How To Get An Affordable Wedding Cake (Plus Bonus Cake Designs)

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-05-2548

Ready for something a little different? Look low enough into this article to see some stupendous wedding cake ideas.

Do you know how much it costs to get married these days? Survey says: $30,000! If you’re curious how much it actually runs in your neck of the woods, try this Cost of Wedding Test. I can’t believe that in my area, it now runs $43,200, on average, to get married.

One of my favorite elements of the wedding is the cake, and that’s because I have an enormous sweet tooth. This definitely was a factor in how I ended up with my own wedding cake, which I helped “design”. Yes, I have to admit, I went all out and spent on an incredible custom cheesecake that contained various flavors per tier, and which was custom designed to look like a cake made out of shells. Which was weird, because I am not a beach lover at all, but I liked seashells, so it ended up looking like a cake on the beach anyway. Still, it was gorgeous and tasted fantastic. All for $1,000 for 200 guests.

I splurged then but I also saved for it. And to this day, I remember it fondly. In my mind, I have paid not just for the cake but for the memory of that cake for the rest of my life. Hence the premium. But if you’re not at all in the mood to spend or splurge, there are still ways to achieve or acquire the wedding cake of your dreams!

Favor Ideas
gave me some helpful pointers.

Tips For Having A Cheap & Inexpensive Wedding Cake

#1 Recognize this: the more time, labor and materials used on a cake, the more expensive.

#2 Use a fake bottom tier. Why not use cardboard for the bottom tiers with the real cake at the top tiers? Nobody will notice.

#3 Buy a small wedding cake and make it up with cupcakes or sheet cakes. Visit the supermarket for options, instead of the bakery.

#4 Pass on the fancy fondant icing. The least tasty frosting is also the most expensive.

#5 If you cut down on your guests, you’ll cut down on the slices and overall cake price.

#6 Dare to do it yourself? With a little help from your friends of course.

#7 Stick to traditional shaped cakes (that would be round): even squares cost more.

#8 Know where your prices stand: cake slices typically cost from $1.00 to $6.00 a slice, and can go as high as $15.00 per serving!

#9 Price depends more on the style of the cake, rather than the flavors, so think about borrowing your cake materials or decorations, or requesting them as gifts (if it makes sense). For instance, opt for disposable cake pillars instead of crystal or get a cake topper as a wedding present! Or borrow the parts of the cake that you can use for design purposes, such as the pillars or the cake topper. It may come across as less sentimental, but your focus on practicality will save you money.

#10 Dress up a plain cake in a unique and memorable way.

#11 Is there a culinary school nearby that you can visit? You may want to inquire if they’re open to customer orders for a lower price.

#12 Beware of the cake servicing fee, also known as the cake cutting fee. Check with your reception place if they charge for this service, which involves the use of their plates, silverware, and cleaning time. If you’d like to skip on these costs, then opt for cupcakes! Cupcakes require no cutting and very little cleaning.

#13 If you’re set on going with a traditional baker, then ask the right questions. Interview your baker and get the lowdown on all their fees. The costs here may include a set up fee, delivery fee, supply rental fee, or extra fees based on the size of the cake being made. Perhaps paying upfront in cash may cut down your bill?

#14 Don’t wait till the last minute to order your wedding cake. You may get an early bird discount!

#15 If you attend bridal trade shows, there may be discounts offered by bakers you meet during the event. You may want to do your due diligence before signing up with anyone, but if you do your research before attending the event, you may be able to take advantage of special offers made there.

Creativity does not have to be expensive; even simple cakes can get you to be the talk of the town. Most people will go for elegant, traditional style multi-tiered cakes like I have done, but I do appreciate creative productions as well. So how about a few novel ideas to stir up some inspiration? Hopefully, these concepts may just inspire you to concoct your own cake and save a bundle.

5 Of The Coolest Wedding Cakes I Found Around The Web

#1 The Super Mario Wedding Cake

There’s more of this here!

super mario cake


#2 The Star Wars Wedding Cake

Check more images out at

star wars cake


#3 The Microsoft 98 Wedding Cake (great for techies!)

