How Can I Tell This Bride Her Budget Is Way Off?

Decorating By ShopGrl1128 Updated 14 Apr 2008 , 11:07pm by funcakes

ShopGrl1128 Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 9:50pm
post #1 of 62

Hello CCers:
I need your input here, please.

I recently got an email from a bride asking me to make her wedding cake for 135 guesses with a $200.00 budget, including delivery,
and reception site is 45 miles away from my home!

At the beginning my reaction was: âsheâs crazy!â but then I felt bad and thought that maybe she just simply canât afford to spend more
than $200.00, which I absolutely understand.

Even if I charge her my base price ($2.50 per serving for BC) $200.00 is simply not enough to serve 135 people!
not even at Walmart prices! How clueless can she be?
I have my prices on my website, so I donât know why sheâs thinking I will give her over a 50% discount.

She wants a âmodernâ and âfunâ design, so I wouldnât be surprised if she wants a replica of $2,000.00 cake for just $200.00.

How can I nicely tell her sheâs nuts without being rude?

Thanks,

61 replies
kakeladi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 9:59pm
post #2 of 62

Don't let an emergency on their part be an emergency for you!
You cannot feel sorry for them.
I've had brides come for consult and when they found out no other cake allowed except what I provide they walk out. One bride did that....then about 4 days before her wedding she called and ordered a very small 2 tier cake thinking I wouldn't remember her. Well I figured maybe they had downgraded the wedding. When I delivered there were *6* full sheets from Wal-Mart!icon_sad.gif

Just tell here your prices are just that. There is NO way she is going to serve that many people w/that amount of money - sorry, just NO way!
They will try all kinds of tricks to get around your pricingicon_sad.gif

fmcmulle Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:01pm
post #3 of 62

I very nicely would tell her that it just isn't possible. Give her some wedding cake websites to checkout cake prices. I have one now I am working with that sent me a collette peters cake and asked me how much would I charge for 200 people. The cake she wanted would have cost her around $1500 well she has changed her mind on that one.
I am not sure you can find someone to do a cake for 135 people foor $200.00. Alot of brides are so misinformed and I think once you break it down for them they see it a little clearer. I hope this helps.
Faye

yummymummy Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:05pm
post #4 of 62

Oh man...when will people get it? I myself have a huge heart and tend to want to give people more than what they ask for, but then they expect it! You need to tell her you're sensitive to her budget issues, but you just can't produce the cake she wants for her price. Tell her what you can do, and leave it up to her. thumbs_up.gif

disneynutbsv Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:06pm
post #5 of 62

After you add your gas to get to the reception, and cost for the materials....you would be doing it for almost nothing! She's way off in her prices.

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:06pm
post #6 of 62

Don't give in...you have set prices and if she cannot afford them she should look for somewhere else where she can.. There is always people out there looking for a sucker...sorry! but when people give in to them they win and get what they want for less!! Everyone else honest...pays full price!! I would reply no way...well in not those terms but you get the jist of it!!

mommycakediva Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:09pm
post #7 of 62

Wow, ya some ppl. are just clueless on how much work goes into a cake and what it should really cost!

ntertayneme Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 10:10pm
post #8 of 62

I've had many brides to this to me.... and yes, I got "suckered" in and gave it to them for a very reduced cost ... only to get to the reception area to deliver/set up the cake and find out they had their wedding catered by one of the most expensive places in town... I'm talking this caterer will not even talk to you or book any wedding under $5,000... I was livid!! She got me good ... now when they start the "poor mouth" talk about they have a very limited budget, I just give them the price and that's that... I do not compromise my prices for anyone ..... I give them a very fair price; take it or leave it!

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 11:31pm
post #9 of 62

because the Stephie's of the world have told them "You just TELL that vendor what you're willing to pay and if they want your business, they will have to drop their price!"

Bite me. icon_razz.gif

I can beat that one. Bride called and every time I asked for her budget, she went around the bush and behind the outhouse to avoid the answer (red flag). FINALLY she told me that for 200 people, she had a whopping (gasp!) FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!! She actually thought that was a LOT of money.

I said, "Honey, you can't even get Happy Meals for that. I'm sorry, but you are not going to find a caterer for $2.50 a person." She had told me her original plan was to have the family do a pitch-in for the reception but she didn't want her family to work it, she wanted them to just enjoy the reception. I suggested ".....if that's all you have in your budget, you should reconsider your plan to have your family provide the reception food for you."

She asked me send her a quote anyway. I said sure. Never sent it.

You got a bride that I refer to as a "Twinkie-Budget-Bride". If they're lucky, they can afford to buy a Twinkie for each of their guests."

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:39am
post #10 of 62

indydebi, that's a great analogy with the happy meal. i mean if they can't afford to even buy each of their guests a happy meal then they seriously have to cut their guest list. OR if they have enough budget to get a happy meal for their guests then they should go ahead and do that.

it truly is amazing how people want their wedding to be fabulous but they wanna pay ghetto fabulous. LOL

indydebi Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:53am
post #11 of 62

It's what I call "going math-dumb". People are very good at figuring out that taking 6 people to dinner for $10 each will cost them $60.

