The cutting of the wedding cake traditionally symbolised the bride cutting the ties the groom had to his family's household. Today this is considered more a celebratory slicing and for many weddings the wedding cake has now become the dessert of the wedding feast.

Wedding cake penguin toppers

Timothy Berry Photography

Wedding cakes are no longer white, round and stacked. Modern day wedding cakes can be any size, colour, shape and flavour.

Wedding cake decorators can create just about anything for the bride and groom. You might choose a wedding cake topped with character replicas of yourselves or a wedding cake made of cup cakes intricately iced to match your wedding dress lace.

The inspiration for the design can come from anywhere. If you want a wedding cake that will tie in with your wedding theme talk to your cake decorator about what you are wearing, the flowers your are having, the colour your bridesmaids are wearing.

1. Find a wedding cake decorator

Crystal Brook Patisserie

Crystal Brook Patisserie

You can get ideas for wedding cakes by browsing the hundreds of images of wedding cakes in the i-do Wedding Cake Gallery.

You don't necessarily need to use your local cake decorator to make your wedding cake. These days, many wedding cake decorators will organise delivery of your wedding cake anywhere in Australia.

To get a quote for your wedding cake from your cake decorator you will need to consider the following points:

2 Size up your wedding cake

Sweet Love Cake Couture

Sweet Love Cake Couture

Your cake decorator will be able to create a wedding cake based on most designs to feed everyone at your wedding. Have an estimation of the number of wedding guests you are having at your wedding.

Let your wedding cake decorator know if you are serving the wedding cake for the dessert or if you handing a small slice to your wedding guests in a box as they leave.

If you want a ten tiered wedding cake that will feed more wedding guests than you actually have then consider the unnatural wonder of a polystyrene tier or two.

3 Will you want to keep a tier

Crystalbrook Patisserie

Crystal Brook Patisserie

Some brides choose to keep a tier from their wedding cake that will be frozen and eaten at their first anniversary or served at the religious or naming ceremony celebration of their first child. Make sure you let your wedding cake decorator how long you might be freezing the tier for - not all fillings are suitable to be frozen.

4 Themed wedding cakes

BG Productions

BG Productions

The more details you can supply about your wedding day, the better chance the cake decorator will have to understand what you want.

Is there a particular colour or motif such as hearts, stars or flowers or your monogram.

5 Non edible wedding cake decorations

Kacie Quesenberry

Kacie Quesenberry

If you are using fresh flowers to decorate your wedding cake make sure they aren't naturally hazardous and that they haven't been sprayed with chemicals and preservatives, these chemicals can leech into the icing. Fresh flowers can also brown or wilt particularly if they are on display for hours at the wedding reception.

The alternative to fresh flowers is using sugar paste flowers on the wedding cake and add fresh flowers to the cake table rather than the cake itself. The bridesmaids or bride my place their bouquets on the wedding cake table as decoration.

6 Budget

Danielle Poff Photography

Danielle Poff Photography

The average wedding cake costs around $500 and can go as high as $5000.  So it's best to set yourself a realistic budget before you even start looking for your dream wedding cake.

In the event that your wedding cake budget does not match the cake of your dreams let your cake decorator know straight away so different designs and alternatives can be suggested to fit your budget - avoid the temptation of going over your budget.

There are ways to reduce wedding cake costs without compromising on taste.

For example you don't really need a wedding cake to feed all your 500 guests, have a gorgeous wedding cake that feeds 50 wedding guests and leave a few undecorated chocolate mud slabs in the kitchen that can be quickly cut up and served with double King Island cream and a delicious coulis - who's to know the difference!!

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