1. Choose a Style
The cake should be part of your wedding, so choose a cake that's compatible with the style of the venue, your wedding dress, the flowers, or the decor. If you want colourful accents (like sugar flowers, ribbons, etc.), give your cake designer fabric swatches, so they can match the colours.
Always specify how many guests you need the cake to serve. A 3 tier cake would normally serve about 50 guests, whereas a 5 tier will serve 120+ guests.
Wedding cakes are usually individually priced, based on the style, size, flavour and decorations required. The more complicated the cake is (based on elaborate designs or specialised fillings), the higher the price. Fondant icing is more expensive than buttercream, and if you want elaborate fondant shapes, vibrant colours, or handmade sugar flower detailing, you'll pay for the cake designer's labour.
4. Budget, Budget, Budget
Find a cake that’s in your budget. The best way to do this is to tell your cake designer what your budget is and give them an idea of what style you are looking for. They will supply you with a few ideas that will suit your budget and style.
5. Consider the Weather
If you’re getting married outdoors in a hot climate (or indoors without air-conditioning) stay away from whipped cream, buttercream and chocolate frostings, as they will melt! Ask your cake designer for frosting options that are suitable for hot climates (fondant is usually the best option).
6. Don’t Always Believe Your Magazines
Don't expect your cake designer to be able to replicate exactly what you see in a magazine. Firstly, a lot of the cakes in magazines are iced pieces of Styrofoam (dummy cakes) which will always look better than a real iced cake. Secondly, magazines have food stylists, editors, and assistants working nonstop to keep the cakes looking perfect. So if it’s a real cake, they spend hours fixing the sweating, leaning, or sagging that can happen to a cake after it's been sitting for a while. And if that doesn't work, they can fix it with Photoshop!
7. It’s All in the Details
When it comes to decoration, adornment costs vary wildly. The most inexpensive option is fresh fruits or flowers that, in some cases, can be applied by you or your florist for a minimal fee. On the high end are delicate fondant flowers, which are constructed by hand, one petal at a time. All decorations - including fondant or chocolate-moulded flowers, lace detailing & fondant shapes -- will raise the price. So, if you want an amazing handmade wedding cake with intricate decorations, be prepared to pay for it!
8. Displaying the Cake
Your cake will most likely be on display before it's cut and served to your guests. Make sure there is a designated cake table that allows the most elegant presentation possible. Once you have a cake table, make sure you dress it up and make it a focal point of your reception!
9. Transporting the Cake
Don’t forget to ask your cake designer if they will transport and set-up the cake at your venue. Some cakes need to be assembled at the wedding venue, so always give the cake designer enough time to deliver and set-up. Most cake designer will charge extra for delivery & set-up, so make sure you add that into your cake budget.
10. Serving Your Cake
Always find out if the staff at your wedding reception will be cutting your cake into the required serving size (you don’t want to be stuck cutting hundreds or pieces of cake!). If they don’t cut the cake for you, cupcakes or mini cakes are the answer – no cutting required!