sugar flowers by kelsie cakes notebook sketching ideas
sugar flowers by kelsie cakes notebook sketching ideas

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged

Sugar Flower FAQs

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However, I make it a point to only share tools and resources I truly love and use. 



Close up of burgundy dahlia Sugar flower on a wedding cake cascade

First off, if you're reading this blog post, congrats! 💍 You’re engaged and diving into the wonderful (and sometimes chaotic) world of wedding planning. One of the sweetest parts of your big day ✨literally✨ is the wedding cake. Whether you’re dreaming of a classic tiered beauty or a more unique confection, that’s where I come in. 

sugar artist standing next to wedding cake with sugar flowers

And just who am I? I’m Kelsie Delisle, owner of Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes and I’ve worked in the wedding industry (or wedding industry adjacent) for my entire career. That’s over 10 years working in bakeries and almost 9 years as a sugar artist designing wedding cake topper sugar flowers! I’ve also gotten married myself, so I’ve got loads of experience on both sides and I want to share what I know with you! 

Ready to plan your wedding cake? Let’s go! I’ll break down all the important stuff to know, and you’ll get to enjoy every bite of this delicious process.

Set Your Budget

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

First things first: know what you're willing to spend. The average cost of a wedding cake in the U.S. is around $500, but it can go much higher depending on the design and number of guests. And the more extravagant the design, the more expensive the cake. 

According to Kyra Bussanich when interviewed by people.com, “…there's a palpable shift back towards grandeur and extravagance in weddings, manifesting in significantly larger dessert budgets. The average budget for a wedding cake has astonishingly more than quadrupled in the past three years. 

Tip: Allocate about 2-3% of your total wedding budget to your cake. This gives you a realistic framework and helps manage expectations. And if you want to include extra details like custom sugar flowers, cake toppers, or an additional dessert table, be sure to include that in your budget as well!



The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes


Find Your Wedding Cake Style

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

Your cake is an opportunity to reflect your personal style and wedding theme. This is the fun part! If you’re not sure where to start, your baker is a great person to guide you in this process (more about finding your dream baker later!)

You’ll get your best wedding cake ideas after some of the other details of your wedding have come together. Be sure to book your venue, know your floral design and color palette first. You can also use your wedding dress, stationary suite, and other details to guide your final design!

Here are some popular trends:

  • Wildflowers and Flow-y Florals: Whether you’re using pressed flowers, fresh flowers, or sugar flowers, this flow-y trend is perfect for a boho or garden-themed wedding.
  • Maximalism: Bold colors and intricate designs for those who love drama. And you can combine this with the wildflowers trend easy-peasy!
  • Modern Minimalism: Clean lines and simple elegance never go out of style. Even with the trend toward maximalism and dramatic cakes, clean and modern designs are still popular with couples! (An interesting fun fact is that sometimes the most simple cake designs are the hardest to create! There is no room for error! When your cake is covered in flowers or sequins or piping, little mistakes can disappear into the details.)

Inspiration: Check out Pinterest or Instagram for so many ideas. Feel free to go wild and save everything that you love, but after that be sure to cull down the ideas to a few of your favs!

Choosing Your Wedding Cake Baker

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

Selecting the right baker is crucial. You’ll want someone who understands your vision and can execute it flawlessly. You also want to work with someone who makes really yummy cakes! Here's what to keep in mind:

Research

Look up reviews and portfolios of local bakers. Don't forget to check their social media! Check local wedding blogs (for example in my hometown, Marry Me Tampa Bay is a popular local blog), wedding sites like Style Me Pretty, and Carats & Cake, and read reviews from sites like Zola.

Schedule Tastings

Schedule tastings to sample their cakes. This is also a great time to discuss your design ideas and budget. Some bakers charge upfront for a tasting, and some provide tastings as a complementary service. Even if you don’t end up booking the bakery, treat your tasting as an opportunity to explore what you like about wedding cake designs, trends, and flavors. 

Ask for References

Ask your friends who they used for their wedding cakes! You can also ask the other vendors you’ve hired who’s a great baker to work with. Your planner, venue, and caterer all probably have preferred vendor lists of people they love to work with. (Here’s a list of bakers I’ve worked with in Tampa!)

Pro Tip: If you're looking for breathtaking sugar flowers, reach out to me at Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes. I specialize in custom, artisan-crafted floral designs that will make your cake truly unforgettable. I can work directly with you or with your baker to make sure everything comes together flawlessly!

Design Your Cake

cake sketch on ipad procreate

Now we can really get creative! Work with your baker to design a cake that complements your wedding theme and colors and your personal style. These are some wedding cake design tips to consider:

Shape and Size

Traditional round tiers, square, or even a unique shape like hexagon or heart-shaped. Note the shape of the tiers will affect the number of servings!

Flavors

From classic vanilla to exotic passion fruit, pick flavors you both love. (Spoiler alert: I love them both!) If you’re going to have more than one flavor, you might want to order extra servings because some guests want to try all the flavors!

