Wedding Cake Prices
Wedding cake prices are SO hard to find on the internet. That's because the prices vary so much according to what you choose and the area you live. It's like asking the question - what does a house cost? Hmmm . . .well - that depends on area, size, style and how large it is. Same concept! Let's take a look at what determines the final cost.
Servings versus Cost
Wedding cake prices always begins with a cost per serving. How many people are you planning to have. Many brides get over ambitious and are absolutely certain that every single person she invites is coming to the wedding AND is going to eat a piece of that icing delight! Law of averages doesn't agree. So do not go way overboard on the size of the one you finally choose - unless you plan to send home the leftovers with your family.
Servings as a rule DO NOT include the top layer, which is intended to be saved for your first anniversary.
Across the United States, it seems that the average prices can run from $1.75 to $2.50 (for those made by grocery stores and individual home bakers) to a pricey $6.00 or more per slice for an elaborate designer creation.
A stacked three tiered wedding cake is pretty standard. Elaborate setup of wedding cake columns, elevated tiers, water fountains and staircases take longer in setup time and will cost more because of it.
Designer versus Grocery Store
Face it. You cannot realistically expect to compare a designer wedding cake with a cake bought from a grocery store bake shop and compare prices. Although I have seen very pretty cakes from our local grocery store, the average time spent decorating is much less that that of a cake artist of designer wedding cakes. Their wedding cake prices will reflect this extra time and pampering.
Specialty shops will usually spend much more time with you, set up taste samples and show you many different styles. Smaller bakeries have a book with several examples that you choose from . . changing the tint of the icing to match your colors.
Wedding Cake Decorations
For unusual wedding cakes (requiring specialty pans, fountains, cake plateaus, unusual columns, etc.) find out if the cake designer already has the equipment. Trust me - you will pay higher wedding cake prices if the baker has to go out and invest in more equipment to create the cake. You will not only pay the original cost plus a markup, but also the time and/or delivery cost that the cake designer put out aquiring these items.
If you want to save a little cash, ask to see pictures of cakes she has already done. If you choose something she has already done before, she will have probably already recovered the cost of her initial investment.
Fondant Wedding Cake versus Buttercream Wedding Cake
Generally fondant icing will cost more than a buttercream icing wedding cake. The preparation time is longer for fondant AND there is usually a layer of buttercream under the fondant to help the stiffer icing "cling" to the cake.
The fondant wedding cake make look simpler . . .but will cost you more.
Although the bakery make have a collection of toppers to choose from, they are not included in the wedding cake prices. This will be an add on cost.
Wedding Cake Flavors
It has become very fashionable to offer your guests a variety of flavors in your special dessert. Adding creams, fillings and unique flavors will raise the price of the wedding cake. Staying with basic flavors such as white and chocolate are sure bet crowd pleasers and keeps the cost down.
The brides always think that the guests will get to "choose" the variety or flavor they prefer. However, many of the weddings I have attended I have often seen the servers cutting the cake and serving the guest whatever happened to be cut while they were in line. So much for the "choosing"!
Rule of thumb - the more stuff you put in the cake, liquers, fruit, nuts) - the higher the cost. (By considerable more!)
Square Wedding Cake versus Round Wedding Cakes
The shape does matter. Square shapes take more time to ice and decorate - taking care that the corners are sharp and crisp. Round cakes are easier to ice.
Deeper wedding cakes are a little trickier to bake (often requiring a special heating core) so the cost of them will be higher as well.
Dessert Bar versus Tradition
Some trendy brides are forgoing the single traditional stacked "goody" altogether and opting for an elaborate dessert bar, chocolate fountain with fruit, cheesecakes, or decorated cupcakes.
Fresh Flower versus Icing Flowers
Remember the longer the decorating time - the higher the wedding cake prices. If you choose to decorate your cake with fresh flowers yourself, you may be able to save some on the price of the one you fall in love with and just "have to have!".
If you leave the decorating to the baker - expect to pay a higher cost of the flower - because she will charge you what the flowers cost her PLUS a markup.
Be sure to check out all our pages on designer confectionary creations by the leading experts - Wilton Industries. You will find pictures of every kind of design you can think of!
If you would like to make your own, check out my supply store.
Discount Florist Supplies
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