1. Consider purchasing your cake from a non-commercial baker who works out of his or her home.
2. Consider buying your cake from a culinary school. If students are baking and decorating wedding cakes as part of their curriculum, you may be able to get a really great deal on a cake.
3. Keep decorations simple. Don’t select a cake with elaborate decorations.
4. If you want an elaborate cake, ask your baker if you can provide some of the extras. You can find sugar flowers, ribbons, dragees (round edible sugar balls) and marzipan at cake decorating or pastry shops.
5. Order an elaborate, smaller “display” cake for the ceremonial cake cutting. Then have sheet cakes of the same recipe and design made to serve the guests.
6. Consider having a small cake for the ceremonial cake cutting and cupcakes decorated in a similar fashion to the ceremonial cake at each place setting. Decorated cupcakes can also be set at the cake table, stacked on a tiered server of some kind. Cupcakes are a great idea if you are not into lavishly decorated cakes and are on a budget. It also adds a little fun and individuality to the reception.
7. Don’t save the top tier. Many couples save the top of their cake to eat on their first anniversary, yet don’t eat it because after a year in the freezer, it is does not taste very good. Time does not improve the quality or appearance of wedding cake. If you want to preserve the tradition, try keeping just one or two pieces of the top tier. Or, for your anniversary, have a duplicate of the top tier made.
8. Consider asking for a cake topper on your gift registry or as a wedding shower gift. Make sure you are clear on what type of topper you want.
9. Order less cake. If you plan on serving a dessert in addition to the wedding cake, or having a sweets table, plan on fewer servings of your cake and serve smaller portions.
10. Don’t have a groom’s cake.