I have a secret obsession with fancy wedding cakes. And dessert tables. Especially if they’re on Pinterest. They are so pretty and delicious but boy can they get expensive. Did you know it can take 12 hours or more just to make one cake?

Wedding Cakes = Labor Intensive = One Pricey Bill

But first thing’s first. It’s best to figure out your venue, budget, wedding size and color scheme to help you determine the size and style of your cake or dessert table.

 

Wedding cakes are priced by the slice

Anywhere from $1.50 to $12 (or more) making the average wedding cake cost approximately $450. Even if you go the cupcake route, you’ll probably pay anywhere from $1.50 to $8 per cupcake. That said, if you want to bring your cost down,

  • Order fewer slices: Not everyone eats cake so order fewer slices and serve smaller portions
  • Ask your venue if you can save money be letting people serve themselves
  • A square shaped cake feeds more people, is easier to cut into a grid and generally translates into more bang for buck.
  • Yes, you can go to the supermarket and buy a wedding cake there
  • Check out culinary schools who have pastry programs. You might be able to order form them, or hire the students directly, although you always run a risk when working with newbies, especially people who are not familiar with weddings.

 

Simple = Cheaper

The more stuff you add to the cake, the more expensive it will be. So, if you want to save on cost,

  • Forego the fancy shapes and fancy designs -the more labor intensive the cake is, the more expensive it will be
  • Get butter cream over fondant
  • Forego the premium flavors and ingredients
  • Accessorize with fresh flowers, fruit, icing dots vs. the elaborate handcrafted sugar or gum decorations
  • And if you’re dead set on something fancy, get a small cake with fake layers (i.e. styrofoam) covered with icing and/or have sheet cakes in the back
Alternatives to wedding cakes
Just do a search on Pinterest for wedding cake alternatives and you’ll find no shortage of delicious dessert inspiration. Let’s just say you can make something pretty and chic from just about anything sweet.
  • Mini cakes (to be served per table): These are amazing!
  • Individual bites: Cupcakes, cheescake, mousse, cake pops
  • Displays: Candy, pie, fruit, brownies, rice crispy treats, tarts
  • Towers: macaroons, donuts,
  • Bars: Smores, Churro, Waffle, Ice Cream Sunday,
Questions to ask your baker?
  • How many cakes do you schedule for the same day? You want to ensure that the bakery has sufficient bandwidth to accommodate your wedding.
  • How do you price your cakes and what factors have the biggest impact on price?
  • What the serving ranges are for different tiered cakes? Sometimes they have standard sizes that accommodate a tier of people (i.e. the same cake size feeds 150-200 people), in which case you can order the lowest number of people for a given range especially since you are paying by the slice.
  • How long before the wedding will the cake be baked? Do you pre-make or freeze any of your cake layers or is everything made fresh from scratch?
  • How will the cake be transported and stored?
  • Are you familiar with my venue?
  • How will the cake be displayed? Do I need to provide a cake stand, prop or tray or a cake cutting knife?
  • What happens if the cake falls/breaks during transport and setup?
  • Are there additional fees I need to be aware of such as shipping, delivery, equipment, setup etc?
  • What options do I have for guests with allergies or other dietary restrictions?

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