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I now pronounce you broke. 

If you have royal wedding taste on a commoner’s budget, we’ve got a tip that you might want to sit down for. Our resident wedding expert Buffy Hargett Miller (read also: flower guru and inventor of the “easy wow”) happened to let us in on a little secret recently that might be the greatest wedding hack we’ve heard to date: the faux cake.

Traditionalists, (aka, Mama) brace yourselves.

We’re all familiar with the reception centerpiece. Typically, it’s a towery confection of sugared flowers and pillowy cake layers frosted to utter perfection. They’re beautiful. They’re delicious. And it will cost you. 

The idea is simple: Ask your bakery to use fake cake tiers instead of the real stuff. Trust us, it’s more common than you think. You can still have the beautiful reception cake of your fairytale dreams but, instead of serving it to guests, have a sheet cake waiting in the wings.

Related: Wedding Reception Ideas

The faux cake can be decorated just like the version that would run you somewhere around $4.50 per slice. That’s $540 for 120 people. When you figure somewhere around a quarter to half the guests will only hurriedly take a forkful before bee-lining it to the dance floor, this might start to sound more appetizing.

Ask your florist to pretty it up with fresh flowers that match the bridal bouquet. Even with the added blooms, you’ll still clock in under what you originally budgeted for your cake.

Now, what about that ceremonial cake cutting? You have a couple options here. You can have a single piece of cake that’s already plated for the new Mr. and Mrs. to adorably feed each other. Alternatively, you can skip it altogether.

When it’s dessert time, have the tiered cake taken back to the kitchen where the sheet cake will be waiting, sliced, and plated. Another money-saving tip: skip the tableside service and have the plates set out on a dessert table for guests to grab themselves.  

There is one tradition we won’t mess with and that's saving the top tier. Ask your bakery to bake a small round cake top for you to keep for your first anniversary. We’re sure they’ll oblige.