I'm making a small wedding cake, only for about 30 people. She wants something like this photo, only in buttercream. I've told her I'll include an anniversary tier at no charge, as she wants one. Bottom 2 tiers are both to be filled with mousse. I will end up cutting cakes down in order to not make this a colossal cake. I don't want to charge an arm and a leg, as I am eager for the experience. Also, she has given me a week's notice. I have a price chart for sheet cakes, but since I'm new at weddings, I haven't got a clue!!
Is this the same woman who wanted less-sweet icing? I'd personally charge her $3.25 a serving for a simple cake, plus delivery. Are you throwing the top tier in for free (anniversary tier) or making her another one fresh on her anniversary? If you're giving her a free anniversary cake on her anniversary, I assume that the three tiers will serve 30 people, since there's no reason for her to need to save the top tier! How big are these cakes going to be? Three tiers for 30 people seems like a lot.
It is the same woman! I'm making the top tier for her anniversary, she wants to keep it that long, so I think it's a nice idea to give that one away. I am going to have to make these tiers pretty small, I have done it before by cutting a rectangular cake into smaller squares and then stacking them. I will probably end up making too much cake. The woman said she had to be honest, she didn't want to spend more than $150.00. My mouth fell open, because I wasn't going to charge nearly that!
Oh, no no no, don't feel like you have to charge her nothing...This is how I'd figure it. If you do a 4" square, a 6" square and an 8" square, you'll be giving her the top 4" free (even if it's small, it fits the cake) and the 6 and 8" will give her about 43 servings. If you do two 9x13 sheets to start with (assuming that you don't have the square pans) you'd be able to cut a 4", 5 1/2" and 7 1/2" square out of each, which would give you about the right sizes (with a little wasted cake). Estimate about 40 servings once you account for the slightly smaller sizes, OR you could charge her for the entire 9x13 that you had to waste some of, which would be 48 servings. As far as that goes, I'd just charge her for the 40, since it isn't her problem that you don't have the right sized pans, but that's up to you. I don't charge for the top tier, either, so that's how I'd do it.
Your pricing should reflect your work, not what she wants to pay...I'd charge 3.25 a serving , like I said, which would be $130, and that's still below her budget. If you feel guilty about charging her that much, DON'T!!! I'd also charge her for the delivery, but you could give her a "reduced delivery price" to keep it at or below the $150. Or if you're still trying to convince yourself that you're worth that much money, you can just tell her that you're giving her the delivery for free and leave the price at $130 (but I'd go ahead and charge her for it. Gas is expensive, and you have to pay for your time, too!) You could tell her that with the delivery the price would have been slightly over her budget, so you reduced it from a $30 delivery fee to $20 so that it would be $150. If she wants to pick the cake up herself let her, but only reduce it back to the $130. I'd be irritated to do a teeny cake like this, quite frankly, so I might end up charging more for the last-minuteness of it!
Thanks for your insights! I guess it really does make sense.!
If you feel guilty about charging her that much, DON'T!!!
Just to clarify, I mean don't feel guilty, not don't charge her that much! I figured you could probably tell that based on the rest of my post, but I just wanted to make sure! And if you present the final price to her in the right way, she'll feel like you're doing her a big favor (which you are) to do her cake for under $150!
I completely agree with costumeczar.. I'd charge $4/serving and do 4-6-8 for 45 servings (less the top tier). That'd be $180 with the free top tier. You care accomodating a VERY last minute wedding cake order.. don't give it to her for nothing. She says she doesn't want to spend more than $150.. well that's nice, but I'd rather not spend $25K on my car, but it doesn't mean that the dealership is going to give it to me for what I want. The truth is that you are doing her a HUGE favor doing a cake with a week's notice.
After thinking about it some more, I totally agree. It is just as much work, in a way, to do a cake for 30 as it is to do a cake for 130! I'm definitley not going to undercharge, provided the cake looks nice!