Decor Of Wedding Cake Table My Responsability?

Business By rnp3603 Updated 3 May 2008 , 9:18pm by cakedout

rnp3603 Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:39am
post #1 of 22

I'm doing my first wedding cake! My DH's niece is getting married and she contacted me to make her CAKES. She wants approx 30-6" cakes as centerpieces at ea table. She also wants a 3-tier cake to feed about 50 people, and a grooms cake. I thought I was going to have my hands more than full with all these cakes, but now it seems like I am to find ideas for the table decor and display of the cakes. Pardon my ignorance, but am I responsible for decorating the tables also? By the way, we haven't fix a price for all this work yet!!!

21 replies
fmcmulle Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:50am
post #2 of 22

I would be more than happy to decorate your cake table for an addittional fee. It is not your responsibility or at least I don't.
That is alot of cakes. You are going to have your hands full.
Good luck.

ccr03 Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:14am
post #3 of 22


I tell people, "If there is anything you want on teh cake table please leave it in a box underneath the table and I will arrange it."

I don't buy anything, but if they have something for it, I'd like to put it so I can get a good looking photo.

michellenj Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:49pm
post #4 of 22

If her caterer is getting table skirts, make sure that the cake table is draped and skirted, and set up away from the DJ's speakers (see the cake disaster threads).

indydebi Posted 1 May 2008 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 22

I dont' decorate tables. If they want petals strewn (strown?) on the cake table, I'll do that if they leave the box/bag of petals on the cake table. But that's it. If they got any other bakery to make the cakes, does any other bakery decorate tables? Then why do they expect you to?

And just to differentiate between "caterer" and "venue". As an off-site caterer, if I dont' do the cake, then I don't do the tablecloths and tableskirting for the cake table. (I'm making ZERO money on this cake and you expect me to lay out $35 for a tablecloth and tableskirt for your cake table AND pay someone on my crew to set it up????? Did I mention I'm making ZERO money on this cake????)

I will provide the cloths/skirts for my food tables only .. you know, the tables of food I've been PAID to take care of? A VENUE usually provides the table coverings for tables. If a bride orders my a la carte wedding cake (which does NOT include the table linen in the price), then I tell the bride, "You need to be sure the table is covered and skirted. Since I'm the caterer, she can't tell ME to take care of that....she would arrange it with her venue.

I see a lot of threads with "Oh, the caterer handles that!" and as a caterer, I feel the need to remind people they should never assume the caterer takes care of more than the catering.

Sorry .... had to clear the record for us caterer-folks! thumbs_up.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:04am
post #6 of 22

May I speak freely? icon_smile.gif First things first, you need to clarify what they are almost always expects a discount, or worse, figures you'll do it for free or next to nothing....It's only cake, right???

I would finalize a price and be sure to add in for your time and materials if you decide you want to do the table decorating. I would be very nervous even planning anything if you have no idea what you are charging/what they are willing to pay.

I wish you the best ~ talking money is scary and it's sooooo much worse (for me) when it's family. icon_smile.gif

cakesbycombs Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:05am
post #7 of 22

i don't provide anything for the cake table indydeb, i will sprinkle petals or arrange votives but nothing major, that is not your responsibility, yours is the cake! icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:07am
post #8 of 22

Well, because it's your neice, and she's probably expecting a bit of a deal, then I could see why their expectations of you are higher. You are more than just a cake decorator to them.

I talk about the table, the linens that will be used on it, and other table decoration as part of the consultation, then I make them a list of things they need to take care of. I always half jokingly tell them I will take care of all of it for an extra grand icon_smile.gif they laugh and say they will take care of it.

southerncake Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:26am
post #9 of 22

I'm with the others... if they leave something to decorate the table, then I will put it out, but that is it. I had a bride a few weeks ago inform me that I would be decorating her cake exactly the same as one in my portfolio. It had very nice candles and hurricanes with magnolia, stargazer lillies, etc. She was "astonished" that all of that "stuff" wasn't included in her price!

indydebi Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:28am
post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

.... then I make them a list of things they need to take care of.

I actually had to start putting right on my a la order form "Bride is responsible for:" (and that part is in bold and then boxed-in in yellow!) cake plates and forks; tablecloth/skirting; cake cutting service."

aligotmatt Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:43am
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by indydebi

Originally Posted by aligotmatt

.... then I make them a list of things they need to take care of.

I actually had to start putting right on my a la order form "Bride is responsible for:" (and that part is in bold and then boxed-in in yellow!) cake plates and forks; tablecloth/skirting; cake cutting service."

I like that. Addit to the order form. Normally as we're tlaking I have some of my business stationary and I keep a list, and then I hand it to them, but I no longer have it. If it's on the order form, we both have it and we both know what I will NOT be doing. I'm doing that right now. If I'm ever in indy, I'm coming to give you a hug!

akgirl10 Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:51am
post #12 of 22

This is just my preference, but I like the less is more approach to a cake table. I mean, why would someone spend the money to order an elaborate cake that will get lost in foliage and sparklers?

