Now would be a good time to start putting some thought into your wedding cake (and now being about 5 months in advance, give or take). First, take a look at your guest list and figure out about how many people you’re expecting. This will give you an idea of how many people your cake will need to serve. Then start asking around to get the low-down on bakers. Since we’re from a very small town, all I had to do was jump on Facebook and say “I’m looking for a wedding cake maker, who do you recommend?” and I got a few options. The trouble with only searching the internet for local bakers is you may not always get the truth. If you ask people you know for their experience, you’ll find out what they really thought.
Price is, of course, important in your decision making process, but I personally was more concerned with look and taste. I’ve heard many horror stories of wedding cake looking beautiful, and tasting downright awful. My parents were one of those unlucky couples. My mother told me it was just about inedible and they ended up throwing the majority of it away. The two women that I narrowed my choice down to both made absolutely stunning cakes, but I got a review from one that said her cakes tasted terrible, so I went with the other gal (and oh my gosh I was impressed!)
When choosing your cake decorator/baker, shop around. If you live in a place with lots of bakeries specializing in wedding cakes, make appointments to taste cakes and frosting (and maybe fondant if you are having a fondant covered cake, though most people don’t eat the fondant). Our baker put a thin layer of buttercream underneath the fondant so those who didn’t like the fondant could peel it off and still have frosting. This is something you could ask about or even suggest once you find your baker. Also ask about different flavor options. Many bakeries have tons of unique flavors to choose from, and I’ll bet you they have some you never would have thought of. One of our tiers was a snicker-doodle spice cake with snicker-doodle buttercream frosting, and oh my gosh it was to die for, and it was gone so fast!
Wedding cakes are usually priced by the serving rather than size or number of tiers. Our cake served 88 people (80 people minus the top tier) and cost $352. It was a three tier, square cake with a 12″ bottom, 8″ middle, and 4″ top. Ask your baker about price options and if there are any discounts or deals you can get (it’s always worth a shot). For example, our baker told us that the top tier would be free if we agreed to share with her any professional photos our photographer took of the cake. We did not take this option, though I ended up emailing her photos anyway. She’s a friend of ours 😉
Next comes cake toppers. We chose ours before we ever chose the cake. David’s Bridal has some very cute and fun ones. You can also find cake toppers at Invitations By Dawn, Ann’s Bridal Bargains, Micheal’s, and a number of other places. Choose something that matches you and your fiance’s style or personalities. Our topper was from David’s and had a fishing groom on the top tier with a reaching up bride on the bottom tier. Cutest thing in the world, and was perfect because my husband is an avid fisherman.
When it comes to decorations and cake design, your options are pretty much limitless. I was at a loss, as I had only been to three weddings in my lifetime that I remember and the cake was not number one on my list of interests. So I went to TheKnot and searched through their hundreds of cake pictures, which is where I found ours. I highly recommend this. TheKnot has everything under the sun you could imagine.
One more thing you might think about is having a grooms cake. This can help you save money, and it’s a fun groom-centered reception thing (since the wedding day is usually all about the bride, and the poor groom can sometimes get forgotten). We went to the Carrs Safeway in Kodiak and ordered a cheap $25 sheet cake with a fishing theme design. This allowed us to have a smaller wedding cake like we wanted, and still have enough cake to serve all of our guests.
We opted to save and freeze our top tier for our first anniversary. You should ask your baker for instructions on this process and what they suggest is best for your particular cake. You could also just order a cake the same size as your top tier when your anniversary rolls around. It’s entirely up to you.
If a wedding cake isn’t your thing, you might look into cupcake towers, dessert bars, candy bars, or a small round cake with cupcakes on towers below it. TheKnot and the Wedding Channel websites both have information on these options. Good luck!
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)