I often talk about this question with my couples – just how much cake is enough cake? Do you need to order less cake than the number of guests? After all, not everyone may want cake at the end of the day. Or perhaps you need to order more cake than you have number of guests, because people might want to try more than one of the flavours? Here are my best tips for deciding on the number of servings you want to order for your wedding cake.
How many guests have you invited?
This sounds like a silly question, but it definitely helps to start with the number of people that you’ve invited. It’s most likely that you’re planning to serve your wedding cake at the reception or evening party, where the most number of people are invited. For some couples, this number is less than 40. But, I often find that most couples have about 70-120 guests in the evening.
What I’m basically asking here is, how full are your guests going to be? If you have a full 3+ course dinner planned, then there may be a number of guests who don’t want cake or might want a smaller portion of wedding cake. If you’re offering more of a buffet style dinner, then people may save space for their cake. Equally, I often recommend picking a 2 course meal and using cake as dessert. This saves a little bit of money and guarantees that the cake will be eaten rather than wasted.
What other treats will there be?
Have you got a donut wall planned, or a sweetie cart? The more sweet options there are, the less likely it is that your guests will eat the wedding cake. Lots of suppliers offer donut walls as part of their packages, so you may be getting them for free. You might even be able to save yourself some money by asking to exclude them. Alternatively, you may just decide to drop the number of cake slices.
Another factor to think about are the number of flavours you’ve picked and how different they are. The more varied the flavours, the more likely it is that people may want to try more than one slice. If you’ve decided to have all one flavour, then it’s unlikely that many people will have more than one slice. The same might be said if you’ve picked variations on vanilla like vanilla with different jams. They’re similar enough that people will probably choose their favourite. If you pick lots of different flavours like lemon, sticky toffee and chocolate, there may be some hardcore cake lovers who might like to try more than one slice of wedding cake.
What about us?
When I sit down and talk to couples, we often decide on flavours that they love. Quite rightly, if it’s your wedding cake, you should enjoy eating every tier! However, realistically, if you do plan to have a slice of cake from each tier – that’s 6 slices! If you’ve ordered a really tasty cake, you might have to fight your guests for a slice. Most of my couples say that guests enjoyed the wedding cake so much, there was nothing left at the end!
Don’t forget, when you cut the cake, it’s likely that you’ll be taking a reasonably sized chunk out of one of the tiers of cake. So this can impact how many slices you can cut out of the cake at the end. This isn’t a big problem on larger cakes, but if it’s smaller, the lost slices will be more noticeable.
How do you decide on the final number of slices for your wedding cake?
If you don’t want to do any complicated maths, I typically recommend to couples that they order the same amount of slices as the number of guests they have. There is something about the wedding cake that is part of the tradition so most people will have a slice. By the time a few guests have politely declined and others have tried that second flavour, it all evens out. However, if you want to be sure that everyone has enough for at least one slice and a taste of a second, you might decide to add on an extra 20% of cake. With some combinations of sizes, you may also have to choose between rounding up or down for number of slices, which does give you a bit of flexibility.
As none of my wedding cakes are frozen in advance, you could even take the wedding cake home and freeze it to enjoy in your first few weeks of marriage.
My best recommendation – lots of couples are too busy on their wedding day to eat and enjoy everything they plan. If the cake is important to you, ask your venue to save you a slice of each flavour. That way, you can enjoy cake for breakfast, or even a cheeky midnight snack!
If you’d like to talk about your wedding cake, please do get in touch. Good luck and happy planning.