Save Money on Your Wedding Cake With These Simple Tips
There’s nothing quite as special as a showstopping wedding cake —but we get it, every budget has its limits. And if the price per slice of wedding cake is giving you budget anxiety, don’t feel like you need to nix the idea altogether. Instead, speak openly with your cake baker, tap into your creativity and use these straightforward tips so you don’t have sacrifice this sweet detail.
Order a small display cake.
Ask your baker to make a one- or two-tier cake for display and cutting, and supplement with sheet cake in the back to serve the rest of the party. This can actually save you around 20 percent per slice. And have fun with your table. Have a one-tier wedding cake surrounded by loads of cupcakes, macarons, doughnuts, cookies or a souped-up candy bar.
Keep it simple.
Sugar flowers, tall tiers and intricate piping can quickly jack up the price of your cake. That’s because most cake bakers price their work by “touch time,” which is the amount of labor and number of hours spent designing the cake. (There’s a lot that goes into this confection—it’s way more than just flour and eggs!) So when it comes to choosing your cake style, look for designs you love that don’t include any over-the-top add-ons.
Pare down your flowers (or choose real ones).
If your heart’s set on flowers, go with fresh blooms or choose flat designs such as painted flower motifs instead of ornate sugar flowers. Sugar flowers are very labor intensive—it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to mold and dust one pretty sugar replica. (Now you know why they’re so gorgeous.) To pare down the cost, choose a simple cake with one large stem or a spray of flowers on a single-tier cake. Another trick is to choose sugar flower types that don’t require as much time and detail. For example, skip the cascade of peonies and shoot for hydrangeas or calla lilies. But fresh flowers are one of your best bets for a cost-friendly alternative. Just let your florist in on your plans so they can source pesticide-free and food-safe buds.
Be resourceful with your cake display.
Some couples go all out buying or renting elaborate cake stands, which are pretty, but not really necessary. Besides, most bakers will provide a decorated base board you can place right on the table. Once you have your cake display, focus on adding to the space around it—choose a fun linen from home, lush greenery, old family wedding photos, candles or flowers to bring some life to the table.
Serve smaller slices.
Consider scaling back on cake slices and see if your caterer can also include a round of sweets to supplement (think: passed chocolate-covered strawberries, assorted cookies or mini truffles). Let your caterer know they should cut tasting portions to about three quarters of the usual amount, and plan to plate your cake slices with the other desserts. Ask your caterer to place slices on a buffet or cake table instead of serving a plate at every place setting—or have the staff bring bite-size pieces right to your guests on the dance floor so they can enjoy cake while getting down.
In the world of frosting, there are two big hitters: buttercream and fondant, and there are pros and cons to each—including cost. Buttercream is typically less expensive. Fondant, on the other hand, requires extra steps and materials, and can be difficult to work with, making it more expensive. But do your due diligence regardless and don’t assume your cake will be less expensive with buttercream: You might want a smooth, seemingly simple appliqué finish on a buttercream cake, when in reality, this pristine style requires precision and time. Long story short, you may not save as much as you’d hoped. And some bakers may charge you extra for fondant, especially if you’re requesting a lace appliqué or a detailed pattern design, so it’s good to ask your baker these questions up front.
Another way to save money on your cake is to skip an outer layer of frosting. Naked cakes are not only gorgeous to look at, they’re actually pretty practical too. They’re a lot less expensive because they use less buttercream and take less time—it’s as simple as that. To make up for the lack of frosting on the outside, up the wow factor on the inside by experimenting with unique flavors and fillings, like lemon curd, champagne buttercream or chocolate ganache with toasted almonds.
Have your cake pull double-duty.
Here’s a fun idea: Instead of spending extra on your favors, have slices of your cake packaged in to-go boxes so your guests get their dessert as a take-home on their way out the door. You could also serve your cake first and use cake slices or cupcakes decorated with everyone’s names and table assignments as escort cards.
Choose a boutique bakery (or add a cake to your catering package).
