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January 11, 2011

Disclaimer: I have been trapped in my apartment for six days straight and am slowly but surely losing my mind. I was sick last week and over the weekend, then today and yesterday my office has been closed due to snow and ice. Must … get … out!

Mr. Panther and I had hoped to hear back from the bridal shop about his potential Hugo Boss tux, but since Atlanta is completely shut down, it looks like we’ll be waiting a little longer. However, we were able to figure out another wedding item in a slightly-less-snowy area of the country: our wedding cake!

When we were figuring out the budget back in March, we didn’t leave much for the cake. See, I love food, but I’m really not a sweets person. (If cakes were made out of french fries, this would be a very different blog post.) When I do eat sweets, I go for the casual kind: strawberry shortcake, Betty Crocker yellow cake with Duncan Hines chocolate frosting, etc. I’ve never liked buttercream or really any professionally-made dessert at all. So, though I knew we had to have a cake, I didn’t really care too much about it. I figured we’d pick something that most people liked, throw our adorable cake topper on top of it and call it a day.

As my planning journey progressed, I spotted a few gorgeous cakes that I would have loved to have, if budget wasn’t an issue, but moved on without too much disappointment.

By The Caketress

By Bobbette & Belle

Sidenote: I think it’s funny that both of those cakes are from Toronto-based bakeries, which is where one of my bridesmaids is from!

Anyway, though, my very favorite cakes were the kind with fluffy, textured frosting, which doesn’t generally add any cost. Score!

Check out Mrs. Ribbon’s gorgeous cake!


And ooh, a birdy cake topper like ours!


This one, however, is our very favorite cake in the whole world:


We’ll want ours to have cafe au lait dahlias, peonies and craspedia, and it’ll need to be a little bit bigger, but that’s the gist of it. So, the design has been done for a while.

A couple months ago, before I was even thinking about cake, hive user Leslie commented on a post about my venue. She’s getting married there the weekend before us (!!!), and had already booked her cake baker: Palmer’s Bakery in Darien. She raved about her tasting, so in my mind, I put Palmer’s at the top of our list. When I started investigating, I found a great, attractive website with lots of beautiful photos and helpful information. Now, I should point out (and I may do a whole post about this at a later date), I totally judge vendors by their websites. I know I shouldn’t, but I work in the web industry, and I can’t help it. Palmer’s even had a Facebook page! That earned them points in my book.

Nonetheless, I wanted to cover all my bases. Over the next few weeks, I emailed or called 17 Connecticut bakeries. Don’t believe me? Look at my Bento database!

Personal screenshot

When you click on each one of those cake photos, you get a page for each bakery with a TON of information that I gathered. Hey—you can’t say I’m always an impulse buyer. Incidentally, I need to write another post about Bento and what a lifesaver it is.

While I gathered information, I narrowed and narrowed and narrowed. First, I narrowed based on pricing. Then, I narrowed based on whether the kitchen cake was the same as the display cake—I knew we’d want to supplement with a kitchen cake, and I wanted to make sure the slices had the same amount of layers and would look the same sliced on a plate. Last, I narrowed based on customer service, reviews and photos. And after a lot of research, I scheduled three tastings for the end of December, when Mr. Panther and I would be in CT for Christmas. Whew!

Next up, the results of our tastings, our final bakery choice and what our cake will taste like!

Did anyone else do a ton of research for something that wasn’t even a high-priority item? (Have I become Type-A in my old age?!) How’d you pick your cake bakery?

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