Having a wedding cake (like one of these beauties) is a quintessential part of a wedding. The happy couple cuts the cake together and then attempts to feed each other a bite while simultaneously scheming who will shove cake in the other’s face first. Yes, it’s a long-standing tradition for a wedding, which is why it’s absolutely shocking how much a wedding cake costs these days. Wedding cakes are just so dang expensive, especially for a dessert that will be gobbled up in a mere 20 minutes. That’s exactly why some people are choosing grocery store sheet cake as a more affordable alternative, and to be honest, it’s a genius solution.
The average cost of a wedding cake
If it’s been a while since your big day, or you have yet to plan a wedding yourself, here’s a newsflash for you: Wedding cakes are ridiculously overpriced. According to Wedding Wire, the average cost of a wedding cake these days costs around $500. Most couples will spend between $300 to $689 for their wedding cake, which can sometimes average to $5 a slice.
Along with this expensive wedding dessert, some couples are enticed to purchase a small cutting cake along with the main confection. On top of all of that, some companies will charge a cake-cutting fee. That’s right, a fee to just cut your already outrageously expensive dessert. The fee could be around $1.50 to even $3 per guest.
The price difference is shocking
When you add up the price of an average cake, cutting cake (let’s estimate around $100), and a cake cutting fee of $1.50 for each of your 140 guests (that’s the average number of guests at American weddings these days), the average total you are spending on dessert is $810. That’s a lot for a simple dessert which, sadly, doesn’t always get eaten by everyone.
Now when you compare the price of this cake to a grocery store sheet cake, the results will make you weep. An average sheet cake at Costco serves 48 people and typically costs around $18.99 (which is significantly cheaper than other grocery stores, here’s why). So if you get three sheet cakes to feed 140 guests, that will only cost you $56.97 for dessert.
If you do the math, that’s a $753.03 difference in price compared to the average wedding cake experience. Holy cow.
The trick is to fool everyone
Now if you aren’t totally convinced yet, there’s a special trick you can pull at your wedding that will fool all of your guests. Here it is: Don’t show them your sheet cake.
Recently one newlywed explained how she pulled off this trick at her wedding. An advocate for Costco sheet cakes, Jessica Savage shared how she actually had a small “show cake” on display while everyone else was served a slice of good ol’ sheet cake.
Obviously, the “show cake” option is a bit pricier than just a sheet cake, but it still saves you a ton of money. If you compare the prices again, having a sheet cake and a cutting cake still only costs an average of $156.97, which is still $443.03 less than a typical wedding cake experience (factoring in a $100 cutting cake and a $1.50 cake-cutting fee per person).
According to Jessica (and some TOH staffers), serving grocery store sheet cake is actually quite popular. Wedding cakes are just plain overpriced, and grocery store sheet cake is just plain delicious. We say use that extra cash on a different part of your wedding, or even the honeymoon!