A former bakery employee puts her experience to use—and how you can benefit from her approach.

As Wade and Kati (Duey) Gooch were planning their July 13 wedding at Bryn Du Mansion, the couple had a lot of decisions to make. One decision, however, was something of a no-brainer: the cake.

“I didn’t even look anywhere else,” Kati says. For her, only Capital City Cakes in Grove City would do … but not for the reason that you might expect.

“She was our first employee when we moved to Grove City [in November 2011],” says Sue Basiden, who owns Capital City Cakes with her husband, Gary. “She was in high school then, and left us to go to Ohio State. … We stayed in touch since, Facebook and things; I did her sister’s wedding a couple years ago.”

Familiarity with the high quality of work at Cap City was a key factor for Kati and Wade, of course, but the selection was even more meaningful than that.

“They are like a second family to me,” Kati says. “They’ve always been so giving and so open, and they care a lot about all of their employees.”

For Baisden, the feeling is mutual: “She’s like a daughter to me,” she says.

The family-esque ties with the Baisdens went even deeper at the Duey-Gooch wedding; Sue and Gary’s daughter-in-law, Kristen Baisden, served as day-of coordinator for Katie through her business, Lovely Arrows Events & Designs.

When it came time to talk specifics about her wedding cake, Kati came armed with specifics: Pinterest photos for inspiration and her experience having decorated cakes for the bakery during her time there. She and Wade still did a proper tasting session—“I knew what everything tasted like,” she says, “but I was like, ‘Here, Wade! Pick something you like!’ ”—before settling on three flavor combinations: almond cake with almond buttercream and white cake with raspberry swirls in the main cake, and a separate chocolate kitchen cake with raspberry filling.

When Sue and Gary dropped off the cake, they got to experience something they rarely do: the reaction of the bride.

“The cake literally looked like something off my Pinterest board,” Kati says. “I knew it would look good, but when I walked down there, they were finishing putting the flowers on it … and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the most perfect cake, and it looks just how I wanted it to look!’ ”

Sue says the opportunity to see this reaction, and to stay for the ceremony and reception, was a unique opportunity for her and Gary. “Just to hear the comments of the guests and watch Katie and Wade feed each other the cake and that whole dynamic made it really special for us,” she adds.

When it came to creating exactly what Kati wanted, Sue says that Kati made the job easy on them by being prepared. And you don’t have to be a former cake decorator to set yourself up for success the way Kati did by bringing in specific imagery of her concept.

“Regardless of the difficulty [of the design], if we have a picture, we don’t have to read their mind as far as what they’re looking for,” Sue explains. “We always ask for a picture, even if it’s different elements from different pictures, just so we can all be on the same page.”