20 Tips for Buying the Perfect Wedding Cake Slideshow
April 26, 2017
Everything you need to know about this centerpiece dessert
20 Tips for Buying the Perfect Wedding Cake
If the wedding cake is super important, it’s crucial to get it perfect. Everything aspect of the decision — from when you should order your cake to what you should budget to how to determine your desired aesthetic — is a tall order. If you’re in the midst of planning your dream wedding, it can be hard to know where to start. But worry no more! We’ve compiled this handy guide for designing and buying the perfect wedding cake that everyone will be talking about (and salivating over) for years to come.
Start as Early as Possible
As with everything involved in planning your wedding, it’s best to start designing your cake, finding a baker, and placing your order as soon as possible. Start cruising for cake ideas as soon as you put together the vision for your day, research bakers about a year away from your wedding date, and order your cake six months before the big day.
Make Note of Your Venue’s Style
If you’re getting married at a rustic, lakeside cabin, having a post-modern, color blocked wedding cake simply won’t fit. When looking for inspiration for your dream cake, consider how it will look on your dessert table and against your venue’s backdrops.
Consider Modern Trends
There are lots of wedding cake trends to think about when designing your cake. If you want your dessert showstopper to be firmly planted in the 2010s, consider something draped in greenery or fresh fruit, a hand-painted cake, or a highly personalized cake that tells your love story within its layers.
Pin, Pin, and Pin Again
Yes, there are some Pinterest wedding trends that should be avoided at all costs, but this online bulletin board is still the best place to find wedding inspiration. The more and more you browse photos of cake online and save them to your Pinterest board, the more you’ll discover what you like, what you love, and what you totally need on your final cake.
Decide on a Style
Do you want square layers, round layers, or something unique? Do you want royal icing, fondant, or a naked cake? After looking at endless inspiration boards and considering your personal aesthetics, decide on a final wedding cake style.
Keep Your Top or Serve It
Over the years, keeping the top layer of your wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary has developed into a time-honored tradition. When deciding the size of your wedding cake, figure out if you want to keep your top layer (and freeze it) or if you want to serve it to your guests. This will ultimately determine how many layers your cake is.
Figure Out What Size You Need
Deciding what size wedding cake you need can actually be really tricky, so it may be best to consult with your baker about how many tiers are really necessary. But, this handy guide will give you an idea of how many round layers will serve how many guests.
Put Together a Budget
Like everything involved in planning your wedding, a cake costs money. The average wedding cake is between $450 and $500, so know what you’re willing to spend before finding bakers who may be out of your budget. Certain décor elements, such as fondant work, sugar flowers, and topsy-turvy cake layers will add up quickly.
Decide If You Want Professionals or to DIY the Cake
Do Tons of Research
Like anything for planning your wedding, they key to finding the perfect wedding cake baker is to do tons of research. Find the best cake artists in your area, bakers who specialize in particular styles you’re fond of, and see how their reviews and prices stack up to what you’re looking for your big day.
Ask Around for Advice on the Best Bakers
The best way to find a baker who fits your needs? Ask newly married friends for their advice and feedback about their bakers. The most reliable reviews come from those you know and trust.
Make Multiple Baker Appointments
You (probably) didn’t agree to marry the first person you met, so don’t necessarily go with the first baker you find online. Even if bakers charge for a consultation, shop around, talk to different bake shops, and find a place with an aesthetic, price point, and flavor profile that gels with your wedding day.
Consider Your Favorite Flavor(s)
Even if your wedding cake looks totally stunning, it won’t matter a single bit if it tastes gross or isn’t your preferred flavor. If you think vanilla cake is a total snooze-fest or you’re totally crazy for a raspberry ganache, make sure you have everything you want (and nothing you don’t) in your cake. Can’t decide on just a single flavor? A lot of bakers will let you mix flavors in different layers!
Taste the Cakes
The best thing about designing and buying a wedding cake? Tastings, duh! Some bakers will have their most popular flavors available for you to taste (and a menu with other options), some bakers will charge you per tasting, and others will ask what flavors you’d like to try. Have fun with this part and feel free to bring an entourage with you. But, remember, for as fun as stuffing chocolate cake in your mouth is, you are making a decision here, so take it seriously.
Choose Your Baker
After going to multiple baker appointments, tasting multiple cakes, and seeing whether or not you gel with different bakers, it’s time to finally pick a vendor. Hopefully, you’ll find someone who will be able to juggle your personal tastes and budget.
Design Your Cake
After picking a baker, about five months before your wedding it’s time to design and order your cake. Sit down with your baker, your design wants and needs, and budget in mind. A good wedding cake baker will work with you and within your budget to create something amazing.
If you want to show off a bit of your personality but don’t want to make your entire wedding cake quirky, consider a groom’s cake. Though named after the man of the day, this cake can express a hobby, personality trait, or happy memory that will bring more of yourself into the day.
Multiple, Smaller Cakes
The wedding cake is a food trend that’s never going to go away, no matter what other desserts may come along. If you want to save money, can’t agree on a single look or flavor, or just want to be hip in 2017, consider having a few, small wedding cakes arranged on your dessert table. You’ll still have the classic dessert and the signature cake cut (and smash), but you’ll still have something totally true to you.
If you’re not a fan of cake or just want to make your wedding day totally unique for your wedding day, consider a cake alternative. Doughnuts are the hot thing this year, but you can choose whatever dessert tickles your fancy. Whether you want a tower of cupcakes, hand pies, or a pizza, if you can slice it, you can serve it.