While many of the real weddings we feature online and in the magazine include extravagant wedding cakes with towering layers, intricate details, and hundreds of sugar flowers that envelop the entire cake, we also appreciate smaller wedding cakes featuring elegant design inspiration. Wedding cakes that are beautiful, yet also simple and stylish, are perfect for couples hosting more intimate gatherings, or those that just don't like cake.
Just because a tiered cake isn't six, seven, or even eight layers tall, doesn't mean that the cake is any less exciting. Pretty piping, fresh florals, a cute cake topper, sugar flowers, and unique adornments can all be added to transform a petite one-to-three tier cake into a stylish wedding cake design worthy of a spectacular wedding celebration.
We've put together a collection of wedding cake ideas from real weddings that may be small in stature but are huge when it comes to style. Take a look below to gather inspiration and cake ideas for your own wedding cake and be sure to click on each image to see more from these celebrations besides the cake!
Who says your "something blue" can't be your wedding cake? This light blue cake featured playful ivory ruffle details and was topped with fresh roses in shades of vanilla and pink. Photo by Meg Perotti
Perfect for a tropical Hawaiian wedding, this neutral-toned white cake with elegant piping let the rest of the colorful wedding décor – and the seaside scenery – take center stage. Photo by Steve Steinhardt; Planning & Design by Beth Helmstetter Events
This small wedding cake is anything but boring! Light pink layers decorated with ornamental gold details and fresh roses create the perfect blend of sweet romance and luxe details for a wedding cake. Photo by Kesha Lambert Photography
Embellish a three-layer white cake with rosettes on the bottom layer and gold brushstrokes on the top two layers to create a stunning look! Other ideas for wedding cakes similar to this would be to add sugar flowers in the wedding color palette for an additional design element. Photo by Mandy Paige Photography
Though simple, this three-layer white wedding cake looked impeccable on a dessert table thanks to a colorful cake stand and the addition of fresh flowers in shades of apricot and peach. Photo by Sharayamauck Photography
Ideal for winter weddings, this small wedding cake featured three tiers decorated in various ways: the bottom layer was frosted in metallic silver, the middle tier featured intricate piping details, and the top smooth layer was surrounded by jewels. If you're looking for ideas for wedding cake designs to go with your winter wedding season, a look like this one may be for you! Photo by Eye Wander Photo
To complement the "seaside romance" theme of this inspirational wedding, a small light blue wedding cake was decorated with golden rope details and sugar anemones with navy blue centers. Styled shoots have a number of great wedding cakes – ideas that may not fit if you want a huge cake but are perfect cake ideas for a smaller confection. Photo by Krista Mason Photography; Planning & Design by Sterling Engagements; Rentals by Revelry Event Designers; Linens by Luxe Linen
Have your cake designer add edible lifelike adornments to your wedding cake in order to wow guests. This three-tier wedding cake was decorated with peach ribbons and two impressive sugar peonies. Photo by Christian Oth Studio
This all-white wedding cake is a simple stunner. With three round tiers, the cake was perfect for the couple's lakeside wedding. A cascading ivory sugar flower added a unique style element. Photo by Carasco Photography
Though this couple's wedding cake featured only two simple tiers, the addition of fresh roses in bold hues added just enough personality to complement the bohemian décor of the reception. Simple wedding cake ideas don't have to be boring – flowers are one décor element that can always look great no matter what your wedding theme! Photo by Amanda McKinnon Photography
When Saved by the Bell's Mark-Paul Gosselaar said "I do" in Santa Ynez, California, he and his bride Catriona McGinn chose a simple white wedding cake decorated with fresh flowers for their reception dessert. Even the cakes of wedding celebrities are simple, yet beautiful! Photo by Elizabeth Messina
Love the trend of "naked" cakes? A naked cake is a confection sans outer frosting. Add fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries to create a stylish and on-trend naked cake. For an additional touch to embellish naked cakes, consider adding some fresh florals that coordinate with your other wedding flowers! Photo by Sarah & Ben
If you're looking for a classic cake for wedding events – whether the reception or even a bridal shower – you can't go wrong with a white confection with traditional details and fresh florals and greenery. Perfect for a wedding with relaxed décor elements, adorn the wedding cake with fresh roses and foliage that complement wedding centerpieces! Photo by Cassi Claire Photography
Just because this DIY wedding had a small wedding cake doesn't mean it didn't have a ton of style. The pink pearl adornments, fresh flowers, and gold-dipped leaves made this small wedding cake – which was made by the mother of the bride – instantly part of the décor! Photo by Katelyn James Photography
Desire an all-white wedding cake? Add some color and personality with fresh flowers and greenery! To add more style to small wedding cakes, consider adding a laser-cut cake topper denoting your new shared last name! Photo by John Schnack Photography; Linens by Luxe Linen
If your wedding has a classic, all-white theme, why should the cake be any different? Stack three round cake tiers decorated with a bit of texture and fresh ivory blooms for a wedding cake that is both simple and sophisticated. Photo by Yvette Roman Photography; Floral design by The Hidden Garden
Wanting to have their first kiss as husband and wife at 11:11 a.m., this couple had a post-ceremony brunch before inviting guests to a festive reception once the sun set. Their pancake wedding cake isn't traditional in the slightest, but it's a unique option for couples who love breakfast and want to have a brunch wedding! Photo by Elizabeth Messina; Planning & Design by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants; Rentals by Revelry Event Designers
For more wedding cake ideas, discover beautiful cakes decorated with fresh flowers, find out how to choose what type of wedding cake to have at your reception, and discover wedding cake ideas for popular wedding themes. Checkout these non-traditional wedding cakes – maybe you will like some of the ideas presented by us! Be sure to check out our photo galleries to see some of the wedding cakes enjoyed at real weddings!