edencakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 8:22pm
post #1 of

Okay, my manager at work is getting married in November and asked me to make her wedding cake and groom's cake - enough to feed 300. Sure, no big deal.

So, we meet to talk about what she wants... three stacked tiers, light blue with while chocolate shells... an 8", 12" and 16", serving 180. The groom's cake will be made to look like a rubik's cube, 10"x10"x10" (I plan on doing this by stacking two 10"x4" cakes, plus one more 2" layer). This will serve 125, for a total of 305. Perfect.

Because she's my friend, I had planned on cutting her a deal. I tell her I can do it for $600, and she FREAKS OUT. She hadn't budgeted THAT MUCH just for cake... (for 300 freakin' people??). So I ask her what she budgeted.

$450, MAX.

After thinking about it, I tell her I'll do it for $450, but by the time I take time off work, buy the materials etc. I won't be MAKING any money... I'll be donating my time and skills as her wedding gift. Okay.

So now it's a week later she's talking about her wedding and out of the blue she says TO ME that she can't BELIEVE she's paying so much just for a cake! I almost choked - I told her that she wasn't paying that much just for a cake, she was paying for TWO very large specialty cakes, and if she thought she could get what she wanted for that price somewhere else, she was welcome to have her deposit back.

She said she was sorry, that no, she wants me to make it - it just seems like a lot of money. I told her to think of it as dessert for 300 people - a steal at $1.50 a piece!

Am I overpriced, or is she just naive / trying to take advantage of me?

45 replies
leily Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 8:38pm
post #2 of

It sounds to me like she is trying to take advantage of you. You already knocked off $150.00 and she is still complaining?? Sounds like she is wanting something for nothing.

For what she wants I don't see you're pricing out of line. Even at $600 that is still only $2 per person. That sounds like a good deal to me, if she doesn't want to pay that much maybe offer to make a smaller cake and sheet cakes for the side to serve-less pressure on you and cheaper for her. But from the sounds of it, that won't satisfy her either.

Good luck with this one. I can't wait to see the pictures, the rubix cube sounds like a neat one!

gma1956 Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 8:59pm
post #3 of

She is trying to take advantage of you. I would have charged her much more friend or not, I am doing this to make money. My starting price is 2.00 a serving, that does not include filling, the charge for the cake stand, delivery, etc.......

edencakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 9:26pm
post #4 of

leily, thank you! I did suggest the sheet cakes, but she didn't like that idea. icon_rolleyes.gif

gma, I usually charge much more, I don't think she understands just how much these things cost! I thought my original price of $600 was a great deal... when I lowered it I thought surely she would appreciate it - but no!

Then today she tells me about how she's getting her photography done for $150 by a professional, as a favor... UGH! She probably told me this to make me feel like I should charge less, but it actually made me think that if she's paying less than she budgeted for photos, she should pay ME the extra for the #$^% cake! - lol

peacockplace Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 10:20pm
post #5 of

You know, I think most people have no idea how much a cakes costs. They choke when you tell them and say things like" that much money for just a cake." I wish people would go shop at speciatly bakeries and see how much these things can cost before choking over something reasonable!

mamafrogcakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 10:26pm
post #6 of

Forget the cake part for a second...this woman is having a wedding for 300 people?? Anyone who invites that many guests KNOWS that everything is going to be expensive! Like my 5 year old would say---DUH!
Any woman getting married does enough research the first week or so of planning a wedding figures out that MONEY is the biggest issue and the first thing that you don't do is invite that many people if you're on a budget. This woman is nuts...she's a BRIDEZILLA!
I would not let this bother you one more minute---that's crazy, especially a speciality grooms cake. Let her go out and shop around and then come back to you.
Or is there a possibility that she knows it's going to cost a bunch and she's trying to take advantage of you b/c you are friends?? Sorry, I have to be synical.
Good luck with this mess!

