Last weekend, Priyanka Chopra said "I do" to Nick Jonas, and since then, fans have been able to talk of nothing but the wedding's stunning details, from the fireworks display to Chopra's 75-foot-long veil. With so many over-the-top features, it's hard to say what the most impressive thing about this wedding was. For those of us who often think of nothing but cake the minute we receive a wedding invitation in the mail, the couple's many-tiered masterpiece was the star of the show.
Pictures taken by the couple's wedding photographer Jose Villa show Jonas and Chopra cutting a truly massive cake with a sword. From images and video footage, their wedding cake appears to have been at least six tiers; it was reportedly 18-feet-tall. With gold columns, little windows, and what resembled a miniature chandelier, the confection almost looked a lot more like a mansion than a cake — one we'd gladly move into tomorrow, especially if the exterior was finished with butter cream.
The extreme size of the wedding cake and the level of detail it appeared to feature, left us with many questions. How much would a cake like that cost? How would it be made? And, how long would it take to bake and assemble? Since the actual pastry chefs responsible for the creation have yet to be identified, we turned to Kathleen Schaffer, owner and creative director of Schaffer, a Los Angeles-based A-list event and hospitality company, for her insights.
According to this caterer to the stars, wedding cake prices can cost anywhere between $5 per guest to $25 per guest, depending on the cake and the reputation of the cake designer. Following the wedding, People reported that 225 guests were in attendance. If we assume that this cake fell within the pricier end of Schaffer's range, it likely cost at least $5,625.
Though you might assume that it would take several dozens of eggs and a few hundred pounds of flour to make an 18-foot-tall cake, Kathleen Schaffer tells Refinery29 that most cakes that are this intricate aren't completely edible. "Those cakes are often times fake with one layer being edible where they slice into it. Many times the decorative elements are fondant and sugar gum paste wrapped around styrofoam “dummy cakes” that the upper tiers are made of," she tells Refinery29 in an email.
The six-tier cake that everyone is buzzing over from Nick and Priyanka's wedding photos was likely all for show. "Cake designers will make the elaborate cake for photo ops and cutting and then serve from behind the scenes actual slices of edible cake that has been made separately."
Still, that doesn't mean a lot of work didn't go into creating the work of art the couple sliced with a sword. According to Schaffer, the intricate fondant flowers and other decor likely required many hours of detailed work done by hand. She called transporting the pieces and assembling the cakes for this type of event an "expensive logistical challenge." In other words, getting the cake from the kitchen where it was created to the wedding venue and put together properly may have been an event riveting enough to rival the wedding itself.