Prices/wedding Vs Decorated Cakes

Business By sugarcheryl Updated 16 Jul 2008 , 12:16am by indydebi

sugarcheryl Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 3:55pm
post #1 of 40

Why do some cake decorator charge different prices from the decorated cakes and wedding cakes? Is it because of time. And the speciality cakes I find they can take up just as much time. So would you keep speciality cakes and wedding cake prices ranging the same?

39 replies
lilyanddayne Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:00pm
post #2 of 40

I don't know for sure, but I would guess that wedding cakes take more time, are more difficult, you have to stack them and deliver them, you need special supplies for them, you do special request with colors and flavors, you have to have a tasting and meetings with the bride/groom/mothers and show your portfolio. I think all of these extras constitute the "extra" charges.
I also think that regular cakes are just as time consuming don't get me wrong.

OCakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:12pm
post #3 of 40

A LOT more goes into wedding cakes. My wedding cakes are only $1.00/slice more than my 3D cakes though, and my other occasion cakes are a lot less, but do depend on how they want it decorated. Wedding cakes include a consultation & tasting, delivery & set-up, and a LOT more time on the phone &/or e-mail, planning for decoration, etc... Also, my wedding cakes have 3 layers of filling per tier (regular cakes have 1 layer of filling), and they look PERFECT. They are extremely smooth, even if they're BC. They also include the support system, and a more expensive cake base... a lot of little things that add-up. For me, it's a matter of all the time spent. A wedding cake can take my entire week. Also, if you need to use fondant, or make special decorations out of fondant/gumpaste, etc... I do keep my prices at about $0.50/slice less than my local competitors, and I often give discounts to limited-budget couples, or I offer back-up sheets to help them out, etc... but I definitely put a lot of energy (& love) into my cakes! =)

OCakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:14pm
post #4 of 40

A LOT more goes into wedding cakes. My wedding cakes are only $1.00/slice more than my 3D cakes though, and my other occasion cakes are a lot less, but do depend on how they want it decorated. Wedding cakes include a consultation & tasting, delivery & set-up, and a LOT more time on the phone &/or e-mail, planning for decoration, etc... Also, my wedding cakes have 3 layers of filling per tier (regular cakes have 1 layer of filling), and they look PERFECT. They are extremely smooth, even if they're BC. They also include the support system, and a more expensive cake base... a lot of little things that add-up. For me, it's a matter of all the time spent. A wedding cake can take my entire week. Also, if you need to use fondant, or make special decorations out of fondant/gumpaste, etc... I do keep my prices at about $0.50/slice less than my local competitors, and I often give discounts to limited-budget couples, or I offer back-up sheets to help them out, etc... but I definitely put a lot of energy (& love) into my cakes! =)

jennifer7777 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:20pm
post #5 of 40

Some people price differently for wedding cakes for reasons already stated by previous posters. However, I know some people don't distinguish between the two, because they feel it's just about as much time to make either cake. What I have seen is that people set their prices according to the maximum amount a cake will serve...and usually you get this amount based on "wedding cake slices (1x2x4)".
So, for example...a 6-inch round serves 12 max. If your prices are $1.00 per slice, you will charge $12.00 whether the cake is for a wedding or a party. Chances are for the party people may cut bigger slices, but that's not your problem. They get 12 servings max...it depends on if they serve it that way or not.

Using pricing this way helps keep things easy and consistent not only for you to remember your pricing, but for your customers as well.

sugarcheryl Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:41pm
post #6 of 40

I guess its up to you the decorator and what works for you and your customer and what everyone in your area is doing. Thanks. I'm just trying to figure out which way to go. I want to keep everything simple as possible. right now I have the pricing for the wedding I just get stuck sometimes when it comes to the speciality cakes.

maryjsgirl Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:07pm
post #7 of 40

I take at least an hour out of my time to consult.
The time it takes to drive to and from consult location.
The cost of gas to drive to and from that location.
The time it takes to make the sample cakes.
The cost of the ingredients for the sample cakes.
The time it take to drive to and from the reception.
The time it takes me to set up.
The cost of gas to drive to and from reception.


These all factor into charging more for a wedding cake than a celebration cake.

sugarcheryl Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:17pm
post #8 of 40

When you put it like that you are right. Now I will not feel guilty for charging the brides. Thank you.

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:01am
post #9 of 40

Could everyone clarify the delivery thing? You will deliver a 3-tier fondant covered wedding cake, but you don't deliver a 3-tier fondant covered birthday cake?

Denise Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:20am
post #10 of 40

A friend and I discussed this today.

Lets choose a sheet cake that serves 54 the 12x18

I also do a little 3 tier cake that serves 48 so it is 6 servings less. It is a 3, 6, and 9" cakes stacked.

