Weddings are expensive. There’s the venue rental, the dress, the chairs, the flowers, the tuxedoes, the DJ, the food, and the cake. The cake – that tower of sugar and icing that’s going to end up in the background of a lot of pictures, and hopefully will be as delicious as it is pretty to look at.
Some couples choose to go all out, sparing no expenses for their wedding day, while others choose to keep a tighter budget. If you fall into the second category, it’s possible for you save some money on your cake. This way, you can splurge a little more on other aspects of your wedding.
Some couples choose to have a small cake made just for them to pose with and smash into each other’s faces. For your guests, the options are limitless. You can serve cupcakes or a sheet cake, have a dessert bar, serve pie and ice cream—anything that suits your fancy. Some couples even opt for a candy-bar for their guests to pick out their own take-home desserts. The cake doesn’t even have to be cake. You can stack Oreo cookies into a cake shape or serve cake balls. Let your sweet tooth and creativity fly here.
The decorations and details of wedding cake are what drive the prices skyward. Talk to your baker about options. Buttercream frosting is cheaper than fondant and is usually a crowd pleaser in terms of taste. Instead of two flavors and a filling, go for one. Instead of floral designs on your cake, bring in fresh flowers. Be sure you bring edible flowers, though!
Another popular choice is to have a “naked” cake, without any outer frosting. The flavoring isn’t sacrificed in naked cakes—you can have any number of delicious fillings. In-season fruits look gorgeous paired with the golden brown of naked cakes. Naked cakes have a rustic look that is perfect for outdoor weddings and looks great on Instagram.
Instead of the well-known bakery or franchise, reach out to a local bakery. It’s likely that even if the bakery doesn’t work on lots of wedding cakes, the baker is well-versed in creating amazing cakes. You’ll be able to personalize your cake and support local business at the same time. A local baker is more likely to work with your budget as well.
Instead of buying an expensive cake stand for your big day, check in with your family. Someone may still have their own wedding cake stand that you can borrow. If that’s not your style, you can opt to use the baseboard provided by the bakery. You can decorate the display table to match your wedding décor and probably won’t even miss the expensive stand.
Speaking of something borrowed, be sure to ask your family if they have a jewelry piece for you to wear at your wedding. You can even consider adding cremation jewelry and diamonds to your jewelry ensemble. This way, you can express your devotion to your loved ones on your special day.
If your wedding is being catered, you may be able to add a simple wedding cake for a discount. You can request that your wedding cake is cut into smaller slices. Cake can also be pre-cut and added to a buffet-line if you are serving a large number of guests. If you’re worried about not having enough sweet treats, add fresh fruit to the dessert plates or place candies around the reception hall.
Even if you don’t know someone who can out-bake Martha Stewart, there’s a chance your mom or grandma does. Call around. Was there a childhood friend who always had the best birthday cakes? Call them! It’s your special day and the people who love you want to celebrate and help you celebrate. Your friends and family will be more willing to help if they know you’re on a tighter budget.
A homemade cake can be the talk of the night! Traditional wedding cakes are also welcome and can help with your budget. Talk to your family and your soon-to-be spouse, you’re sure to find an old family recipe that speaks to you.
If you simply must have that cake that you’ve had your eye on at the bakery, it may man cutting the budget elsewhere. Start with the itemized cost of your wedding. Things you didn’t request can show up here. Having fewer guests can lighten the costs as well as having a cash bar. If you plan on serving dinner, limit the options to one meat, one vegetarian, and limit the pre-dinner appetizers. You can get creative with the meal options, too. Think picnics for an outdoor wedding, or barbecue at a beach wedding.
Hopefully, these ideas can help you when planning your wedding and decide how you want to serve your cake (and eat it too!)