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Your wedding cake adds extra sweetness and beauty to an already sweet and beautiful day. Many guests look forward to sampling the cake as they wish the bride and groom a happy future together. However, the cost of wedding cake can get pricey.
Choosing the right cake for your wedding should be a fun and streamlined process. Read on to learn more about how to price your wedding cake and make the best decision for your budget and your special day.
How to Price a Wedding Cake
The average cost of a wedding cake is $500, with most couples paying between $300 and $700. Cakes are often priced by the slice, ranging from $2.00 to $12.00 per slice depending on the flavor and type of frosting. The number of guests at your reception will be the biggest factor affecting the price.
Wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes, so the prices can vary. However, there are a few factors that will consistently affect the total cost of your wedding cake. These include:
- Size and number of tiers
- Raw ingredients
- Flavor and type of frosting
- Level of intricacy and personalization
- Toppers and decorative items such as flowers
- Time, labor, and transportation costs
How to Choose the Size of Your Cake
The best way to determine how much cake you’ll need is to ask a professional baker for advice. Tell them how many guests you have, and ask for an estimate of how many cake rounds you’d need to feed everyone invited.
Remember that prices per tier will vary depending on your baker, location, and cake specifications. You may want to speak with several baking services before making a final decision.
If you decide to bake your own, you’ll need to do some cake math.
According to Brides Magazine, a traditional round has the following:
- 12 servings in a 6″ tier
- 24 servings in an 8″ tier
- 38 servings in a 10″ tier
- 56 servings in a 12″ tier
- 78 servings in a 14″ tier
- 100 servings in a 16″ tier
Find out the size wedding cake you need by adding up tiers from smallest to largest until you reach an amount close to your guest list. For example, you’d want a 12″ base tier for a wedding with 100 people. It would make 130 standard pieces leaving you plenty of wiggle room, while a smaller cake wouldn’t give you enough slices.
Of course, you can also purchase several smaller tiers and stack them to reach the required number of slices. The following combinations each serve 100 people:
- Two 12 inch tiers
- One 14 inch tier and one 8 inch tier
- One 12 inch tier and two 8 inch tiers
Wedding cake traditions over the years have included breaking cake over the bride’s head, baking cake charms into the bottom layer for guests to pull out, and saving the top tier to eat on your first anniversary. Make sure you calculate any special plans into the total amount of cake that you order!
How to Reduce Cake Costs
If you plan to feed a lot of guests, you may want to consider cake cost-cutting strategies. Here are a few ways to stay within your budget and still include a sweet element on your special day:
1. Bake the Cake Yourself, or Ask a Friend to Do It For You
Labor makes up a substantial portion of what you pay for a wedding cake. Calculate the cost of ingredients for the cake you want, and see if you can afford to make it yourself. In some cases, the trouble may be more than it’s worth. However, this is one way to stay within budget and add a personal touch to your special day!
2. Choose Simplicity
Cake shape, flavors, frostings, and additional decorations all influence the final price of your cake significantly. Ask your baker for the basic package instead of heavily personalizing your cake. At a fraction of the possible cost, you’ll still have a beautiful, yummy dessert for your guests.
Simplicity matters for the cake topper too, which can range drastically in price depending on your choice. Pick something simple, and relocate those funds to something else that matters more to you.
3. Serve Small Slices
Wedding cake slices don’t need to be large, especially if you’ve also offered your guests drinks and a meal. You can cut your cake expenses down significantly by offering slices at half the usual size. You might not be popular with any children at the wedding, but everyone else will still enjoy their small taste of sweetness. With all the mingling and conversation happening at your reception, it’s unlikely that your guests will eat all their cake anyway.
4. Mix It Up
Some brides decide to save cake costs by going a nontraditional route with their desserts. For instance, you can purchase a small decorative cake for the bridal party and then serve inexpensive options such as cupcakes or sheet cake to your guests. Or, you can completely ditch the cake in favor of ice cream, s’mores, or pies.
Let’s Get Cake
Whether you’re hosting a mini-mony or serving 150 guests, there’s a cake out there to perfectly suit your needs and add a touch of sweetness to your special day. Your perfect cake should fit your budget and satisfy your guests.
Use this guide to easily size and price your dream wedding cake so you can check this step off your list. Happy tasting!
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