5 Creative + Budget-Conscious Wedding Cake Ideas

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.”

5 ways to save on your wedding cake

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

5 creative ways to save on your wedding cake
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

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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.

Photo: SLF

5 ways to save on your wedding cake

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.”

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The Look For Less: Napkin Placement

Look at the napkins!  Their color…  how they are folded…  and where they are placed… make a huge difference in the look of the tablescape. This is an easy and inexpensive way to personalize and accent your wedding reception tables!

All images courtesy of Project Wedding.

The Look For Less is a regular feature on our blog.  We’ve reached out to leading wedding planners to get their expert advice on how to get a great look at your wedding, without breaking the bank.

I love today’s feature by Lynda Barness at I DO Wedding Consulting in Philadelphia. The idea is so simple and smart.  And when you think about napkins as part of your decor, instead of just well, napkins, it really can enhance your look.  Without adding cost.

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The Look for Less: Choosing Locally

Grace Beason | Grace Leisure Events: The creative, budget savvy bride knows that choosing local is a great way to cut costs. And as wedding planner, this is some of the best advice I can give you.  Choose Local!

This means many things but above all, try sourcing your flowers locally from local floral producers or even from farmers markets.  Put your flowers together yourself or make sure you work wit a local florist who is game to source things locally.  This not only decreases the carbon footprint of your wedding (dahlias from down the road versus tulips from the Netherlands), but saves you money because the flowers had to travel a shorter distance to make it from their home to your florist and into your gorgeous wedding centerpieces.

Another great idea is to have your caterer source their food locally.  This is now becoming a very hot trend (hopefully one that sticks) with restaurants and caterers. (You may not even need to suggest it, but be sure that you ask). The more “farm to table” you can get with your food items, the better off your budget will be and again, the friendlier it is to our planet.

When looking at the overall scope of your wedding, do the best you can to go local with all of your vendors.  Choose a tent company in your home town rather than one a town over, even if they have a style you like better.  Get invitations made from recycled paper (Crane’s, for example, uses all recycled paper), and find a band that is in town rather than one you need to fly in from New York City.

Every choice you make for your wedding impacts the environment and your pocketbook.  Why not choose local and affect them both positively?

We’ve reached out to leading wedding planners to get their expert advice on how to get a great look at your wedding, without breaking the bank. You can find all of these amazing tips in our The Look For Less category.

Today’s post was written by Grace Beason of Grace Leisure Events. They specialize in sophisticated, innovative and unforgettable weddings and events in North Carolina and beyond. Owner and head planner Grace L.P. Beason combines Manhattan style, savvy and class with Southern charm, wit and beauty creating events that are truly unique, and uniquely you.

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The Look for Less: Carnations!

Carnations – making a come back!

I know what you have to say – Carnations – really?!!?!?? Yes – Carnations! They are a beautiful choice when appropriately used – plus they are a super affordable option and come in such a wide verity of colors they are the perfect flower for many wedding applications.

We searched the web for some great images of carnation uses at weddings and found these for you to check out. They are great for structured looks – like balls, and tight arrangements. I agree, they are not a great filler flower – they tend to stick out, but check out these great applications and uses of carnations and I dare you to tell me that they are not beautiful!

The Look for Less: Carnations!

Photo courtesy of Wedding Jeannie.

The Look for Less: Carnations!

Photo courtesy of Cornerstone Events.

Here is a wedding that I did this past August. Alicia’s colors were Navy and Hot Pink – and to her florist and my delight – she loved carnations and wanted her girls to carry hot pink carnation bouquets. The girls flowers really pop off their dresses, and were exactly what Alicia was looking for. It was perfect, and since she saved on their bouquets, she was able to splurge on her own bouquet of Calla Lilly’s!

The Look for Less: Carnations!

The Look for Less is posted monthly.

About: Tricia Huddas & Co. specializes in destination weddings in historic Savannah Georgia and the Southeast.  Whether you are planning an intimate evening or a bold affair, Tricia Huddas & Co will bring your event together with style, elegance and grace.

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