4 super simple ways of cutting your wedding cake costs

All brides know that a beautiful cake is a show-stopping part of any wedding reception.

However, there are many clever ways to make sure you can still have the wedding of your dreams without spending a fortune. We catch up with the English Cheesecake Company to find out how can you cut the costs of your cake without compromising on the quality.

Watch the video below

wedding cheesecake

Two may be cheaper than one

This is a budget-savvy technique for large weddings with over 100+ guests. All you have to do is to supplement the picture-perfect display wedding cake with another sheet cake, which is usually much cheaper and can cut the per-person cost in half. In case you’re worried that your guests may notice, why not decorate both cakes in the same design and icing?

Don’t forget, not everyone eats the cake, so for a wedding of 200, you can easily reduce the size to 170.

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Make cake the dessert course

Dispense with a separate dessert course and simply present the wedding cake as your dessert, together with tea and coffee to end the meal. The English Cheesecake Company’s wedding cheesecakes and chocolate fudge cakes double up as a spectacular dessert and provide a unique alternative to a traditional wedding cake.


Give it away as a favour

“Why not kill two birds with one stone by giving little sweet treats away when your guests leave the party?” says the English Cheesecake Company’s Chief Baker, Tamara Jones. “Our cheesecake minis and cheesecake cupcakes are the perfect gift your guests can take away with them as a little memorabilia that, if eaten within a few days, can conjure up the good memories from the wedding day.”

Wedding cupcakes

The tiers equal your cost

The higher you go, the higher the price of the tiers so it’s best to keep the number of tiers to a minimum, or opt for a display of several one-tier cakes on stands of varying height. Well, unless you order your cakes from the English Cheesecake Company where the silver chrome stands as well as the silver boards are already included in the cost of your wedding cake. Sorted!

If you’re looking for amazing ways to cut costs for your big day our Wedding Budget Planner section has got lots of money saving tips.

Top tips for doing your own wedding day catering

Catering for your guests at your wedding is almost certainly going to be your largest expense.

Brides deal with this in a number of ways. Some just limit the number of people they have at the wedding breakfast and invite others for drinks and dancing afterwards. Other brides just have a small wedding.

Of course, if you’re having a buffet rather than a formal sit down wedding meal then that is going to reduce your costs. It makes for a slightly more relaxed atmosphere and a greater choice of dishes. It’s a bit easier to cater for vegetarians who are coming to the party.

DIY wedding food christopherian

It’s your wedding catering that’s going to use a large chunk of your budget so if you’re thinking about DIY-ing part of it, then that makes sense.

Here are a few ideas for you to be thinking about. Just remember however that you will require people to serve up the food, dish it out and clear it away so you will probably have to pay for a bit of help – even if it’s just the washer-uppers, because you certainly don’t want to be doing that on your wedding day!

A wedding day tea party

You don’t have to serve up a large meal on your wedding day to your guests. If you’re getting married at around 2pm, then you could invite everybody to a slap up tea instead – which is a really easy thing to DIY. An afternoon tea can look wonderful laid out in a marquee prettily decorated with bunting. Plus you can still have traditional speeches and fizz to toast the new bride and groom!

You can hire all the china you’re going to need, from pretty bone china tea cups and saucers through to cake stands. You’ll need to think about who is going to prepare what and you need to keep a close eye on numbers – an afternoon tea works best for a wedding of below 50 or so people. Finger sandwiches are a good start, think of classic egg and cress or maybe smoked salmon, whatever are your favourites. Moving onto the sweeter things, get a baking friend or relative to make you up some batches of scones and offer with dollops of cream and strawberry jam. As for puddings well, you can serve just about anything you want. Why not get your guests to bring their own puddings to share and have your very own DIY desert table?

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A DIY wedding buffet

This is the perfect way to DIY your catering if you’re having a rustic-style wedding. Again, work out the numbers of people who will be eating and then plan accordingly. Think about serving cold roast chicken, turkey and other old meats and fish. Then have somebody carving up for the guests as they decide on what they want. Get your cooking friends to each create a salad or two for your guests.

You could have a selection of desserts, from a delicious apple pie with cream to chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries or raspberries when they’re in season.

If you’re doing this you need to plan well ahead so that the meats are cooked the previous day and stored correctly and the salads arrive and are chilled but not soggy.

A barbecue wedding

Everyone love a barbecue so if you’re planning a summer wedding, why not set up some barbecues outside?. Gas barbecues are probably easiest here, just make sure the cylinders are full beforehand and then decide on who is going to do the cooking. This is probably a better option if you don’t have more than about 80 or so guests. Think about the meat you’re going to offer and have a table of homemade salads on a buffet for guests to choose from and a dessert table.

