Save Money on Your Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are expensive.  Wedding anything is expensive.  It seems like once you attach the word “wedding” itself to anything, the price automatically doubles.  Well, one place you can save some dough is on the cake.  

On a visit to a local bakery in my area, I saw the most mouthwatering display of cakes and pastries I have ever seen in my life.  Having been to this bakery a few times, I knew the prices were relatively reasonable.  I grabbed a list of their wedding cake prices and after further inspection realized that the same cake, displayed differently (in tiers) and for a different purpose (a wedding), was double the price.  Here are my suggestions for locating a good cake at a great price. 

First find a good local bakery that offers cakes and pastries in different sizes.  Why?  The last thing you want to do is go in and say “wedding”.  If the bakery offers small cakes and pastries, you can go in and buy one to sample before you place an order for your big day.  
Never ask for a tasting.  The tasting only gives the bakery salesperson an opportunity to sell you a dream of a cake that is probably too big for your budget anyway.  After adding up all the extras for basket weave icing and individual flowers, your cake will probably be an overdone monstrosity that doesn’t even match the atmosphere of your event.  And, requesting a tasting is a dead give away that the cake is for a wedding.  No one ever asks to sample a cake for a birthday or family reunion.  
Get a price list in advance and go home to review it.  Don’t discuss anything in the bakery. You don’t want the staff to overhear you gushing about chair covers and lavender overlays.
Be willing to make some concessions.  Who says a wedding cake has to be tiered?  If you really want to save some money, go for a well decorated sheet cake.  These are just simpler to put together by the bakery staff and they have less logistical challenges.  You can always jazz it up with fresh flowers (pesticide free) the day of.
Get someone to pick up the cake for you.  If the bakery’s delivery fee is too hefty, assign the task of picking up the cake to a couple of responsible, non-accident prone people.  Have them bring the cake directly to the reception site the day of.

So here is my final price comparison for a cake for 100 people.  A tiered wedding cake is $ 395.  Add $ 15 for columns, $ 35 for a wooden base, and an extra $ 25 if you want a basket weave treatment on the frosting.  Any extra roses or sugar flowers can cost anywhere from $ 2.50-$ 10 each. So in the end we have a cake that will easily cost close to $ 5 per serving.  Try my tips and instead order two sheet cakes that serve a total of the same 100 guests.  The total cost for the sheet cakes is $ 197 or less than $ 2 per serving!  

That is an awesome savings and remember, our tiered wedding cake and our sheet cake are the same flavor. Bottom Line?  Save money on the cake and invest the difference in your future.

Kalisha Blair is a personal chef with over 13 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. To get more menu ideas and tips, check out http://www.dinner-party-menu-ideas.com/index.html

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