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Frequently Asked Questions

All too often if we don’t have any experience with a topic, we tend to have some very basic questions to ask - and that is OK!   Here I’ve listed some of the questions I get asked about wedding cakes almost on a daily basis. Do please scroll through and see if the answer is here for any of your wedding cake queries.   If you want clarification on anything or have a question that’s not listed here, please feel free to get in touch with me at creations@barbiebakescakes.com and I’ll get back to you asap!

Quick Links

1. WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING CAKE? 2. DO YOU DELIVER AND SETUP MY CAKE? 3. INGREDIENTS & ALLERGENS 4. WILL I DECORATE A WEDDING CAKE YOU BAKED OR BOUGHT? 5. WHAT SIZE WEDDING CAKE SHOULD I ORDER? 6. WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATIONS AND WEDDING CAKE TASTINGS 7. HOW MUCH WILL MY WEDDING CAKE COST? 8. I’VE BEEN QUOTED THE SAME WEDDING CAKE AT A CHEAPER PRICE AT A DIFFERENT WEDDING CAKE DESIGNER, WILL YOU PRICE MATCH? 9. WILL YOU SEND PROGRESS SHOTS OF MY WEDDING CAKE WHEN IT IS IN PRODUCTION? 10. HELP! I HAD MY WEDDING CAKE BOOKED WITH MY FRIEND/MUMMY/GRANNY/AUNTY AND THEY’VE NOW LET ME DOWN LAST MINUTE AND I DON’T HAVE A WEDDING CAKE - CAN YOU DO IT (MINIMUM/SHORT NOTICE) 11. WE DISCUSSED A WEDDING CAKE DESIGN WITH YOU A WHILE BACK (CONSULTATION/EMAIL/WEDDING FAYRE) BUT NOW YOU ARE SAYING YOU CAN’T DO MY WEDDING CAKE. WHY? 12. I HAVE 100 PEOPLE GOING TO MY WEDDING AND A £50 BUDGET, WILL YOU DO MY WEDDING CAKE? 13. I WOULD LIKE A NAKED/SEMI-NAKED/BUTTERCREAM CAKE FOR MY WEDDING. CAN YOU DO THIS? 14. I WANT TO ATTEND A FACE-TO-FACE CONSULTATION. CAN I BRING MY MUM INSTEAD OF MY PARTNER? 15. DO YOU HAVE ANY OFFERS OR DISCOUNTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OR IF I PAY IN CASH? WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING CAKE? You can book your wedding cake as soon as you have your wedding date confirmed with your venue! All bookings are subject to my own availability as I don’t take on more orders than I can produce!  Your wedding date is as important to me as it is to you as I physically need to be at your wedding venue the morning of your wedding to setup. Keep in mind your wedding date itself! Typically a Friday and Saturday wedding will be the most popular, the last weekend of a month (because it’s generally when folks get paid from work!), a Bank Holiday weekend, Christmas and especially New Years Eve. Folks that work in the wedding industry take holidays too, so you may find that the suppliers you want may be not necessarily be available either!  My advice is to book as early as possible as most of my bookings are taken 1-2 years in advance. It is never too early …..but it can be too late! You might think that 1-2 years to your wedding is ‘ages away so I don’t need to book it yet’. Unfortunately you would be very much mistaken! Booking most suppliers that far in advance in the wedding industry is normal! A deposit of £50 secures your order, and then you have right up to one month before your wedding to pay off the balance. DO YOU DELIVER AND SETUP MY CAKE? All wedding cakes are hand delivered and setup by me the morning of your wedding at your venue. Delivery and setup costs are always included in your wedding cake price. Due to the nature and delicacy of a wedding cake, I will not allow any clients to pick up and deliver their own wedding cake - you really do not need that stress in your life!  This ensures that your cake is setup and displayed as discussed.  Your cake is insured with me until the moment I have completed setup at your venue - at which time all cakes are photographed and videoed (along with its placement in your function room) as evidence of how your cake was left by me. Any damage done to the cake after I leave, falls on to you/your venues responsibilty. If you have ordered a celebration cake with me, these are for PICKUP ONLY. I can deliver your cake for you if you so wish but there will be an extra delivery charge for this service. Any person with the responsibility of picking up your celebration cake from my studio should read the Transportation Guide sent to you as part of your order. Any damage done to the cake from the moment you lift the cake is your responsbility. Transportation Guide INGREDIENTS & ALLERGENS As I work from my home kitchen, I handle all ingredients and allergens. I store all of my ingredients in the same cupboard and bake my cakes in the same tins. I cannot therefore provide any cakes that are completely free of allergens and cannot guarantee that cross-contamination has not taken place.  Please be mindful of this when ordering your cake.  I do have a number of flavours that I can bake dairy free and gluten free - this is NOT the same as providing a gluten free (etc.) cake. It is simply baked using gluten free ingredients. I cannot cater for anyone that has an allergy or intolerance. If my cakes are consumed by someone who has a food allergy or intolerance, they do so at their own risk.  Only you know the severity of your own food allergy or intolerance and if you are in anyway doubtful, then you should not consume any of my cakes.  On the morning of your wedding, a list of all ingredients and allergens are supplied by email to both you and your wedding venue. Please note: As per HACCP guidelines, for cakes to be completely free of allergens for gluten, dairy and nuts etc, cakes need to be baked and prepared in a specially controlled environment that is free from these triggers.  