While some couples slice into their wedding cake immediately following dinner and serve it as dessert, if your towering tiers are a work of art, you may prefer to leave it on display for a while and savor it following the toasts.

Either way, the first step in selecting a pretty – and tasty! – cake is finding a baker. To determine which is the best fit for your needs, look closely at examples of their work.

“If a baker’s website shows a bunch of sloppy cakes, don’t expect them to knock it out of the park for the first time at your wedding,” says baker Kevin Kossman.

Kara Buntin recommends asking if the cakes in their portfolio are ones they’ve actually done themselves. “A lot of people use photos of cakes that other people have done,” she warns.

Found a baker whose work you adore? Cover your bases by making sure he or she is licensed and insured. Then it’s time to consider cost.

In general, you should order a cake that would serve about 80 percent of your guests, advises Buntin, as some folks don’t eat cake, and others will leave before it’s served. Prices vary from city to city, so shop around to find out what’s standard for your area. According to The Knot’s annual “Real Weddings Study,” couples spent an average of $582 on the cake.

As for the design, one of the biggest trends is nature-inspired cakes with leaves, herbs, flowers and other foliage. Many couples are also favoring cakes with 3-D details like edible lace, ruffles and sugar flowers. Before you head to a consultation with a baker, be sure to have an idea of what you’re looking for to ensure they’re up to the task.

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