Planning a wedding is a lot. Sometimes it's super exciting, but sometimes it's really hard. More often than not, once you figure out what works and what doesn't work, the wedding is over and the reality is that you might not use even half of what you've crammed into your brain over the past year again. That being said, I don't want you to learn hard lessons about your wedding cake. I got you. This series is intended to address some of the most common cake questions and shed a little bit of light on why we even do some of the things that we do (my post about the cake cutting ceremony is here).
Hands down, the most frequently asked question that I get is "how much cake do we really need?". And as much as I would love to be able to give you a secret, fool-proof formula, it's not exactly that cut and dry because not every wedding is the same. I've been told by some that planning for half is the best way to go - but not having enough cake is worse than having too much in my opinion. The truth is that in order to determine how much cake is right for you, you need to take a close look at your guests and your reception.
First thing is first: how many people are you going to have at your wedding reception? Obviously, if you are inviting 250 guests, the amount of cake that you should have is going to be much different than what it would be for a group of 50.
Second, who are your guests? Will you have a lot of young people at your reception? What about older guests who might not be able to have a lot of sugar? Think about your people and their habits. Some families (like mine) are dessert people. We want cake and we might want a second serving - but not everyone is like us! If you have a lot of kids they might each eat 2 slices each. If your group is super health-conscious they might not be interested in cake at all.
Next, what other edible things are you serving at your reception? Are you going to have a cocktail hour, appetizers, dinner, and cake or are you keeping it simple with just dinner and dessert? Will you have other desserts there? Dessert tables have become super popular and if you plan on providing pies, cookies, cake pops etc. having a serving of cake for each person probably isn't necessary. Will you have a dry or wet reception? Cake typically sounds even better than it normally would after a cocktail or two.
Finally, what does your timeline and the cake distribution look like? The time in the evening that you cut the cake may determine if people will be interested. Are you cutting cake right after dinner before your makeup gets smudged? Or are you waiting until the DJ has had a chance to play a few songs for everyone to work up an appetite?
Phew. Even more "stuff" to cram into your head, right? While I can't make the big cake decisions for you, my advice would be that it's better to have a little extra than not enough. I've never heard of anyone that complained about having cake for breakfast!