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Step By Step Guide To Choosing Your Wedding Cake

June 26, 2012

Time is a cake maker’s friend, particularly when it involves large, statement wedding cakes, so it’s never too early to choose your cake designer.  Before you choose, it’s a good idea to draw up a long list of suppliers in your area.  Talk to other brides, your venue, visit wedding fairs and use good old Google to find companies serving your area.  Have a look at their website portfolios and prices, then whittle them down to a shortlist and arrange to meet them all if you’re having trouble deciding.  While you probably won’t know exactly what you’re after for your wedding cake at this stage, you might find you ‘click’ with one particular company and their signature style.

Flower Garland Wedding Cake by Tempting Cake

Flower Garland Wedding Cake by Tempting Cake. Image by Liesl Cheney

6 months to go

Reserve your preferred cake designer at this point to ensure you get your first choice.  With weddings being held every day of the week, year round, you’ll find that popular designers will get booked up quickly. Creating wedding cakes is a time-consuming process, so companies will have a limit on the number of orders that they can fulfil on any given date.

Now’s also a good time to start thinking about the basics of your cake.  Would you prefer a cupcake tower with top tier for cutting or a more traditional stacked cake?  Do you like round, square, hexagonal or oval tiers?  Save pictures of any cakes you see that you like as this can be useful when discussing ideas with your cake designer at a later date.

Green chrysanthemum blocked cake

I’d like this one please! Green Chrysanthemum wedding cake by Tempting Cake, image by EWP Photography

3 months to go

Time to meet with your cake designer to discuss and agree designs and flavours!  This will give ample time for your cake designer to draw up some designs for you to select from, prepare any intricate sugar-based decorations in good time and bake your fruit cake (if you’re having fruit cake) in advance, allowing it time to mature for your wedding date.  Most cake designers will offer you the chance to sample some flavours if you haven’t already done so, to help you narrow it down.  Also let your cake designer know the number of guests you’re expecting and whether the cake will be served as dessert or with coffee, as this will impact on the size of the portions and therefore the size of the cake.  It’s also important to confirm if any of your guests have dietary requirements at this point so that provisions can be made for all guests to enjoy some cake on the day.

It’s a good idea to meet at your wedding venue if possible, so that you can agree with your wedding coordinator where your cake will be set up on the day. It also gives you the opportunity to view and select the cake stand and cutting knife if you’re using the ones supplied by your venue.

If you have a clear idea about the cake you’d like then take along some pictures of it if you have any.  If you’re looking for some ideas, bring key details of your wedding such as a swatch of your bridesmaids dress fabric, your invitation, a photo of your dress, veil, jewellery and shoes as well as colours and descriptions of your flowers as all these elements provide rich inspiration for cake design.

Classic cream wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by Liesl Cheney

Classic cream wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by Liesl Cheney

2 weeks to go

Confirm your wedding cake order details, delivery/collection time and who will set up the cake at your venue.  Ensure your cake designer has contact details for your wedding coordinator, wedding venue or a trustworthy usher for the morning of the wedding.  If you’re having fresh blooms on your cake, ensure that your cake designer has the details of your florist to liaise with them on the day.  If you’re hiring items such as a cake stand from your cake designer, confirm when and where it needs to be returned to avoid forfeiting a deposit.

Blush rose blocked wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by EWP Photography

Blush rose blocked wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by EWP Photography

Do’s and don’ts when choosing your wedding cake

Don’t be afraid to fake it

If you only need a couple of tiers of cake to feed your wedding guests but love the idea of a huge statement stacked wedding cake, do consider adding extra dummy tiers to your cake.  They can be decorated to match your real cakes and neither you nor your guests will be any the wiser as to which are which.

Do be reflective

Choose a cake to reflect your venue and style of wedding.  If you’re having a romantic country wedding in a barn, go for large floral decorations on your cake or a towering display of cupcakes, For a lavish city wedding in a luxury hotel, up the opulence with lots of dramatic tiers decorated with hand-piped details. A small, intimate wedding is served well with mini cakes and cupcakes work well for a large do, as they can be circulated quickly amongst guests without the need for cutting and plating.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up

Torn between the luscious lemon sponge and the wicked chocolate cake?  Feel you should have rich traditional fruit cake to keep your older relatives happy but actually you’re hankering after a moist and spicy carrot cake?  If you’re struggling to decide on just the one flavour, plump for a tier of each.

Crochet and rosebud wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by EWP Photography

Crochet and rosebud wedding cake by Tempting Cake. Image by EWP Photography

Do over order rather than under order

Consider ordering over the number of portions you’ll need if you’d like to send a piece to loved ones who can’t make the wedding and to allow for guests who might fancy more than one slice!

Don’t go for a traditional cake table

Why just rely on bridesmaids bouquets to adorn your cake table, when there are so many other creative things you can do?  Use a collection of picture frames containing wedding photos from members of your families for a personal touch.  Drape candelabra with strings of pearls and diamonds for a decadent feel.  Or use flower garlands made from fresh rose petals, interspersed with fairy lights for a softer look.  Read some more thoughts on creative ways to present your cake in the guest post we wrote for B.Loved blog here.

Do remember that location is everything

Think about where your cake will be situated at the venue.  If there’s some loud wallpaper or a vibrant curtain behind it, consider relocating the cake table, or go for a simple cake so that it won’t clash!  Equally, bear in mind extremes of temperature and avoid placing the cake near a radiator or fire in the winter, or in an unair-conditioned marquee or conservatory in the summer.

Do get a slice of the action

Finally, be sure to enjoy some of your wedding cake on the day, after all you chose it!  Brides are often so busy that they don’t get the chance to indulge, so don’t be one of them.

If you have any questions about choosing your wedding cake, please do get in touch and let us know!

TC x

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