Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot questions whether her three-tiered wedding cake should take pride of place during her nuptials...
I've been planning my wedding since I was six-years-old so it's hardly surprising that a few key details have changed after 22 years. A Needle and Thread sequinned gown has overtaken my Cinderella costume and festival food trucks serving lobster macaroni cheese have trumped my previous selection of angel hair pasta with ketchup. There is however one constant - my wedding cake.
Just like my six-year-old wedding planner self, I want a beautiful three-tiered luxe wedding cake. Base tier - chocolate fudge cake, middle tier - peanut butter and chocolate cake and top tier - a lemon drizzle cake - all packaged up into a Pinterest-perfect display covered in flowers. Then in addition, I would like Godiva chocolate strawberries and warm homemade chocolate chip cookies for each of my guests with their names on them.
To put it bluntly, I have big plans. But from pink peonies to Missoma bridesmaid necklaces, I also have a lot to buy and in the absence of the limitless budget I thought I would be working with during my formative years, I'm finding it hard to allocate funds.
This begs the question, how much should I actually be spending on my luxurious wedding cake?
Cake experts at Jackandbeyond.com have been doing some digging around extravagant wedding cakes - particularly for celebrities - and how much these high profile names are paying for them.
The answer? A lot. In fact, I now feel a bit sick.
According to their research, the most extravagant celebrity wedding cake goes to Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, who dropped approximately £15,000 on their bridecake. Other notable names in the research were Grace Kelly and Rainier III who spent £10,000, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at £6,500, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at £6,000, George and Amal Clooney at £5,600, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at approximately £2,900.
Unsurprisingly, I now have a problem. I want a spectacular wedding cake, but I don't have a celebrity budget.
It's safe to say I need some money-saving wedding cake tips fast, so in an attempt to a few cut corners and shave off some expenses, I got some advice from Jackandbeyond’s bespoke cake consultant Sophia Zimmer - and I think if I make a few of her changes, it might just push my costs down to budget.
'When it comes to wedding cakes, the taller the cake, the higher the price. Having double tiers or many layers will bring up the cost,' Sophie explains. 'If you are worried that a smaller cake might not feed all your guests, you can get around this by ordering some additional cutting cakes of the same flavour. You can even go for individual cakes only and get a beautiful cake stand to display them.'
She continued: 'Frosting is your friend! Frosted or half naked tiers are often more moderately priced than the equivalent covered in Sugar Paste or Marzipan. Frosting can also easily be textured to play with the effect.
'Another tip if you want a gorgeous cake but you’re on a budget is to keep it simple. The more (handmade) decorative elements you add to the cake, the more it will cost. You can create very elegant looking cakes with relatively simple elements. Fresh flowers for example, even just a few, always look great and can be matched to your table decorations or theme for the wedding. You can also combine them with greenery and / or fresh fruit and your cake will look stunning!'
And Sophie's top tip? To look for a bakery that offers a Wedding Cake Consultation Service. 'A good Wedding Cake Consultant will be able to design a cake with you that matches your budget, looks great and is unique to you and your wedding,' she explains. 'Feel free to bring in colour samples or ideas for inspiration, but be realistic, not everything you can find on the internet actually works on a real cake.'
There we have it - three separate one-tiered cakes, plenty of frosting, fresh flowers and a cake consultation.
Ok - that's some money saved on the cake. Now, onto everything else!
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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