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5 Wedding Cake Styles to Consider for Your Wedding

Wedding cake styles

Photo: Stephanie Brazzle

Throwing an intimate, rustic wedding in a barn? Planning a micro reception in a New York City diner like Carrie and Big? Hosting a full-on Bride Wars extravaganza at the Plaza in June?

Maybe you’re planning a super small, socially-distanced event. Or maybe you're waiting to have the first massive celebration of the first post-pandemic wedding season. 

Either way, there are some elements you cannot skimp on.

And your wedding cake is one of them.

Here’s the thing:

Your wedding cake isn’t just dessert for your guests. It’s a symbol of your entire wedding day!

And, like bridesmaid dresses and floral arrangements, wedding cake trends evolve from season to season.

If you're putting the final touches on your wedding plans, here are five wedding cake styles to consider for your upcoming nuptials.

Show Your Personality With an Outrageous Wedding Cake

A simple two-tier wedding cake can be modern and chic. And if your vibe is simple and understated, then, by all means, go with a simple cake.

But if you’re looking for a unique way to take your wedding reception to the next level, you might want to think about choosing an outrageous wedding cake instead.

Here’s the bad news:

The more outrageous the cake, the more you can expect to spend on that five-tier sugar tower.

But here’s the good news:

An outrageous cake will be more than just a dessert — it will become a focal point at your reception.

Just think of the oohs, the aahs, and all of the Insta-posts you’ll get! And you have to admit, if you spend an extra few hundred bucks on a cake that goes viral, it’s totally worth it!

Check out our collection of modern bridesmaid dresses!

Botanical Wedding Cakes

white wedding cake with flowers on itPhoto: Stephanie Brazzle

Ready to turn a traditional three-tier confection into a show-stopping rustic masterpiece? Swap out those buttercream rosettes for some pressed flowers.

There are lots of edible flowers out there, so ask your baker to press some colorful ones into the surface of your cake. It will look much fresher than adding icing rosettes around your tiers.

Prefer 3D flowers instead? Decorate a single tier of your cake with fresh flowers, or drape a layer of flowers down the side. Peonies, roses, lilies … whatever flowers you’re using in your centerpieces can also be used to decorate your cake!

Whether you opt for fresh flowers or fresh greenery, floral wedding cakes make a bold statement. Keep it simple by using flowers as your cake topper, or go bold by draping massive blooms down the side.

Rainbow Wedding Cakes

White, three-tired wedding cake with red and yellow rainbow frosting on the sidesPhoto: Rodeo & Co. Photography

You can make a traditional cake look super cool just by decorating each tier with different color frosting.

Rainbow wedding cakes are a fun trend, and they don’t have to be of the ROY G BIV variety.

Your rainbow colors can be shades of pastels, muted hues in an ombre pattern, or bold brights. Regardless of your wedding theme or color palette, having a multicolored cake at your wedding reception is sure to drop plenty of jaws.

Want to get in on the trend in a subtle way? Ask your baker to add colorful sugar flowers to a classic cake or decorate it sporadically with colorful rainbow designs.

Hand-Painted Wedding Cakes

White, three-tiered wedding cake with pink watercolor washes around itPhoto: Victoria Gold

There’s nothing wrong about having a simple, white wedding cake with sugar ruffles around the edges. It’s classic, elegant, and timeless.

But you know what’s even better? A cake decorated with one-of-a-kind, hand-painted details.

Cake decorators are artists. They can make your wedding cake look like a work of art, a watercolor painting, or a marble masterpiece.

Hand-painted cakes look even more special when combined with unique icing techniques. We love it when we walk into a reception and see a cake that’s rich in color and texture.

And if it’s chocolate cake on the inside, even better!

When it comes time to choose the baker for your wedding cake, let them show you what they can do. Most bakeshops and cake designers have the ability to make a cake that’s simple and subtle or big and bold. Hire the right vendor for the job and you just might end up with the prettiest cake of the season!

Just remember, a wedding cake should taste good too. So be sure to sample different cake flavors and icings to find the tastiest combo.

Metallic Wedding Cakes

Four-tiered wedding cake with three white tiers and one metallic copper tier in the middlePhoto: Felipe Espinal

Make your dessert table the focal point of your reception dinner by adding a metallic wedding cake to the mix! I mean really, who wouldn’t want to eat a piece of cake covered in rose gold frosting?

Maybe you’re having a small wedding cake with just one or two tiers. Maybe you’ve tapped your pastry chef to whip up a towering raspberry-flavored wonder to satisfy your sweet tooth. Or maybe you’re eliminating the whole cake-cutting thing and serving cupcakes.

No matter what type of cake you plan to serve, it will look so much better with metallic icing.

We love the look of a tiered cake with one or two layers covered in shiny metallic fondant. We’re also sort of obsessing over cakes decorated with metallic patterns and textures.

And if you’re having a 1920’s-inspired, Gatsby-style wedding, a metallic wedding cake is almost a must. A few art déco patterns on your cake will prove that you’re an expert wedding planner who paid attention to every last detail.

And no, metallics aren’t only for vintage weddings. Whether you’re looking for a modern wedding cake or a rustic wedding cake, metallic icing is always an option.

Geometric Wedding Cakes 

White, three-tiered wedding cake with gold geometric frosting on the sidesPhoto: Matamiese Bakery

By default, even the most generic, traditional wedding cakes are geometric in nature. Circles stacked on top of circles … that’s geometry people!

But now it’s time to flash back to 8th grade and think of all the other shapes you had to calculate the angles of. With square, triangle, or even octagonal tiers, your geometric wedding cake can be next level.

A geometric wedding cake is perfect for a modern event, an industrial-chic wedding, or an art déco reception.

If you really want to wow your guests, go big and bold with a cake shaped like a triangle or pyramid.

Want to keep it a bit more traditional? Create a classic tiered cake, but mix up the shapes of each tier (an octagon for the bottom, a round tier in the middle, and a square for the top tier).

You can also go with a traditional round cake and have your cake decorator carve geometric patterns in your fondant or icing. It will look even chicer if you incorporate some metallic accents into the mix.

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Conclusion

Wedding cake designs are always changing, and outrageous wedding cakes are definitely a thing right now.

So start scrolling through custom cakes on Instagram and browsing Pinterest boards for some fun, fresh ideas. It’s time to start thinking outside the (cake) box.

There’s no question that your wedding is going to be a sweet celebration … but it will be even sweeter with a show-stopping cake!

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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