The good news first: Your wedding cake will probably be one of the least expensive items in your wedding budget. But even though it’s generally considered one of the least expensive items you’ll have at your wedding (compared to wedding invitations, wedding venues, and wedding dresses), it can still amount to one of your bigger ticket items the fancier you go. The bad news? The average wedding cake cost is rising, just like that dough! In fact, over the past few years we’ve seen it go up about 14%. The average wedding cake cost in 2019 was $500.
While that’s not crazy, the increased cost of those wedding cake slices do add up. So, how do you design your dream wedding cake while sticking to your budget? Read on to find out!
DON’T MISS: 6 Easy Ways to Save on Your Wedding Cake
How to Figure Out Your Wedding Cake Cost
Before you go wedding cake shopping, it’s important to know not only what kind of design you want (like our favorite rustic wedding cakes), but how much you’re willing to spend. To do that, you have to know just how wedding cakes are priced. Below is a look at a sample wedding cake cost. While the price will definitely vary by bakery and design, this helpful illustration might help make sense of how the price of a wedding cake is calculated. Note that the wedding cake cost is calculated PER SLICE and not PER CAKE.
Pricing for a 3 tier wedding cake with buttercream frosting:
- $3.00 base tier
- +$0.75 2nd tier
- + $0.75 3rd tier
- =$4.50 per serving x 125
TOTAL WEDDING CAKE COST: $562.50
Note: Fondant can be $0.25 or more per slice.
Most bakers will charge per slice, but some might have a minimum price that’s added to based on your design and how much work is involved (more on that below).
Also Read: Our best wedding dance songs for 2021
How Much Wedding Cake Will You Need?
This simple graphic also shows you how many people a wedding cake tier will typically feed. As you can see, a 16″ tier can serve nearly 4x the amount an 8″ tier can.
- 6″ tier: 14 slices
- 8″ tier: 26 slices
- 10″ tier: 40 slices
- 12″ tier: 56 slices
- 14″ tier: 78 slices
- 16″ tier: 100 slices
How to Save
So, how can you bring down your average wedding cake cost but still get the design you want? Here are a few tips:
- Avoid weird shapes. Square and round are going to be your best bets.
- Have a smaller wedding cake for display (say, one that can feed 50 people even though your guest list is 100) and then have sheet cake to feed the rest. A sheet cake is the same cake batter typically but with only the frosting and no decorations. While you CAN get a store-bought sheet cake to feed your guests, I’d advise having your wedding cake baker make it so you and your guests can enjoy the same cake.
- Buttercream frostings can be less than fondant by less than $0.75-$1.00 per slice (and tastier, I think!)
- The more details you have, the more money it will cost you. Try embellishing cakes with natural decorations such as flowers and lavender instead of hand-piped designs and sugar flowers (just make sure they are safe to use on food).
- Vanilla and chocolate cakes typically cost less than red velvet or carrot.
- Consider half-servings, especially if you’re having additional desserts.
On a side note, I found this hilarious video about ordering a regular cake vs. a wedding cake which seems like it could be totally true.
What kind of wedding cake are you going to have? What are you plans to save money on it?