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Wedding Cake Basics

in The Reception
White wedding cake with red stripe, floral design silver touches.

Choosing a wedding cake is one aspect of wedding planning that can be both fun and difficult at the same time (with so many options to choose from these days!) Fortunately, like choosing a wedding dress, the right cake often has a way of presenting itself and most couples just “know” when they’ve found the right one.

Begin by looking at glossy pictures of wedding cakes in bridal magazines and start compiling a small collection of potential pictures. Next, you’ll want to begin to look at wedding cake designers or bakeries in your area – if they have a web site for you to view some of their past creations that’ll be a huge help in predetermining whether they share your vision of the perfect cake.

A few wedding cake “traditions” and tips to keep in mind as the wedding day approaches:

  1. The top ‘tier’ of the wedding cake is by tradition saved for the couple to freeze and enjoy on their 1st anniversary. Ask your catering manager or wedding coordinator to save and package this up for you after the reception.
  2. If you’ve purchased a cake topper, ask your coordinator to retrieve it for you to save.
  3. Purchasing a special cake-cutting knife before the wedding is a great idea – not only will it look nicer, but you’ll insure that you do have one there rather than relying on the caterer to bring one. You can drop it off with your wedding coordinator before the wedding begins.

a great little money-saving trick on the cake

You can actually have your bakery or cake designer create one or more “fake” tiers for the cake, which are simply styrofoam-covered platforms with the same outer layer as the rest of the cake, just made to look exactly the same as the real tier. For the cake-cutting ceremony, you’ll still cut into the real tier of cake, of course, but your guests won’t know the difference when the sliced cake is brought out from the kitchen – slices that came from a much less expensive sheet cake!

did you know? a little wedding cake history…

In medieval England, wedding guests traditionally brought their own wedding cakes to the big day and attempted to stack one on top of the other to form a multi-tiered collection of cakes. The bride and groom would then try to kiss each other over the whole stack – if they were successful and managed to kiss without the cakes toppling over, it was said to be a sign of good luck and prosperity!