Saving Money on Your Beautiful Wedding Cake

Saving money on your wedding cake with non-edible tiers

Saving Money on Your Wedding Cake is Possible! Here’s How You Work the Price Down. 

Wedding cakes can be made to look as delicate and as lacy as flowered hats, as beautiful as mysterious treasure chests and as jewel-like as something on a shelf at Tiffany’s. To many wedding guests, the last course of the meal when they get to sample that wedding cake is one of the most special parts of the wedding.

For the couple paying for the wedding, though, aiming to not disappoint with the cake can be an expensive indulgence. A grand wedding cake can cost as much as $1000 – or 5% of the price tag of the average American wedding. Whatever way you can find to save on the cost of your cake can be worth it so here are some ideas for saving money on your wedding cake.

Mostly, it isn’t the size of your cake that makes it expensive

Cake is flour, eggs, shortening, cream and sugar – it’s fairly inexpensive to make. Even a huge five-tier cake shouldn’t cost more than $200. How does it end up costing $1000 then?

It isn’t the ingredients that make wedding cakes expensive. Rather, it is the amount of the decorative detail ordered that sends the bill up. If you want your cake covered with three-dozen intricate roses, for instance, it takes skill, artistry and time. For the most part, such fancy decorative work is what tends to make wedding cakes expensive.

Cakes that are made to look like flowers or other shapes are extremely labor intensive. Choosing simple, square cakes is one way of saving money on your wedding cake. You should even consider staying away from a tiered cake. Many bakers charge as much as 25% extra to stack cake tiers. Going with a single-layered cake can save you serious money as well.

Learn how to achieve beautiful results cheaply

Icing flowers with intricate detail are very expensive. Instead, you can choose to order large, sugar paste flowers that are simple four-petal designs. These can be inexpensive and still look impressive. Studding your cake with icing pearls is another less costly way to come by elegant results.

For the material that makes your frosting, you should choose buttercream instead of fondant. Cheaper frosting materials can save you approximately $1 on each slice. The kind of icing flavor you choose is another area to pay attention to. Simple flavors like chocolate, strawberry, lemon and vanilla are cheaper than other flavors like hazelnut.

You can save a few dollars with a slightly smaller cake

Not every guest at a wedding asks for a slice of wedding cake. Guests can have different reasons for staying away – a special diet, perhaps. Since wedding cakes are priced by the slice, you can count the number of guests you have and consider ordering fewer slices.

Also, a smaller cake doesn’t actually have to look smaller. Wedding cake bakers can often build your cake up with inedible decorative layers. Then you can end up with very impressive results that are inexpensive, nonetheless.

Another good idea is to order a small, but richly decorated wedding cake for the ceremonial cake cutting. This isn’t the cake that you serve your guests, though. For them, you order a separate, simply decorated cake that tastes the same. It will remain in the kitchen and be served by your catering staff. Your wedding cake bill can often cost half as much this way.


Reception venues have a habit of tacking on something called a cake cutting charge worth $5 a slice, or more. You can negotiate ahead of time and many couples succeed in working this surcharge down as well.

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