If you like the idea of a barbecue but feel uncomfortable asking somebody to do the cooking, then you could have a hog roast Although these companies will also cater the salads and accompaniments you can save yourself some money by doing this bit yourself.

DIY wedding catering hannahwhomes

Fish and chips and ice cream vans

If you’d like to buy in some food but still want a bit of a DIY approach, then you could hire a specialist fish and chip van to arrive at your wedding reception with an ice cream van for dessert.

If you’re getting married late in the day – then you can have the wedding speeches and drinks immediately after the ceremony and then get on with the party. The fish and chip and ice cream vans can be around in the background ready for hungry dancers to pounce on. This is probably a better solution for a summer or early autumn wedding as you won’t want your guests queuing up outside in the cold weather. Not everybody always wants to eat at the same time so this is a good option if you’d like to stagger the food.

None of your guests will mind DIY wedding food as long as it’s delicious and well presented. Unless you’re a professional caterer though, don’t be over ambitious – the best approach is to keep things as simple as possible.

If you’re looking for some more amazing foodie ideas, why not check out our wedding catering section.

Check out the gorgeous cake collection for autumn 2012 from AJS cakes

AJS-cakes

Featuring gorgeous piped lace and pearls, AJS cakes autumn 2012 collection uses amazing bird cage and vintage elements on their wedding cakes.

AJS cakes offer a fully bespoke service for each of their clients. They can tailor an existing cake design or create a new brand design that reflects the details of your wedding day.

AJS-cakesVisit AJS cakes at the following wedding exhibitions

  • 9th September 2012 – Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire
  • 16th September 2012 – Georgian House Hotel, Haslemere, Surrey
  • 23rd September 2012 – Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey
  • 7th October 2012 – Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey

Alternative wedding cake styles and ideas – From cupcakes to cheese

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Many brides are moving away from the idea of a traditional cake altogether. So what alternative wedding cake ideas are available? Harpreet Baura from Crumbs! Couture reveals her top tips for alternative wedding cakes…

alternative-wedding-cake-styles-ideas“Wedding cakes used to be big, white and rather generic in their design, gone are the days of the fruit cake covered in white Marzipan and decked with wedding flowers. Now couples want their cake to be a reflection of themselves, as with the other aspects of their wedding. Wedding cakes now need to be individual and tailor-made in order for them to fit in with the theming or colour scheme of the Bride and Groom’s vision for their big day. In fact, wedding cakes have become a crucial part of the wedding décor, needing to look and taste fantastic.

Cupcake Towers

The popularity of a cupcake tower as an alternative wedding cake is still going strong, and now the cupcakes are becoming more decorative than ever. Cupcake towers allow your guests to choose their own cupcake , meaning that each guests received a perfectly formed treat, rather than a portion of cake. We always suggest that our clients have a small cutting cake for the top tier of their cupcake stand, allowing them to have a “cake-cutting” picture as well as signal to their guests that it is time to tuck in!

Dessert tables

Dessert tables allow you to offer your guests a variety of sweet treats at your wedding, from mini-desserts and pavlovas to retro candy. They can incorporate anything you wish, however the most common elements are cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, macaroons, meringues, whoopie pies and candy. Dessert tables are the perfect set-up if you would like to accessorise and dress your wedding treats up. They are often so decorative that they can be considered a central feature of the event décor.

alternative-wedding-cake-cakepopCake Pops

Cake Pops are also knows as cake truffles on a stick. They originate from America but have become very popular among cake-lovers in the UK and they are great as an alternative wedding cake. They have endless decoration opportunities, meaning that you can personalise them to fit the theme of your wedding. They also make very clever wedding favours.

Real Cheese Cake

Having cakes that are stacked wheels of real cheese is a fantastic idea for an wedding cake. I had a real cheese cake at the evening part of my civil ceremony, as I wanted my guests to have something savoury to enjoy with their drinks as the night went on. Real cheese cakes are unusual, definitely provide a talking point as an alternative wedding cake and can be personalised with flowers and fruits.

Macaroon Towers

I have always loved macaroons, however they used to be hard to source in London. Several years ago, Laduree opened a counter in Harrods, and since then macaroons have shot up in popularity. Macaroons can be arranged on cone-shaped towers which will add a chic touch to any wedding or event.

