Rent Your Next Wedding Cake!

We’ll admit, there’s a small part of us that’s impressed with the idea—save money on your wedding by renting a fake super fancy cake, and serve the guests a far cheaper sheet cake! But then we think about the bloated ecosphere of wedding planning, and how pointless it all is, and how nobody stays together anyway, and how “the perfect wedding” is all about vanity and wish fulfillment instead of expressing your love… and then we like this idea even more.

(Mmm, we’ll take another slice of that delicious cynicism pie, please.)


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  1. Tightlines says:

    $150 to rent a fake cake? Maybe I’m naive, but that seems way too expensive. How much does a normal cake cost?

  2. Snowlovers says:

    * The average cost of a wedding cake is $543, according to The Bridal Association of America.
    * For wedding cakes, most bakeries and pastry chefs charge by the slice. A low-end option would be a smaller tiered cake in chocolate or vanilla paired with a sheet cake for cutting for around $1.50 a slice.
    * A mid-range two- or three-tiered cake in a standard flavor such as chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake or lemon poppy seed with buttercream icing and minimal fondant decorations can run $5 or $6 a slice.
    * A high-end multi-tiered gourmet cake with flavored fillings, fondant icing and elaborate fondant, gum paste and sugar decorations can run $10 or more per slice.

    from :[]

  3. chiieddy says:

    My wedding cake was included in the hotel package. Made life easier.

  4. Ciao_Bambina says:

    You don’t even have to have a cake!

    I (and several others) helped a friend make about 350 large cupcakes for her wedding this summer. There were several different flavors of cake and different colors of frosting, with cute sprinkles. The bride rented inexpensive tiered wire holders for table display, which the catering staff kept filled.

    I don’t remember exactly how much it cost, but literally pennies per cupcake. And we had fun doing it, the 150 guests loved them, got to take some home and we froze the rest for the first anniversary party!

  5. Mr. B says:

    The one and only wedding I’ve ever been too did this. I was confused at first until someone explained this concept. If a ‘rental’ is $150, doesn’t seem like enough of a savings to lose the cake cutting moment.

  6. AlexDitto says:

    Or make your own cake! Then it’s delicious and special and relatives will talk about how you’re cheap behind your back. No one will ever ask to borrow money from you! Awkward money-deals with relatives averted forever!

    Sure, it won’t be pretty and professional, but maybe it won’t taste like crap. Fondant, seriously? Horrible! Also I won’t feel bad slicing into it with a small chainsaw.

  7. Ben_Q2 says:

    Cake is easy. Its the icing that hard, its also the icing your paying for. I do them all the time. For the most part I just charge $100 for most. Until they ask for more and more and more.

  8. Sanveann says:

    Wow … that IS pricey. I don’t think my wedding cake was more than $200 or $250. (It wasn’t uber-fancy, but I thought it was very pretty, AND we actually got to eat it!)

  9. Xerloq says:

    My wedding was all about the love, baby. DIY style on the cheap.

    My gadgets are about vanity.

  10. samurailynn says:

    I think the nicely shaped wedding cakes are really pretty. I don’t know how worthwhile they are though. Do people really remember the cake?

    I didn’t have cake on my wedding day. Shoot… I don’t even think I had any dessert on my wedding day. Of course, the only people there on my wedding day were me, my fiance turned husband, the minister, and the photographer. Later that night we hung out with the bartender at the hotel bar and she gave us a couple of free glasses of wine. Wine is better than cake.

  11. reynwrap582 says:

    For our wedding, we ordered 90 very nicely decorated and very delicious cupcakes that came on a sterling silver stand, with a 6″ cake at the top for the cutting. The best part was serving the cake took absolutely no effort. It worked out very nicely, and for less than $250.

  12. mikey07840 says:

    I threw a wedding for my best man… at my house. Catering from a deli included 6 foot subs, mac & cheese and sausage and peppers. The wedding cakes were two sheet cakes from Costco. Fun was had by all… I gave the best that I could afford.

  13. Brazell says:

    This is pretty common to have a fancy looking cake, or a fancy cake for the bride and groom to keep, and then serving sheet cake, which usually tastes better. Wedding cake is nasty anyway… that frosting is gross.

    But, yeah a lot of people are doing alternatives to wedding cake. My sister did ice cream sundaes and then more traditional cake, it was a big hit, the staff brought all of the stuff out to the tables, and everybody got a scoop of ice cream and could add their own toppings. It was great.

  14. failurate says:

    Is this like… you don’t actually buy beer, you only rent it?

