Brides love making decisions about their wedding cake. The flavor, filling, color, shape—there's a lot to think about in creating a gorgeous, guest-loving confection. You'll be able to "let them eat cake" after you check off everything on our list.
Figure out how much you want to spend.
If a wedding cake is included in your catering bill, you can skip this step. If not, add it into your budget. Most bakers charge on a per-person basis—expect to pay between $4 to $15 per guest. The price depends on things like the wedding's geographical location and the complexity of the cake's design (lots of flowers, intricate piping, etc.).
Decide on a style.
The look of your cake should match the overall look of your wedding. If your décor is contemporary with lots of cool colors and held in an urban setting like a loft, a traditional white cake with fondant pearls, ruffles, and lace will look off; a cake with ice-blue fondant and a steel-gray ribbon border, for example, would be more complementary.
Get baker referrals.
Book your cake pro three to six months before the wedding. If friends and family recently got married and loved their cake, ask who made it. If you've been to any weddings lately and gobbled down your entire slice, that's an excellent referral too! Check out any candidates' websites to see if her style matches yours. Then, call each baker before booking and ask if she's available on your date and can work within your budget.
Meet up in person.
If logistically feasible, pay a visit to the baker in person and ask to see her portfolio of cakes. It also gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have as you're pouring over her photos.
Look for inspiration.
If you're ordering a custom cake, think about the design. Base it on the look of your venue, your wedding dress, the colors or motifs in your stationery, or any other detail you want to play up.
Think about size.
The bigger the guest list, the bigger the cake. Though if you're having a small wedding, you can still have a three-tier cake, with frosted Styrofoam subbing for two of the edible layers.
Attend the cake tasting.
Tough job, we know. Your baker will set up a tasting for either just you and the groom or a mass tasting for her clients getting married around the same time. You'll sample different cake flavors and fillings and pick your favorite combo for your cake. Go old school with a delicious vanilla or lemon cake flavor or try something new like honey-lavender or maple-pumpkin—your baker should have a list of what flavors are in her repertoire. Then pick a complementary filling, anything from mocha-pistachio to lime-ginger.
Decide on a topper.
Use Mom and Dad's plastic bride and groom topper, fondant flowers, or something significant to the two of you. Another option: leaving the top bare.
Sign a contract.
Everything you and the baker discussed—including specifics of the cake (flavors, filling, frosting), delivery time, delivery location, cost, deposit and balance due dates, and necessary contact names and numbers—should be included.