But they go math-dumb when they have to figure $10 a person for 100 people. For some reason they are SHOCKED that it comes out to $1000! icon_surprised.gif

MacsMom Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:00am
post #12 of 62

I would tell her that you can make a cake that will serve 80 guests for $200 as your prices are $2.50 per serving. Let her figure out the rest.

Chef_Stef Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:01am
post #13 of 62

If someone sent me that request, I'd just simply and *naively* say this: "Well, now, let's see...(adjusting glasses and reaching for calculator), my prices start at $3.50 for basic buttercream cakes, so....let me do some quick math here...$200 will feed 57 of your 135 guests. Oh!--or were you planning on the 'Invite 135, expect 57' rule?" icon_lol.gif bwahaha!

Seriously...my prices are non-negotiable, so that would be all I'd say to them, plus probably this: "So, your budget will cover 57 servings; a cake to feed your expected head count will cost $472.50 MINIMUM. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

If they still aren't getting it, I just say that I'm sorry but I can't do their cake, but they might try calling around; there could be someone (living under a rock somewhere) who could do it for that price.

ShopGrl1128 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:14am
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Quote:

If someone sent me that request, I'd just simply and *naively* say this: "Well, now, let's see...(adjusting glasses and reaching for calculator), my prices start at $3.50 for basic buttercream cakes, so....let me do some quick math here...$200 will feed 57 of your 135 guests. Oh!--or were you planning on the 'Invite 135, expect 57' rule?" bwahaha!




Ha! this is hilarious...but seriously, I know I live in Cheapville and people expect well...cheap...but c'mon!!!

lardbutt Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:21am
post #15 of 62

I wish I had the GUTS OF STEEL that some of you had! I am such a weiner!

sassycleo Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:28am
post #16 of 62

CakeGirl, where in PA are you considering cheap? I'm originally from PA, and if you are anywhere near or around Philly your not in cheapville, though the residents might like to think so. You are actually in one of the more expensive parts of the state to live and work in!

Don't let her get over on ya, I'm learning this rule quickly as much as I want the order and business to get some "under my belt" I'll be darned if I'm giving anything at all away for free anymore!

Stomp that proverbial cake foot girlie!

Alicia

marthajo1 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:28am
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

Don't let an emergency on their part be an emergency for you!
You cannot feel sorry for them.
I've had brides come for consult and when they found out no other cake allowed except what I provide they walk out. One bride did that....then about 4 days before her wedding she called and ordered a very small 2 tier cake thinking I wouldn't remember her. Well I figured maybe they had downgraded the wedding. When I delivered there were *6* full sheets from Wal-Mart!icon_sad.gif

Just tell here your prices are just that. There is NO way she is going to serve that many people w/that amount of money - sorry, just NO way!
They will try all kinds of tricks to get around your pricingicon_sad.gif





Oh My Gosh!!! What did you do????

Bunniefluf Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:28am
post #18 of 62

Hmm, coincidental, I just posted to the thread about clauses on bringing store-bought sheet cakes to augment the main wedding cake.

I agree that you should just tell her that you can't possibly meet her budget, but provide her with a price and some decoration options for what you would be willing/able to accomodate.

As for pricing...I don't really think brides are dumb, I just don't think they realize the work involved and how much wedding cake really costs. Prior to her engagement, I doubt she was out pricing wedding cake in her spare time. Most non-cake folk are getting occasion cakes from grocery stores; their wedding is probably the first they've dealt with a specialty wedding baker and the non-mass produced prices.

Now on a separate note: Is there a word for "Non-cake folk"?? (Kinda like how non-magic folk are "muggles" in the Harry Potter books.) Everyone seems to use the term alot, so just a silly thought!! icon_lol.gif

Bunniefluf Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:34am
post #19 of 62

HA HA! Just thought of something else....

Tell her you'll make her a dummy cake that *looks* like it would feed 200!!!

LOL!!!! icon_lol.gif

JoanneK Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 5:02am
post #20 of 62

I would just ask her what kind of cake she wants and then send her the bill for whatever your prices are. Let her figure it out that she can't afford you.

Amia Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 5:42am
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunniefluf


As for pricing...I don't really think brides are dumb, I just don't think they realize the work involved and how much wedding cake really costs. Prior to her engagement, I doubt she was out pricing wedding cake in her spare time. Most non-cake folk are getting occasion cakes from grocery stores; their wedding is probably the first they've dealt with a specialty wedding baker and the non-mass produced prices.




I agree with you. Before I started making cakes myself, I thought these cake people were out of their minds charging $3+ per slice! As a bride (or cake muggle) you're thinking, how much could it possibly cost these people to make a simple cake. icon_lol.gif Simple? Not hardly. Now that I do cakes, I realize what a bargain $3/slice is. Fortunately for me, I have a decorator friend who has offered to do my cake for me! Hopefully this will cost less than a bakery and leave me without the stress of doing it myself. We'll see icon_cool.gif Most people just don't realize the amount of supplies, time, electricity and hard work! it takes to make a cake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunniefluf


Now on a separate note: Is there a word for "Non-cake folk"?? (Kinda like how non-magic folk are "muggles" in the Harry Potter books.) Everyone seems to use the term alot, so just a silly thought!! icon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gif If there isn't a term, we should make one up!

