One of the most iconic moments of your wedding day will be the cutting of the cake. Its actually the first activity that you will do as a couple and it is steeped in a lot of tradition. Its also something that your guests will likely get excited about. But how big does your cake need to actually be and how much will you need? I spent some time researching as part of our own wedding planning process. I’d like to share with you what I found here today.
So, in answer to your question, how much cake do I need for my wedding? The amount of wedding cake you need will depend on how many guests you are inviting to your wedding, both the ceremony and the reception. Its generally advised to order more portions than guests, to ensure you have enough to go around. Tiered square cakes will provide more servings than a round cake of the same size. A 14″ based tiered square cake will provide around 100 servings.
One thing you will need to consider is that the cake is be handed around later in the evening, or taken home by your guests. Its not traditionally served as the pudding at the reception dinner.
More is usually better, but you equally do not want to over-order by a significant amount or that just means waste – both in terms of the investment and of the cake itself.
Equally, depending on the number of canapes, wedding breakfast courses and how much food your guests have eaten throughout the day can have an influence on their appetite for the cake later on in the day. Its just something to consider.
Let us now take a closer at those other questions that you will likely have, such as how much cake you should get, the average size of a wedding cake and how much you need for different a different number of guests you may have coming.
How Big Does A Wedding Cake Need To Be?
The size your cake needs to be will ultimately depend on your budget, the number of guests you have and your how you want the cake to look.
One thing to note here is that a traditional wedding cake is tiered, having three different levels that differ in size.
In fact, traditionally, each tier represents and has its own significance:
- Bottom tier is for eating on the day,
- Middle tier is for distributing around to be taken home,
- Top tier is to be saved
Now whether you want to keep to the tradition or do something else entirely is a decision that you as a couple need to make.
Either way, you can expect your cake to be tiered, and this is the typical style and design you will find at most wedding cake bakers.
When it comes to the actual size you want to order, it is best to consult a baker ahead of time and discuss your options.
Thankfully, a lot of bakers have come up with many creative solutions to ensure you order the appropriate amount of cake at a fair price.
For example, the size of tiers can be altered; being slimmer and taller as opposed to chunkier.
How Much Cake Should I Get For My Wedding
The amount of cake you should get for your wedding will involve calculating how much cake that you will need.
To do this, the following tables can serve as a reference and to help you to understand how will typically be required on a guest by guest basis.
Rounded Tiered Cake
(# Of Guests)
Rounded Tiered Cake
(# Of Guests)
As you can see, a rounded tiered cake will naturally serve more people of the same size.
However, many bakers will be willing and able to offer you different cake designs and tier combinations in order for you to order the right amount of cake for your special day.
This works well for weddings of different sizes, and with a different number of guests than those set out above.
Let us now look at the most commonly offered combinations:
Combination Tiered Cake
(# Of Guests)
As you can see, bakers manipulate the tiers to ensure that you meet your needs a lot more closely, if required.
What Is The Average Size Of A Wedding Cake?
The average size of a wedding cake is 5-6 tiered, with a base tier of 16″ or greater. This will serve around 150-175 guests.
The average size of a wedding cake slice is around 1 inches wide, 2 inches long and 4 inches tall. However, serving sizes can vary depending on how the wedding venue decides to cut the cake.
These numbers are based on the numbers quoted by the Brides American Wedding Study, which stated that the average wedding has around 167 guests, with few exceeding 200.
If we were to assume that each wedding ordered and provided the appropriate amount of cake, we can soon see that their cakes were relatively large to ensure there was enough to go around.
How Much Does A Wedding Cake Cost?
The average wedding cake costs between $300-$500, but you should look to budget between $2-$15 per slice.
The total cost of your wedding cake however can vary, depending on the size of the cake your order, the style and design of the cake, the type of frosting and/or flavor, and the baker that you decide to purchase from.
You’ll also need to factor in some additional costs, such as the delivery of the cake to the venue and the cake cutting costs. Unfortunately, most venues will charge you to cut and serve your cake (unless you have purchased as all-inclusive venue package).
From there, other costs to potentially consider are those such as personalized napkins, or those that are slightly different or more personal than the venues standard offering.
If this cost of a wedding cake is of concern, here are some practical tips to help lower the cost:
- Consider asking a friend or family member make your wedding cake (with baking experience of course!)
- Consider using ‘fake cake layers’ – giving an illusion your cake is larger and minimizing cost and cake waste.
- Have a smaller cake for the ceremony, offering something more affordable to the guests.
- Consider different frostings; Buttercream for example is usually up to $1 cheaper per slice.
- Consider not having a cake altogether; serving a fun and modern desert to excite your guests.
The amount of cake you will need at your wedding will be highly individualized to you.
It will depend on a lot of factors, such as your guest list, budget and your own preferences.
That being said, its important to run the calculations ahead of time. Ordering too much or too little cake is equally as frustrating. With not enough to go around or throwing away a lot of expensive cake just not being ideal.
Thankfully, wedding cake bakers have gotten very creative and there are a lot of different options available these days.
One of the best things you can do is to spend a bit of time researching for what you want. Contact and consult with a number of different reputable bakers and see what they can do for you.
Otherwise, do not forget to seek out a bit of professional advice. Having the facts about your wedding can make a lot of difference here, including the arrangements of your day.
Simply asking the venue is an often overlooked, yet useful conversation to have.
A wedding cake of 110-125 servings is advised for 100 guests. This would typically be a 5-tiered rounded cake, with a base of 14-16″. Otherwise, a combination cake consisting of 3 tiers (8+10+12″) should provide you with an appropriate amount to serve.
A wedding cake of 150-175 servings is advised for 150 guests. This would typically be a 5-tiered rounded cake, with a base of 16-20″. Otherwise, a combination cake consisting of 5 tiers (12″+6″+6″+10″+10″) should provide you with an appropriate amount to serve.
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.