Wedding Cakes
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

20 Top Tips for Selecting Your Wedding Cake

After the bride herself, thewedding cake is usually the second biggest centre of attention at a wedding reception (though probably close to equally beautiful). Gone are the days of traditional fruit cake- your wedding confection can be any size, shape and flavour fitting your heart's desire. Whatever you choose, your cake should reflect your tastes, personality, and complement the food at the reception.


Get inspired.

A good place to start is to look at bridal magazines and the internet for wedding cake designs that you like. Make a scrapbook of your favourite cakes and write notes about why you like them. Once you have a few cakes collected, start to compare there and you might notice that there is a common element between your favourite cakes. Mention this to your wedding cake designer.Get your budget straight. Once you've decided on your budget for your wedding cake, tell your wedding cake designer. This'll ensure smooth sailing for both parties.

Keep your theme consistent

When first meeting with your cake designer, bring as much information as possible, including, but not limited to, details like: the colour of your dress and your bridesmaids dresses, your wedding theme colours, a description of the tone of the event, pictures of the event location, some photos of your flowers, and other pieces of inspiration for the look you'd like to achieve.

Fever for the flavour

Forget traditional fruit cake- modern brides are embracing their individuality and personal taste by choosing flavours they love. Devil's food cake? Yes. Cheesecake? Hit me. Peanut- butter sponge with cookies-and-cream filling? Uh, absolutely. If you love a flavour, chances are that plenty of your guests will love it equally.

Tier it up

If you're having trouble narrowing down one flavour, why not make each tier a different flavour? Give your guests some options for a cake to remember!

Personalise like nobody's business.

Some have decided to take it a step further by simply having tiers of different varieties of their favourite food, like pies, sushi or pizza. We say the more you can personalise delicious food, the better!

Have an idea of what you are after

Do you want a tiered cake or does a simple layer suit your wedding style better? Remember that the right cake for you will be a combination of your style and the number of guests.

Choose your designer carefully

Like any other art form, each designer will have their own specific style and signature looks. If you'd like a traditional looking cake with tiers, pillars and flowers, don't visit a designer who specialises in modern minimalism. Same goes for the cake's medium- some designers work in both buttercream and fondant, but make sure that either they specialise in what you want, or that you're flexible enough to go with the flow. Check out you local designers web sites and facebook pages before you consult them in person.

Portions dictate size, not the other way around

Of course, if you'd like your cake to look bigger, you can always have part of your cake made of styrofoam, but this will still come at a price. Also, consider how realistic it will look- a 7 tier cake at a 50- person event probably won't fool anyone.

Consider your venue

Like every other element of your wedding, everything should fit as seamlessly in terms of style as possible- and here, your venue is the main factor around which every other element will need to conform. A large ballroom will require a more dramatic and taller cake, whilst a modern location will require a cake with strong lines, and a small, vintage-y location will suit a delicate, ornate cake.

You get what you pay for

A well known saying in the cake industry states that "cheap cake isn't good, and good cake isn't cheap!" This could not only lead to the cake having a bad icing- job, but internal structural problems (and the last thing you need on your wedding day is having your cake collapse), or problems with the flavour itself. Bad cakes often taste overly salty, sugary, or fatty. So do your research and keep an eagle- eye out for any suspiciously low prices!

Taste the goods

In the name of comprehensive research, of course.

Planning a DIY job?

Practice makes perfect.Take any opportunity to put your baking skills to use- from a friend's movie night to a planning session with your bridesmaids.

Getting a helping hand (or five)

Before agreeing to have a friend bake your cake, treat them like a professional potential baker: ask to see some visual samples of their work, and ask to taste their goods. Be clear about your wedding budget or what the cake will 'cost'- for example, you could accept their cake as their official wedding gift. Be honest, open and kind when coming to your decision: better to tell them now than have a cake you know you'll be unhappy with on your wedding day.

The set up

Before you sign anything, find out who exactly will be delivering and setting up the cake, as well as narrowing down a precise time.

Consider how the cake will look in photos

Although you may love the idea of a glittering pink mound of mouth-wateringly delicious cake, your husband may look a bit silly cutting into it with you. Try to choose a fairly timeless cake that compliments you both, and that you'll be proud to show in photos in years to come.

Serve the cake as dessert!

Save on money and make your cake the centre of attention it's created to be. This way, your cake won't lie half eaten and forgotten on the side of the dance floor.

Get your lighting right

Much like making sure we look our best with the right lighting, your cake needs the exact same treatment. Make sure it's positioned in a sunny spot or somewhere where it'll have a bit of spotlight. This is one step to make it even more wow- worthy, as well as set you up for some incredible photos.

Saving the top tier

If you're planning on saving the top tier of your cake for your anniversary, christening, or a similar event in the near future, make sure your top layer is fruit cake. All other cakes will become inedible long before their fruity counterpart.

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