Planning a wedding is an expensive proposition. One area where you may be able to save money is on your wedding cake. Try using the following tips to get a beautiful cake that is also budget-friendly:

1. Use fake cake tiers. If you love the look of tall, multi-tiered wedding cakes but don’t love the hefty price tag that goes along with them, you can create the same look for far less money by using fake cake tiers. Bakers often use faux tiers to create the look of a larger cake on a budget. The tiers, which are typically made of Styrofoam, can be iced to look exactly like the rest of the cake.

In fact, this technique is so effective that some couples even choose to have the majority of their cake created from faux tiers, with only one layer of actual cake that they can cut during their reception. After the cake cutting, several sheet cakes can then be brought out from the back to feed the guests. These cakes are far more affordable than tiered cakes but taste just as good.

2. Opt for fresh flowers on your cake. Hiring a baker to create intricate flowers out of icing can be quite costly. In most cases, you can save money by opting for fresh flowers instead.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you go this route, however. First, you need to make sure that the flowers that you choose are safe for human consumption so that they don’t contaminate your cake. You should also ask to have the stamens removed from the flowers so that the cake doesn’t wind up getting stained.

3. Bake your cake yourself. If you are up for the challenge, you can even make your own wedding cake. Of course, you need to have excellent skills in the kitchen. As long as you are willing and able, however, baking your own wedding cake is a great way to save money – especially if you choose a relatively simple cake design.

If decorating the cake for your wedding seems a little bit out of your skill set, you can even hire someone to decorate a cake that you baked for you. By baking the cake portion yourself, you can often save a lot of money. You may even want to look into signing up for classes on cake decorating. Many communities have adult education courses available that you can use to brush up on your skills.

Alternatively, you could make cupcakes for your wedding. They are really trendy right now, with many couples opting for cupcake towers rather than traditional wedding cakes. Not only do these towers look beautiful but they are easy to create. If you are planning on baking your own cupcakes, wait until the day before your wedding to make them. That way, they will still be fresh on the day of your wedding. You can even solicit help from your friends if you need it.

4. Opt for something besides a fruit-filled cake. In the past, most wedding cakes were filled with fruit. Today, however, there are a lot more options available such as having your cake filled with white chocolate or milk chocolate filling.

When deciding what type of cake to get, make sure that it is capable of standing up to the weight of your decorations. For instance, a sponge cake may not be able to support the weight of heavy icing. If you are planning on adding a lot of decorations to your cake, you may need to choose a dense cake to support the additional weight. For particularly elaborate designs, faux tiers are also a good option since they won’t sag.

5. Choose a bakery that you love. Spend some time visiting bakeries in your area to see which ones you like the most. If you find one that you fall in love with, talk to them about whether or not they can make your wedding cake. Even if they don’t usually make wedding cakes, they often will be willing to help. By going with a standard bakery rather than a cake shop, you can usually save a lot of money while still getting a great cake.