You might not get tons of tiers, intricate patterns or realistic-looking sugar flowers, but if you love your local bakery, ask if they’d be willing to make your wedding cake. Because they’re not a wedding-specific bakery, you may have more limited design choices—but the savings can be big. Otherwise, ask your caterer if they include cakes in their packages. Sometimes if you order your cake from your caterer, the overall cost will be lower. Some caterers even require you to use them, and if you don’t, they’ll charge a fee for bringing in another baker. So do a little cost comparison to snag the best deal.
Ready for cake? Let’s find wedding cake bakers near you!
Want to save money on your wedding cake without sacrificing on style and taste? Here are 9 wedding cake budget tips you need to know.
Supermarket Wedding Cakes: Cheap Wedding Cakes From the High Street
From M&S wedding cakes to Sainsbury’s cake decorating accessories, our edit of cheap supermarket wedding cakes is going to change your life!
Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer may not be the first places you think of when it comes to your wedding cake, but with the cost of weddings higher than ever the popularity of supermarket cakes is on the rise – and it’s easy to see why!
With a variety of wedding cakes available – from understated single tier wedding cakes to semi-naked wedding cakes and even a range of edible flowers for extra décor – supermarkets are becoming known for their beautifully made designs at a fraction of the usual price.
Looking for a way to cut costs on your wedding? Consider one of these fantastic value-for-money supermarket wedding cakes.
Marks & Spencer Wedding Cakes
Marks & Spencer are renowned for their luxury food produce and their range of wedding cakes definitely doesn’t disappoint. Trust us when we say these aren’t just wedding cakes, these are M&S wedding cakes!
Marks & Spencer Christmas Colin the Caterpillar – £10
All our prayers have been answered. This year, Marks & Spencer are releasing a Christmas Colin the Caterpillar and we couldn’t be more excited.
Perfect for your festive w-day, it tastes exactly the same as the original, but is topped with candy canes, miniature presents and holly leaves. Keep your eyes peeled for his arrival in store and online at the end of October/early November.
Marks & Spencer Naked Wedding Cake – £125
Couples on the hunt for a fresh and fruity Marks & Spencer cake to suit a summer wedding will love this gorgeous naked wedding cake. The vanilla sponge is layered with just the right amount of vanilla flavoured buttercream and serves 42 people.
Marks & Spencer Vogue Wedding Cake – £199
If a glamorous look is what you’re after, the M&S vogue wedding cake could be the one for you. At £199 and serving 100 people, this supermarket wedding cake works out at just £1.99 a slice – a small price to pay for such a stylish creation. This three tier wedding cake uses three different sponges, classic fruit cake, all-butter sponge and a chocolate sponge and ganache tier – something for everyone to enjoy!
Marks & Spencer Shimmering Hoop Wedding Cake – £249
Continuing with our glamorous theme, this four tier chocolate wedding cake is oozing with style. Topped with chocolate ganache and finished with white and pink shimmering hoops, this chic supermarket wedding cake serves 110 people and would make the perfect centrepiece to any wedding dessert table.
Marks & Spencer Chocolate Shimmering Hoop Wedding Cake – £249
If the above wasn’t chocolaty enough, this gold wedding cake definitely will be. With four tiers of chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate and gold hoops – what more could any chocoholic ask for? We guarantee your guests won’t be able to resist a slice of this stunning supermarket wedding cake (that’s if you can bring yourself to cut it!).
Marks & Spencer Colin and Connie Wedding Cakes – £50 (Each)
Marks & Spencer have given Colin and Connie the caterpillars the ultimate wedding make-over and we absolutely adore the results. This gorgeous pair serve 40 people each and cost £50 per cake. They are the perfect supermarket wedding cake for light-hearted couples who want to add an element of fun to their nuptials and they cost just £1.25 per slice – bargain!
