How much does a wedding cake cost?
Prices are determined by the complexity of the design, as each cake is custom-designed to your specifications. Because different shapes and sizes of tiers yield varying numbers of servings per tier, cakes are priced out per serving. Also, additional decorations may add more cost to your cake, depending on the design. Such additional costs could be fondant drapes or swags, gumpaste flowers or other decorations, personalized gumpaste cake toppers, etc. Also, fondant-covered cakes are usually priced a little higher than buttercream cakes.
If you can give the designer/decorator a basic number of expected guests, the shape of the cake you’d like to have, and some idea of the design of the cake, then you should be able to get a reasonable idea of what your cake would cost. Why not go ahead and meet with the designer in a consultation, get a tasting of the most popular cake and icing, then work together to design your special cake? If the cost is higher than you think you can afford, don’t be afraid to let the designer know so that you can explore other options. Even if you aren’t able to come to an agreement on the cake and the cost, at least then you have a better idea of what you want and still have time to explore other options.
What is included in the cost?
Every designer/decorator does business a little differently than another. Some may include free local delivery and setup and some may charge a small fee for rental of items like fountains or further decoration of your cake table. In almost all cases, a security deposit for return of these items should be expected. Just ask what is included, as the cake you thought might have been “too expensive” before, may be closer to what another cake might cost, including any additional fees or deposits. Be realistic in your expectations, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many designer/decorators can make design suggestions, but you need to give them an idea of what it is you want.
Should I save the top tier for my first anniversary?
This is traditional, but there is no requirement to save it – anything goes! However, if you decide to reserve the top tier, you must exclude this from the total number of servings in your count as far as serving your guests and you may have to allow for additional servings either in a groom’s cake or sheet cakes. Printed instructions will be provided, along with a small cake box, upon delivery of your cake on how best to prepare this cake to be preserved for your first anniversary so that it tastes as good as it did on your wedding day. (Yes, it can be done!)
When should I order my wedding cake?
Although it may seem early, start looking for your cake designer/decorator about 6 months prior to the wedding, especially if your cake will be more than the run-of-the-mill cake or in a busy wedding season. The more popular designers book their cakes several months in advance, so you don’t want to miss out on someone who can design the cake of your dreams.
Do I need a groom’s cake?
Groom’s cakes, most popular in the South (often a gift from the bride to the groom) are not a requirement, but can add quite a bit of flair to a wedding reception. Tradition has been that the cake, usually fruit cake, was cut and placed into favor boxes for the guests to take home with them. Today they can introduce another flavor or style of cake. They can focus on the groom’s interests or hobbies, or maybe a college they’ve attended. You could consider a tree stump with your initials set inside carved hearts that may also reflect an interest in golf or fishing, it could be a pile of books for a lawyer, or if he’s into racing, his favorite NASCAR car in cake form. If you like a traditional wedding cake, but have a flair for whimsy, this is where you could indulge yourself.
Do I need to bring pictures of the cake(s) I’m considering?
Of course, if you have a specific design in mind, it’s easier for the designer/decorator to be able to view a photo of the cake you’re considering. You can always take away or add to that design, or start with a totally new idea. A true cake designer/decorator should be able to suggest many new ideas and may be able to tell you things you should consider, especially if you’re thinking of an outdoor reception and a whipped cream covering for your cake. Remember, she also has experience in what works and what doesn’t, and what is ultimately the most safe for you and your guests. Review our “Consultations” page for more information.