SweetCreations Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:20am
post #7 of

I would be all like pfffffffffffffffttttttttttttttttttt icon_rolleyes.gificon_twisted.gif

hahaha.. And ask her if she has BUMPED her HEAD lately???? It really sounds like she is trying her best to take advantage of your friendship. I wouldn't move one cent under that price. if she changes her mind so be it. Your orignal price was Excellent. I really hate that friends expect to get things for "Free" & I think Most of us know that feeling really well. I think that most people don't even understand the cost,time and effort that we put into Cakes and Decorating. I hope you can get over being upset and not let this spoil your friendship but she needs to understand that she is PUSHING IT! hahaha..

Good Luck Eden icon_twisted.gif

~Sweet~ icon_rolleyes.gif

bubblezmom Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 12:50pm
post #8 of

Checked out your website. Love the way you use accessories to contrast against the white cakes. When you are working out of your home, people will always expect to pay you less. I would have told the friend no simply because you're having to take off from work. It kinda ruins the whole extra income if you're taking off from you're day job. icon_sad.gif

I'd be sure to get a deposit from her. Sounds like she hasn't planned on the costs for a wedding that large.

thecakemaker Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 12:59pm
post #9 of

Tell her that if she complains one more time she can get it made somewhere else! Have her check the local bakery and see what a wedding cake costs - then she'll see what a real bargain she's getting!

Debbie

KayDay Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 2:37pm

OK warning all....I am gonna go off on a tangent here! I not only wind up underpricing my cakes etc...but I also do it on other things! I also cater decorate and provide wedding equipment and flowers. I worked my butt off all week on a wedding last week that was held this past Sun. And I wind up doing stupid things ( even though it is for people who dont want to pay the cost of a coordinator...which I also do for a small fee...but they always feel that Aunt June or cousin Cletus can do that just fine for free then the music isnt started on time etc) like staying up all night searching for and burning music onto a disc for a wedding when @ the last minute they inform me they havent made arrangements for music. I was guilty of driving 30 miles to the wedding then ( after being told the historic home the wedding was in provided tablecloths) driving back home at no extra cost (in a storm)to get my table skirtings because the so called tablecloths were wrinkled and shabby. Our work if presented poorly doesnt do us justice also...since I do so many aspects of the event I know people who ask who did the catering etc...will thing those wrinkled things are my doing!
This wedding was for a lady who is wealthy enough to pay well for whatever she wants...but haggled with me over prices. Then I saw the huge mansion they were married in and watched a trailer pull in with a white coach and clydesdales to pull it for them to get in at the end of the driveway just to make it look like a fairytale...PFFT...I KNOW that guy charged @ least 1000.00 for loading those big horses and driving to the next town and unloading and assembling that carriage and driving them aropund for a few minutes then giving the kids carriage rides after the ceremony and then having to load them back up go home unload and clean his trailer etc.
I am not belittling his work...but I know I was worth fully as much! I had to pay a helper..work all week on their cakes and mints made punch provided servingware...decorated...cleaned up after...brought punch fountains and bowls etc...and had to reload and go home and clean it up...childcare cost etc..scurried around lighting candles and arranging flowers making her bouquet and dashing to the store in the rain for ice...(sigh) I guess I am trying to say...I have long heard how caterers.. specialty bakeshops etc. charge an arm and a leg...well my GOSH...they NEED TO!! Not to mention ..I have the cost of a shop with utilities and lawncare...and taxes etc....I have GOT to refigure what my labor is worth!

mamafrogcakes Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 2:43pm

Kay I know what you mean about doing more and underpricing! I've been guilty of both before too. I think it's because we don't look at our cakes as a "job" sometimes, we just want to be proud of our work! And if that means doing extra things, well, that's understandable.
What I don't understand is when we severely undercharge someone and they still complain?!?

