Understand Your
Wedding Cake Cost

Your wedding cake cost can be a stressful part of the budgeting process since- prior to meeting with bakers-it's hard to know how much a cake might cost. Knowing what price range you'd like to stay in is easier if you know what range is even possible.

The average wedding cake costs $543 according to The Bridal Association of America. It is possible to design a cake that costs well under (or extremely over) that figure.

Wedding Cake Price Basics

Most bakers or pastry chefs charge by the slice. The lowest price you can usually find professionally is about $1.50 a slice. Higher end cakes can reach over $10 a slice.

Multiply the number of guests you're feeding with the slice charge for an idea of what the cake will cost (for example: 100 guests x $1.50 a slice= $150 minimum charge for the cake).

It is possible to order fewer slices than you'll have guests and plate what are called "half-servings". These smaller portions are often enough food for most people and will save money.

What can you expect for the various prices per slice?

$1.50 a slice range: Think very basic flavors (chocolate or vanilla) with butter cream icing and no filling. If there are tiers, they won't be very large nor will there be very many.

This is the type of cake that works well with a sheet cake in the back. For decorations, stick to fresh flowers if you want to stay in a modest price range.

$5.00 a slice range: Your flavor choices will expand somewhat to include carrot, spice or lemon cake. The butter cream frosting can be decorated with basic fondant designs.

Two or three tiers are possible here though a sheet cake might still be prudent for larger weddings. If you shop for your baker carefully, you may be able to get a flavored filling at this price.

$10 and over a slice range: This budget range allows for pretty much anything. Multiple tiers, fondant icing, fillings and elaborate sugar decorations are possible here. Of course, the higher you rise from that $10 a slice mark the more you can get.

Additions that Effect Cake Cost:

Cheesecakes or regular cakes laced with nuts or fruit and specialty fillings can add $1 per slice or more to the total. Tiered cakes often need to be delivered and set up at the reception site by the baker.

This isn't free and can cost up to $100 depending on the size and complexity of your cake.

The baker (or your caterer) might charge on onsite cake cutting fee that costs $1 per slice. That's another $100 plus for most weddings.

The important thing is to find a baker or pastry chef who will work with you to design a cake that is within your budget. If the baker is pushing for wedding cake prices that you can't afford and won't back down, find another baker.

Wedding cake costs can seem to be ridiculously high but your price tag is sure to be lower than the cake designed by Nahid La Patisserie Artistique in late 2006.

The $20 million dollar cake was billed as the most expensive ever made, the frosting was studded with diamonds from Mimi So Jewellers that made the cake inedible. If you feel like a sucker when you leave the bakers, imagine paying $20 million for a cake you can't eat!

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