Charge For A Wedding Cake?! Please Help :)

Decorating By itzjstmoi Updated 9 Apr 2009 , 5:06am by xstitcher

itzjstmoi Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 5:57am
post #1 of 16

I know this question has probably been asked a thousand times over, but a lady at work has a son who is going to be paying for most all of his wedding. I literally just started making cakes last month. Another girl at work wnated me to do a cake, and when I told her I wouldn't charge too much she said, "Oh, I know, I was just going to pay you for the cost." So I told a few people that I would make cakes for only the cost, but people who have had me make them (aside from family) have given me way extra. I explained to the lady that I would have to think about it & get back to her, because the whole only charging for cost thing was killing me & they really take me a lot of time. On the other hand, I have not made a wedding cake yet. She said she wants probably a 3 tiered dummy cake with a real top tier. She said her sons fiance saw a cake she wanted for 900 & she's trying to talk her out of it. (where she found this cake I don't know, mine was about 550 & I'm in the same area!) I told the lady that actually dummys would cost about the same as real cake. Please, Please help! Look at my pictures & tell me how much I can get away with charging, I am still a major begginer, obviously. The wedding is not until the summer but I would like to get back to her soon! Would love to do a wedding cake & despite all of this am almost considering doing this way way cheap just to get it in my portfolio. Thanks so much!!!!!!

15 replies
itzjstmoi Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 6:09am
post #2 of 16

Please?

melhoneybee Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 6:26am
post #3 of 16

No, I would not do it for cost....no honey, no! Don't do it to yourself, even for your portfolio! You know what I do? When I want to try a new design on someone, or when I am providing orders for friends/family, I give 20% off. Period. It's a good discount and people appreciate it. If they want more than that, maybe they should go elsewhere! Oh wait! Elsewhere charges, what?! $900!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

brincess_b Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 10:07am
post #4 of 16

for that kind of cake i would definatly be charging real money, not just cost! cost is find when its a real experiment, and its someone close so you are happy to spend time creating something for them.

this is a work collegues son - there is no personal relationship to make you feel better when its two am and you know you wont be going to bed soon! and frankly, its sounds like the bride has some unrealistic expectations/ has set her heart on something, you might be better avoiding her. if you really want to do 'a' wedding cake, make it for someone in you family as a huge birthday cake!

as a side note, you would need to check where they are having the wedding, as some places wont let unlicenced bakers (which im assuming you are?) bring their stuff in.
xx

Lil_Belle Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 7:47pm
post #5 of 16

I've been there! only it was a church friends son...although there was no real friendship between us I used to have a crush on him lol. anyway, I charged way under for my first wedding cake (the white one in my images, three dummies and the top tier was real) I let her talk me into the whole 'dummies aren't real and people won't eat them' but they are a pain! I ended up only charging her like $120 for that cake :/ Now I'm more in the 2.00 for basic buttercream and 3.00 for basic fondant of course though only for friends. Even though you may not think your talent is up there you should still be compensated for your time.

Sorry that was more a rant then real help, but hey take advice or don't, your choice icon_smile.gif

pattycakesnj Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 8:02pm
post #6 of 16

i looked at your pics and if you are a beginner, i am in deep crap

allie73 Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 8:07pm
post #7 of 16

I agree with the others that you absolutely should not do this for cost, and you should also check to see if her reception venue will allow you to do the cake. This wasn't an issue for either of my own weddings icon_wink.gif but it seems to be becoming moreso in our sue-happy society.

There is also the potential for word to get out that "She did the whole cake for cost!" and that precedent can grow. "Well, so-and-so said you did her cake for cost. I assumed you would do the same for ME!"

Wedding cakes are LOTS of work, and for you, it sounds like lots of work after you get home from work, meaning your other job. Make sure you are honest about what you can do, and make sure to charge accordingly.

itzjstmoi Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 11:10pm
post #8 of 16

