Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know Deb Lapointe. I knew when Deb offered to host a cupcake decorating workshop at work, that we would be great friends. We share a love for event planning, decorating, weddings, but mostly yummy desserts and cakes. Deb is passionate about her cake/dessert-making, personalizing each one with care.
Please enjoy a guest post from Deb as she recommends some budget-friendly ideas for cakes.
In today’s economy, many couples find the need to trim their wedding budget. As scary as it sounds, you can cut some costs via your wedding cake budget by choosing one of the following options:
Today’s cakes can be different shapes-i.e. hearts, squares or triangles and as far as flavor goes nowadays anything goes. Opt for your favorite. It can be vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, carrot cake, red velvet or cheesecake. Stick with basic flavors and fillings, exotic flavorings add to the cost of the cake.
Rather than one huge multi-tiered cake, use a modest tiered cake and then several (as many as you need for your guests) sheet cakes. Serving will go faster this way as well.
Another idea that is growing in popularity is to have a “fake cake”. Decorate Styrofoam cake forms (available on various cake decorating websites like Wilton or Lucks) according to your preference. It serves the purpose for pictures and ambiance while saving money. Or, slip a real layer in between the Styrofoam layers so the bride and groom can participate in the ceremonial cutting of the cake. You can purchase sheet cakes or make your own to serve to your guests. Just be sure to calculate how many guests will be attending and provide the appropriate size cake(s) to accommodate.
Yep, these are all fake and look great in pictures. Will not melt!
Order from a grocery store rather than a bakery. Many grocers have onsite bakeries, just like they have onsite florist departments. (Not my preferred choice as I do not l care for the flavor of store-bought cakes)
Depending on how many servings you need, order a full sheet cake (100 servings), a half sheet cake (50 servings) and a quarter sheet cake (25 servings), all iced in white. Place the half sheet on the full sheet cake and then the quarter sheet on top. Use ready-to-use frosting that comes in a can with a nozzle to touch up any mistakes and fill in the gap between the layers. You don’t have to remove the cardboard between the layers, it will help steady the cake when it’s time to cut. Don’t go any higher than three layers; if you do you run the risk of the bottom layer being squashed by the weight of the upper layers. Add fresh flowers, or cover a Styrofoam semi-circle with plastic wrap and insert your favorite artificial flowers. Place on top of the highest tier for a beautiful topper. Wrap a ribbon around individual tiers for a simple but elegant touch.
Cupcakes displayed in round tiers like a cake are very popular as well as cheap and practical. These include a small cake for cutting.
Beautiful adornments might include fresh flowers, fruit, ribbon, royal icing flowers or marzipan sculpted into flowers and figurines.
Finally, for brides who aren’t happy with the traditional “couple” figurines, why not design your own “couple” out of colored fondant. There are plenty of ideas and pictures to be found online. Since fondant sets up hard, figurines can be stored in a cool, dry area until the wedding day.
Get creative with it!
Not an option? How about a monogrammed topper, fruit, flowers, or doves? I even saw a lovely wedding cake with two red apples on top – one with a “bridal veil” attached the other with a top hat. What a cute and simple (not to mention cheap) alternative to traditional toppers which can run into the hundreds of dollars depending on your choice.
A very creative couple I know found this wooden goat and bull set. The Goat and Bull being their astrological signs and the name for their retirement coffee house: The Goat ‘n Bull. Flowers are flowers, but something that tells a story is so much more memorable.
So remember, if your wedding budget is tight, you can still have a beautiful wedding cake without spending more than you can realistically afford!
I leave you with this video. When in doubt, make your own cake….it only takes 3 minutes right?
Thank you so much for the post Deb. I look forward to hearing more about your wedding cakes in the future.
I used some of these cost saving methods on my own cake.
1. I went with a small grocery store rather than a specialty cake store. I didn’t want cupcakes, but I didn’t want a cake either. I fell in love with these mini-cakes at Highland Park Market. I had a friend that worked there make these red velvet dipped in raspberry ganache. She dipped the bottoms in chocolate and topped with chocolate dipped strawberries.
2. I got my cake topper at…..drumroll…Stop and Shop. Yep, it was like $20 and was lovely.
3. I bought a dozen roses to decorate the whole thing, maybe $20
4. I added the inverted wine glasses for some dimension. Already had these.
5. Cake stand was maybe $10.
6. Bought ribbon at fabric store. Under $3.
7. Still had a cake to cut.
We still have frozen mini-cakes in the freezer….do you think they are still good after almost 5 years?