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Do Bakeries Charge More For A Wedding Cake?

Many things go into preparing the perfect wedding, from the guest list, the decorations, and of course, the cake!

Wedding cakes are an important part of the wedding reception, but couples are often shocked when they find out how much they cost. 

Do Bakeries Charge More For A Wedding Cake?

Bakeries often charge a lot more for wedding cakes compared to general bakes. This may seem unreasonable, but cake makers need to spend more skill, time, and attention when making a wedding cake, which is all reflected in the price. 

We’ll cover more about wedding cake costs (see also: How Much Do Wedding Cakes Cost?)in this post, going over why bakeries charge more for these cakes, the things that affect their cost, and how much you should be expected to tip the baker for making a wedding cake. 

Do Bakeries Charge More For Baking Wedding Cakes?

In most cases, bakeries will charge more for baking a wedding cake. This is because wedding cakes are usually custom-made. 

The baker will need to spend a lot of effort and time to make one that meets the couple’s wishes. Details like delicate frosting, multiple layers, and size are just some of the things which can increase the price of a cake. 

Furthermore, bakeries need to use their best, high-quality ingredients to make sure the cake looks and tastes as good as possible. The tools, ingredients, and labor costs all mean that wedding cakes cost a lot more than general cakes.

It can be hard to choose the right design for a wedding cake, so it can take a lot of time to do so. Many wedding cakes have several tiers, where each tier acts like its own cake.

Decorating elements, like fondant details, sugar flowers, and chocolate decor may require a few days to be made. 

Wedding cake makers, like any specialists, will charge for their expertise. You may need to pay a lot more if you go for a fully bespoke design.

Wedding cakes with an elaborate designs will cost more. The more intricate and complex a cake design is, the higher its price will be.

The price of a wedding cake will also be affected by the type of cake you choose. Fondant cakes, for instance, will require a denser base, like pound cake.

Many wedding cake decorators also find it easier to decorate a cake with fondant, compared to ones with buttercream frosting.

For this reason, fondant cakes may cost less than buttercream ones. However, the cake’s final price can be affected by a lot of other factors, like fuel and travel costs.

You may need to pay more if your venue is located further away from the wedding cake bakery. 

All of these factors, including a bespoke design, transportation, and effort put into intricate details, are why bakeries charge a lot more for wedding cakes. 

How Much Should I Expect To Pay For A Wedding Cake?

Now that you know why bakeries charge a lot more for wedding cakes, you should have a rough idea of what you may need to pay for your own design.

The baker’s skills and experience will all affect the cake’s final price, as well as the amount of time and effort they put into baking the cake. 

Other items, like cake testing, accessories, and packaging can all affect its final price, but the biggest factor that affects a cake’s price is how many guests you’ll be serving. 

A cake big enough for under 50 people costs, on average, $320. A cake that serves over 100 guests can be as much as $600. The more people you plan on inviting, the more you’ll need to spend on the cake.

If you’re looking to cut costs, consider serving the cake in half servings. For instance, if you’re inviting 200 people, order a cake big enough for 100, then serve everyone half a slice each.

Wedding guests tend to leave cake half eaten regardless, so this tip can go a long way! 

Do Bakeries Charge More For A Wedding Cake?

How Much Does It Cost To Bake A Wedding Cake?

Cake makers can spend a lot of money baking a cake. Its cost will depend on how big the cake is, the ingredients, and how intricate the design is.

If the cake is relatively simple, each slice may cost between $1.50 and $4.00. If the cake has a more complex design, it may cost $10.00 a slice, or even more, in some cases. 

Other than the price of the cake itself, the cake maker will need to think about the price of delivering and setting the cake. Transportation costs, fuel, and setting the cake up require time and effort. 

Overall, the final price of baking a wedding cake varies based on its size, intricacy, and ingredients, as well as transportation costs.

This may look like a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, depending on the cake maker you choose. 

How Much Should You Tip For A Wedding Cake?

It’s important to tip your wedding cake maker, as you should with any other wedding vendor that delivers amazing service.

The wedding cake may be a product, but the bakery will have been putting in a lot of time and effort to create the cake of your dreams. 

Before you decide on what you’d like to tip the bakery, look at the contract, as your tip may have been included already under ‘gratuity’.

Some bakeries will add the tip into their contract, so you won’t have to do the calculations later on. Remember that if this is the case, you can always give an extra tip afterward, if you believe you should do so. 

If the tip isn’t included in the contract, here is a guide to what you should tip each person. 

  • The baker, or bakers, should receive between 10% and 15% of the final cost. 
  • Each person on the delivery team should receive between $5 and $25, based on how large the delivery was.  

You may want to tip the bakers as soon as you’ve seen the cake, but don’t tip until you’ve seen and tasted the cake.

A tip is a bonus based on gratitude and exceeding expectations, so you should only pay it after you’ve fully savored the cake.

Put the tip into an envelope with a thank you note enclosed. Label each one with the vendor’s name and ask someone you trust to hand them out at your reception. 

In the case of the baker, you’ll most likely be mailing the tip, so keep it in a safe location so you won’t forget to mail it. If you’d prefer to keep things less formal, you can choose to hand deliver it instead.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, bakeries will charge more for wedding cakes compared to general cakes. This is because the baker will have to spend a lot of time, money, and effort to make the wedding cake of your dreams.

A bespoke design, high-quality ingredients, intricate decorations, the size of the cake, and transportation costs can all make the cake’s final price skyrocket.

You should also be prepared for tipping the baker and transportation staff once the cake is made. 

Wedding cakes can be expensive, but you may be able to keep the costs down by choosing a simple design and reducing portion sizes per person.

Some couples choose to forgo a cake entirely and opt for a dessert bar, with a range of baked goods, instead. 

That being said, a beautiful wedding cake is traditional and can help elevate the overall look and feel of your ceremony.

If you are thinking about going for a classic wedding cake, just be prepared to spend a lot more than you would think! 

Anna Ingham
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