Buttercream Cakes

We have seen an increasing number of brides requesting cakes to be iced in buttercream rather than fondant icing. Buttercream tastes great but also affords the cake a softer, less rigid look. Buttercream allows you to pipe your icing on in different ways, allowing you to create ruffles, ridges and curves. Perfect if you would like an alternative wedding cake that looks unique

Naked Cakes

With the Olympics over, we’re still on a British high. And what says British better than a lovely Victoria Sponge? Our most popular cake in recent months has been our giant Victoria Sponge cake, which can be made in anything from 2 tiers to 7 tiers and personalised with fruits, flowers or simply buttercream, jam and icing sugar. A fab alternative wedding cake idea, especially if you’re not a fan of icing.

Are you having an alternative wedding cake?

Let us know! x

Cake Gallery

DIY cupcake wedding favours – Alice and Sophie learn to make their own

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If you’re the hands-on baking type why not make your own DIY cupcake wedding favours? Wedding Ideas’ very own Alice and Sophie did this in a Somerset cottage and the results were stunning!

diy-cupcake-wedding-favours-alice-sophie-introFancy getting creative for your big day? One of the best ways to save money and inject some personality is by making your own favours. So when we heard of a new cookie and cupcake decorating course down in Somerset, we just had to try it out!

Lesley Baker runs full and half-day courses from her picture-perfect country cottage, and you can choose from either cookie and cupcake decorating (perfect for DIY cupcake wedding favours!) or country cottage flower arranging. We picked this course because it was very hands-on – just what we like! No previous experience is necessary and you’ll go home with a box full of beautiful treats to show off to your h2b!

Guests on the cake decorating courses, like us, learn the art of rolling and embossing fondant icing and how to pipe to perfection. Cottage flower courses will teach you how to create beautiful bouquets fit for a lavish wedding look…

The course

Upon arrival, we pulled up to an exquisitely beautiful country cottage, the kind usually seen gracing the pages of Country Living magazine (it turns out Lesley is also an interior designer, so her home is heavenly!). We settled down with a cup of tea, served in Lesley’s vintage china and one or two of her delicious biscuits – still warm from the oven. After meeting the other guests joining us for the workshop, we moved through into the kitchen to begin our epic attempt at DIY cupcake wedding favours!

In the morning we learned the delicacies of sugarcraft, and then used these skills to decorate a selection of different wedding-inspired cookies. Lesley pre-bakes the cookies and cakes, so they’re all ready to decorate when you arrive. The morning flew by, and lunch was a lavish affair of home-baked yummies, along with salad freshly dug from the garden.

In the afternoon, Lesley taught us how to pipe icing on to cupcakes and we then used the morning’s sugarcraft creations to decorate them. All in all, we had the most wonderful and delightful day, and would thoroughly recommend this experience to b2bs! It’s perfect for girls who want a fun hen activity in a peaceful and relaxing setting, while also learning a skill to use in their own big day. Making cookies like this is one of the easiest ways to add a personalised touch to your day, and this is one of the nicest places to learn!

Alice and Sophie’s DIY cupcake wedding favours gallery

Find out more

The DIY cupcake wedding favours course was hosted by the fab Poppy Greens in Somerset. Half day courses are £70, full day courses are £140. The full day course includes lunch.

Delicous wedding favours – Bake your own mini wedding brownie cakes

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Perfect for use as wedding favours or served as standalone dessert, we love these miniature brownies from Cakes for Romantic Occasions. If you’re handy in the kitchen and love a bit of DIY baking, then read on…

delicous-wedding-favours

What you need for brownie wedding favours

This quantity will make four cakes…

  • Square tin with greaseproof paper
  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g dark chocolate
  • 85g (3oz) plain flour
  • 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 275g (10oz) golden caster sugar
  •  6.5cm, 4.5cm and 2.25cm round
  • Cake cutters
  • Piping bag with a no.1.5 nozzle
  • White royal icing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas Mark 2–3). Line a 20cm (8in) square baking tin with some greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut 185g (6½oz) unsalted butter into small pieces and place in a heatproof glass bowl. Break 185g (6½oz) dark chocolate into the butter. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. On a low heat, stir the chocolate and butter until mixed and melted. Then leave the mixture to cool down to room temperature.
  3. Sieve 85g (3oz) plain flour and 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. Break three large eggs into another bowl and pour in 275g (10oz) golden caster sugar. Using an electric whisk, cream the eggs and sugar together until they are thick and creamy.
  4. Pour the cooled chocolate mix over the egg and sugar mix and gently fold together with a spatula so you don’t knock out the air. Fold until the mixture is a mottled dark brown.
  5. Re-sift the flour and cocoa powder mix into the chocolate mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and ease it into each corner. Bake for 25–30 minutes. (To test it is cooked completely, put a knife into the top – if the knife comes away clean, the cake is baked). The top should be shiny and the side should be just coming away from the tin. Leave in the tin until completely cold.
  7. Remove from the tin and gently cut out three circles for each cake with 6.5cm (2½in), 4.5cm (1¾in) and 2.25cm round cutters.
  8. Level off each circle of brownie with a sharp knife and assemble the tiers, securing with a little extra melted chocolate.
  9. Fill a piping bag with a nozzle and some white royal icing and decorate some of the cakes with little sugar pearls and swags.
  10. Dust others with icing sugar and you have perfect miniature cakes!

