groom's sister's wedding cake last year, and when he and the bride came for their cake consult he told me that his cake had to be bigger than hers. Because that's what they did.
Now, the problem was that his sister's reception had been a lot bigger then his was going to be, and they didn't need that much cake. Plus, the sister had a cake that was bigger than she needed in the first place just because her parents wanted to do a big cake because that was their family's tradition.
In this case, though, the bride's family probably wasn't interested in paying for a huge cake just so that the groom could outdo his sister's cake. The bride was humoring her fiance but wanted to stay within budget at the same time, so what we did was design something that had the same number of tiers as the sister's cake, but with shorter tiers to minimize the number of servings. The groom was happy with that, so it worked out.
The cake had fondant pearls around each tier and on the surface of the shorter tiers. The taller tiers had purple fondant draping on them with pearl and isomalt medallions on the centers. The cake was covered in buttercream.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com