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Trendy Wedding Cake Styles and Designs

Updated: May 30

The white wedding cake aesthetic is a staple for both traditional and modern events, and is arguably the most exciting aspect of the event for many guests. Customization presents a multitude of options on cake decoration and style, particularly with newer trends straying away from the standard design, but allowing each couple more freedom for personalization.

It can be difficult to decide which fits your budget and aesthetic best, particularly if you don't have much previous experience with ordering custom cakes for different party sizes. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the six most popular cake style trends - ranging from a classic wedding cake for a multitude of guests to smaller, single-tier cakes suited to a civil or more intimate event. 

1. Classic Three Tier 

This is the most traditionally popular style, and is probably the first image that pops into your mind when the words “wedding cake” are mentioned. These classic cakes are typically more suited to large events and can be made very extravagantly, but the radius and height of the cake can still be adjusted to fit varying smaller party sizes if needed. 

Always white from top to bottom, this design is often adorned with iced flower decorations, pearls, and gorgeous ruffle piping. Excellent for photos and videos, this style also frequently features a romantic wedding topper, which can be customized with the couple’s names or figurines. 

Typically more expensive, these cakes usually cost between $300 and $800, although the final cost ultimately depends on size, intricacy of design, and the bakery. The classic tri-tier wedding cake is ideal for a sophisticated and elegant wedding, while also including a multitude of options for customization. 

2. Simple Single-Tier Sheet Cake

For a more intimate or simplistic theme, the sheet cake is the never failing cake design most commonly offered in bakeries or stores. This style is the least costly option and can be adjusted based on event size, although it typically serves between 70 to 80 people. Most frequently chosen for civil weddings, this choice is optimal if you’re hoping to spend more extravagantly in other parts of the event. 

Serving as a blank canvas, these cakes are also ideal for custom text options and can be decorated with sliced fruits or other decorations if desired. Icing ruffle piping adds a layer of dimension to this otherwise minimal design, lining the borders of the top and bottom of a traditional sheet cake.

This option is great if you are thinking of making your wedding cake yourself, which is an excellent way to save money on the event and create a more personalized decoration for your big day. Some brides also opt to bake their wedding cake with their spouse, which is a nontraditional choice that adds more sentimental value to the design past just aesthetics.

3. Heart Cake

One of the most popular up-and-coming trends for any dessert is the heart shape. Past just being aesthetic, this romantic choice also adds a layer of symbolism to the design, representing love and connection between the spouses on their big day. 

With a slight vintage feel, this choice is ideal for a slightly non-traditional cake without standing out too much or straying from the standard wedding look. Often multi-layered as well, this option can be adjusted based on budget and guest size, with the smallest size being ideal for a civil wedding or intimate gathering. 

Typically these are designed with ruffle piping for a more delicately feminine look, but can also stand alone as a more bare and minimalistic design. While it may be more difficult to find bakeries that offer this cake shape and it will often be more expensive than standard circular cakes, the timeless photos make them worth the hassle and cost. 

4. Vintage Ruffle Aesthetic 

Looking to truly embrace a more old-fashioned wedding style? This elegantly decorated option is perfect for creating a vintage feel, adding more personality to the classic three tier. Most popularly decorated with ruffle buttercream piping, many different icing techniques may also be used to create multiple unique shapes for a detailed design. 

These cakes are also sometimes called the Marie Antoinette style and are known for their swirls and frills, creating an unashamedly feminine aesthetic modeled after the large and poofy Victorian era gowns. Coming in all shapes and sizes, this option is suitable for any party size, although it may be more expensive than standard cake designs. 

5. Modern/Minimalist Design

The minimalist style is perfect for maintaining a cleaner aesthetic, with the simplicity of the design allowing it to truly shine. Mute of any piped edges or ruffles, these cakes are often adorned with one or two decorations that truly stand out in the absence of other fancy buttercream icing. 

If you’re investing in a custom wedding topper, this style would help it stand out the most. Additionally, this cake design is one of the most affordable, as cake toppers, bows, and other decorations can be added after cake delivery, allowing for simple and affordable customization at home. 

Sometimes, those incredibly fond of the minimalist aesthetic will opt for a semi-naked cake design, where the outer icing is thinner and parts of the cake layers shine through. This choice, while less popular, is a natural enhancement to the simplistic design without requiring additional customization costs.

6. Floral Cake

Finally, the floral cake option is the ideal choice for a spring or summer wedding, with both edible and inedible flower decorations adding a touch of natural beauty to the otherwise unassuming design. This style often has more of a magical or whimsical feel than typical cake designs, with the floral theme allowing it to blend seamlessly into other wedding decorations. 

Whether adorned by a simple flower topper or plastered with various floral patterns along the sides, this style has an undeniable air of elegance and botanical sophistication. Perfect for a tropical wedding theme, citrus fruits are also often added into the arrangement for a bright pop that matches the floral color palette. 

While this design might not be as popular as a wedding cake option, and the flowers may need to be removed before cake cutting and consumption (depending on the type), this unique style is perfect for timeless wedding photography and will enhance any tropically themed wedding. 

Looking for more cake or general decoration inspiration? Check out our Wedding Decor Ideas Pinterest board for more photos/videos to draw from when decorating your event, or click here for more blogs with inspo and tips for anything wedding related.


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