This time Luxury wedding Designer and multi awarded Vanilla Pod Bakery owner Pia is chatting to Roberta about Wedding advice to couples, trends and much more!
R: I see you’ve been baking all day and all these lovely wedding cakes behind you! Of course, wedding season is on now.
Pia: Yes! I’ve just been in the studio, and I’ve literally just come into my office so I can talk to you. It’s been cake decorating today.
R: Please tell us about you and your business
P: Of course. My name is Pia Cato, and I own Vanilla Pod bakery. We’re based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We produce luxury wedding cakes.
R: How important do you think it is for the couples that are getting married to be stress-free on the lead-up to their wedding and on the actual day, knowing that everything is under control and their beautiful wedding cake is just on track.
P: It’s mandatory. And at the Vanilla Pod Bakery, we try and reassure people just by keeping in touch. Our studio manager, Joe, deals with most of our admin. And it’s indispensable to make sure that couples stay relaxed because, you know, you want to enjoy your wedding day and we want to know that things are getting done. We’re going to do what we say we’re going to do, so Joe will send our couple emails to let people know that we are baking their wedding cake. We’ll get in touch with wedding planners, venues, and key people that we need to get in touch with, so that we know when we’re setting up and we can liaise. So, our couples trust us and just feel a bit more relaxed. . And then we also send them, but once we start baking, Jo will send them an email to inform them their wedding cake is in the oven.
R: Essentially you keep them informed throughout the process.
Pia: Yes, because it’s like especially if you’re booking a wedding six months to two years in advance, you must wait for a very long time until your wedding date arrives, and you just hope that this person is going to be around. So, we like to reassure them through emails, Zoom and telephone calls.
R: Communication is at the base of every business I guess, especially in hospitality is paramount.
Pia: having this process in place is a guarantee of a luxury wedding service for couples, they want to feel looked after, and you want to hire suppliers that will make whatever they’re promised they’re going to do.
R: They’ve invested in your service, and they just want that reassurance.
How important do you think is that a wedding cake design fits with the overall wedding design?
P: I think it’s very important because it’s a special moment. You’re going to see pictures for years and years to come. You want to make sure that moment is captured and that this luxurious wedding cake fits in with your overall vision. The design process is essential. And nowadays, I sketch designs for our couples. We get to talk about what they want for their initial consultation. And it’s important for couples to show us design images of their vision. If they don’t have any, then you can always take inspiration from their venue, bridesmaid dress fabric swatches, flowers…
R: Exactly, the overall design should be all tied in.
R:How is working with a wedding planner or you any different than working directly with a couple?
P: With wedding planners, we know where we are. Everything is just a lot more streamlined and we know that someone has got all the time managed and, often times, it’s a lot easier to collaborate with a planner. Once we’ve had a design consultation, there’s no need to discuss dates and logistics with them. The planner coordinates us and other suppliers, like a florist, so it’s all sorted behind the scenes for couples. Some couples want to take part in that journey, and obviously we still include them.
R: yes of course, it’s up to them, the time they want to spend planning and the level of involvement they want. But in my experience, we’re that one point of contact between other creative suppliers such as yourself and the couple.
Pia: Yes, they usually like to get involved when it’s wedding cake tasting time!
R: What advice would you give to couples that just got engaged and just started planning their wedding?
Pia: research suppliers but ultimately my advice is to relax. Enjoy the journey and trust that the suppliers you choose, especially if you’re going for a planner like Roberta, it’s just going to make your special day perfect. Trust their guidance and relax and know that it’s all under control and have fun in your journey.
R: You said it! And even when they’re having hard times making decisions just talk to their suppliers, because they’re the experts and have done this hundreds of times and ultimately can give you the best guidance and advice.
Pia: Yes. And ultimately, we’re all here to support you during your journey. We want to make it the best day you’ve ever had.
R: Please remind us where you offer your luxury wedding cakes?
Pia: Obviously in UK but we’ve done we’ve done destination weddings, so anywhere they want our luxurious wedding cakes! We’ll take care of the logistics!
R: Amazing. As you’d expect you offer a stunning range of wedding dessert tables as well?
Pia: yes dessert tables, and they’ve become way more and more popular. So, we love doing those things like scrumptious chocolate brownies and pretty little cupcakes. They go down a treat and they look fabulous! I’m not married, but on my wedding, I want to have a dessert table because I think it’s epic. And you have really all these different cool cakes and little desserts, and you just want to dive in and eat them!