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How Big Of A Wedding Cake Do I Buy? [Average Wedding Cake Guidelines]
It’s easy to get excited about your wedding cake. With all the amazing flavors, fancy frosting, and fondant decorations, you’ve got a lot to decide! Just don’t make the mistake of forgetting to decide on the important stuff, even if it’s not as much fun as deciding between raspberry or lemon frosting.
How big of a wedding cake to get is extremely important to consider. The last thing you want to do is run out of cake so not every guest gets a piece! You don’t want to be left with mountains of cake either. Not only is disposing of the extra cake a pain, it’s a huge waste of money.
Here’s what you need to think about when deciding how big of a wedding cake to buy so you get the exact right amount.
Wedding Cake Serving Sizes by Tiers: Shutterfly
How Many Tiers You Need—Not How Many You Want
Wedding cakes are considered in tiers, with tiers coming in a variety of standard sizes. You may have your heart set on a giant cake with multiple tiers, but there’s no use in buying a bunch of tiers that aren’t going to get eaten! You instead need to consider how many people each tier will feed.
When ordering your cake, it’s important to come with your guest list so you know exactly how many people you will need to serve. Even knowing how many people you have invited can make ordering a cake difficult. You can expect 10 to 20 percent of your guests not to show. You also have to consider guests that may go back for a second piece, as well as guests that may not eat cake at all.
Count up your guest list and subtract 15 percent just to be safe. Consider your specific guests too. If you have a cake-loving family, you may want to order a bit more. If many of your family and friends try to stay away from sugar, you might order a bit less.
There is some wiggle room, depending on what your baker offers. For example, if you love a tiered wedding cake, you can get more tiers without necessarily getting more cake if you choose tiers with smaller diameters.
Consider a Square Cake for More Pieces
Want a little bit more bang for your buck? Consider square cakes instead. Each tier offers more cake, even with the same diameter, as round tiers. They are an especially good option if you have a very large guest list. Square-tiered wedding cakes can feed more people without the threat of toppling over.
Wondering how the wedding cake is cut? If you or a loved one is going to be responsible for cutting the cake, you may want to consider square tiers. They are a lot easier to cut quickly and evenly than round tiers.
Consider Portion Sizes
When trying to figure out how big of a wedding cake to buy, you should also consider portion sizes. The typical wedding cake slice is one inch wide, two inches long, and four inches tall. However, your cake may be anything but typical! If you have a flatter cake, slices will have to be wider, which means each tier is going to feed less people. You may end up with smaller portions if tiers are large, which means each tier will feed more people.
Is grandma going to cut the cake for you? If you know she loves serving up generous portions, you better get a bigger cake. Severing cake with other desserts? You may want to ask the server to cut smaller portions.
Skip the Cake
Feeling stressed out at having to order a cake? You don’t necessarily have to have one! Many brides and grooms get creative by serving other desserts like:
- Cinnamon rolls
- Candy bar
You can mix and match too. If you’re serving another kind of dessert, you can get a smaller cake. You can also order a wedding cake and cupcakes. That way you and your partner can cut the cake with a fancy keepsake knife without making someone else cut the rest of the cake.
Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding Cake
How big of a wedding cake you need comes down to how many guests you have to serve, but it also has to do with money. If you have a budget, you may discover that you can’t feed all of your guests if you choose details that are too expensive. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money:
- Top the cake yourself: Top the cake with a custom acrylic cake topper or adorn your wedding cake with flowers yourself instead of paying more for the cake decorator to do it for you.
- Rethink the cake stand: Cake stands can get expensive fast. For example, an acrylic box can cost $100 or more. Instead, consider something like a geometric cake stand at a fraction of the cost.
- Choose buttercream over fondant: Fondant is beautiful, but it’s expensive. Buttercream is more affordable, but it tastes better too. Save even more by choosing a naked cake with minimal frosting!
- Find a more affordable baker: Hobby bakers and grocery stores make beautiful cakes at a fraction of the price of specialty bakers.
- Choose popular flavors: You will pay extra for fancy flavors like pistachio and coffee cream. Stick with popular flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and lemon.
- Order a sheet cake: Order a special cake for you and your partner to cut, but order a sheet cake to be cut into pieces for guests.