While some modern-day couples decide to do away with some old wedding practices, there's one tradition that hasn't gone out of style: cutting the wedding cake. Sharing the confection marks a sweet beginning, which is why the cake is a staple for wedding receptions.
These days, cakes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price ranges, too. If you're working on a tight budget and you want an affordable wedding cake, see our ideas below.
DECORATE YOUR OWN CAKE.
Instead of ordering a cake in a design that complements your theme, order a plain one, and dress up the confection yourself. Lace, brooches, or even fresh flowers are just some of the materials you can easily find to decorate your cake. A minimalist design is also a good option--leave the rest of the cake bare, and just buy a playful topper that channels your theme. Not only will you save on your cake, but you'll be showcasing your creativity as well. (Check out Kat and Paul's dressed-up wedding cake.)
PREFER BUTTERCREAM TO FONDANT.
Fondant is a popular choice for icing on wedding cakes, but it's not the most affordable option. A yummy--and cheaper--alternative to fondant is buttercream icing, which also works well with a variety of cake flavors. Do note though that buttercream isn't advisable for outdoor or humid venues, as it can melt. (Check out Kat and Job's buttercream-covered wedding cake.)
INCORPORATE FAUX LAYERS.
A towering cake is preferred among the marrying crowd. If you want the same look at a more affordable cost, think of incorporating faux layers into your cake. The bottom layer can be the only edible portion, and the rest of the cake can be Styrofoam covered in icing--your guests won't be able to tell the difference. A lot of cake suppliers offer this option to their clients.
SERVE CUPCAKES OR SHEET CAKES.
If you want your guests to partake in dessert but you can't afford a cake with all-edible layers, you can have a mock cake for the cutting ceremony (see previous tip). The cake will just be for show--you can give out cupcakes to guests so they can still have their dessert (the cupcakes can also double as your wedding favors). Another option is to serve sheet cakes in the same flavor as your wedding cake. Sheet cakes are usually single-layer cakes baked in a flat rectangular pan, and are cheaper than the round multi-layered confections used as wedding cakes. (Check out Josephine and Bryan's wedding cupcakes.)
OPT FOR SATELLITE CAKES.
While most couples specially order their wedding cake, you can also explore the idea of serving several commercial cakes at your wedding. Display the cakes on a nice stand so they look extra-special for your reception. Not only are the commercial cakes cheaper than those custom-made for weddings, but serving the commercial cakes as satellite cakes would also allow you to offer several different flavors for your guests to enjoy.