Examine the length of time required for you in ordering your wedding cake.
In the world of frosting, there are two big hitters: buttercream and fondant, and there are pros and cons to each—including cost. Buttercream is typically less expensive. Fondant, on the other hand, requires extra steps and materials, and can be difficult to work with, making it more expensive. But do your due diligence regardless and don't assume your cake will be less expensive with buttercream: You might want a smooth, seemingly simple appliqué finish on a buttercream cake, when in reality, this pristine style requires precision and time. Long story short, you may not save as much as you'd hoped. And some bakers may charge you extra for fondant, especially if you're requesting a lace appliqué or a detailed pattern design, so it's good to ask your baker these questions up front.
A tiered cake means that the weight of your top tier (or tiers if you're getting extravagant) rests on the bottom tier. To prevent everything sinking into the cake and ruining your beatifully smooth icing, you need to put in some dowels. These can be foodsafe wood or plastic and are available, like everything else, from cakecraft shops or the internet.