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Wedding Cake Alternatives

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Are you looking for ways to save on your big day? Check out these creative and budget-friendly wedding cake alternatives.


Let’s face it, when you’re planning a wedding on a budget, you can’t always have your cake and eat it, too. As your wedding gets closer, you are faced with the details. The small ones, the important ones, and the sweet ones.

If you’ve met with any professional bakeries for your wedding cake, you might have started to realize just how expensive those beautiful frosting-covered creations are. While wedding cakes are incredibly beautiful, the effect is short-lived. The purpose of a wedding cake, after all, is literally to be cut into pieces.

All of your guests will stand around to watch you cut into hundreds of dollars, if not more. Instead of spending over $500 on a wedding cake, you may decide to go a less traditional route, such as renting a fake cake, hosting a dessert bar, or considering a wedding cake alternative. These are all routes that are becoming more popular!

Wedding Cakes Can Be Expensive so Consider Alternatives

If you have a large guest list, you’ll need a large, multi-tiered cake and that comes at a large price. So, you might opt for other desserts vs a large cake. You may still want to take part in the wedding tradition of cutting the cake, so you can always order a smaller cake and supply others with sweets via a dessert buffet.

Another option would be to have the top layer of the cake made of rice crispy treats (or even foam!) and have them covered in icing to give the illusion that they are real, then have a sheet cake in the back. Yes, fake wedding cakes are a thing.

Of course, you could always attempt to make your own wedding cake or have a talented family member or friend make one for you.

If you still want a small cake for cutting, you can also consider snagging a simple cake from a grocery store and decorating it with a few small flowers.

There are so many sweet (pun intended) ways to bring a creative wedding dessert idea to life and incorporate it into your big night. Pay attention to the dessert options during weddings you attend or see on social media. We share a ton on our Instagram feed!

Budget-friendly Wedding Cake Alternatives to Consider

We’ve rounded up an assortment of yummy and darling ideas below for you to feast your eyes upon!

Wedding Cupcake Display

Cupcakes are a simple and affordable way to replace a traditional wedding cake. You can even pick them up from the local grocery store.

Wedding Cupcake Tower

For a wedding cake look, place your cupcakes on a display tower to add visual height to your dessert table.

candy buffet

Candy Buffet

Give your guests a bag and let them fill it up with candy from various jars and vases! Learn more about setting up a candy buffet.

Pie Buffet Display

Serve your guests pie instead of cake! Have a variety of sweet and fruity flavors to choose from. Better yet? Include some vanilla ice cream to go with!

Mini Pies

Single-serving pies are a great treat for your wedding guests!

S’mores Display

Set up a smores station where your guests can roast marshmallows for a unique and interactive dessert display.

Wedding Cheesecake

Who needs regular cake when you can have cheesecake? Stack them and cover with fruit for a simple wedding cake alternative.

If you’re more of a milk and cookies fan, these cookie wedding dessert ideas are for you!

cookies and milk

Milk + Cookies in Martini Glasses

Who doesn’t love a good cookies and milk bar!

Macaron Tower

Order some macarons and place them on a tower for a chic and stylish alternative to traditional wedding cake.

Donut Wedding Cakes

Did somebody say donuts? Doughnuts are ever-increasing in popularity as a wedding cake alternative, and we can totally see why!

Donut Walls

Donut walls are a trend for a reason. They’re interactive, beautiful, and delicious!

Donut Towers

Create a simple donut tower with plates and candlesticks. Simply place the donuts on top of each other for a tall visual display!

Donut Cakes

Pile your donuts up to mimic the look of a wedding cake! Adding a few fresh flowers finishes the look off beautifully.

Dessert Beverage Displays

With those tasty pastries, your guest might want to wash them down with some ice-cold milk! Check out these creative milk display ideas.

Beverage Dispensers

via Style Me Pretty

Beverage dispensers are a great way to display your drink options for your guests!

chocolate milk and a straw

Chocolate Milk Bottles

It’s amazing what some cute bottles and stripey straws can do for a table!

milk bottles wedding

Milk Bottles

Add some flowers to your bottles for an extra sweet touch.

Cold Wedding Desserts

If you’re getting married in the summer months, you might like to consider one of these cold wedding dessert alternatives instead of a wedding cake!

Wedding Popsicles

Serve your guests some tasty popsicles– this is a perfect idea for summer! You can make them ahead and even make boozy spiked popsicles if you want!

ice cream stand

Wedding Ice Cream Stand

via Me and My Pink Mixer

Set up a backyard ice cream stand to serve your guests ice cream cones!

Will you have different dessert options for your guests besides wedding cake? Join us in the community to discuss all things wedding cake alternatives!

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Are you looking for ways to save on your big day? Check out these creative and budget-friendly wedding cake alternatives.
Are you looking for ways to save on your big day? Check out these creative and budget-friendly wedding cake alternatives.
Are you looking for ways to save on your big day? Check out these creative and budget-friendly wedding cake alternatives.

The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!