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