Confused about how much cake to order, when to order it or how much it should cost? Never fear! Here’s our handy wedding cake guide…
When should you order your cake?
You may think of a wedding cake as a finishing touch, but the truth is, these things take time! You should be looking to order your wedding cake around 4-6 months before the wedding date, especially if you have your heart set on a large or complex design. If your big day is sooner than that, don’t panic – you can buy pre-made cakes from large supermarkets like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, and then decorate them to match your day.
How much wedding cake do you need?
How many tiers you need depends on two things: how many guests you have, and what size portion you’re looking to serve them.
‘Coffee size portions’ or ‘finger size portions’ are smaller slices that work well if you’ve had a separate dessert, or if you’re having a rich traditional fruit cake. If you’re serving your wedding cake as your dessert, then you’ll need the larger ‘dessert portions’ – sponges are often served in this way, too.
Your chosen baker is likely to have a size chart to help you decide what size cake you need to feed all your guests, but here’s a rough guide to give you an idea:
|Size||Round (finger portions)||Square (finger portions)||Round (dessert portions)||Square (dessert portions)|
Remember when you’re ordering tiers to specify whether you’ll be saving the top one for you and your h2b!
How much do wedding cakes cost?
How long is a piece of string?! The cost of a wedding cake can vary massively, depending on your baker and the size and decoration of your chosen design. On average, brides tend to spend between £300 and £500 on their cake, but you can also get bespoke designs that cost £1,000 or more!
If you’re sticking to a tight budget, remember that decorative details can really add up when it comes to the cost of your cake. Intricate molding or piping work, metallic icing and sugar flowers are likely to bump up the price of your chosen design, so stick to a simple base with fresh fruit and flowers or ribbons to keep costs down.
What do I need to tell my venue?
Don’t forget that it’s not your baker’s job to co-ordinate with the venue about your cake, so make sure to cover the following with your venue to avoid any nasty surprises:
- Discuss delivery with your baker to ensure that you know what time you can expect the cake to arrive before (or on) the day, so that your venue can arrange for someone to collect and store it if necessary.
- If your chosen cake requires refrigeration (which it may do if it includes fresh or buttercream), then make sure that your venue kitchen has space for this.
- Work out where the cake will stand during the reception, and discuss with your venue how far in advance it can be set up. A family member or friend may have to do this for you if there’s no wedding co-ordinator.
- Let your venue know the slice sizes/numbers to avoid over- or under-serving. Make sure to let them know if you want the top tier saved, too!
- In the eventuality that all your cake doesn’t get eaten, discuss what you’d like to happen with the leftovers with your venue – if the kitchen aren’t given a plan, then they’re likely to throw away any leftover cake. If you’d like to take it home, or give it to guests as a leaving present, then arrange for boxes or bags to be given to the kitchen.
Looking for more advice? Check out our Planning section for more top tips and tricks on planning your dream day!