What to Look for in a Cake Designer

Hey there! This is the ninth article in the series “How to Hire a.” I’ve been talking to several industry professionals and each week, I will publish another article in the series.

Wedding planning can be hard and annoying. I know, I’m going through it as well! So, hopefully I can take some of the stress off of you by giving you valuable information.

This series will help you know what to look for when hiring different vendors. I had each vendor answer a few questions that will give you insight into how his or her business is run and what you should keep in mind when looking to hire that particular vendor.

Next up is Chrystal Traner of Petals and Pastries. She is a newer cake designer in the area, but her work and flavors are incredible!

Three fun facts:

  1. I don’t know if you would call this a hobby but I am an avid Crossfitter.  I got into this sport about 4 years ago and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s amazing what the body can do.
  2. I can list all the US states in alphabetical order.
  3. I am the oldest of my siblings.  There are 5 of us and we all live in different States: Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana & Michigan.



How far in advance do you usually book up?

Typically at least 3-6 months.

How many months before the wedding do you recommend couples book you? Why?

I recommend a minimum of 6 months. Popular dates can fill up quickly and you want to make sure you have your date reserved.

How many weddings do you do per day/per weekend?

I limit weddings to just 1 per week. I want to be able to devote all of my time and attention to your special day.

What do you want couples to keep in mind when researching your service/others offering the same service?

There are so many amazing wedding cake vendors in Kansas City, I would say just focus on ingredients.  I take a lot of time crafting your flavors, which means, everything is made from raw, natural and organic ingredients.  I don’t use artificial flavorings or extracts, I feel this alters the overall flavor profile.  You are entrusting me to give you the very best and I wouldn’t want to offer you anything less.  If I wouldn’t eat it, why should you!

What are some of the most common/most important questions to ask about your service?

I have a select menu posted but you can make any kind of substitution! I love to create new and unique flavors.

Cake design can come from anything! It doesn’t necessarily have to be from a cake you saw on pinterest, feel free to get creative.  My decorating services are very extensive and I can create any kind of custom look you want.

I also have a background in floral, so I can make sure you have the right amount of flowers/greenery to help you achieve the overall look you are requesting.  The one thing that is usually overlooked is the amount of floral you actually need for a cake.

What do you wish every couple knew about your service/wedding planning in general?

Even though I just started my business this year, I have been doing this a long time. I grew up watching and helping my Aunt who was also a cake decorator.  I also decided to go to culinary school to major in baking and pastry so I can understand the science behind this craft.  I didn’t want to just offer the “normal” wedding cake flavors and I wanted to make sure I was well skilled so I could offer the very best to my clients.

How many hours overall would you say you spend on each wedding?

So I am a busy lady the day of your wedding.  If you have a wedding coordinator I will contact them to make sure the time that I need to set up your cake the space is ready and available.  If you have fresh flowers that you are using I will take the time to wrap and place on your cake. I typically spend about 2 hours setting up your cake. Making sure that each detail has not been overlooked.

Depending on cake complexity, on average I spend probably 36 hours on each wedding cake. That’s from baking, assembling, set up and picking up stands that may have been used.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Designing the cake!

How involved are you in the planning process?

When it comes to the cake,” I am all hands on deck.”  I want to make sure everything is as you want before your big day! If needed, I can contact your florist to let them know what flowers and quantity are needed.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning their weddings?

Make sure you have a budget before setting up appointments.  It’s easier to give you the options when we know what your budget is.  And have fun! This is a very joyous occasion, let your wedding vendor handle the stress!

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