debsuewoo Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 2:53pm

You know, I recall paying $375.00 for my wedding cake, which was for 100 people. Back then, I almost choked over the price (1992 prices), but it was well worth the price. Today $600.00 wouldn't even phase me, especially if it was for a cake that was not 'standard'.
I'm sorry, edencakes, you called this Bridezilla a friend.... No she isn't! She's a bloodsucking leach who only wants what she wants and nobody else matters! And you are even taking time off of work to make this cake? You are LOSING money regardless of your charges! She has time to find another baker/decorator, I suggest you make her use her time wisely, friend or not!

debbi

KayDay Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 2:57pm

Mamafrog I dont get it either! A lady once told me who wanted me to cater a gathering @ her house...when I priced it @ 12.00 per person that she could take the bunch to Ryans for that...and I said.. I am sure you can...but can they bring ryans to YOU for that? And serve it in silver chafers and wearing a black tie and do it @ your leisure at home? She also was vegan and wanted all these special dishes prepared and when I quoted her prices she thought that it should be MUCH cheaper because they didnt include meat! Have you priced fresh asparagus lately?!? LOL....well it wound up that we sat down and I explained that we operate on a smaller scale than the big restaurants and dont keep the inventory they do or buy in the bulk that they do ...ergo...we cant do their buffet prices...I also explained that it is a lot less lucrative for us to set up a buffet as we dont have 500 people coming in and out buying it...it is exclusively for HER crowd. End of story she was one of the FEW I have met that once she was told what went INTO the job has no problem with paying the cost... and is now a regular customer and at the time that I told her I was so angry I was shaking...I tried to remain calm..but knew I would never see her again..lol...I was wrong that time!

thecakemaker Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:01pm

Most people don't have a clue as to what goes into a cake or any food preparation outside of fixing dinner for the family. Especially when it comes to taking it somewhere and setting it up and still having it fresh and hot. I can't even get a good pizza or sub delivered without it being soggy or cold!

Debbie

KayDay Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:03pm

AMEN debbie...lol...I didnt even include that in my rant! I also have cambro warmers and special equipment costs as well as sterno..etc...people really dont get it!

Gingoodies Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:12pm

I am under the impression that your friend is familiar with your work. She obviously knows she is getting a superior product. IMHO she is trying to take advantage. tapedshut.gif I would make out a check in the amount of her deposit and keep it in my purse. The next time she makes a snide remark about the cost of anything wedding related, I would tell her to go to the local bakery and hand the check to her and be done with the whole thing. She will never truly appreciate what you are doing for her and that the cakes would be one of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding. People like that just tick me off icon_confused.gificon_surprised.gificon_mad.gif

ntertayneme Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:28pm

I don't know about you ladies/guys, but I spend hours and hours decorating my cakes, which I'm sure a lot of you do too... and this woman is just flat out taking advantage of your kind spirit edencakes... the same was about to happen to my sister ... a co-worker approached her about doing a wedding cake for her... she told her she no longer did them because she has carpal tunnel too bad and it just causes her so much pain .. so she told her that I would do the cake... well her "daddy", who I may add is a physician in an nearby town, has her on a budget.. well she thought she'd get the cake for free from my sister, I know what this girl was thinking .. but my sister, who was quick with thinking, knew this girl could afford to pay someone and she knew she just couldn't do it with her hands... so she gave her my telephone number... well, when in a store together with my sister, we met this lady .. let me say that the engagement ring she wears is HUGE!!! as in I don't know how she keeps her hand held up w/it .. like you said KayDay, they want to spend money on a horse/carriage, dresses, nice decor, but they feel charges for catering and cakes is too high??? I was told she went to local chain grocery store and is having them do her cake .. it will cost her $200 .. can't me much of a cake in my book for that price ... now if you're going to pay all this money to "Put on the show", why not get the cake to go with it??? Am I wrong with my thinking? Why do people gasp when we give them, what I feel, are very fair prices? If they only had an idea of how many hours we put into these cakes .. I really don't think they have a clue though ..

ok, I'm done w/my ranting icon_biggrin.gif

edencakes, in the future, I'd tell anyone, co-worker or not, the price of my cakes are non-negotiable... it's not fair of people to take advantage of or kind heartedness and we really shouldn't let them either.. I'm as guilty of this as you have been too .. I need to work on myself in that area icon_smile.gif