On the 12 x 18 I

1. grease and flour ONE pan
2. Mix batter in One batch
3. Bake ONE cake
4. Wash ONE pan
5. Cut ONE board
6. Ice ONE cake
7. Decorate ONE cake

with the little 3 tier cake

1. grease and flour 5 pans (the 3" is a single layer)
2. Mix 2 batches of batter
3. fill and bake 5 pans
4. wash 5 pans
5. Cut 3 boards
6. Cover 3 boards
7. Dam and fill 2 cakes
8. Ice 3 cakes
9. Stack and support 3 tiers of cake
10. Decorate 3 cakes

This is after talking to the bride via phone/emails. 1 to 2 hour (or more) consultation, then delivery and set up on site which take time and gasoline. (I recently did one of these little cakes as a wedding cake. I still had to drive 18 miles one way to deliver, go in the restaurant, take the cake, take a "repair kit/ribbon express" and put the ribbon on the cake and drive home. Still took almost an hour. All for 6 servings LESS of cake.

Tiered cakes take more materials, more ingredients, more time to ice/decorate. That is why they cost more. JMHO

southerncake Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:24am
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Could everyone clarify the delivery thing? You will deliver a 3-tier fondant covered wedding cake, but you don't deliver a 3-tier fondant covered birthday cake?




I'm with you on this one Debi! I charge the same for a tiered party cake or a tiered wedding cake!

PinkZiab Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:27am
post #12 of 40

I price out each cake individually. I don't care if it's a wedding, bar mitzvah, baby shower, dog's birthday, whatever. The price is based on the design and amount of work that will go into it (as well as cost fo materials/ingredients, etc). I don't charge more simply because it's a wedding cake. I have wedding cakes that were cheaper than children's birthday cakes, because the designs were simpler.

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:30am
post #13 of 40

Denise, a great breakdown on the difference, there.

What if the non-wedding cake is not a sheet cake? What if the non-wedding cake is a 3-tier cake that serves 48? Do you have different pricing for that?

kymscakes Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:37am
post #14 of 40

I find that wedding cakes are sometimes less time consuming! For instance, a birthday, graduation, etc, can have several different colors of fondant, gumpaste decorations, wired pieces, etc, all of which take an extreme amount of time! I too always charge the same for cakes, wedding does not make a difference.

samcfi Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:39am
post #15 of 40

indydebi,
I was just looking at your cutting/serving guide. Which number of servings do you price by (wedding, party or family)?

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 2:51am
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by samcfi

indydebi,
I was just looking at your cutting/serving guide. Which number of servings do you price by (wedding, party or family)?



I price by wilton wedding chart. When I cut my (wedding) cakes, I also cut by the wilton wedding chart. At family birthdays and functions, I always cut the cake (no one makes me .... I usually shove people out of the way because it will make me crazy to watch someone cut a cake wrong! Nah ..... *I* got no control issues! icon_rolleyes.gif ) and I cut it the wilton wedding size and it's still a good "party" portion .... I watch the reactions, I ask my daughter and/or another family member what people said about hte cake piece sizes, etc. It's PERFECT for small children. No complaints about cake sizes .... even those who took a second piece said the size was great .... they ate the first piece, then had a chance to let it digest awhile and got a 2nd piece later.

When clients come in, I tell them it's about the size of a folded over peanut butter sandwich. I also show them the pic of cut pieces of cake (the one in my pics ... funfetti pieces). MOB 2 days ago saw the pic on screen and said, "Oh, that's a PERFECT size!"

KoryAK Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 3:04am
post #17 of 40

Another point that may not be popular to hear or think about, but true nonetheless, is that there is just simply more BUDGET for a wedding than a party. I'll be glad to help you spend it.

And, for the record, I charge the same for any tiered cake and a different pricing structure for single cakes.

PinkZiab Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 3:46am
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Quote:

Another point that may not be popular to hear or think about, but true nonetheless, is that there is just simply more BUDGET for a wedding than a party.




This is what i hate about the whole wedding industry. icon_mad.gif

Denise Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 4:20am
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Quote:

Denise, a great breakdown on the difference, there.

What if the non-wedding cake is not a sheet cake? What if the non-wedding cake is a 3-tier cake that serves 48? Do you have different pricing for that?




Indydebi - If I do a consult and deliver I don't care if it is a cupcake - I charge my wedding cake prices and I do have a minimum to do a consult and deliver. I recently did a little 3 tier cake as a wedding cake but she also had a grooms cake - she BARELY made my minimum.

I do those little 3 tier cakes all the time for baby showers/birthdays etc. I do charge a little less if it is not a wedding cake but that is because I DO NOT do a consult and I do not deliver it. Time is money.

BrandisBaked Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:14am
post #20 of 40

I charge a per serving price no matter what the occasion is. My prices start at $3.50 per serving and go up according to the degree of difficulty of the design.

It really bugs the snot out of me when people charge twice as much for the same cake simply because it's for a wedding. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

CakeDiva73 Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 6:16am
post #21 of 40

I charge more for tiered cakes than single layer, I seriously couldn't give a [email protected] whether it's a wedding or a birthday party. Now I am not going to charge the same 'per serving' charge for a single layer for two reasons...

a.) the tiered cakes are way more involved and time consuming
b.) now way in hell could I get people around here to pay what I charge for a basic serving of b-day cake (or whatever the celebration is).

So what I call it is a discount offered for single tiered cakes.....so I can actually get some of that business. If they want to order 3 single layer cakes for their wedding, that's okay.

