A DIY wedding cake?

Posted by WeddingAces on Jun 15, 2009
Cake Disaster -- Flickr.com

Cake Disaster -- Flickr.com

Do you enjoy slamming parts of your body in car doors?  Do you love a good cry?  Are you afraid that your wedding day is going to be too perfect and you are wondering what you can do to spice it up a bit?  Well then making your own wedding cake may be the perfect project for for you!

There are a lot of great DIY parts of a wedding but unless you are a skilled pastry craftsperson, going DIY on your wedding cake is usually more trouble than it is worth.

Relatively, the wedding cake is usually pretty inexpensive compared with the other really important parts of your wedding. According to The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2008 in the US was $21,814 (down 24% from 2007) and the average wedding cake cost was just $359.00… just under 1.7% of the total wedding cost.  You saw that correctly, on average 98.3% of the money you spend on your wedding won’t be on the wedding cake.  If you think back to the weddings you have attended in the past few years, the minute you walked into the ballroom, what is the first thing you looked for (probably even before you looked for your table)…it was likely the wedding cake. It’s been a focal point of the reception for decades yet when you consider all of the other wedding expenses… it’s relatively inexpensive.

There are also have potential liability issues (assuming your venue will allow food from a non-licensed kitchen to be served). It is food, and all food is potentially hazardous, so if someone were to get sick, ultimately you are the one bears that liability. Sure your family won’t sue you if they get sick from bad eggs, but what about the guy your brother’s ex wife brings…you didn’t even want to invite her and all of the sudden she’s begging you for a +1 and you oblige just to stop the insanity. If she shows up with “Litigious Stranger” (it’s more of a nickname really) he may not be so kind.

Let’s not forget the cost of pans, ingredients, etc. If you are making your own wedding cake you are definitely going to practice it once or twice (after all, having a nice looking cake is half the battle). A couple of practice cakes plus the cost of the pans/pastry bags/offset spatulas/internal supports/etc and you are easily already out of pocket $150+. Add on a dozen or more hours of your time, plus some additional stress on the week of your wedding and your wedding cake is complete… now you just need to safely transport it to your venue and assemble it before you go change into your wedding dress and walk down the aisle.

I am all for saving money, but I am also a huge proponent of stress reduction and when you weigh the amount of stress versus the amount of savings, making your own cake usually isn’t worth it. It may not shock you to learn that the majority of professional cake decorators don’t even decorate their own wedding cakes due to the amount of time and focus it requires during an already crazy week.

I will be posting some great ways to save some money and still get a beautiful cake in the coming weeks!

Happy Planning!