With so much planning that goes into a wedding, it seems like designing your wedding cake would be one of the easier — and more fun — parts of planning. While there’s nothing quite like an afternoon of tasting (Sign us up!), there’s still plenty to consider when choosing the right cake. Taste is certainly important, but your cake is going to be in a ton of photos too, so the aesthetic has to be just right.
Wedding Planner and Stylist extraordinaire Beth Helmstetter shared her top tips for designing your dream wedding cake with us, below.
When designing a wedding cake, most people just think of the icing and the actual decor placed on the cake, but for the most thoughtful display, I consider the following 9 elements in the design and presentation:
1. Cake type and flavor. Obviously you want the cake to taste good, but if you obsess over every detail, you’ll also want to consider what the cake will look like when you cut into it. Do you like the idea of cutting into a cake with some color, or do you like more subtle tones? For instance: a red velvet makes a little more of statement, but a classic white cake filled with berries is super pretty, too. In the end, choose a flavor you love, but give some thought as to how it will look when you actually cut into and how it will appear when presented to the guests.
2. The icing and design of the icing. This one is obvious. Most people have a look they love already in mind, which will determine the icing. If you like more of a simple, effortless look, buttercream will usually do the trick. If you want something more complicated or formal, fondant or rolled white chocolate are the typical solutions.
3. The decor on the cake. Do you want fresh flowers for a more organic look? Or perhaps you like the idea of sugared flowers or other design elements to create a little sculptural piece of art? Or maybe you like the idea of ribbons, or something simple like raw sugar or coconut?
4. The cake stand. For something sweet and effortless, we love to use a simple porcelain stand, like the one shown from Pottery Barn. If we are going rustic, a reclaimed wood box would be the perfect accent. Or, if more formal, a silver or gold cake stand would make a statement. No matter what, don’t forget this design detail — it finishes the look of the cake off perfectly.
5. The table the cake is displayed on. We used a hutch in this display for a more residential feel, but sometimes layers and layers of luxurious linens are the answer, or even a hanging installation overflowing with flowers can be perfect — it all depends on the look you want to create. No matter what, don’t forget to give the table a little love.
6. The cake server and champagne flutes. Many people still keep these details forever, which is a lovely tradition, but no matter what, don’t forget to think about this detail so you don’t end up cutting your cake with a random knife from the caterer’s kitchen. I love this cake serving set. And if you want to make sure everything is extra sweet, think about a little touch of decor for the cake knife and accent for the champagne flutes.
7. The backdrop for the cake. This is an important one. Many, many pictures will be taken in front of your cake, so make sure you’ve displayed your cake in the absolute prettiest corner of your reception space. If you want to get extra creative, don’t be afraid to custom make a backdrop just for your cake display. It’s a detail you won’t regret.
8. The plates and decor for the final slice of cake. We love to show guests we’ve thought of everything when it comes to the presentation of their actual piece of cake. We often rent special plates just for this moment and accent the cake with a fresh herb, edible flowers or even just berries depending on what the occasion calls for.
No matter what, just have fun with your cake display. Don’t obsess too long about the above details, but if you love charming touches as much as we do, this is the perfect checklist to show guests you’ve thought of every moment.