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Food and Cakes

When to order cake

When do you order the cake?  I feel like if I wait until I know the final count from RSVPs it will be way to late.  So, do you go ahead and order a few months in advance and guess how many people there will be?  Do you just bit the bullet and order enough cake for every guest on the guest list?  Or are cake bakers like caterers and you give them a final count 2 weeks before and they adjust the cake up or down to match the final count?  At an estimated $4 a slice, I don't want to pay and extra $100 for cake for 25 people who might not come...Thanks.
We Do - Since November 3, 2012

Re: When to order cake

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Typically bakers will take your estimated guest count to supply you with an overall price.  Then when you get a final count you should be able to adjust accordingly with your baker.  Remember, this is a cake that can't be made months ahead of time so there is plenty of wiggle room when it comes to how many people it will feed.

  • I think theknot's timeline says to do your deposit with the baker like 6 months before the wedding. I've read that even people having peak-season, Saturday weddings find this too early. Ours is off-season and a Monday, so all our vendors would have let us wait until much later than theknot's standard timeline to sign contracts.

    Yes, it's like the caterer, except even more flexible. You put down a deposit for 20-30% of the estimated final price when you sign the contract. This saves your date with the baker, because they can only do so many big cakes per day/weekend. Then you can adjust, probably down to just a few days before the wedding. While a caterer will order food a couple weeks before, and might buy non-perishable items weeks before, too, a baker has everything they need on-hand all the time.

    Also, cake sizes come in stages. You can't add 1 slice to a 100-slice cake. The issue is whether to add a whole additional tier, or to add an inch or 2 to one of the tiers, or to add a quarter sheet cake. We are very particular about the dimensions of our cake (14", 10", 6", feeds about 70), so the issue will be whether to significantly increase the size of the cake to 16-12-8" or to add a quarter sheet cake of 25 slices. When we met with bakers, it seemed like it would take at least 10 slices/guests, more or fewer, to change our order.
  • You may as well order as early as you can.  You will be able to make changes until about 2 weeks before the event - you should have all your rsvp's by then anyways.  No baker in her right mind would let you change the design/size of the cake a few days before the wedding.
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