wedding cake

Who Pays for the Cake at a Wedding?

Most people think that the hardest thing is to say “Yes” to getting married. Little do they know the real challenge is to decide who pays for what when making the budget.

Unlike ancient times, today, the cost is divided between Bride’s family and the Groom’s family.

Wedding costs like officiant’s fees, honeymoon expenses, floral arrangements, Bride and Groom’s wedding attire, and Groom’s cake are categorized and split among family members.

While the rest is a discussion for some other day, most couples get confused about who’s responsible for paying for the wedding cake.

So we have outlined who pays for the wedding cake and when.

But before moving ahead, here is a disclaimer for all our readers there is no ‘official’ ruling about wedding expenses responsibilities.

Everything is based on tradition and what the couple is comfortable with.

Table of Contents

Wedding Cake Etiquette

wedding cake, bride, groom
Wedding cake, bride, groom

according to the latest wedding traditions the groom’s family pays certain wedding costs and the bride’s family pays the rest of them.

Who is expected to pay for the wedding cake may vary according to the scenario and wedding events.

Although the lines are blurred today when paying for the Groom’s cake, there are some traditional wedding cake etiquettes.

In one scenario the groom’s family or the groom is supposed to pay for the cake, and bride’s family pays in the other scenario.

Below is the traditional breakdown of who should pay for the wedding cakes and when?

Groom’s Family Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner

A wedding rehearsal dinner is more than practicing the wedding etiquette and to be your A-game on the big day! It is, in fact, a wedding necessity and is the ‘party before the actual party.

Like the actual wedding day, there’s a three-course meal served at the pre-wedding dinner. So hence, the Groom’s cake and other desserts are also on the menu.

In addition to the officiant’s fee, and marriage license, and rings, Groom’s family pays for the whole arrangements of the event.

It means that the groom’s parents pays for the rehearsal dinner cake as well.

One thing that is noteworthy is that groom’s family doesn’t have to be his parents always. It can be the groom himself, the grandparents or aunts & uncles.

Even though if the groomsmen choose to pay for the cake at the dinner, it would also be considered as paid by the groom’s family.

Bride’s Family Pay for Reception Cake

The Grooms Cake, aka the wedding cake, became a wedding must-have in Victorian England.

And since it was the time when the bride’s family paid for the different wedding-related costs, they were also expected to pay for the cake.

While a lot has changed since the Victorian era, some wedding traditions are still practiced. Traditionally the bride’s family pays for the wedding cake at the Reception.

wedding, couple, marriage
Wedding, couple, marriage

On very rare occasions, the groom’s family pay for the wedding reception cake. It is when the family wants to bring their own cake for the occasion.

The Couple Pays

The wedding ceremony is all about honoring and cherishing the union of two people in love.

Therefore, they have the right to decide how and what they want for their wedding. Many couples choose to pay for their own wedding cake at the Reception and the rehearsal dinner.

The One Where the Friend & Families Chime In

Another scenario is where the bride and groom’s family or friends pay for both cakes.

Many families or friends (bridesmaids or best men) from either side choose to pay for the wedding cake as a gift to the couple.

How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost?

Whether you follow tradition to pay for the Groom’s cake or choose to break with traditions, it is essential to know the cost of a wedding cake. It helps the couple to make a budget for their big day.

There is no fixed price for the Groom’s cake as many factors may impact it; only an average estimate is made based on pricing lists. 

The average price of a wedding reception cake will be between $185 to $215 as per the National Retail Federation in 2021.

Today the price of a groom’s cake is somewhere around $350. There are also many weddings where the couple pays high money like $700 to $1000 for a cake!

Wedding Cake Pricing Factors

Like any other wedding-related stuff, the pricing for the reception cake may also vary depending on many factors.

Knowing these factors will be helpful for the brides and grooms to make their wedding budget.

Some of the factors that may determine the cost of your reception or rehearsal dinner cake:

  • The size or the number of tiers.
  • Custom-made/themed cake.
  • Intricate designs or labor-intensive designs.
  • Flavors.
  • Ingredients used.
  • Decorations.
  • Frostings used.
  • Time.
  • Delivery fees.
  • Any Add ons.
money, coin, cash - Who Pays for the Cake at a Wedding

Rule of Thumb to Estimate the Wedding Cake Cost

Estimating the cost of your wedding cake is possible and, in fact, quite simple.

All it takes is your guest list to determine how much money you need to allocate to the Groom’s cake.

If you plan to have seated guests and the dessert will be just the wedding cake, you need to have one slice per person.

As per the expert advice, serving a slice for every guest will drive the costs up!

The slice typically prices out the wedding cakes. On average, the cost per cake slice in the US range from $2.50 to $8.00.

Bake shops charge $12.00 per slice for labor-intensive cake designs or exotic ingredients.

For example, an unusual cake like a bleeding armadillo cake (from Steel Magnolias) will have higher prices than a traditional wedding cake. 

So whenever you are estimating the cost of a reception cake, think of the number of people, the ingredients, and intricate shapes & designs.

The Perfect Cake Size for the Wedding!

Many couples think that a perfect cake for the ceremony is well decorated and is great tasting.

In reality, the perfect cake for your big day is one with the right serving size. Here is an idea for the sizes and the number of servings of a traditional round tier cake:

  • Serving for 89: 15-inch round
  • Serving for 78: 14-inch round
  • Serving for 67: 13-inch round
  • Serving for 67: 12-inch round
  • Serving for 47: 11-inch round
  • Serving for 38: 10-inch round
  • Serving for 32: 9-inch round
  • Serving for 24: 8-inch round
  • Serving for 16: 7-inch round
  • Serving for 12: 6-inch round
  • Serving for 8: 5-inch round

Tips to Cut Down Wedding Cake Cost

money, profit, finance
Money, profit, finance

Not everyone has the free budget to spend on a big day’s cake and other traditional necessities.

If the grooms cakes’ price tag is off-budget, there is no need to panic! Certain ways will help you cut down the cake price, including:

  • Add a Dessert Table or Family-style Desserts: Wedding cakes are a tradition, and if you want to follow it, but your budget is not allowing, add a dessert table. According to wedding planners and experts, it is a clever tip that greatly reduces the overall desert cost of weddings. 
  • Serve Half Servings: Another smart trick to cut down the cake expense is serving a guy who serves half of the guests. For example, if you expect 150 guests, then serve 75 slices. It is because most people usually eat a bite or two.
  • Go for Traditional Designs: If your budget is tight, it is better to stick to traditional cake designs or choose simple ones. 
  • Bring in a Faux Cake: With Instagram and other social media platforms rising on the horizon, most couples only want the reception cake for the sake of great pictures. If that’s the case, go for a “Display” cake. 
  • DIY the Cake: If you have a friend or a relative who is good at baking and decorating cakes, ask them to make a groom’s cake for your big day. 
  • Go for Buttercream: When you have a tight budget, it is better to stay with the simpler frostings and flavors, such as buttercream, as they cost less than the exotic ones. 
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