Icing on the Cake - A Bride’s Guide to Getting Her Dream Wedding Cake
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The Icing on the Cake! - A Bride’s Guide to Getting Her Dream Wedding Cake
By Amanda Stout

bride and groom cutting wedding cake
The Wedding Cake is one of the most recognizable symbols of any wedding day. The tradition, the design and don’t forget the taste! Not only is selecting and designing your wedding cake one of the most important tasks for your big day, it will also be one of the most fun! I mean come on, who doesn’t like cake?? In our guide to getting your dream wedding cake we will cover everything you need to know about wedding cakes. From pricing, to flavors and designs, your perfect wedding cake is just around the corner.

Where to Start!

The first step in searching for the perfect wedding cake is to do just that, search! Get online and see what’s out there. Save pictures of designs, styles and techniques you like. Designing your wedding cake will be much easier if you have already chosen a theme and color scheme for your wedding, for you will probably want to incorporate these elements into your cake design.

Once you have a basic idea of what you want your cake to look like it’s time to start searching for someone to make it! Attend local bridal shows for many bakeries and individual cake bakers will have booths and hopefully samples to taste! Check out their portfolio to see if their style and technique fits your vision. Word of mouth is another great way to find your cake creator. Take recommendations from friends who recently got married. You may also want to look into your venue’s catering staff. They may create wedding cakes or have a contact with a local baker they usually work with.

Before you choose a baker for your cake, set up a meeting with them. Discuss your vision with them and see it is something they can create. Look through their portfolio and pick techniques and elements that you would like to combine or use in your finished design. Make sure that the baker has several flavors of cake for you to test. You may want to see if you can try certain fillings or frosting flavors as well.

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Pricing for your wedding cake depends on a number of variables. Your region, what cake flavors or icings you choose to use and the elaborateness of the design are all major contributors. Wedding cakes usually are priced per slice. You give the baker an estimate of how many guests you will have at your wedding and they will multiple that by their price per slice. The baker may have a base price for their cakes and the more elaborate your design is the more per slice it will cost. Some additional costs will come from using fondant, a smooth satiny covering instead of icing. Intricate gum paste or royal icing flowers or other décor may add to your cost as will special decorating techniques that are time consuming.

A basic cake may start at around $3.00-$5.00 per slice with buttercream frosting and simple design. If you choose to go with fondant instead, add another $1.00 per slice. As said above, using special fillings and decorative elements will add to the cost as well.

Some excellent cost cutters are to utilize fresh flowers on your cake which will be much cheaper than intricate frosting creations. Another cost saver is to use sheet cakes or kitchen cakes to supplement a larger wedding cake.

Another consideration you will want to take into account is that if you are bringing your wedding cake into your venue from an outside source you may be charged a cake cutting fee. This fee includes someone at your reception to cut and plate your entire cake for all of your guests. The average cake cutting fee ranges from $1.25-$1.72. You may be able to negotiate this fee with your venue before signing a contract. Also check with your baker if they charge a delivery fee for your cake. These are definitely things you will want to inquire about before ordering your wedding cake.

Flavors, Frosting or Fondant

Your wedding cake should not only reflect you and your fiancé’s style but also your taste! Choose flavors that you love but also will be received well by all of your guests. Choose a couple different flavors. Select crowd pleasers like white or chocolate cake (or variations of), then have some fun with some more exotic flavors. As long as you have a variety for guests to choose from they will be happy. If you go more traditional with your cake flavors, you can always choose a special filling to add some excitement.

When it comes to choosing between fondant or frosting to Groom dipping bride figurine cake toppercover your wedding cake, there are a couple considerations to take into account. Buttercream frosting is the traditional option for your wedding cake, it tastes great and most people like it. Buttercream can be spread smoothly or piped into beautiful designs. Fondant is a very smooth type of icing covering that gives a clean, level finish to your wedding cake. Fondant isn’t considered the tastiest of cake toppings but couples choose it for its beautiful, modern appearance. Fondant will also hold up better in the heat than icing at an outdoor wedding venue. Fondant will increase the cost of your cake, possibly up to $1 or more per slice.

Wedding Cake Toppers

Once you have your cake ordered and designed you can start thinking about what kind of cake topper you would like or if you want one at all. No more is the only option a traditional bride and groom to stand atop your cake. Nowadays there is a variety of styles, themes, shapes and colors available to fit each marrying couple’s personality. Funny wedding cake toppers offer a twist on the traditional and showcase a bride and groom figurine enjoying hobbies such as sports or even playing video games! Other couples may prefer an elegant monogram initial to top the cake or others may choose to forgo a topper all together. Fresh flowers to accent your cake can also serve as a topper for a beautiful overall look.

Cake Table Decorations and Accessories

While the star of the wedding cake table will surely be the cake itself, you still need a supporting cast to complete the look. Cake table decorations include all the items that you’ll need to perform the cake cutting ceremony and enhance the overall appearance of the table. Consider stringing a playful ‘Just Married’ banner above the cake table or place your cake upon a personalized wedding table runner with the bride and groom’s names or monogram. A special engraved cake server set will look lovey set beside your cake and will become a special keepsake long after the wedding. Personalized napkins and cake plates will also look sweet stacked around the cake table.
So if you have been dreaming up the perfect wedding cake since you were a child, you are ahead of the game. Make some sketches of your dream cake and take those to the baker you select. You may have to scale back on certain elements to cut on costs. Your cake baker should be able to interpret your vision into a cake that fits your budget.
The process of selecting and designing your wedding cake will be one of the most fun and enjoyable tasks of wedding planning. So make sure to include the groom, he will LOVE to go to as many tastings as you want! Also, remember to have a friend or family member set aside a piece of cake for the bride and groom at the reception. Many couples state that they were so busy during their wedding that they didn’t get a chance to have any!
About the Author - Amanda is a writer and product developer for My Wedding Reception Ideas.com. My Wedding Reception Ideas specializes in personalized wedding decorations and wedding favors inlcuding wedding cake toppers and wedding cake table decorations. You can find morehelpful wedding tips, advice and ideas from Amanda and other wedding experts here.

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