You’ve selected your theme and you’ve nailed down your color palette. With that, so many pieces of your wedding’s reception décor can be decided. But while you’re mapping out plans for beautiful tablescapes and floral arrangements, don’t forget to consider where your wedding cake will be on display.
While the decision may seem small, your cake display is an important décor detail. That's why we consulted experts Summer Newman and Tamara Stahlheber to offer tips and inspiration for your wedding cake display.
Meet the Expert
- Summer Newman is the owner of Summer Newman Events, a wedding planning and event design company based in Southern California.
- Tamara Stahlheber is the coordination and design director for TOAST Santa Barbara, a boutique event design studio specializing in event and floral design for weddings.
“The cake table is very important because it helps to complete the room,” says Newman. “It is part of the décor and adds to the overall ambiance, which influences the guests’ experience.”
As you consider the best way to display your wedding sweet, start from the beginning. Newman suggests utilizing a linen-covered table and a simple cake stand if your cake is a stunner to let it shine on its own. “If you’re going for more a minimalist cake, rent a beautiful linen or an amazing table that doesn’t need a linen. Many rental companies have pieces of furniture and unique items that you can place a cake on,” she says.
Cake tables can come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and colors, depending on what you’d like on display. According to Stahlheber, utilizing a vintage table offers a great, unique option. “One of the most unique cake tables we've used was a vintage brass swan head table positioned next to the beautiful pond at Grassini Family Vineyards,” she says.
You could even consider working with vendors to suspend your cake for an awe-inspiring display!
As far as adding decorations to the table? Truly, anything you’d like to add goes. Match your wedding’s aesthetic by adding candles or incorporate plenty of florals. “I love to see florals around a cake table, above a cake table, or on the cake table,” says Newman. “Most florists will be so excited to help you design your florals for your cake table if you have no ideas on what to do." But remember, dressing up a cake table can mean edible decorations as well. “A cake table doesn't have to only be cake! Include more of your favorite desserts or items that are easy for guests to grab and get back on the dance floor,” adds Stahlheber.
Ready to find inspiration for setting up the cake table for your wedding? Read on for 31 of our favorite ideas.
Surround With Greenery
Talk about making a statement! Use a wooden base and surround your cake with plenty of greenery for a beautiful natural display.
Planning multiple cakes with different flavors? Be sure your guests know what's being offered for dessert! A little sign can make a cake table all the more charming.
Pair With Potted Plants
Obsessed with cacti or succulents? These charming plants make for an adorable addition to a cake table. We especially love the look of a few potted cacti with a mini chocolate cake!
Use a Bar Cart
Want to roll out your wedding cake into the crowd? We love the idea of showcasing the cake on a bar cart with greenery to really command attention.
Go for Vintage
Planning a wedding with a vintage vibe? Don't let it stop with the cake table. Embrace utilizing a uniquely shaped table, perhaps with brass detailing, to build a beautiful display.
Keep It Simple
For the minimalist couple, don't feel like you need to go overboard with a cake table display. There's nothing wrong with sticking to the basics! Pair a white wedding cake with a white linen and cake-cutting set to keep things simple.
If you're really leaning into florals for your wedding, there's no shame in adding even more to your cake table. Work with your florist to add plenty of lush blooms and greenery for a romantic touch.
Add Tall Tapers
Keep things simple and beautiful. Incorporate a lovely linen and tall taper candles to add a nice touch to your cake table.
Incorporate Natural Elements
This incredible cake was designed to match the landscape surrounding a beautiful desert wedding. And while the cake is certainly a showstopper on its own, it's the addition of sprawling natural grasses and plants that turned this display into something truly special.
Let the Cake Do the Talking
If you've invested in the design of your cake, your cake table may not need much. Incredibly detailed cakes can shine on their own with a simple cake stand, or perhaps a few candles to enhance the look.
Pair Cake and Cookies
Want to serve a sweet for everybody to enjoy? A two-tier cake and individually wrapped cookies are a great pairing. Plus, with such beautiful decorations on top, an iced cookie will serve as the perfect cake table decoration.