If you are a celiac, for example, you should contact a specialist gluten free baker that bakes in an allergy free environment - this is NOT someone who bakes cakes using wheat flour on another day. A specialist baker will be someone who does not store, handle or prepare any of these allergens at any point.   All of my cakes are produced in a kitchen that handles the following allergens  Cereals containing Gluten | Eggs | Peanuts | Rice | Nuts | Celery | Mustard | Sesame WILL I DECORATE A WEDDING CAKE YOU BAKED OR BOUGHT? Unfortunately not. I will only decorate a cake that I have baked myself. WHAT SIZE WEDDING CAKE SHOULD I ORDER? You can order any size wedding cake that you want but it is of course best to order a cake for the number of guests that you are expecting at your event.  You should cater for a minimum of 90% of your wedding guests.  I have attached a document for you to download to work out what is best for your guest numbers with sample cutting guides.  All wedding cakes are a minimum of 5” tall.  Other things to consider are if you are serving a sweet or dessert with your evening food. If you are, then a smaller cake is advised!  If you are left with any wedding cake leftovers, I can provide you with a preparation and storage guide on how to wrap and freeze your wedding cake properly so that you can enjoy it at a later date! Portion Guide Per Tier WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATIONS AND WEDDING CAKE TASTINGS * A wedding cake consultation is a very important part of the decision process for your wedding cake.   Before the consultation it is important for me to check my availability against your event date.  To prepare for your consultation it is best to have an idea of what your likes and dislikes are regarding wedding cake design.  I have a Pinterest board that is a great starting point to see different design styles on offer (Pinterest).  PLEASE NOTE:  I do not do naked or semi-naked cakes or individual mini cakes.  The wedding cake consultation lasts about 45 minutes.  We will go through different wedding cake designs and you will also get to sample 6 different wedding cake flavours. Your researching of designs is best so that you can see what works for you!  I’ll email you with a number of different quotes for the wedding cake designs we discussed after the consultation. Wedding cake consultations are one of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding cake process as it involves tasting the actual cake!  I hold them at various locations around Belfast and Down. Appointments tend to book up fast so it is advisable to get in touch as soon as you are ready to do so!  Wedding cake consultations take place at times suitable to work around our busy lives; Monday-Sunday 10am-1pm, 7pm-10pm.  Appointments are child friendly. Face-to-face wedding cake consultations are £20 per couple and include 6 wedding cake samples. * COVID Update: Due to the current health situation I am not holding any face to face consultations. All consultations are being conducted via email or online video call.  All of my wedding cake taster boxes are available to purchase online. These can be picked up from my studio in Downpatrick, or you can have them posted out to you. Boxes can be posted to anywhere in the UK or ROI.  To date I do not have a time scale of when I will be holding face to face consultations again. For those of you that have already booked me to do your wedding cake, please drop me an email of when you want to receive your complimentary wedding cake taster box. HOW MUCH WILL MY WEDDING CAKE COST? The BIG question and the one that doesn’t have a crystal clear answer!  All of my cakes are priced up according to a number of things and in a much fairer way for the client.  Each and every wedding is different - different guest numbers, different wedding venues, different wedding cake styles, because of this I price each and every cake up individually and according to your wedding and I price every tier up individually too! There is not much point in me giving you a price for a 3-tier cake that serves 46 people for a wedding in Belfast when you have 150 going to your wedding in Newcastle!  Cakes are priced and designed for YOU and YOUR WEDDING!  They are bespoke products. None of my cakes are ‘off the shelf’, it is a personalised service to you. All cake quotes include delivery and setup at your venue the morning of your wedding.  I will also give you a number of different prices so you can see what works for you. I will provide you with a few options and alternatives regarding any addons your require (e.g. no flowers, fake flowers, sugar flowers, do you want metallics, wedding cake toppers etc.).  I am here to help you get your dream wedding cake.  The price of your cake is also valid at the time of offer and is valid for 7 days from the day of quote.  If you keep in mind, the more a cake is decorated, the more it will cost. Any handmade items will be more expensive than a cheaper alternative (e.g. handmade wedding cake toppers or sugar flowers).   