Shopping for a wedding cake is pretty much as fun as wedding planning gets.  You have complete permission to eat loads of tasty samples and look at tons of gorgeous pictures. Before you slip into a sugar coma, take some advice from Austin's top cake and dessert vendors so that you can be prepared to make the all-important wedding cake decision:

"If you see a cake in a magazine, it took professional training to make and decorate, even if it looks 'simple'." --Falana Chonel, Haute Cakes.

"Be aware that some bold icing colors stain. Keep that in mind or your guests may have Technicolor smiles in your pictures, and you may end up with a permanent blotch on your wedding dress."--Laura Eliel, Bittersweet Cakes and Catering

"Have a budget in mind before you talk to any vendor [including bakeries]. There are plenty of places to get advice: wedding planners, magazines, websites. Don't be shy about naming a price range."-- Sallia Bandy, Just Desserts

"If you are ambivalent about something or don't like a vendor's suggestion, tell them so (politely, of course). They want to please you." --Soraiya Nagree, Luxe Sweets

All the bakeries agree that you should do your research before you go to your tasting. Know basic terms (such as the difference between fondant and butter cream icing), bring pictures of cakes you like, and communicate clearly about expectations of the final product.  Go prepared and enjoy your tasting!

Photo: Morgan Trinker