What takes the cake at a wedding?

The process of finding a wedding cake for the special day is one of the most important aspects of a wedding that must not wait at the last minute to be planned. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The bride and groom have just left the chapel hand in hand, and what better way is there to celebrate their freshly recited nuptials than to watch them smash cake in each other’s faces?

A wedding cake is often viewed as a vital part of the wedding reception, and there is much preparation that must go into getting that cake as perfect as the ceremony.

According to Bridal Guide’s article “Choosing the Perfect Wedding Cake,” you should start looking for your baker about three to six months before your wedding, and you should begin even sooner “if you want an in-demand pro.” Some cake designers’ schedules fill up as early as a year in advance, the article said.

Once you have scouted out a few bakeries, you may want to schedule tastings, which is when you go into the bakery and sample different cakes to find what you like best.

In the article, Bridal Guide recommended cutting the number of bakers you visit to about two or three. Pricing will range depending on the bakery, so the article said it is good to ask about prices when you call to schedule your tasting.

According to the BrideBox blog titled “How to Successfully Taste Wedding Cakes,” you should not schedule all of your tastings for one day. It can be easy for the cake flavors to blur together in your mind, and tasting cakes can get old fast. Don’t go to a tasting on an empty stomach, either, because if you do, every cake will taste better than the last.

BrideBox also said that “in general, most cake vendors and bakeries offer four to five types of cakes and four to five types of frosting and filling per tasting,” so it is a helpful process in making an informed decision.

While you are at these tastings, it is also important to take detailed notes about each of the bakeries you visit. You will want to remember which cakes you liked and disliked and note the design elements you talked about with the baker.

These elements begin the process of actually constructing your perfect wedding cake. There are a multitude of options to choose from, including size, adornments and frosting colors and types.

On average, three tiers of cake will feed anywhere from 50-100 guests, according to wedding planning site The Knot’s article “Our Top Wedding Tips.” Of course, this will vary by bakery, but it gives you an estimate of what you should be looking for.

According to The Knot, “wedding cake often is priced by the slice — the cost varies, but generally ranges from $1.50 to $15 per slice (though this is a very general and loose estimate). The more complicated the cake (based on intricate decorations or hard-to-find fillings), the higher the price tag.”

There are usually only two types of frosting to choose from, buttercream or fondant, but there is an endless amount of decorations. Fresh fruit and flowers are the least costly, according to The Knot.

Once you choose your baker, cake design and wedding date, you can’t forget about the delivery.

It is important to allow ample time for the baker to deliver the cake, especially if it is extravagant and needs to be assembled at the reception location, according to The Knot. Delivery time varies by cake, so be sure to get everything down in writing.

As you prepare for your special day do not forget to take the time to choose your perfect cake to top off your wedding celebration.