As far as wedding cake vendors go, we've narrowed it down to 4 choices - all with pros and cons.
First up is Susie G's Specialty Cakes. We've had her cake on several occasions - Moni had this cake at her wedding, and we've tested it at wedding shows. Plus, my Maid of Honor, Rachel, actually knows Susie (though, this doesn't guarantee a discount). It's delicious cake. Problem? The wedding cake would have to be all one flavor, and the most interesting flavor available is carrot cake. Whoop-dee-doo-dah-day. They also require appointments for cake tasting, and it seems as though the taste-and-look-for-someone-else method isn't exactly encouraged - (from the website) "During your consultation, you can browse through our wedding portfolio, taste cake samples, and discuss details. You may also bring in your own pictures and ideas." I don't want to be discussing details - I just want to taste cake. We still might stop in to see if they'll let us taste though...
Second is Tie the Knot Cakes. This is run by the small, family-owned, Ozenkoski's Bakery. It's right by the church (and my parent's home), so I see it all the time. We stopped in, hoping to taste a sample of cake or two. One of the bakers told us the owner wasn't in, took down our name and number, and said the owner would call us back to set up an appointment. This was Tuesday. As in, a week ago tomorrow. They've been crossed off the list - we don't want to deal with vendors who don't want to give us the time of day.
Third in the cake vendors is Sweets to Remember. They're located farther north, in Troy, but are one of the "preferred vendors" of our reception hall. They offer plenty of flavors and fillings, but the last time someone we know has used them was back in 1998. They don't offer prices or anything on their website either, so it's hard to judge them on, well, anything. It's frustrating, to say the least.
Fourth, and the top runner so far (and admittedly, the only cake we've had the chance to try), is Wedding Wonderland Cakeshop. They're cheaper than Susie G's, and offer walk-in tastings. And the cake was ah-maz-ing. Have I mentioned they're recommended by Ace of Cakes? You know, the fantastic, hilarious, television show on Food Network? Yea. So we went and tasted them on Wednesday, and it was good. The only problem is that they're located out in Florrisant, while our reception hall is in O'Fallon - roughly 25 minutes away. We don't know if there will be delivery charges, but that's definitely something we'll need to ask.
We were given three samples of cake with our chosen icing/fillings. We got to sit at a cute little table for deux, and enjoy amazing, mouth-water cake samples. We chose to have traditional cake icing on all of them, and then each flavor has its own filling delicately globbed (a technical term) on top. We could have purchased more samples, but at $4.00 a piece, we didn't think it was necessary.
(from the left, Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese filling, Spice Cake with Chocolate Fudge filling, and Spice Cake with Bavarian Creme filling)
The marble cake, unfortuantely, lacked the punch of the other two. The fudge filling was delicious and rich, and maybe it overshadowed the normalcy of a marble cake. Nonetheless, the other two were delicious.
(Sean's favorite, the Spice Cake with Bavarian Creme, and my favorite, the Red Velvet with Cream Cheese)
(This is Sean's "Really? You're taking pictures of me eating delicious cake?" face - he's not so sure about my new-found blogging love)
So we've (essentially) picked out a bakery. One of the greatest things about this bakery is that you can have a different flavor of cake on each layer. This is a huge plus in my book, especially considering that with the size of our guest list, there's a chance we'll have a 5-6 tier cake. Read: HUGE. So while partaking in a game of Super Mario Bros for the Wii (which I'm terrible at), we discussed possibilities for flavors. We came up with a total of six, with four of them being absolute must-haves.
Spice Cake with Bavarian Creme
Lemon Cake with Fudge
Yellow Cake with Strawberry
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese
German Chocolate Cake with German Chocolate Icing
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry
The first four are must haves. The strawberry icing is a win for me, cause Mr. Sean hates anything and everything strawberry (actually, red fruit in general), but I gave him German Chocolate (I don't like coconut) for it. Neither of us are big fans of the chocolate-raspberry combination, but we do know that some of our guests would like it. And no one ever said that we have to eat or even love every layer (I've heard of brides not even eating the cake - that is NOT an option here).
We haven't bought the cake yet, or even made an appointment to discuss designs. But we do have several ideas for designs:
I love the ribbon on the bottoms of the first two cakes, and the intricacies of the designs in all three of them. I love love love the hexagonal cake (the second one) - I think it's just so interesting and novel. I'm also a fan of the third cake, and how each tier is a little bit different. Sean's not a fan of the square cakes, so those are out. We also don't want anything too busy. Or anything with flowers. Or split tiers/plastic columns/fountains.
Though, I'm sure our baker (whomever we choose) will be able to get us to narrow our ideas further as well. Hopefully they'll be able to include our scroll design (part of it can be seen on our one year post) too.