To get the best and most accurate price forward on to me the following information;  1. Your wedding date to see if I first have your date available  2. Your wedding venue so I can work out the distance per mile  3. Number of guests expected to work out the best size of cake  4. Wedding cake style - pictures are always best. You might have already seen the wedding cake you want or like a certain style - just let me know. If you are not yet decided on a wedding cake style, that’s no problem, but the quote would be approximate until the design is finalised! Once your wedding cake order is secure with me, you can change your wedding cake design at any time up to three months before your wedding. All design changes will always be repriced.  Wedding cake design changes can increase or decrease the cost of your cake. You can contact me any time to discuss any changes no problem. I’VE BEEN QUOTED THE SAME WEDDING CAKE AT A CHEAPER PRICE WITH A DIFFERENT WEDDING CAKE DESIGNER. WILL YOU PRICE MATCH? The one thing that I pride myself on with my cakes is the time spent on design and detail of your cake and quality of service to you. I do not compromise on this quality for anything.  I use the best ingredients and source high quality products, tools and equipment to complete your cake as well as having many years of experience that I have earned making wedding cakes. I make each and every cake from scratch, I don’t freeze or buy ready made cakes to decorate later.  All of my cakes are real and not dummies. Saying all of this, I cannot comment on another designers quote. They may be using inferior and cheaper ingredients, they may live closer to your venue so their delivery costs may not be as much, they may not have the same level of experience as I do. Maybe they only provide a tiered dummy cake with a cutting cake (not the same thing!).  Only you know what is best for your wedding and your budget.  It is my advice that wedding cakes, because of their bespoke nature, shouldn’t really be compared between designers - it is not like comparing the same brand of bread from the same manufacturer being sold at different supermarkets. Every wedding cake designer is different! I do not price match, and I don’t offer discounts to anyone. I always provide each client with the best price at the same price list for the year you are getting married. Each client is treated equally.  The standard and quality of ingredients and service that I provide is reflected in my quotes. WILL YOU SEND PROGRESS SHOTS OF MY WEDDING CAKE WHEN IT IS IN PRODUCTION? As wedding cakes are in prep for many days before your Big Day, and all are completed onsite at your wedding venue on your wedding day, there would be little point in me sending progress shots to you in the days before.  Seeing your wedding cake all setup at your venue when you arrive adds to the excitement of the day so I do not send progress shots beforehand. HELP! I HAD MY WEDDING CAKE BOOKED WITH MY FRIEND/RELATIVE AND THEY’VE NOW LET ME DOWN LAST MINUTE AND I DON’T HAVE A WEDDING CAKE - CAN YOU DO IT (SHORT NOTICE)? All of my wedding cake orders are taken on according to my own availability.  I take on limited number of orders per week so that I can give my cur- rent wedding cake order the care and attention to detail that it requires.  It is a lovely gesture when a friend or relative offers to make your wedding cake for you, however sometimes things don’t go according to plan and you are let down due to your friend or relative becoming completely over- whelmed by the massive scale of catering for so many people in such a short space of time. Or indeed they have become sick last minute and simply cannot do your cake.  I do sympathise with you and being a registered business I also have public liability insurance in place, a food hygiene rating of 5 and also a number of other professional wedding cake designers than I can call for help if ever I become ill myself. If you are willing to take on the risk of having a friend or relation to do your wedding cake, you must also factor in that things can and do go wrong at the last minute with no safe guard in place.  It is incredibly unfortunate but it is something I witness on a regular basis.  Contact me with your wedding date and details of cake re- quired. Minimum notice is 7 days for a wedding cake, availablity dependent. WE DISCUSSED A WEDDING CAKE DESIGN WITH YOU A WHILE BACK (WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATION/EMAIL/WEDDING FAYRE) BUT NOW YOU ARE SAYING YOU CAN’T DO MY WEDDING CAKE. WHY? All of my wedding cake orders are only secured and in place once a deposit has been made.  Regardless of how many times we have talked or emailed each other, if no deposit has been paid, you have no wedding cake order with me.  If your wedding date is no longer available, it means another client, with the same wedding date, has booked and paid their deposit.  This is communicated to all customers that email me for information regarding securing a wedding cake order with me.  My advice is always to book your wedding cake as soon as you know your wedding date. You then have right up to three months before your wedding to decide on your wedding cake design and 1 month before your wedding to pay off your balance .  Wedding cake order deposits are £50.  No Deposit = No Cake. I HAVE 100 PEOPLE GOING TO MY WEDDING AND A £50 BUDGET, WILL YOU DO MY WEDDING CAKE? When you are working out your budgets for a wedding it is completely understandable that many of you have no idea how much anything is as it is all new territory to you!  Most folks only get married once in their life so it may be the only time you ever need to book a large venue, dj, band, wedding cake, get personalised stationery made etc!  