This is the first of our new blog series called “Ask the Experts.” We believe that the knowledge other vendors have to offer is valuable in the planning process of a wedding or event. With that, we are contacting local vendors and having them write a guest blog formulated on helping you plan your events. We at Commellini have learned so much already and are so excited to learn more about what these vendors bring to the wedding industry.
First up, we have Marcel from Marsells Cakes! A cake can be such a fabulously featured item in any wedding, showcasing the colors and flavors of the couple themselves. Marcel does a great job with specializing and decorating the cakes to match the needs of the couple… plus, they taste absolutely delicious! Below, Marcel provides some great advice to fulfill your wedding sweet tooth.
Where does your background and love for cakes/desserts come from? How would you define your style of baking and design?
When I was growing up in a large family as the oldest girl, my mom said she had cooked all she wanted to and that if I wanted dessert, I could make it for the family. I did just that! I taught myself from cookbooks including the Betty Crocker cook book that was my mothers. I loved the response that I got from my family/siblings and just continued into my married life. I went to college for commercial baking as soon as my daughter started full time kindergarten. We started our first day of school on the very same day! I have my AAS degree in baking and it helped me learn a quick way to achieve my favorite art form, cake decorating. I was hired shortly after I graduated to assist the baking instructor and stayed there for 22 years. I retired to run my part time bakery into a full time bakery as it is now in 2007. My style is varied as an art form but I tend to prefer the more elegant and maybe even retro cake designs. I am a bit more formal with my ideas as far as wedding cakes. My daughter has joined me and she adds the more young and contemporary designs to our cake styles. We make a great team!
What type of other desserts do you offer for those who don’t want cake? Do you offer gluten free or vegan options?
I do a few gluten free items but I really don’t spend much time on them or the vegan idea. I have one vegan cookie that I offer and varied flavors from a white cake in gluten free. I am definitely known for my old style desserts like pineapple upside down cake, whoopee pies, eclairs, and most of all our adorable petit fours. We also make great cookies and brownies!
How far in advance should a bride order her cake?
I believe in our area that brides need to order their cakes up to one year in advance, the latest they should contact their cake baker would be 3 months if it is in the wedding season.
What recommendations can you provide to the budget conscious bride/client?
I am always careful to give my brides the best price deal I can recommend. I tell them the least expensive way to feed the amount of guests they have would be to do a small tiered cake with sheet cake on the side to serve the masses with. That is the best value deal you can do.
Is it best to order more cake/desserts than the estimated guest count?
I feel that the guests should have an opportunity to have a piece of dessert if they want one and therefore offering one piece per guest. If they want to offer several flavors their cake will go quicker than if they offer only one or two flavors. Your guests think they should try all flavors and sometimes they take more than their fair share.
When planning for warm weather events, is there a decoration/frosting not recommended in the heat?
I would never recommend a cake iced in whipped cream for sure…I suggest buttercream or fondant but never allowing it to be in the sun. If you have shade, any cake should last without melting. There are a few cake designs that are heavy and would not be a good idea for the heat of the summer as an outside cake. We always keep that in mind.
And lastly, any additional tips you believe would be helpful!
I always enjoy working with a bride that knows her style before she comes to the bakery. Some brides have no idea and they are all over the place for design. It makes it hard to know her style when there are too many ideas. I suggest narrowing it down to two or three ideas and letting the expert tell you what is complimentary to each design that they like. I also like when a couple has been to several bakeshops to find out where they fit in, financially and comfortably with the cake designer.