Wedding Cake FAQs
We’ve been making wedding cakes for over 27 years. Over that time, many people have had similar questions about wedding cakes. We thought this handy FAQ would help sort things out and alleviate any questions or concerns you may have. If your question isn’t addressed here, please call and ask! 708-614-9755
Do I need to book an appointment to come in and see your cakes?
Yes, you should definitely book an appointment. We need to ensure that there is a wedding cake consultant available to answer your questions. Booking an appointment is easy. Just call us at 708-614-9755 to schedule. Appointments are available until 4:00 pm during the week, and throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Do you charge for wedding cake consultations?
While we do not necessarily “charge” for wedding cake consultations, we do ask for a credit card number for weekend appointments to hold your appointment slot. Your card will be charged a $25.00 fee in the case of a no-call, no-show, so if you need to cancel – please call us!
We realize that some engaged couples just want to know what our cake tastes like – and that’s all. For those that just want to try cake, you may call in an order for a “wedding sample to-go”. There is no fee for this sample, you just need to place an order for it ahead of time. We also sample our cakes several times a year at bridal shows and community events. It’s a great way to see what all the fuss is about 🙂 without the formality of a wedding cake consultation.
What happens at the wedding cake consultation?
Your consultation should take about an hour. You will sample our cakes, fillings, and buttercream. We will show you a wedding cake catalog that includes pictures and wedding cake information while you enjoy your samples. After sampling, your consultant will provide you with an estimate of a wedding cake you are interested in, or offer you a range of prices based on your guest count and design selections. If you are ready, you can book your cake at the end of your consultation. If you’d like to keep an “estimate on file”, that’s always an option, too.
May I bring children to the consultation?
We do not recommend bringing children under the age of 10 to the consultation. Picking out a wedding cake can be more involved than you might anticipate. Younger children may have a hard time sitting quietly for an hour. If you can make other arrangements for small children, it’s probably best.
How many people may I bring to the consultation?
Four or less (total) is usually a good number. More than four people might draw out the decision making process.
What if I am running late to the consultation?
Please call if you are running late and we will let you know how tightly we are scheduled that particular day. If you are within a few minutes of your appointment time, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late we will most likely need to reschedule for a later date. If you need to cancel, please give 24 hours notice. “No shows” will be charged the $25.00 fee mentioned earlier, for weekend appointment slots.
Are we under any obligation to book the cake when we come in for our consultation?
No. You are under no obligation to book with us at your initial consultation. You may book if you want to, but we want you to feel comfortable with your decision. We will be happy to provide you with a written estimate (pricing only; no sketches) should you decide that you would like some time to think about it. When you have decided that you want to come back and draw up your contract, we ask that you call ahead, or better yet, make an appointment. Only a wedding cake consultant is allowed to fill out wedding cake contracts. We’d like to have the staff member that did your original consultation available to assist you, and that time needs to be scheduled.
When should I book my wedding cake?
Peak wedding season is April through October. If your wedding date falls within the peak season, we suggest you book three to six months in advance of your date. If your wedding occurs in the off-season, two to three months is sufficient.
May I hold the date?
Yes, you may hold the date to guarantee that we will make your wedding cake. You will need to fill out a contract and put down a fee of $200.00 to secure your booking. When you have decided on a design and structure, you can come in and finalize your contract with a consultant. The cake design and all of the details must be finalized and paid in full one month prior to your date.
How much cake should I order?
The question you need to answer first is, are you serving your wedding cake as dessert, or are you wrapping the cake for guests to take home?
If you are serving cake as dessert, you will need a piece of cake for every guest, whether they eat cake or not. This is due to the fact that most banquet halls do not ask your guests if they want cake. They simply cut up the cake and put a piece at every place setting.
If you are wrapping the cake, you do not need to have a piece for every person. Guests will usually take a piece with them as they are leaving the reception. It is up to you how much cake to order. We suggest you order cake for one-half to two-thirds of your guests.
You won’t have a final count of wedding guests until about one month to two weeks prior to your wedding date. However, there is a formula for estimating what your actual count is likely to be: take 20% off of the total amount of people you are inviting. For example, if you are inviting 200 people, 200 x .20 = 40, 200 (guests) – 40 (declines) = 160 people. We suggest that you only order what you think you will need. We will be happy to add “extra servings” to accommodate any guest overages, but we will not “change down” a cake structure once it has been booked.
Is the top tier of the cake included in my servings?
