Having been in the wedding business for 5 years, I learned a lot about saving money on weddings from other vendors. So when it came time to plan my wedding years ago, I was prepared.

Cakes can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on how elaborate the design is. There is no point in spending too much on a wedding cake when it gets eaten and forgotten by the end of the night.

Sometimes wedding magazines will give you unrealistic advice. So I hope you can use these ideas, which I learned from a cake vendor.

Here are 7 simple tips on how to have an inexpensive wedding cake.

1. Check to see if your wedding cake is included with your reception venue. Some venues include a wedding cake in their reception package. Check to see if yours is included. Then see how much credit you get for the cake. For example, at some hotels, they allow you to order up to a $2000 cake from their wedding cake vendor.

With the price in mind, ask if you can get your money back for the cake, to order your wedding cake from somewhere else. In most cases, you’ll save more money if you order it yourself from a bakery.

inexpensive wedding cakes

2. Go with a bakery instead of a specialty cake designer. Choose a local bakery with prices that you can afford. Bakeries offer a good selection of flavors and are experts with cakes. Plus, cake testing is fun and free! You can even take home the leftovers. Specialty cake designers will cost the most, because you’re hiring an artist.

3. Don’t go homemade. Why not go homemade? So much can go wrong with baking. If you leave it too long in the oven, the cake will burn. Getting layers even can be tricky. Stuff can go wrong when you’re decorating. And what about keeping the cake cool so the frosting won’t melt? Plus, the person making the cake will have to deal with the pressure of delivering a “perfect” product, because after all, this is your wedding.

Imagine the hassle of transporting a cake, especially with multiple tiers! One wrong turn or bump, and there goes your cake. Trust a company who is an expert at this.

4. Choose a simple design. The wedding cake pictured above was our actual wedding cake, with a very simple design. Adding texture, color, and even fondant can bump up the price of your cake. If you go with a simple buttercream frosting, you’ll get the best price. You can always decorate the cake with fresh flowers and ribbon for a modern look.

5. Keep the display cake small and order sheet cakes to supplement. The display cake is the cake that everyone sees at your wedding. Keep in mind that it’s for display and for cake cutting. It doesn’t have to feed every guest! We ordered a display cake that fed about 94 people and a few sheet cakes that were $75 each and fed 50 people.

Sheet cakes tend to cost $1 – $2 per serving, while the display cake costs $3 – $5 per serving. You can really save a lot by doing this.

Also, keep in mind that if you want to save the top portion of your cake, then you need to account for that when calculating how many slices you need.

6. Choose only one cake flavor. I am all for having a variety of flavors available, but some guests may not be able to help themselves and want to try every flavor. What can end up happening is guests will take multiple slices of cake. And then you run out.

7. Don’t have a “fake” display cake. What do I mean by this? Sometimes, to be extremely frugal, a bakery may give you a “fake” display cake made of Styrofoam. Then they decorate it to look like a real cake. And when you try to do cake cutting, the cake won’t cut! This happened at a wedding I worked at.

Plus, this “fake” cake had at least 5 layers, balanced on wine glasses in between each layer. The cake ended up falling down before cake cutting! Everyone was talking about it. Is this something you want your guests to remember about your wedding?

This is a good reason not to haggle too much with your wedding vendors. They work really hard for your wedding, which is a really stressful event. That’s also why I left the wedding business.

And if you try to talk down the price too much, they’ll have to cut corners. And in the end, you’ll really have to pay for it in more ways than one.

Featured in 3rd Edition: Family Finance Carnival hosted by Clarity.

Photo Credit: A_of_DooM


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