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Wedding: Wedding Cake

by Meghann on May 31, 2012

When planning a wedding, it’s hard not to get caught up in all the beautiful fancy-schmancy wedding cakes out there.

wedding cakes.jpeg


But, before you start dreaming of a 3-4 tiered custom fondant masterpiece, it’s best to take a look at the price.

  • The average cost of a wedding cake is $543, according to The Bridal Association of America.
  • For wedding cakes, most bakeries and pastry chefs charge by the slice. A low-end option would be a smaller tiered cake in chocolate or vanilla paired with a sheet cake for cutting for around $1.50 a slice.
  • A mid-range two- or three-tiered cake in a standard flavor such as chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake or lemon poppy seed with buttercream icing and minimal fondant decorations can run $5 or $6 a slice.
  • A high-end multi-tiered gourmet cake with flavored fillings, fondant icing and elaborate fondant, gum paste and sugar decorations can run $10 or more per slice.
  • Some caterers charge a cake-cutting fee when figuring the total cost of your wedding cake. Cake-cutting fees can run $1 or more per slice. (luckily my caterer does not)


Yep. Cakes are expensive.

As much as I LOVE pretty wedding cakes, having (or paying for!) a fancy-schmancy cake for my own wedding isn’t a top priority for me. In fact, it’s a pretty low priority (cake that actually tastes good is much higher ;) )

I knew before I even got engaged that I had no interest in going the traditional bakery route when it came to a wedding cake. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want a wedding cake at all. Now a days the “trendy” thing to do is go the non-cake route (cupcakes! pies! cheesecakes!) which is a totally awesome option (more on my interpretation of that below!!), but Derek and I like cake. Scratch that, we love cake. :)


mmmm…. cake.

We particularly love my grandmother’s famous red velvet cake. Her red velvet cake is one of those things that she only makes for very, very special occasions, and when it does make an appearance at family functions – it’s usually the first thing to go and it’s not uncommon to find one of my uncles licking the cake plate clean. I’m looking at you, Andy!


Mine and Derek’s dream is to have my grandmother bake her famous red velvet cake for our wedding. We asked her almost as soon as we got engaged if it might be something she would be interested in doing and she seemed flattered, but a little overwhelmed with the idea (totally understandable). We also recruited my Uncle Bill in the cake baking/decorating process. He seemed more than a little excited about the idea. In fact, he started drawing up sketches and coming up with a plan for said cake almost immediately. Cake decorating is a bit of a hobby of his and he’s fairly talented at it.

With my uncle on board, my grandmother seemed a little more keen on the idea. And, with my grandmother baking and my uncle decorating, I know our cake will rock.

I just really love the idea of a very simple cake with that homemade feel to it.


(source: Birdsong Facebook)

To me, this screams “made with love” and “this is going to taste GOOD.” Also, not a fan of the fondant – bring on the heavy cream cheese icing, please! ;)

Of course, the cake isn’t the only dessert we have in mind for the reception. Dessert is easily my favorite part of any meal (you have your liquor, I’ll have my pie), and I want to incorporate that love affair into the reception. My plan is to have the cake be the start of the show and surrounding it with homemade cookies, cake balls, pies, and any other desserts I can politely beg my friends and family to help with.


I also want to set out mini takeout boxes with the dessert bar so guests can take home what they want as favors. Two birds. One stone.

Again, this is all still in the idea phase of planning (nothing is set in stone!), but I really, really, really love the idea of a dessert bar with all of mine and Derek’s favorite treats (including his Grandmother’s blueberry pie <- his favorite!). I’m hoping to make this a reality.

So that our cake/dessert bar plan for now. We’ll have to see where it goes from here!

What did you do for your cake/dessert at your reception?

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