Help! First Wedding Cake.... And She's A Bridezilla!

Business By jekizer Updated 26 Mar 2008 , 4:26pm by pastrylady

jekizer Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 1:47am
post #1 of 21

I have been contracted to do my very first wedding cake. But I have a problem with the bride. She originally contracted me to do a cake for 100 people. She sent me the picture below and stated that was the cake she wanted. No problems there.....

Well, I just received an email from her wanting to do the SAME wedding cake.... but she only wants it to feed 50 people. I don't see how I can make this cake for only 50 people. The only thing I can come up with is to do two layers fake and make the bottom layer a 14 inch.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Other than making the cake A LOT smaller.... I can't think of anything else.

TIA!!!
LL

20 replies
Doug Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 1:54am
post #2 of 21

even if you do dummies...that's NOT going to cut the cost all that much..

there's the cost of the dummies (same or more as cake)
the cost of icing (same as real cake)
cost of your time (same again)

point out to her that cutting the servings to 50 and insisting on same cake design using dummies will cost the same (if not more!)

if you did a real 10/8/6 and she kept the top tier for anniversary (yuck) it be 62 servings according to Wilton

or if you go by Earlene's chart it would take all three to make 53 servings

Denise Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 5:39am
post #3 of 21

Make the cake a 3, 6, and 9. It serves approximately 48 people. I make this configuration all the time...mostly as shower cakes but once as a wedding cake and I will be making it as a groom's cake soon. It has the proper proportions of a wedding cake but is small!!



You can check them out on my website. They are on the bridal page....a little white cake with black accents and a "B" on top. There are several on the celebration page and on the baby shower page. Hope this helps.

Denise Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 5:48am
post #4 of 21

sorry ... the one on my bridal page is not on there any more. Here is a link to it on CC

There are 7 of them on the celebration page - the little 3" is often a mushroom shaped cake, a cupcake or even a graduation cap!


http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1159608

Ellistwins Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 6:26am
post #5 of 21

Good luck to you. This is a beautiful cake and i think it won't do justice if yo make it too small. Agree with the cost won't be cheaper if you do dummies, but seems like the brid is a bit stinchy.

Hope you can work out something.

CoutureCake Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 7:44am
post #6 of 21

First, you tell her that the price won't be able to change because of the time involved with the design so you're properly compensated for your time here... This is why sometimes it pays to get away from the "per slice" rates when it comes to smaller weddings because there is the value of your time. It is going to take just as much time to put that design on a cake to serve 100 as it will a cake to serve 25. That's something to make sure of in your pricing for future orders.

It doesn't sound like the bride is being a "Bridezilla" to me here compared to a lot of the other horror stories we've all dealt with from time to time. Just sounds like her RSVP count isn't nearly what she anticipated it was going to be. Most brides don't plan for this, so when you get that initial count, plan that it's going to be on the high end of the spectrum and flat out ask "is this the number invited or is this the number expected to attend?" Then if it's a small wedding you can go over things like a minimum order amount (what it costs you for your time to turn on the ovens and fill them)..

O.k. what I'd do... is... Mind you my slice sizes are "realistic slices" (I don't use wedding or party slices).. I would do a 12", 8", 4" or 12", 9", 6"... That way it's scaled down but you still get enough servings without worry (I err on the high side because I've been that guest at not one, but FOUR weddings that they ran out of cake JUST before our table got served GRRRR! icon_mad.gif ). Just think, this cake can be done with a 4,3,2 and achieve the same proportions as the larger cake can.

Also, cake dummies are going to cost you just as much if not more than doing the cake real, so save them strictly for situations that THEY are paying the extra but don't want extra cake to the extent that they want a big cake in their photographs. By the time you've paid for the shipping, icing, decorating time, etc. that dummy is going to cost just as much if not more than the real cake would have cost you to make. Time is money!!!

This cake can easily be done in a different size, just tell the bride "No Problem with serving 50 for $$$ in this design" and don't fret. This is an easy request compared to "The cake to serve 100 has now become 500, and the bride only wants to pay the original price for the 100 servings" that some others have had to deal with!!

Ellistwins Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 7:54am
post #7 of 21

I've learned a lot from this reply. It makes a lot of sense.

cambo Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 11:10am
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

if you did a real 10/8/6 and she kept the top tier for anniversary (yuck) it be 62 servings according to Wilton

or if you go by Earlene's chart it would take all three to make 53 servings




I agree with Doug. I think a 10/8/6 config would be perfect! I have also had this happen....a brides' rsvp's were not nearly what she anticipcated, BUT, I made sure that she understood it would be the same cake design just much smaller! I had dummies and she stopped back by to see how it looked....she was very happy with the end result!

