a little easier to navigate while picking your desserts. Take a look at our main blog page to see our other Vendor Selection posts, and get in touch with us if you have any questions about them or the services we offer! See you back here soon for more!
*All photos credit of their owners/photographers. *There is no paid advertising in this article. All vendors we mention by name are included because we have worked with them and trust them to be a good resource for anyone planning a wedding in Orlando. There are many more that we don't have the space to list individually, but you can always contact us for recommendations if you get stuck picking a few to interview!