Do These Brides Even Think Before Planning A Wedding???

Decorating By Irish245 Updated 10 Mar 2009 , 9:49pm by funcakes

Irish245 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:19am
post #1 of 22

I received an email today from a bride asking for a wedding cake that costs under $300 to serve 300 people. She was asking me to do a fake cake that looks like it feeds 300 and also an extra large Boston cream pie as a groom's cake. She would then purchase sheet cakes (cost of which would also be incorporated into that $300) from the grocery store to serve all 300 of her guests. Can you imagine?

I was tempted to just ignore her email but instead explained to her how much I charge for cakes and if I were to make her cake, I would actually LOSE money on the deal. I also explained how, if I were to do a fake cake, I would charge 80% of my regular price because although the cake is very important to me, most of my time is in decorating. I also told her I do not do wedding cakes and allow other cakes to come in to be served as I do not want grocery store cakes confused with my cakes, as I take great pride in baking from scratch. I also told her that when I do sheet cakes to go along with wedding cake, I make they have the same amount of layers as the wedding cake because people are not dumb and they know they are not getting the actual wedding cake and probably wondering where their cake came from??? I charge the same amount as charged for any tiered cake.

I even told her that if she went to Walmart, Sam's or Costco, she would have to pay more than she is willing to pay and if she were to find someone willing to make the cake for the price she is offering, she should be extremely careful because that person may not know the correct procedures for making a wedding cake.

I figured it out. What Walmart calls a half sheet cake....very small and getting smaller.......if would probably serve 25 people...it costs about $28 here........she would have to buy 12 of them....and that would cost her $336. So I guess I would have to make her a fake cake, a Boston cream pie and then PAY HER the $36, huh?

Some brides need to get a grip!!!!!! Arrrgghhhh!!!!

21 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:27am
post #2 of 22

Ugh...makes me wanna retch. I don't know, maybe we are just so in the know about it because it's what we do, and honestly people just don't have a clue. But where oh where are they even getting their starting figures?!?!

giraffe11 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:30am
post #3 of 22

Honestly, she probably just didn't even know better. If you don't make cake, and you don't regularly purchase them, you would really have no clue. If you were the first shop she contacted and she hasn't looked at price lists.........

indydebi Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:40am
post #4 of 22

Hubby and I were discussing brides and budgets today (it's Sunday morning, which means coffee and conversation time at our house!) He had an interesting observation.

When brides say they have a budget, what most of them mean is they have a set amount of money to spend. They have not "budgeted" for this wedding, as evidenced by the many many examples of how they have no idea what things cost.

Hubby pointed out that when we set a household budget, we have to (HAVE TO!) know approximately what our light bill will be, what our grocery expenses will be, how much we have to set back for gas in our car, etc., before we can sketch out a budget for the month(s).

So if a bride wants to say she has a budget, then that should imply she has done her research and has a general idea of what things cost and how much she should expect things to cost.

Sounds like what we all tend to see are brides who have a set amount of money to spend that doesn't cover eveything they want (not need ... want) so they resort to trying to convince us that we have to lower our price to meet their pulled-in-out-of-thin-air figure.

Giraffe11, I just don't buy that excuse. There is too much access to too much information out there for brides to honestly believe they can get a wedding cake for less than $1/person. One of the lead websites I subscribe to even tells brides that an average wedding cake runs $3-$5 per serving. For them to "just decide" they only want to spend $275 but they STILL want to be able to invite the whole county ..... don't even get me started on the arrogance that implies. tapedshut.gif

ClassyMommy Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:45am
post #5 of 22

What on earth was she thinking?!? (Maybe she wasn't! icon_lol.gif )

dreamdelights Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:47am
post #6 of 22

I am new to baking and trust me people don't have a clue how much it cost to make a cake. 300 dollars Please.

dreamdelights Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:47am
post #7 of 22

I am new to baking and trust me people don't have a clue how much it cost to make a cake. 300 dollars Please.

dreamdelights Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:48am
post #8 of 22

I am new to baking and trust me people don't have a clue how much it cost to make a cake. 300 dollars Please.

alanaj Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:49am
post #9 of 22

What I don't get is how could someone so thoroughly lay out their budget to you if they honestly don't have a clue? I mean, if they took enough time to get that detailed why can't they take a minute to do a little research? It's "the biggest day" of these ladies' lives (thus far) icon_smile.gif so why do they come in half-a**ed like that and decide how much this stuff should cost? Just my vent.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:04am
post #10 of 22

http://www.costhelper.com/cost/wedding/cake.html

Sweet! I can be midrange! Lol!

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:05am
post #11 of 22

"If you are on a strict budget, the Association for Wedding Professionals International suggests looking for a wedding cake baker who is fairly new to the business" quoted from my above link

YIKES!

DoniB Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:06am
post #12 of 22

$300 for 300 people? PLEASE! I paid more than $300 for my wedding cake, and it didn't feed that many... of course, that was with a fountain, columns, etc, but that was also with me doing all the baking and decorating!

