How to decide on a wedding cake

How to decide on a wedding cake

Wedding cakes. Often the centrepiece of the wedding, wedding cakes are a timeless tradition that continues to be popular with newlyweds across the UK. But with it representing such an important moment in your life, how do you decide on the look and (more importantly) the taste of your wedding cake? 

In this article, we are going to explore where wedding cakes came from, the symbolism behind them, how to choose a wedding cake, and provide some much-needed wedding cake inspo for you.

The history of the wedding cake 

Believe it or not, wedding cakes actually date all the way back to Ancient Rome! Far from what we see today, Roman wheat cakes were broken up and the crumbs thrown at the bride and groom to signify fertility and fruitfulness, before the couple ate the crumbs together as a symbol of unity. 

Over the years, these cakes morphed into the more traditional designs, closer to those that we recognise today. During the Victorian era, wedding cakes covered in white icing became popular due to the colour’s representation of purity and the status symbol that came with using white sugar.

Simple wedding cake

Today, wedding cakes come in all shapes, sizes, flavours and colours, but are still a staple at most weddings. In fact, some couples are opting to replace the traditional wedding cake with stacks of cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and even cheese!

The symbolism behind the wedding cake

Other than fertility and status, wedding cakes symbolise a number of different things. For example, the cutting of the cake is a public display of the couple’s willingness to share everything. Pressing down on the knife together symbolises the couple’s love and commitment to each other, as they are working together to complete their first task as newlyweds. 

Traditionally, the act of the husband placing his hand over the bride’s when cutting the cake symbolises his promise to take care of her, and the act of cutting from the bottom tier serves as a reminder of the longevity of the relationship.

As well as this, it was tradition for newlyweds to freeze the top tier of their cake and enjoy it on their first anniversary or at the Christening of their first child. This tradition started as a way to manifest prosperity and good luck for the rest of the marriage (and is just a good way of enjoying your delicious wedding cake one more time after the day is over!)

How to choose a wedding cake

So, now you know the historical importance and symbolism behind a wedding cake, it’s time to choose one. But how? With TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram serving a never-ending stream of inspiration, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices and make a final decision. 

There are quite a lot of things you need to consider when deciding on your wedding cake, which hopefully will make the decision that little bit easier.

Consider your budget

We hate to be boring, and you’ve probably heard it throughout your entire wedding planning process, but your budget is a major consideration when choosing a wedding cake. Wedding cakes can be expensive, and if your budget can’t stretch far, getting your heart set on an extravagant, multi-tiered cake is sure to end in heartbreak. 

If, though, you’re at the other end of the spectrum and budget isn’t an issue, you can choose basically whatever you want.

Think about your number of guests

Another way to narrow down what cake you need is to think about how many guests you have. If you’ve opted for a small, intimate affair and have a guestlist of 20 people, going for a 3-tiered, lavishly decorated cake would be wasteful, whereas if you’ve got over 200 people celebrating your marriage, a single tier probably won’t be enough.

Choose flavours based on what you both enjoy

Traditionally, wedding cakes were made out of fruit cake. However, in recent years, couples have been opting for flavours that they both enjoy, such as salted caramel, red velvet, lemon, carrot - or even a different flavour for each tier!

Don’t let other people convince you to buy a fruit cake wedding cake if you and your partner don’t like fruit cake, just because it’s traditional. Sit down together and brainstorm flavour combinations that you both like. Attend wedding fayres and cake tastings to get an understanding of what is out there. Ultimately, it is your wedding day, and your guests will enjoy your cake that little bit more knowing that it is personal to you.

Review your theme and colour scheme

Gone are the days when wedding cakes were limited to traditional white designs. Today, wedding cakes come in all sorts of colours, offering you the opportunity to have fun with your colour choice and inject your personality into your cake.

Wedding cakes are now seen as a key part of your overall wedding decor. Communicating with your cake designer is key to ensuring that your cake seamlessly integrates with the venue, theme, decor, and colour palette of your celebration. Providing them with details about your venue, theme, and colour scheme will enable them to make a cake that complements the overall aesthetic.

