There are many ways to stay within your wedding’s budget and still have the dessert of your dreams. While many couples already know that you can cut a small cake and then serve your guests slices from a sheet cake kept behind the scenes, there are still other ways to cut wedding cake costs without sacrificing design and taste. We asked some of the country’s top wedding cake bakers for their advice on how to have a show-stopping cake without breaking the bank. Here’s what they had to say:
Don’t Be Afraid to Skip the Cake
Just because everyone has a wedding cake, doesn’t mean that has to be the dessert you serve. You can get a small cake for your photo-op, and then have others dessert options served to your guests either at their seat or from a dessert buffet. Andi Compton, Wedding Coordinator for Now That’s a Party, admits guests were pleased with the other options served at one wedding he planned. “One couple ordered an 8″ cake to cut,” he explains, “and afterwards, the caterer brought out trays of baklava and brownies. There were no leftovers and lots of happy guests.”
Mix and Match Your Cakes
Courtney Geigle, co-founder of My Wed Style, a curated wedding marketplace, says to consider
creating a mix-and-match cake bar where guests can have a slice (or a few slices) of their favorite flavor(s). “Not only does it mean that you will only need one personalized cake for you and hubby to cut,” she says, “but it will also cater to the tastes of all your guests.” Adding, “This is a great way to include a gluten-free or vegan option without having to make it the only choice for all in attendance.”
Photo: Bobbi Brinkman Photography
Stack ‘Em Up
One way to infuse your personal style into your wedding is by serving your personal favorite wedding dessert. If you’ve never been a cake lover, there’s no rule saying you have to have one at your wedding. Stacking donuts, cupcakes or even mini bundt cakes is unique and fun, and can also help save your money. Jodi Jackson of Savannah Wedding Dreams is often asked how to have a great wedding cake that doesn’t break the bank, and advises couples to have a tower of their favorite desserts, or a dessert bar with pies, small cakes and cookies as a tasty alternative.
Photo: Sweet Peony Photography
Ingredients Make the Difference
There are ways to get an elegant and affordable cake just by swapping out a few ingredients that may push you over the edge. For example, buttercream icing will be less expensive when compared to fondant. Just keep in mind that a buttercream-iced cake is best for weddings held in cooler climates, or at least an air-conditioned room, because in the heat a buttercream cake will start to melt or “sweat.” You can also opt for fresh flowers instead of sugar ones, which take more time to make and therefore are more expensive too. Just make sure the flowers you choose have not been sprayed with any pesticides.
Consider Your Local Grocery Store
While your caterer is handling the main meal, did you know you could save a lot of money relying on your local grocery store for your wedding cake? Check to make sure it’s ok with your venue to bring your cake from an outside vendor, and if it is, go for it! “What most brides don’t consider or know, is that their local grocery store bakeries will gladly produce a plain iced, round-tiered cake, the staple of almost any wedding cake,” says Jessica Herrington, an Event Stylist with Clinkery.com. “This option leaves you, or your florist, the opportunity to quickly adorn the cake with a sprinkling of real flowers or berries, a wide ribbon around the base of each tier, and your own cake topper.” And if you’re looking to replicate a naked cake, which is a big trend in weddings, that too can be produced at the grocery store level. “The process for ordering is a little different but the result is surprisingly impressive and economical too.”