ABC News' Claire Shipman reports:
The cake is the iconic ingredient for any unforgettable wedding. So you wouldn't think that a lavish, custom made cake would come from an aisle at the local supermarket.
Turns out supermarkets are moving in on the gilded wedding cake business with more finesse than you could imagine in the wake of a new cost-consciousness by newlyweds. Supermarkets have realized that wedding cakes are a $74 billion industry. Now, supermarkets are actually hiring people who are inclined to decorating cakes.
"You have supermarkets hiring people who are actually inclined to decorating cakes," said Anja Winikka, site director of theknot.com. "They've stepped up their game."
Brianna O'Brien and Matthew Hockman came into their Farm Fresh grocery store looking for something delicious for their wedding, and also a deal. They walked out with a spectacular three-tier cake with buttercream frosting and strawberry filling.
"I'm getting exactly what I wanted," said O'Brien.
The cost: $316.
Something like that might go for $3,300 or more at a bakery or cake boutique. That's money that the bride-to-be can put toward her wedding dress or in a savings account.
"I don't think there's much of a difference, just because of you know, who's doing it," said Hockman.
Kelly Seizert, co-owner of Ritzy Bee Events, a high-end wedding planning business in Alexandria, Va., says there can be quite a difference.
She offered O'Brien and Hockman samples of a stunning Vietnamese cinnamon and chocolate creation by Washington, D.C., custom cake shop Maggie Austin Cake to make the point.
"These cakes are art forms," Seizert said. "They're truly one of a kind."
Seizert advises couples to focus on quality and spending smart.
"Cake might be low on the priority list for some people and so going to a grocery store and selecting a less expensive option is probably a perfect fit for them," said Seizert.
Or brides and grooms can have it both ways, using an extravagant and custom design for display atop iced cardboard and then serving a standard sheet cake from the kitchen to their guests.
"No one will know those slices are sheet cake or from the original cake," said Seizert. "That's the bride and groom's secret."