This wedding cake size and servings guide will help you determine the number and size of cake tiers to suit your precise wedding guest numbers. Trying to figure out how big a wedding cake you will need can be daunting, especially when what you want may not fit with what you may need. After all, most of us have never had to cater for hundred-plus guests. The expertise of a professional cake maker will be invaluable to keep things balanced whilst still achieving all your wish list items from your wedding cake. Here are some things I discuss with my couples during our consultations.
When determining your wedding cake size and servings you must first calculate the number of guests you would like to have a slice of cake with. Believe it or not, not everyone will want a piece of cake! This could be due to dietary reasons or simply not liking cake (Weird but true)! Alternatively, some guests (The best ones) may want seconds or even the option to try each flavour of cake you have selected. Your cake designer will help you determine the correct amounts and cake sizes to achieve this figure, thus ensuring that you do not have wasted cake or have too little cake! A general guide is 80% of your guest list.
If you are having your wedding cake as the main dessert to be served as part of the wedding breakfast, then you will need to cater to have a plated slice for each of your guests while they are still seated at the tables. It is common here in the UK to cut the wedding cake just before or during the “night do”. In this instance, it is unlikely that everyone will stop to grab a piece of cake whilst having a boogie. Consider catering to 80% of your evening guest list.
It is becoming popular for couples to have a wedding cake as the centrepiece of a dessert table. Without a doubt, guests will find it very tempting to try more than one item, so I would often advise my couples to cater for each of their guests having two treats.
There is a good reason why the wedding cake tradition has endured over the centuries; it’s the iconic decorative centrepiece, a conversation starter and a dessert all wrapped up in one beautifully tasty package.
Many couples come to me with an idea of the general look of their wedding cake. These ideas are adapted to ensure they work perfectly for the couple’s one-of-a-kind needs. For instance, if you are having a garden wedding in July, I recommend an iced cake over a buttercream cake to reduce the risk of damage due to melting. Similarly, if you would like a wedding cake with intricate hand-modelled decorations but have a smaller guest list, you would still need a large multi-tier cake to pull off this look. I would combine genuine cake tiers with false dummy cakes to achieve this look but avoid excess cake.
Saving the Top Tier
Many couples still adhere to the 19th-century tradition of saving the top tier of their wedding cake for their first anniversary or even their first baby’s christening. In this case, don’t include it when calculating the quantity of cake needed to serve your wedding guests. Your wedding cake designer will help you figure out the next size of tier combination required to do the job.
As you can see, baking and decorating the perfect wedding cake requires a lot of time, specialised skills and attention to detail. To achieve this, the best artists out there only take on a limited number of couples each year. If there is an artist you love, then I would recommend securing your wedding date one year before your wedding date or as far in advance as possible. This will ensure you get the ideal sizing, flavours and look you can imagine.