Tips for Baking for a Wedding

This past weekend, I officially baked for my first wedding! This means I’m a professional now and I’m entitled to give everyone else advice, right? Yeah… probably not, but I will share a few of the tips I learned from my first experience and what I would change moving forward with my upcoming scheduled weddings.

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One of the gorgeous bridesmaids referred me to the bride… and she also happens to be one of my closest friends. LOVE the dress colors! 

A few details about the wedding

The bride was having a dessert reception only, with cupcakes, an ice cream bar and popcorn. She requested 330 vanilla cupcakes with rose colored frosting, and also a 3-tiered “fake cake” for her and her groom to cut (I’ll have more details on the fake cake in another post). Her colors were elegant white, rose and gold. Both the ceremony and reception were held at a large church in the Twin Cities metro, and I agreed to deliver the desserts there.

The process

My approach to my first wedding was a 3-day process. On Thursday (Day 1), I planned out all the tools and ingredients I would need for baking and preparation, and made my shopping list. Then I headed over to Michaels, Cub and Target for everything I needed. I wish I had a picture of the cashier’s face when I piled 16 bags of powdered sugar and 12 boxes of butter on the belt. I also spent this day making the bridal cake. Since it was primarily styrofoam and buttercream, I was able to leave this cake sitting out for a couple days.

On Friday (Day 2), I gave myself a few hours to bake the cupcakes. I bought several large, plastic storage bins  (with lids) and wax paper, and layered the cupcakes about 4 layers high after they had cooled. I was able to store these cupcakes overnight in our cool, dark basement, since the wedding was the following day.

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This is only 200 cupcakes… 130 more to go at this point. 

Here’s a tip for you, and if you take nothing else away from this post, please take this: Use an ice cream scoop with the little trigger (see image below) to scoop your batter into your liners! That little lever will help you save so much time and will help your cupcake size remain consistent! You can get these levered scoops in all sizes for baking or ice cream, so it’s not hard to find the perfect size for filling your cupcake liners.

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On Saturday morning (Day 3) and the day of the wedding, I got up early and whipped up all my buttercream. After I mixed up a batch, I would scoop it into a medium sized storage container with a lid. Since this was my first wedding, I had a little trouble guesstimating frosting amounts and ended up having WAY TOO MUCH left over.

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My entire kitchen was coated in a fine dusting of powdered sugar by the time I was done making all the buttercream.  

I packed up my containers of frosting and cupcakes, my piping tools, a few different sizes of spatulas, paper towels, the bridal cake and my hand mixer (for beating the frosting in case it set during transportation) in the back of my car and headed over to the venue.

During the first stages of communicating and planning with the bride, I let her know that I would be frosting the cupcakes at the venue location and confirmed that I would have a separate kitchen area that I could set up and frost for 2 hours before the wedding began. This process seemed to work out smoothly, and I will continue to do this moving forward.

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The woman who inspired me to bake and be more creative!

Fortunately, my mom was up visiting for the weekend and was excited to come along and see how I worked. She ended up being my runner, and would cart the frosted cupcakes up to the reception room and set them out on the designated dessert table! The whole process took exactly 2 hours, as planned, and we had everything ready by the time the ceremony started. The bridal cake was at a separate, high-top table and the bride left us  a few flowers and decorations. This cake is probably one of my favorite creations to date!

Check out the finished products below! I would love for you to share your tips and tricks from your own catering experiences in the comments below.

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