I will say that my tiered cake price included local delivery.....

sugarcheryl Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 11:54am
post #22 of 40

So you it does not matter whether if its a wedding cake or tier cake or speciality cake you will charge them accordingly. That you will have a starting base price like buttercream $3 & up and fondant $4 & up and that is for any cake that wants those icings.

Erdica Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 12:00pm
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Could everyone clarify the delivery thing? You will deliver a 3-tier fondant covered wedding cake, but you don't deliver a 3-tier fondant covered birthday cake?




I charge the same for delivery if it's wedding or specialty cake. If it's out of my 15 mile radius, then there is a fee. I don't see any difference. It's going to cost me the same amount of gas and time to deliver the cake no matter if it's a wedding cake or birthday cupcakes.

suzylynn58 Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 12:31pm
post #24 of 40

Ah the pricing dilemma....

My pricing structure is also different for wedding cakes for all the reasons already mentioned. However, party cakes over 2 tiers are priced like wedding cakes, again, for the same reasons. And of course sheet cakes are the least expensive, because of much less work for me. Most of my party cakes are picked up, but I have to deliver larger cakes. So all those things are figured in.

Hi Denise, I was in your neck of the woods a couple days ago. I'm in SWLA.

Susan

miss_sweetstory Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 12:31pm
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

I charge a per serving price no matter what the occasion is. My prices start at $3.50 per serving and go up according to the degree of difficulty of the design.




I really think this is the right approach... Pricing based on servings and degree of difficulty.

There is a perception that vendors in the wedding industry are always going to overcharge just because it's a wedding. It's part of what adds to the bridezilla mentality... they are constantly stressing about money and fear being cheated.

poshcakedesigns Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 11:34pm
post #26 of 40

I charge the same per slice for wedding or special occasion cakes. The only time my price is different is for a 3d scuplted style cake. I've done some birthday tiered cakes that were just as eloborate as some wedding cakes. It's just easier for me to have a set price, the price is what the price is no matter what the event.

LOl here's a funny youtube video that goes along with this subject. It's to funny


AllCakedOut Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 11:47pm
post #27 of 40

I charge more per-serving for birthday cakes, most of the time.

It's FAR more effort for me to carve and detail a 40 person birthday cake than it is to cover a 4 tier wedding cake in plain fondant and wrap a ribbon around it!

I can spend all day (or a huge chunk of it!) on some of the bday cakes that get ordered, a lot of the more basic wedding cakes cake get fondanted and stacked in less than an hour.

Also, wedding cakes are always over my minimum. Bday cakes frequently aren't, so the per-serving price is quite a bit more than a wedding cake.

loriemoms Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:07am
post #28 of 40

I know most people charge more for wedding cakes then celebration cakes, but sometimes that isn't true. I charge according to how much time it takes to make the cake, and other time factors. I took a course on small business finacing and they strongly advice against the materials x whatever to do your prices. You MUST MUST MUST put in your time.

Wedding cakes take more time to do the consultation, the emails and phone calls with the bride, the setup and delivery, and sometimes getting things back from the bride, like fountains and plateaus. Yes, this is true!
BUT if I get a cake that they want a 3-D of something special or I know it is going to be a complicated cake to do, or I have to make a ton of really custom decorations for it, then I charge them accordingly. I have some celebration cakes that cost much more then a wedding cake per slice. I have some wedding cakes that I can make in my sleep (And I think I have!) You know, the three tiered buttercream with the swiss dots and the ribbon around it that serves 100 people. The cake we have all done 100 times. I dont have to give much thought into the planning of it, or how to do it. But if someone comes to me and wants like a purse or a baby shower cake with babies bouncing out of it made of gum paste, or huge flowers made of gum paste flowing down it, but it only needs to serve 30. If I have to spend time figuring out how to get those babies to jump out, or how to make sure the gum paste flowers are the right shade of pink, then darn tooting they are going to pay more per serving.

As far as charging for delivery: I base that on cake. All weddings are free, because it is pretty common around here to deliver in your area. (outskirts, they pay extra. Why anyone is driving for more then a half hour and not charging for that is beyond me!) The celebration cakes really depend on what kind of cake, how many people, etc etc. I usually charge because I don't really want to try to find Aunt Millies house in some strange neighbhorhood and hope they wil say go ahead and pick it up. So it depends.

CoutureCake Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 8:33am
post #29 of 40

I don't change my prices regardless of if it's a wedding cake or birthday cake or whatever, the level of work is what I charge more for regardless and people know when they booked with me that they were paying for the additional hand-holding service I provide. I also have the same slice size for birthday and party servings. I also charge the same for delivery to wherever the destination. The way I have my business structured, I spend just as much time on a bridal consult as I do on any other event, so why should I short change my wallet when I'm doing just as much of the same busy work.

I don't think it's fair to anyone to have different prices or sizing for the same levels of work and product. But to each businessperson their own on how they structure their pricing to pay the bills.

Homemade-Goodies Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 10:01am
post #30 of 40

Of course when this discussion comes up, I can't help but remember this clip:




I love it - and had it happen to me when I was getting married as well. I know that it happens!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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