Are you making anything for your own wedding favours? Let us know below…

Ordering your wedding cake – Top tips and ideas you should think about

There is more to ordering a wedding cake than you might think! Julie Heritage from Aunt Julie’s Bakery discusses what you need to think about when looking for your wedding cake.

ordering-you-wedding-cake-top-tips-and-ideas-you-should-think-aboutYou really need to think about ordering at least 6 months before you get married. Some suppliers can get booked up years in advance so it’s better to plan as early as you can. Your wedding cake designer will also need at least a couple of months to source the materials required in cake decorating, sometimes designs themselves can take a while to create. Before you contact any wedding cake suppliers, decide roughly how much you want to spend on your cake. This will make sure the supplier doesn’t create an elaborate design that you fall in love with but can’t afford.

The consultation

Always meet your suppliers face to face so you get a feel for their experience and whether they are the right fit for you and your wedding. At your consultation the designer should have a portfolio of their previous work along with testimonials and samples for you to try. If you are unsure on what style of cake you are looking for, then get the supplier to mark images with what you do or don’t like. Any elements that you are particularly fond of can then be incorporated into a sketch of what your cake might look like. Normally wedding cake designs are matched to the colours and themes of your wedding. If you are on a budget, costs can be lowered by having a simple cake design and detail added with fresh flowers or ribbon.

expression-photography.co.ukordering-you-wedding-cake-top-tips-and-ideas-you-should-think-about

Designs

Cakes are usually round but square cakes work well with modern designs and increase the number of portions. You can also have other shapes for your tiers such as hearts or ovals. If having a unique cake is important to you then think about how shapes can be combined, such as having round tiers on top of a square tier. If you are looking for something quirky then a ‘wonky’ wedding cake may appeal to you. Most contemporary cakes feature tiers stacked on top of each other, meaning fruit cakes cannot be put on top of sponge tiers. You can also have metal stands that display each tier separately or separators can be used in-between the tiers allowing for further decoration. Your wedding cake supplier will very often have stands you can hire to display your cake to save you money and time. This is especially important if you’re having cupcakes instead of a tiered cake as they will be most effective on a specialist stand.

Flavour

The flavour of your wedding cake is just as important as its design, so ensure this isn’t neglected. There is now an enormous range of flavours that are available, work with your supplier to choose extravagant combinations! Couples usually decide to opt for a different flavour for each tier. Vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream is still a firm favourite, accompanied by a traditional fruit tier. Chocolate cake can prove irresistible too! If you are having a summer wedding or a dessert course as well as your cake, a lighter option such as lemon sponge is a refreshing choice.

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Feeding your guests

An important aspect to your cake is how many wedding guests it needs to feed. You need to ensure your budget allows for a cake large enough to accommodate your numbers. Normally when cake tiers start to be over 12 inches in diameter prices sharply increase. Portion guidance needs to be checked with the individual supplier as it does vary, but on average a single portion is 2×1 inches. On average, a 3 tier sponge cake should serve at least 80 guests. If your budget is tight and your cake design falls short on the portions required, you can ask your supplier to provide cake cutting bars. These are rectangular cakes that are iced in plain white to reduce costs but still allow your guests to sample the same flavours of your wedding cake.

 Ordering

Before ordering your cake ensure there are no hidden costs with your chosen supplier. Once your cake has been ordered, check with your supplier how long it will last for. Sponge based cakes normally last up to 7 days if kept in an air-tight container. Fruit cakes need to be stored in the same way but can be kept for a year so are sometimes eaten on the first anniversary. The price should include delivery to local wedding venues and the setup of your cake so you know everything will be spot on. On the morning of your wedding check that your wedding cake is stacked correctly and level!

Quirky Cake Toppers with Angel in My Attic

Are you looking for quirky cake toppers with a twist?

