A bride's brother turned Costco cakes into a whimsical wedding masterpiece

A pastry chef turned basic cakes from Costco into a gorgeous centerpiece with flowers.
Courtesy of Jessica Hoyle-King

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By Kerry Breen

A couple just saved a lot money and added plenty of rustic glamour to their recent wedding by utilizing a clever, semi-homemade DIY approach to fill the reception hall.

The couple's venue — a barn in Austin — was decked out with wildflowers that were gathered by their families.

But the real star of the day — besides the newlyweds, Jeremy and Gosia Hoyle — was the multitiered cake served at the reception.

Courtesy of Jessica Hoyle-King

The beautiful cake was covered in a delicious buttercream frosting and decked out in pink roses woth baby's breath accents. It even featured a sweet topper and elegant piped details. Many wedding cakes can be outrageously expensive, but this gorgeous dessert was only $50 — and it wasn't even made from scratch!

It all started with two large, plain white sheet cakes from Costco, according to Jessica Hoyle-King, the sister of the groom, who shared the eye-catching photo on Instagram. Each cake, which was filled with a cream cheese frosting, cost $20. Things really got fancy when the bride's brother, a pastry chef named Jamie Warley, got his hands on those cakes.

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Hoyle-King helped Warley by first cutting up the sheet cakes into squares and stacking them into the shape of a typical wedding cake. They added more frosting in between layers to even things out. Then, using his professional cake-decorating skills and some homemade frosting, the chef added some extra flair to the confection (and covered up any imperfections) with an elegant piping of frosting around the base of each layer.

Of course, it didn't come together in just minutes.

"[It took] maybe a little over an hour," said Hoyle-King of Warley's handiwork. That's actually not so bad considering many wedding cakes take up to two weeks to make, with some even requiring months of careful planning. She added, "It wouldn't fit in the refrigerator on the wooden stand, so it had to be re-done on cardboard so it would fit, which took more time. We had to make do with what we had."

As for those gorgeous flowers? Hoyle-King bought them (for $10) on the way to the barn while the family was decorating for the reception the day before the wedding. Once the cake was frosted, she and Warley added the finishing touches.

"It was a lot of fun!"

The cake wound up feeding 150 people and apparently tasted just as good as it looked.

Of course, any true DIY wedding wouldn't be complete without some sort of homemade fare. The main meal at the reception also featured a barbecue spread that was prepared by the owners of the venue. And while that food wasn't free, according to the groom's sister, it was an "amazing deal."

The rest of the reception decor was assembled by the couple, with help from their family and other members of the wedding party. Hoyle-King revealed that she built the cake stand out of materials from Hobby Lobby.

Courtesy of Jessica Hoyle-King

Of course, this duo isn't the only couple going the do-it-yourself route. The cost of weddings has been increasing in recent years, with the national average spiking to $33,931 in 2018, according to NerdWallet. A cake itself averages around $500.

A 2016 study even revealed that most couples actually overspend on their weddings, even after they've set a budget.

DIYers have figured out plenty of creative ways to cut back on big-day spending, but other savvy couples also try to save before the wedding rolls around. Earlier this year, $1.30 engagement rings saw a surge in popularity.

So if you're a bride or groom to-be (or just a thrifty, but thoughtful friend of the couple), keep in mind that it only takes a little creativity and a few helping hands to save a lot of money and still make the day really special.