Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! There is so much to do between now and your big day, so it’s natural to want to take shortcuts where you can.
One place where you don’t want to rush to a decision, though, is when it comes to your wedding cake. The cake is one of the most important parts of the celebration. After all, guests will snap photos of it. You’ll stand in front of it and cut the first slice, and everyone will be anxious to get a taste of it.
To pick the perfect wedding cake for your big day, do the following:
1. Get Some Inspiration
One of the first things to do when you’re starting to think about wedding cake ideas is to start taking a look at wedding cake pictures and prices. Start off by buying some bridal magazines or looking at images of Costco wedding cakes, Walmart wedding cake designs or Publix wedding cake designs online.
Looking at photos can help you start to think about what type of cake designs you like. You might prefer something modern, traditional, whimsical or playful but you won’t know until you spend some time getting inspiration from photos.
2. Establish Your Budget
The cost of your wedding cake will depend on your location, the size of your wedding cake, how elaborate it is and where you buy it from. For example, wedding cakes at Costco are usually less expensive than Baskin Robbins wedding cakes, and both are usually less costly than independent bakeries.
Wedding sheet cakes will usually cost around $100 or less from a grocery store bakery. Two and three cakes will usually cost $150 or more, and the most expensive cakes can run $500 to $750 in most areas.
When you consider wedding cake decorations, you will naturally have to factor in price as well. However, consider the fact that a simple wedding cake can often be even more impressive than an ostentatious wedding cake design. When you choose wedding cake designs, figuring out your budget can actually help, since you’ll have a clear picture of what to choose from.
3. Get a Rough Guest Count
Another thing that you need to know when choosing a wedding cake is how many people you need to serve. Sheet cakes can usually serve about 100 people. Two to three-tier cakes usually provide enough cake for 100 to 200 guests. A four to five- tier cake is usually a must if you want to feed everyone with one cake at a reception with more than 200 guests.
4. Think About the Weather
If you’re having your reception indoors, the weather will not matter much for your cake, but if you are planning an outdoor reception in the summer, you need to think about what the conditions will be like. Choose wedding cake icings accordngly.
Believe it or not, some types of icing can actually melt if it gets to be too hot, and some types of icing might even spoil in the hot sun. Whipped cream, meringue, and buttercream are less than ideal for outdoor celebrations during the summer months. Fondant, which is thicker and more temperature resistant is better able to hold up to the heat.
5. Consider Your Venue
Where are you having your reception? You want to make sure that when you choose wedding cake designs and decorations, they will work in your space. Giant wedding cakes might be too extravagant for a small, intimate venue. And you don’t want to arrive on the big day to find out that they didn’t have a table large enough to accommodate your cake. If you’re not sure what type of wedding cake would work best for your venue, always opt for a simple wedding cake design, to be safe.
If you know your venue and guests well, you can go for a novel approach, such as a wedding cupcake cake. Wedding cupcakes work especially well if you’re holding the reception outdoors.
6. Finalize Your Menu
Don’t make the mistake of thinking about your wedding cake on its own. It’s actually the dessert for your meal, after all. You want to make sure that it complements the rest of whatever is on your menu.
For example, if you’re serving something rich and heavy, like prime rib, for dinner, you might what a lighter, more refreshing cake, like a citrus flavored wedding cake from Target. On the other hand, a decadent chocolate wedding cake from Giant Eagle can round out a simple meal with fish or chicken nicely.
Be sure to consider any other desserts that you’re serving as well. If you’re going to have a chocolate fountain, pastries or cookies, you might be able to get by with a smaller cake.
7. Establish Your Theme
Your wedding cake should tie into the rest of your theme for the reception. Many bakeries offer custom designs that are designed to match certain themes.
For example, the Safeway wedding cakes collection includes a beautiful sandcastle cake with seashell and starfish accents for beach weddings and a golden cake with fondant autumn leaves for fall celebrations.
If you’re not having a theme wedding, you’ll at least want the cake to match your wedding colors. You can also have the same fresh flowers that you’re using in your bouquets added to your cake. Establishing a theme can really help you choose wedding cake colors, decorations and look.
Icing color can also completely change the look of your wedding cake. Simple, white icing is always the safest choice, but you can also choose more vibrant colors, if it fits with the venue. Wedding cake toppers are also important. They can completely change the mood of the setting. An elegant bride-and-groom wedding cake topper offers a certain air of refinement to your reception. On the other hand, a quirky, funny wedding cake topper can inspire all your guests to have fun.
8. Take a Taste
Now comes the fun part! When you have a short list of places you’re considering for your wedding cake, it’s time to meet with the bakeries and get a taste. Nearly all bakeries will prepare small sample cakes for you to try out to see what flavors you like. You can choose wedding cake flavors based on these samples. And it makes for a fun get-together with your closest friends before the big day!
At your cake tasting, you’ll have a chance to discuss your ideas for wedding cake designs. If you have found any photos in a magazine or online that you like, bring them with you to show to the baker. Normally, you’ll receive a quote for the cost of the wedding cake either at the tasting or the day after via email.
Remember, whether you’re considering Harris Teeter wedding cakes, Wegmans wedding cakes or a cake from a local independent bakery, your wedding is your day. You should be able to select the cake that will best fit your needs and your budget. If a bakery isn’t cooperating with you, look elsewhere!
What’s important to you when it comes to your wedding cake? Where are you thinking of ordering from? Post a comment and tell us about it!