Budget-conscious brides who want a glamorous wedding cake needn't sacrifice a thing. Check out our favorite ways to make your sugary dreams come true -- without breaking the bank.


Find out if your caterer works as a baker, too. Many hotels, country clubs and larger catering companies have a pastry chef on staff. Often, if you use the staff pastry chef vs. a designer from an outside bakery, you'll avoid cake-cutting fees, service fees, additional tips and delivery costs. You can also search thousands of vendors nationwide by using vendor reviews at local.weddingchannel.com/wedding-vendors .


Go ahead, give 'em what they want. Order several smaller cakes in different flavors and serve them together on a dessert table. By sparing your designer major assembly and decoration time, not only will you cut your costs tremendously, but you'll get a bite of tiramisu and cherry chocolate cheesecake, too!


Flowers are one of the most beautiful and inexpensive ways to decorate a cake. To further cut costs, adopt a "less is more" motto, keeping sugar decorations to a minimum and letting fresh blooms take center stage.


What do you do when your fantasy cake costs a fortune, but the look and taste are just too perfect to pass up? Order a smaller-sized cake and have your baker make sheet cakes from the same recipe. After you cut the cake, your caterer can whisk the cake behind the scenes where it can be supplemented with the sheet cake. Trust us, no one will know the difference.


A satellite cake is created when an upper layer of cake is separated from a lower layer. The lower layer serves as the cake's "base." Essentially, satellite cakes are used when the cake needs to be built "out" as well as "up" and when the cost of creating a tall cake is too much. If you're a bride in need of a towering, multilayer cake, ask your wedding cake baker about adding satellites instead of tiers. It's a beautiful solution to an otherwise pricey problem.


If you're not really into cake but love the aesthetic, you can now rent a fake one for your wedding day. Sites like www.CakeRental.com offer striking replicas that come with a discreet slit filled with real cake for cake-cutting photos. You can either rent one from the vendor or design your own for about half the cost of a real cake.


Boxy cakes are mod, but they're difficult to build and frost. It takes time and patience to even out all those edges, so if money's an object, go for more traditional, round layers.


Your cake is new, so why not borrow from the past for accessories like cake toppers, cake knives and servers? Ask your mother or grandmother if they still have a piece of silver you can use. You'll find a way to honor brides of the past, and save money while you're at it.