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How much does a wedding cake actually cost?

Shopping for your wedding cake is literally one of the most fun things you can do as a newly engaged couple. Even the most unenthusiastic wedding planners can get excited about cake! But, the question we most frequently get asked is ‘How much does a wedding cake cost?’. We’ve put together a guide to budgeting for your wedding cake as well as a few tips to cut costs along the way.

How much does a wedding cake cost?

Whilst the average spend of wedding cake is usually around £300, it’s becoming more and more common for couples to want to spend more on a showstopper centrepiece that will wow their guests, and cakes like this can come with a hefty price tag.

We always advise our clients to let their imaginations go wild if they’re looking for a showstopper and encourage them to remember that when purchasing a bespoke wedding cake design that you’re mainly paying for the cake artist’s time, which could be up to a week’s work depending on the design.

What factors effect the cost of a wedding cake?

When exploring the world of cake, there are a few factors that will determine the final quote of your cake:

The location of your wedding

Although cake designers in the capital and in the south of the UK may charge more than us up int’ North, as their overheads are likely higher, it’s unlikely that the location of your wedding would effect the price of your wedding cake. However, if you’re set on hiring a specialist wedding cake maker who is based a long way away from the venue of your wedding, then of course you should expect an extra fee for delivery. As a rule of thumb, we are charge 55p a mile (round trip) for cakes outside of our local delivery area (15 mile radius of Baildon, Shipley) which can soon rack up if your cake is being delivered to Land’s End!

Wedding cake size

The size of your wedding cake will have a huge impact on the price of your cake. Naturally, a cake to serve 30 guests will cost much less than a cake to serve 200. On average, we make cakes to serve around 100 guests with around 3 or 4 tiers for a cake of this size which would cost a minimum of around £400 for a plainly decorated cake.

Wedding cake design

Whilst the size of your cake will impact the price of the cake greatly, the design is the biggest factor in budgeting for your wedding cake. Naked and semi-naked cakes involve much less work to create than a carved showstopper sculpture in cake form. Hand made sugar flowers also increase the price tremendously due to the time and skill involved in making them.

As with any bespoke made product, be it a unique piece of furniture or a dress or a wedding cake, the cost to create something one-of-a-kind, especially for you is considerably higher than a shop bought cake, or one that Aunty Joyce can make.

One hand made sugar rose, for example, may take a skilled cake maker an hour to create, so if your design has a flowing trail of roses from top to bottom, you should anticipate that the price will go up considerably. The more complex the design, the more expensive the cake.

What can you get for your money?

To make ordering your wedding cake as simple as possible, we’ve put together a guide of what you can expect to get for your budget for prices ranging from £100 to £1000. Whilst these prices vary depending on the size you need your cake to serve and whereabouts it needs to be delivered to, this is a great guide if you’re a novice when it comes to ordering custom cakes:

Wedding cakes up to £100

For less than £100, you can expect a very simple, single tier buttercream finished cake in a naked or semi-naked style. As this is at the lower end of the price spectrum, there’s not much wiggle room for personalised details or big masterpieces. However, you can expect a small, simple and very elegant cake that serves around 18 guests, perfect for intimate wedding celebrations with your nearest and dearest.

Wedding cakes £100 - £300

Upping your wedding cake budget to £300 gives a couple more options. If you’re looking to feed a large wedding party, supermarket wedding cakes are a great fit for this kind of budget. Retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Waitrose offer a lovely variety of wedding cakes that serve up to 120 people. Whilst this is a great deal for couples planning a wedding on a budget, the cakes are mass-produced and are usually limited to basic flavours such as chocolate, lemon and vanilla.

If you’re after a more bespoke wedding cake for £300, you can expect to budget for a more detailed single tier wedding cake or a small two-tier cake with a simplistic or naked design that serves up to 50 people.

Wedding Cakes for £300 – £400

For up to £400, couples should expect to get a three tier wedding cake that serves up to 100 people. The design of a three tier wedding cake for £400 is likely to be fairly basic and often the finish is buttercream, as opposed to fondant sugarpaste icing which makes this a budget friendly option. Fresh flowers can be used instead of sugar flowers for cakes in this price bracket to help keep the cost down.

Wedding Cakes for £500 – £600

A good example of this price range would be our naked or loaded drip wedding cakes. These cakes are simple in design but by using fresh fruits, chocolates & treats, berries or silk flowers, we are able to create something very beautiful and personal for a couple’s wedding.

This is also the starting price range for our three-tier fondant luxury bespoke cakes which serve between 80-120 people. Couples with a £600 budget for their wedding cake can expect a lot more attention to detail, design work and a more personalised design rather than a plainly decorated cake.

Wedding Cakes for £700 – £800

Bringing your wedding cake budget up to £800 really opens up your options. For this price, couples should expect at least three or four tiers, sugar work and floral arrangements – plus other personalised design elements. These cakes are showstoppers that take centre stage at a wedding! Couples can expect added details such as handmade sugar flowers and a fondant sugarpaste finish.

Wedding Cakes for £900 – £1,000

Increasing your wedding cake budget to £1,000 will buy you even more design work and attention to detail. For this price you can expect most four tier cakes and some simpler five tier cakes to be on offer. These cakes will usually include some time-consuming elements such as extensive fondant fabric effects, hand piping designs or hand-painted elements.

If you’re expecting your wedding cake to be a real centrepiece at your reception and really stand out and be admired, you should expect to pay this price. Lots of intricate work goes into these cakes and they are often covered with lots of sugar work and detail that are personalised to reflect your passions, love for one another and nods to things you hold dear.

Wedding Cakes Over £1,000

When you’re budgeting over £1,000 for a wedding cake, you should expect something extraordinary and we agree! This price range takes wedding cake designing to a whole new level. The possibilities are endless!

These cakes can be carved cake sculptures that defy all logic or start from six or seven tiers and the design of the cake can include a custom-made detailing and intricate personalised emblems along with bespoke handmade sugar flowers.

Are you newly engaged and looking to start your wedding cake designing journey? Get in touch with us today and let us create the cake of your dreams.

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