In saying this, it is advisable to trust the professionals and be realistic about setting your budgets for certain things.  Most suppliers will work with you and your budget and help you achieve what it is you want and will guide you accordingly. For wedding cakes that take many many hours of work  to create for you; with tools, ingredients, petrol, insurance, specialised products, specific trips to the shops to get your ingredients, baking the cake, the many hours of decorating the cake, the packaging up of the cake, the creation of the paperwork (ingredients, allergens), sign off sheet, the hand delivery to your wedding venue, setting it up at your venue, taking photos and videos of your wedding cake.  ALL of this adds up to a completely personalised and bespoke service for YOUR wedding.  These are not mass produced cakes that you find in a supermarket or coffee shop.  They are designer products. If you are setting budgets for a wedding cake there will be differences in prices between wedding cake designers. However, if all wedding cake designers are quoting you a price that is over what you have budgeted for, it could be that your budget is unrealistic and needs to be adjusted accordingly.  A good starting point is £3-£5 for each guest. I WOULD LIKE A NAKED/SEMI-NAKED CAKE FOR MY WEDDING. CAN YOU DO THIS? I do not unfortunately do either naked or semi-naked cakes.  Wedding cakes are setup on the morning of your wedding and left on display all day. Function rooms can range from being hot, cool and dry throught the day. Having a naked or semi-naked cake exposes the cake to all of these elements and can dry the cake out and indeed cause the cake to melt and collapse.  Fondant is put on a cake for this very reason - to PROTECT the actual cake inside and keep it moist until the time that it is sliced and served.  I understand completely that some people do not like fondant.  It is for this reason that I can instead do cakes that are covered in ganache only.  Ganache is a chocolate and cream mix that sets to give a protective outser shell on the cake and it is extremely more reliable and sturdy compared to buttercream. Being realistic, a slice of cake is not a slab -you will at the very most get a 2” x 1” square of sugarpaste on any single slice which can be removed by you if you don’t like to eat it.  You yourself are not eating the full cake so please don’t be scared by a full cake covered in fondant.  Fondant too has come a very long way from the fruit cakes of old. They are not rolled as thickly as the once were and are far more tastier today! If you have your heart set on one of these cakes, there are other wedding cake designers that do them. I unfortunately cannot help you in completing your order. I WANT TO ATTEND A FACE-TO-FACE CONSULTATION. CAN I BRING MY MUM INSTEAD OF MY PARTNER? Who you bring to your consultation is really up to you.  Places are limited to 2 people - so whether it is your partner, parent, grandparent or best friend, it really makes no difference to me.  If you have a relative paying for the cake as a gift it may be a good idea to bring them. I do find it best however that if you as a couple have very specifc ideas about the flavours you want or the design details on your cake it may be best to leaving the desicison details to you as a couple alone.  During the consultation process we talk about colours, dresses & suits, stationery, flowers etc so that we can get the cake to match accordingly and fit in effortlessly.  If there are any aspects of your wedding that you want to keep from other relatives, to keep as a surprise until the wedding day, then it may be best that they didn’t attend the consultation.  Of course I can be discreet and talk to you in private about any aspects you wish to withold from others.  If it is a relative that is paying for the cake as a gift, and they do not wish for you to know the final cost, I can produce two invoices - one for them with the price, and one for you just confirming all of the details that we discussed but omit the final cost.  Please note, I cannot under any circumstances discuss any details of your order except with those who have placed the order or who is paying for the cake - regardless of their relationship with you and if they attended the consultation, my contract will be with you and/or the person paying for the cake (they will need to be expressly named on the order form). DO YOU HAVE ANY OFFERS OR DISCOUNTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OR IF I PAY IN CASH? My prices stay the same regardless of how I am paid. All of your wedding cake payments must be made by bank transfer. This allows for me to complete my accounts accordingly and have a record of your payment to me.  I have different price lists in operation for different years to accomodate inflation and increases in the cost of ingredients and services. Paying in cash makes no difference to my hourly rate, my experience, the price of ingredients in the shops, the time to produce your cake, my petrol to your venue, the bills I have to pay or the tax man!  I do not offer any discounts to anyone and the only folks that I will bake for free are my immediate family. Please do not embarrass me or you by asking for a discounted rate or to pay in cash to hide it from the taxman!! If you wish to pay by PayPal there is a 4% extra charge for this.
