A spectacular wedding cake that tastes as delicious as it looks can be the pièce de résistance of your wedding, as well as a tasty treat for your guests. If the rest of your extensive wedding planning checklist is looking good but your cake scenario is still murky, don’t fret – you have many options!
While a traditional fruit-and-marzipan concoction will never go out of style, for today’s brides, the sky’s the limit when picking out the cake of their dreams. So how do you narrow down your choices and decide on one single cake? Here are 10 tips to get you started.
#1: Get Practical
“Who wants practical?” we hear you cry. “It’s my wedding day!” – fair point. But before you let your imagination run too wild, it’s important to focus on the number of guests attending your wedding because numbers will determine the size of your cake.
For larger and more formal weddings, a stacked cake is an ideal choice. You can serve everyone and create a stunning centerpiece that will stand out among the crowd. Smaller and more informal gatherings really suit money-saving one-tier cakes.
#2: Plan Ahead
Cakes are small (or enormous) works of art. The most extraordinary wedding cake designs have a lead time of several months – it takes a crazy-long time to model and dry out sugar flowers. Some pro bakers’ schedules fill up a year in advance, so do prioritize finding a cake designer. Wedding fairs are an opportunity to meet local artisans and sample their wares, or ask your friends for recommendations.
#3: Feast with Your Eyes
Your guests will eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths, so make sure your cake looks dreamy. Gorgeous all-white or soft pastel cakes make a stunning backdrop for sweeping sugar roses, edible ink artwork or something more unusual like these spooky designs from Carrie’s Cakes.
Couples are no longer afraid of color on cakes so go wild with spicy oranges, punchy pinks or deep apple greens. The whole idea is to coordinate the look of your cake with your inspired wedding colors, so be sure to let your baker in on any relevant design inspiration.
#4: Consider the Venue
A cake is a major part of your wedding décor. It’s going to be on display for several hours before your guests tuck in, so it should look stunning on display (and of course taste good). Proportion is key, so if your reception is in a cavernous place with high ceilings, you’ll need a tall cake that doesn’t get lost among your other decorations.
#5: Make Sure It Tastes as Good as It Looks
Everyone has a favorite flavor so if there’s something specific you’d like, tell your baker. If you’re not sure, pop along to your cake designer’s tasting session and sample four or five cake-and-filling combinations to find your perfect match.
Don’t place an order unless you are sure the baker can produce something dense, moist and delicious. No one likes a cake that looks like heaven but tastes like styrofoam.
#6: Stay On Point with the Budget
Wedding cakes cost anywhere between $1.50 to $15 per slice, or a wallet-decimating $450 to $1,200+ total in some locations – and the more intricate the cake, the bigger the hit on your bank account. If you’re watching the pennies, cut down on the sugar work which dramatically spikes the cost of your cake. Opt instead for a scattering of petals or seasonal fruits, or serve cupcakes that can double up as the dessert.
#7: Consider Allergies
More and more people are suffering from allergies and food intolerance – including some of your guests. While specialist bakers can cater for the gluten, egg and lactose-free crowd, you might consider constructing your cake out of a selection of desserts or even artisan cheeses, stacked to resemble a traditional wedding cake. That way, you can take on all tastes and allergies and make everybody happy!
#8: Go Naked
For vintage or rustic weddings, we recommend going naked all the way. Don’t worry, everyone’s modesty will remain intact! Naked cakes are missing the heavy dress of fondant, whipped cream, meringue and marzipan so that all of the cake’s layers and fillings are exposed. Not only do they look stunning, there’s a practical element, too, since you don’t have to worry about your cake melting on a hot summer day.
#9: Top It Off
Plastic figurines dressed in puffy gowns and tuxedos are more kitsch than cool, so unless you’re going for an ironic-retro vibe, it’s probably best to cast a wider net. Check out Etsy for some seriously stylish topper upgrades, from love-bird penguins and gilded twigs to steampunk chess figures and mini doors with your new married name. Gorgeous!
#10: Keep an Open Mind
By all means share your Pinterest boards with your baker, but do keep an open mind when selecting a cake design. You’ll love it when your designer takes an idea, adds some unexpected twists and makes a ‘wow’ cake that you hadn’t imagined before. Let’s be honest – creating custom cakes is your baker’s gig, not yours. Kick back, relax, and have confidence that your cake design is in safe hands.
Planning a wedding can be very serious and stressful, but there are some parts that are just plain fun. Choosing your cake is one of them! Hopefully, these tips can help you to create something beautiful and make a sweet final impression on your guests.
Did you absolutely love your wedding cake, or have any tips for brides-to-be so they can select an amazing one? Your input is appreciated by us and our readers! And if you are looking for more ideas and wedding inspiration, our Facebook and Pinterest pages are great free resources at your disposal. Good luck!