So you wanna know why wedding cakes are so expensive? One reason. Time.
My back story began when I was able to run a dessert shop with my father-in-law back in 2009. It was short lived. I did it to help him out, but in reality it only lasted a season. I got pregnant with #2 and the drive was a solid hour.
I learned so much from that experience. I learned about baking chemistry, I learned how to fix baking boo-boos. How to mix flavors together, how to make mousse that will hold up, how to make the best lemon curd. These things all took time. I’m still learning, to be honest…I hope I will always learn something.
Being brave enough to stack your first cake. To drive with said cake. To finally understand the process of how to make a meringue buttercream. To roll out fondant and apply without tearing or creating elephant skin. Sure, gumpaste is fairly inexpensive to purchase, however, applying 60 petals to a single ranunculus takes time to master and time to create. Getting that buttercream to look like smooth fondant from the outside…can you guess what I’m going to say?
You betcha…it takes time.
I can certainly go on and on of what I have learned over the past 10 years. The confidence you gain over time is valuable. Being able to trouble shoot is valuable. It’s persevering through the fear and disappointment when things don’t go as planned. So, glad to have friends who told me my cakes were amazing, when they clearly were not. They were terrible. Haha. That encouragement kept me going, as it probably does for many other bakers.
I certainly understand that not everyone will appreciate the abilities of cake designers that price themselves to reflect their skills, I once was a bride with a budget, I get it. But it’s more than flour, sugar, butter, eggs.
It becomes an art.
Unlike common opinion, bakers aren’t charging more for wedding cakes just because. There is just more time required to coordinate with all the characters involved. The wedding couple, designing and sketching their dream cake, coordinating with the florists, event planners, maybe even the rental company. Delivering a wedding cake is one of the biggest driving stresses I’ve ever experienced, more so than driving home with my newborn babies. There are many more things to consider than with a simple birthday celebration.
Whoever you choose and whatever your budget is, I hope and pray you find the baker that is right for you. Please, don’t go broke over your wedding. This is the only time you’ll hear me say “it’s just cake.”
Hope this helps clarify the “why.”
Here is some of my early art. ::cringe::