CONTACT DETAILS Phone: 07821 903 897 Email: creations@barbiebakescakes.com Web: www.barbiebakescakes.com FOLLOW ME Instagram: barbiebakescakes Facebook: BarbieBakesCakesNI Pinterest: BarbieBakesCake
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Frequently Asked Questions All too often if we don’t have any experience with a topic, we tend to have some very basic questions to ask - and that is OK!   Here I’ve listed some of the questions I get asked about wedding cakes almost on a daily basis. Do please scroll through and see if the answer is here for any of your wedding cake queries.   If you want clarification on anything or have a question that’s not listed here, please feel free to get in touch with me at creations@barbiebakescakes.com and I’ll get back to you asap! Quick Links 1. WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING CAKE? 2. DO YOU DELIVER AND SETUP MY CAKE? 3. INGREDIENTS & ALLERGENS 4. WILL I DECORATE A WEDDING CAKE YOU BAKED OR BOUGHT? 5. WHAT SIZE WEDDING CAKE SHOULD I ORDER? 6. WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATIONS AND WEDDING CAKE TASTINGS 7. HOW MUCH WILL MY WEDDING CAKE COST? 8. I’VE BEEN QUOTED THE SAME WEDDING CAKE AT A CHEAPER PRICE AT A DIFFERENT WEDDING CAKE DESIGNER, WILL YOU PRICE MATCH? 9. WILL YOU SEND PROGRESS SHOTS OF MY WEDDING CAKE WHEN IT IS IN PRODUCTION? 10. HELP! I HAD MY WEDDING CAKE BOOKED WITH MY FRIEND/MUMMY/GRANNY/AUNTY AND THEY’VE NOW LET ME DOWN LAST MINUTE AND I DON’T HAVE A WEDDING CAKE - CAN YOU DO IT (MINIMUM/SHORT NOTICE) 11. WE DISCUSSED A WEDDING CAKE DESIGN WITH YOU A WHILE BACK (CONSULTATION/EMAIL/WEDDING FAYRE) BUT NOW YOU ARE SAYING YOU CAN’T DO MY WEDDING CAKE. WHY? 12. I HAVE 100 PEOPLE GOING TO MY WEDDING AND A £50 BUDGET, WILL YOU DO MY WEDDING CAKE? 13. I WOULD LIKE A NAKED/SEMI- NAKED/BUTTERCREAM CAKE FOR MY WEDDING. CAN YOU DO THIS? 14. I WANT TO ATTEND A FACE-TO- FACE CONSULTATION. CAN I BRING MY MUM INSTEAD OF MY PARTNER? 15. DO YOU HAVE ANY OFFERS OR DISCOUNTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OR IF I PAY IN CASH? WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING CAKE? You can book your wedding cake as soon as you have your wedding date confirmed with your venue! All bookings are subject to my own availability as I don’t take on more orders than I can produce!  Your wedding date is as important to me as it is to you as I physically need to be at your wedding venue the morning of your wedding to setup. Keep in mind your wedding date itself! Typically a Friday and Saturday wedding will be the most popular, the last weekend of a month (because it’s generally when folks get paid from work!), a Bank Holiday weekend, Christmas and especially New Years Eve. Folks that work in the wedding industry take holidays too, so you may find that the suppliers you want may be not necessarily be available either!  My advice is to book as early as possible as most of my bookings are taken 1-2 years in advance. It is never too early …..but it can be too late! You might think that 1-2 years to your wedding is ‘ages away so I don’t need to book it yet’. Unfortunately you would be very much mistaken! Booking most suppliers that far in advance in the wedding industry is normal! A deposit of £50 secures your order, and then you have right up to one month before your wedding to pay off the balance. DO YOU DELIVER AND SETUP MY CAKE? All wedding cakes are hand delivered and setup by me the morning of your wedding at your venue. Delivery and setup costs are always included in your wedding cake price. Due to the nature and delicacy of a wedding cake, I will not allow any clients to pick up and deliver their own wedding cake - you really do not need that stress in your life!  This ensures that your cake is setup and displayed as discussed.  Your cake is insured with me until the moment I have completed setup at your venue - at which time all cakes are photographed and videoed (along with its placement in your function room) as evidence of how your cake was left by me. Any damage done to the cake after I leave, falls on to you/your venues responsibilty. If you have ordered a celebration cake with me, these are for PICKUP ONLY. I can deliver your cake for you if you so wish but there will be an extra delivery charge for this service. Any person with the responsibility of picking up your celebration cake from my studio should read the Transportation Guide sent to you as part of your order. Any damage done to the cake from the moment you lift the cake is your responsbility. Transportation Guide INGREDIENTS & ALLERGENS As I work from my home kitchen, I handle all ingredients and allergens. I store all of my ingredients in the same cupboard and bake my cakes in the same tins. I cannot therefore provide any cakes that are completely free of allergens and cannot guarantee that cross-contamination has not taken place.  Please be mindful of this when ordering your cake.  I do have a number of flavours that I can bake dairy free and gluten free - this is NOT the same as providing a gluten free (etc.) cake. It is simply baked using gluten free ingredients. I cannot cater for anyone that has an allergy or intolerance. If my cakes are consumed by someone who has a food allergy or intolerance, they do so at their own risk.  Only you know the severity of your own food allergy or intolerance and if you are in anyway doubtful, then you should not consume any of my cakes.  