Yes. You may serve all of your cake. We give you a complimentary, fresh, 6” tier on your one-year anniversary. It will be the same cake flavor(s) and filling(s) as your wedding cake – and it will be fresh! No dried-out, freezer burned cake on your first anniversary. Just call us one week prior to your anniversary to order your cake and you can pick it up on the date you choose.
Is there a minimum order for wedding cakes?
Yes and no. There is a minimum order for deliveries. Because we are limited to the amount of deliveries we can make each day, a minimum of 100 servings of displayed cake is required in order to have your cake delivered. If your cake is less than 100 servings you may have to make arrangements to pick your cake up, particularly in the busy season. We may make exceptions to the minimum requirement if our delivery schedule allows. Please call and check our delivery availability on your specific date if the amount of servings for your displayed cake will be less than the minimum.
What if I have more people coming to my wedding than I expected? Will I run out of cake?
Most people get their final guest count two weeks prior to their wedding date. At this time you should double check the amount of servings your contracted wedding cake provides. If your guest count is more than your cake serves, then you will want to order “extra servings”. “Extra servings” cake is a separate cake that is brought to the kitchen at your reception facility when your cake is delivered. This cake will be constructed exactly as the tiers of your wedding cake with the same cake and filling flavors. The difference is that this cake is not decorated. Once cut and plated, your guests would not be able to distinguish between displayed cake and “extra servings” cake. Please be sure to order the “extra servings” two weeks prior to your reception date.
Do you do make “fake cakes”?
There is a lot of information out there on wedding planning websites and in bridal magazines on how to save money on your wedding. We understand. Weddings are expensive. Unfortunately, there is a misnomer out there that Styrofoam cakes are less expensive to produce than real cakes. From our perspective, what makes a wedding cake cost what it does, is the amount of labor (i.e. time) involved in decorating a wedding cake. What you are decorating (cake or Styrofoam) does not matter as much as the skill level of the person decorating the cake. A highly skilled decorator still has to be paid the same wage – no matter what their medium. Styrofoam is actually more difficult to work with, and more “expensive” than cake. If you are looking to save money on a wedding cake, you should choose a simple design for your cake. You may also save by going with a smaller cake, and making up the difference with “extra servings” cake. We do not recommend doing more than half as “extra servings” cake, or your displayed cake will look too small for the room. If your cake budget is a key issue, please know that we always try to work with you to find something that is both beautiful and reasonably priced.
May we get our extra servings cake from another bakery or grocery store?
No. It states in our wedding cake contract that all of the wedding cake is to be provided by Creative Cakes exclusively. Since our beginning back in 1989, we have worked very hard at building and maintaining our five-star reputation. We use only the highest quality ingredients, bake from scratch, and we feel that your guests will know the difference between great cake and cheap cake. When a guest asks where the cake came from and you say “Creative Cakes”, we need to make sure that there’s no confusion on that. Sorry. Again, we understand trying to save money, but have to be very protective of our brand. Everyone deserves to eat great cake – not just the head table!
How far away do you deliver?
Our delivery area covers all of the south suburbs of Chicago, the Chicago metropolitan area, as far west as Wheaton, southwest to Wilmington, and east, to northwest Indiana.
Is there a delivery charge?
Yes. The delivery charge covers our time, fuel costs and set-up. Some cakes requiring elaborate set-ups may be subject to an increased set-up and delivery charge. Prices range from $25.00 for local deliveries to $150.00 or more for downtown Chicago and distant deliveries.
May I get different cake and filling flavors for each tier?
Yes, you may. For example:
- half of your servings could be white cake with strawberry mousse filling, and the other half could be chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling
- you could also have one tier banana cake with hazelnut mousse, another tier chocolate cake with raspberry mousse, and another tier white cake with lemon mousse.
- another way to get variety within your cake is to mix up the cake within the tier itself. Each tier of cake has three layers of cake and two fillings. You could have chocolate-white-chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and strawberry mouse fillings.When you mix up the cake flavors, you need to be aware that you will probably not have any control over who gets what, if your cake is served as dessert. Banquet halls typically pass out cake as people are mingling and do not ask about flavor preferences. As long as you are okay with your guests getting whatever is available, then feel free to order different cake flavors. One way to bypass this problem is to order different cake flavors within each piece, as in example three above. If you are “wrapping” cake, your guests will take whatever they like, and you can order whatever you like.
Are there different prices for any of the cake flavors or fillings?
Any cake flavor with a mousse filling is included in the price per serving. Premium fillings, like fresh strawberries, or cheesecake filling layers will add an extra charge. Please ask your consultant for pricing at the consultation.