I think it will be fine! Good luck!

ANicole Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 12:51pm
post #9 of 21

Would any of you be worried she's ordering a sheet cake somewhere else?

I had a bride call me wanting a cake for 50 when the wedding was going to have 150 people at it. I couldn't understand why she wanted so little. She mentioned she didn't think everyone would eat it, I said, ok, but I wouldn't go less than half. It seemed like she was hiding something. Well, it came out in the end when she said, "We're going to have a sheet cake anyway. We're just going to buy a sheet cake from Costco and cut it up in the back. Who will know the frickin difference?" So I told her I could make her a sheet cake. She didn't want me to, so I didn't take the order. I didn't want my name on a piece of crap sheet cake I didn't even make.

Ellistwins Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 12:57pm
post #10 of 21

people do funny things to "cut" on the cost. I had a bride wanting 40 mini cakes with a topper cake. But there will only be 30 guests, but when she got the quote, she said it is too much for her buget. So it is cut down to 30, which i don't really mind as mini cakes is a lot of work. But yes i hate it if they come cheap.
My friend is really rediculously cheap with her prices and when a client say they will come back and when they do, she don't take the order. I mean how cheap can you get if you still want it cheaper as she does it.

kicky Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 1:27pm
post #11 of 21

I also agree with Doug 10/8/6 would be great for this. Just make sure it's clear how big the pieces should be cut.

Good luck it's a lovely cake. Make sure you post the pictures for us all to see.

aligotmatt Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 1:37pm
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber0717

Would any of you be worried she's ordering a sheet cake somewhere else?

I had a bride call me wanting a cake for 50 when the wedding was going to have 150 people at it. I couldn't understand why she wanted so little. She mentioned she didn't think everyone would eat it, I said, ok, but I wouldn't go less than half. It seemed like she was hiding something. Well, it came out in the end when she said, "We're going to have a sheet cake anyway. We're just going to buy a sheet cake from Costco and cut it up in the back. Who will know the frickin difference?" So I told her I could make her a sheet cake. She didn't want me to, so I didn't take the order. I didn't want my name on a piece of crap sheet cake I didn't even make.




Yeah, I won't do that. I tell people, I'm sure you can understand from a business standpoint that I take pride in my work. I always provide quality amazing cakes and I don't want people to eat another cake and be under any impression that it is mine. Most people just say, okay, that makes sense and we all move forward and they their whole cake from me. 1 has said, fine I'll go somewhere else - okay.


As for the original post... i *try* though I am not great at it, to put a design cost on top of my price per serving... so 3.25 per serving for the cake and $85 for the shells and 'sand' that I'm putting on. And pretty much no matter what they do with the servings, it's $85 for the design. I think that may work in this situation. Assess how much time you think you will spend doing all of that piping and come up with a price, then apply to whatever size cake she gets. A cake 1/3 of the size will not cut your work time by 1/3. You could cut out a little bit... but not 1/3.

jekizer Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 2:20pm
post #13 of 21

Thank you ALL for your replies. This is the fourth change to this cake. She has changed everything from colors to flavors to sizes.

I failed to mention in the original post that she does NOT want to sacrifice the size of the cake. And she is wanting to use a Silver Cake Stand that is 14 inches.

This is her second wedding, and she has stated on numerous occasions that if it were not for the groom she wouldn't be having a wedding to begin with. She wants the wedding cake to serve 50 and the grooms cake to serve 25. As she only invited 75 guests.

I just got another email stating that she is now wanting to change the flavors AGAIN. I'm not sure that weddings are going to be my forte.

Ellistwins Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 2:24pm
post #14 of 21

Girl, she is turning into a Bridezilla. It does not make sense to keep the size but it must be for less people, so it is simply because of the money, my opnion.

WendyLaLa Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 2:48pm
post #15 of 21

I deal with these ladies everyday. They are the bane of our existance. I love thier cost cutting ideas. I had one lady throw a book at me because my wedding cupcakes cost the same as my wedding cakes. Hey a serving of cake is a serving of cake. I usually convince them to serve the top of their cake and come back in a year and I'll make you new one for 25 bucks. I love my job, but sometimes people are very unrealistic. It's a spatula not a magic wand!!!!!