Online shop, Angel in my Attic create unique cake toppers that are personalised to look just like you on your big day! Your dress, suit, hairstyles and accessories are all lovingly recreated to produce a gorgeous keepsake. You can even include pets, children or other family members!

If you would like more information, visit Angel in My Attic for more details.

Industry Insider – Jen’s Cakery!

Your wedding cake should be the scrumptious centrepiece of your reception! In today’s Industry Insider blog, Jen from Jen’s Cakery reveals all the top tips and trend ideas you need to make your cake super-cool!

Lace-inspired cake by Jen's Cakery

“Choosing your wedding cake has to be the tastiest bit of wedding planning! Forget your pre-wedding diet for a moment and come with me on a journey through some popular wedding cake trends…

The royal wedding cake effect continues to influence all aspects of weddings – from bunting to dresses. Kate and Wills’ cake was a stunning modern take on a very traditional style, with intricate pipework, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s beautiful dress means that lace is more popular than ever. Combine both aspects and have the lace pattern from your dress piped onto the cake for instant timeless chic.

There’s a fine line between knowing what you want, but not over-briefing. Allow your designer some artistic freedom and you’ll get the best out of her, so don’t worry if you’re not really sure what you want. Show your designer a few cakes that you like, even if they’re not exactly right – it helps us to get an idea of your style. My favourite bride of 2011 ordered a cupcake tower with a birdcage cutting cake in red, black and white. Whilst she had a good idea of what she wanted, and a very distinctive personal style, she allowed me to use my imagination a little!

Birdcage cupcake tower from Jen's Cakery

Our current obsession with print and typography is evident in weddings, too. There are so many fantastic invitation and stationery designers out there, and your invitation is a great basis for a cake design. Lots of brides want typography incorporated into their cake, be it a monogram or special message.

Of course ‘austerity chic’ has a lot to play in 2012. Square cakes are increasingly popular, for brides on a budget, as you can get more portions from them. Alternatively, if you like more of a home-spun look, why not ask for a naked cake? They are really striking and, despite their apparent simplicity, your guests will be wowed.

Thanks Jen! See more of Jenny’s scrumptious creations now at www.jenscakery.co.uk or click here  for more reception ideas!

Cupcake cocktails – A stylish twist to a classic recipe

We love these cupcakes with a twist! Flavoured as real cocktails. Fancy a Mojito?  Pina Colada?  Or Bellini?

wedding-cupcake-cocktailsThey are certain to be a talking point with your guests, this amazing cocktail cupcakes are blended in alcohol to taste like these classic cocktail drinks. Very stylish, delicious and different we’re thinking.

Yummy!

These amazing cupcakes were created by the lovely Cakes By Shelly, there is a whole range of designs and flavours. Beautifully presented in chic black cake case with a cocktail straw, they’ll look very sophisticated layered onto a cupcake stand.

“The cakes are made using real alcohol rather than flavourings as it gives a level of authenticity” says Michelle Shulman, Creative Director.

You can see the full range on the Cakes By Shelly Facebook page or on the company website.

Look at the website and you’ll see cupcake designs are hitting a creative high.  There is some wonderful wedding cupcake inspiration in the photo gallery and cupcake recipes for you to make yourself.

Or why not book yourself onto a cupcake baking course before your wedding – nice idea for a hen party maybe?

Royal wedding cake ideas fit for a King and Queen

Kate and William have decided on two royal wedding cakes, but what about you?

royal-wedding-cakes-introTo help you make up your mind, we have found these pretty, vintage-inspired designs. When it comes to accessories, look for silk ribbons and vintage brooches – two easy ways to make your cake look like a royal wedding cake.

  1. A pink and ivory creation with four fabulous tiers decorated with sugar flowers and royal-looking satin ribbon.
  2. This clever three-tier wedding cake design has delicate lace-like detailing, perfect royal wedding inspiration if you’re having lace in your dress.
  3. Yellow and pink is a bright and beautiful combination, especially for a summer royal wedding cake.
  4. The icing here has been made into pretty pearls. Continue this theme in your jewellery and accessories. We love the ivory and pale green scheme too, which will never date in pictures.
  5. Real flowers are a great choice for a cake topper. They can reflect the blooms you carry in your bouquet and you could even have them pressed afterwards.
  6. Bows are big news for 2011, as this pretty wedding cake design shows.
  7. Who says wedding cakes have to be plain? This gorgeous candy striped design links in perfectly with the other colours used throughout the day.
  8. Having lots of guests? Consider a multi-tiered wedding cake like this, and you’ll have enough left over for the christening, too!