5 Fun Alternatives to A Wedding Cake

From the Desk of Sarah Nadler Troutdale, Oregon

Hey Beautiful Bride,  

So, this week as I prep for the first Bride School Workshop of 2020, I got to thinking:

What about alternatives to the traditional wedding cake look? 

So many brides have dreamed of this day for SO long...that I thought maybe this topic wouldn't be very popular.

But then I jumped on Pinterest & my good ol' friend Google told me that cake alternatives are TOTALLY IN this season!

So here you go - my favorite five fun alternatives to a wedding cake.

"Cake alternatives are TOTALLY IN this season!"

Are you thinking about skipping the traditional (and very overpriced) three-tiered cake idea? 

It's not a bad option, for more than one reason. Firstly, you can probably shave a few hundred dollars off your budget. And for another, few of the big-wig cake designers make a diet-friendly option.

The alternatives are probably limited only to what your imagination can bring up, but here are my top five favorites:

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"Cupcakes are a great alternative, and the one that Ben & I used on our wedding day!"

1. Cupcakes

My top pick, these are great because they allow for better portion control, don't require cutting, and are easy to smash into your bride or groom's face without getting frosting on yourself ;-) 

Cupcakes are a great alternative, and the one that Ben & I used on our wedding day! There's something to be said for finger foods at a wedding, not the least of which is less waste (which Ben is super into).

I recommend personalizing your cupcakes if you have the budget for it. You can put them on a three-tiered platter, too - for that "I'm not a cake - I'm better" look!

2. Donut Walls

To be honest, I'm of two minds about this one. I personally love old-fashioned donuts, and think they look decadent as well as delicious. But I also think of cops at a cheesy diner when I see donut walls! But, living in Portland, home of the original Voodoo Donuts, I felt obligated to add this to the list. Particularly due to the increasing popularity of this cake-alternative.

If you're going to go donuts, I recommend the peg board look.

Pro Tip: The heavy sweetness of donuts can leave guests thirsty! Pair them with a cofee round, and be sure to add water and milk to the drink list.

[DOWNLOAD] Wedding Budget Cheat Sheet

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And leave you working with only passionate, committed vendors who LOVE what they do! 

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Designing & planning your own wedding is a bit like your first test as a married couple—once you’ve mastered the skills of this budgeting & planning system, you can do it again and again!  

Meaning you will never have to worry about going over budget again!  

And considering that arguments over money are the single most common reason for divorce, that's TRUE marriage security if you ask me!  

If you want this planning system for your wedding, I have some good news.

I'm holding a wedding planning workshop near Portland!

“The best thing people can do to make wedding planning easier AND save a lot of money is do a few hours of consulting with a planner up front. That often ranges from $70-$150 an hour, and I think it’s worth EVERY PENNY... Why? We didn’t know the local lay of the land, and we didn’t know what all our options were.” – Meg Keene

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"European wedding cookies go back hundreds of years..."

3. Petit Fours

Petit whats...? I know, this one is strange. While still cheaper than a traditional wedding cake, petit fours are a fancier version of the cupcake. These are often served with High Tea, and are bite-sized cakes or candies with an elaborate frosting.  

4. Sugar Cookies

If you've spent longer than twenty seconds on Pinterest during the holidays, you know that sugar cookies can be designed to look like ANYTHING. These are a great alternative to cake, and can be made to match your wedding theme in all kinds of clever ways! 

5. European Wedding Cookies

Wanting to forgo the high-price but not the tradition? European wedding cookies go back hundreds of years, and probably have their origins in medieval Arab cookery. Still used in modern Italian weddings, these little cookies are dusted in powdered sugar and oh-so good at any time of year!


About the Author

Sarah has been in the wedding industry for eleven years and with that experience came the passion to help engaged couples go from broke to brilliant & empowered. With that in mind, Sarah came up with 6 Steps to Wedding Sanity, a simple, yet proven wedding budgeting & planning system.

Outside of the wedding world, Sarah is a big fan of the outdoors, a published author of three books for teens, and loves creating stellar graphic designs that impress the masses.

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