If she wants to spend $300 on a cake for that many people, she needs a) to budget for cake decorating classes (heck, there's a lot you can do with just the Wilton I class), and b) get a membership to Sam's Club or something.

Sheesh!

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:12am
post #13 of 22

Quoted from here: http://www.fool.com/specials/2000/sp000925.htm

"You can cut that cost to $0.50 per person by having two cakes. Have a small, beautifully decorated cake to photograph, cut into, and to put on show. Serve your guests slices of plain sheet cake -- cut in the kitchen -- they will never know that it didn't come from the pretty cake."

Lolololol.....wow....NEVER!

indydebi Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:40am
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

"If you are on a strict budget, the Association for Wedding Professionals International suggests looking for a wedding cake baker who is fairly new to the business" quoted from my above link

YIKES!




um .... not sure you should "yikes" this statement because I see on here all the time that our CC sisters telling each other if you are new to cake decorating that should be a factor in setting pricing .... that the new decorator "can't" charge as much as the market. icon_confused.gif

I disagree .... a new dentist charges the same as the 20 year dentist. But that's what being told on this very site.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:56am
post #15 of 22

Ah yes....my "bullsh** radar" is always on and scanning! Lol....well, most of the time!

alanaj Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 12:32am
post #16 of 22

I am still a beginner and this site is what convinced me to charge what the market is charging. I have people like you, IndyDebi and Jamie, to thank for making me see that I am doing myself a huge disservice undercharging out of the gate. I also now have set discounts for friends and family per your (and others) suggestions in past threads. I have not done a wedding for a stranger yet and posts like these make me want to fly under the radar a bit longer. Like I said, even if they have "no clue", they should really get one before throwing numbers at professionals. JMO.

Ruth0209 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 12:54am
post #17 of 22

I had a bride tell me recently about her wedding that will be at a very nice country club here. They'll have 175 guests with a sit-down dinner. She would like to spend $300 on a cake. Really!?!? She told me she was so surprised at the cost of cakes, and she wondered if there was any way to make a $300 budget work.

All I could think was, girlie, if you (actually, your parents) can afford the country club and a sit-down dinner, they can afford $3/slice for a cake if it's important to you. Otherwise, take Debi's advice and serve Twinkies.

I'm afraid I wasn't very helpful in trying to give her ways to economize on the cake. I told her that she'll spend at least $3/slice anywhere in town. No one will do the cake she wants for less than that. It's expensive just like everything else in her wedding is expensive.

It just makes me chuckle.

Iloveweddings Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 12:56am
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

"If you are on a strict budget, the Association for Wedding Professionals International suggests looking for a wedding cake baker who is fairly new to the business" quoted from my above link

YIKES!





All of us started somewhere. Not everyone decorates a cake right off like a pro! I see nothing wrong with what the Association for Wedding Professionals International suggested.

indydebi Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 1:12am
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

No one will do the cake she wants for less than that. It's expensive just like everything else in her wedding is expensive.




"It costs what it costs." thumbs_up.gif

sweetlayers Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 3:08am
post #20 of 22

This reminds me of a call I received last week for a wedding for 300-400 people. (What a broad number) The bride said she didn't want to spend too much. Since this is my first wedding season, my prices are less than the competition as I am trying to build a portfolio. However, even when I did my cheap math the lowest price I could come up with was $759 and some change.

Needless to say, I have not heard back from her.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention she sent a picture of a 9-tier wedding cake! icon_surprised.gif

tracycakes Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:37pm
post #21 of 22

A new custom cake shop opened up in town yesterday and had an open house last night. Yep, had to go check it out and I was thrilled to see that her prices with right in line with other pricing in the area and she didn't go cheap.

The other day, a coworker casually asked me about a cake for their granddaughter. I told them them the price per serving for buttercream and what it would cost for their cake to feed 20 people. You could tell that they were shocked by the price but trying hard to hide it. They want Wal-Mart prices, they can get Wal-Mart cake. It's just not worth my time to make a cake for $20 like they were expecting.

funcakes Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 9:49pm
post #22 of 22

Oh come on friends, with the great creative group we have here I think we can help that bride out a little more than this.

Like a household budget, you have to move money from one line item to another, so move the money to the cake line and save on the other things:

food-display a lovely rib roast, take it to the kitchen and serve some chopped chuck steak-your guests will never know the difference

gown- I'm sure a friend has a used white prom dress, sew on some sequins and a train-the photographer can photo shop some designer gown into your album.

flowers- I'm sure your neighbors yard can supply those as soon as they drive off to the store-start pickin' Also our church has flowers every Sunday, ask to have them after the service.

music-ask all your guests to spend a few minutes before the wedding to download your list of musical choices into their ipods and wear them to the reception

honeymoon-take up the offer we all get on the "spend the weekend" and sit through a sales pitch.

See, you CAN afford to have a cheap wedding and a delicious, beautiful cake.

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