06/19/2012 12:26 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2012

How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Cake

I believe the cake is one of the most anticipated elements of any wedding, second only to the bride! Of course, I might be just a little biased. As a cake designer and the owner of Just Cake in California, I have dedicated my career to making wedding cakes that are as innovative and unique as each of my couples.

Still, cake credentials aside, I think most wedding guests would agree that the cake is the piece de resistance of any wedding. The wedding cake is often the focal point of the reception and most guests look forward to the wedding cake with anticipation as they imagine what the cake will look and taste like. In essence, the wedding cake tends to sum up the event, so it's no wonder that the wedding cake remains one of the most enduring wedding traditions.

After creating innumerable wedding cakes and working with brides of every age, demographic, and taste profile, I think the best piece of advice I can give to nervous brides out there is this: Be true to yourself. Personalization is the key to achieving your dream confection. Ask yourself: What will make you smile? The cake is something you only have "one" of, so it doesn't have to match every other element of your event. It's an opportunity to carry a theme through or permission to depart from tradition all together and create something completely unique and wonderful.

Sometimes the answer is an over-the-top whimsical design that will make your guests jaws drop! Another avenue may be a modern interpretation of your grandparents "vintage" cake. A design that means a lot to you personally is the best design as far as I'm concerned. One of the best compliments I can receive after designing a cake is "that is so us!" A true cake artist can and should conjure up a design that will evoke any range of emotion you desire.

A few tips before meeting with a cake artist:

  • Do your homework. Have an idea of the general styles, shapes and colors you are attracted to prior to your meeting. There is very little even the best artist can do with: "I don't know."
  • Have a general budget determined before arriving. If budget is an issue just be upfront about it. I work with all sorts of budgets! It's just helpful to know in advance what numbers you are comfortable with so your cake can be designed with that in mind. It really helps eliminate disappointment and frustration later in the process.
  • Bring as much information about your event with you to your consultation as you can. Have an invitation, color swatches, photos of your dress and florals? Bring them. Anything can be used as a starting point and provide inspiration for the cake of your dreams!
  • Only bring the people involved in making the final decision to your consultation. I know cake tasting is the one wedding chore that you will surely get a lot of volunteers for! Too many opinions are distracting and ultimately complicate the process.
  • Above all please remember it's "JUST CAKE". Enjoy the process and have fun.