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A Handy Guide on Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Cake

Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Cake
The cake is definitely the showstopper at any wedding. After all that goes into creating it, it's quite obvious, isn't it? What is this 'all' that goes into choosing a wedding cake? Let's take a look.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Mar 4, 2018
Always keep in mind that your cake may contain inedibles like pearls, toothpicks, or wires that hold the beautiful pieces together. Remember to have them removed while serving the cake.
If there's one thing you want your wedding to be remembered by, let it be your cake. Let your cake be so fabulous that your guests are awestruck when they look at it. They should want to eat it (because it's cake after all), but not want to disturb the superb beauty that it displays. And when they finally taste it, let them sigh in sinful pleasure. Who wouldn't want a cake this awesome, right? Well, fortunately for you, we have the perfect roundup of things you need to keep in mind when choosing a wedding cake.
How Much You Can Shell Out
Honesty really is the best policy. And even though you may think that just because it's your wedding you need to pull all stops, being practical is more important. If you haven't fixed a budget for your cake, do it ASAP. Why you ask? That's because the other things mentioned below depend to a great extent on how much you're willing to spend.

*Psst!: Be prepared to shell out a handsome amount as an advance once you book your baker. Most bakers like to know they haven't wasted their time with 'prospective' clients.
The Baker
Baker talking to pretty woman
Alright, so you've fixed a budget. Now it's time to hunt for a baker who will make all your cake dreams come true. The most logical thing to do is find out about reputed bakers from their websites or through word-of-mouth. See whose styles you like and narrow down to ones that fit within your budget as well. Fix an appointment with the baker a minimum of 4 months prior to your wedding.
This is just to avoid the (very likely) chance that a baker might not be free if you suddenly apparate at his doorstep and demand that he tend to your cake needs. It is also so that he gets enough time to plan and design your cake in accordance with your high standards.
Flavor! Flavor! Flavor!
Couple choosing cake flavor
A perfect wedding cake not just looks good, but tastes heavenly too. You don't want your guests to just admire the beauty of the cake but not eat any of it. Hence, picking a delicious flavor is of utmost importance. While most wedding bakers stick to conventional flavors like white/vanilla, fruit, or chocolate, you can always ask if yours will be able to do another flavor of your choice.
While choosing the flavor, keep in mind that some of your guests may be allergic to certain ingredients. Confirm that the baker uses hypoallergenic ingredients. To avoid emergencies, provide a list of ingredients to your guests on the big day.

If you are utterly clueless about what flavor you want, ask people who have attended weddings in the recent past about what cakes they enjoyed. If you see a trend, you will get some idea as to which way to go.
The Design
Once you've got the flavor out of the way, you can focus on the design of the cake. There can be three scenarios here: (i) you have absolutely no clue about what you want; (ii) you know exactly what you want; and (iii) you're in a cake design limbo where you simply cannot make up your mind.
Wedding cake website
Scenario: Browse through magazines, websites, brochures, and the baker's portfolio to see what catches your interest.
Scenario: You know what you want. Explain it perfectly to the baker. Take his inputs. If you have a specific color in mind from your wedding d├ęcor, take a sample of the color from a piece that you'll be using at the wedding for reference so that he has a solid idea of what you expect.

Scenario: If you're not sure of the design but can at least come up with words to describe the style you're interested in, tell your baker this and he can take it from there. Most bakers will be able identify the style and guide you in the right direction to finding your dream cake.

A heads-up: The more elaborate a cake is, the deeper the hole in your pocket. And if you're thinking of going the cupcake way, it could be even more because working on smaller cakes is much more tedious than working on a large one.
The Eternal Battle of Fondant vs. Frosting
Fondant and frosting wedding cake
Most bakers will suggest the use of fondant for elaborate designs because it is easier to mold and does not run the risk of melting away quickly with a slight increase in temperature. Buttercream frosting, on the other hand, is lighter and creamier and can get runny in heat. However, when it comes to taste, it's frosting that wins hands-down! People often remove the (quite expensive) fondant and eat just the cake. Is this what you want them to be doing at your wedding?
Size Does Matter
Small and big wedding cake
The size of the cake matters to a great extent. The bigger the cake, the more it is going to cost. So, decide the size according to the purpose of the cake. Are you going to serve it as the only dessert? Are you also going to freeze a tier to eat on your first anniversary? In both these cases, ensure that the cake is big enough for everyone to get at least one serving. Ask the baker how many servings will be possible from the cake you pick. Also, ask what exactly he means by serving size: how big or small is one slice?
Contract Must-haves
When you've finally decided upon a cake, it's time to draw up a contract to seal the deal. The best thing you can do is include even the minutest detail within the contract to avoid nasty surprises later. Here are the things that absolutely must be in it.
  • The name, address, and contact information of the baker.
  • The date of the wedding.
  • The number of tiers, the flavor, and the filling of the cake.
  • The size of the cake and how many people it will serve (including the size of one slice).
  • The fee for the making of the cake (all-inclusive), delivery, setup at the venue, deposit, and any other services offered.
Apart from these, there are some other things that you need to confirm with the baker, and if applicable, add it to the contract.
  • Does the service include cutting the cake into servings?
  • How much in advance is the cake made?
  • Will someone be present to direct the cutting of the cake?
  • What vehicle will the cake be transported in?
What the Weather Will be Like
Your big date is fixed, so you'll have an idea of what kind of weather to expect. Accordingly, you are bound to have picked your wedding venue. Ensure that the venue allows for a proper enclosure for your cake if the weather decides to play spoilsport.
How the Cake Will be Managed on Site
Once the flavor, size, and design of the cake have been decided upon, you need to ensure that the area you will be placing the cake in is suitable. Will the restrooms be nearby? Will there be too much foot traffic? Will there be too much wiring in the area? Is it going to be very close to the dance floor? If it's an outdoor wedding, is the land surface even? Who will direct the cutting of the cake? How will the cake be transported? These are all questions that you need answers to, either from people at the venue, or from your baker.
Choosing a wedding cake can be a fun experience provided you do it with the right person/people. Reputed bakers suggest going with just one person for a tasting as this reduces the chances of confusion and you unwillingly picking a cake you don't really like due to the pressure. Also, it is often noticed that in the frivolity of the wedding, many brides and grooms rarely get to eat the cake. So, make sure you tell the baker to keep a couple of slices for the two of you before serving it to the guests. It is your wedding after all!
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