If your heart's set on flowers, go with fresh blooms or choose flat designs such as painted flower motifs instead of ornate sugar flowers. Sugar flowers are very labor intensive—it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to mold and dust one pretty sugar replica. (Now you know why they're so gorgeous.) To pare down the cost, choose a simple cake with one large stem or a spray of flowers on a single-tier cake. Another trick is to choose sugar flower types that don't require as much time and detail. For example, skip the cascade of peonies and shoot for hydrangeas or calla lilies. But fresh flowers are one of your best bets for a cost-friendly alternative. Just let your florist in on your plans so they can source pesticide-free and food-safe buds.
I like to encourage brides to plan on one serving per guest, but if you’re looking to cut your costs you can drop that number down to 20 or so less since not everybody will eat cake, especially if you’re having other types of desserts. But otherwise I would definitely plan on 1 serving per 1 guest. (NOTE: Groom’s cake should be smaller and only plan to serve about half of the wedding guests with it). Here’s a helpful chart that illustrates how many servings wedding cakes typically have per tier:
A tiered cake means that the weight of your top tier (or tiers if you're getting extravagant) rests on the bottom tier. To prevent everything sinking into the cake and ruining your beatifully smooth icing, you need to put in some dowels. These can be foodsafe wood or plastic and are available, like everything else, from cakecraft shops or the internet.
As fun as it is to look at pretty pictures, it's actually really helpful too. You'll start to recognize cake details that you like (and a few things you don't). Then when you're meeting with your potential cake baker (find yours through our All-In-One Wedding Planner app—and take our fun Style Quiz while you're there) you can tell them exactly what you're looking for and ask to see specific examples of designs you know you like. 
We try to accommodate everyone’s schedule, but most appointments are made during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; consultations and tastings last about an hour. In the busy season (April through June and September through October), we need to concentrate on completing orders, therefore, during that time frame, sessions are typically scheduled from Monday to Thursday, but we can occasionally accommodate a Friday appointment. Unfortunately, because we are almost always in production or on location on weekends, we are unable to schedule a tasting for the weekend.
This journey has allowed the company to position itself as a leader within the industry and to partner with and promote charities such as City Harvest. Ron and his team enjoy sharing their expertise and techniques through demonstrations around the world and they currently host their own classes for students in the company’s studio+bakery.  (For more information on classes at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, please refer to Teaching.)
Will a faux cake or a faux tier save you money on your wedding cake?  I’m sorry to say, but the answer is no.  It seems like having a chunk of Styrofoam vs. a piece of delicious cake should cost less.  I know logically, it sounds like it should.  So in an effort to dispel that myth, I will explain why it’s not the case.  A faux tier, or cake dummy, as we call them, costs about the same it does to bake the actual cake.  So, no cost savings there.  Second, I personally find cake dummies more difficult to work with then real cake, so I’m my opinion, it actually takes longer to decorate them then it does real cake.  So the time that it typically takes to decorate can actually be longer, which means, you guessed it, no cost savings there either!
For this particular cake, both the flowers and the cake can be mad quite far in advanc, which removes a lot of stress from the weddng week itself. Like all traditional fruit cakes the cake is made in advanced and soaked in small amounts of liquor ( I used brandy) over a few weeks or months. This will be familiar to anyone who has made a christmas cake.
If you choose to make your own cake, allow yourself some extra time and manage expectations: you (or your bridesmaids) are likely not going to be able to craft a fondant-covered confection worthy of a magazine spread. Simple, rustic decorations are more achievable. You'll also want to plan your calendar accordingly. Take time to make a test cake and keep careful notes.
Let's start with cake shapes. Beyond a traditionally round cake, there are so many other options to consider. Square cakes are a popular choice to showcase a modern aesthetic. But there are also hexagonal, oval, petal-shaped and even triangular cakes with personalities all their own. We’ve even seen asymmetrical or purposely off-center tiers for a whimsical look (Alice in Wonderland, anyone?).
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