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 Most Charming Mini Wedding Cakes Ever

Delicious things come in small packages…even grand wedding cakes. Perfect for favors, a dessert and sweets bar or just beautiful for photos, mini wedding cakes are a beautiful alternative to the classic look. Miniature wedding cakes are also a nice touch at engagement parties and rehearsal dinners. Dainty and perfect, these mini wedding cakes will have you and your guests swooning.

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Art deco on a tiny scale for this miniature gilded wedding cake. Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop, Photo: Mi Belle Photographers

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

How about lilac colored buttercream miniature wedding cakes for a spring wedding? Cake: Tessa Huff Cake Design

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

These white and gold beauties are white chocolate mousseline with wafer paper flowers. Nearly works of art. Cakes: Sugar Realm

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Intricate hand painted cakes were one of the biggest trends in weddings the past few years … shrink that trend down to refresh it. Cake: Kate Burt Cakes, Photo: WOOKIE Photography {Via SMP}

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

A seven-layer wedding cake might be in your budget in minature form. Photo: Alicia Swedenborg, Cake: Holy Sweet

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Detailed florals touches adorn these miniature cakes. The design reminds us of intricate wedding dress embellishment. Photo: Kate Mathis {Via: The Knot}

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

A little lace and a fondant finish will astonish guests for your vintage-inspired wedding theme. Cake: L’Arte Della Torta di Melanie Secciani, Photo: Modern Vintage Weddings

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Antiqued blue is another vintage-inspired wedding cake design that shrinks down wonderfully. Photo: Eddie Judd, Cake: Cakes by Krishanthi

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Cake stands elevate a grouping of minature wedding cakes wonderfully. Cake: Carrie’s Cakes Photo: Erin Kate

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Swirled buttercream with fresh florals make a non-fussy minature wedding cake. Cakes: Amy Cakes, Photo: Ryan Ray

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

The beauty of naked cakes works well on tiny pastel ombre towers making them almost too pretty to eat. Cakes: Glorious Treats

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Impeccable style on these baroque inspired cakes. They’re so detailed, you can barely tell they’re minature. Cakes: Cotton and Crumbs

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

A cake for each placesetting adds up to an incredible tablescape. Pearl-like dot details are a modern look. Photo: Chanelle Segerius Bruce, Cake: Janet Mohapi-Banks

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Drama isn’t reserved for large cakes. This collection of miniatures show that even small cakes can sport bold colors, embellishment and incredible detailing. Cakes: Sugary & Chic

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Anemone sugar flowers are just the right size for minature fondant wedding cakes. We love the purple shades. Photo: Eddie Judd, Cake: Cakes by Krishanthi

Adorable Mini Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Tiny tiered wedding cakes awaited each guest at their seat. The minature pennants are the perfect touch. Photo: Belathée Photography, Cakes: The Sweet Side

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18 Wedding Cakes Your Guests Will Remember

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

It’s said we eat with our eyes. If that’s the case, get ready to devour today’s post because dramatic, over-the-top cakes are on the menu today. Whether they are bursting with flowers between their six, seven or more tiers or are elegantly suspended, these are all wedding cakes your guests will remember.

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

London-based cake studio Sweet Hollywood pioneered this halo cake stand which makes the cake the center of attention. Incredible. Cake: Sweet Hollywood

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com
A seven-tier wedding cake that is nothing less than glorious, covering from top to bottom with mounds of blooms. Photo: Candid Image, Cake: Nazira Catering

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

This 13-tier wedding cake covered in sugar flowers and 28 pounds (yes, you read the right) of rhinestones rises seven feet high. Cake: Frosted Art Bakery and Studio

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Fresh and light as a feather, we love that this classic fondant wedding cake just seems to float on a platform of orchids and roses in the center of the ballroom at the white-on-white wedding. Très romantique! Photo: Victor Sizemore, Cake: Cinderella Cakes, Floral Design: Nisies’s Enchanted Florist

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Ruffled obsession. The beautiful ombre cake dissolves into a skirt of fresh flowers. Photo: Colin Miller for Colin Cowie Weddings

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

When I saw this wedding cake, I held my breath and I think my heart skipped a beat. Drama, glamour, style: this suspended cake has it all. Photo: Milanes, Cake: For Goodness Cakes, Planner: elly B Events, Cake swing design: Andy Beach & Co.

