I hear this all the time: the wedding cake cost is one of the most surprising expenses in a wedding. While the expense may seem very small compared to the overall cost of the wedding, more times than not, brides underestimate the total cost when planning their budget. And, on top of this underestimation, brides can forget all the  things to consider when determining their wedding cake budget. There are numerous fees surrounding the cake that eventually really add up. In order to help brides determine which additional costs to consider when planning their wedding cake budget, I spoke with talented cake artist, Hannah Meade, of Kingsport, Tennessee’s The Cake Gallery. Read on for Hannah’s amazing advice!

white ruffled wedding cake with orange flowers, provided by tricities cake bakery the cake gallery

1. How detailed your dream cake is will affect your budget.

One of the best things a bride can do before she begins scheduling cake tastings and searching for a cake artist is to determine her budget. If you determine your budget before you decide on the look of your cake, Hannah says you are bound to be much happier with the outcome. This is because how detailed your cake decoration is will drastically affect your budget. So, if your cake artist has a clear budget to work with, he or she can give you a cake that fits your vision and your budget. If it is the other way around, you are likely to fall in love with a cake too elaborate for what you can afford. So, if you want beautiful flowers on your cake, but your budget does not allow for handmade ones, your cake artist can supplement fresh flowers at a lower cost. They will work with you as best they can to give you the cake of your dreams at a price you can afford. So, be open and honest with him or her. After all, the biggest chunk of your cake budget is allotted to the time and artistry of your decorator.

white and blush wedding cake, provided by tricities cake bakery the cake gallery

2. Don’t forget to consider cake cutting fees and cake tasting charges.

Your overall cake budget does not end at your cake alone. When planning your cake budget, Hannah always reminds brides to consider additional fees. Two of the most common are your cake tasting charges and cake cutting fees. Cake tastings are definitely one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. But, they often don’t come for free. So, in order to save costs, brides should really research and narrow down their potential bakeries before scheduling consultations. Otherwise, you will be adding a lot of unnecessary costs to your budget. As for cake cutting fees, these are pretty standard. Whether it is charged by your caterer or venue, you definitely need to find out this cost and include it in your cake budget. While it may sound simple and seem easy to do yourself, it requires a professional’s touch. If you don’t cut the cake right, you most likely won’t get your servings right, meaning no chance of saving the top tier for your one year! Plus, the pieces probably will not look as beautifully cut. So, make sure you include these added fees into your overall budget.

white and crystal winter wedding cake, provided by tricities cake bakery The Cake Gallery

3. Include your cake topper and stand in your overall budget.

Just like you need to include your accessories in your dress budget, your cake can have costly accessories, too! First, check with your rental company or your bakery for cake stand rental fees. Or, if you can borrow one, fabulous! But, make sure you add this cost in. Also, cake toppers can vary substantially in price. Whether you want a few fresh flowers or a Swarovski crystal initial, it is going to cost a little extra. Hannah suggests that if brides choose a cake topper that they select something that complements the cake. If you spend $1,500 on a gorgeous and intricately designed cake, a $10 topper might not look the best. But, fresh flowers could help you stay in budget and look fantastic. So, whatever you decide, make sure that it adds to the overall look while still fitting your budget.

pink wedding cake with lace detail, provided by tricities cake bakery the cake gallery

Tricities wedding cake artist Hannah Meade of The Cake Gallery


Hannah has been an artist her whole life.  She has created beautiful paintings, woodworkings, stained glass pieces, and other special originals since childhood.  Coming from a family with the gifts of artistry and imagination, Hannah has taken what she has inherited and brought her vision to life in The Cake Gallery.  She began her cake journey over eight years ago when a close friend asked her to design her wedding cake.  Hannah accepted the challenge and fell in love with cake decorating.  She has been doing it ever since!

Hannah would love to design your wedding cake. For more information, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook. To schedule a tasting, call 423. 341. 8940, and tell Hannah The Pink Bride sent you!


All images courtesy of Hannah Meade via email.