Feast your eyes on other gadget cakes.

microsoft 98 cake


#4 The Steinway Piano Cake

Everything here is edible. See original image at

steinway piano cake


#5 The Genuine Meat Cake

Made out of the real thing! As in “great for carnivores”.

meat cake

Here are more Wedding Cake Ideas for the curious:

A Discworld Cake
Wacky Wedding Sculptures
Heather Higgins Novelty Wedding Cakes
Rainbow Sugar Craft (see their novelty wedding cake section)
Sweet Art Cakes

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanette May 25, 2007 at 8:43 am

Save money on your wedding cake
Being creative with your cake is simple.
First buy a cake ready made, hire a stand and purchase some flowers and ribbons & pins.
Place flowers on and pin on the ribbons.

If your not brave enough there are many talented cake makers on the internet.

Good luck on your wedding from our wedding directory team.

sara May 25, 2007 at 9:13 am

A friend of mine recently married, and she found that Chinese bakeries generally offer moist white cakes at extremely low prices. Her cake wasn’t as fancy as those coming from a bakery that specializes in wedding cakes (i.e. no fondant styled in the themes you have pictured above), but it was delicious and the flowers the florist added gave it a very classic and elegant look. For a bride on a budget, ethnic bakeries might be worth checking out… Also, a great site for independent-minded (and budget-conscious brides) which gave me wonderful ideas for my wedding is

Janet May 25, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Those cakes are awesome! I wish I had the talent to make something similar.

wedding cake portraits May 26, 2007 at 12:27 am

Cool cake ideas! I just want to note down some things I noticed about the cake photos you have here.

The first one is like a birthday-and-wedding cake in one. But I love the design. It promises a colorful life for the couple.

Cake #2 is kind of adventurous. Couples marrying with Star Wars or any other movie motif will surely love this idea.

Cake #3 is so professional. Minus the logo of Microsoft I think everybody who wants to be safe or opts for a plain and simple cake will get this.

Cake #4 is definitely for a musician.

Finally for the intriguing Cake #4, cool couples will surely love it. It looks so suggestive though so you might as well hide it from the officiant.

Karen is Thrifty May 30, 2007 at 1:39 pm

I also did a post about wedding costs recently. We saved money on everything for our wedding. We had about 90-100 people at my wedding and my cake only cost $40. It was a nice and delicious cake. I had a lady from church make it for me. I had been attending that church for most of my life and my parents had done favors for just about everyone in the church. So, when my wedding came around, people were willing to help out too.

DivaJean June 6, 2007 at 8:19 am

You left one out — asking friends to make the cake as their gift to you.

We had a friend who was very proud of going thru all those crazy Wilton cake decorating classes and had bought nearly everything needed to do our cake. We asked her about it and she opted to make the cake as her gift to us. We were able to have the cake be Duncan Hines cherry chip- a childhood favorite of both of us — and have a lovely 5 tier cake for FREE. She coordinated the icing colors with our wedding colors and did a lovely job. PLUS it was a very personal touch to a day that becomes about how much you spend on what to some people.

david June 14, 2007 at 9:01 am

The wedding we went to last weekend had Ding-Dongs stacked up with the plastic couple thingy on top…talk about saving money on a wedding cake!

Keith August 27, 2007 at 1:34 pm

We do garden weddings in our backyard for people on a budget. My favorite cheap cake starts with a trip to Sam’s, purchase 1 large sheet cake(all white), 1-14″ round cake, and 1-6″ round cake(if they don’t have a small cake just omit). Stack the cakes on top of one another(leave cardboard or plastic on bottom), and buy 2 dozen open roses. Line the roses between the 3 layers(2 rows tight against the cake walls), and clump 3 roses together and place on the top cake in the center.
Save 2 roses and tear into petals and lay at the bottom of the cake. Feeds 100 people- total cost $50, total cost at fancy Bakery- $200-$300

weddings new zealand July 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Man you would have to be pretty accepting/loving spouse to let them have a cake wedding cake as geeky those!!!

Very creative though 🙂

Justin August 7, 2008 at 10:47 pm

The nintendo one is awesome!

Lisa September 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm

These pictures are great! My husband would love the “meat cake”. I have been finding the most interesting examples of great party ideas on the web. A great cake and party theme can really create a memorable experience.

Wedding Hair September 17, 2008 at 1:32 am

The Microsoft 98 Wedding Cake (great for techies!) best One. Good Post

Al November 19, 2008 at 9:02 am

Those are cute and clever cakes (love the Mario one) – the meat cake sounds a little gross though!

Your Bridal Flowers December 2, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Love that Super Mario Cake. Nice touch.

