This Is the Average Cost of a Wedding Cake

How much do wedding cakes really cost?
by The Knot

You probably knew this already, but wedding cakes aren't like the regular ones you can pick up from the grocery store. Rather, each confection is individually made and personalized by some of the best cake bakers out there based on your wants and needs—and of course, the more intricate and elaborate yours is, the more you'll pay. 

According to our 2017 Real Weddings Study, that might be around $540, which was the average amount spent by over 12,000 US respondents. 

Most couples (67 percent) hired professional cake bakers—either a bakery (42 percent) or a custom cake designer (26 percent)—either of which we recommend due to the fact that pros will also know how to transport the fragile confections best. (You don't want an imploded three-tier disaster showing up at your reception.)

Still, there were respondents who either used a friend or family member (15 percent) or didn't hire a cake baker at all (17 percent). According to our study, 9 percent of venue fees will include cake—which would account for the reason some couples didn't use a separate vendor. 

Whether you prefer chocolate, raspberry or almond, wedding cake is generally priced by the slice, and the price can be anywhere from $1.50 to $12 per slice (a wide range, we know), depending on a multitude of factors. You'll sort out the details with your baker, but know that fondant icing (rather than buttercream), fancy filling flavors, elaborate molded shapes, vibrant colors and handmade sugar flower detailing will all raise the price of your dessert. 

And remember: You're not only paying for a product, but a service as well—you'll pay for the cake designer's time and labor too.  

Looking for a cost-cutting option? The secret is assuming guests will only need about half a slice—so if you have a guest list of 300, order cake for 150 people and serve it in "half-servings." (Generally speaking, people will leave slices half-eaten on the table anyway.) Or, you can have the wedding cake of your dreams made on a small scale for a price you can comfortably afford, and simply order cost-effective sheet cakes of the same flavor to be cut in the kitchen. 

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