There is a great debate over what size wedding cake you should order for your big day. You see, there are differing opinions among bakers about how many servings to expect from different size cakes. They do, however, agree that a cake stand will make your cake display pop. You can get yours now. As a result, bakers use different charts to demonstrate what size cake you will need for a certain number of guests. Some bakers use charts they have made themselves while others use charts from well known sources. Here is an example of a cake size chart you might see...
Now, if you compare charts from different bakers, you might see the same size cake that offers different serving amounts. Here is a cake chart by Earlene's that indicates a 6 inch cake will offer 8 servings:
Whereas, this cake chart by Wilton indicates that a 6 inch cake will offer 12 servings.
Neither cake size chart is wrong. It is likely that whoever made the chart used their experience to determine the number of servings for each size cake. But this doesn't help when you need to place an order for your wedding cake. So, what size wedding cake should you order? Here are some tips to help you decide:
#1 Choose a Cake Slice Size
Do you want to serve your guests thin or thick slices of cake? Traditionally, high-end venues serve very thin slices (less than an inch thick) whereas more casual affairs serve thicker slices (about 2 inches thick) like you would have at home. The size of your cake slice is up to you and what you would like to treat your guests to.
Make sure to tell whoever will be cutting your cake what size slices you would like served. You wouldn't want to run out of cake if the slices are cut too thick.
#2 Decide Whether You Want To Offer Seconds
While you should not feel pressure to offer your guests a second slice of cake, it is such a nice treat if you want to make your guests feel special. If you do decide to offer seconds, you will need to order a bigger cake to accommodate for the extra slices.
Budget-friendly tip: Serve thin slices of cake so you have cake leftover for those who want seconds. Worried your cake might look too small? A cake stand will make it look bigger! Get one now.
#3 Hands-Off the Top Cake Tier
Save the top tier of your cake for yourself. While I would not advise freezing your wedding cake and then eating it on your one year anniversary (freezer burn never tastes good!), you should take the top cake tier home to enjoy with your spouse the day after your wedding. So, don't count the top cake tier when deciding on the size of the cake to order for your guests.
It is customary for your baker to include a to-go box for the top cake tier when your cake is delivered and set up at your venue. Make sure whoever is cutting your cake knows where the to-go box is and that you want to take the top cake tier home with you.
Pow-Wow With Your Baker
Go over these decisions with your baker and decide together what size cake you should order for the number of guests you expect to attend your wedding. Your baker should have a cake size chart for reference and this where you should check to see if the cake slice size you want matches the number of servings per tier. I would suggest checking the number of servings per tier yourself to make sure you are ordering the right size.
When in doubt, ask if there are any cakes in the bakery you can see right then that are the same size as the cake you want to order. This will help make sure you are both on the same page and that there are no surprises on your big day.
Coordinate with Your Venue
Don't expect your baker to tell your venue staff how you want your cake served or any other details about your cake. It is up to you to consult with whoever is in charge at your venue about cake slices, serving seconds, and saving the top cake tier for yourself.
If there is any leftover cake, tell your venue staff whether you want to save the extra cake or not. Most venues will throw away leftover cake if not advised otherwise. I would suggest giving the leftovers to your guests as parting gifts. Or, if you absolutely love cake like I do, you may want to take it home and enjoy all of it yourself.
Need some ideas on how to display your wedding cake? Check out these 10 Tips For Displaying Your Wedding Cake.