  15. Bryan Price says:

    The local grocer did a sheet cake in the shape of two hearts together, carrot cake with cream cheese icing (I know go the the same store and pick up a brick if I’m hungry for my wedding cake!). My wife tried to drag me into all the details. It was my first, and her second, and she thought the wedding should have been about me (I disagreed…).

    It was an outside wedding on a beach, with the reception at a hotel on the beach. I originally wanted hamburgers, bratwurst and weiners (It was a beach party theme), but then it was the same price just to have a nice seafood feast, so we went with that.

  16. Metschick says:

    My wedding cake ([]) was a fake. I don’t know exactly how they did it, but they had delicious, undecorated (just had icing) cakes in the kitchen waiting to be cut up for the guests.

  17. Ya know the cake is days or weeks old and pretty much sux?

    (yes, weeks old because often the cake has been stored in a freeze and then thawed hours before being served)

    How about having a show cake for the bride and groom to play with…. and serving slices from a decent, FRESH and reasonable priced sheet cake cut in the back room? The guests will never know they got a slice of substitute cake… actually they might know because the cake would be edible.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      @Corporate-Shill: My husband’s cousin did that at her wedding, and believe me, we all knew that the cheap, nasty grocery store sheet cake we were served was not the same as the fancy cake that we saw them cut and serve to the wedding party. People certainly remember it, but not in a favourable way.

      My husband and I were married almost five years ago and we still get compliments on the delicious, beautiful cakes we served to our guests whenever the subject of weddings comes up. Pound cake with lemon curd filling for the bride’s cake, red velvet armadillo for the groom’s cake. As a former professional baker myself, I’m pleased that people remember our cake for good reasons and not for the reasons they remember the cheap cake served at the cousin’s wedding.

  18. Vastarien202 says:

    For my wedding, we went uber-cheap.
    My mum let us use her screened-in porch, and we had tons of fun decorating it with Autumn garlands of lights and leaves. She sewed the runner for the altar (my step-dad built that!), and also hand-made my dress.
    The cake was wonderful too, it looked ordinary until it was cut, then you could see the inside: somehow, it was checkerboard! All in all, I think we spent about 500 bucks on the whole thing, and it was perfect. This whole massive wedding trend is simply stupid and wasteful.

  19. DaWezl says:

    We had a Carvel ice cream cake for our wedding. Of course, since it was a special occasion, we sprang for the extra crunchies.

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      I’m imagining the happy couple cutting into a “Fudgie the Whale” cake….

    • sockrockinbeats says:

      @DaWezl: Heck yes, I LOVE Carvel. I’ve been trying to convince my fiance for about two years that its a good idea to get a Carvel cake for our wedding…unfortunately she doesn’t agree.

  20. homerjay says:

    For my daughters wedding I’m proposing that we replace the cake with a tastefully arranged display of donuts. :)

    • misslisa says:

      @homerjay: My cousin actually did have Krispy Kremes instead of wedding cake. The donuts were arranged on a tiered tray, to simulate the shape of a wedding cake. The “dinner” at the noon reception was scrambled eggs, sausage, and french toast. The beverages were coffee and orange juice. One of the best wedding receptions ever!

      For those who mentioned carrot cake: My wedding cake was also carrot cake with pink cream cheese icing. (Yes pink, because it was the 80s after all.) Because it was down South, we also had a groom’s cake – dark chocolate with strawberries on top. Although I’d like to forget that failed marrieage, I will never forget those delicious yummy cakes!!

  21. seraphicstar says:

    at my wedding we had a smaller display cake and a big sheetcake in the back. it worked out well since i think total it was like, 150.

  22. Gorphlog says:

    The cake is the biggest waste of money in a wedding. Most of the time people dont eat it, and its only used for a prop for the first bite. You can buy Duncan Hines in the grocery store for like $1.50 and make it yourself. Thats what Ill have at my wedding

  23. TommyFeds says:

    We had the cake the hall provided, which was very nice, but we also had Krispy Kreme deliver fresh Donuts at the end for all to take home! mmmmmmmm

  24. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    …modern trends considered… don’t just rent the cake… rent the spouse too! Thousands spent while courting… Tens of thousands of dollars spent on a wedding… Hundreds of thousands spent on the matrimonial home… Thousands spent on counseling… ALL of it given to the lawyers during the divorce.

    Gosh, rent the spouse by the hour, day or week and you will still come out ahead of the game.

  25. sir_eccles says:

    The trick with getting stuff for a wedding is not to mention it is for a wedding.

    As soon as you mention something is for a wedding, you have to use the mysterious wedding price list which is much more than the standard one.

  26. aloe vera says:

    I’m suddenly really hungry for cake!

    We hired a caterer (the mom of one of my hubby’s friends) to do our cake. We wanted something simple that didn’t need to come from a bakery.