May I get cheesecake as a wedding cake?
If you are thinking of a traditional stacked wedding cake, it is probably not a good idea to get cheesecake. Cheesecake shouldn’t be displayed for as long as a standard wedding cake (typically, up to 6 hours), because of spoilage concerns. Cakes with perishable fillings should only be displayed for up to 2 hours. It is also very difficult for your hall to cut and present cheesecake properly. If you really like cheesecake, you might want to think about cheesecake filling layers, or doing some of your servings as cheesecake “behind the scenes”, so that your hall can refrigerate the cheesecake and alleviate any spoilage concerns.
May I get fresh fruit in my wedding cake?
Yes, you may get fresh fruit in your cake in certain situations. Fresh fruit should not be displayed for more than 2-3 hours and should be cut up and served immediately. You should not “wrap” cake with fresh fruit in it. Fresh fruit like strawberries and bananas are added to our mousses. We do not offer fruits in glazes as a filling. With over 27 years of experience, we can tell you that FRESH strawberries and glaze as a filling in a stacked wedding cake, is not structurally sound.
What is fondant?
Fondant is a special type of icing that provides a smooth, matte finish to a wedding cake. It’s a pliable sugar dough that is rolled out in a large, thin sheet and then smoothed over a pre-iced cake. Before we put the fondant icing on, the cake is iced in our real buttercream. So, you will get the taste of our famous buttercream, even if you order a cake with fondant icing! Because of the labor involved, fondant prices add $1.00 per serving to the base cost of the cake.
May I display my cake outside?
Displaying a cake outside is not recommended. Besides the danger of the buttercream melting (temperatures above 80 degrees), outdoor cakes stand the chance of drawing insects. Bees and flies like our buttercream, too. If you must display your cake outside, we strongly recommend fondant icing. Keep in mind, a tent outside in the summer is considered “outside” even if it is air-conditioned.
May I bring in a picture of a cake I have seen elsewhere?
Absolutely. We will incorporate elements from an online or magazine picture that you bring in to us, and use it as inspiration to create a custom-designed cake especially for you.
Do you provide fresh flowers, or does my florist?
We’re really flexible in terms of who supplies the flowers for your cake. The decision is really up to you.
Florist – Florists will have the widest selection if you want a variety of flowers, or if you want to exactly match the flowers you are already getting from them.
Creative Cakes – if you want us to buy and arrange your flowers, we will be happy to do that. We’re usually the best choice if you only want one or two types of flowers, such as roses with stephanotis. We can provide you with a quote on fresh flowers, if you like.
You – this is the least expensive way to go, but you will need to bring us the flowers the day before your wedding, or have the flowers waiting at the hall before our scheduled delivery time. We will charge an arranging fee of $25.00 to arrange fresh (or silk) flowers.
Who puts the flowers on my cake?
If you are using a florist for the flowers on your cake, you should ask them what they prefer to do, or if their schedule will allow them to arrange the flowers on the cake. We will put a florist’s pre-arranged flowers on your cake at no charge. However, if loose flowers are ordered through your florist, you need to communicate very clearly to the florist and to Creative Cakes which party is responsible for arranging your loose flowers. Arranging fees must be discussed and paid for prior to delivery. If we are providing your flowers, we will be arranging the flowers on the cake at no charge. If you provide the flowers, we will charge a nominal arranging fee. You will have to bring the flowers to the bakery 24 hours before the reception date, or have the flowers waiting at the hall before we arrive with the cake.
Do I bring my cake topper to the bakery?
In most cases, cake toppers should be brought directly to your hall. You will most likely be bringing other things to your reception hall the week of your wedding, such as, place cards, serving sets, etc. Just bring your topper with those items. Your hall will have it waiting at the cake table for us to put on when we arrive with the cake. If we are custom creating your topper here, we will bring it with us. Please let us know if your cake topper is heavy and needs support. If you have any doubts about your topper’s suitability, you should bring it by the bakery before the reception date, so that we can have a look at it.
How do I make my payment(s)?
25% of the final total is required at the time of booking and can be in the form of cash, personal check, charge, or debit card. Your 25% deposit is non-refundable. You may pay in installments if you wish. Final payments are due 30 days before your wedding date. You may pay by any of the methods listed above, but we will not accept personal checks after the due date.
Do you supply cake bags?
Yes. We supply cake bags (with our logo) free of charge. If you are “wrapping” your cake, we will provide cake bags. If you are serving all of your cake, you shouldn’t need them.