How Do You Give An Estimate For A 2009 Wedding?

Decorating By diamondsonblackvelvet13 Updated 19 Jun 2008 , 12:35am by indydebi

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 11:50am
post #1 of 11

I have a customer interested in prices etc. Her wedding isn't until October 2009! How does one handle stuff like this? RIGHT NOW- her cake (based on her design idea and # of servings) would be $875. For all I know, food may go up 600% between now and then. Please help!

Thanks guys!

10 replies
7yyrt Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:38pm
post #2 of 11

I guess you can tell her something like "This is what it would cost right now, but with the way prices are skyrocketing I can make no guarantees for a year and a half away."
Most people are in shock about those same prices, so that should not be a surprise to your bride.

LeanneW Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:47pm
post #3 of 11

wow, eager bride. I would just explain to her that any price increses would be because of the economy and that she can be certain that your increase would be in line with the standard in the industry. meaning she would see a price increase no matter which baker she chose.

just make her feel comforted that you aren't trying to rip her off and then you are trying to do whta is best for her and your business.

I think she will understand because the economy has affected everyone, she can relate to higher grocery bills.

I would offer to accept her deposit to book her date and then give her an estimated date of when you will finalize prices with her.

ChristianCakeBaker Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 3:12pm
post #4 of 11

i agree with the others. just let her know that any price you give her right now is not concrete- but also let her know that if prices do go up it's not because of your own decisions, it would be because of the food prices rising. she should understand, i think everyone is aware of the food price increase right now.

CoutureCake Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 6:04pm
post #5 of 11

What I'd say to do is quote her in at what the cake is going to cost with price adjustments for what the market is predicting, then tell her that the price of your raw ingredients is increasing dramatically (for example, the price of flour doubled two times last year) and you aren't sure what it will be doing by the time of her wedding. Tell her she has the option to lock in the cost of her cake as it is NOW if she books within 2 weeks. After that you'll still book the cake, but that it will be contingent upon commodity price increases but it will only be a modest increase for the cost of ingredients alone. Or, lock in a certain per slice rate now that's $.40 higher than where you're presently at hoping that that will cover any increases in raw ingredients.

The reason she's shopping now is that she IS wanting to get prices locked in for her wedding. You know you're going to be increasing your rates before next year because of the market, she's hedging her bet that she's going to get the better end of the deal. If the prices go down (say farmers that had wanted to plant corn couldn't so planted wheat instead causing a supply increase which means the price will adjust slightly down), then you're still ahead... The ideal is that both of you win here..

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 7:29pm
post #6 of 11

I just booked a cake for Ocotber 2009, and I just quoted them a price thta I thought would be fair. Once they sign (and you sign) a contract you can't increase the price without some kind of clause that says you might. I don't know if I'd be willing, as a customer, to sign a contract that said "the price might go up" unless it was specified how much it might go up. You might as well just tell her what the price will be with any increases that you're planning so that she knows how much she's going to pay and isn't up in the air about it.

cocorum21 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 10:15pm
post #7 of 11

I was thinking about this too. I wouldn't feel right giving a price based on me guessing on that the cost of food will be. Couldn't you just explain that due to the rising cost you don't give price quotes more than 3 months or 6 months out. If they wanted to book their date you just take a deposit and then once it came to the 6 month mark sit down with them and give a firm price with contract.

Plus, her wedding is more than a year away, so giving a price now would still seem like a waste because you know she is going to want 10 different cake between now and then and do you really want to write up a price for each cake anyways?

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 10:23pm
post #8 of 11

I had an event planner want to lock in pricing for an event for herself and I just told her I couldn't lock in pricing for over a year away. I said, "Before the market got so volatile, I could do that, but you go to the grocery ... you see what's going on. There's just no way I can hold today's pricing for over a year." I then told her how my eggs went up 18% in less than 30 days; flour went up 35% in 3 weeks (that means it will double in just 6 weeks!); etc. She TOTALLY understood that!!

This is the clause in my Terms (which are attorney approved) that covers this subject. I've never invoked it ... yet ... but these days, who knows?

The quotes given are based on costs at time of booking and are subject to increase based on costs at time of performance. Client grants management the right to raise prices proportionately if necessary and to make substitutions to the menu when necessary. Any changes will be communicated to the Client prior to the event when possible.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 11:31pm
post #9 of 11

This is what I replied back, I hope I covered most bases.

As far as prices, I can give what I am charging currently, but as we are both aware, prices for everything are increasing dramatically. Currently I charge $3.50 a serving for fondant and $2.25 a serving for buttercream. So based on the design you showed me and the number of servings being an estimated 250, the cost would be $875 for fondant and $562.50 for buttercream. Once it gets a little closer (i.e. begining of 2009) call me at XXX and we will discuss tastings and what the cost would be then. Should you choose to book with me then, I will give you the going rate versus an inflated rate. Please bear in mind that I do require a deposit of 50% of the total in order to hold your date and the remaining balance due no later than two weeks before the date. Thank you VERY much for considering me for your joyus occasion! You have chosen a beautiful cake!

Let me know what y'all think and THANK YOU ALL SOOOOOO much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom!

Doug Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 12:17am
post #10 of 11


I sure wish I could "book" car repairs and oil changes the way people do cakes.

Imagine -- calling the repair shop and saying "I'd like an appointment for june 5, 2009 for an oil change. I see you're listing that at $40 today. I want to lock in the that price now for my oil change then."

If they didn't a) die laughing hysterically or b) slam the phone down --- they certainly tell me NO'll pay what it costs THEN.

maybe it's time for all of us to work more like that -- to NOT quote any kind of final price more than say 2 or 3 months at most before the event.

indydebi Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 12:35am
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by Doug

maybe it's time for all of us to work more like that -- to NOT quote any kind of final price more than say 2 or 3 months at most before the event.

There's a big caterer in town that has it right on their website that they will not give a confirmed price until 6 months prior to the event...... if you want to book them 18 months ahead of time, you can ... and it will cost your a $1000 non-refundable deposit..... but you'll wait a year before you know how much your reception will cost.

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