Frosting

Buttercream, fondant, ganache—each has a different look and taste. They all can work with different styles and finishes, and depending on your location, one option may be better suited than others (here in Florida it’s sooo humid so that’s something we have to keep in mind!)

Decor

Think about incorporating sugar flowers, fresh flowers, or even edible gold leaf. Also consider if you’re going to have a cake topper, acrylic tiers, what kind of cake stand to rent, and how the table will be decorated (linens, fresh flowers, candles?)

Photo Op

According to The Knot, “Extra-tall cakes (think six and seven tiers or more) will tower above dessert tables, creating a focal point at your reception venue and giving you the ultimate cake cutting photo opportunity.”

Logistics and Delivery

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

Ensure that your baker handles the logistics seamlessly. If you’re working with a wedding planner, you’ll want to make sure all the vendors have each others’ contact information! Confirm these details:

Delivery Time

Cakes are usually delivered a few hours before the reception to keep them fresh. Sometimes the delivery window may change, like if you’re doing a room flip or if you’re just having a display cake with cutting cake tucked away in the back.

Setup

Make sure there's a designated spot for the cake at your venue, away from direct sunlight and high traffic. Your wedding cake is a centerpiece of your wedding! Make sure the cake table decor is confirmed and don’t forget about lighting!

Stand and Utensils

Some bakers (and even caterers) provide cake stands and cutting utensils, but always check.

Extra Boxes

If you’re getting more cake than you have guests, or if you’re also having a dessert table, make sure you have extra boxes to take home any leftovers at the end of the wedding! 

Tip: Ask your wedding planner to set aside a couple extra cake slices for you to enjoy the next morning!

Cutting the Cake

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

The cake cutting is a major photo op. Practice how you’ll cut the cake, and decide if you’ll feed each other a piece or stick to a traditional slice. This is something you can chat with your photographer about!

When I got married, we didn’t practice the cake cutting beforehand, so my husband was confused about where to stand so we would both be in the picture! Our cake was huge, so we had to get the angle just right.

🎉 Fun Fact: According to The Knot, 77% of couples opt for a traditional cake-cutting ceremony.

Alternatives to Traditional Cakes

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

Not a fan of traditional cakes? No problem! Consider these alternatives —

Cupcake Towers

This is a fun way to show off a variety of flavors and you can go all-out styling the table with cupcakes, flowers, candles, and decor! 

Dessert Tables

Like cupcake towers, dessert tables are a beautiful and tasty way to provide different flavors! Offer a variety of sweets, like brownies, macarons, cookies, cannolis, and you can even have a mini cake in the center for that cake cutting photo op!

Cheese Cakes

For a savory twist, stack wheels of cheese to resemble a cake. Note that your guests with a sweet tooth might be a little disappointed to see “cheese cake” instead of “cheesecake.” And hey, you can stack (almost) anything in tiers, like chocolate chip cookies.

Ordering Custom Sugar Flowers for Wedding Cakes

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes

Adding custom sugar flowers can elevate your cake from beautiful to breathtaking. Whether your baker doesn’t make Sugar Flowers in-house, or you’re booking your cake with a hotel, grocery store, or caterer, you can still have incredible, handcrafted florals for your cake! And I promise I’ll make the process easy for you, too. Here’s how to work with me:

Consultation

Reach out to me with your wedding details and we can schedule a consultation. We’ll discuss your wedding theme, color palette, and flower preferences.

Design Approval

I’ll create a design mock-up for your approval and email it to you along with your quote.

Delivery

Your sugar flowers will be carefully packaged and delivered to you or your baker for final assembly. I’ll also provide videos, photos, and documents when needed to make sure the design is executed just as you envisioned!



The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Cake Planning for the Newly Engaged Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes


Wedding Cake Checklist for Engaged Couples

digital download mockup wedding cake checklist

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the details? I made something just for you to make your wedding cake planning a breeze. Check out my Wedding Cake Checklist for Engaged Couples. This comprehensive guide and workbook covers everything you need to know, from setting your budget to choosing flavors and coordinating delivery.

Helpful Resources

sugar flowers by kelsie cakes notebook sketching ideas

Wedding Planning Books

A Practical Wedding Planner” (and the first book “A Practical Wedding”) are great starting points. I used them when planning my own wedding!

Emily Ley’s “Simplified Wedding Planner” is also a beautiful and practical tool.

Online Tools

Websites like Zola offer planning tools and checklists.

Final Thoughts

Woman sitting in her Art studio at her desk

Planning your wedding cake should be a delightful experience, not a stressful one. Take it step-by-step, enjoy the process, and don't hesitate to ask for help when needed. Remember, your cake is not just a dessert; it’s a centerpiece to your wedding that adds to the beauty and joy (and yumminess) of your special day.

And if you need sugar flowers? Reach out to me at Sugar Flowers by Kelsie Cakes to make your wedding cake dreams come true. Happy planning! xo



Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However, I make it a point to only share tools and resources I truly love and use. 

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