(This entry is from my weekly blog over at http://www.WeddingAces.com)
You’ve scoured the web looking at thousands of wedding cake pictures, you’ve read hundreds of reviews on WeddingWire.com, and you have finally narrowed your search to a handful of bakeries that you would like to learn more about.
Generally you have 3 options for contacting your potential bakeries. 1) the phone call 2) email 3) stopping by their bakery. More often than not, bakeries aren’t prepared for walk-in wedding cake consultations so usually this will only result in an appointment being scheduled.
The phone call is nice because it provides immediate interactivity and allows your questions to get answered on the spot. Email is usually more convenient since it can be composed at any time of the day or night and it gives you documentation of what each baker has to say . When contacting a bakery by email, there are a few items that you should include to make certain that you get the answers you need with the least amount of headache on your part.
Each email should include the following:
1. Your wedding date. Even the most popular and well staffed shops have a limit on the number of wedding cakes they can create in a particular week. Including your date on your very first email could save you a ton of time by keeping you from communicating with a bakery that doesn’t have your date available. After all, planning your wedding can almost be a full time job, you want to make certain that you waste as little time as possible.
2. The location of your wedding reception. This is extremely important for delivery purposes, it is highly likely that some bakeries won’t be able to deliver to certain locations that are a long distance from their shop based on the delivery schedule of wedding cakes already booked on your date.Excluding this information could lead to your attending a cake consultation at a bakery that won’t be able to deliver your cake.
3. The number of guests you are expecting to attend your wedding. Some bakeries have minimum orders so it’s a good idea to give them this information up front, just in case.
4. Budget. If you have a strict budget that you cannot exceed, include that information as well. If you want to feed 200 people and have a strict budget of $500, let them know. They may tell you that their pricing starts at $5.00 per serving and that they have no option that would allow 200 guests worth of cake for $500. Including this information can save you massive amounts of time and frustration.
5. Pictures of wedding cakes you might be considering. Cake artists have different styles, some are really comfortable with certain types of designs, some not so much. It’s important that the style of cake you have chosen match the style of the baker you are considering. A mismatching of styles is often how a great idea turns into an ugly wedding cake.
I promise that the inclusion of this information will get you faster and more relevant responses from prospective bakeries than you would get by leaving it out. Items 1-4 are actually useful in your email communication to all potential wedding vendors, not just bakeries. I recommend just typing the info up and saving it for an easy cut and paste into the body of each email in addition to any specific questions that you have for the vendor you are emailing.