How much does it cost to make a wedding cake?
With this blog, I'm trying to give you an idea of how much it really costs to make your wedding cake.
Weddings are expensive, and sometimes the cost of a wedding can seem ridiculously high.
It can be really hard to understand why a bespoke wedding cake can be so expensive, especially when you compare it to a generic or shop-bought cake. So what are you actually paying for?
Read on to find out some more...
A custom made gown, flowers specifically picked and arranged to showcase your aesthetic, or a bespoke wedding cake made to your exact specifications, weddings are a once in a lifetime event that should reflect you!
A significant portion of your wedding cake cost is your consultation, the research and the final cake design.
Wedding cake consultation:
I'll have got the basic information from you when you enquire about your cake, but my favourite thing about a wedding cake consultation is getting to know you as a couple! I get to find out how you met, who proposed and where they did it, and your plans and ideas for your big day.
In this conversation, I'll find out what is important to you as a couple - are you really chilled, but want a cake with unusual flavours? Do you want something glamorous and show-stopping with a classic flavour palette? Sometimes you won't both agree, and I have to find that perfect compromise, and design a cake to suit you both!
Research & design:
Now I know a bit more about you and your plans for the day, I'll do some research based on this information. I'll send you a bespoke quote with everything we've decided on, and I might send you some inspiration pictures or design sketches to start the design process, unless you know exactly what you want.
We can get the booking secured at this point with a small deposit to save the date, and continue to design and finalise everything about your cake!
And I haven't even turned the oven on yet!
Paying for my time:
The most expensive part of your wedding cake will be your cake maker's time. It takes over a week to consult, plan and research, design, bake, decorate and deliver a simple three-tier wedding cake. Sometimes, we need to order and prepare decorations days or even weeks, or months in advance, to make sure everything is fully dried or set. If we're making bespoke coloured sugar crystals for geode cakes, they can take 6 weeks to form!
In my opinion, most wedding cake makers underestimate the cost of running their business - the industry, in general, undercharges for the amount of time, skill and materials it takes to fully complete a beautifully designed and engineered wedding cake. We love what we do, so often, when we get started on a cake, we can't stop - and for me, it's definitely worth it!
I offer delivery all around Yorkshire and beyond. My husband and I purchased our car specifically with delivering wedding cakes in mind (he wasn't too happy about that one!), and I have specific ways of delivering, especially on those hot summer days.
I calculate delivery alongside your wedding cake, and it includes:
Liaising with your venue coordinator or wedding planner to arrange the perfect time to deliver and set-up your cake on the day. This will fit around the timings of your ceremony or reception, or the facilities at the venue for storage.
I will always aim to set up the whole cake ready for your cutting and photo opportunities - it will be as perfect as if I were setting it up for my own wedding.
Allergen information and a cutting guide will be printed and delivered with your cake, and shared with the right people at your venue so it can be cut and served correctly.
If your cake is stacked with tiers, I'll deliver these separately and stack them at the venue, and add any decorations and touch ups that they might need.
I confirm everything with the venue, so you can relax in the knowledge that your cake will be set up without a hitch and you can concentrate on being pampered and getting ready for your big day!
Ingredients and materials - at least 30-40% of the wedding cake cost
Organic, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients where possible
Flowers, unless your florist is providing these
The best materials – recyclable and/or biodegradable where possible
Catering equipment (fridge/mixers/blenders)
Display items e.g cake stands and display materials
Running costs - at least 30% of the wedding cake cost
Tools and equipment
Depreciation on equipment and vehicles
Business insurance and public liability insurance
Website maintenance and website design fees
Advertising and marketing (social media, blog posts, SEO, Google Ads etc)
Training cost; keeping food hygiene certificates up to date and taking business and cake decorating courses and classes to improve skills
Taxes; don’t forget, unless your baker adds VAT on top of your quote, they will pay 20% of your final quote in taxes.
WAGES BASED ON EXPERIENCE:
My experience in the wedding industry gives me the skills and knowledge to know what to consider for making your cake. Some of these include:
The venue and it’s facilities, and any storage needs
Training on keeping up to date on laws on allergens and cross contamination
Construction of a stable cake that will hold up for the whole reception
The cake size for the correct number of servings for your event and number of guests
Advice for the venue staff on how to cut the cake to get the correct number of servings
Keeping up to date with latest trends and techniques
Marketing skills including online
Website design and upkeep and general SEO
Delivery – Wedding cake delivery is a skill in itself!
Set-up – my tiered cakes are stacked at the venue with special tools and equipment
So, for example, if you wedding cake quote is £600, a rough calculation is...
£600 roughly the base price for a wedding cake for 90 guests:
20% tax – £120 = £480 (price of cake after tax)
35% of £480 = £168 (materials and ingredients)
30% of £480 = £144 (running costs)
£168 for wages and profits to invest back into the business - it takes roughly a week to plan, design and make a 3 tier wedding cake
One of a kind, bespoke cakes take days to make and deliver
Because each bespoke wedding cake can take days, sometimes weeks, of preparation, there is a limit to the number of orders I take per month. My maximum capacity each week is two smaller wedding cakes, or one large wedding cake - to give me enough time to ensure each order is completely perfect.
Many weddings are on a Saturday, and require me to deliver and set up at the venue, which limits the number of orders I can deliver each week. Delivery is a minimum of one hour, depending on the distance from my kitchen and how complex the set up.
So if you're comparing the cost of your wedding cake to a bakery or supermarket that churns out orders quickly, there is no comparison.
Trust your wedding cake maker is not trying to overcharge you, or get you to overspend - they are just trying to run their business to ensure it is viable each year.
But I completely adore what I do! I have endless passion and creativity for making wedding cakes, and there is a great sense of satisfaction in bringing a design to life. Weddings are wonderful events and I feel truly honoured to be part of them. I love helping to create memories that will last a lifetime.