A wedding cake is not an ordinary cake. It’s a complementary piece of both your wedding design and your menu. Cutting the cake is also one of the special moments of your reception. So, choosing a fabulous and delicious wedding cake is one of your notable wedding planning tasks.
With so many styles, tiers, designs, icing, flavours, colours, fillings and toppers, choosing your wedding cake seems sort of overwhelming. But stay cool! It will be the most delicious and fun part of your wedding planning. We have compiled top tips to help you choose your perfect wedding cake like a piece of cake.
Do I Really Need to Have a Wedding Cake?
To many couples, a wedding cake means way more than just a dessert. They take it as a wedding highlight that will be pictured and remembered by them and their guests hereafter. Some other newlyweds, however, believe that this traditional dessert is unnecessary and think it’s a waste of money since no one ever likes to eat it nowadays. Some couples prefer a different dessert, a sweets table or a smaller cake instead of a gigantic multi-tier wedding cake.
It is all right to go without the classic wedding tradition if you don’t like it. You can even create your own unique and fun tradition. What about substituting a cake with an alternative sweet treat for your guests to relish?
Fruit pies, cupcakes, doughnuts, macarons or cookies all make delicious wedding cake alternatives. There can also be a full sweets table with various options and a small cake for the newlyweds to cut together. You can pose beside your sweets table, cut a dessert, feed each other the first bite and take many amazing cake-cutting photos.
Just remember not to skip the dessert altogether. Your guests’ sweet tooth will be expecting a dessert piece as the sweet ending of their meal.
How to Choose a Wedding Cake?
Picking your wedding cake should be an enjoyable adventure during your wedding journey.
Our top tips for ordering a wedding cake, from finding a baker to picking out your flavours and cake topper, have you covered. We will answer all your questions and guide you on where to begin.
1. When to Order Your Wedding Cake
The best time to order the wedding cake is 4-6 months in advance. However, it actually depends on the time of year you are getting married. If your wedding is in the busiest time of the year for bakeries, such as in May, June or October, we recommend ordering your cake even earlier to give your baker plenty of time to create your dream cake. Besides, the time you order your cake in advance depends on the complexity of the cake design. So, never leave ordering a wedding cake until the last minute.
We also recommend starting fairly early with your research. Once you’ve secured your location
and set your wedding date and your estimated number of guests, start looking around for cake designs. Make Pinterest boards and save all the different cake styles you like. Ask other brides for referrals and visit your local bakery shops or their online pages.
Some venues include wedding cakes in the packages they offer to brides. It means they refer you to the bakers they work with, and you just need to choose your cake. These bakers often offer exclusive discounts to the venues, and the venues pass along the bargain to their clients.
2. How to Choose Your Cake Style
Now that you have decided on the theme and colour scheme of your special day, it’s time to choose the best wedding cake design to suit the style of your wedding.
You can choose your wedding cake among a myriad of designs, from a minimal classic white cake to a naked cake for a rustic-themed wedding, modern geometric glamorous cakes and multi-tier floral cakes to cake sculptures.
Choose a cake that goes with your overall wedding style, venue, attire, season, and flower design. Your cake should be a harmonising part of your wedding menu and decor, not an eye-catching centre of attention.
Don’t wait until you know every detail about the cake you want before you visit your cake baker. Start searching for your baker as soon as you have a general idea of what you want. You will discuss the finer details later with your cake designer.
3. How to Find My Baker
Search for bakers whose style and design are what you’re looking for. Explore social media platforms, meet local bakers, attend wedding fairs, and ask your planner and other brides for recommendations.
Review the cake designers’ style and the quality of the design work on their websites and social media pages. Most wedding cake makers will have their own specialities. See examples of previous cakes they have made. Don’t just rely on the images you see. Read online reviews and testimonials of a baker and look for word-of-mouth.
Be prepared with pictures and ideas to provide your baker with as much information as you can about your wedding and wedding cake when you meet them. Attend a few cake-tasting sessions before finalising your cake boutique.
Meet with Your Cake Maker
Schedule a wedding cake tasting. All couples can book a meeting with their cake maker– paying a small fee – to look at cakes, try different flavours, get answers to their questions, and look at the cake designer’s portfolio.
Don’t forget to take any images, flowers, or other details that have enticed you during your research. To ensure that the colours of your cake exactly match the ones on your wedding palette, you can give your baker some fabric swatches.
4. How to Choose Wedding Cake Flavours
Your wedding cake should taste as amazing as it looks. Choose the flavours that are special to you and your partner, as well as the ones that will be popular among your guests. It is also possible to have a different flavour for each tier. It can be a lovely way to have variety and personalise your wedding cake so that everyone enjoys your sweet feast.
You can choose anything from classic vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, Nutella, strawberry, coconut, lime, espresso, white chocolate, rose and pistachio. There are many custom flavours to choose from, too. Just beware that some bakers charge extra for premium custom flavours and fillings. Don’t forget to taste the flavours before you make your selection. We’d advise choosing your flavour to match your cake design.
5. How Much Cake to Order
No one wants to have too much cake that will only get thrown away after the party. Nor do couples want too little cake, not enough, to feed half of the guests at the reception. The size of your wedding cake depends on several different factors, such as your headcount, your other desserts, service style and the size you’d prefer the cake to be. To determine how much cake to order, you must finalise your guest list and figure out your estimated headcount.
