A Complete Wedding Cake Checklist

When it comes to your wedding cake, there are layers of decisions to be made. To help you come up with a stunning cake design, use this list to check off your cake preferences and then take it with you to your first meeting with your cake baker.
Slide of wedding cake with layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry
Photo by Rita Maas

Your Budget

Before you dive in, know how much of your budget can be spent on your cake. Before you make appointments, be sure your potential cake bakers are within your price range. What is your cake budget?


Overall Style

When you think of the perfect wedding cake, what style comes to mind?

[ ] Contemporary
[ ] Dramatic
[ ] Ornate
[ ] Regal
[ ] Simple
[ ] Traditional
[ ] Unique
[ ] Trendy
[ ] Classic
[ ] Glamorous
[ ] Themed (for a bird wedding, or a french-style wedding)

Tier Shapes

Given your cake's style, which shape will represent it best?

[ ] Round
[ ] Square
[ ] Rectangular
[ ] Hexagonal
[ ] Triangular
[ ] Topsy Turvy
[ ] Mixed Shapes
[ ] Scalloped
[ ] Sheet cake

Learn more about the wedding cake shapes before you decide on which is best for your wedding.

Number of Servings

The number of cake servings will help determine the size of your cake. In general, three tiers will serve 50-100 guests. So, if you're having 150 or more, you'll likely need four or more tiers. How many guests will you have?

[ ] 0-10 servings
[ ] 10-50 servings
[ ] 50-100 servings
[ ] 100-150 servings
[ ] 150-200 servings
[ ] 200+ servings

Tip: If you have a small guest list, but still want a tall-tiered cake, have your cake baker create the bottom layer out of styrofoam and decorate it to look like the rest of the cake. Alternatively, if you have a robust number of guests to feed, consider ordering a three-tiered cake, and then making up the rest of the slices with a sheet cake (to be sliced up discretely in the kitchen).

Flavors and fillings

When it comes to wedding cake flavors, the more flavorful, the better. First determine your cake flavor. Then, check out the fillings sidebar for mouthwatering suggestions.

[ ] Vanilla
[ ] Chocolate
[ ] Carrot
[ ] Red Velvet
[ ] Yellow
[ ] Lemon
[ ] Orange
[ ] Angel Food

Cake Colors

Decide whether you want your cake to perfectly match your wedding day colors, or whether it will complement them. When it comes to choosing cake colors, stay away from bright, bold colors, and go for edible versions of your wedding day hues.

What color(s) will dominate your cake?

[ ] Yellow
[ ] Green
[ ] Blue
[ ] Purple
[ ] Pink
[ ] Red
[ ] Orange

What color(s) will you accent your cake with?

[ ] Yellow
[ ] Green
[ ] Blue
[ ] Purple
[ ] Pink
[ ] Red
[ ] Orange

Cake Add-ons

The add-ons you choose for your cake will take it from flat to eye-catching. Whether it's a simple ribbon-like trim, sugar flowers, or a polka-dotted patter, decide which accents you want on your cake:

[ ] Stripes
[ ] Swags
[ ] Ribbons
[ ] Bows
[ ] Dots
[ ] Swirls
[ ] Flowers (fresh or sugar)
[ ] Pleats
[ ] Basket-weave
[ ] Quilted
[ ] Scrollwork
[ ] Monogram
[ ] Fresh fruit
[ ] Invitation motif
[ ] Lace-like fondant (to mimic your dress)

Cake Toppers

Consider your cake a great piece of art. Avoid topping your cake with a generic bride and groom topper, or cookie cutter. Instead, top it something that's uniquely you. A few ideas:

[ ] Heirloom cake topper (perhaps your mom and dad's or even grandparent's)
[ ] Meaningful family piece (an antique brooch or small vase)
[ ] Locale topper (cluster of coral for a beach wedding; evergreen for a mountain wedding; or grapes for a vineyard wedding)
[ ] Seasonal topper (fondant snowflake for a winter wedding; autumn leaves for fall; and daisies for summer)
[ ] Monogram topper (sugar letters; frosted monogram cookie topper; or even a chocolate-molded monogram topper)
[ ] Simple toppers (chocolate shavings, fresh or sugar flowers, or a cascade of ribbons)

Tip: Not into the cake topper idea? Don't use one. Some cake designs look great without any topper at all. Do it this way and you won't distract from the pattern on the cake.