Wedding Wednesday: Cake Tasting Numero Uno

Alrighy. The Cris and The Boy Wedding calendar is ticking down and we’ve gotten to the point where we actually have to start deciding things and putting down deposits. First up (after choosing my photographer)? Finding a cake vendor. Remember back when I talked all about how I was delegating specific parts of my wedding right of the bat? Well, I forgot to mention that the cake was one of those items.

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See, I’m a DIY nut. I am firmly convinced that I can always DIY anything and was all hot and heavy to do the décor and the cake and the flowers for the whole wedding. The Boy gave me a serious reality check on that one. Basically, he said, “You can't do everything. So pick one: flowers or cake. Pick one and do that one and we’ll hire out the other.” I agreed with him and decided to have a pro do the cake since I’ve actually done the flowers for a wedding before.

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Which brings us to today’s post – a couple of weeks ago we participated in our first cake tasting with a potential vendor. We swung through Austin and stopped off at the Blue Note Bakery to have our meeting with Angie (the owner and head baker). We had met Angie when we attended a Crate & Barrel Wedding Party down the street and fell in love with her personality (and her amazing cakes!). So, we were really excited to have our tasting with her and check out her bakery facilities (clean and professional!).

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Image Courtesy of: Blue Note Bakery

We showed up for our tasting a bit early (there was another couple finishing theirs) so I took a moment to flip through Blue Note’s portfolios and check out their press/awards. Was really impressed with what I saw! Did you know that Blue Note was featured in the Rachel Ray Everyday magazine? I’m not a huge fan of Boobs McPerky but being featured in a national magazine is pretty awesome.

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When it was our turn to do our tasting, Angie brought out a tray with samples of all her flavors, fillings, and frostings (and, per our request, a gluten and dairy-free cake option) plus a small platter of tarts and bite-sized chocolates. She suggested pairings for us and then turned us loose. And it was freaking AWESOME! The Boy’s favorites were the carrot cake, the pecan pie tarts, and the strawberry filling. My favorites were the ginger orange cake, the tie dyed vanilla cake, and the raspberry jam filling. The gluten-free cake was also excellent (we gluten eaters would have never even guessed it was sans gluten or dairy).

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So after we pinned down our preferred flavors, Angie asked to look at my inspiration photos and ideas. I had brought some photos of this dessert table setting (to show that we were more interested in a dessert table instead of a traditional wedding cake) and some fabric samples (to show her what colors and patterns that I was thinking of):

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Image Courtesy of: From The Kitchen of Olivia

Angie was excited with my vision and made some awesome suggestions on what to pair with our selection of desserts (pecan pie tarts, fruit tarts, mini carrot cupcakes, mini gluten-free cupcakes, and mini cake bars [instead of doing traditional cakes, Angie offers small rectangle cakes to slice so that guests can have a little bit of everything]) from her. She encouraged us to include fresh fruits and some savory style candies to round out the flavors that Blue Note would be providing. After that, she asked us about our budget and worked to give us everything that we wanted for our (meager) budget. I was thrilled when this tasting was done – we walked out the door with a quote, a contract, and a box of our leftover samplings to snack on later.

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This cake tasting was a great experience – VERY professional, very enjoyable, very fun, and very informative. Kudos to Angie and her crew for having such a great set-up and system in place. They really allow you to kick back and concentrate on trying things out and making decisions.

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Have any of you done your cake vendor tastings yet? What was your experience? What questions did you ask and concerns did you address? Let us know in the comments!