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Spending Less On a Wedding Cake

September 7th, 2011 by Jeannine

Spending Less On A Wedding Cake

The elaborate multi-tiered cake has always been part of the wedding fantasy… but having a grandiose cake with a lot of detail can cost a pretty penny. So what do you do when you want the dream cake without the huge price tag? I contacted Jennifer Fedje, cake artist and owner of Harmony Cakes and we came up with these solutions:

  • Have a fake cake – There are two options, you can ask a baker to create a custom fake cake for you with a real piece inserted for cutting or you can rent a fully assembled entirely fake cake. The first option may still be costly because of the decorating time, but some bakers may have created “dummy cakes” to showcase their work at trade shows and offer these for rent. Depending on the baker and design it can cost roughly $200 to rent. Just remember to take into consideration the added expense of a slab cake if you still want to serve wedding cake to your guests.
  • Use buttercream icing with styrofoam tiers - Making a multi-tiered cake with buttercream is considerably cheaper than fondant but if you want it bigger, Jennifer advises to add styrofoam layers interchangeably with real cake to add height and cut down on servings.
  • Have simpler decoration – Using ribbons and fresh flowers to adorn the cake will cut decorating costs. Jennifer says: “In general any decorative items for the cake that the decorator does not have to create themselves is a big time saver which of course translates to big savings as compared to highly decorated custom cakes.”
  • No icing or fondant - If you’re into the idea of an “Inside Out” cake, you’ll be able to save money on product and labour costs as decorating and construction time are greatly reduced.
  • Serve cupcakes instead – Have a small cake for the cutting ceremony and serve cupcakes for the rest of your guests. Some venues may even waive their cake cutting costs for cupcakes, be sure to doublecheck if they do! Jennifer says cupcakes generally cost less per serving and by presenting them on a nice cupcake stand, it will give you the height of a tiered cake and can look quite impressive. You can even take a chance and order less cupcakes because there may be some guests who will choose not to take one. Jennifer says, “I often recommend to my clients to order enough servings for about 80% of their guests especially when there are other desserts to choose from. There are always people who don’t like cake, are on a diet or who leave before or just after the cutting ceremony.” Do this at your own risk though, I ordered less for my wedding and I still came out with leftover cupcakes. It’s a gamble and it really depends on what your guests are like are so think ahead before you order less.

The last option is to not serve cake at all! Lots of couples have dessert tables instead, or have a cake made of cereal treats, have profiterole or macaron towers, or even pies! There are no rules when it comes to wedding cakes… Get what makes you happy! A huge thank you to Jennifer for imparting her cake wisdom to my readers. Check out her website, her cake designs are beautiful!

Tell me… What kind of cake will you be serving at your wedding? Or will you be serving any at all?

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