Career Magazine

Wedding Planner Q&A – “My Area Doesn’t Have the Wedding Vendors I Need, What Do I Do?”

By Sharonhill @sharonhill

How Wedding Planners Can Find the Right Wedding Vendors

To be able to plan fabulous weddings, you have to have a network of high-quality wedding vendors. However, you may live in an area where the vendors you need aren’t available, like the wedding planner who asked the question in my Q&A today. My suggestions to her might inspire you to come up with outside-the-box ideas for finding unique vendors for all aspects of the weddings that you plan.


I live in an area that draws brides and weddings and the opportunities are awesome, but I am having quite a bit of trouble because there are NO cake designers in my area. There are cupcake shops and one or two ladies who bake cakes out of their homes, but no one who does custom, modern cake designing from a shop!!!

Are there any ways to accomplish this online and have the cake shipped? I’m just so frustrated with this scenario and I’m looking for options to give my brides!


I love that you are looking for new ways to please your brides. There are indeed bakers and cake designers who will ship cakes. The cakes are usually fondant, versus buttercream, arrive frozen and need special care. There are also cake designers who fly with their cakes and set them up themselves at weddings. Both of these options can be complicated, you’ll need to arrange long distance consultations and tastings, and expensive, so they may not be the alternatives you and your brides choose.

Here are 5 things I’d like you to consider when looking for options for custom wedding cakes:

1) Wedding budgets

If a cake comes from another area, your bride’s budget will need to be able to handle shipping and/or delivery costs on top of the cost of the cake.

2) Be careful about home bakers

Food served at an event needs to be created in a commercial kitchen that meets strict health guidelines. As a professional wedding planner, if you recommend a baker who doesn’t follow guidelines or have proper licenses and a guest gets ill, you may be considered to be at fault.

3) Talk to local bakers

Let them know of the demand you’ve noticed for custom cakes and see if they are willing to learn new skills or hire people who have the skills needed to create the cakes your brides would buy.

4) Look for cake designers right outside your area

Do some research and find out if there are professionals within driving distance who might be able to create the cakes your brides want. Meet with them to taste their cakes and discuss the possibility of having them create cakes, deliver and set them up in your area.

5) Suggest alternatives to wedding cakes

Today, not every wedding has a traditional cake. If your brides are willing to try something different, suggest dessert buffets that can be filled with cupcakes, macaroons, cookies, French pastries, donuts, pies and other sweets. Check out Pinterest for inspiration for dessert table ideas for many different wedding themes.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at [email protected] I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.

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