I need some advice. I had a bride contact me today. She wanted me to do a wedding cake. I thought, cool, except that I have never done a wedding cake. She apologized that she had a budget of only $1000.00. I almost fainted. She did say that she contacted 3 other decorators and they turned her down, for whatever reason. She wants a cake for 350 people. I did let her know that I had never made a wedding cake before. She said that she loved the 4 tier Sweet 16 cake that I made and she had complete confidence in me. I don't know all of details that she wants on the cake excepet that she wants fresh flowers that she would provide me. My question is this: Is this a feasible cake within her budget. I think it is, but I want input from other decorators that have way more experience than I do. Any and all advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
Congrats on your first wedding cake order. Whether it's do-able at her budget is dependent on what she wants. It also depends on what is an acceptable per piece rate in your area.
Where I am, I can charge $3-4/piece for buttercream and $4-5/piece for fondant. If you start adding in fondant/gumpaste accents on a b/c cake, then you have to look at what that would be charged out at. And again, the more intricate the design on a fondant covered cake would increase your per piece price.
so, given that, if she just wants a cake with a basic filling, buttercream icing and b/c decorating, then yes, I think it's do-able at her budget. Because she wants flowers on the cake, you can really do simple, nice piping to complement them. And make sure that her cost for the flowers are not part of the $1000. Also, since flowers are often sprayed, make sure she tells the florist that they are going on a cake so there's no pesticide. I'm pretty sure you can get flowers without...and look into how to put them onto the cake. I've never done it so I can't offer any help there.
I would not assume that the other bakers turned her down because of budget. Talk to her, but be careful.
I agree with Leah. My thought initially was no based on my area which is why I mentioned it was dependent on what pricing was acceptable where you were. My guess is that what she wants just isn't possible with the budget she's got which is why she's been turned down. Be on your toes when you speak with her. And if possible, do all your communications with her by email so you've got everything in writing.
Thanks for all of the replies!
The bride stated that the flowers for the cake were part of her flower budget. She mentioned that she ordered 500 flowers just for the cake. White roses. Also as far as details she want bc with fondant and diamond fondant cutouts all around the cake with sugar diamonds or silver dragees in the middle of the cut out diamonds. I hope this makes sense. As far as what is a good price for my area, well I am in Japan, there really isn't a precident (sp) for wedding cakes since most venues will not allow cakes from outside sources. I did ask her if she cleared it with the venue, she assured me that she had. Again, I appreciate any more suggestions and advice. This is a learning experience for me. Thanks.
Contact the venue yourself, just to double check. The last thing you'd want to do is have this amazing cake that you're unable to deliver.