Q: I love cake and I really want a wedding cake. I’ve started to look at different bakeries and the prices seem to vary quite a bit. Why are they so different? How much do wedding cakes really cost?
I love cake too. Actually, I love pretty much all desserts. I’m an equal opportunity dessert lover. But, we’re not talking about me. You want to understand what wedding cakes cost and why they differ. To answer that question, I think we need to first discuss wedding cake pricing.
Most bakeries will price their wedding cakes at a per serving cost. So, for example, you may see that their wedding cakes are $4/serving or $10/serving. And a serving equals a person.
Other bakeries will price their wedding cakes based on the size of the cake. So, for example, you may see that a 3 tiered round cake (6″, 8″ and 10″), is $300.
While these are two different ways of pricing, they are really the same. The price you see for the particular sized cake is based off of the number of servings you can get. So, essentially it’s all based on your guest count and the number of servings you need.
Now, the cost of the wedding cake is a combination of a few different items. First, you have the ingredients and the quality of those ingredients. Then there is the labor, the actual time it takes to make it. Then the craftsmanship of your baker and the artistry and design they bring to it. Then, of course, comes the freshness and the taste. And lastly, the customer service, how you are treated and what your experience is like.
So, the answers to your questions are one in the same. All of these items play a factor into that price per serving cost. So, the price will differ depending on the level and quality of those items. How much a wedding cake costs depends on what is important to you about that cake. If the design is important to you, you’ll be paying for their skill. If you want local, organic ingredients, you’ll be paying for that.
When you’re looking at different companies, it’s hard to do an apples to apples comparison as you won’t have the information on many of those factors. But, know that a cheaper baker is cheaper for a reason. It might be because they are newer or because their cakes aren’t as fresh or because they only do really simple cakes with little design. And there isn’t anything wrong with those things. You just have to understand what you want and what is important to you about the wedding cake. Then you’ll know what you’re comfortable with and can go with the baker that makes most sense for you.
(Photo credit: Kate Webber)
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