The wedding cake is the most delicious—and, thus, maybe the most important—aspect of planning your wedding. With that in mind, let’s take the guesswork out of this delectable process by going over a few of the most commonly asked questions about wedding cakes.
How much cake will I need?
If you’re planning a wedding, you have probably wondered how much cake to get for the big day. The answer varies based on if cake is the only dessert and how you plan on serving it. Remember that your guests will have just eaten a huge dinner, and will likely not have much room for dessert. Also consider that, as unfathomable as it seems, not everyone likes cake in the first place (although some guests will appreciate a piece or two being sent home with them). That being said, you may still be wise to have enough cake for each guest, depending on how you intend to serve your cake, which brings us to the next commonly asked question about wedding cakes.
How should I serve the cake?
While there are many ways you can serve cake, there are two primary ways in which a wedding cake is typically dished up, and the method you choose may influence how much cake you will need. Let’s discuss both of these cake serving methods to help you decide what makes the most sense for you and your guests:
- Plated: Just as the name indicates, plated serving is when the cake is cut, put on a plate, and served to guests at their table after their meal. While this is definitely a classy way of serving cake, it will require that you have a minimum of one serving of cake per guest.
- Cake station: Having a cake station is when your cake is cut and set on a table, and your guests serve themselves. The advantage of a cake station is that you can get away with less cake, as many people won’t make their way to the cake station and get a piece. If your wedding has more than 200 guests, you can probably get by with 20% less cake. But keep in mind that the fewer guests you have, the more precise you need to be. With smaller weddings, planning for 10 to 15% less may be more appropriate.
What about flavors?
First and foremost, choose a flavor that you and your soon-to-be spouse like the most. If the two of you have different preferences, it’s typically best to go with a cake that is half one flavor and half the other flavor. However, the way you serve the cake can have a major influence on how to go about choosing a flavor for your cake. That means that choosing a variety of flavors may or may not be a great idea, depending on how the cake is to be served.
If you plan on plating your cake, one uniform flavor is best. Alternating from flavor to flavor is not as easy as it sounds, as cakes are typically served the way they are cut because waiting for the next tier to be cut makes the process take a lot longer. Having one flavor for your cake helps everything flow and simplifies the job of the wait staff.
If you have a cake station, choosing more than one flavor is simple because your cake designer can create a cake that has the same number of servings of each flavor. Choosing two flavors works the best, as the more flavors you choose, the less evenly dispersed each of them are. You may end up with 30 servings of one flavor, 50 of another flavor, and 100 of another. So, even with a cake station, keeping it simple works best, but it makes having more than one flavor much more practical.
Will getting fake cakes save money?
The short answer is no, fake cakes will not save money. Most of a wedding cake’s cost is based on the time it takes to decorate, deliver, and set up. These costs are still present with fake cakes. Only when you want cake substantially bigger than necessary does a fake cake make sense.
Should I save the top?
Cake designers and bakers usually assume that the top of a wedding cake will be saved, but it doesn’t hurt to confirm with them whether or not you intend to save it. This may make a difference in their final servings count. So, if you want to keep the top, let them know right away.
When you’re shopping for your wedding cake, or anything for your wedding, for that matter, find someone who knows his or her stuff that you’re comfortable working with. Ask them questions and get their input. If they’re good at what they do, they’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions.