I am fairly new to decorating and I was asked today about doing a wedding cake for a coworker's wedding in October. The pic she emailed me is a 3 tiered square with space between each layer for real flowers to be tucked in. She wants burnt orange calalillies which she says she'll get from a wholesaler. She wants to serve probably 150. the design is simple enough. It looks like fondant, but she wants buttercream. It's just smooth with a ribbon at the bottom of each tier. My questions are
1. How do I even guess how many flowers to have her get? Not knowing how big they actually are makes it hard.
2. what stacking system would be appropriate for this design?
sorry, my mac is old and won't let me post pics. I hope I described the cake well enough. Not sure if I want to tackle this or not.
As long as she's getting SILK calla lilies, since this is a toxic flower and should NOT be placed in contact with food.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Zanteae.htm My brides are responsible for obtaining all florals .. silk or real. The best you can do is give her the space dimensions and have her figure it out .... or both of you walk thru it together. (i.e. "Two inches in height, 4" open space on all four sides" etc)
Stacking System: I'd recommend the hidden pillars: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3119F0-475A-BAC0-5772682F766C019C&killnav=1 I used them on this cake: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1119353 . It gave just enough space to tuck flowers in there and they are nice and sturdy to support the cake.
Well, she must not be with what I quoted her, cuz she hasn't responded to my email. I said I would do 3 tiers, any flavor/filling combo she chose and a 6" boxed anniversary tier to freeze. She wants 150 servings and the tiers I quoted her actually would be closer to 170-180, but since those pillars would take a little away, I figured that was fair. I quoted $300 and $350 if I made the calla lilies from fondant or candy clay. I asked for 20% down 1 month prior and the balance the week before with a signed contract. I don't think that's unreasonable. She hasn't responded.
Dont' worry if she hasn't responded yet. Brides are doing a lot of comparison shopping. They are spending a lot of money on this event and they don't make decisions in a day or two.
I track this kind of stuff .... in 2008, the average number of days between the day I sent the bride the info packet and the day they actually booked was 22.9 days.
The average number of days between sampling appt (which was made after I sent the info packet) and actually booking was 10.2 days.
In 2007, these days were 51.1 and 27.5, respectively.
So give 'em a week or two. They're being a smart bride.
well, I guess I'll wait and see. If I'm meant to do it, she'll choose me!
on and BTW $350 for a cake for 180 with allllll those fondant lilies is CRAZY (low)!!! You should thank your lucky stars if she doesn't take you up on that ... thats less than $2 per serving all inclusive. I charge $5 per sugar lily.
This will be my first wedding cake. I like in South Dakota too, so we don't get quite what we deserve for cakes here. I don't think she realizes the deal she's getting. She'll find out when she shops around I guess. I'm betting she'll choose silk flowers tho. We'll see I guess! I'm not meaning to be so cheap, it's so hard to know what to charge. You don't want to get the shaft, but you don't want people balking at your prices either.
Funny cause I just found out what Safeway is charging (never bothered to call and ask but I found it on their website today) and its about $3 serving. Safeway. 3 frozen flavors, a dozen designs in locked sizes, and no customization besides some colors. Most stores don't even offer delivery. Hon, don't undercut the grocery store
I don't mean to poke a stick at you, but on the one hand you say people won't pay for what custom cakes are worth, but then in the same breath you say that she'll find out what a deal you're giving her when she shops around. That leads me to believe that SOMEONE in your area is getting the price they deserve.
Don't sell yourself short. Price out your costs for ingredients, determine the value of your time, find out what your competitors and the local grocery stores charge (I don't consider grocery stores competitors as Kory pointed out above with the Safeway example), and decide what you need to charge. Then stick with it. You can't take it personally if someone thinks it's too high. Just let them go their way and find what they can afford. If you're charging what is comparable to your true competition in the area, you'll get orders.
Believe me, I say this to you because I have the paragraph above stapled to my forehead to remind myself to do the same thing!!
You can't take it personally if someone thinks it's too high.
To quote CC'er, classccake, "If no one complains about your pricing, then you're not charging enough."
I think the price is reasonable. I live in OKC metro area and although there are some who charge more, most people are getting 1.25-1.50 serving. Even a couple who are well known around this forum. I am moving to KS and plan to start a business, so been working on my web page. I plan to charge 1.25 per serving also. This is comparable to prices around Wichita to. I do plan to charge extra for time consuming designs, carved etc. But am trying to find a price that is workable no matter the reason for cake. I don't want to charge one price on wedding vs birthday. Some areas just don't get 3.00 per serving. And there is no Safeway here or in Wichita.