We talked to guest expert Buddy Valastro, star of Cake Boss, which airs on Mondays at 9/8c on TLC, to get a pro's take on making your wedding cake look and taste memorable -- in the very best way.
1. Think beyond sugar flowers
You can do almost anything in sugar -- from bows and ribbons to leaves and butterflies. Let your imagination run wild!
2. Not all cake shapes are created equal
Topsy-turvy wedding cakes are tough. While they look amazing, there's always the chance that they'll topple over due to being unbalanced. Another disadvantage: You have to use pound cake, which isn't a traditional wedding cake flavor.
3. A topper can make or break your cake
If you have an elaborate dessert, adding a topper may not be a great idea, but if you have a simpler one, a topper may do the trick. [Editor's note: And if your cake design is modern, your topper shouldn't be too traditional, and vice versa!]
4. Go with crowd pleasing flavors
Because I'm a traditionalist, I like [white cake] with cannoli cream filling and fresh strawberries or raspberries.
5. Eat your top layer sooner rather than later
Eat the first layer after your honeymoon instead [of waiting until your anniversary]; then go back to the baker on your anniversary. Some bakers will throw in [a free small cake] on your one-year anniversary. If they don't, just ask.
6. Get real baker reviews
Ask around to see what other brides say: Maybe one baker specializes in one thing and another in something else. You wouldn't buy a car without doing some research; the same goes for your wedding cake.
7. Be prepared for your design meeting
Bring [swatches of your wedding] colors, other cake designs you like, pictures of your dress, and anything else that inspires you.
8. Let the baker do his job
Don't micromanage. You should meet and go over the design, but after that, let the baker work his magic.
9. Be upfront with your baker
Explain what your budget is and work together. The baker will want to give you the best wedding cake possible because his name is on the line as well!
>> See our favorite wedding cake photos.