It’s easy to justify the cost of a cake to yourself when you are comparing prices in bridal magazines, however, consider the cost per slice when you compare it against your guest list. You may think a £700 cake is worth it for the wow factor, but if you’re only having 50 guests, that works out at £14 per slice. Also, always ask in advance how many slices your desired cake equates to; a £700 cake won’t always necessarily split 50 ways depending on the design and decoration. An easy way to cut costs is to have a relatively wide and plain(er) cake, and add décor yourself with stars, gems, lettering, or your own cake topper (Etsy has some great personalised ones). It’s the creative aspect that often adds on the most money to wedding cakes, so be cunning and visit a good bakeware store for décor ideas and tools before you put your deposit down on your cake. Another money saver would be to consider serving your wedding cake as your dessert and cut out a course from your meal – however be aware that some venues may charge a fee to serve it for you (see below).
Always Do a Taste Test
This is a must! Don’t rely on others recommendations – this is your wedding. Aside from being truly happy with your choice and having something you really love, this is definitely one of the most fun parts of wedding planning! Take your fiancé and enjoy! This is something fun and easy you can do together, with minimal effort from either of you! Beware of any bakers that don’t offer tasting sessions or free samples, this is a big no-go. Likewise, if you think you’ve found a bargain, remember to do a taste test before paying your deposit… there may be a reason they’re so cheap.
Consider your cake’s delivery fee and always work this into your budget – you would be surprised at how much some specialist bakers charge for delivery. The intricacy of any decoration or tiers on your cake will often determine the delivery cost, meaning careful handling and fragile contents insurance. Don’t underestimate this however, this is not something to scrimp on – the last thing you want to do is leave a 5 tiered cake in the hands of one of your bashful ushers and his old clapped out Ford Fiesta.
Distance vs Décor
If you’re having a very elaborate cake, always consider the travelling distance on the day. Your baker will be experienced, but don’t be afraid to throw in your suggestions and ideas. Could any parts or tiers of the cake be made and delivered separately? Would your baker be available locally on standby in case something collapsed en route? With all this in mind, and with regards to your delivery fee, it’s always better to find a baker local to your reception, even if they’re not local to you. As well as cutting all or part of your delivery fee, they’ll also be familiar with your venue. Always have in mind what you might be willing to compromise on to get the cake that you want, but also to save you stress on the day.
If you want your venue to serve your cake for you, especially if you opt to have your wedding cake served instead of dessert, always ask if there will be any additional fee for this. Often, if you are cost saving on the meal, the venue or caterers will want to take a cut of something else to make up for it. This is similar to a corkage fee if you are supplying your own alcohol, but consider the cost per guest before you commit. Make your day more relaxed by presenting your cake table as a dessert buffet once you’ve had your photo moment with it; designate a best man or usher to kick this off and help slice, then all you need from the venue is some extra plates.
Storage Limitations at your Venue
So you’ve got all of the above sorted, and your cake is being delivered either early on your wedding day or the night before. It needs refrigerated for any number of reasons: fresh cream, berries, sculpted chocolate decorations, summer heatwave, etc. Your venue doesn’t have space in their fridges for a 5 tiered cake. Always ask in advance, and consult with your baker on delivering the cake dismantled or consider paying extra for a later delivery during the day, if necessary.
Don’t Take Your First Offer
Last but not least, don’t take your first offer! There’s nothing worse than obsessing for hours over your cake decision, only to see one better and cheaper at a wedding fair a couple of weeks later. Take your time, and enjoy tasting! Even if you’re completely happy with the first cake you laid eyes on, it’s fun to go to tastings to gain a bit of perspective, and you’ll meet other like-minded couples and bakers who may give you ideas you hadn’t considered before.
It’s your wedding, have your cake and eat it (too).