Mix in Metallics
If your baker is adding a metallic touch to your wedding cake with gold fleck detailing, why not tie the look together with your cake table décor? Mix in a few metals by combining tall candle holders with your cake-cutting set.
Opt for Matching Sweets
While the cascade of citrus down this wedding cake certainly commands attention, it's the mini desserts on the table that steal the show. Pair your cake with another matching dessert option for a splash of color.
Want to add meaning to your cake table? Why not commission a beautiful calligraphed message? We love the natural brown paper paired with greenery in this lovely display.
Incorporate a Bold Table Runner
One of the simplest ways to dress up a cake table is with linens. Choose a fabric with a bright hue and a bold pattern for a fun pop of color.
Utilize a Swing
It's hard to believe that this setup is even real, but it can be done with the right planning! Consider having your wedding cake suspended from a swing, paired with plenty of florals, to really surprise and delight your guests.
Add a Monogram Backdrop
Be sure to think about the décor around your cake table as well. A bold background can make all the difference! For a modern vibe, consider adding a monogram in bright, neon lights.
Wow With a Wine Barrel
While dressers, bar carts, and other pieces of furniture are welcome ideas, no piece of furniture can make quite the statement a wine barrel can. Embrace a rustic, romantic vibe and utilize this unique piece as a cake table.
While a simple linen can be a beautiful touch, your wedding's aesthetic may call for a bit more. Utilize a lovely piece of lace to add interesting texture to a cake table.
Sprinkle Pretty Petals
Is there such a thing as too many flowers for a spring soiree? We don't think so! Pair an incredible pressed floral cake with even more flowers. The pretty petals sprinkled around the cake table will act as natural confetti.
Planning a decadent display? Or perhaps a winter wedding? A piece of fur can be a beautiful touch below a cake stand, paired with blooms and greenery, to pull the look together.
Showcase a Sketch
Even if you plan to keep your cake table minimal, it can still tell a story. We love the idea of asking your cake designer for a copy of the sketch they did for your wedding cake to display in a frame on the table.
Use a Mirror
While this incredibly tall wedding cake makes a beautiful statement, the cake table adds even more to complete the presentation. We love the way a mirrored platter takes it to a whole new level.
Set the Cake on a Shelf
A cake table doesn't always have to be a literal table. This stunning sweet was displayed on a shelf with beautiful linens at an intimate Lake Como wedding for a truly out-of-the-box option.
If you choose to ditch the idea of using a traditional cake table and opt for a unique location such as a shelf, be sure it's a secure spot. The last thing you want is for a guest to accidentally bump into your stunning confection.
Embrace a Natural Backdrop
Planning a seaside or destination wedding? Luckily, you have a beautiful background built right in. Set up your cake table to face the most remarkable view, with a few décor elements to match the surrounding natural hues.
Want to make it seem like your cake is floating? Acrylic is the answer! Add a modern touch with a tall square stand made from clear acrylic.
Play With Florals
Flowers, flowers, and more flowers was the look for this setup! And we're definitely here for it. Utilize a simple table with a solid colored linen, but surround it with blooms for a beautiful setup
Pair With Cupcakes
Pairing a beautiful cake with additional sweets is such a charming option. And what could be more darling than incorporating matching cupcakes into the mix?
Bring a Banner
While this cake table incorporates décor elements such as a gauzy linen and tall tapers, it's the banner in the background that brings the look together. We love the idea of including a few sentimental words in the background before cutting the cake.
Frame the Table
Why not build around the cake table to really make a statement? A beautiful piece of furniture was used as the base of this display, paired with a rose gold frame and plenty of blooms, for a bold look.
Use Interesting Furniture
There's always the option to use a simple, round event table with a lovely tablecloth. But if you want a vintage or unique vibe, a piece of furniture is the way to go. Bring in a dresser or hutch you love, or rent something a little different for an interesting touch.