I have personally watched Holly have consultations with clients, and sampled her delicious cakes, however nothing could compare to the experience that my fiancé and I recently had with her at our very own cake consultation. We honestly felt so loved and taken care of! In this blog I wanted to share what my experience was, some very helpful tips on how to prepare for your own cake tasting, and what exactly you can expect.
My Experience with Holly’s Cakes :
We became engaged in January and I knew immediately who I wanted to create our wedding cake and groom’s cake within the Upstate of South Carolina. I started pinning cake ideas but it became even easier to decide once we finalized our color palette and even more so when I asked the opinion of my husband to be.
In today’s world some men don’t like to be involved in wedding planning because it is not their cup of tea or they want to allow the bride to have the experience of planning with their mother. Despite the fact that my own mother lives 15 hours away and therefore not able to come to our consultation, I still wanted to bring my fiancé with me. Ladies, wedding day is a wonderful event that is typically centralized around the bride, but in my opinion the actual commitment taking place is the part that is most important to me. And because of that, I wanted to demonstrate and practice that unconditional selfless love that we will vow to our future husbands on that altar, by asking mine to be a part of the process.
Before our consultation, I pulled up a bunch of ideas of what a groom’s cake might look like based off of my fiancé’s interests and also some examples of the ones that Holly had already created. He was thrilled to be a part of the process and was excited that he was able to choose. Then I showed him some ideas of what our wedding cake might look like to me and we tried to narrow down our choices.
Brainstorming before our consultation made the process go so smoothly once we arrived to meet Holly. She met us at My Wedding Group where she meets all of her clients who live near Greenville on Mondays since she is based out of Anderson. Holly had our ideas pulled up on Pinterest upon our arrival and we started right away after some small talk. I watched as she intently listened to my fiancé tell her what he thought he would like to have on his groom’s cake. She wrote down what he said and asked questions. Together they decided on a two tier cake. Within minutes Holly had sketched out a beautiful cake design that incorporated all of the many different hobbies my fiance has into one and he was ecstatic! After letting Holly take a second to think, her creative side came out, and she had truly created a master piece! We then collaborated about our wedding cake ideas and Holly was able to alter and change a cake that we liked by removing and adding elements to the cake design that we preferred to have.
Soon it was time for the best part of the consultation! We were now able to sample the cakes, fillings, and icings. Luckily we were having a 4-tier wedding cake, and the groom’s cake so we were able to pick out a few flavors. We chose to have 4 different flavors in our wedding cake, and my fiancés’ cake was going to be made with 2 different flavors as well. Holly even makes a separate anniversary cake for you that you can choose a unique flavor for as well!
Our experience was genuinely nothing short of amazing! See below for important tips on how to prepare for your very own consultation!
Preparing for Your Cake Tasting and What to Expect:
Contact Your Cake Vendor and Set a Date for Your Consultation– It is important to first contact the company that you would like to make your wedding cake. This meeting is not something that you can have sporadically and within in a 5 – 10 minute time frame. Plan for the meeting to take at least an hour but also be flexible to allow room for more time if you are unsure and have a lot of questions. Then, set a time and date that works for you and the company. Make sure to also bring your fiancé as well. This isn’t mandatory but is definitely a memorable and fun experience that you will not want to have alone. Have fun, make a memory, watch you have envisioned come to life before your eyes, and don’t forget about the delicious samplings that you will get to try!
Plan and Prepare for Your Consultation– With the continual uprising in technology, it is easy to find ideas for your wedding cake on websites like Pinterest. Create a board on Pinterest or save images from other websites in a folder on your computer. This way all of your ideas will be saved, and will be readily available for you to share with your cake vendor before the consultation. It would even be beneficial to send the info to the cake professional before your consultation so that they can start creatively brainstorming as well! You will want to choose a cake style that fits who you and your husband-to-be are as a couple. Moreover, have some colors in mind that will match your color palette but that will also allow your cake to stand out at the reception or even at the rehearsal if you are planning to have a groom’s cake as well. (Check out our blog on our favorite cakes from 2015 for more inspiration and information about the traditions of the bride’s and groom’s cake.) Additionally, it is important to have a rough estimate of how many people will be attending your wedding or reception. This will determine the number of servings, the size of your cake or even the number of tiers that you may want to have.
Meet with Your Cake Decorator and Exchange Your Ideas- At your meeting you will start off by showing your cake ideas and thoughts to the representative of the cake decorating company (At Holly’s Cakes you will get to meet with Holly herself!). Don’t be afraid to have an idea already decided on for an exact cake that you may have seen during your research. If that is the case, voice your opinion as it is your special day but also be open to the suggestions and ideas of your cake vendor. If they are a company like Holly’s cakes, then they have been doing this for years and are very experienced. If you like certain aspects of a couple of different cakes then show those examples as well and explain what you like about each one.
