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What's Up Weddings

Wedding Cake FAQ

Mar 19, 2012 09:57PM ● By Anonymous

How much do wedding cakes typically cost?

A traditional wedding cake is usually priced by the slice and can range anywhere from $1.50 to upwards of $10 per slice. The bakery will dictate the final price based on your location, the complexity of the design, and the materials chosen (e.g. fondant versus buttercream, as well as the types of fillings for the cake). Cupcakes are typically priced per-cake and run along the same price ranges as slices of cake.


How many servings do I need?

As much as you and I love wedding cake and other sweet treats, not all of your guests will indulge, particularly if alcohol is being served. If you want to play it safe, you should order one slice (or serving) per guest. However, you’ll likely have leftovers. A better option is to order enough cake for 90 percent of your guests, and then ask your venue if they’d be willing to box up leftovers for guests to take home as late-night snacks.

If you want a larger, more impressive cake without having to order double the number of servings, talk to your bakery about inserting faux tiers made of Styrofoam and decorated to look like the rest of your cake. While this might not actually save you any money—much of a cake’s price goes to things other than flour, sugar, and eggs—it will give you a more impressive cake without the waste of uneaten slices.

When are you supposed to cut the cake?

The cutting of the wedding cake signals the beginning of the end of a wedding reception. While you don’t want to make your elderly guests wait for too long to head home, you also don’t want people to leave too early. After dinner, the dancing will get started, and you should cut the cake approximately an hour later. It’s worth noting that any DJ or emcee worth his or her salt will be able to offer you a wedding reception timeline that marks when each milestone of a wedding reception should happen. However, make sure that the caterer or venue coordinator knows at least 15 minutes in advance so they can get each guest a glass ofChampagne, if necessary, and prep the cake table.


Why does my venue charge a cake-cutting fee?

Just like when a restaurant charges you a “corkage” fee for bringing your bottle of wine, some venues charge a cake-cutting fee to slice up and plate your wedding cake that can range anywhere from $1-$5 a slice. Most of the time, this is done when you bring in a wedding cake from an outside vendor and the venue is trying to make up for the lost revenue because you didn’t purchase the cake from them.

 You have three options here: One, negotiate the cake-cutting fee out of your contract. Many businesses would rather slash that $200 or so from your total bill than lose your business all together. Your argument will be strongest if the venue doesn’t offer an option to purchase a cake through them; therefore, they aren’t actually losing any revenue, but rather charging for the servers’ time relegated to cutting and cleaning up the cake. Your second option is to serve a dessert that doesn’t require being cut, such as cupcakes, or three, pay the fee.


Can I have more than one flavor of cake?

Of course! These days, most bakeries don’t even charge extra for having a different flavor for each tier of cake (or differently flavored cupcakes). This way, there’s no reason to argue vanilla versus chocolate—you can have them both, along with lemon, strawberry, or carrot cake flavors, too.


When should the cake be delivered to the venue?

Coordinate delivery for approximately one hour prior to the start of your reception. Talk to both the bakery and the venue to determine the logistics—whether the cake will be held inside or outside, if your florist needs to put fresh flowers on the top of the cake, and so on.


Any tips on decorations?

As fun as a hot-pink or royal blue wedding cake sounds, think about the possibility of stains. If your new husband goes to kiss you right after cutting the cake, and he has leftover frosting on his fingers, your beautiful white wedding gown will never be stain-free again. Colors such as blue, red, and purple will stain your guests’ tongues and lips, making for some interesting late-night photographs. If you want color on your cake, leave it to the removable ribbons and other décor.


Additionally, don’t forget about decorating the cake stand and table. Your cake might be the showstopper, but every show needs supporting characters. Fabric, flowers, and a beautiful cake stand can go a long way toward making your cake even more spectacular. 

-- Kelsey Casselbury