Tradition has it that wedding cakes were made to bring couples good luck to all guests and the couple. Fast forward to our modern era where wedding cakes are more of a centerpiece AND sometimes isn’t even served to the guests LOL! How have times changed!
Here’s our slice on how to choose your wedding cake and how to save money.
How much does a wedding cake cost?
Having a wedding cake at your reception is one of the biggest (and sweetest!) traditions. Tradition also has it that the top tier of the wedding cake be kept for the first wedding anniversary which means you’ll need to have at least two tiers.
Wedding cake prices do vary depending on the size and style of your cake. The average cost of a wedding cake is around $500 with most couples spending between $300 to $1500. While this may sound like a lot for a dessert, you’d be surprised as to how much work goes into creating gorgeous wedding cakes.
What is the starting price of a wedding cake?
The starting price of a wedding cake can vary depending on the type of frosting you prefer. Cakes covered in fondant which is a sugary paste-like icing, tend to cost more than cakes covered in buttercream (frosting made from butter and sugar).
Fondant is more durable than buttercream (and it definitely wont melt in summertime!), but it’s generally thought of as less tasty. The starting price of a fondant wedding cake is usually about $750, while the starting price of a buttercream wedding cake is about $500.
These prices will vary even more based on location, location, flavor, number and size of the tiers.
Which factors impact wedding cake prices?
Not surprisingly, the bigger and more elaborate a wedding cake is, the higher the cost of a wedding cake will be.
A wedding cake featuring intricate details like lots of design elements, sugar flowers, fondant details, several tiers, and unique shapes, will cost more than a simpler cake with classic buttercream icing, a few fresh flowers, and fewer tiers.
While some flavor choices won’t have an impact on your wedding cake’s price, requesting certain custom flavors may raise your wedding cake cost a bit. Same goes for the traditional Jamaican Fruit Cake; commonly called Jamaican Black Cake, it is made from soaking mixed dried fruits in rum and red wine for at least 6 months BEFORE actually using them to bake the cake. Yup, you read that correctly…..6 MONTHS! But I promise you it is ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!
This flavor costs more than the other flavors and definitely has to be the base tier due to the dense composition.
What’s included in the cost of a wedding cake?
Usually, the cost of your wedding cake will include the cake itself, delivery and set up. The bulk of the cost is really the time that will be spent to craft every single detail of your wedding cake. That is very hard to quantify!
Some cake stylists will also include supplies like cake stands to match your cake’s style, cake toppers, and cutting utensils while some don’t and you’d have to buy them for yourself ( I recommend Etsy for sure!)
What types of desserts do wedding cake bakers offer?
Cake bakers are versatile and offer a variety of alternative wedding desserts that are on trend; the choice is yours!
You may opt to have a dessert table which includes cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, pies, pastries, doughnuts, and more. You may also opt to have individual cakes delicately garnished and served plated to your guests or even have a DIY ice cream bar!
How can I save money on my wedding cake?
There are many ways to save money on your wedding cake cost without sacrificing having a gorgeous cake for your big day. Here are a few simple tips:
· Go simple: A clean, streamlined, and small wedding cake decorated with buttercream icing decorated with a few fresh flowers will cost less than a cake with lots of tiers and elaborate designs. Fortunately, these simple wedding cakes are on-trend right now, so this should be easy to do!
· Choose buttercream over fondant: There are two types of frosting: buttercream and fondant. Buttercream is less expensive while fondant on the other hand requires more attention to detail and material which requires to be more expensive.
· Think small: Even if you’re having many guests at your wedding, you don’t have to have a huge, expensive cake. You can have your baker provide a sheet cake for your guests. That way, you won’t need a large, pricey wedding cake AND dessert service won’t be slow because they won’t have to wait until you and your partner cut the wedding cake for them to get dessert.
· Serve your wedding cake: If you’re having an intimate group, having a two-tiered wedding cake would be best as you can serve your wedding cake AFTER you and your partner cuts the wedding cake. Because your group size is intimate, dessert service won’t be slow.
· Decorate with fresh flowers: Fresh flowers cost less than sugar flowers and are just as lovely. Your florist may be able to assist your cake designer by providing some extra blooms to adorn your cake.
· Use Dummy Tiers: Should you opt for several tiers; you can incorporate dummy tiers which is usually foam that is decorated exactly like real the real tier. You and your partner will only cut the real tier and your guests are none the wiser!
· Go naked: Naked cakes are not only gorgeous, but they are also very cost effective! They require less frosting on the outside and less time to make.
When should I hire a wedding cake baker?
We recommend hiring a wedding cake baker at least six months before your wedding day as these vendors do tend to book up quickly! Some may only take bookings 6-12 months out.
We also recommend doing a tasting if it is possible. If not, trust your wedding planner to assist with this selection if you’re not able to travel in advance. If you’d like to be a bit more hands on with the process, you can always read reviews online and select a few to interview (zoom is still a big deal) and have the selection conversation with your planner.
What questions should I ask a wedding cake baker before hiring?
When interviewing a wedding cake baker, there are several questions that are important to ask including:
· Do you schedule tastings?
· Is there an additional fee for a cake tasting?
· How would you describe your cake design style?
· Can I see photos of some of your favorite cake designs?
· Are you able to provide vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free cakes (if applicable)?
· Do you charge a delivery fee?
· Will you provide rentals?
· Do you offer other types of desserts aside from cake?
· What are your wedding cake prices for the style of cake I’m looking for?
Have questions or thinking about getting married in Jamaica? Click this link and fill out the contact form https://jamaicaweddingconcierge.com/contact, we’d love to connect with you!