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 we know that you have tons of ideas about how to make yours 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 answer to the question, “How much is a wedding cake?” Every cake is unique in size, ingredients, decorations, and more; therefore, each wedding cake has an individualized price tag.
Several factors go into the cost of your wedding cake. The bigger your cake is, and the more intricate the edible decorations are, the more you can expect to spend. But there are even more critical details involved in the overall 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 fees 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 provide you with a flat price for the number of tiers and slices that you will need, but keep in mind that this price doesn’t include decorations or icing.
To save a little money, you can have a smaller, two-tier cake and still feed your whole reception by ordering additional servings in the form of “back-up” cakes. Many wedding cake designers will allow for this, but please do yourself a favor – if you like this idea, order “back-up” cakes instead of “sheet cakes.” “Back-up” cake slices will look the same as your display wedding cake, minus the decorations. That way, when your guests receive their full slices, they will feel special and a part of your cake cutting experience and wedding experience.
Frosting and Cake Covering
Frosting generally costs less than fondant, so that’s something to take into consideration when planning a cake with many tiers. Fondant will give your cake a styled, clean look; however, if you’re on a tight budget, consider frosting to save money.
Additionally, if you want your cake “painted” with a particular design or style, such as iridescence or glitter, that will be an additional cost. So when considering this design option for your wedding cake, also think about the price. Adding special features to “accent tiers” rather than the entire cake is a way to save money while still creating a gorgeous look.
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 prefer to get a single tier to cater to any dietary restrictions, rather than an entire cake. You may also decide to have a single “backup cake” to be sliced and served to guests that need this special accommodation.
It should go without saying, but the more intricate your edible decoration (i.e., the sugar-based decorations your cake designer will make by hand), the more you can expect to spend. Your designer will spend much time meticulously crafting each edible flower/item that goes onto your cake. So, an intricate cake design will cost more than a sparsely decorated one.
Some couples choose to include fresh flowers in or on their cakes, which is a great way to make your cake look more substantial and elegant. It can also save you money in the process. However, there are typically a few fees associated with using floral cake decorations.
You will need to pay your florist for the decorations and, possibly, for their cake decorating services. You may also need to pay your cake designer to correspond with your florist, or to decorate your cake. It depends on the services that they offer.
Cake delivery is included in your cake designer’s services, often as an additional fee. It’s vital to consider delivery charges when you go to your consultation. You don’t deserve to have any surprises when it comes to your cake price, and sometimes delivery and assembly charges can feel like a “hidden” cost. We want you to have all of the facts!
Your delivery costs may vary depending on travel distance. We’re not saying that you have to order your cake from the town where you’re getting married, but 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.