    She did an awesome job, and even made a smaller gluten free cake for my mom who has Celiac Disease for free!

  27. Meretrice says:

    I think everyone who is commenting about what they did at their wedding is missing the point. The Consumerist is offering a tip for your *next* wedding.

    Me, I am not planning on having another wedding, so I guess I’ll have to dream about cake rentals. Sigh.

  28. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    Seems like a good idea…I mean, we all just ‘rent’ food anyway. It’s not like it sticks around for an extended period of time. And if it decides to stay longer than intended, you ‘rent’ a cleaning service and it all comes out in the end.

  29. Underpants Gnome says:

    unfortunately, my fiancee wouldn’t go for the Krispy Kreme donut cake… Our cake is included in the reception package, which was one of the reasons for choosing that particular restaurant.

  30. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    I have an idea, how about renting your wife! Oops, sounds a lot like prostitution–still something to consider.

  31. jusooho says:

    When I had my wedding, we made rings of aluminum foil, and said our vows at city hall. Our friends bought us pizza at our house for a nice, intimate reception.

    No not really, but it seems that all these discussions about weddings on the internet seems to be who can out-cheap who.

    • jmuskratt says:

      @jusooho: Thank you for saying that.

      We spent relative fortune on our wedding, it kicked ass, and our guests had a great time.

      Guess I’m just stupid for spending money on “memories.”

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @jmuskratt: Guess I’m stupid too, cause I didn’t even think my cake ($500) was very expensive. It was gorgeous, huge (3 tiers, and the bottom two tiers fed 100 people) and it was absolutely the most delicious wedding cake I’ve ever had. It was soft and buttery and moist, and I totally trusted my pastry chef to do the right thing. Mom and pop working out of their home kitchen, however, I didn’t trust so much. They weren’t quite using great ingredients, and they were charging about the same as the professionals.

        I think a lot of couples forget that it’s not about the bottom line, and saving money – it’s about getting what you want at the quality you want without breaking the bank. We’re not in debt, and we did spend a small fortune. Our photographer was $1,600. But it was worth it, because our photos are amazing and we have full rights to them. It certainly beats what a lot of those annoying wedding magazines and websites suggest – to save money, hire a photography student from a local college. Why go to the real doctor? Just find a first year medical student!

        I did cut my budget in other ways…my dress was only $300 but it was beautiful and I loved it. You can’t buy memories, but it means a lot not to look back on my special day and remember all the ways you had to cut corners to save a hundred bucks. And believe it or not, it gets obvious when you’re trying to DIY or out-cheap (as jusooho said) each other.

        And how does that translate into how you treat your guests? “Here, we’re very cheap, so we’ll serve you really bad food because we didn’t spend an extra $500 to get a better caterer” – how does that make you feel as a guest? You’re not important enough that the couple getting married is willing to spend a little more money to look nice and to throw a nice wedding? It’s not just about couples feel about themselves and each ot her, it’s a reflection on how much they care about their guests. I find it insulting when I go to a wedding and the food is poorly done, or the cake tastes bad. If you try a cake when you interview a baker, you better expect that deliciousness on your wedding day. So when I have bad wedding cake, it’s also a sign of cutting corners. There are better ways of limiting spending and budgeting – a lot of couples are just into the bottom line without considering the importance of putting in real effort, and it’s a shame.

  32. Mistrez_Mish says:

    Yipe… $150….

    Forget that, my fiance and I are going with a small pretty cake from a bakery in Chinatown and a sheet cake for additional servings. $200

  33. opsomath says:

    Remember, weddings are all about appearances, not about substance!

  34. velvetjones says:

    We had a great cake at our wedding, a beautiful three-tiered number that was reasonably priced and all-butter deliciousness. Since that “small” cake wouldn’t feed everyone we ordered a separate “backup cake” which was just a sheet cake and it was far less expensive.

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, if you’re keeping up with the Joneses at your own wedding, for fear that someone will judge you, those people shouldn’t be invited. A friend of mine asked me what was the cake like at the last wedding you were at? I mean really what was ANYTHING like at the last wedding you were at? Chances are, none of you remember anything but WHAT YOU WERE DRINKING that night. So spend your money throwing a great party, that’s all people care about. NOBODY CARES HOW MANY RIBBONS YOU CAN THREAD INTO YOUR PROGRAMS, FAVORS, etc. Not a one. Top shelf open bar? Everyone remembers that.

  35. FLEB says:

    My wife and I actually used this company for my wedding last year. The thing that I particularly liked, aside from the modest cost, was that the styrofoam structure of the cake allowed for a lot more interesting design options that ended up far more structurally sound than a traditional cake. On the day of the wedding, it was just a matter of picking up the cake, throwing it in the back of the car, and going.

