If your heart's set on flowers, go with fresh blooms or choose flat designs such as painted flower motifs instead of ornate sugar flowers. Sugar flowers are very labor intensive—it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to mold and dust one pretty sugar replica. (Now you know why they're so gorgeous.) To pare down the cost, choose a simple cake with one large stem or a spray of flowers on a single-tier cake. Another trick is to choose sugar flower types that don't require as much time and detail. For example, skip the cascade of peonies and shoot for hydrangeas or calla lilies. But fresh flowers are one of your best bets for a cost-friendly alternative. Just let your florist in on your plans so they can source pesticide-free and food-safe buds.
In Europe in the 19th century, the cakes baked to serve at the christening of an infant were similar to wedding cakes. Eventually, since the wedding cakes were generally made of fruitcake, which would store well, and because the first baby often arrived within a year or so of the wedding, it became traditional to save the top part of the wedding cake to eat in celebration of the couple's first child. More recently, some people freeze part of the cake and save it until the couple's first wedding anniversary.
Ordering fewer tiers can save you pounds. Just having a two-tier cake instead of the traditional three could save you almost £200! Choosing a medium and small tier will also help with the budget, it’s the larger tiers that are the most expensive. If you need more cheap wedding cakes for your guests you can also order cutting bars, which work out cheaper than that extra tier.
You should use a recipe specifically designed to be a wedding cake as it will ensure that it is sturdy enough and that it makes the right amount of batter and icing. For a three-tier cake, you need to make three cakes of 12", 9" and 6", as well as a massive amount of icing. Most three-tier cake recipes have a step-by-step schedule for when you will need to bake and assemble each part.