As inflation reaches its fingers into every corner of the economy, even the most heartfelt industries are taking a hit. Although peak wedding season has passed, prices for everything from venues to cakes remain high.
Forbes reports that wedding prices have steadily increased over the years and are expected to continue. According to a study from The Knot, the average American wedding cost $30,000 in 2022, a $2,000 increase from the previous year. The same study found that the average couple spent $510 on a wedding cake alone.
How can I save money on my wedding cake?
Bakery owner Melissa Redell told Brides that cake prices are high because they reflect the cost of labor and ingredients. She said wedding cake prices can vary depending on size, flavor, design intricacy, your location and delivery fees.
The cake-cutting ceremony has become an integral part of the Western wedding, but it doesn’t have to represent a strain on your big day’s budget. Here are some ways to cut costs on your wedding cake without affecting the beauty of your celebration.
1. Have a small cake for just the bride and groom
A rising trend in recent years has been for the married couple to have their own small, one- or two-tier cake to cut for the cake ceremony. Rather than having a giant cake to serve everyone, the bride and groom enjoy their small cake and serve guests sheet cake, which is cheaper than a stacked cake.
2. Choose an alternative dessert
Remember that you don’t actually need cake in order to get married. If you love cake, go for it; if not, consider something else.
I recently attended a wedding where both the bride and groom detested cake, so they served gelato instead. Rather than a cake-cutting ceremony, they scooped gelato into a cup and served each other bites from it.
If you like the look of a tiered wedding cake but want an alternative dessert, you can always use tiered serving trays to stack other treats, like cupcakes or donuts.
3. Try baking your own
I’ve attended a couple of weddings where the married couple either baked their own cake or hired a friend to make a simple one, and they turned out just as good as anything from an expensive bakery. I even started my own side hustle baking wedding cakes for friends, and it’s been a fun way to help them save on their big day and work on my own baking skills.
With the plethora of recipes and baking advice available on the internet, you have everything you need to be able to make your own wedding cake if you wish. You don’t even need to be a pro at decorating: simply frost the cake with white buttercream and stick in some flowers left over from your florist. My favorite cake recipes all come from Cake by Courtney, who has never failed me.
If you want a tiered cake, remember that you can’t just stick the tiers on top of each other. Make sure to cut wooden dowels to the height of each tier and insert them in the middle of each layer, and use cake boards in between the layers to support the cake. Otherwise, the weight of the cake will cause it to slip and sag, destroying all your hard work.
4. Decorate a plain cake from a grocery store
Not everyone has the time to bake their own cake, but you can still cut costs by buying a cheap cake and adding your own decorations.
Order a simple round cake in your preferred favor from your local grocery and ask your florist to set aside some flowers for you. Scrape off any decorative piping on the cake, coat the cake in a fresh layer of white frosting and place the flowers around the base and top of the cake.