Dan December 6, 2008 at 1:07 am

Just found this via google, been reading a few articles and really like your blog… The articles are pretty well written =P
Keep up the good work =P, I’ll try to keep checking back…

kari January 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm

i think the Mario and princess peach one is really cute and i would like to have that cake when i get married some day

Erin Johnson January 24, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Wow – I love seeing creative cakes… and the Super Mario Bros., well, er, takes the cake! 🙂

mercblogger February 19, 2009 at 7:20 am

wow those cakes are very nice to look at and very nice to eat. . . .can i order it online?

Nancy March 15, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I love all the pictures of the different wedding cakes. Some are pretty unusual but then I have been to a couple of unusual weddings.

Brandon April 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Weddings can get very expensive! It’s nice to be able to save money here and there. Spend freely on the things that are most important to you, and cut corners (if necessary) on the less essential parts of the day.

Sarah April 23, 2009 at 7:57 am

Mayflair cakes have done this cake in the UK as well – check it out…..

Andy May 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I love the star wars cake, I wish the wife let me have one like that.

Maria July 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

You are correct…the more work the greater the cost! If you don’t understand that, think of how many hours it takes to put the cake together & make every deatail by hand & then apply it to the cake…what would your time be worth?

When buying the cake, bakers always ask how many people it will be feeding, before they give you a quote, because they assume that all will be having the cake for dessert. If you don’t serve the cake for dessert & plan on having it served at a sweet table at 11pm then go small & get the cake you actually want!

(7 years of being in the wedding business & just recently getting married myself…I have a lot of tricks & tips you can use)

Noble Caelan August 7, 2009 at 5:39 am

I don’t think I would eat the Star Wars wedding cake. So if you want to save money on your wedding cakes, then you might make some frightening characters on your cake as the topper. Good idea?

Wedding DJs October 6, 2009 at 9:03 pm

You can always save money on the cake by using a smaller “impression” cake, something highly personalized and unique. Then serve tasty sheet cake from the back in the flavor that you like best. Save money on the details, no need to have a massive cake wasting away in the corner all night.

steve November 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm

These cakes are Wicked!! great post!

Tom November 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Young couples are putting themselves into years of debt just to try to outdo everyone else’s wedding. Doesn’t make any sense!

Rick December 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Pretty amazing cakes, I laughed out loud at the Microsoft cake.

Brides speech February 7, 2010 at 8:59 am

I’ll surely check out the star war cake for my daughter’s wedding Lol . I wonder how my guests will react.

Pierre March 18, 2010 at 6:59 pm

wow..nice wedding cakes and looks yummy 🙂 Special and unique!! LOL

Bryllup i Danmark April 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm

So great wedding cakes. Really love them. The Microsoft wedding cake is absolutely my favorite!

Wedding Cakes June 7, 2010 at 7:59 am

Hah that’s great! The super mario one is an absolute classic.

Düşes moda June 8, 2010 at 6:27 am

Wow – I love seeing creative cakes… and the Super Mario Bros., well, er, takes the cake!

Mia June 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Wow, the super mario one is really impressive, so well finished! not sure about the meat cake though…

Wedding Venues in Medway September 28, 2010 at 6:32 am

Some wedding cakes are so detailed, the Super Mario one is epic!

TP December 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

haha, some of these cakes look really great. I use to work at a bakery myself. I’m getting married soon and any way shape or form that I can save a little money would be really great.

GeorgiaB December 23, 2010 at 8:24 am

Often people who are planning weddings on budget try to save money and order great looking cakes but not so in the taste. I truly hope all these cakes come with great taste too.

JohnS December 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

great looking photos of cakes, just don’t overdo with sugar, ok?

Chelsey March 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Its really cute to see those wedding cakes especially the Super Mario. These wedding cakes make wedding celebrations more unique. Really a great article about wedding cakes. It’s the substance of the wedding that matters and not the money spent. I also agree that weddings must be elegant but not costly.

Laura May 15, 2011 at 3:33 am

My wedding cake came with the package that we got at the venue that we booked. If you find a venue that offers a wedding cake in their package, that’s good stuff. Also if you do an off season wedding, you can find great deals on everything else too.

John Rowe September 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Here’s a cute Mario cake I saw. A little different and made of traditional ingredients (and not fondant) but just as cute! It’s a birthday cake but can easily be reworked for a wedding cake, do you think?

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