BritBB Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 3:55pm

I just love you guys. You are all so professional, and it's nice that you can rant and get full understanding from everybody on this site. I'm still very much a novice, but getting in plenty of practice with birthday cakes, etc. I'll probably faint if somebody asks me to do a wedding cake - then I'll be looking to you all for your wonderful advice and support.
luv'n'stuff, Barb

beccal Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 4:06pm

edencakes, I'm going to have to agree with everyone else... sounds like she's trying to pull a fast one on you. I have a friend that I worked with at my old job that is planning her wedding and I told her I'd do it at a reduced rate, also for experience. She emails me this morning that (another) friend of her's parent's do cakes and they are willing to do it for FREE!!! icon_eek.gif as a wedding gift to her! Well I don't know about you, but I know my friends parents wouldn't do a free wedding cake for me OR give me a gift that is worth several hundred dollars! I said hey, if they are willing to do that, then go for it! You can't pass up free. But I am a bit miffed about it. She didn't put a deposit down or anything (wedding date has been changed about 12 times and she just changed it again) but she's a friend and it hurt my feelings a bit. I explained to her the ONLY person I'd do a free cake for is my sister and I have to be reimbursed for at least the ingredients and some of my time. I guess I have to go with the thought that it just wasn't meant to be... maybe something better will come my way for that day... thumbs_up.gif Maybe someone who will actually PAY for a cake... lol! icon_evil.gif

Angela33 Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 4:33pm

icon_lol.gif you guys are the bomb!!!!
I too am a novice, but I put alot of work and time into my cakes, and i'm proud of them, but all my family members want all of their kids birthday cakes done for free, I think since I started making cakes over 2 years ago i've made 20.00, and i'm not lying....sad, but true icon_cry.gif
Friends and family think they should have their cake for free...and eat it too..and from me, they do, I don't know where to start with pricing, I have no idea, if you guys could give me some advice that would be great.
Thanks!
Angela33

KayDay Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 4:34pm

I too am glad we have each other to rant to...I don't mean to sound money hungry ..I would do this even if it were only a hobby...but if you devote lots of time effort and money into developing a skill...I dont see why we shouldnt expect to get paid for it! A lady I know looked at my tea party cake and said..OMG!!! I cannot believe thats all edible...you are amazing !!!! Thats wonderful!!! What an artist you are! How much would you charge for something like that? And when I said...Oh...about 350.00 her mouth fell open! icon_confused.gif

nanni Posted 23 Aug 2005 , 9:00pm

Frankly-I would do a sketch of the cakes and take them to bakeries to find out how much they would charge-I wouldn't say I did cakes just shopping around. Then I would present the PRESENT to her and give her the choice-and after one more comment it would be MY choice to give her the list of bakeries to choose from-you don't need the headaches-she is walking on you because of the employment issue. These are 2 seperate situations and you are getting shafted!

Mac Posted 24 Aug 2005 , 1:31am

Hey edencakes--

Check out these websites for a good laugh. Kind of lengthy.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62612-2004Jun22.html

www.freenewmexican.com/news/29324.html

Tell her Wal-mart will give her a good deal on a wedding cake--who cares that it came in frozen and has been in that freezer for how long??? Of course, SHE will have to be responsible for seeing that it is picked (and all the supplies are there) and delivered without a hitch.

My friend thought she wanted to go into the coordinating business and her first customer (I was doing the cake) came and sampled some food selections and told us she would get back with her. Exactly one week before the wedding, she called and told us, she had decided to "let" us do her wedding. Talk about a headache--scrambling headache. Then we went the night before to decorate the reception area (as told by bride), only to find out that was where they were having the rehearsal dinner and we had to wait until they finished eating. Then, of course, there are those stragglers who stand around to talk. We had to ask them several times to move. Didn't get home until 11:00, and still had the cake to finish decorating plus the appetizers to fix. Needless to say, I am chopping fruit all through the reception saying "NEVER AGAIN!!!"
Oh and we did find out, that the bride had made everybody mad (family) that was going to do this job and they quit!!! That was why she called at the last week.

edencakes Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 6:37pm

Wow - I'm so glad so many people are on my side about all this! Thanks for the links Mac, I found those articles VERY entertaining - people just DON'T realize how much goes into a wedding cake!

