Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.

One thing Marisa McClellan knew had to be just right when she got married -- the food.

"I baked all my own cakes because, in my experience, wedding cake is either astronomical or atrocious," said Marisa, 33, author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.

"As a food writer, there's little I care about more than the quality of the food I serve people."

Marisa and Scott McNulty, 35, an IT project leader and author of more than a dozen technical guidebooks, were married on Sept. 29, 2009.

Their guests were treated to vanilla pound cake and flourless chocolate cakes served with freshly whipped cream and a strawberry sauce made from berries Marisa picked in June and froze until September.

"My mother thought I was insane, but the recipes were the kind that came together quickly and didn't need a lot of babying," she says.

The wedding and reception were held in the backyard of a home in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., owned by Marisa’s cousin. The whole thing cost about $3,000.

The average couple spends $472 on a wedding cake alone, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company. The out-of-pocket cost for the homemade cakes was negligible.

Plus, the cakes made an impression on her new in-laws.

"Scott's family always asks that I bring the vanilla pound cake to Thanksgiving each year since tasting it at the wedding," Marisa says.

Here are Marisa and Scott at their wedding ...

This yummy looking plate has a serving of both cakes ...

Thanks to Marisa and Scott for sharing their personal wedding photos with us. They were taken by photographer Albert Yee.

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