Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Cakes

The centerpiece of the wedding reception is the wedding cake. The wedding cake tends to be second most talked about topic at weddings after the bride and her wedding dress. Many couples are surprised at the cost of a wedding cake, it often is a lot more expensive than they were expecting. Couples often go overboard in designing their wedding cake, their dream is to have their wedding cake as a showpiece for their wedding.

Below are some tactics on saving money on your wedding cake. Bakers determine size by using guest count as a starting point and from there, add a few more slices to account for wedding guests who sneak an extra slices and late additions. The baker determines the size of the wedding cake by calculating pan sizes that are needed for the wedding cake. For instance, a 6 inch pan yields 12 slices of cake, a 10 inch pan yields 36 slices of cake, a 16 inch pan yields 92 slices of cake and a 20 inch pan yields 120 slices of cake.

The key in creating your wedding cake, be honest with your baker about your wedding cake budget. Don't go to your baker with a picture of an extravagant cake from a magazine then expect to pay rock bottom prices unless you have a strong budget for your wedding cake. It's better to let the baker know what the budget you are working with and then let the baker sketch a design in which you like the style and come up with a design that meets your budget.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for creating your wedding cake.

Tip 1 - Create Different Flavored Tiers on your Wedding Cake
All your wedding guests have different taste buds. Many of your wedding guests like different flavors over other flavors. Your wedding cake will be more of a hit if your wedding guests have a choice of flavors. It's a good idea to create different flavored tiers, so your wedding guests can choose a flavor they love. If the wedding cake is all one flavor, such as vanilla, there are some guests that might not be crazy about the flavor chosen, you increase the chances of more of the wedding cake to be eaten if their are more flavor options. If the opportunity exists for offering different flavored tiers, more guests will eat more of the cake.

Tip 2 - Create a Smaller Wedding Cake and Offer Cupcakes on the Side
If you want to see significant savings on your wedding cake. Create a beautiful smaller wedding cake then surround the wedding cake with cupcakes. The cupcakes can be made with various flavors so your wedding guests have a few different choices. An elaborate wedding cake can be created but because it's a smaller it's not so expensive.

Tip 3 - Order a Plain Cake and Decorate the Cake Yourself
For significant savings, the major costs of a wedding cake are cake decorations. Instead of a baker icing and decorating the cake, have the baker bake the cake and then you take over decorating the cake yourself. The baker has the large pans and a good oven for baking the cake. Contract with the baker to bake the cake, and then you pick up the cake from the baker and then you take over decorating the cake from there. Your guests will be impressed you decorated your own cake and you may save yourself a couple of hundred dollars.

Tip 4 - Cut Down on Elaborate Decorations for Your Wedding Cake
Many bakeries will push for elaborate decorations when designing wedding cakes, resist the temptation. A few decorations are just fine, but don't go for so many extras. Go for less wedding cake decorations and you don't need to go fancy. Go for decorations that aren't as expensive, price each different decoration idea out, go with gum paste flowers and don't go with fondant icing. Go with flower petals that doesn't stain. Price out decorations to be sure they fit to your budget.

Tip 5 - Order a Large Cake with Filler in Some Tiers
Many bakers could build you a large wedding cake but instead of a baked cake in some of the tiers they use styrofoam or plastic in some of the tiers. The cake looks impressive, but because of the hidden layers, the making of the cake is not so expensive.

Tip 6 - Use a Fancy Cupcake Tree in Place of a Wedding Cake
Cupcake trees are now available on the market, you can buy a cupcake tree stand and it looks almost as beautiful as a wedding cake. Instead of paying the cost of a wedding cake, instead bake cupcakes instead. You can bake cupcakes in many different flavors and different flavors of icing providing your wedding guests with lots of different choices. The cupcake tree is similar to the wedding cake, so it doesn't take too much away from the wedding cake look and can save you a lot of money from not having to make a wedding cake.

Tip 7 - Hire an Individual Over a Bakery
In almost every city and community you can find bakers that create wedding cakes out of their home instead of a bakery. The person that creates wedding cakes from home often charges a lot less than it would cost from a bakery, the baker at a business has a lot of more overhead, they pay for equipment, they pay more for utilities, they pay their boss, they pay an extra mortgage or a lease. The person that bakes your wedding cake at home, tends to be more focused on you, they are allowed to be more creative in wedding cake design, it costs them less to bake and make the cake and the cost savings is passed onto you.

Tip 8 - Use a Dummy Cake and Serve from a Sheet Cake
Some bakers have a dummy cake that looks like a real wedding cake. The real cake is a sheet cake that is kept in the kitchen. Your wedding guests will never guess that your wedding cake was served from a sheet cake instead allowing you to save lots of money from not having to make a wedding cake.

Tip 9 - Save on Cutting the Cake and Cake Pillars
Many businesses will provide a hostess and charge you a "cake cutting fee". Find a couple of volunteers, one that will cut the cake and another or others to serve the wedding cake. This will save you in not having to pay the "cake cutting fee". Many bakers will use crystal pillars and have a charge for that. You can pick up disposable pillars instead from a local baker or rental company. You might inquire with a different baking company than the one that baked your cake, if you get any push back. Don't let a venue nickel and dime you for serving your wedding cake.

Tip 10 - Check Out your Local Culinary School
Allow a young cooking student that is nearing graduation have a chance to bake your wedding cake. You do have to be a little careful because of the experience factor. Approach the culinary teacher at the school and ask for one of their best students. Arrange for a taste testing of the cake and make sure the teacher oversees the student's preparing of the cake. You can save a lot of money on the price of your wedding cake and you give a student an opportunity to pad their resume. It is important though, to meet the student and keep in close communication often during the period before your wedding to be sure no problems arise.

The rule of thumb, a wedding cake should be baked no more than two weeks before a wedding and the cake should be iced and decorated no more than three days before the wedding. The time table is important so the cake does not taste stale and decorations start to disintegrate after about three days. Often cakes need to be patched up some after cake transporting to the wedding reception. Keep wedding cakes away from the dance floor and make sure it's placed on a table that is away from a wall in order to get a good cake cutting and cake eating picture with the groom and the bride.

If there is cake left over after the wedding reception make sure the delicious cake does not go to waste. If there are not any volunteers to take the cake home, see if someone can drop the cake off at a senior center, a rehabilitation center, or a food shelter and offer someone less fortunate a little treat to add a little joy to their hearts.

That's cost savings tips for wedding cakes, see you on the other side!

1 comment:

  1. Such an informative post!! Good to know about these 10 tips for saving wedding cake. Had been to my friend’s wedding at venue NYC. Was astonished to see a wonderful cake there. That was so delicious also. Really loved it and want to have similar one for my wedding too.