It's so nice to have a place like this where I can rant to people who UNDERSTAND! I tell my husband, but I think he gets tired of hearing it after a while icon_rolleyes.gif

nanni Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 6:47pm

Hubbies are great for venting-as long as it's not the same theme-customers, cakes, etc....it's OK for them to vent about the car, wait in line, etc...but that's what makes them hubbies-gotta love them. It's easier for someone who has been there or in the same playground to understand and give you our opinion-that's what we are here for!!

traci Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 7:02pm

edencakes....I think you should not go out of your way with doing any difficult or extravagant fillings. I think she is getting a steal! That is a very large wedding and I am sure a lot of time and effort will go into both cakes. I also think if she makes another comment about how expensive the cost is...then I would give her the deposit back and tell her to go somewhere else. You should not be treated that way when you are going out of your way to be nice! Good Luck! icon_smile.gif
traci

HollyPJ Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 7:17pm

Edencakes--Any way you can get your hands on the Brides Receptions special issue from this summer? (I don't think it's still in the newstands, but maybe you could find it online). It's full of wedding cake pictures and in the resource guide in the back, the prices for almost all the cakes are listed. We're talking $12-15 a serving for most of them! Your "friend" is getting a bargain and she needs to show a little gratitude.

Here's what I would do if I were you. I'd call several bakeries (nicer ones that would do the quality of work you do) and get some quotes on cakes the same size as the one you're doing. If you could get the magazine I mentioned, that would help too. Then sit down with this lady for a serious talk. Be calm and friendly, but firm. Tell her that the issue of the price of her wedding cake seems to be a problem, and you want to resolve it so there are no hard feelings or misunderstandings between you. Give her the price quotes from the other bakeries. She needs to know that you are not outrageously expensive. Explain to her, too, how much the ingredients and materials for those cakes will cost and how many hours it will take you to make them. If she is still ornery and unreasonable, that may be your cue to tell her she needs to go elsewhere. You don't need that kind of grief!

Good luck and let us know what happens!

Holly

edencakes Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 9:05pm

Thanks, everyone, for all of the support and advice! She hasn't mentioned the price again, but I AM going to do axactly what's been suggested - get quotes from local bakeries and find articles that list cake prices - just so I'm prepared if she brings it up again. If she does, well then, she's going to get an earfull!

Thanks again for everything, I'm so glad to finally have 'cake friends'!

gibson Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 9:32pm

Hi

Just wanted to post a little something in response to Kayday's story of the "rich" couple.......the rich are rich because they don't spend their money........this is something I have noticed in every day life! (of course this doesn't mean every well off person) it seems they always want a bargain or something for nothing.....very frustrating when you know they have the money to pay for it! Must be how they got to be well off....maybe I should try it lol.

As for the co-worker....you are a business and she should understand that and be VERY grateful you gave her such a BIG discount.....that was very generous of you and I'm with everyone else, if she's not happy I would ask her to go somewhere else......she sounds like a handful!

Just thought I'd put in my two cents! icon_razz.gif

twindees Posted 29 Aug 2005 , 9:38pm

I agree with everyone else. She is looking for a free cake.

We have to stick to our guns. If we keep dropping our prices, we might as well do everything for free. I can not believe a bride thinks that she is going to pay anything less the $500 for anything that is feeding at least 150 people much less to 300.

Money is spent on everything and the cake should be in the top five of most important things at the wedding.


Keeping the check in your pocket book is a great idea. Any remark made she would have her money back

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