On the morning of your wedding, a list of all ingredients and allergens are supplied by email to both you and your wedding venue. Please note: As per HACCP guidelines, for cakes to be completely free of allergens for gluten, dairy and nuts etc, cakes need to be baked and prepared in a specially controlled environment that is free from these triggers.  If you are a celiac, for example, you should contact a specialist gluten free baker that bakes in an allergy free environment - this is NOT someone who bakes cakes using wheat flour on another day. A specialist baker will be someone who does not store, handle or prepare any of these allergens at any point.   All of my cakes are produced in a kitchen that handles the following allergens  Cereals containing Gluten | Eggs | Peanuts | Rice | Nuts | Celery | Mustard | Sesame WILL I DECORATE A WEDDING CAKE YOU BAKED OR BOUGHT? Unfortunately not. I will only decorate a cake that I have baked myself. WHAT SIZE WEDDING CAKE SHOULD I ORDER? You can order any size wedding cake that you want but it is of course best to order a cake for the number of guests that you are expecting at your event.  You should cater for a minimum of 90% of your wedding guests.  I have attached a document for you to download to work out what is best for your guest numbers with sample cutting guides.  All wedding cakes are a minimum of 5” tall.  Other things to consider are if you are serving a sweet or dessert with your evening food. If you are, then a smaller cake is advised!  If you are left with any wedding cake leftovers, I can provide you with a preparation and storage guide on how to wrap and freeze your wedding cake properly so that you can enjoy it at a later date! Portion Guide Per Tier WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATIONS AND WEDDING CAKE TASTINGS * A wedding cake consultation is a very important part of the decision process for your wedding cake.   Before the consultation it is important for me to check my availability against your event date.  To prepare for your consultation it is best to have an idea of what your likes and dislikes are regarding wedding cake design.  I have a Pinterest board that is a great starting point to see different design styles on offer (Pinterest).  PLEASE NOTE:  I do not do naked or semi-naked cakes or individual mini cakes.  The wedding cake consultation lasts about 45 minutes.  We will go through different wedding cake designs and you will also get to sample 6 different wedding cake flavours. Your researching of designs is best so that you can see what works for you!  I’ll email you with a number of different quotes for the wedding cake designs we discussed after the consultation. Wedding cake consultations are one of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding cake process as it involves tasting the actual cake!  I hold them at various locations around Belfast and Down. Appointments tend to book up fast so it is advisable to get in touch as soon as you are ready to do so!  Wedding cake consultations take place at times suitable to work around our busy lives; Monday-Sunday 10am-1pm, 7pm-10pm.  Appointments are child friendly. Face-to-face wedding cake consultations are £20 per couple and include 6 wedding cake samples. * COVID Update: Due to the current health situation I am not holding any face to face consultations. All consultations are being conducted via email or online video call.  All of my wedding cake taster boxes are available to purchase online. These can be picked up from my studio in Downpatrick, or you can have them posted out to you. Boxes can be posted to anywhere in the UK or ROI.  To date I do not have a time scale of when I will be holding face to face consultations again. For those of you that have already booked me to do your wedding cake, please drop me an email of when you want to receive your complimentary wedding cake taster box. HOW MUCH WILL MY WEDDING CAKE COST? The BIG question and the one that doesn’t have a crystal clear answer!  All of my cakes are priced up according to a number of things and in a much fairer way for the client.  Each and every wedding is different - different guest numbers, different wedding venues, different wedding cake styles, because of this I price each and every cake up individually and according to your wedding and I price every tier up individually too! There is not much point in me giving you a price for a 3-tier cake that serves 46 people for a wedding in Belfast when you have 150 going to your wedding in Newcastle!  Cakes are priced and designed for YOU and YOUR WEDDING!  They are bespoke products. None of my cakes are ‘off the shelf’, it is a personalised service to you. All cake quotes include delivery and setup at your venue the morning of your wedding.  I will also give you a number of different prices so you can see what works for you. I will provide you with a few options and alternatives regarding any addons your require (e.g. no flowers, fake flowers, sugar flowers, do you want metallics, wedding cake toppers etc.).  I am here to help you get your dream wedding cake.  The price of your cake is also valid at the time of offer and is valid for 7 days from the day of quote.  If you keep in mind, the more a cake is decorated, the more it will cost. Any handmade items will be more expensive than a cheaper alternative (e.g. handmade wedding cake toppers or sugar flowers).   