I've heard of renting wedding dresses, but I'd never heard of renting the wedding cake. But apparently renting fake wedding cakes is becoming increasingly popular. Here's how it works
The idea is to have an elegant, multitiered pretend cake for show while serving guests slices from a real, tasty and inexpensive sheet cake. The inside of a faux wedding cake crafted by Fun Cakes in Grandville contains mostly plastic foam, with a secret spot reserved for a slice of real cake to be shared by the bride and groom. Everything is covered by gum paste and fondant, a frosting-like confection made from sugar and water often used in cakes and pastries. After a bride and groom take the traditional first slice of their real wedding cake, it's often wheeled away from guests, out of their sight, to be cut up and served on plates. Do the same thing using a fake cake and a sheet cake, and guests will be none the wiser.
It seems like a sensible idea to me. Though, of course, another option would be simply not to have such an expensive wedding if you can't afford it. I'm constantly amazed at the obscene amounts of money some people spend on their weddings. My wife and I had a very simple, low-key wedding, though we did splurge on an Elvis-shaped groom's cake (real, not fake).