While weddings are on my mind (when are they not these days?!) – planning my own wedding has led me into the murky world of Pinterest and bridal magazines. Why murky? Because they don’t always paint an accurate picture! I’ve seen so many “pins” or articles promoting “20 ways to save money on your wedding”, “90 things brides do to cut down on wedding costs”, blah blah blah. One thing they all seem to have in common is saving money on your wedding cake, so I’m going to bust a couple of myths:
“Have a fake polystyrene tier, it’ll look so much bigger and cost so much less!”
….Aaahh I’m sorry, the majority of the cost of your cake is not for ingredients or baking, it’s for time: the time it takes to cover each tier perfectly with fondant, the time it takes to make hundreds of tiny ruffles, the time it takes to make handmade flowers, the time it takes to pipe delicate patterns, the time it takes to carefully transport your cake to the venue and set it up so it looks utterly perfect when you see it in all it’s yummy glory. You’ll want to be paying your wedding cake maker more than minimum wage, and that’s why you can expect to be looking at hundreds of pounds for your cake.
“Have hundreds of cupcakes, it’s soooo much cheaper!”
Nope. Individually decorated with tiny handmade personalised toppers and boxed cupcakes are hugely fiddly and massively time consuming. So if you’ve got two hundred guests, it’s going to be just as, if not more expensive. If you’ve only got twenty guests and you just want cupcakes with a swirl and sprinkles, it’s obviously going to be cheaper, so then becomes a viable option to think about.
“Ask a friend or family member to do your cake” : Please be careful! If you’ve got your heart set on a slim, sleek, four tier confection with hand piped details to match your wedding dress and handmade flowers cascading down the front – don’t even think about asking anyone other than a proven, seasoned cake maker, and be prepared for the cost of it. If you aren’t so bothered and are going for a more laidback, homemade vibe, then yes, by all means ask someone you know to make your cake, it can add such a wonderful dimension to your wedding, and you probably won’t even cross my radar in the first place!
Here’s some advice if you really want your best friend or the aunt you haven’t seen since you were seven to make your cake: maybe opt for separated tiers, so your pal doesn’t have to think about stacking and supporting tiers, and buttercream is probably easier to handle than fondant. You can always ask your florist to provide some fresh flowers for your cake, just watch out for toxicity though, make sure you mention that it’s for a cake when you order the flowers, your florist will advise you. You don’t want to poison anyone with foxgloves!!
In closing, I will say – know your budget and let me know it at your consultation too. I don’t like being nosey, but I will ask if what I’ve quoted is within your budget, and you need to be level with me because I’d rather help you design a lovely cake which will come in on budget and matches your style, than have you leave with ideas in your head of a gorgeous cake that you love but can’t afford, thus never hearing from you again. I’m here to help, not to rinse you! The moral of the story is you wouldn’t scrimp on the dress, so don’t scrimp on the cake!