To get the best and most accurate price forward on to me the following information;  1. Your wedding date to see if I first have your date available  2. Your wedding venue so I can work out the distance per mile  3. Number of guests expected to work out the best size of cake  4. Wedding cake style - pictures are always best. You might have already seen the wedding cake you want or like a certain style - just let me know. If you are not yet decided on a wedding cake style, that’s no problem, but the quote would be approximate until the design is finalised! Once your wedding cake order is secure with me, you can change your wedding cake design at any time up to three months before your wedding. All design changes will always be repriced.  Wedding cake design changes can increase or decrease the cost of your cake. You can contact me any time to discuss any changes no problem. I’VE BEEN QUOTED THE SAME WEDDING CAKE AT A CHEAPER PRICE WITH A DIFFERENT WEDDING CAKE DESIGNER. WILL YOU PRICE MATCH? The one thing that I pride myself on with my cakes is the time spent on design and detail of your cake and quality of service to you. I do not compromise on this quality for anything.  I use the best ingredients and source high quality products, tools and equipment to complete your cake as well as having many years of experience that I have earned making wedding cakes. I make each and every cake from scratch, I don’t freeze or buy ready made cakes to decorate later.  All of my cakes are real and not dummies. Saying all of this, I cannot comment on another designers quote. They may be using inferior and cheaper ingredients, they may live closer to your venue so their delivery costs may not be as much, they may not have the same level of experience as I do. Maybe they only provide a tiered dummy cake with a cutting cake (not the same thing!).  Only you know what is best for your wedding and your budget.  It is my advice that wedding cakes, because of their bespoke nature, shouldn’t really be compared between designers - it is not like comparing the same brand of bread from the same manufacturer being sold at different supermarkets. Every wedding cake designer is different! I do not price match, and I don’t offer discounts to anyone. I always provide each client with the best price at the same price list for the year you are getting married. Each client is treated equally.  The standard and quality of ingredients and service that I provide is reflected in my quotes. WILL YOU SEND PROGRESS SHOTS OF MY WEDDING CAKE WHEN IT IS IN PRODUCTION? As wedding cakes are in prep for many days before your Big Day, and all are completed onsite at your wedding venue on your wedding day, there would be little point in me sending progress shots to you in the days before.  Seeing your wedding cake all setup at your venue when you arrive adds to the excitement of the day so I do not send progress shots beforehand. HELP! I HAD MY WEDDING CAKE BOOKED WITH MY FRIEND/RELATIVE AND THEY’VE NOW LET ME DOWN LAST MINUTE AND I DON’T HAVE A WEDDING CAKE - CAN YOU DO IT (SHORT NOTICE)? All of my wedding cake orders are taken on according to my own availability.  I take on limited number of orders per week so that I can give my current wed- ding cake order the care and attention to detail that it requires.  It is a lovely gesture when a friend or relative offers to make your wedding cake for you, however sometimes things don’t go ac- cording to plan and you are let down due to your friend or relative becoming completely overwhelmed by the massive scale of catering for so many people in such a short space of time. Or indeed they have become sick last minute and simply cannot do your cake.  I do sym- pathise with you and being a registered business I also have public liability insur- ance in place, a food hygiene rating of 5 and also a number of other professional wedding cake designers than I can call for help if ever I become ill myself. If you are willing to take on the risk of having a friend or relation to do your wedding cake, you must also factor in that things can and do go wrong at the last minute with no safe guard in place.  It is incredibly unfortunate but it is something I witness on a regular basis.  Contact me with your wedding date and details of cake required. Minimum notice is 7 days for a wedding cake, availablity dependent. WE DISCUSSED A WEDDING CAKE DESIGN WITH YOU A WHILE BACK (WEDDING CAKE CONSULTATION/EMAIL/WEDDING FAYRE) BUT NOW YOU ARE SAYING YOU CAN’T DO MY WEDDING CAKE. WHY? All of my wedding cake orders are only secured and in place once a deposit has been made.  Regardless of how many times we have talked or emailed each other, if no deposit has been paid, you have no wedding cake order with me.  If your wedding date is no longer avail- able, it means another client, with the same wedding date, has booked and paid their deposit.  This is communic- ated to all customers that email me for information regarding securing a wedding cake order with me.  My advice is always to book your wed- ding cake as soon as you know your wedding date. You then have right up to three months before your wedding to decide on your wedding cake design and 1 month before your wedding to pay off your balance .  Wedding cake order deposits are £50.  No Deposit = No Cake. I HAVE 100 PEOPLE GOING TO MY WEDDING AND A £50 BUDGET, WILL YOU DO MY WEDDING CAKE? When you are working out your budgets for a wedding it is completely understandable that many of you have no idea how much anything is as it is all new territory to you!  Most folks only get married once in their life so it may be the only time you ever need to book a large venue, dj, band, wedding cake, get personalised stationery made etc!  