Visit the Library
Start your search at your local library. Nowadays, most libraries have a computer in place of the old-fashioned card catalog. Make use of the search feature to find books that contain information on wedding cakes. These might include general wedding planning books, gourmet cookbooks or even travel guides listing combination restaurant/bakeries.
You might receive offers to borrow wedding cake books from a friend or family member. If you do, make sure you respect this generous offer by observing good borrowing etiquette. Don't earmark pages and don't make any written notations inside, regardless of whether the owner has already done so. Don't re-loan the book -- give it back as soon as you're done with it. When you're done, make a lunch date to return the book so that you can catch up on old times.
If you can't find what you're looking for using these methods, buckle down and buy a book. You can get great deals through online book sellers and online auctions. You can also research books online, then visit your local book store. If they don't currently have the book you want in stock, they will probably be willing to order it for you.
Sifting Through the Possibilities
There are almost limitless possibilities when choosing a wedding cake. Don't get overwhelmed; you can narrow down choices by keeping a few key points in mind.
First, establish your cake buying budget. Wedding cakes can be surprisingly expensive depending upon what bells and whistles you require. Do some research into what decorations tend to be more pricey and which are easier and cheaper for the baker to create. Then adjust your choices accordingly.
Decide upon a color. Your wedding cake doesn't have to be white. Your wedding cake book will probably display a number of variations, such as white frosting with chocolate decorative swirls; pink frosting; exotic colored edible "flowers" and other possibilities. Choose a basic color family and go from there.
Figure out the right size cake for the amount of guests you are expecting. This will narrow things down as well. You can call your baker to find out how many tiers you will need to accommodate your guests. Pull out your wedding cake book and seek out cakes that match this information.
Have Book, Will Travel
Don't be afraid to take your book along when you visit your cake caterer. He or she may have a similar cake to the one you want. If not, ask if it is possible to custom-create one. Keep in mind that this can make your cake more expensive than you anticipated. If you're not willing to spend more, be prepared to compromise on the decoration of your cake.
If you bought your wedding cake book and it has been helpful to you, spread the love by loaning it out to a bride-to-be who is close to you. Be careful, though; only loan to people you feel will care for and cherish the book as much as you did. You'll get a good feeling knowing you've helped out another anxious bride-to-be and made at least one part of her wedding planning easier.