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

A spring masterpiece made of eight layers swirls with both sugar flowers on top of a subtle lace design. Photo: Cristina Rossi, Cake: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

This picture-perfect mint green beauty interspersed with gilded leaf elements and flowers was made for these Napa nuptials. (The bride and groom? Sutro CEO Nicole Schuetz and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.) That’s certainly an Instagrammable cake. Photo: Jose Villa

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Ombre perfection will have your wedding guests in awe. Cake + Photo: Rosalind Miller

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Created by the queen of cakeology, fresh flowers and impossible height create a sense of drama. Photo: Meg Connelly Communications, Cake: Sylvia Weinstock

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Baroque comes to life for this multi-tiered beauty. Golden details and sugar flowers make sure each angle is different than the last. Cake: The Caketress

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Bring the glitz and bring the glamour to a sweet close with a wedding cake on a swing. Photo: Maggie Stolzberg, Cake: The Breakers Cake Shop

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Rising up six feet and four inches on a waterfall of Swarovski crystals, this one-of-a-kind bejewelled cake is incredible. Approximately 4,100 crystals were hand-strung for this gravity defying work of art inspired by Bob Mackie’s dress creations. Cake: Ron Ben Israel

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Going with a black cake is certain to be a talking point among your guests. The tiny flower garlands remind us of Rifle Paper Co.’s famous stationery designs and the perfect symmetry is awe-inspiring. Photo: Mark Davidson Cake: Wild Orchid Baking 

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

This cascade of pink sugar flowers down seven tiers of cake is a showstopper. Cake: Le Novelle

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Designed for actor Tracy Morgan’s wedding to Megan Wollover, this towering five-foot-five-inch tall wedding cake in creams and blush pink was a feminine masterpiece. The design included eight tiers covered in lace, a custom monogram and three flower-filled layers consisting of 1,500 roses, orchids and hydrangea. Photo: Jeff Tisman, Cake: Pink Cake Box

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Suspended cakes are always sure to be showstoppers. This rustic-glam beauty levitating on a crystal curtain and bed of fresh flowers is no exception. Photo: Julie Paisley Photography, Cake: Whisk Bakery

Showstopper Wedding Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Every inch of this five-foot-tall wedding cake is covered in sugar roses: more than 2,000, in fact. It seems to just grow out of the rose tablecloth beneath it. Exquisite. Photo: Jay Lawrence Goldman, Cake: Charm City Cakes West

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15 Simple, Classic Wedding Cakes

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Whether you go with fondant or buttercream, square or round, there’s no denying the classic romance of a simple, tiered wedding cake. Here are some of our favorites featuring intricate detailing, fresh flowers and understated yet still classic cake architecture. These cakes are anything but basic.

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Alternating bands of gold trim with piped lace and the incredible doily/lace layer near the top? We’re swooning. Photography: Jose Villa, Cake: The Butter End Cakery

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Ornate golden details and sugar flowers keep this cake from being anything but ordinary. Photo + Cake: Cake Studio LA

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Pale pink sugar flowers and the finest braided, pearly trim create an exquisitely decadent wedding cake that’s too pretty to cut. Cake: The Couture Cakery

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Nearly monochromatic, feminine blush pink ruffles against elegant pearlized layers make this wedding cake completely sophisticated. Cake: Creme de la Creme Bali

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

The faux bois texture keeps the all-white cake from becoming too plain. Add a bright pop of delicate pink orchids and this wedding cake’s a stunner. Cake:Wow Factor Cakes & Desserts

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

This showstopper of a fondant wedding cake combines ruffles, quilting and little flowers on the base for dramatic impact. Cake: Fantasy Frostings

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Modern and minimal, this wedding cake still has hints of tradition with its three tier design. The pretty pearl texture on the bottom adds just the right amount of oomph. Cake: Layered Bake Shop

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Layered and lovely: mounds of pastel roses surround (and fill) this classic wedding cake. Photography: Jacqueline Dallimore, Cake: Melissa’s Fine Pastries

A touch of ruffle adds an artistic touch to this super cute and simple wedding cake. Photography: Velvet Owl, Cake: Jacivas Bakery

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Seemingly inspired by a wedding dress, this cake uses classic touches of ruffles, beading and beautiful fresh floral details to complete it. Photography: Amy Jordan, Cake: Ruze Cake House

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Gorgeous in gold! Delicate flower petals constructed out of sugar, incredible golden spheres and a feather on top keeps this wedding cake whimsical and modern. Cake: Cake Whisperer

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Just plain pretty. Piping perfects this wedding cake and the addition of a monogram provides a personal touch. Cake: Wow Factor Cakes & Desserts

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Marble combines with copper detailing for a cake that looks nearly too beautiful to eat. The up-t0-the-minute marble trend is a gorgeous way to update a classic wedding cake style. Photography: Amy Gawlik, Cake: Love Birds Sweets 

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

Gilded polka dots add a touch of sophistication to this tall, narrow wedding cake. The ranunculus flowers are a dainty addition. Cake: Hey There, Cupcake

Classic Cakes | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com

This elegant wedding cake is sculptural with 3D layered ruffles tumbling down the completely smoothed cake. Photography: Jessamyn Harris, Cake: The Whole Cake

Craving more cake? Here are 14 Stylish All White Cakes to inspire you with their classic, minimal designs.

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