A couples guide to ordering a wedding cake.
by L’Arte Della Torta di Melanie Secciani
# 2 – How much does a wedding cake cost -
When I speak with wedding planners or engaged couples, this is usually their first or second question. Most wedding cake designers, or bakeries will use a basic formula when quoting the price of your cake.
Cost = overhead + hours needed.
Overhead is going to cover whatever your cake designer needs to pay for to make your cake - everything from the cost of vanilla and eggs, to the water bill.
Which is why you’ll see that prices can vary widely from region to region, and from bakery to bakery.
There are so many individual considerations, that every bakery or cake designer could have, it’s impossible to cover them all in a single article.
– all you really need to know for this part anyway, is your wedding cake designers minimum price per slice (since they are going to have worked the overhead into that part already).
The second consideration is the hours needed to create your cake – the amount of money per hour X the wage your cake designer needs to pay themselves, or their staff for making your cake.
This one is really important, and why most cake designers or bakeries will need to have some idea of the design of the wedding cake you want, before they can accurately quote you a price.
For example, this first wedding cake, uses a lace mold to create the edible lace. The lace is created by spreading a flexible icing into the mold, letting it dry and placing it on the cake. It’s relatively quick to make, and doesn’t require a lot of skill.
The next wedding cake, uses a similar mold, and then details are piped by hand over the mold to create a more dramatic effect. This is going to take more time to execute than the first example, and would require a cake designer with some piping skills.
Finally, the third wedding cake, recreates the brides lace by hand piping it onto the cake tiers. This is going to take a lot more time, and skill than either of the first two wedding cakes.
The final result would be, that while all three effects are lovely, their going to have very different price points.
- The same analogies could be made if we were talking about real flowers vs sugar flowers, or 24 carat gold leaf vs luster dust.
So how much your wedding cake will cost, will depend a lot on who’s making your cake, where you’re getting married, and what kind of cake you want.
Most cake designers will have some kind of a pricing guide on their website to give you an idea of what their minimum cake prices are per slice.
There are really two great ways that a couple can approach the budget issue.
– One is to look through the cake designers wedding cake portfolio, look at the different effects, and consider the amount of time that would be required for one effect vs another.
- The second would be to share your wedding inspiration, and price point with the designer. That way the cake designer can design a wedding cake for you that will be in your price point.
Going back to the lace example,
– on this wedding cake you can see that we designed two of the tiers with the lace mold, and then two tiers replicated the lace by hand piping them.
At the end of the day, what you wedding cake designer and what you want are the same thing. Which is for you to have a beautiful wedding cake, that tastes delicious and everyone feels really proud of.
The more informed you are about what your designer can realistically do in the time budget you’ve given them, the more likely that is to happen.
To see #1 of this series - HOW TO AVOID A WEDDING CAKEWRECK – WHAT’S INSIDE WEDDING CAKE?