How to choose a wedding cake


If you think a wedding cake has to be a three-tiered white cake, think again. The latest trends in wedding cakes are all about creative, not traditional, according to Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of The Knot.

How to choose a wedding cake

The second most important part of a woman’s wedding next to their dress is the wedding cake. Do you have to stick to the traditional white multi-tiered cake? Do you have to spend a small fortune? There are a few guidelines you can follow:

  • The wedding cake is becoming a real source of fun, entertainment and visual excitement on the wedding day.
  • Wedding cakes of all varieties (e.g. bright colors, themes relevant to the couple) are becoming popular these days.
  • The wedding cake is actually become the main dessert at weddings, so it’s important for your cake to not just look great but taste great too.
  • The making of a wedding cake is actually artistry and can be priced anywhere from $20-$30 a slice. Individual wedding cakes for each guest can cost $50 each.
  • A groom’s cake is a fun southern tradition. It is a thematic cake that guests receive slices of to take home with them.
  • When considering a baker for your cake you should make sure that the cake tastes good and that they are reliable. Check their reputation online or through other couples who’ve recently married and may have experience with them.
  • Book the popular cake bakers in your town early so you don’t miss out.

LISA: I'm Lisa Birnbach for Most brides put more effort into choosing a gown than any othe aspect of their wedding. And the second most important decision is usually the cake. Do you have to stick to the traditional white multi-tiered cake and do you have to spend a small fortune? Here with some answers is Carley Roney, editor in chief of Her new book is The Knot Book of Wedding Lists. Carley, the cake: I only imagine a white-tiered cake.

CARLEY:  The cake is becoming a real source of fun and entertainment and visual excitement for the wedding day. There's a lot of creativity kind of with brides and across the industry on the front of the cake.

LISA:  What about the taste? Do people really care about how good the cake is because they don't really eat it do they?

CARLEY:  Well these days the cake is actually much more of the dessert. People are putting so much money into them and thinking well maybe a little side item, let's make sure it tastes good as well. But, the best cake bakers around the country, that's their big claim to fame, that is doesn't just look great but it tastes great too.

LISA:  I have seen in magazines that cakes, wedding cakes can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. What have you--what is the most amazing cake you've seen?

CARLEY:  Well, yes you know cakes can cost you know 20 dollars, 30 dollars a slice. There are even weddings where people are having little individual mini-cakes made for everyone in the wedding and those can cost up to 50 dollars a person because it's an amazing amount of intricate work that's being done. Cake baking is really artistry. They have people sitting back there hand-molding flowers out of fon dent and hand painting them with paint brushes in the exact colors of your wedding day to make that incredible work of art where at the point nobody even wants to eat because it's so beautiful. 

LISA:  Now what is a groom's cake?

CARLEY:  A groom's cake is this fun southern tradition, where the traditional cake was considered the bride's cake, and the groom's cake was sort of a thematic and fun cake that was on the side that people got to take slices home with them as a sort of party favor of the night.

LISA:  Now besides knowing that the work looks good, what if you have found the baker who is the diva of all time. I mean should you get references from other married couples on these bakers?

CARLEY:  There are two things you always have to look at with your wedding vendors no matter who you're really looking at. One, you have to make sure that you get along with them and that their service is good. With the cake maker honestly it's your tasting. Does this taste good? That should be an important fact to you not just because they have pretty pictures in their book. You should be able to meet with them and find that out. But this person isn't going to be with you on your wedding day so you don't actually have to like them per se--

LISA:  Right. 

CARLEY:  You just want to make sure that they have a good product and then you want to sort of look at their reliability factor. So check online to see what other people have had to say about them. Ask other brides and grooms. You know you don't want the person, they actually, when they arrived half way through the reception, we worried the cake wasn't going to be there. But their reliability is really the only thing you can't necessarily judge. You want the one who has the good reputation in town probably. You know, has that--there's a reason they've got repeat business. 

LISA:  Exactly. Well thank you Carley. For I'm Lisa Birnbach. 

meet theexpert
  • Carley Roney

    Carley Roney Editor-in-Chief, The Knot Carley Roney is editor-in-chief of The Knot, the number one wedding brand worldwide, as well as The Nest. She has authored nine wedding books for The Knot and appears regularly on TV shows such as Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View and Today. more about this expert »