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The Hidden Costs: Why are Wedding Cakes so Expensive?

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

It’s a common question I’ve seen time and time again. Many respond with “They’ve just added on wedding tax,” or “it’s just cake.” Believe me when I say there is no such thing as “wedding tax” and it definitely isn’t “just cake.” When you buy a bespoke wedding cake you are buying a service. The service a professional baker provides is not just about a delicious and beautiful cake, but also the peace of mind that comes with hiring experience.

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Level cakes, flawless finishes and of course delicious cake is just one part. Designers such as myself have spent many years training and learning, improving our skill levels, spending thousands on equipment, especially for making sugar flowers! As I have a registered food business, it means I have to pay insurance and have to follow strict food safety guidelines to ensure none of your guests become ill or worse have an allergic reaction.

Your auntie or best friend can certainly make you an inexpensive wedding cake but should anything go wrong would they know what to do? Is their skill level up to a good standard? Are you going to love or hate the photos of it? These are definitely things you should consider. We’ve all seen the photos of wedding cakes gone wrong and I really wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone.

Cake cutting is not only a fantastic photo opportunity, but it’s also the first thing you do together as a married couple. It’s a key moment in your day, and it’s important to get it right. There are companies who offer set designs which can be cheaper as this removes a lot of the design process. But for those looking for something personal to them and their day, a bespoke cake is the best way to achieve this.​

"There's no such thing as wedding tax."

Consultations, paperwork, sketches, emails and more admin, ordering custom items, shopping for ingredients, buying equipment, making custom items; this all happens before the oven even gets turned on!

Your wedding cake is a minimum 5 day process - baking, filling & ganaching, covering, decorating and delivering. If your cake has a complicated design involving many sugar flowers this work would involve additional time which would be started weeks, sometimes even months, in advance.

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Let’s not forget all the additional costs involved;

  • Utilities (electricity, water, etc)

  • Rent

  • Business rates and Insurance

  • Advertising

  • Website Design & Fees

  • Branding

  • Taxes & Accountancy fees

  • Fuel (+ wear and tear on the car)

  • An hourly wage so we actually earn an income!

"That's all very well, but can I actually afford a bespoke cake?"

The answer is YES!

There are cake designers out there to suit everyone so it’s important to shop around and find one that fits with your budget and vision. There are several factors that will determine the price of your cake;

  • The complexity of the design

  • The date

  • Size/ servings

  • Venue (which determines the delivery fee)

​If you’re looking for a bespoke cake it’s important to let your designer know your budget. There’s a common misconception that if you let them know your budget, they will charge for you every penny and provide less cake. That’s not the case at all, we want to provide you with the best possible design and size for your budget. Without knowing what you’d like to spend it makes it very difficult to advise on design.

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Whichever suppliers you choose, it's important to do a bit of research, check their previous work and read their reviews and recommendations. We don't want your wedding to end up in the news for all the wrong reasons! Your cake is going to be the centrepiece of your wedding day so it’s important not to cut corners. If you would like to discuss your dream wedding cake please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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