You should begin reviewing ideas for your wedding cake design at least five months before the wedding. Call the bakeries in your area and inquire as to whether or not your wedding date is available. If the date is open, make an appointment to visit the bakery, letting them know that you wish to meet with them to discuss your plans and that you will need at least three references.
Bakeries usually have an assortment of cake catalogs that you can browse through to find ideas that are appealing. Many bakeries will make a custom wedding cake to your specifications, or may modify a catalog cake per your request.
It is best to visit at least two bakeries to compare service, expertise, and pricing, as well as their references. Be sure to look at the baker’s own photograph portfolio, and ask for a taste sample before making a commitment.