Collaborate and Design- Now the magic happens! After listening to what you envision your cake to be like, your cake vendor will reaffirm your ideas and choices, and ask questions to verify what you would like the cake to look like. At Holly’s Cakes we even custom sketch your cake in front of you (color included) to better visualize what your cake will look like. You will also get to pick out a cake stand for your cake. If you are still confused or undecided, this is the point where your cake vendor will have photos of different cakes for you to browse as well to help further spark your ideas. Sample Types of Cakes and Icing-
Flavors: Cake flavors available but not limited to these:-White, Yellow, Chocolate, Marble-Also Chocolate Chocolate chip, Mocha , Lemon, Orange Cream, Chocolate Mint , Yellow Chip or Strawberry is available for an additional $3 per 50 servings-Premium flavors include Strawberry Lemonade, Italian Cream, Coconut, Red Velvet, Raspberry Swirl, White Chocolate, Carrot, Hummingbird, Butter Pecan, Apple Spice, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Spice for an additional $6 per 50 servings. We are always adding new flavors and combinations!
Frosting-Buttercream, Almond buttercream, Chocolate buttercream and rolled fondant-Cream cheese frosting is also available for $3 per 50 servings for knife swept designs, or as a filling since it does not perform well as a decorating icing
-Fudge, Strawberry, Raspberry, Lemon, Pineapple, Bavarian Cream, Peanut Butter Whip, Hazelnut Cream, Coconut, Caramel, Cinnamon Buttercream, Éclair – an additional $3 tier
Just when the process is starting to get fun, it gets even better! The next step is to start tasting some samples of cake, fillings, and icing. At Holly’s Cakes you will be provided with a list like the one above that will include the names and varieties of flavors but also those that are most popular, as well as prices.
Make the Final Decision- After sampling the cakes it is important to come to an agreement with your future spouse on what flavors you like the most, what combinations will be the best together, and also what your guests will enjoy. If you are ordering a groom’s cake and a bride’s cake then you can have a lot of variety in your choices. This is the case even more so if you want to have a tier cake versus a sheet cake. More so, you will be able to finalize and confirm your decision on the look of the cake, what it tastes like, and how many it will serve. Cake professionals like Holly will even listen to you or offer advice about any concerns you may have for your upcoming wedding day.
More About Our Wedding Cakes from Holly’s Cakes:
*Average Pricing: Buttercream designs average $3-$4 per serving. Fondant designs average near $4-$5 per serving. Supply prices are unfortunately increasing so these averages may be rising in the near future.
*Holding the Date: I ask $100 to hold the date, which will go towards the final cost and payment in full 30 days prior to the wedding. This is a non-refundable retainer. Setting a consultation appointment does not hold your wedding date; there is always a chance the date may book to capacity before our scheduled appointment. If you know for certain you’d like to use us, you are welcome to make the deposit ahead of time. If not, I completely understand, and we will let you know if the date closes out prior to your appointment. The urgency in holding the date is simply due to my limited number of wedding cakes I schedule in a weekend; our cakes are baked fresh to be able to provide you the best possible creation for your special day. You can’t beat fresh cake!
*Cake Accessories: If there is a need for an accessory deposit (supports, pillars, plateau, etc) that is made out in a separate check and I hold that check until the items are returned to me by the Monday following the wedding. That is due at the “30 days prior” time also.
*Cake Delivery: Delivery is included within 30 minute drive time of our location; additional fee may need to be added depending on the destination or on cakes serving less than 100 guests.
*It’s All About Your Style: I do not have a “here’s ten, pick one” business; most brides prefer certain aspects on different cakes; we try to coordinate the ideas into their own design and sketch it. Using Pinterest as a tool, our brides can “pin” cakes then list what they like about the cake in the comments. That gives me an idea of what they are looking for and I may be able to find more options in my collection of books/magazines or reviewing our photos prior to the consultation. Bringing pictures of cakes is welcomed also; we can get pretty close to most designs; quite a few designs made with fondant can be made with buttercream – just ask us for side by side photos!
*Consultations: I do schedule an appointment with the couple and whoever would like to join them and we go over the design and create a custom sketch. We then offer a sampling of 5-6 different flavors. It can take 60-90 minutes usually. Each tier can be a different flavor! At the same time you can order any bridal luncheon cakes, favors, and groom’s cakes.
Written by: Jennifer C., M.Ed.