If you're planning a large wedding on a small budget, you're no doubt looking for ways to save money that won't be visible to your guests. While it may seem like skimping on the wedding cake itself -- a centerpiece for most weddings -- will look cheap, you may find clever ways to make it work. Here are 5 simple money-saving tricks that your guests may never notice.
Raise it Up. Can't afford a lot of extra tiers? Hide this fact by using a cake podium to raise the cake higher in the air. You can either use the podium as part of the display or you could decorate around the cake to cover it up. Surround the raised cake with colorful flowers, lush greenery, a cupcake display, or even just strategic table linens. Top the whole thing with a large and beautiful cake topper to add height and take the focus away from the cake's lower features.
Hide a Sheet Cake. No one says you must feed your guests the actual display cake. Instead, order a smaller cake for presentation -- and the important moment of cutting that first slice -- and then whisk it into the back to be sliced and diced. In the back, it can join one or more less expensive, less decorated sheet cakes that will be sliced and served.
Discuss the Slice Size. Believe it or not, you can squeeze more servings out of a smaller cake if you negotiate slice size with your wedding cake baker. This may help reduce the need for large sheet cakes or more tiers. Some guests aren't big fans of wedding cake, so they won't mind the smaller size, and those who do want more can either enjoy a second slice later or be served a different featured dessert.
Skip the Styrofoam. It's often thought that you can save money by making one or two of your cake tiers from Styrofoam rather than a full cake. While it may save a little money, you may do better by skipping the extra layers at all... since it's generally the decoration that will eat up the bulk of the cake budget. A better idea is to use fewer tiers but decorate them -- and the table setting itself -- more lavishly.
Eat the Top. Many couples nowadays follow the informal tradition of saving the top tier of the wedding cake for consumption later. If you plan to do this, you may want to reconsider. Freezing and eating it on your first anniversary sounds like a lovely idea, but the reality is that the cake may not even taste good after that long in the cooler. If you're on a budget, you could instead opt to save the cake topper and feed an additional 10 or 12 guests with that small tier.
Whether you decide to make use of one of these easy ideas or all five of them, you and your baker can find the perfect way to stick to your budget while still impressing your guests on your big day.