Anyone who’s planning a wedding can tell you there are hidden costs everywhere — and they add up fast. Luckily there are quite a few ways to save on your wedding, and you can even take advantage of some freebies like a free wedding cake tasting if you know where to look.
If you’ve been dreaming of a multitiered wedding cake for your big day, you’ll probably want to set up a wedding cake tasting first to decide on a flavor and filling. And while some places charge a fee for tastings, there are a handful of grocery stores where you can get free wedding cake samples. Use this list as your guide to the freebies!
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Some bakeries charge $20 – $40 for a wedding cake tasting — but it’s like a deposit.
While you should be prepared to pay the big bucks for a traditional, multitiered wedding cake, you don’t always have to shell out money for a tasting. But some bakeries will charge you a flat fee upfront. You can count on paying around $20 to $40 for a cake tasting for two people, where both partners get to try a selection of flavors, fillings, and frostings. If you end up ordering from them, many bakeries will credit the amount you paid for the tasting toward your total cost, so the tasting turns out to be free in the end.
But if you do your research, you can avoid this cost by finding a bakery that offers free tastings. Many local bakeries near you may offer free wedding cake tastings, hoping you’ll like their product and book with them over a competitor. Oftentimes, you’ll get to try two or three cake flavors for free, then pay a small fee for each additional flavor you sample.
Sample a bunch of wedding cakes in a single day at a bridal expo — only pay for admission.
If you have some time to plan, research bridal expos or bridal fairs in your area. Typically you do have to pay to get in, but it’s a convenient way to see all the local vendors in your area in a single location.
You’ll be able to try every flavor from every cake vendor all in one day, which means you’ll likely save money (and time!) by not having to book individual tastings at each bakery.
Even though you’ll have to pay admission to get into the bridal show, it’ll be way cheaper than paying $20 – $40 for each tasting you’d get.
Get a free wedding cake tasting at these grocery store bakeries:
Our best tip for finding a free wedding cake tasting near you? Try your local grocery store bakery. They typically offer lower prices than traditional bakeries for cheap wedding cakes, and many will let you taste their flavors for free. Here are the top stores that offer free tastings or samples:
1. Check for free Costco wedding cake samples at the bakery (likely on weekends).
One of our favorite hacks for a cheap wedding cake is going the Costco route. You can serve slices of Costco cake for your guests and get a small, traditional wedding cake from somewhere else that’s just for the couple to cut.
The average cost of a wedding cake comes in at $500 according to Wedding Wire, but a Costco cake costs just $18.99. And the Costco Bakery can decorate it however you like!
If you haven’t tasted cake from the Costco Bakery yet, run to your nearest location and ask for a sample because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. And since Costco frequently offers free samples in store, you can hit up the bakery section and sample their cake for free. Of course, it won’t be as glamorous as booking a cake tasting at your local bakery, but you can usually taste one of their two cake flavors (chocolate or vanilla) when the bakery’s sample station is open.
Related: Check out our favorite Costco wedding hacks to save on your big day.
2. Publix will set up a free wedding cake tasting for you.
Publix is known for their excellent bakery department, and ordering a Publix wedding cake is an easy way to save money without sacrificing flavor or appearance.
Their large cakes are around $60, and they offer complimentary tastings by appointment where you can try any combination of cake flavors and fillings. During the tasting, you’ll work with their decorators to design your dream wedding cake. Call ahead to make sure the cake decorator is available (they’re typically on-site in the mornings).
3. Whole Foods allows you to sample anything — including cake!
Did you know that Whole Foods has a generous free sample policy? Their team members will let you try just about anything right there in the store. Head to the bakery counter at your local Whole Foods and ask to sample a slice of cake.
As with other grocery store bakeries, this won’t be a romantic sit-down experience — and they’ll likely only let you sample the flavors of pre-sliced cake. But you can usually try it for free!
Their large sheet cakes come in specialty flavors for around $50, but you can work with the bakery department to create a custom cake that costs a bit more.
4. Festival Foods offers free tastings if you call ahead.
Certain Festival Foods bakery locations offer tiered wedding cakes, and most locations have sheet cakes, too.
A $39.99 cake from Festival Foods will feed up to 40 people, making it just $1 per person. As long as you call ahead to let them know what you’re looking for, you can set up a free tasting consultation.
5. Larger H.E.B. bakeries should have free wedding cake samples and tastings if you call in advance.
Depending on where you live, you can score free wedding cake samples at H.E.B. Certain store locations don’t do cakes at all, but the stores with larger bakeries typically offer wedding cakes and will set up a free tasting for you.
Call before you head to the store to find out if your local H.E.B. offers this. Two-tier cakes are just under $50, which is hundreds of dollars less than the average wedding cake costs (around $500).
6. Hy-Vee offers free wedding cake tastings, but call ahead to make sure you catch a cake decorator.
Midwesterners can attest to how good the Hy-Vee bakery section is, and they offer a tasty, budget-friendly option for wedding cakes. Hy-Vee has free tastings along with a consultation with a cake decorator to help narrow down your choices. The small 2-tier cakes go for around $20 at Hy-Vee, so even if you need a couple of them, you’ll still save big.
7. Vanilla Bake Shop offers a take-home tasting box.
This California-based bakery offers free cake tastings and an at-home date night all in one! Call ahead to give your flavor preferences and they’ll put together a free sampler box of 2-inch cakes for you to take home and enjoy.
Grocery stores that don’t offer free wedding cake tastings:
- Albertsons sells specialty cakes, but they don’t do samples or tastings.
- Fred Meyer doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples.
- Kroger doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples.
- Price Chopper doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples.
- Safeway sells sheet cakes, but they don’t make specific wedding cakes — and they don’t offer samples.
- Sam’s Club doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples (they only sell chocolate and vanilla cake).
- Walmart sells tiered cakes and wedding cakes, but they don’t do samples or tastings.
- WinCo doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples.
- Winn-Dixie doesn’t offer wedding cakes or samples.