bypassing the :"Costly" bakeries
I have had many , many pro. parties in halls, churches,schools and my home and each time I learn a bit more about cakes.
If you are looking for a C+ to a B quality cake and not pay a small fortune then I suggest pricing out your local supermarket/bakery department. They do cakes, they decorate cakes and they will not be tons and tons of money.
I have attended so many weddings and felt like the guests were given tiny ,skimpy pieces of cake because they had to keep cost down and as a result the cake was both way too small and your guests are peeved. NEVER/EVER cheap out on your size of cake but go to a bakery/supermarket that does Custom cakes (they do exist).
If you opt to go to a Foo Foo/stand alone bakery then they will charge you a ridiculous price for a teeny,tiny cake. Try going to your favorite diner and ask them where they buy their baked goods. You may get a break if you go through them. The last option is going to Foo Foo French bakery because this is all they do and they need to make their $$$$ on you and only you.
Also, if it it possible, you can have a close relative bake your cake for you and it will be even more delicious. Best of luck.
A wedding doesn't need bookoo bucks to be a sucess and beautiful. You just need to be clever and creative.