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  • Writer's pictureJulie Findlay

planning your wedding cake

Some of the questions I am often asked are "What size of cake should we order for our wedding? and "How many tiers do we need to feed our guests?". There are so many things to take in to consideration in the design of your wedding cake so I thought it worthwhile to break them down for you.

Wedding cake sketch with sugar flowers


I usually start by asking the approximate number of guests. This will help your cake designer to know how much actual cake you need. Wedding cake is typically cut in to one inch finger portions, and a 3 tier cake (based on 6”, 8” and 10” wide cakes) would typically give you around 120 portions. You don’t need to cater for your total number of guests, however, the majority of my orders will base their cake on 100% of the their guest numbers.

Also think about whether you’d like your venue to keep some cake back for you and your family to enjoy the following day. All my cakes are baked fresh to order and will last up to a week if kept well wrapped up or in a sealed container. You could even freeze some for a later date. You’d be amazed at how many couples don’t even see the cake again after they have cut it. Let’s face it, you're likely to be busy partying the night away, trying to get round all your guests and might not make it to the buffet!


Each tier of cake can be a different flavour and if you have a double barrel tier (two cakes inside one) then you can also add an additional flavour. It is nice to give your friends and family a choice of cake at your wedding reception. Bear in mind though, the more flavours, the more likely your guests are to have more than one piece! So take that in to account too when you come to select the amount of cake and how many flavours you’d like.

intimate wedding cake duo with sugar ranunclus and eucalyptus


Wedding cakes tend to be cut just after your evening guests arrive, then plated up for the evening buffet. However, some couples like to use their cake as dessert at the wedding meal and therefore cut it earlier in the day. Dessert size portions are bigger so if this is what you plan to use your cake for, be sure to tell your cake maker.


If you have your heart set on a bigger/taller wedding cake, however small your guest list, it is absolutely doable by adding false tiers. When the whole cake is decorated, nobody would know which tiers are cake and which are dummy. Only the couple cutting the cake and the kitchen staff at your venue, need to know that information. So dream big and go for it!


As your cake is going to sit in your reception room, take inspiration from the colours on your tables, flowers, centre pieces, wedding stationery, bridal bouquets, bridal dresses. All of these will help tie your cake in to the overall design or theme of your wedding.

The gallery page on my website will show you a few of the designs I have created to date, and don’t forget about Pinterest. It's an amazing place to get some inspiration and let you see different styles and sizes of wedding cakes. I love it when a couple give me complete free reign to design their wedding cake, but I equally love seeing images of the cakes they like, as it lets me see the style/s they are drawn to.

Some people want their cake to be a feature in their reception room, to get the “Wow” factor when their guests arrive, and others are content to have it sat to the side, until they come to gather their friends & family around them for the ‘cutting the cake’ photo. So think about what you want from your wedding cake.

wedding cake selection with sugar pearls and sugar flowers

I go through all of the above points when I meet couples for their cake consultation and start the design process. However, I’m always happy to answer any questions before you even get to that stage. Just drop me an email or complete the Contact form to get in touch.

You'll find a Portion Guide covering a variety of different round tier sizes below.


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