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How Much Notice Do You Need To Give For A Wedding Cake Order?

Planning a wedding takes a lot of organization. Various suppliers need to be booked, deposits need to be paid, and you have to make sure that you don’t miss out any important details.

How Much Notice Do You Need To Give For A Wedding Cake Order?

One of the questions that people find themselves asking is how much notice they need to give when ordering a wedding cake? Keep reading to find out more. 

How Long Does It Take To Make A Wedding Cake? 

Wedding cakes are beautiful, highly decorative cakes. They are often made up of several layers, sometimes with multiple flavor combinations. But how long does it actually take to make a wedding cake?

The time it takes to make a wedding cake will depend on the size, design and flavors of the cake. A standard 3 tier wedding cake with some classic decorations will take between 8 and 12 hours to make depending on the baker. The more flavors and decorations you want, the longer the cake will take to make. 

If the cake takes less than a day to make, why do you need to order it so far in advance? Bakeries and wedding cake (see also: Do Bakeries Charge More For A Wedding Cake?)suppliers will book up ahead of time, especially if they are good at what they do and are in high demand.

They deal with multiple orders and need plenty of time to get the design of your cake right. They need to make sure that they have enough staff, ingredients and resources to complete your wedding cake in time for your special day. 

The Timeline Of A Wedding Cake 

If you want to know how much notice you need to give to order a wedding cake, and what each step of the process is like, check out our wedding cake timeline. This is a guide only – you will need to check the terms and conditions of your supplier. 

12- 24 Months Before The Wedding 

A lot of wedding suppliers will book up very far in advance. Once you have chosen your wedding date and booked your venue, you should start looking into wedding cake suppliers and bakers. Contact your chosen supplier as soon as possible to make a booking. 

Most wedding cake suppliers will not need much information to place the initial booking – just the date of the wedding and some basic information about the likely number of guests/size of cake etc. You will probably need to pay a deposit to secure the booking. 

6 to 12 Months Before The Wedding 

At least 6 months before the wedding, the couple will need to have a consultation with the wedding cake supplier to discuss design options and flavors etc.

This is where you will decide the size of the cake, the number of tiers, the flavors of each layer, and what you want the cake to look like. This can take up t0 3 hours. 

Some wedding cake suppliers will provide samples for you to try during the consultation to help you choose which flavors you want to have for your wedding cake. 

4 To 6 Months Before The Wedding 

If you change your mind about any of the features of the wedding cake after the consultation, you need to let your supplier know as soon as possible.

They need to account for changes in ingredients or labor time. It could also impact the final cost of the wedding cake. 

Some suppliers might allow changes to be made up until 2 months before the wedding. It depends on their policies and how far in advance they need to begin working on the cake. 

1.5 to 2 Months Before The Wedding 

Depending on the supplier you have chosen and your individual cake design, the work on the cake could begin up to 2 months before the wedding. Non-perishable decorations like custom sugar flowers etc are often made in advance 

2 to 4 Weeks Before The Wedding 

This is when the ingredients are ordered and the staffing levels are organized to make sure that everything the supplier needs to get your cake made on time is prepared and ready. 

How Much Notice Do You Need To Give For A Wedding Cake Order?

1 to 2 Weeks Before The Wedding 

Edible decorations made out of fondant or chocolate can be made a few weeks in advance and stored in a refrigerator. This saves time closer to the wedding. 

1 To 2 Days Before The Wedding 

The sponge cakes will be made 1 to 2 days before the wedding itself, and wrapped up carefully to keep them fresh. Some of the icing and decorations may also be added. 

The Day Of The Wedding 

One the day of the wedding is when the cake is piped. The cake might be assembled at the supplier location, or it might be assembled at the venue of the wedding.

This depends on how difficult the assembled cake will be to transport. Some touch up might be needed at the venue to ensure that the wedding cake looks perfect. 

What If You Leave It Too Late To Order A Wedding Cake? 

If you have left it too late to order a wedding cake from a baker or a specialist supplier, there are still several things you can do. 

Grocery Store Wedding Cakes 

Some grocery stores offer wedding cake (see also: Are Grocery Store Wedding Cakes Worth It?)services. They are a lot cheaper than using a bakery or a wedding cake specialist, and they have some lovely flavors and designs.

Some grocery stores only need a few weeks’ notice for a cake, and others might have celebration cakes that can be picked up with just a few days’ notice. Try stores like Costco, Walmart and Safeway. 

Homemade Wedding Cakes 

Each family usually has at least one decent bakery or cake enthusiast. Ask around and see if you know anyone who is good at making cakes and would be willing to make your wedding cake.

You might need to choose a more simple design, but it would add a nice personal touch to your special day.

Make sure you offer some money, as the ingredients can be expensive and it will take a bit of time. They might need to have a practice run before the big day as well. 

Local Businesses 

You might have left it too late to order a cake from some of the more established wedding bakeries and suppliers, but don’t forget to check smaller, independent bakeries and local businesses. They might not book up as far in advance, and it is good to support small business owners. 

Cancellation Lists 

Some businesses will have cancellation lists that you can add yourself to. If any of their other clients drop out then you might be able to take their slot and still have the wedding cake of your dreams. 

Wedding Cake Alternatives 

You don’t have to have a traditional wedding cake. You could go for something else, like a cupcake tower or a donut station. Suppliers that aren’t directly linked to weddings are less likely to book up in advance.

You can also do DIY options. It would be really easy to buy some cake stands and some donuts and put together your own donut station. 


Depending on the supplier, you will need to book your wedding cake 12-14 months in advance. The actual cake itself can be designed and ordered about 6 months before the wedding.

Anna Ingham
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