For many couples, the cost of weddings can just seem to explode beyond their wildest dreams. On many occasions, I’ve heard people say, “As soon as you mention wedding or wedding cake the price goes up!” I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I do know that when planning a large scale event with all the trimmings, all the little expenses can add up, quickly.

There are some ways you can save money on your big day, and talented planners like Totally Devoted Event Planning are pretty good at showing you how to do this across the board. But, what about your cake? There are a few ways to keep your wedding cake cost down. Here are my tips for beautiful, and not-so-obviously ‘budget friendly’ cakes:

How much wedding cake do I need? Only order enough cake for your needs. So many brides tell me that they had nearly half of their cake left over! That is not poor portion planning, but instead, you can’t plan for what your guests will choose to do. If you are serving your cake with coffee after dessert, there is a high chance that much of it will go to waste. Think about it; the girls are up dancing and the blokes are probably now on to the scotch…so the cake might just get forgotten about on the table. A way to combat this is to plan for around 70% of your guests to actually eat the cake. Chances are, you will have plenty.

Serve your wedding cake as dessert This is one of those ‘Catch 22’ options; to serve a cake for dessert you need a bigger cake (more expensive) but, you know the cake will be eaten and you will probably save some money with your venue by omitting their package dessert. (Just check their conditions – some venues charge to cut and plate dessert cake).

Less is more The basic principle for cake decorating, is that the more elaborate the cake, the more expensive it will be. Sometimes the most beautiful cakes are the ones with the least fuss. Buttercream is always going to be less expensive than fondant cakes and fresh flowers are less expensive than handmade sugar flowers.

Order your flowers from your florist Your florist is already ordering a load of flowers for your bouquets, button holes, centrepieces etc, and quite often have left overs. These can be used on the cake. Your cake might only have two or three large blooms, however, they are purchased in bunches of 10 from the wholesaler. If your cake decorator orders them, she will charge you for all 10. Your florist can probably spare one or two for the cake without a lot of cost.

Tell your decorator your budget At Bridal Select Cakes, the starting price point is $200 (for cakes ordered online) or $250 for cakes ordered with an in-person consultation. Tell your cake decorator upfront what you can afford. A good cake decorator will tell you what you can have for your budget. Keep in mind that there are costs for delivery, custom toppers and hire of stands on top of your cake cost.

Here are a few cake ideas for brides on a budget.

Parcel Cakes – these are individually wrapped pieces of cake (no icing). You only order as many as you need and have a small cake for the ceremonial cutting. Parcel cakes start at $2.50 each

Petite Cakes – a cake like this will feed around 60 guests for coffee. Glam it up by adding a gold drip for that little bit of extravagance.

Buttercream Cakes – Fresh buttercream can be elegant (and delicious) when teamed with fresh blooms. Ask your florist for a few off-cuts and let Bridal Select Cakes dress your cake.

wedding cake with fresh flowers


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