    Our “real cake” slot (there’s a notch to place real cake so you can cut into it) was filled with custard long-johns, too.

    I’ll throw my recommendation toward Kimberly Aya and FunCakes– my wife and I are both designers, and wanted something less conventional and a bit more difficult– Kimberly was both accomodating and enthusiastic toward making something fun and unique when we started throwing out ideas.

    I had a photo, but apparently my Gallery2 install is on the fritz. [] – It’s the “Square Choco” on the bottom of page 1.

  36. Ein2015 says:

    I’m serving pie at my wedding. Cynicism pie.

    (That and I hate cake. I’ll save that money. :D)

  37. edosan says:

    The last wedding I went to had cupcakes. Better than the average wedding cake, too.

    For out wedding, a friend made a cake as her gift to us.

  38. madfrog says:

    Not a bad idea, really. Cuts down on the wedding cake mishaps. The problem is that I wouldn’t even think about ordering 90% of their stock cakes, let alone pay for one. So I guess I would have to design my own. That poker one is just gawd awful,it really takes the cake, pun intended!

  39. justcatie says:

    Why rent a cake or for that matter, any of that other wedding foolishness. Borrow a dress and elope. My entire wedding cost 25.00 plus the gas to get to the church – 11 years later we’re still rocking the holy matrimony thing, and didn’t have any wedding debt at all. in the end we were still married, even without our relatives getting trashed at an open bar and twurking it with grandma to “baby got back”

    our friends that spent thousands getting hitched – and some are still paying off the wedding they put on cards well after the ink was dry on the divorce papers. So glad that’s not us.

    ugh, the wedding industry makes me sick…

  40. Jabberkaty says:

    Gosh, my wedding cake was all about yummy and less about pretty. Made sure it had tasty frosting – no icky fondant. Chocolate cake on top and bottom and vanilla cake (for weirdos who don’t like chocolate – hey you can’t pick your family). It was still pricey ($300, I think – it’s been awhile) cause it was a wedding cake and hubby & I have big families, but it TASTED good.

    My wedding was less about making a perfect day and more about making sure both families has a rocking time. Mission accomplished!

  41. Jabberkaty says:

    grr. too many typos to fix. but for the record vanilla tier in the middle, has=had. I’m off to get coffee.

  42. My husband and I aren’t big cake fans. So we had make-your-own brownie sundaes instead.

    Not sure if that ended up cheaper than a cake or not, since our caterers went a little crazy and had four different gourmet brownie types to choose from and a huge sundae bar.

  43. amuro98 says:

    Japanese weddings have been doing this for years. The happy couple simply rents “the cake” – there are 3 or 4 styles for them to choose from – they aren’t nearly interested in the cake as some Americans are. The cake has a slot in the back for the couple to insert the knife. The deluxe models features a large rotating platform with a table and the cake on top of it. When the couple inserts the knife into the cake, it hits a switch that causes some dry ice to drop into a pail of water, while the pedestal slowly spins, and dramatic music swells throughout the wedding hall.

    I don’t think the Japanese actually eat cake at the wedding – they consider cake to be too sweet.

    For my wedding, we went with a cake from a Chinese bakery. We were in a hurry, so we just pointed to the type of cake, type of filling, and just went with their standard “wedding cake” design. Took us 15 minutes to order. I don’t recall how much it was. $250 I think? That included delivery. We went with the Chinese bakery because their cakes aren’t as sweet as their Western counterparts.

    That was just under 5 years ago. I don’t remember the cake, except that it was white.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If you’re on a budget, I get it, or if you just don’t care about the cake – but my question is, if you don’t care about having a cake, why the heck go through the process of renting one? Just get the damn cake and pay the money or don’t have a cake. I find renting a fake cake a little tacky. Plus, when the cake cutting photos come back, whether people know it’s a fake cake or not doesn’t matter – it’s your wedding cake, and it’s fake. AND it was $150! For $150 you can actually do pretty cupcakes or something similar.

      @amuro98: My parents thought to ask me whether I wanted a Chinese-style cake at my wedding. I’m Chinese, husband isn’t. I understand that a lot of Asian cultures don’t enjoy how sweet “typical” western style cakes are, but most wedding cakes (unless the filling is that way) aren’t that sweet. I find that the cheaper wedding cakes have cheaper frosting and filling, and that’s why the sweetness factor is raised. You have to mask the lack of rich cream taste with a ton of sugar. Ugh. The last wedding I went to, the cake tasted like a bad twinkie. The frosting wasn’t creamy or buttery, it was greasy and it made the napkins go transparent. NOT good quality.