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Wedding cake designs - Start from the result and work backwards to get the wedding cake of your dreams with the budget you want

The traditional way to choose among wedding cake designs is to figure out how much you have to spend, count your guest list and pay anywhere from about $3.00 to $15.00 per slice (the more expensive, the more features and better ingredients) depending on what your budget allows.

May we suggest another option? Try starting by finding the cake you want and making compromises as necessary to fit your budget from there. If you don't do it this way, you'll never know what you could get; you'll just end up with what the baker told you was affordable.

If you were a negotiator or if you were buying a car, the best thing to do would be to know your desired result before you begin your dealings. While considering wedding cake designs is much more fun than buying a car, the principle still applies.

Here's a general framework for narrowing down all the possible wedding cake designs to find the one for you -
(We'll discuss how to keep within your budget along the way.)

If you have an idea of your desired shape, colors, and tier design, poke around the wedding cake photo section to bring it all together. As you run across companies or pictures that have wedding cake designs that you like, ask them how you can get a picture of their cake to take to your baker or reception planner. A picture is a great way to communicate your ideas to your baker when it's time to order.

If you don't have any ideas, start limiting yourself by choosing colors (complement your wedding colors if you can). For shapes, eliminate the shapes that you don't want and then your choice will become more clear. Round, square, and hexagon shapes are more traditional. But again, it's your day. If your into trapezoids, triangles, or the often forgotten rhombus (yes, we're kidding), there's somebody out there that will make a wedding cake design out of it. Okay, got a shape? And colors? (Still stuck? Try the cake ideas page for some basic options.)

Do you want tiers, columns, a stacked appearance, or something else? How about the icing? Do you want the cake to be smooth, wovern, or ornate? Will you need a cake stand? Use some pictures of wedding cake designs to see what works for you. Pick what you really want. You can negotiate some of it away if you really need to later.

Okay, now for wedding cake decorations. Do you want an edible gold trim? Glossy finish? Fresh flowers? A certain frosting design? Use the wedding cake picture section to see some possibilities. We'll talk about the wedding cake topper on another page.

Finally, start thinking about, but don't worry yet about wedding cake flavors. You'll want to taste those first when you talk to the caterer or baker.

By now you have a good idea of your dream wedding cake design. Take some wedding cake pictures with you for your visit to the bakery.

If you have a wedding package at a hotel or other facility, you may have a cake included in your package that will limit your choices. This is usually no big deal because they typically will have something close to what you want anyway. Go ahead and ask for exactly what you want. You'll be amazed at how negotiable things are.

Your caterer should let you taste different flavors of cake and icing. A good tip is to have at least two flavors (and more if you'd like) out of consideration for your guests.

Then you can talk about cost. Certain things will limit your ability to do this. You can quickly lower costs by...

...Using less ornate frosting designs as these can be labor intensive - anyway, simple is very classy.

...Having the cake served indoors. Heat limits your icing choices - read “more expensive.”

...Having a smaller wedding cake for visual effect and a large sheet cake with the same ingredients for your guests. TIP: Some inventive couples have made the most of this technique by using a small showpiece cake and putting a simple tier on tables as centerpieces!

...Decorating the cake yourself (actually, a reliable and creative relative or friend should do this - you'll be busy). Tip: If you use flowers, talk to your florist about which ones will look good all night.

...Asking your caterer if less expensive ingredients are available.

Consider these important details and questions with your wedding cake designer or baker:

  • Ask for a detailed quote in writing.

  • Ask about delivery and coordination with your reception location and if necessary, your florist. Are there any extra costs for delivery, setup, etc.?

  • Will they set up the whole table? If not, who will?

  • Ask about cake stands. What do they look like? Included? At extra cost?

  • Ask about deposits and payment arrangements.

  • If it were us, we'd ask how far in advance they would need to start making the cake. Then we'd call them at that time to confirm that they hadn't forgotten or lost the order.

  • What about cake service items? Will you use your own wedding cake accessories or are these provided?

  • Finally, will you save the top tier for your first anniversary? How will this be handled?

  • Do you want to have a groom's cake?

Recommendation: Let the caterer deliver your wedding cake. You don't want the hassle or the risk. Setting up a wedding cake can be tricky and is best left to the pros who have done it over and over, successfully.

The creme-de-la-creme of wedding cake designs can be yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 a slice and up. The cakes at have all the beauty of fondant with the flavor of chocolate. In fact, they are covered in chocolate!

This company has an unusually extensive variety of unique cake and icing options,their artistry is second to none, and get this, THEY SHIP!

HINT: Here's a way to afford a little piece of this luxury without breaking the bank.

You can use one of these wedding cake designs for your groom's cake, bridal shower cake, or edible wedding favors. You could also have a small display cake and a serving cake behind the scenes for much less.

Whether you use them or not, take a look. It's fun just to look at these cakes and imagine what they taste like!

When it's all said and done, don't forget to save some cake for your first anniversary in a

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