You’re pulling out all of the stops to plan your Dream Wedding but we know that you don’t want to start your life as newlyweds with a broken piggy bank.
The wedding cake is a crucial part of any reception and you’ve got tons of ideas about how to make yours absolutely perfect. Since this is likely your first time hiring a cake designer and purchasing a wedding cake, we want you to know what to expect to spend.
There’s no way to simply ask, “how much is a wedding cake?” Every cake is unique in size, ingredients used, decorations, etc. and therefore comes with an individualized price tag. You wouldn’t call a car dealership and ask, “how much does a car cost?” so don’t ask this of your cake designer.
There are several factors that go into the cost of your wedding cake. Essentially, the bigger it is and the more intricate the edible decorations are, the more you can expect to spend but there are even more details to this process so we’ll elaborate for you.
Some cake designers offer a complimentary consultation and tasting but this is not always the case. When scheduling your consultation, check to make sure that there are no hidden costs for going in to meet with the designer.
Serving and Tiers
The more tiers on your cake, the more you can expect to spend. Cake prices depend on how many mouths you are feeding and your cake designer will know how many tiers to recommend based on the number of guests attending. Your cake designer will be able to give you a flat price for the number of tiers and ultimately slices you want but keep in mind that this price won’t include any of the decorations or icing.
In order to save a little money, you can have a smaller, two-tier cake and still feed your whole reception by ordering additional servings in “back-up” cakes. Many wedding cake designers will allow for this but definitely do yourself a favor if you like this idea and go with “back-up” cakes rather than sheet cakes. The slices will look exactly the same as the actual wedding cake slices, minus the decorations. That way, you don’t wind up with guests that feel shorted for having received the “sheet cake”.
Frosting and cake covering
Frosting generally costs less than fondant, so that’s something to take into consideration when planning a large cake with many tiers. Fondant will give your cake a styled, clean look, however, so if you truly feel that this look would be best with your wedding style, consider the point above as an option if you’re trying to save some dough.
Additionally, if you want your cake “painted” with a certain design or style, such as iridescence or glitter, that will be an additional cost. So when you’re considering this, perhaps you can decide to add these special features to “accent tiers” instead of the entire cake.
If you’re working with food restrictions such as gluten free, vegetarian or vegan diets, these cakes will almost always cost extra. Sometimes, the markup is even up to 50% more, depending on where you are ordering the cake. Keep this in mind, especially if you are considering a full cake with any of these dietary restrictions. You may find that you’ll prefer to get a single tier with the restrictions, rather than the entire cake. You may also decide to have a single “backup” cake to be sliced and served to guests that need this accommodation.
This should go without saying but the more intricate your edible decoration (i.e. the sugar-based decorations that your cake designer will be making by hand), the more you can expect to spend. Your designer will spend a lot of time meticulously crafting each edible flower/item that goes onto your cake, so a very “busy” cake design will cost more than a sparsely decorated one.
Some couples choose to include fresh flowers in their cakes. This is a great way to make your cake look larger and more elegant, and can save you money in the process. However, in addition to paying the florist for the flowers, you’ll likely have to pay your cake designer extra for the correspondence with the florist.
Your cake delivery is part of the price you’ll pay for your cake designer’s services. This is important to consider when you go to your consultation. You don’t deserve to have any surprises when it comes to your cake price, and this delivery and assembly charge can feel like a “hidden” cost. Again, we just want you to have all of the facts.
Your delivery costs may vary, depending on how far you’re having your cake delivered. We’re not saying that you have to order your cake from the town where you’re getting married, just be prepared to pay your designer extra if they’re making a long trip.
Pay for greatness
You’ll only ever design one wedding cake (we hope). Remember the saying as old as time; you get what you pay for. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t cut corners and don’t pay for anything less than perfect. Your wedding cake should be as show-stopping as you are.