Don’t be afraid to branch out from white. Embrace the opportunity to explore a spectrum of colours that align with your wedding theme and personal style. If your colour palette is bright and colourful, why not reflect this in your cake? Imagine a cake adorned with bold hues, matching the vivid flowers, bridesmaid dresses, or other elements of your wedding decor.

Image of floral wedding cake

Find a reputable bakery

Now that you’ve narrowed down your budget, figured out your guest count, had a discussion about your favourite flavours and reviewed your overall theme, you need to find a bakery that is able to bring your vision to life. 

Make sure you do your research - you don’t want your day to be dampened by a wedding cake design that didn’t go to plan or a flavour fail!

How many tiers should my wedding cake have?

As we’ve already mentioned, the size and number of tiers your wedding cake has will depend on the number of guests you have. Traditionally, wedding cakes are three-tier confections, with the bottom tier eaten at the wedding, the middle tier distributed after the event, and the top tier saved and frozen for a later date. 

This being said, weddings are not one-size-fits-all, and an increasing number of couples are ditching the three-tier wedding cake tradition in favour of a single-tier or deconstructed look (where the tiers are not stacked).

You want to make sure you have enough cake to go around and feed all of your guests, but not be left with too much cake at the end of the day. Your baker will be able to go through options and help you figure out how much cake you actually need.

However, if you only have 50 guests, but still want the extravagance and tradition of a multi-tiered cake, you could consider a fake tier but please note that this will not necessarily reduce your costs as the largest component of a wedding cake cost is the time taken to decorate them. These tiers can either be made out of polystyrene and covered in the same icing as your cake tiers, so that it blends in, or you can break your cake tiers up with acrylic boxes - depending on your vision. 

Clear acrylic boxes can make your cake tiers appear as if they were floating, giving a whimsical, magical feel to your cake. Or, these tiers can be filled with flowers to give an extra nod to your decor and further wow your guests! The options are endless!

How to choose a reputable bakery

Choosing the perfect baker for your wedding cake can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be! Here are our top tips for choosing a reputable bakery for your special day:

  • Speak to family and friends that are already married. Do they recommend their baker? Did your brother have the most beautiful wedding cake that you’ve ever seen? Or did your best friend highly recommend the person that made their wedding cake? It’s always less stressful when you choose someone who has been recommended as they are tried and tested by people you trust,
  • Attend wedding fayres and test cake samples. One of the best things about wedding planning is receiving all of the free samples that are offered out at wedding fayres. Cake is no different! Lots of local bakers will showcase their work at wedding fayres, so this is a good place to start.
  • Ask your caterers. If you’ve already chosen your caterers, this could be the perfect starting point. Either, wedding cakes are part of their portfolio and they can make it for you (reducing the amount of different suppliers you need to keep track of and pay), or they can use their years of experience and endless list of contacts to recommend bakers that fit your style and budget.
  • Research, research, research. The internet is your best friend during wedding planning. A simple Google search can go a long way. Make sure you read the reviews to get real thoughts and opinions from couples who used that bakery for their special day. 

Wedding cake inspiration

And now for the bit you’ve all been waiting for. Some glorious inspiration for your special day! 

Simple but elegant

These designs were really all about the simplicity to let the flavours shine.


Pretty piping

These cakes have an extra pizazz with the addition of beautifully piped designs and floral patterns to match the theme of the day.


Vibrant and colourful

These cakes are truly showstoppers that allow the couples to showcase their personality beautifully!


Geometric and different

Who said all wedding cakes had to be round? This cake shows that you really can choose whatever you want for your special occasion!

How Gaya’s Cakes can help

Gaya’s Cakes specialise in bespoke occasion cakes that are uniquely chic, romantic and floral.

We have extensive experience in creating beautiful wedding cakes for our customers. We are thrilled to have been entrusted by so many couples to bake and decorate their wedding cake, and we are proud of our passion and creativity that goes into every bespoke order we receive.

As well as our bespoke baking service, we also make a selection of other treats to suit any occasion. We bake and decorate all of our treats with the best ingredients to ensure that our customers always receive top quality products from us.

Browse our range of cakes, cupcakes, desserts and postal treats on our website, or contact us today to discuss your wedding cake ideas.