A wedding cake is more than just a tasty dessert to serve to your wedding guests. It's a long-standing symbol of your wedding day that has a modern meaning. When you cut your cake and serve slices to your guests, it symbolizes sharing your wedding day with each of them. Every slice says, "Thank you for joining us in the celebration of our marriage." It is the most symbolic, celebration cake of your lifetime. For that reason, the cake needs to be a reflection of your personalities.
How to choose a wedding cake?
First, you need to choose a baker. Best advice: Go professional and go with a bakery who has a team of bakers so you are guaranteed you will get your cake in-time, fresh and worthy of display. Karen Collier, owner of The Cake House says, "There isn't a week that goes by, or even a day that goes by in the busy season, that I don't get a phone call from somebody whose cake baker had to cancel at the last minute." The unexpected happens and when you hire your uncle's neighbor or sister's best friend, you are taking a significant risk with an important aspect of your wedding day.
The next step is to schedule a tasting. You want to do this at least 3 months in advance of the wedding to get on their schedule. At the tasting, a professional baker will provide you with samples of their work so you can assess the quality of cake they offer. If they pass the quality test, then move forward with flavor and design.
What flavor should we choose?
The flavor of your cake should be decided based on one thing: your favorites. Can't decide between Chocolate-Raspberry (your favorite) and Lemon (his favorite)? Choose both. Wedding cakes come in tiers and each tier can be a different flavor. Problem solved!
What frosting should we choose?
You will need to pick the frosting before you pick the design. The two main frosting choices are buttercream and fondant. Buttercream usually has a better flavor than fondant, but fondant is incredibly versatile for design and holds up better if you're having an outside wedding. Of course, you can always go for ganache if you're looking for a rich, chocolaty experience.
How do we pick the design?
Jump on Pinterest and create a special board with images of your absolute favorite cakes. Include notes on what you love about each cake. Is it the style, shape, colors, embellishments, cake topper, or other elements that make you swoon? Share your board with the baker along with other information like what venue you have chosen, what your dress and your bridesmaid dresses look like, what flowers you have chosen, what style decor you are using and what season you're getting married. A baker with experience will put all that information together and create that gorgeous cake you've been carrying around in your head since you said "yes."
What size cake do we need for our guest count?
That will depend on several factors like are you serving any other sweets (like a Groom's Cake), what size tiers each layer will be, and if you are saving the top tier for your first anniversary. The very general answer is:
- a 6" tier will serve 10 guests - an 8" tier will serve 20-24 guests
- a 10" tier will serve 30-38 guests
- a 12" tier will serve 45-56 guests
So, for reference:
- 50 guests: 2 tiers - 10" layer and 8" layer
- 75 guests: 3 tiers - 10" layer, 8" layer and 6" layer
- 100 guests: 3 tiers - 12" layer, 10" layer and 6" layer
- 125 guests: 4 tiers - 12" layer, 10" layer, 8" layer and 6" layer
As you add to the guest count, the tiers get bigger, and the cake gets taller. Big and tall cakes are a welcome statement piece for sure!
Should we have a Groom's Cake?
Absolutely! It's too much fun not to! The Groom's Cake is usually the one thing at the wedding that's all about him and it should reflect his personality. I was working a wedding where the groom was a dentist. His Groom's Cake was shaped like a tooth and when you cut into it, it looked decayed and had bits of candy inside. It was brilliant! A well thought out Groom's Cake will be talked about for years!
Should we save the top tier for our 1-year anniversary?
Saving the top tier of your wedding cake to enjoy on your first anniversary is a very cool tradition. It's a wonderful way to reflect on your first year together and relive some wedding day memories. Imagine snuggling on the couch, looking through your wedding album and eating wedding cake. How romantic! Now, if you don't want the hassle of freezing your wedding cake (or the frozen-for-a-year flavor), go back to your baker and order a replica cake. It's a much simpler solution with the same reminiscing outcome and the cake will be just as fresh and tasty as it was on your wedding day.
Your wedding cake plays a starring role at the reception and should be treated as such. By making the process of selecting your cake fun and creative, your personality and style will be reflected in the design. Not only will your guests enjoy the beauty and taste of the cake, but they will salute you as a couple in every celebratory bite.