WendyLaLa Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 5:59am
post #22 of 62

My favorite calls to the bakery are I need to get some prices on a small cake simple hardly any decoration. My question how many folks are ya look'n to feed. Bride: Only 30 or so. Me: Well are you looking for tiered cake or a single layer. Bride: I'd like a small tiered cake, just simple, hardly any decoration at all. Me: Well the smallest cake I will do is 62 servings, I tell her my price and she says FOR A SIMPLE CAKE!!!! I tell that maybe one of the other bakeries in town would be a better fit and send her on her way. Two hours later she calls back. OH my Gosh you are the cheepest in the city. I'd like to come in for a consult. Me: O.K. When is your wedding. Bride: This Saturday.
Me: I'm sorry I'm booked. Try the market. I do not like to take cake orders the week before the Wedding unless it's an emergency (baker took off with their deposit and they can't find her.)

lovely Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 6:44am
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by amia1024


Now on a separate note: Is there a word for "Non-cake folk"?? (Kinda like how non-magic folk are "muggles" in the Harry Potter books.) Everyone seems to use the term alot, so just a silly thought!! icon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gif If there isn't a term, we should make one up![/quote]

LOL I think there is and you just did in Cake Muggle. I love the term. Cake muggle cake muggle cake muggle.
Think it will catch on??

yummymummy Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 10:06am
post #24 of 62

indydebi and homecook crack me up! icon_lol.gif LOVE IT! I would send them to that video on the epicurious website on " how to make your own wedding cake". See if they can get there bc that smooth and edges so crisp! Theire cake will look like my children's cupcakes when I handed them my filled decorating bags and said "have at it!" LOL! (not that they didn't do a great job...but they're 7...a great job for their age) icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 12:06pm
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely

Quote:
Originally Posted by amia1024


Now on a separate note: Is there a word for "Non-cake folk"?? (Kinda like how non-magic folk are "muggles" in the Harry Potter books.) Everyone seems to use the term alot, so just a silly thought!! icon_lol.gif



icon_lol.gif If there isn't a term, we should make one up!




LOL I think there is and you just did in Cake Muggle. I love the term. Cake muggle cake muggle cake muggle.
Think it will catch on??[/quote]

I call them "cake civilians"!

lovely Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 12:24pm
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely

Quote:
Originally Posted by amia1024


Now on a separate note: Is there a word for "Non-cake folk"?? (Kinda like how non-magic folk are "muggles" in the Harry Potter books.) Everyone seems to use the term alot, so just a silly thought!! icon_lol.gif



icon_lol.gif If there isn't a term, we should make one up!



LOL I think there is and you just did in Cake Muggle. I love the term. Cake muggle cake muggle cake muggle.
Think it will catch on??




I call them "cake civilians"![/quote]

Ah touche. That is another great term.

eatdessert1st Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 1:12pm
post #27 of 62

I've heard too many stories of bride's giving the "I only have $500 for a wedding cake" sob story only to find when they deliver the cake that there's a DJ and expensive catering at the reception. I think people in general are ignorant of how much an "official" cake actually costs because they're used to picking them up at grocery stores, Sam's, of Costco's.

ShopGrl1128 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 2:35pm
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunniefluf

HA HA! Just thought of something else....

Tell her you'll make her a dummy cake that *looks* like it would feed 200!!!

LOL!!!! icon_lol.gif




OMG! you're not going to believe this!
I emailed her last night telling her that there wasn't much I could do with a $200.00 budget, the email was really nice and I told her I understood she was in a tight budget but I could not help her.
I tried to refer her to someone else, but I'm the cheapest around here, so no luck with that either.

Then she emails back...asking me to make a 'fake cake' that looks like would fee 135 people and listen to this...she would get sheet cakes from the supermarket to serve, because she realized 'guesses were not that wise'...

Yeah...I will have people judge MY cakes by eating supermarket cakes.... no f#$% way!!!

I really could understand not having the money to pay some stuff...I've been there...but she's dreaming if she thinks I will do that...

yummymummy Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:02pm
post #29 of 62

That's too much! What did you really tell her...allthough " No #%#$ way" sounds about right to me!

susieq76 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:38pm
post #30 of 62

Maybe b/c I'm still newish at this or maybe b/c I'm a big sucker ... This weekend I made a 3 tier cake for a wedding to feed 60 (actually 74) for $100.

Of course, they are friends of friends and I'll also be attending and imbibing with them icon_biggrin.gif I also know they actually are cooking their own reception food b/c of the small budget. I'll post the pic tonight.

I'm a sucker- I always try to work it out somehow. Maybe offer to make a small two tier (8", 6") for display and provide some sheets or easy rounds with non-smoothed buttercream for the kitchen?

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