You Take the Cake!
One of the most popular cheap wedding cake ideas today is to have a smaller version of your dream cake for display and for the bride and groom to cut into, and have sheets of that same cake flavor, icing, etc., to be cut behind the scenes. The sheet cakes will cost a fraction of the price and no one will be the wiser!
- Choose a very simple cake and have your baker add a monogram to the front of the cake using colored icing. It’s very low on the labor scale and it’s a great way to personalize and elevate the level of elegance of your cake.
- Ask your baker what they would charge for icing styrofoam or cardboard for 1-2 tiers of your cake. Same concept as the “smaller dream cake” as you would have sheets of your cake in the back to be cut up and served. Believe it or not, this particular cheap wedding cake idea is also rising in popularity.
- Limit the number of your guests for many reasons including the cost of your cake. This will save you huge on all aspects of your catering budget, including all food and alcohol. You will also need less wait staff which will lower your bottom line even more, and on top of that you will save more money on gratuity. If you are renting tents, tables, chairs, etc… the less needed the less it will cost. So there are many, many budget friendly reasons to try and keep the guest list as conservative as possible.
Here is another cheap wedding cake idea for the confident DIY budget bride. See if any bakeries will sell you an unfrosted cake, and decorate it yourself. I’ve also heard of brides baking their actual cakes, and then taking it to a bakery for it to be decorated there. There are also brides that have made their whole cake, start to finish. (My hat is off to you!!) Either way, you are sure to save some bucks. Check out Ultimate Baker, Wilton.com or SugarCraft.com for all your DIY wedding cake supplies.
- Lie to your baker. He doesn’t need to know it’s a cake for a wedding! When the word “wedding” is mentioned, the price automatically goes up – and this goes for any vendor or professional you are dealing with. Tell your baker it’s an anniversary cake, celebration cake, Arbor Day cake, TGIF cake, etc. etc. etc. It doesn’t matter. Just don’t mention wedding, if at all humanly possible.
- When your final headcount is due a week or two before the wedding, or “Arbor Day Party” (wink), give a slightly lower head count to your baker. Some people won’t be having cake for a number of reasons. Either they don’t like cake (yes these people are crazy), can’t eat sweets due to medical reasons, are full from the amazing food you’ve served, or are just too busy dancing and having a great time to notice the cake has been cut. For example, if 100 guests are coming, shave 10 or so off that number. However be careful not to get too excited about this great cheap wedding cake idea and cut the number too low, you still want those who want cake, to have cake.
- Choose real flowers over sugar created ones. They will be much less expensive as there is no labor involved, and in my opinion, are much more elegant and stylish than the flowers you can eat.
Are you a die-hard DIYer? I’ve heard of some brides actually arranging the pickup and assembly of their own wedding cake, as bakers can charge really high fees for this. This is definitely not a cheap wedding cake idea to take lightly. Budget brides if you are completely confident in your ability with these two very important components of the wedding cake experience, by all means save some money and do it yourself. However if you don’t understand how to arrange the cake without damaging it or are unsure even the tiniest bit, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
- This is one of my most favorite cheap wedding cake ideas. Serve the top tier!! Did you know that when you give your headcount to your baker, he does NOT include the top tier in that count?! All bakers assume the happy couple will not want to serve the top tier, as it’s been tradition for quite some time for the couple to save it, freeze it, and eat it 1 year later on their anniversary.
But for those that have never had frozen for 1 year wedding cake before, you’re not missing much. That is, unless you like stale, crusty wedding cake. How much more enjoyable would it be for you to save money on your cake by serving it at your wedding, and order a small, fresh identical flavored cake, to celebrate your 1 year anniversary. Of course, don’t forget to tell your baker to include the top tier in the serving count.
- Check culinary schools in your area as there might be a soon to be graduate who is capable of creating the wedding cake of your dreams – for a much lower price than your neighborhood baker. I’ve heard of culinary students creating wedding cakes for as little as $100 – as they are itching for portfolio pieces.
