Style & Trend
How to choose the perfect wedding cake design
Where do you start amidst the wealth of minimalist tiers, naked sponges and more. We’re here to help. Read on for our expert guide to wedding cakes…
There are so many fun bits when you're planning your big day, but choosing - and tasting - wedding cake is surely one of the high points. When else do get a fabulous cake, made just for you, with your perfect flavours and wedding cake design? Exactly!
But where do you start amidst the wealth of cupcakes, minimalist tiers, naked sponges and more. Well, we’re here to help. Read on for our expert guide to wedding cake design ideas…
Choose your venue and theme first
Start thinking about your cake early, as popular suppliers get booked up early. Gail at Manor House Wedding Cakes by Cakes over Heer in the West Midlands recommends planning your cake as soon as you've booked your venue. "If you know who you want to make your cake, get in quick, particularly if it's in the main wedding months (May - September)," says Gail. "Most cake makers will reserve your date for a small deposit and the details and design can be done 6 to 9 months before the wedding."
Your cake should complement the look and feel of your day. So, before you start thinking about ideas for wedding cakes, make sure you have your venue and are happy with your theme and key elements, like the flowers.
For example, white icing and flowers look great at a traditional do, while pretty naked cakes look amazing at something more boho and rustic. Also, match the height of your cake to your venue. Grand high ceilings call for something taller and more dramatic (Your cake maker can add dummy tiers if you want height without too much additional cost).
However, there are no rules when it comes to something as fun as cake, so it’s totally up to you. If your unique wedding cake ideas include a modern masterpiece with on-trend flavours at a classic manor house do, then go for it!
Choose flavours you like (not what you think everyone else wants)
Choose the cake you want, not the one you think you should have. It doesn’t need to be a traditional fruit cake if that’s not your thing. Why not go for chocolate, red velvet, Victoria sponge or anything else that floats your boat? If you or any of your guests have allergies, you can also include a gluten or dairy-free tier or have a smaller separate cake that’s suitable.
How big should it be?
"Your cake maker can advise you but, size-wise, I say cater for about 80% of the guests," says Gail at Manor House Wedding Cakes. "Not everyone will want cake and I hate the thought of cake going to waste after good money has been paid for it. Also, the biggest mistake couples make is not listening to their cake maker when it comes to portions and sizes. You can't squeeze three-tier's worth of portions into two big tiers because you think it will be cheaper. It won't be and it won't look good!"
Don’t like cake? Then have something else
If you’re not a fan of cake there are so many other options. Tiers of delicious cheeses or pork pies are becoming more and more popular and make an ideal addition to the evening buffet. Alternatively, go for a tower of your favourite treats, such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts, chocolate brownies, Ferrero Rocher, macarons or cupcakes. Some of these options also cost less than a traditional wedding cake, if you’re looking for ways to save pennies.
Know your budget
The overall cost of your cake will depend on the number of servings and the complexity of the design, as some decorative elements can take weeks or even months to create. Start out with a good idea of what you want to spend and be honest with your cake maker. Then they can work with you to create a cake you love that’s within your budget.
If money is tight, consider a simple design and ask your florist to decorate it with a few fresh flowers. You can also ask your cake maker for a small decorated cake to display plus a plain cake that's kept behind the scenes, to be cut up and served.
Have fun with a unique wedding cake design
There are so many amazing cake makers out there that you really are spoilt for choice. Tall classy wedding cakes with lots of tiers are having a moment, as well as beautiful floral cakes featuring edible pressed flowers. Some bakers will also allow you to create custom flavours based on, say, your favourite cocktail or create a cake inspired by the design of your WED2B dress. "The most popular styles for this year seem to be semi-naked or buttercream with white or ivory flowers and lots of greens," says Gail. "Sage colours and eucalyptus (not real as its poisonous, so must never be used on cake) are also massive this year."
To top or not to top? That is the question…
Cake topper or no cake topper? Lots of our real brides have fun with their cake toppers, using it as a way to include favourite hobbies or nods to much-loved pets. Then there are the pretty twisted wire or wooden signs for a lovely rustic touch, fun Lego brides and grooms or elegant modern name and date signs. There really is a cake topper for every style of wedding!
Decide where to display it
Give your cake its moment in the spotlight and think about where and how it will be displayed. Does your venue have a table and suitable linen to match the cake? Is it in a prominent and well-lit place? Do you want a flower display to sit with it? You've spent a lot of money on it so you want to show it off to its very best.
A safe delivery
Last, but not least, check you’re clear on the delivery plan. Lots of professional cake makers offer a delivery and set up service, which will often save you stress. If you’re collecting the cake yourself, make sure you have suitable boxes to transport it and you know how to put the tiers together at the venue.
Well, we hope that’s helped you with how to choose a wedding cake you love. Don’t forget, we have plenty of brilliant cake makers in our Supplier’s Directory. Just click here to find fabulous bakes and bakers in your area. Enjoy!
Click here for lots more wedding cake design ideas from our brilliant real life brides and here for our Supplier’s Directory. Also, for more inspiration, check out our Instagram, Facebook or TikTok accounts.
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