WHEN it comes to your cake, things can get pretty pricey.

But the good news is there are plenty of great budget options out there as well.

The first decision you need to make is what kind of cake you’re after – whether you want a traditional tiered affair, or a more modern cupcake or profiterole style option.

Cupcakes can be personalised with names or photos and a profiterole mountain can look quite impressive.

You need to make a decision in plenty of time as multi-tiered cakes can take months to make and will need to be made and iced in several different stages.

If you’re trying to keep costs down, there are plenty of options that will give you the centrepiece you want without leaving the bitter taste of going bust in your mouth.

Specialist cake makers often offer a budget option, but if you want something that’s visually impressive without paying a premium for it, ‘dummy’ cake hire could be an option.

Some cake makers can supply an impressive looking cake for photographs with a plain iced square cake for cutting and supplying o your guests.

Supermarkets aren’t necessarily a thriftier option, but with a bit of shopping around you should be able to find a bargain.

As well as selling wedding cakes, lots of supermarkets sell ‘celebration’ cakes, which can be significantly cheaper.

If you’re going for a plain cake, the trick is to decorate it yourself.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and browse magazines and the internet for ideas and pick your theme before you start shopping.

Decide whether or not you want edible decorations, if you want to go for a classic look such as flowers and ribbons, or a quirky theme, perhaps one that reflects your hobbies, and whether or not you want a bride and groom on your cake.

Another option is to make your own cake – or ask a talented friend or relative to do it for you.

Whatever you choose, opting for budget wedding cake doesn’t have to be second best – and with a little imagination an planning it could even be extra special.

Cake traditions

When you’re deciding on the style of your wedding cake, spare a thought for the poor old ancient Roman brides, who used to end up with the thing crumbled over their heads – all in the name of good luck!

In those days, posh Romans would have a cake made of flour, salt and water for the ceremony which would first be tasted by the bride and groom then the remainder would be thrown over the bride’s head.

This tradition was thought to bring a life of prosperity and fertility to the pair and guests would try to grab a crumb for themselves in the belief that they would share in the couple’s good fortune.

In Victorian times it was traditional for unmarried girls to pass a piece of cake through the wedding ring of the new bride.

Then they would sleep with it under their pillows and they too would dream of the man they would eventually marry.

Another old UK custom was for a ring to be baked inside the cake and the lucky guest who found it would be the next one to find love, happiness and good fortune.

These days, the cutting of the cake together symbolises the joining of lives.

It is custom to keep the top tier of your cake ready to celebrate the christening of the first child or the first wedding anniversary.