- Simple but stunning! Choose a very simple design and add fresh flowers, small fruits or a monogrammed cake topper to glam it up. This is another one of my favorite cheap wedding cake ideas as you can dramatically cut the cost of your cake by choosing a simple but elegant cake, and it will still turn out to be fantastically stunning.
- Ask your caterer about wedding cakes they offer. Price compare with your baker but keep in mind if you choose a cake by your baker and not the caterer, that’s when the “cake cutting fee” comes into play. However this is a ridiculous fee and can most certainly be negotiated down, or negotiated to go away altogether.
- You know how you can rent a wedding dress for your big day? Well you can rent a wedding cake, too! I stumbled upon this cheap wedding cake idea rather recently and located a wedding cake rental company in my city. Apparently you can rent a “designer” pretend wedding cake made of styrofoam but covered in real icing, with a secret spot reserved for a slice of real cake so the bride and groom can still have the cake cutting ceremony. Remember the behind the scenes sheet cakes I was talking about? You guessed it! Sizes, shapes and number of tiers vary, as do prices. I found one online company who rents 4 tier cakes for around $250. I also got a quote from the local company for a gorgeous square 4 tier confection duplicate for $135.
This might be one of the most unique and stylish cheap wedding cake ideas out there. At least, in my humble opinion. More and more brides are choosing cupcake wedding cakes over the traditional wedding cake. We can thank Martha Stewart for making this the newest and hottest trend in weddings. For many reasons, they are cheaper and more functional, if you will. However take note that bakeries are aware of this growing trend, so definitely price compare several bakeries to see who can offer the best deal. If you are a budget savvy do it yourself bride, check out my recipe and guide for making your own cupcake wedding cakes.
- Ask around to see if anyone you know can recommend a good baker. You never know who might know someone that will give you a good deal on a wedding cake, or just be very affordably priced to begin with.
Sane and Sweet story: Through word of mouth, my sister found this woman who makes cakes out of her home. She went to go see and taste some of her work, and she was blown away. My sister chose a square, 4 tier buttercream confection for 200 guests. The cost? $350 including delivery. Now that’s Sane & Sweet!
Where do you usually get wedding cakes from? Bakeries. What are those things in grocery stores called where they cook bread, pies and cakes? Bakeries. Buy your wedding cake from your local grocery store bakery. It will cost literally hundreds less and I assure you the quality isn’t lacking, and your guests will never know. This is another cheap wedding cake idea that is quickly growing in popularity. Don’t forget to visit the bakeries in Super Wal-Mart, Super Target, and Sam’s Club as well. This is a picture of an actual cake from a national grocery store. Pretty impressive!
If you are having a Groom’s Cake (typically a Southern tradition) as well, remember that most people will not eat both cakes. Therefore saving you on the per serving size you choose for both cakes. Choose a different flavor for each cake and you will get the best of both worlds and. Check out my sister’s “Louisiana Crawfish Boil” groom’s cake, made by the same lady who made her super delicious and super cheap wedding cake for 200 people. The price for this delicious chocolate “crawfish” masterpiece? $60!
Another favorite Southern tradition at parties is to serve tiny little cake squares of delectable deliciousness called “Petit Fours.” These gorgeous mini cakes are wildly popular at most any type of social gathering or party – especially at Bridal and Baby Showers. Petit Fours are so popular in my home city, that we use any excuse to have them! Heck we order them in green, purple and gold for Mardi Gras parties! So why not serve them at your wedding? The best part about this cheap wedding cake idea is that not only will they be considerably less than the cost of a traditional wedding cake, but you can order them from supermarket bakeries often for a lot less than a specialized stand alone bakery would charge for them.
Hopefully these ideas have the wheels of your budget savvy bridal brain turning. There are so many cheap wedding cake ideas for you to use in order to stay within your budget. Whether you use one idea or ten, you can have your cake and eat it too – within your budget, of course!