The title of this article might just make you think that I’m crazy! I know the last thing you want to be doing the morning of your wedding is piping frosting onto a three layer cake. I guess I should have made the title something more like- ‘Have Someone Make Your Own Wedding Cake’- but that just didn’t sound as good!
A couple of months ago I took a Wilton cake decorating class at a local craft store. The class was once a week for four weeks and cost only $20. I learned quite a bit about cake decorating and, with the knowledge I’d gained, was able to make a simple wedding cake for my cousin. Now, don’t get me wrong here- it was not amazingly detailed or anything. But it was pretty and simple. And it saved her a lot of money!
I’m the kind of person who just loves creating things. I love to bake and make my food look beautiful when I serve it. To me, that cake decorating class was so fun and taught me skills that I’m going to use forever.
So here’s what I’m thinking. If you know someone like me who loves to bake or has an artistic eye, and you’re looking for a way to get a cheap wedding cake- offer to pay their tuition to a cake decorating class in exchange for a simple wedding cake! The class will only cost you about $20 and the Wilton cake decorating classes are offered in craft stores all over the state (usually at Robert’s or JoAnn’s). There’s bound to be one close to your friend’s home. (to search for class locations go to http://www.wilton.com/classes/local_classes.cfm) Your friend gets to learn skill she’ll have forever and you get a big discount on a wedding cake! I personally think it’s a great idea. There’s still a couple cake classes I’d like to take and I’d personally love to make another wedding cake for exchange for another class!
Here are a couple things to remember. First of all, there are four different cake classes offered by Wilton. They don’t have to be taken in order, though if your friend has no prior cake decorating skills it might be a good idea to start with the basics. Also, the first two classes deal with frosting (such as butter cream) And the last two deal with fondant. Make sure she learns about the cake decorating style you want for your cake!
Also, realize that while you are paying for her to take a class, she’s still doing you a big favor! The class is more of a way to say thank you than to actually pay her. She’s going to be doing a lot more than $20 worth of work for you! Make sure you remember that! Here are a couple things to be flexible about-
- Pick only one cake flavor. It can be a delicious one, but just pick one! That will keep the baking time to a minimum.
- Make sure you give her enough money to cover all the ingredients and a cake stand. If you’re going to have a big cake, made from scratch with real butter in the frosting and lots of delicious things baked into the cake (like nuts or lemon curd or chocolate chunks etc)- plan on over a hundred dollars for this! (and if you ignore my advice and go for more flavors it can get into $200-$300) I know it sounds crazy, but a big cake takes a LOT of ingredients! If you want to save money, just have a basic flavor of cake, like vanilla with chocolate frosting. You could even make it super easy and go with a cake mix flavor!
- If she’s not comfortable doing a tiered cake(where the cakes are all piled on top of each other), be open to having cascading layers (where the different sized cakes are next to each other on different levels of cake stands). A tiered cake is really pretty until it falls over! If she doesn’t know what she’s doing, the cake stands are definitely a better option!
- Get her some helpers for dealing with the cake on the big day. Baking a cake is one thing. Transporting it is another. And cutting and serving it to 500 people is a not always a fun job!