Marks & Spencer Cheese Wedding Cake – £160
A cheese wedding cake is the perfect option for couples who either don’t have a sweet tooth or just aren’t huge fans of cake (hard to believe – we know) – or alternatively they’re great as a savoury option to work alongside a wedding cake. This Marks & Spencer cheese wedding cake serves between 90-120 people and consists of Gould’s Cheddar, Farmhouse Red Leicester, Farmhouse Double Gloucester, Blacksticks Blue and Ravel Oak Goat’s Cheese – delicious!
Marks & Spencer Pork Pie Wedding Cake – £99
Sticking with the savoury theme, Marks & Spencer have also launched an incredibly unique pork pie wedding cake. This smaller ‘cake’ serves between 30-40 people and is made up of three luxury pork pies made with uncured pork and delicious hot water crust pastry. Want to surprise your wedding guests? A pork pie wedding cake could be just what you’re looking for.
Waitrose Wedding Cakes
Waitrose is a British favourite when it comes to luxury grocery shopping and their range of wedding cakes fits their brand perfectly. These cost-effective creations are simple, high quality and perfectly executed.
Waitrose Classic Ribbon Wedding Cake – £229
The classic ribbon supermarket wedding cake from Waitrose offers couples a traditional design which is full of flavour. Serving between 90-115 people, this elegant wedding cake is made up of a fruity base tier, golden sponge on the second tier and a chocolate sponge and chocolate buttercream on the top two tiers.
Waitrose Five Tier Naked Vanilla Sponge Wedding Cake – £149
Couples looking for a supermarket wedding cake that they can put their own spin on will adore the Waitrose range of naked wedding cakes. This five tier design serves 90-100 people and costs just £149. The vanilla sponge flavour is classic and will be a popular choice among almost all of your wedding guests.
Waitrose Three Tier Naked Vanilla Sponge Wedding Cake – £89
Want something a little smaller to feed your wedding guests? If so, the Waitrose three tier vanilla sponge wedding cake is a great choice. The golden colour is perfectly pretty and would look amazing with some fresh or edible flowers and a dusting of icing sugar. Serving between 55-65 people, it’s a great purchase for slightly smaller wedding parties.
Waitrose Five Tier Naked Chocolate Sponge Wedding Cake – £149
Another amazing five tier wedding cake from Waitrose is their chocolate sponge design which serves 90-100 guests. The chocolate sponge is sandwiched together with a delicious salted caramel buttercream and caramel sauce filling – perfect for couples with a totally sweet tooth.
Waitrose Three Tier Naked Chocolate Sponge Wedding Cake – £89
Smaller wedding parties will find the three tier chocolate sponge is a great fit. It has all the same gorgeous fillings as the five tier cake and serves 55-65 people. For extra flavour and décor, add fresh fruit and some chocolate drizzle to really make this a show-stopping wedding cake.
Sainsbury’s Wedding Cakes
Sainsbury’s is one of the UK’s favourite supermarket spots and whilst they don’t offer tiered wedding cakes, they have a range of products that are perfect for creating a DIY wedding cake.
Sainsbury’s Decorate Your Own Cake – £4.50
If you’re a dab-hand at cake decorating and fancy creating your own wedding cake, Sainsbury’s decorate your own cake is a great option for you. Serving eight people, it’s perfect for very intimate weddings, or alternatively, you could decorate one of these cakes for each of your tables and serve your ‘wedding cake’ in a more untraditional way.
Sainsbury’s Edible Flowers – £3
One great way to decorate plain wedding cakes is to add edible flowers. They look so beautiful and are available in a range of different petal colours so you can easily match the flowers to your colour scheme.
Sainsbury’s edible flower blossoms are the perfect way to jazz up a plain supermarket wedding cake and can even be a great finishing touch to salads and other puddings if you’re doing some of your wedding catering yourself.
For more budget wedding ideas, be sure to check out our range of wedding decor items for under £10 for bargain buys that look totally expensive!
From M&S wedding cakes to Sainsbury's cake decorating accessories, our edit of cheap supermarket wedding cakes is going to change your life!