Wedding Cake: How to Cut Through the Fuss


While some couples slice into their wedding cake immediately following dinner and serve it as dessert, if your towering tiers are a work of art, you may prefer to leave it on display for a while and savor it following the toasts.

Either way, the first step in selecting a pretty – and tasty! – cake is finding a baker. To determine which is the best fit for your needs, look closely at examples of their work.

“If a baker’s website shows a bunch of sloppy cakes, don’t expect them to knock it out of the park for the first time at your wedding,” says Kevin Kossman, co-owner of Piece of Cake Desserts in Mesa, Arizona. Kara Buntin, owner of A Cake to Remember in Richmond, Virginia, recommends asking if the cakes in their portfolio are ones they’ve actually done themselves. “A lot of people use photos of cakes that other people have done,” she warns.

Found a baker whose work you adore? Cover your bases by making sure he or she is licensed and insured. Then it’s time to consider cost.

In general, you should order a cake that would serve about 80 percent of your guests, advises Buntin, as some folks don’t eat cake, and others will leave before it’s served. Prices vary from city to city, so shop around to find out what’s standard for your area. By way of example, Kossman typically sees the cake running 4 to 8 percent of a couple’s total budget, around $500, on average.

As for finalizing your design, Kossman says lately couples are forgoing recent fads like topsy-turvy styles and bold color-combos like black and pink, in favor of elegant cakes with organic-looking elements like branches, birds and butterflies, and sophisticated hues like dark purple and greens.

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