A few weeks ago Jerry and I went to Publix (a nice grocery store chain) to pick up a few things. I figured since we were there and I was strolling through the bakery section anyway, I'd ask a friendly worker about cake prices. She pulled out a little sheet she had hidden away and asked me how many people were attending. As of now we've got a list of about 50 people, so that's what I said. They price their cake by the layer, so a 14 inch layer costs so much, and a 10 inch layer a little less, etc. But don't forget to add in the cost of a filling. Everybody wants filling in their cakes. That seemed to cost about $4 extra per layer. Every little added on flourish also costs extra, of course. Well, I'd be happy with a plain cake, no flourish. I plan on adding a band of ribbon around the base of each layer and putting our cake topper, where else, on top. She does a little math on a scrap of paper (without adding the filling cost in, mind you), and it came out to be about $200. That's $4 per slice, if you were trying to figure it out in your head. I've seen enough of those fantastically impossible wedding cake shows to know that $200 sounds pretty inexpensive. But those wild cakes you see on TV are very fancy, take hours and hours of artistic work and usually serve 150-200 people. These things start around $1000. Now, if you break that down and get a cake for 200 at $1000, that makes each slice $5. When I look at it that way, the Publix cake doesn't seem like that great a bargain. She also didn't know if they could make the fondant in any color other than white and, of course, the person who might know was nowhere to be found. I know frosting would be a disaster in late May, so it needs to be fondant. Maybe I should keep looking around. I know I don't want to go to Wal-Mart for a wedding cake. I've gagged down enough of their birthday cake at children's parties to know I don't want to serve that to anyone I like on purpose. Maybe I'll call a few mom and pop businesses and see what their prices are. Suddenly those cute little cupcake towers don't seem quite as silly as they once did.