Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You want it to be perfect. After all, you have been planning this day since you were 5 years old. Now you’ve found the partner of your dreams and you know you’ve done it right. Time for the serious stuff: wedding cake prices.
You’re ready to lock down the details of your big day. One of the most memorable moments of any wedding day is when partners exchange a bite of cake. This moment comes with laughter and lots of silly, wonderful wedding photos. You want your cake to look as good as you do. And, of course, you want it to taste as good as it looks.
But how much should you spend on your wedding cake? The price varies based on the amount of detailing on the cake and what ingredients will be used to make it. Labor costs are also a component of the price. The more elaborate the cake, the more work it will take.
The bigger it is and the more elaborate, the more the cake will cost. How much you spend on your cake will depend on the number of guests you’ll need to feed, your budget, and how elaborate you’d like your cake to be.
We’ll let you know what will affect wedding cake prices and share some budget saving alternatives you can consider when deciding on the design for your sweet wedding delight.
What Affects the Price of the Slice
1. Details, Details, Details
Elaborate designs and details can bump up the pricing of your cake. Hand-piped lacey details are costly due to the amount of time and concentration they require. Sugar-paste flowers can be a better option. You might want to limit the number of sugar-paste flowers to one or two to avoid the cost ballooning.
Another option is to use fresh flowers or fresh fruit which can cut your costs up to 40%. Using solid ribbons to wrap the cake only takes a few minutes to apply and can give the cake a pop of color.
The shape of your cake will also affect the cost. Sculpted cakes will cost significantly more than a circle or square cake.
2. What’s in It?
While your flavor choice for your cake won’t usually affect wedding cake prices, customized flavors can cost more than flavors such as vanilla, key lime, or lemon. Flavors like red velvet, carrot, or other customized flavors will cost more because the ingredients cost more.
Even chocolate flavors can cost a bit more, though not much more than the more standard flavors mentioned above. In the same vein, frostings like raspberry cream cost less than cream cheese or chocolate-hazelnut cream.
Fondant and marzipan are going to cost more than buttercream frosting. Fondant tears easily and so need to be applied more carefully. It is more durable than buttercream, which can melt in warm weather, but it requires more ingredients to make. Buttercream tastes better than fondant, forever, so it might be better to go for the budget option.
3. Is Bigger Better?
It’s best to have the number of guests attending set so you have enough cake, but aren’t buying more than what you need. Are you expecting 150 guests or 300? Each new tier of a cake you add will raise costs. Remember that not every guest will want a slice so it’s okay to subtract around 15 to 25 guests from the total number of guests to get to your final cake number.
Tiered cakes require careful stacking. This translates to more labor and labor accounts for a big chunk of the cost of the wedding cake. If you’d like the look of a fancy, tiered cake, consider adding a few thick non-cake layers.
These are layers of Styrofoam wrapped in a fabric that mirrors the exterior of cake layers. They look like the rest of the cake layers but will bring down the cost of the cake significantly. You can have a sheet cake in the kitchen that can then be cut and served to the guests.
Cakes are charged by the slice, so another budget saver would be to serve guests half slices. Most guests don’t eat the entire slice anyway, so you can pay up to half the price for a smaller cake that will serve the same number of guests.
Wedding Cake Prices: A Few Closing Tip
There are various ways to approach getting the cake you want while staying within your budget.
Our closing tip is to make sure to hire your cake baker at least six months before your wedding day so you can get a baker you love. Their calendars fill very quickly so get tasting with ample time. You’ll get the perfect day on your special day.
And there’s nothing sweeter than that.