Oh, and make sure you're getting paid WELL for those 30 cakes, that is quite the undertaking!

FromScratch Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:58am
post #13 of 22

No way should you be responsible to decorating the tables or having something to put the cakes on. That is her responsibility and I suggest you make that clear to her now. I am with CakeDiva73 too.. make sure you iron out costs now before you start baking. That is TON of cake. a 6" cake will serve 10 people (12 according to Wilton).. so they want 300 servings plus a 50 serving cake. Make sure she realizes what she is asking you to do. If she went to a bakery she would be looking at spending about $1300.00 for that. If she ordered that from me I would charge $1400 in BC and $1750 in fondant.

I would sit down with her and explain what she is asking for.. make sure that she really wants to pay for 350 servings of cake.. and understands how much it will be to do that. Even just ingredients for that much cake will be a lot.

leah_s Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:19am
post #14 of 22

I'm with everybody else. Whatever they leave in a box or bag clearly labeled "cake table" I will put out and arrange, mostly for my picture. I dont' provide anything other than the cake. I also have all that in my contract.

marthajo1 Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:36am
post #15 of 22

I will from now on always bring some taper candles to match the color on the cake. For the wedding I did in January they had 2 "red" tapers to put next to the cake. They were ORANGE!! I thought they looked horribly tacky. I swear they were the ones that are like 3 for a dollar at Walgreens.

paolacaracas Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:47am
post #16 of 22

If you are great at decorating tables, and if your cakes come the nicest decorations, isn't that a plus? it's extra efort but it will set you apart from the rest. Take a look at my pictures, I have silver plated bases, costume cut glass plates, table covers, lights, the bride will pay extra for a better set cake, and you will have something nobody else does.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 2 May 2008 , 4:48am
post #17 of 22

paola, now i wanna look at your photos icon_smile.gif

indydebi, i think "strewn" is right.

rnp3603 Posted 2 May 2008 , 3:47pm
post #18 of 22

Thank you all for the great input. Paola, I like very much your point of view and will take it in consideration. That was exactly why she wanted me to come up with the design of the table display, because she "trusts me to do it with style", quote. icon_rolleyes.gif I just think that I will be so overwhelmed with the workload!
As for the the price of the cakes, so far our agreement is that she'll buy all the ingredients and materials to make them. That, I don't mind 'cause honestly, I don't want the expense of buying them. I am still to figure out how much to charge her just for labor. Being my first time doing a wedding cake makes it hard for me. I strongly agree with Cakediva73, talking money with family is not easy. I do want take in consideration that she is family, but don't want to end up doing this almost for free.

michellenj Posted 2 May 2008 , 10:59pm
post #19 of 22

I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to assume that the caterer just magically has a setup. I meant that the bride should arrange for the caterer (or the person handling the skirting and table cloths) to order extra to cover the cake table so that they all match, and to make sure that they get a table that the clips that hold the skirting will fit onto. The bride will be charged.

I've always kept extra linen with me anyway, though, because people that don't do this for a living always forget something and guess who gets to run around like a dumbazz trying to fix it? icon_lol.gif I put on contracts what the bride is responsible for, too.

indydebi Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:07am
post #20 of 22

michellenj, the place where I rent my linens has a GREAT item! It's a t.cloth/skirt all in one! Cheaper than renting the 2 pieces, too! No worrying about if the clips fit the table (man, I HATE that when that happens Whoever started puttind those "bullnose" white tables in reception halls should be shot!!! My rental place gives regular clips free, but if you use bullnose, there's an extra charge).

Here's a pic of one of my table with these linens: http:[email protected]/2245051889/ If you rent your linens, check with the place you deal with and see if they have them or have plans to get them. I LUV 'em!

Zombiecakes Posted 3 May 2008 , 6:38pm
post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by rnp3603

That was exactly why she wanted me to come up with the design of the table display, because she "trusts me to do it with style", quote. icon_rolleyes.gif I just think that I will be so overwhelmed with the workload!

Perhaps you can sketch out the stylish design and the bride can find someone to execute it? Your hands will be more than full with all those 6" cakes!

cakedout Posted 3 May 2008 , 9:18pm
post #22 of 22

OK, first of all, do you REALIZE how much WORK making 30 cakes is going to be???!!! icon_surprised.gif Let alone the tier cake AND groom's cake??? And do you have freezer space for all of them????? icon_confused.gif

Years ago I did a wedding for 450 guests= 40 6" cakes and a 3-tier cake for family and bridal party. My friend and I baked and did prep work for 2 weeks, and decorated 2 solid days!

The cakes filled the entire van (with all seats out) and took us 1 hour to place cakes and set up tier cake.

I just want to you be aware of what you are getting into, and to plan for everything you will need, and where to put it all. And by all means, purchase or borrow pans from someone so you can bake as many layers as possible at one time.

My Buttercream centerpiece cakes start at $25.00 each. Don't be afraid to charge them-this is a lot of extra work for a decorator. And as for decorating the tables- only if it involves tossing a few flower petals! icon_wink.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%