Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Saving Money on the Wedding Cake

At a cost range of 2 - 15 bucks a slice, the wedding cake can represent a HUGE chunk of change. As the niece and I both have pastry skills, we couldn't see spending that much for cake. But we knew it was out of the question for us to do the cake... what to do and still stay on budget?

Once the bride told us she liked the look of multiple cakes at varying heights filling a table, I knew immediately how to save money! We were also lucky in that our girl has very simple and elegant tastes. By going with simple white cake with only a shell border at the bottom, I knew we could create a fantastic looking display and save some serious dough!

As luck would have it, one of the aunties found a lovely and very affordable plant stand in black at big lots that would hold four cakes. When we purchased it - a full year before the wedding - it was eight bucks. It's now $12. But we were drawn to it because there appeared to be an "A" in the scroll work, our bride's first name is Athena... Kismet.

Jewelry boxes were cleaned out and a local dollar store had lots and lots of crystal jewelry for a dollar or less. We purchased stuff by the bag full there for all of the wedding. So, I'm not sure how much we spent on bling, but I assure you it was nominal! We also bought crystal cording in downtown LA... we got yards of it for around five bucks.

That "A" was highlighted with the cording  on all the pillars. The jewelry was cut apart and added all around the base of the plant stand.

Next came the issue of the cake itself. I started with Costco and Sam's. I was most disappointed that they only had ginormous round or rectangular cakes and not the multi-sizes we needed. So I tried my local grocery chain, knowing they would be much cheaper than a bakery. While I was telling the clueless clerk my plan, another customer sidled up beside me and said..."You need to go to My Bakery in Pacoima. They make the best cakes and they are really affordable."

Curious, my first question was, "Isn't that a Mexican bakery?" I was terrified of some of the over done hideous cakes I've seen at Quinceaneras.

She said yes, they make those too but they also make really elegant stuff as well!  I went by and purchased a small white cake as well as a few slices of their other cakes. Everything was amazing, fresh and delicious!  So, don't be afraid to try an ethnic bakery.

The one caveat we had... were those darn shells. What I call shells from years of cake decorating...did not translate well. I would call their shells dots... but their decorator was on hand and made a quick repair on pick up day. So point all you like in the display case... make sure they understand.

After the taste test, we took the stand in with us to be sure all the cakes would fit. It was under a hundred dollars for all five cakes and we supplemented with a sheet cake in the same flavor from Sam's for under $30. While the bride would have loved that the cake be ivory, that would have added another $60 to the costs!  The aunties decided it's night, she won't really notice... and she never said if she did!

Finally, someone from the wedding party has to deal with picking up the cakes and setting up the cakes. To me, that's a large part of what you pay for! I picked them up the day before the wedding and stored them in the venue's fridge.

Before the ceremony, the aunties added finishing touches. I had found some gorgeous crystal dragonflies at a favorite art store. They had put up their Christmas trees early and used last year's ornaments - 1/2 price - until the new ones arrived!  The bride had been at a wholesale show and purchased their initials in crystal. We had our florist bring a few buckets of organic - no pesticide - tulips. And... edible glitter! 

In just a few minutes, we had a gorgeous cake table!  And total cost was about a 1.50 a head! It took a little, research, work and planning... but we had a stunning cake that tasted amazing!


nangatesdesigns said...

What a beautiful display! Nice job!

Krystal said...

Very beautiful and wonderful way of saving money on a wedding, but still making it look wonderful!

Aulani Photography and BH Giveaways said...

This looks amazing! Great job and I totally want some cake :)

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

What a great idea... love it! My DIL paid $600 for a cake to look great but tasted terrible... we tossed half of it!

Laura Leeder said...

The results's are impressive, but, it sounds like you enjoyed the process just as much!

Poopin Outside In Style said...

My sister in law JUST got engaged, and has to see this! She'll love it!

Petite Hermine said...

Beautiful wedding cake and a great idea to place them at different heights too :) I went for saving money on my wedding cake as well. Great job on your results!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to reduce cost for a wedding. This seems to have worked beautifully and am so happy that you didn't spend a fortune neither. It is usually the most simplest of actions that are the most powerful and effective. Kudos to you all for pulling together and creating this reality possible.

magdamagda fashion said...

a very elegant look and those dragonflies add some a nice touch to it! I believe it was tasty:))