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Size does matter, especially when it comes to your wedding cake. For many brides, the bigger the better. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a five-tier cake, but the reality of your budget won’t allow it. Not surprising. In today’s tough economy, many brides are forced to find creative ways to stretch their budget, and get more for less. Below are five practical and relatively inexpensive ways to make your wedding cake appear bigger.
1/Increase the Number of Tiers. In a traditional wedding cake, each tier increases in diameter by 4″, so a cake for 100 guests typically has three tiers: 6″, 10″, 14″. Let’s say you have your heart set on a four-tier cake, but you only have 100 guests. Adding an 18″ tier would be cost prohibitive, not to mention extremely wasteful. By decreasing the difference in size of each tier, you could have a four- or even five-tier wedding cake to serve 100 guests. For a five-tier cake, the diameter of the tiers would be 5″, 6″, 7″, 8″, and 9″. The less space between the tiers, the taller and leaner your cake appears.
Keep in mind that this also gives your cake a more streamlined, modern look. Notice the difference in the two cakes below. Both serve 100 guests. The one on the left is a traditional, three-tier cake with three inches between each tier. The one on the right has only a one-inch difference.
2/Elevate your Cake. Another way to increase the grandiosity of your cake is to lift it.
Cake plateaus are more traditional looking, have wider bases, and usually come in gold or silver. (They tend to be pricey, but you can recover almost all of your money by reselling on ebay.)
The term cake plate and cake stand are used interchangeably to mean a plate on a pedestal. Cake stands range from antique to vintage to brand new, with looks ranging from traditional to modern. One caveat of a cake stand: A standard cake stand will accommodate a cake up to 10″ in diameter, while the largest tier of a typical wedding cake is anywhere from 12″ to 18″. Be sure to confirm with your baker the size of your largest tier before you purchase a cake plate so you know it will fit.
Make your own. There are many creative ways to create your own cake stand, but there are some challenges. First, wedding cakes can be extremely heavy–hundreds of pounds–and you have to make sure that your structure can support the weight. Also, your stand should be proportionate to your cake in both height and diameter, so check the dimensions with your baker. Lastly, some designs look better in theory than in practice. Although a glass vase filled with lemons and used as a cake stand might sound like a great idea, it doesn’t mean that it will have the visual appeal that it does in your head. Purchase some dummy cakes in the sizes of your tiers and play around with different ideas before you invest a lot of time and money (not to mention emotion) into your DIY cake stand.
3/Add a Faux Tier. Many cake designers are happy to add a faux (or fake) tier to your wedding cake. Since faux tiers are non-perishable, the designer can work on it weeks in advance (at his or her leisure), so they are generally less expensive than a real tier.
4/Add a Cake Topper. Vintage wedding cake toppers can be found at flea markets, garage sales, or your grandma’s attic. Ebay always has interesting finds as well (just search “wedding cake topper”). Adding a topper will give your cake more height, creating the illusion of a bigger cake. We found the custom toppers below on etsy.com:
5/Use a Smaller Table. The larger your table, the smaller your cake will appear. A cake with a 12″ bottom tier would be dwarfed by a 60″ round table. Using a smaller table will make your cake seem bigger in proportion.
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