You can have your cake and eat it too…

Last month CNNMoney.com wrote an article about staying in your wedding budget. (http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/07/pf/saving/wedding_planning_for_savings/#disqus_thread) It was suggested in the article that one way to keep costs down was only ordering half of the cake that you need.   When I read that, I can honestly tell you that I was angry. It was very obvious that the person writing this article did not interview a baker about keeping within your budget.

But there are some other issues that should be addressed here as well regarding the writer’s suggestions.

Let’s say you are having your wedding at the Plaza Hotel and there are 250 guests. Now if you get a cake from our bakery, it can be a 5 or 6 stacked tiered cake.  This is a very appropriate cake for this size room.  If you do what CNNMoney.com suggests and cut the cake in half, you now have a 3 or 4-tiered cake.  Issue number one: this no longer fits in scale of a very large ballroom, it will look very small and it will look like you are skimping.  Issue number two: you now don’t have enough servings of cake for your guests. The guests are not going to blame the bride for that; they are going to blame the baker.  (That’s not exactly fair now is it?  But of course this wasn’t our idea in the first place.)

So here are some things that we suggest at the bakery to help keep your wedding cake within your budget:

If you change the structure of your cake the cost will go up.  When we do floating tiers, topsy-turvy or a carved cake, these kinds of cakes take double the amount of sugar flowers and in some cases us carving cake into the shape of something.  Stick with stacked tiers (cakes one on top of each other) and in most cases that will keep you within your budget.

Stay with stacked tiers, the floating tiered cake on the right requires almost double the amount of flowers, which is double the amount of work, which makes the cake more costly.

A good rule of thumb – the more you put on your cake the more it is going to cost.   Perhaps you highlight a few surface appliqués.  This has the same impact as covering a whole cake, you are now “spotlighting” a few details.

Featuring a "motif" can be just as effective as full coverage of an appliqué.

Want your cake to stand out, but can’t afford to go all out?  Change the fondant color. This dramatically changes the look of any cake.

While all of these cakes are a bit simpler in design, they have more of an impact because we changed the fondant from white to a color. It looks like more design work has been done to the cake.

There is a baker out there for everybody.  When researching wedding cakes, ask questions.  The amount of servings dictates how many tiers of cake there will be.  Make sure you chat with the bakery and tell them approximately how many people you are looking to serve.  Please remember, even if you ask to add a “faux” tier it will not bring the cost of the cake down, the ingredients to make the cake is not the costly part, it’s the decorating.

The cutting of the wedding cake is a time-honored tradition. The cake cutting ceremony is the first task that the bride and groom perform as husband and wife. And what better way to end an evening of dancing, than nibbling on a piece of delicious wedding cake.

So you can have your cake and eat it too, it just requires a little research, asking some questions and communicating with your baker.

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9 thoughts on “You can have your cake and eat it too…

  1. CNN should allow you guys to write a rebuttal! I hate when people who have no idea write stories that have huge impacts on peoples businesses and livelihood, especially when they just simply don’t make sense!

  2. What I usually offer my clients is the choice to have a smaller wedding cake, with sheet cakes to serve the remaining guests. However, you have offered some wonderful advice here. CNN has no idea what they are talking about. If you cut the cake in half you have several folks without cake. Half your wedding guests!

  3. Love your response! I also don’t understand the “faux gateaux” thing. All the cost is in time and labor. I would even rather do a small cake with multiple tiers of cupcakes(even though I really don’t care for cupcakes personally), to help a bride save money.

  4. I have found a few mothers of the bride must have read that article. I have a current client that wants just that, less cake than guests. I advised her that if that is going to be the only desert people are not going to understand if they dont get any cake.
    She said “most people don’t eat cake” and then told me she doesn’t want any cake wrapped for take home or people will be greedy

    Well what difference does that make if there isn’t enough cake anyway and according to her people don’t eat cake?
    She doesn’t want any cake left after the wedding is her reason. I have had her sign the contract stating that she did not order enough to cover the guest list at the wedding so she couldn’t come back on me later saying I didn’t supply enough cake.

    I have advised the venu that they will not have enough cake to serve to there shock.
    My husband and I said that maybe it is going to be a new wedding money game and auction off pieces of cake to the guests (lol), or perhaps each table will be labled Cake, or No Cake???? Just crazy.

  5. Honestly. Every time I read those articles about ordering half as much cake as you need it really chaps my ass.

    How does this work? Who decides which guests get cake and which guests don’t? Is it first come – first served? Does one of the ushers hand out cake coupons at the door? Does the couple send out cake coupons with their wedding invitations?

    When are the magazines going to give sound advice? Like – if you can’t afford to feed all your guests then cut back on your gust list? The mags never write that you can buy a dress at Wal-Mart, get cheap flowers from the day-old bin at the supermarket and do the bouquest yourself, etc. Whay is it always the cake thet gets the brunt of it?

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