Your wedding cake doesn’t have to cater to every guest. Many guests will not even taste your cake. Generally, you must provide the number of your servings to feed 75 to 80 percent of your guest list. You can complement it with other desserts, such as cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, or serve smaller slices if necessary.
To work out the exact size of your wedding cake, you must consult with a professional baker. Typically, three tiers will serve 50 to 100 guests. So, you’ll need five tiers for 200 guests or more.
Use the serving guide below for a general breakdown of serving amounts.
*Remember that square wedding cakes usually provide more slices than round wedding cakes.
6. How to Budget Your Wedding Cake
Like any other step on your wedding planning checklist, you must set a reasonable budget for your wedding cake. Feel free to talk to your cake maker about your budget and financial constraints. A professional cake designer can help you with their suggestions to keep your expenses within your budget while ordering the cake you desire.
Wedding cakes can cost a good fortune. Even couples with no budget limits might prefer to spend less on their wedding cake. Your budget depends on the importance of the wedding cake on your priority list. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to save on your wedding cake.
7. How to Save Money on Your Wedding Cake
Show a picture of the design you like to your baker and ask for more cost-effective alternatives. You can choose to have less expensive design options. For instance, seasonal flowers or fruits cost less than handmade sugar (or fondant) flowers and hand painting.
Avoid metallic details, specially moulded shapes or unusual designs to save on your cake budget.
- Choosing a buttercream or a naked cake with no or minimal frosting will be more affordable than fondant frosting. Stay away from tiers at all costs. Numerous tiers are more expensive than a single-tier cake. You can have a single-tier cake or have your baker create multiple mini-cakes to reduce costs.
- You can order a fully decorated but small display cake that can only feed a handful of your guests, plus several sheet cakes of the same flavour but not decorated. These sheet cakes can be cut up and served to guests after dinner.
- If you have a small guest list but want a large cake, you can ask your baker to make some tiers of fake cake with styrofoam. This way, you can have a multi-layer cake for display and your photos, but don’t have to order more cake than you need.
8. How to Choose a Wedding Cake Topper
A gorgeous cake topper can change even the most modest cake designs into a masterwork. There are many options to top your cake, from the old plastic figurines representing you and your partner to laser-cut monograms of your new initials and sugar flowers.
Should you want something a little more personal, go for sugar or gingerbread cookies with royal icing, porcelain statues, wooden letters of your new married name, your wedding date or quotes like ‘Happily ever after,’ ‘Finally,’ and ‘Mr. & Mrs.’
Think outside the box. Feel free to break all the rules and complete your cake with a DIY decoration that tells your common interests and hobbies and relates your and your partner’s story, like how you met or where your proposal took place.
9. How to Choose a Stand for Your Wedding Cake
You’ve spent a lot of time and effort searching and ordering the perfect wedding cake that concludes the glamour of your big day. Now, you need to find a cake stand that best complements your wedding cake and can present it best.
A cake stand is not always necessary. If you’re on a budget, you can either skip it or opt for a low-cost or DIY stand and decorate it with flowers, ribbons and other stuff. But, if you’re thinking of adding something extra to your wedding cake, find a stand that fits your wedding perfectly.
Many different cake stand types and styles are available, from plateau, tiered, and pedestal to floating and rotating cake stands. However, if you’re looking for something more unique, you can order a custom-made cake stand. You can also engrave your names and wedding date on your stand to personalise it even more.
Remember that your cake stand is an attractive addition to your reception decor. So, ensure it coordinates with your cake and other décor items.
While deciding on the shape and material of your cake stand, consider other cake table design elements. Your cake is the centrepiece of your dessert table. So, it must be in harmony with your other desserts’ serveware.
Wedding cakes are heavy and fragile. Select the right size stand and make sure it can hold the weight of your cake and is level and stable.
Classic pedestal wedding cake stands can give your cake elevation. But if you have a four-tier or five-tiered cake and don’t need to add more height to it, consider a plateau or cake plate instead.
Don’t forget to double-check your choice with your baker. Ensure that your cake works with the stand you’ve picked.
10. How to Deliver a Wedding Cake
Check if your bakery can deliver your wedding cake to your venue. Delivery and set-up services might add up to your costs. However, it is worth the money and saves you from numerous headaches. Find a bakery close to your venue to minimise delivery costs.
Coordinate and discuss the delivery with your baker and your venue. Your cake needs refrigeration, so you must ensure that your venue has a fridge large enough for your cake.
In case you don’t have a delivery service, ask one of your family members or friends to collect your wedding cake. Double and triple-check with them to ensure the cake has appropriate packaging to transport. Ask them to get all the necessary tips for delivering a wedding cake and reassembling it before the ceremony.
Choosing a wedding cake might seem like one of the most enjoyable tasks on your wedding planning checklist. However, with so many designs, shapes, sizes, flavours, tiers, toppers and other options to decide upon and a limited budget, it can, sometimes, get a bit overwhelming.
You spend all the time, effort and money to order the most stunning cake, so make sure you get lots of photos with your cake before it’s cut, taste it and enjoy a piece of cake and a calming moment with your guests.