A guide to choosing the right cake for your event

So you have planned a party and have now started to think about cake. You do a quick search on Google, instagram, or pinterest,... and Oh MY! so many different styles you like. How are you supposed to choose? 

Here we share some helpful tips to guide you on choosing a cake that best suits your event and your needs.

There are multiple things to consider, but mainly try to think about:

  • The type of event you are putting together (wedding, birthday, bridal shower,..)
  • The guest count 
  • Theme, or overall feel of your event (what is the message you are sending to your guests with your overall event vibe?)
  • Budget 

The Event Type 

The type of your event, or the purpose of your event can affect the design you choose for any individual component of the party including the cake. 

If you are planning a rare event (or a once in a lifetime event in some cases) like a wedding you might want to consider the following:

  • Are you willing to take a risk on the design? Do you want to choose a safer choice that you are sure to like on the day?
  • Will the design you have picked, even if it is something you really really like now, stand the test of time? Will you still think it was a good choice 10,15,20,... years later?
  • Is this a suitable look for a wedding? or is it too feminine, too childish, too "anything" that you may regret choosing later.

Keep in mind though, this is YOUR event, you know you best, so if you want to take a risk or if you want to be bold with your design choices, by all means, go for it. These points are just a guide that we generally offer to all our clients looking to order a wedding cake. 

If you are planning a birthday, or an event with lower stakes(baby shower, bridal shower):

  • You may have some room for an unlikely but still possible risk. Specially for a birthday, if you don't like the design of your cake 100%, you get to have another one next year! You may not have another baby shower, but the stakes are lower than a wedding (with all the baby photos you will have, you won't look at your baby shower photos that much to be honest!)  
  • There are a LOT of designs that fit your event, There is no such thing as too childish for a kids birthday party! and you can't be too feminine if you are ordering a bridal shower cake. 
  • There is a lot of overlap and crossover that you can benefit from. You can easily choose a wedding cake design for an elegant birthday cake or a bridal shower, and in some cases even for a baby shower cake (but the opposite may not be true; you cannot choose a lot of baby shower designs for your wedding cake!)


The Guest Count

How many guests are attending your event? You want to have enough cake to serve and you want the look of your cake to suit the size of your event. Here is what we always recommend to our clients:

  • For larger events like weddings, aim for 80% serving size (so for 100 guests you want to have a cake that serves around 80)
  • For smaller more intimate events, like a birthday, you want to have close to 100% serving size, because it is very likely that everyone would want a slice of cake
  • You want the look of your cake to be proportionate to the size of your event. A 2 tier cake does not look appropriate for a 250+ guest wedding even if you have sheet cake in the back to serve, your guests won't know it by looking at the cake. Also a 5 tier cake may look odd for an event of 20-30 so you may want to downsize. 

The Overall Theme

Whether your vision for your event is a luxurious elegant soiree, or a casual, fun get together makes a difference in the design that you might want to pick. 

What is the overall decor, vibe or theme of your event? Are you using a lot of crystals, whites and gold or silver accents? Then your cake design should also fit the same theme. You want a cake design that is featuring softer romantic tones if your event colors are pastels and muted tones of light colors. 

If you are putting together a birthday for example with a specific cartoon theme or a more vibrant bold color palette, then your cake design should also fit that image. 

You want to present a cohesive look to your guests, one that shows you have thought of every aspect of the design. You do not want to present a confused look with each piece not having any harmony with another (even if each one is beautiful by itself) 

Your Budget

Yes! this may be the most important criterion in some cases. There are a lot of designs and cakes you see online that meet all the criteria listed above, they fit your event type, size and theme, but do they fit your budget? Be realistic with your budget allocation. If you want a 5 tier cake, you cannot find a reliable quality cake or a cake designer to make it for cheap (cheap for a 5 tier cake is $300 for example) BUT still ask your cake designer to consider your inspiration and style preferences and come up with a solution to get you the look you like within your budget as much as possible. We do that at Joconde Cakes a lot. We ask our clients what they like in each photo they send us, and we offer recommendations based on those designs and budgets that our clients have.

We hope this post has been helpful to all of you. We try to share more tips and guides to make your event planning, and cake shopping easier. Thank you for reading :)