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People talk a lot about how to decide on the major detail of the wedding - the venue, the dress, the photographer, the theme, etc. If you're planning a wedding, you probably know exactly what you're looking for in each of those areas, or at least you're fairly sure about how to make the choice. But when it comes down to the smaller details, like the cake, you may realize that you've never really thought about what you wanted!
We hear this from brides all the time. They may remember disliking certain cakes they've tried at other weddings, or they know there are a couple flavors they detest, but really other than that they don't know where to start looking!
So we compiled our 7 best tips for how to choose a wedding cake. While ultimately the decision and the research are up to you, hopefully these tips give you a better idea of what you need to do to make sure your dessert...well...takes the cake!
#1 - Don't stress out!
There's a reason that many brides don't already have this on the forefront of their minds. In the grand scheme of things, it's not the biggest deal! It's not something like your guest list, that will have a lifelong impact. Do you even remember the cake of the last wedding you've been to, or the one before that? If you have a vague idea, you have a better memory than most. Cakes are a traditional part of weddings, so you have to have one* (read tip #10) but this should be a fun thing to do, not something that's adding headache to your already long list of to dos.
#2 - If you loved your friend's, ask where she got it!
This isn't one of those things that you can't copy! If you went to a wedding that had a really yummy or beautiful cake, ask her who her baker was - odds are that your cake will be just as quality!
#3 - Taste is more important than aesthetics!
Probably our most important tip. Go for taste over looks! Seriously. You can have the prettiest cake in the world, but if it's dry and tasteless, everyone's going to know that, and it's not going to be satisfying. The cake is ONLY about the taste - sure, there will be a few photos, but the point of the cake isn't to be memorialized forever. The point of the cake is to be eaten, and to be enjoyed.
#4- You and your partner are the only people who matter in this decision!
We absolutely promise you that you are not going to be able to make all of your guests, or even all of your family members, or even all of your IMMEDIATE family members happy with the flavor and design you pick. So don't even try to appease them! Focus on choosing something that you and your partner both like (this will be hard enough, probably). The people who don't like it will deal with it, and no one will really care because no one expects their tasting preferences to be catered to. As long as there's a cake, and it's moist, people will be okay. You make the choice!
#5 - Consider layers!
If you and your partner can't agree, or if you want a few options, or if you just can't decide between a few flavors you really, really love, talk to your baker! While some flavors just can't be reconciled, you would be surprised at how other ones go together, and a good baker can work magic. Make each layer a different flavor for maximum fun effect! This won't necessarily make your cake appear any less "classy" on the outside.
#6 - Think time & place!
Certain cake frostings melt easier in heat (discuss this with your baker), and you want the decor & taste of your cake to match your wedding. Let the season and the venue heavily influence the style of your cake, which should be an accessory, not a separate piece. If you're having an all black-tie December wedding in an industrial chic space, for example, you don't want your cake to look like a rustic tree, and you don't want a bright blue fondant if your colors aren't pastels.
#7 - You have to taste it first!
This is pretty obvious, but don't you dare even think about purchasing a cake without seeing and tasting it first, even if it's a sheet cake from Publix or Costco. Schedule a tasting - come on, this is the fun part! Some tastings are free and some tastings come with a small fee, so be sure to call and schedule ahead of time.
#8 - Don't pick this too soon!
This is one item you can safely save for the last few months. And there's a good reason why - your guest count and your decor can fluctuate drastically up until the wedding, so you want to wait until you have a fairly solid idea about how big of a cake to purchase and what accents you may want to use to decorate!
#9 - Don't spend too much!
Odds are that by the time you've reached the cake consideration stage, you're already above your budget. We get it. We're here to tell you that this is one item you can cheap out on, a little, if you need to! People just want the cake to be good; they don't need it to be gourmet. Explore some less expensive options (after tasting them), and keep it simple if it leaves you with some extra money for the honeymoon!
#10 - It doesn't HAVE to be cake.....
Not a big cake person? No problem! Plenty of bakeries offer alternatives, or you can go with cupcakes, an ice cream bar (our personal favorite), donuts (hole-y matrimony) or some other yummy dessert that's sure to please. It's YOUR wedding, though - the other crowd you have to please is yourself!
Have any more tips for finding the perfect wedding cake? What questions do you have for us? Let us know in the comments or send us a message!
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