Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Economy of Salvation: Cake Walk

{creative ways to save your pennies on the most expensive day of your life}

As wedding necessities go, cake definitely ranks up there.  It's probably the part of planning your fiancĂ©'s most interested in,  it'll provide quite a few photo ops, and it needs to be gorgeous, delish, and freeze-worthy.  Or, if you're like me, you'll be tempted to eat that sucker again before your first anniversary rolls around.  Somehow, it's unbelievably easy for sugar, flour, and butter to add up to hundreds of dollars- factor in flowers, flavors, monograms, and labor and soon the whole shebang winds up costing half as much as your dress.

Instead, try going the independent route for your cake.  Before you write that off as not an option (or before, like me, you get delusions of doing the whole thing yourself), consider what's at your disposal.  Everyone has a friend or aunt who likes to bake- if you know someone with talent, take advantage of it!  It can be an awesome wedding gift for them to lend you their skills.  My friend Jessica made us a beautiful cake and about 200 cupcakes.  She also traveled with them, iced them on the day of our wedding, and did it all with a baby in tow.  Amazing.  We had so much fun picking out flavors and decorations, and it felt like a huge honor to have someone I cared about contributing to my wedding in such a big way.  Besides, who says no to weekly taste testings at work?

Try these options on for size:

  • Most communities have a vocational school that offers baking and pastry classes.  Consider having students in these classes make your cake, which they'll probably do at a discount.  Also, you're giving them the opportunity to add to their portfolios.
  • Specialty bakeries are fancy and fun, but give grocery stores and wholesale clubs a shot, too.  What they lack in glamour they can definitely make up in savings, and if you look through their offerings, you'll most likely find that they have plenty of wedding experience.  If these talented people can make super detailed, historically accurate dinosaurs for kids' birthday cakes, just think what they can do for you.
  • If your heart's set on something elaborate, think about having a single tier to cut for your pictures and save for later, and serve sheet cakes to your guests.  I promise, taste far surpasses appearance for pretty much every guest.  No one hates on wedding cake.
  • You've decided to go DIY with a friend?  I was totally seduced by complicated, lavish designs when I first started reading bridal mags, but I soon realized that something simpler was way more suited to my style and the vibe I wanted for my wedding.  Think how elegant simple can be!  A hand-frosted look would be perfect for a rustic wedding, for example, and a decorating with just a few fresh flowers looks clean and minimal.
Get inspired by these lovelies:

Wedding cakes, how to save on your wedding cake, affordable wedding cake, wedding cake options, cheap wedding cake, save money on your wedding, wedding money-saving tips, Catholic wedding planning, Catholic wedding blog, Catholic brides
1. Hand-frosted single tier, The Knot 2. Colored tiers with confetti decoration,  The Blushing Bride  3. Ribbon and fresh flower decoration, The Knot  4.  Ribon and fruit, The Knot  5.  Rock candy cake, Martha Stewart Weddings  6.  Hand-frosted cake with succulents, The Blushing Bride

What's your dream cake?

Next up: Gorgeous, customizable accents for your flowers, place cards, and more


  1. Great tips! All these cakes are super cute and look simple enough to make. I almost wish I was getting married soon!

  2. Thanks so much, Kendall! I'm secretly hoping I'll be asked to do someone's cake one day =)



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