I posted before the wedding about our decision to serve both cake and pie at our wedding, but thought I'd do a quick recap of how we vastly over-ordered on dessert and still felt like we got a great deal.
First, you probably won't need near as much dessert as wedding websites and cake bakers would like you to believe. We had 100 people, and we kept hearing that six 8-inch cakes and six pies wasn't going to be enough.
I hid one pie for the next day, but we ended up having two full cakes left, and most of another pie. Our caterer cut everything up into those tiny slices and people didn't realize they could take more than one of them so that didn't help the matter much.
But I can't say I really minded having leftover cake and pie, so go ahead and over-order if you're like me! Do keep in mind that some venues won't let you take your leftovers home. It has to do with liability and often isn't negotiable, as my cousin found out when they dumped half her wedding cake.
But even with rampant over-ordering, having lots of individual desserts was much cheaper than ordering a wedding cake (even a simple one). Twelve desserts ended up costing at total of $270. And they weren't discount desserts either. The cakes we had are from the best bakery in Sacramento. I was afraid to even ask what their wedding cakes cost--I'm pretty sure they are at least $500 and up for the number of guests we had. Which really makes no sense if you consider the amount of cake we had. And all we sacrificed was the appearance of a big custom cake! And the pies were special ordered from a woman who used to bake for Chez Panisse, and made with fresh, local ingredients.
I'd highly recommend going this route if you are on a budget and looking for quality cakes. Just keep in mind that you might end up eating cake and pie every meal for a week afterward!