CarolAnn Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:06pm
post #16 of 21

If she wants that size fine, but I'd still be charging her for the number of servings that size will feed. They can cut it in huge chunks for 50 people for all I care but they'll pay for all the servings no matter what. It's laughable when a person looks at a cake that costs more than they want to pay and then thinks "well if I only want to feed half that many guests it should cost half as much, right?" WRONG! I haven't used dummies but the ones I've priced sure cost more than a cake I'd make of the same size.

With one wedding I finally had to let the bride know there would be no more changes. I was planning long distance and her super simple cake was changing almost daily. It was my niece and I had to say "one more change and I'll quote you my per serving charge". It was such a headache. Weddings aren't my favorite.

rmelendrez Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:10pm
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyLaLa

I deal with these ladies everyday. They are the bane of our existance. I love thier cost cutting ideas. I had one lady throw a book at me because my wedding cupcakes cost the same as my wedding cakes. Hey a serving of cake is a serving of cake. I usually convince them to serve the top of their cake and come back in a year and I'll make you new one for 25 bucks. I love my job, but sometimes people are very unrealistic. It's a spatula not a magic wand!!!!!


Several things come to mind...In your original post you mentioned that you have been contracted for this wedding cake...has the bride signed the contract for this project? If so, does it include a drop-dead date for making any changes to the order? Does it include a cancellation clause? Has she given you a deposit?

None of the above will ease the pain she's currently creating, but perhaps it will provide you with some peace of mind if at the end of the day if she does something "goofey".

Good luck!!!

Denise Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:11pm
post #18 of 21

Well, if she doesn't want to change the size of the cake that is her choice but cake is cake and I don't work for cheap or for free. I don't mind making a smaller cake - but the price is the same per slice and I do have a minimum order amount for weddings too.

This cake would look great in a 6, 9, 12 or a 5, 8, 11. If she wants it to stay that size she needs to pony up the $$. As for dummies, it actually cost about the same or more to do little dummies as it does to do little cakes so there is NO cost difference for me. If they truly wanted the dummy it will cost the same as the decorating is the exact same cake.

Good luck - it is a beautiful cake!

pastrylady Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:12pm
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake

First, you tell her that the price won't be able to change because of the time involved with the design so you're properly compensated for your time here...




I also figure the price of the cake based on #1, the flavor of the cake and #2, the design of the cake to avoid this problem. It won't take much less time to do this design on a 9-6-3 as it would a 14-10-6.

I recently had a bride who wanted a cake for 60p. She had a photo and was very specific about the design she wanted. The cake was to be completely covered in small white gumpaste blossoms over pink fondant. She wanted white eyelet fondant ribbon with an intricate scalloped edge at the base of each tier. She also choose one of my most expensive flavors.

When I got back to her with the quote she responded that they'd decided just to get a tiny decorated cake for the cutting ceremony and would do "something else" for dessert. She wanted the same design in a two tier 5"-3" cake.

I replied to her that if she read the brochure I gave her at the initial consultation she would see that I will not deliver a cake to a reception if there are going to be other cakes (i.e, sheetcakes) from another source served at the wedding, and that I offer service cakes for parties over 100p. I also told her that she could reduce the price of the cake by choosing a less expensive flavor or simplifying the design.

She replied that she understood my policies, but would have to find another option for her cake (i.e., go to someone else).

As my DH said, she was trying to get a $500 cake for $50.

Fine with me, if someone else wants to make her a $500 cake for $50 they are welcome to it.

Ellistwins Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:28pm
post #20 of 21

I can't believe the nerve people have. I can honestly say that I haven't been such a bride or bridezilla. I chose to have Sweetiepies and did all myself. LOL.

You guys make me think if i want to enter the wedding cake market. But I have given a lot of quotes and nobody wants to pay my price and i am not expensive as far as I'm conserned. I always Meassure my prices to the professional name places.

pastrylady Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:26pm
post #21 of 21

Hey Ellistwins...Don't let a few bad apples frighten you away from doing weddings. The vast majority of the brides I've worked with have been really nice and respectful of my time and professionalism. I truly enjoy meeting most of them and have even developed friendships with a few.

I think there will always be brides out there trying to get more for less, that's okay. They'll just have to get it from someone else.

The funny thing is, I almost always do more than the client asks for, especially when they have been nice and seem to really appreciate my work. When a client pushes for a champagne cake at a beer price, I only give them what they've paid for. I resent giving them extras when they don't seem to value my time.

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