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Is this normal for wedding cakes?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I made the wedding cake for our good friends' daughter over the weekend. There were 8 tiers total and 5 different flavors. I had several friends say they were excited to try a particular flavor. The venue cut the cake and went around the room and served the slices to the guests. The guests weren't given a flavor choice icon_sad.gif I found out from my daughter the next day that some guests actually went up to the table and asked for a particular flavor and were told they couldn't take slices from the table and that they would be served the cake at their table. But of course when they were given a slice at their table, it was whatever flavor the server happened to have on their tray. I actually went to the cake table myself and asked for a particular flavor because it was the only flavor I didn't have extra to sample before decorating. They looked at me like I had bad manners or something but they did cut a slice and hand it to me....along with a look like I should be ashamed of myself for asking.

I was under the impression they would just cut slices and people could just walk up and take whatever flavor they wanted. Is that not the way most places do it? I felt bad for people who don't like red velvet cake but got stuck with it anyway. I went through way to much time and trouble to have people not be able to enjoy their cake.
post #2 of 26
Yes, that is very common. When I got married I told them to cut all the tiers and put them out for everyone to try.
post #3 of 26
It was very clear that the venue was making this decision. It will not reflect on your cake making at all.

Some locations have safety rules that determine whether guests can walk around with slices of cake, or whether food must be carried around by professional servers. The same applies to drinks--some places still restrict alcohol service to seated guests.

It's up to the hosts of the party, after they order a cake with multiple flavours, to work with the venue to accommodate the guests ability to choose.
post #4 of 26
Seems to me that if multiple flavors were available, and the venue knew that multiple flavors were available, and didn't provide guests with a choice, that would be grounds for the bride and groom to complain.

What ever happened to holding receptions in the church's parish hall, anyway? It eliminates a lot of extra driving, and is probably cheaper than a for-profit restaurant, and possibly even cheaper than a community center.

James H. H. Lampert
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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #5 of 26
You should have spoken to whoever was in charge and let them know that you were the cake maker. Ask them the reason as to their policy, perhaps they had a valid one.Even if people are given a choice the most popular flavor would have been gone first anyway and the last people served would have gotten whatever was left. Maybe a 5 flavor cake wasn't such a great idea. At least it's a learning experience and next time you know to have the bride ask the venue beforehand about serving guests choice on cake flavors.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
I really didn't realize they weren't allowing people to select their flavor if they wished until the next day. I did think it was odd that they gave me dirty looks when I requested a specific flavor.

I made enough cake to serve 300 people and the basic chocolate and vanilla were the largest tiers. So the odd flavors like red velvet and carrot...and funfetti (bride's choice) were smaller amounts. Although I got a lot of compliments on the carrot cake.

If I would have known during the reception that they were serving it this way, I would have complained. I'm sure the bride would have also.

I just pictured them placing the slices on a table and the guests helping themselves....that's how I've always seen it done at weddings.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by debbief


I just pictured them placing the slices on a table and the guests helping themselves....that's how I've always seen it done at weddings.



Maybe it's a regional thing, every wedding I've been to had the servers bringing the cake out to your table. I've even worked at banquet halls that have Viennese tables and the wedding cake is still served to each guest at their table.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by debbief


I just pictured them placing the slices on a table and the guests helping themselves....that's how I've always seen it done at weddings.



Maybe it's a regional thing, every wedding I've been to had the servers bringing the cake out to your table. I've even worked at banquet halls that have Viennese tables and the wedding cake is still served to each guest at their table.



Thanks, I will definitely keep that in mind next time I have a request like that.
post #9 of 26
Every dinner buffet wedding I have been too has cut the cake and put it on the table for people to grab. Every plated wedding I have been to I have been served cake while at the table.

I always ask the couple I am meeting with which style wedding they are having and how the venue is planning to serve the cake. In some cases, the couple has no idea and never thought about it. I make sure they find out that week and let me know.

If the cake is being cut up and put out on a table I tell the couple they should have 2 or 3 choices for guests. I always recommend keeping the serving amounts close to the same. So, if they are having 100 guests there shouldn't be 75 servings of one flavor and 25 of another - but 50 servings or each kind. That what they don't run out of one type really fast leaving guests no options. When they pick the flavors/fillings they want I pick the tiers on the cake for each option to make sure they have close to equal number of servings for each option.

If the cake is being plated and served I tell the couple to stick with 1 option, 2 at the most. The servers won't remember all the different options and it gets very confusing for the servers and guests.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl



What ever happened to holding receptions in the church's parish hall, anyway? It eliminates a lot of extra driving, and is probably cheaper than a for-profit restaurant, and possibly even cheaper than a community center.



Generally those places don't allow alcohol. Hard to do a champagne toast with sparkling cider...unless that's what you want of course!

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post #11 of 26
Great thread! I'm doing a three flavor wedding cake for a friend in September. I know the catering staff very well and work for them occasionally. I'll be sure the bride makes the decision ahead of time on if she wants cake served to the tables or cut and guest can get their own.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by idgalpal

Great thread! I'm doing a three flavor wedding cake for a friend in September. I know the catering staff very well and work for them occasionally. I'll be sure the bride makes the decision ahead of time on if she wants cake served to the tables or cut and guest can get their own.



Another option is to ask the banquet hall if they will allow the server to ask each person which one they want, write it down and bring it to their table. Also you can have 3 servers go from table to table with a tray of each kind and ask the guest which flavor they would like.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by idgalpal

Great thread! I'm doing a three flavor wedding cake for a friend in September. I know the catering staff very well and work for them occasionally. I'll be sure the bride makes the decision ahead of time on if she wants cake served to the tables or cut and guest can get their own.



Another option is to ask the banquet hall if they will allow the server to ask each person which one they want, write it down and bring it to their table. Also you can have 3 servers go from table to table with a tray of each kind and ask the guest which flavor they would like.



Good idea. Or how hard could it be for each server to load up their tray with a few of each flavor and give people a choice. If their preference doesn't happen to be on the tray, they can catch another server walking around. It's doesn't seem that complex. But sheesh people should get a choice!

Oh and this reception was buffet style for dinner. Appetizers were served same as the cake.
post #14 of 26
During the taste test I always ask the couple if the cake will be served or buffet style. Then if it's buffet I make a small sign on a pup tent style foamcore backdrop for each flavor. When each flavor is cut and displayed, they just need to place the appropriate sign in front of that flavor - the guest can read the cake flavor and filling and decide for themselves which one they want to choose. If it's being served I create four flavor sheets to place on the servers trays. You certainly don't want to give someone a flavor they're allergic to. I think your friends venue was rude. They weren't making any money from the cake you provided so the heck with what the guests want. So sad.
post #15 of 26
Good idea, labeling the flavors. I've had enough unpleasant surprises to where I've been known to avoid the cake entirely, not only when it's obviously something I don't eat, but also when it's not obviously something I do eat.

Then again, I'm not merely "a" picky eater; I'm The Ur-Picky-Eater, the standard by whom pickiness is defined.

And so long as the venue had advance notice that multiple flavors were provided, it was their responsibility to provide the guests with a choice, without the bride, or the baker, having to tell them anything more than the fact that multiple flavors were provided.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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