First of all, hopefully, you have come up with a budget for your wedding. If not, I highly recommend that you do! (If you need some help with this, check out our Bwedd Archive.) Your budget is important especially when it comes to the cake, because the cake is something that it is easy to get carried away with.
You will probably be offered lights, fountains, stands, and more, all for an additional price. Make sure to clarify exactly what each of those additions will costs before signing onto anything. And, make sure to stick with your budget on this. You may not regret going slightly over your budget on some things for your wedding, but if you go over your budget on the cake by a lot, I can almost guarantee you will regret it. (Why? Well, as much as the cake seems important for that perfect wedding, I think you will be surprised at how less important it seems on the day of your wedding.)
Most bakers charge by the slice for wedding cake. So, you will need to know how many people are invited to your wedding and approximately how many will be coming in order to get an accurate cost estimate. (As a general rule of thumb, 15% of your invited guests will RSVP with a "Sorry, cannot attend".)
Always taste the cake of each baker before deciding to go with them. You wouldn't think cake could be bad, but trust me, it can! My husband and I taste-tested three bakers, all of which caused our faces to scrunch up before tasting the fourth delicious cake.
You will probably also be asked to put down 20% of the cost of the cake when you decide on a baker. Be sure to cover all your bases - are you going to have flowers on top of the cake? Does the baker do this, or your florist? What flavor will the cake be? Is there an additional cost for certain flavors?
As with everything at your wedding, your wedding cake design should reflect your personality and the feel of your wedding. If you have decided to have a very traditional wedding, then you will probably want a more traditional cake. If you have decided to have a wedding on the beach in Jamaica, then you may want to have a cake surrounded by fresh fruit and decorated like a beach. If you have been all over the place with the style of your wedding, then just go with a cake that you both like!
F inally, it has come to our attention that brides like you want to see photos of wedding cake designs to get ideas for their weddings. After your wedding, please send me a picture of your cake to share with other brides and grooms! I know they will appreciate it! (firstname.lastname@example.org) And, if you have friends getting married, please have them send us a picture as well! In the meantime, here is a site that shows some wedding cake design photos for you to get some ideas from.
I hope you enjoy choosing your baker and the design of your cake! Just remember, the purpose of the cake is to be eaten and disappear, but your love is everlasting!