When I am talking with brides about their budget, I am frequently asked "how much does a wedding cake cost" or "what is the average wedding cake"? When it comes to the wedding cake, pricing depends on a lot of factors such as if you want a simple wedding cake that is a two tier wedding cake versus an elaborate five tier cake.
I wanted to talk more about the difference sources for each cake and what you get for the money. Because it doesn't save money if you get a bad looking cake or worse, no cake at all.
There are options for any budget from bare bones budget to budget conscious to luxury.
Cakes for a bare bones budget
Enlist a friend or ask around for someone who does cakes on the side. Be sure to ask lots of questions and to see photos of previous work.
Pros: Can get a nice cake for a low price
Cons: Reliability, responsiveness and quality may be a factor. May not have many choices in flavor (Always have a taste testing.) May not be able to get an intricate style or design. May not have a business license or approved kitchen. Your wedding cake could end up on CakeWrecks
Tip - Instead of one large cake, have friends each bring a small single tier cakes. They can all be the same flavor or different.
Cakes for Limited funds
Look at the wedding cakes at Walmart, Kroger, Ingles, etc. Many large grocery stores offer wedding cakes in the bakery.
Pros: You can get a traditional wedding cake for 100 guess for less than $200 (depending on location. prices vary)
Cons: Not many options in flavors, icing or styles. White buttercream is the standard. You will be required to pick up and assemble the cake yourself.
Tip - Have the cake iced in all white. Then decorate with flowers to create a custom wedding cake.
Cake that looks Elegant
Go to Publix and talk with the bakery. You can preview some of their styles on their website, but will need to talk to someone in the bakery to order. A 3 tier wedding cake starts around $350 depending on the size, flavors and icing that you choose.
Pros: Options in flavors, icing, styles and shapes compared to cheaper options
Cons: The flavors for their large cakes may be limited compared to their smaller round cakes. The professionalism and design quality of the cake can vary from one store to the next depending on the staff.
Tip - Get a small two tier cake from the bakery. Then also order multiple sheet cakes in different flavors. The sheet cakes can be pre-cut and served.
Wedding Cake from a Bakery
This is the option that most brides choose and the one I recommend. Boutique bakeries can create beautiful cakes in a variety of styles, flavors, and shapes. They maintain licenses, insurance and inspections. The quality of the cakes are consistent from tasting to the day of your wedding. Plus you get new and unique flavors and design techniques. Cakes start at $4 a slice at the lowest and go up to around $7-$8 a slice depending on the the baker you choose, the type of icing, the number of layers, and the complexity of the design.
Talk to me to learn more about the bakeries that I recommend based on first hand experience.
Note: This post has been updated for 2017.