Everyone knows that the wedding cake is the second aspect that guests are most excited about – only second to the bride and her dress, of course! But how do the bride and groom decide on the perfect cake to top off their wedding? There are three keys words to remember: budget, theme, and flavors.

Budgeting for your wedding is probably the most stressful part of the planning process, but it is totally worth it! Before you start looking at different bakeries and designs, know how much you are willing to spend. Set a minimum and maximum dollar amount that is solely dedicated to just your cake. Don’t go over, but if you are under your max, fantastic! Now you can allocate that money to a different part of the budget.

Second, know your theme. When you meet with your cake decorator for the first time be sure to bring as much information as possible! Bring the colors of your bridesmaid dresses, the color of your dress, pictures of your flowers or centerpieces, or something to show them the overall theme of your wedding. This will help your cake decorator get a feel for the direction you are headed. Maybe you are looking for your cake to make your dress? Ask you decorator to incorporate the textures of your dress to help bring the beauty of the gown full circle. Going in with an inspiration and some ideas will make the appointment run more smoothly and save you a lot of headaches!

Finally, the best part: your flavors! Red velvet? Chocolate? Champagne? Carrot cake? Your choices are endless! Although raspberry and ganache are two popular fillings for 2014, you have the power to choose! So, pick whatever your little, sweet heart desires. Feel free to mix and match the different layers so you and your guests will have a couple options to choose from. Just remember, taste them before you decide! You want to make sure you like the flavor and the texture before you place your order.

When picking your perfect cake, don’t stress. Make sure it is within your budget, goes well with the theme of your wedding, and be sure to pick your favorite flavors and don’t be afraid to mix and match!