In saying this, it is advisable to trust the professionals and be realistic about setting your budgets for certain things.  Most suppliers will work with you and your budget and help you achieve what it is you want and will guide you accordingly. For wedding cakes that take many many hours of work  to create for you; with tools, ingredients, petrol, insurance, specialised products, specific trips to the shops to get your ingredients, baking the cake, the many hours of decorating the cake, the packaging up of the cake, the creation of the paperwork (ingredients, allergens), sign off sheet, the hand delivery to your wedding venue, setting it up at your venue, taking photos and videos of your wedding cake.  ALL of this adds up to a completely personalised and bespoke service for YOUR wedding.  These are not mass produced cakes that you find in a supermarket or coffee shop.  They are designer products. If you are setting budgets for a wedding cake there will be differences in prices between wedding cake designers. However, if all wedding cake designers are quoting you a price that is over what you have budgeted for, it could be that your budget is unrealistic and needs to be adjusted accordingly.  A good starting point is £3-£5 for each guest. I WOULD LIKE A NAKED/SEMI-NAKED CAKE FOR MY WEDDING. CAN YOU DO THIS? I do not unfortunately do either naked or semi-naked cakes.  Wedding cakes are setup on the morning of your wedding and left on display all day. Function rooms can range from being hot, cool and dry throught the day. Having a naked or semi-naked cake exposes the cake to all of these elements and can dry the cake out and indeed cause the cake to melt and collapse.  Fondant is put on a cake for this very reason - to PROTECT the actual cake inside and keep it moist until the time that it is sliced and served.  I understand completely that some people do not like fondant.  It is for this reason that I can instead do cakes that are covered in ganache only.  Ganache is a chocolate and cream mix that sets to give a protective outser shell on the cake and it is extremely more reliable and sturdy compared to buttercream. Being realistic, a slice of cake is not a slab -you will at the very most get a 2” x 1” square of sugarpaste on any single slice which can be removed by you if you don’t like to eat it.  You yourself are not eating the full cake so please don’t be scared by a full cake covered in fondant.  Fondant too has come a very long way from the fruit cakes of old. They are not rolled as thickly as the once were and are far more tastier today! If you have your heart set on one of these cakes, there are other wedding cake designers that do them. I unfortunately cannot help you in completing your order. I WANT TO ATTEND A FACE-TO-FACE CONSULTATION. CAN I BRING MY MUM INSTEAD OF MY PARTNER? Who you bring to your consultation is really up to you.  Places are limited to 2 people - so whether it is your partner, parent, grandparent or best friend, it really makes no difference to me.  If you have a relative paying for the cake as a gift it may be a good idea to bring them. I do find it best however that if you as a couple have very specifc ideas about the flavours you want or the design details on your cake it may be best to leaving the desicison details to you as a couple alone.  During the consultation process we talk about colours, dresses & suits, stationery, flowers etc so that we can get the cake to match accordingly and fit in effortlessly.  If there are any aspects of your wedding that you want to keep from other relatives, to keep as a surprise until the wedding day, then it may be best that they didn’t attend the consultation.  Of course I can be discreet and talk to you in private about any aspects you wish to withold from others.  If it is a relative that is paying for the cake as a gift, and they do not wish for you to know the final cost, I can produce two invoices - one for them with the price, and one for you just confirming all of the details that we discussed but omit the final cost.  Please note, I cannot under any circumstances discuss any details of your order except with those who have placed the order or who is paying for the cake - regardless of their relationship with you and if they attended the consultation, my contract will be with you and/or the person paying for the cake (they will need to be expressly named on the order form). DO YOU HAVE ANY OFFERS OR DISCOUNTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OR IF I PAY IN CASH? My prices stay the same regardless of how I am paid. All of your wedding cake payments must be made by bank transfer. This allows for me to complete my accounts accordingly and have a record of your payment to me.  I have different price lists in operation for different years to accomodate inflation and increases in the cost of ingredients and services. Paying in cash makes no difference to my hourly rate, my experience, the price of ingredients in the shops, the time to produce your cake, my petrol to your venue, the bills I have to pay or the tax man!  I do not offer any discounts to anyone and the only folks that I will bake for free are my immediate family. Please do not embarrass me or you by asking for a discounted rate or to pay in cash to hide it from the taxman!! If you wish to pay by PayPal there is a 4% extra charge for this.
NORTHERN IRELAND WEDDING CAKES - LUXURY WEDDING CAKES & CAKE DECORATION CLASSES
BARBIE BAKES CAKES
NORTHERN IRELAND WEDDING CAKES LUXURY WEDDING CAKES & CAKE DECORATION CLASSES