Thank you everyone for answering my questions! I know the post sounded whiney, but I have been freaking out a little bit about charging people without feeling bad! I really apprecitate it! And pattycakesncokies, what do you mean you are in deep crap? I looked at your pictures as well & they're beautiful. As for the whole checking with the venue thing, I have been trying to look into how to make myself, "legal" but when I got married in September, my venue didn't ask anything like that, and I actually had two decorators the first canceled on me) and they both worked out of their home, and were at all the bridal fairs. So i'm not sure?! That's another question I've got though, I live in Utah so any advise on that would be great too! Don't want to cause a riot like in Texas . . . icon_sad.gif

tiffevans Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 12:30am
post #9 of 16

okay.....itzjstmoi our story sounds just alike! I just started making cakes myself. I started by making them and taking them to my husbands job so I could get my name out there and also to practice. Now I am getting orders and I have no idea what to charge. I have been doing some for family/friends and only charging for ingredients. Now in the next 2 months I have a sweet 16 (3 tier), another bday also a 3 tier, and a wedding. I am looking at it like this....if I make a little off each event I have accomplished these things....I have created new cakes and new designs to add to my portfolio, I have gotten my name out there, and I have made a little money to put back in my business. I am not just charging for the ingredients in these 3 cakes I have coming up but I know that I am NOT charging what a normal cake decorator would or what I will when I get better. But right now these orders are helping me practice new things, getting my name out, and building up my pan collection! Since I am self taught the practice is VERY VERY important to me, and I hate baking cakes to practice and having no one to give them to!! I guess the moral of this long story is you should charge more than just ingredients but maybe not what you will get for your cakes this time next year. I looked at your pics...VERY nice!! Sorry this is sooo long but I hope it helped!

jmt1714 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 1:57pm
post #10 of 16

This just kills me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by itzjstmoi

I told her I wouldn't charge too much she said, "Oh, I know, I was just going to pay you for the cost."




Um - she DOES know that she doesn't get to tell you how much she is paying, right? That the way the world works is YOU get to tell HER how much you'll charge and she decides if she wants to hire you or not.

ccr03 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 4:43pm
post #11 of 16

Thank you jmt1714! That's the first thing that got me right away!!!!

A customer doesn't dictate what she is going to pay you!

On another level, you have to decide what you are capable/comfortable doing. Design wise, yes, you are up there. But whether or not you feel comfortable doing the wedding cake is only something you can decide.

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 6:04pm
post #12 of 16

OH I'm am so irritated with your co-worker TELLING YOU she was just gonna pay cost. Just so you know, when you do decide to charge a proper amount, you are going to have problems, cause you are starting bad habits with pricing now. By the way, dummies cost as much as cakes. And you need to find out if you are doing the sheet cakes, cause do you really want your dummy with Wal-Mart sheet cakes & they think you made them?

xstitcher Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 8:50pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

OH I'm am so irritated with your co-worker TELLING YOU she was just gonna pay cost. Just so you know, when you do decide to charge a proper amount, you are going to have problems, cause you are starting bad habits with pricing now. By the way, dummies cost as much as cakes. And you need to find out if you are doing the sheet cakes, cause do you really want your dummy with Wal-Mart sheet cakes & they think you made them?




That statement rubbed me the wrong way too, I can't believe she had the nerve to say that to you. If it were me I wouldn't do it just because of that.

And I agree with everything that LaBellaFlor said about you having problems later charging what you are worth!

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 9:05pm
post #14 of 16

I just looked at your cakes {& I think you can get away with charging regular prices, NOT JUST COST. I agree with acupcake nameddesire, ggive a discount on new designs.

itzjstmoi Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 4:53am
post #15 of 16

Thanks everyone for the advise, I appreciate it! But on a technical note, if I were to do this, should I charge like 1/2 of professional price? Does that sound right? And I know I need to stop charging people cost . . . I get feeling bad for everyone so I just give them my reciept for how much I spent, and hope they give me more . . . I know I am lame. But it's a habbit I'm about to stop . . . as for the whole co-worker saying that, it was actually a diffrent co-worker that wanted a cake, and not the one with the wedding. And I pretty floored too! But even more so floored when that gal came up to me yesterday to order a cake for her nephew . . . see my other forum post titled, "Strange Order, Mushroom" and you will know what I'm talking about . . .

xstitcher Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 5:06am
post #16 of 16

If you want to give a discount because you want to try out a new design than go ahead but 50% seems like a lot. Don't sell yourself short. Not only do you have to figure out the cost of the ingredients for the cake itself (ie cake/filling/icing/fondant etc) you also need to account for such things as supports for the cake and the boards and also electricity/gas usage but also pay yourself a reasonable amount for your time (hourly rate).

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