Wedding Reception

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

With the changing times, where being untraditional is completely acceptable, there are couples that opt out of having a traditional wedding cake for their wedding.  Some couples are choosing to do dessert bars or even a pie station. However, in the past couple of years, there has been a transition back to a traditional romantic wedding.  With that, the importance of the wedding cake comes back into focus.

Couples do not just want a simple wedding cake, but they want to take the design of the cake to a whole new level. Even for smaller weddings, couples are requesting faux cake layers so that they can have the appearance of a very tall multi layered cake. So, how much does a wedding cake cost?

What Influences the Cost of Wedding Cakes?

There are several factors that go into play. Wedding cakes are not created equal, and there are even bakeries that will use boxed mixes. The couple needs to determine what is important to them. First, consider the ingredients. Bakeries that bake from scratch and uses local organic ingredients will be more expensive. Just factoring the ingredients alone, the prices will range from $12-$15 per person for a cake that has organic ingredients. For cakes that are not organic, prices can range as low as $4 to $8 a person. Usually, that pricing is for buttercream frosting and a more basic style cake that has piping.

New Trends in Wedding Cakes

The complexity of design also affects prices. With the popularity of shows like Cake Boss, couples are pushing for more, but couples that opt for a more elaborate cake can expect to pay more. There is no such thing as being off limits as far as cake designs go; some have watercolor designs, elaborate sugar flowers, and extensive amount of décor.

In the past, a lot of the designs were being done with fondant, which is a thick paste made of sugar and water and does not taste very good. Now, dessertiers are opting to be more creative using chocolate molds and buttercream. For a more decorated cake, couples can expect to pay $18 per person and up, depending on what has to go into the design.

Wynn Austin Bio:Wynn Austin Events is an award-winning, highly sought after Southern California’s full-service wedding & events consulting & design firm. Professionally trained through the prestigious Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, owner Wynn Austin has been recognized as an industry leader and expert in the wedding planning industry. Wynn and her staff realize that their clients regard their wedding day is the most important day of their lives, Wynn Austin Events carefully plans and designs every event to incorporate the unique and unexpected details that will create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for their clients. You can see more of their work here: or on Instagram.

Photo credit for top photo: Cake by Michele Coulon Dessertier; Photo by Wynn Austin Events

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

When thinking of standing out in a sea of similar weddings, look no further. We’ve surely got you covered with the top 10 ways to wow wedding details, guaranteed to knock the socks off your guests.

Festive cocktails

Arrival Cocktails

I know it sounds silly, but presenting guests who arrive at the venue with an infused water beverage (think spa water), a mimosa (for brunch style weddings), a champagne (for evening weddings), or a nice glass of sparkling cider is sure to be a hit. As guests arrive via valet, or walking into the venue, a greeting with a butler-passed cocktail makes your guests feel special, and gets them in the mood for a relaxed ceremony.

Beverage Station Bars

While on the topic of cocktails, why not wow your guests with something different than the standard open bar.  These beverage bar ideas are starting to become trendy for weddings and bridal showers alike.  They can include alcohol or an option for those who would rather stick to a non-alcoholic beverage.  Below are our top 10 ideas!

  • Mimosa Bar
  • Bourbon Bar
  • Craft Beer Bar
  • Bloody Mary Bar
  • Sangria/Prosecco Bar
  • Lemonade Bar
  • Iced Tea Bar
  • Infused Water Bar
  • Juice Bar
  • Hot Cocoa Bar

Midnight Snacks

Surprise your guests with a midnight snack or aftertizer.  Here are some great ideas for options, sweet and savory!

  • Food trucks
  • Donuts in a bag
  • Mini sliders, pizzas, grilled cheese points, hot dogs and fry shooters
  • Cookies and milk
  • Pancakes and syrup
  • Popcorn
  • Chicken and waffle bites

Trolley for wedding transport

Fun Transportation

Offer your guest some local fun transportation in style. Trolleys, electronic carts, charter boats, buses, horse and carriage.  The options are endless! Keep them on their toes, and arriving on time and in fashion.


Bring your social media to life, and invite your guests in to take photos and capture fun memories from their eyes. Place your social media hashtag at fun spots like the bar, the candy buffet, the DJ booth, the gift or guestbook table. You can even have your band or DJ announce it in the opening announcements. Always fun to spend your honeymoon looking through all the fun photos that your family and friends took.

Hashtag photos

 To-go parting gifts

Instead of a typical inexpensive wedding favor like a bell or a glass coaster, why not send your guests away with a fun, memorable treat like a mini emergency or hangover kit?  Here are some ideas to place inside of them:

  •      Visine
  •      Mini bottles of Advil
  •      Airborne packets
  •      Emergen-C packets
  •      Band aids
  •      Bloody mary mix
  •      Small vodka bottle
  •      Personalized sunglasses
  •      Hangover pills
  •      Ginger ale
  •      Tums
  •      Gatorade
  •      Pepto Bismol
  •      Protein Bars

Hire a babysitter/host games for the kids

Hire a few babysitters based on your guest count of those with children. Utilize a room close to the reception space so that parents can pop in on their children often throughout the long evening. Make sure you have a cute basket of snacks, a few fun DVD’s or portable DVD player, some board games, and crafts. If you have an outdoor space, you can even host a fun relay of games for the kids (tiring them out), and then have a back-up room for them to relax. Parents will love you!

Secret singers/musician

Have you ever been to a ceremony where random secret musicians or singers popped up in the crowd of guests and sang to the bride and groom and awed the people? This is an ideal surprise for large weddings.  Think of the movie Love Actually–having a group of musicians/singers serenade you and your new spouse to the tune of your most favorite songs. You can even have them seated in the reception as guests and secretly have them pop up during a silent time, possibly during first or main course and croon for your crowd. What a memorable small secret suggestion that will be spoken about for years to come!

Surprise musicians

Setup reception with pre-planned necessities

Rain forecasted? Have umbrellas ready on site. Forecasted swell of heat? Have fans and parasols ready. Forecasted freezing temps? Have pashminas ready. Always prepare early, and wow your guests with items already thought of to ease their minds, and make you the superstar couple. Here are some great details guaranteed to impress:

  • Bug wipes
  • Sunscreen bottles
  • Restroom emergency kits
  • Flip flops for the dancefloor
  • Slippers upon exiting
  • Tissue packets for ceremony
  • Mini water bottles for warm ceremony locations

Simply Couture Weddings is an award-winning boutique event planning firm located in Palm Beach, Florida, that specializes in the art of detail. Their premium featured work has been published in many publications and online blogs, including the popular Style Me Pretty blog, Munaluchi Bride, and Trendy Bride magazines, and Grace Ormonde Wedding Style. They have been awarded for The Knot’s Best Of Weddings in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Their genuine devotion for their clients is something that sets them apart in the overwhelming wedding industry. See their work at

Cover photo Copyright: khunaspix / 123RF Stock Photo

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