Ritz Carlton Wedding

Business By kger Updated 19 Aug 2010 , 3:56am by kjxoxo1

kger Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 12:44pm
post #1 of 13

I have an unbelievable opportunity to do my first wedding cake for my friend who is getting married next April at a Ritz Carlton. I'm have a variety of emotions about this, from complete and utter glee, to complete and utter "omg-what-in-the-world-am-I-getting-myself-into."

Given that it is April, I have plenty of time to practice, and she just wants a very basic white fondant with red ribbon border and red rose floral topper.

Since she started talking about me doing her cake, I've been mulling over pricing and now she's ready to talk money. Given that it's my first wedding cake and at a RITZ no less, and she's my friend, I'm inclined to just tell her to pay for the ingredients and materials. I am not currently in business, but intend to have my kitchen inspected and a licensed business by the time of her wedding in April. She also wants a very cool novelty grooms cake (thanks to Doug for helping me figure out the construction) but it is a 3D carved and will likely be life size (it's an African djembe drum).

So,very first wedding cake (at a kicka$$ venue, no less) for a friend. Materials only or "friends rate"? How about for the novelty cake?

Oh, btw, I was looking at Ritz wedding sites and check this out:
The Ritz Carlton, Cancun Recommends:
Two tier wedding cake with flowers (serves 10)


What kind of 2 tier serves 10?

12 replies
spring Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 1:26pm
post #2 of 13

You might want to check with the RC and make sure they allow an outside vendor to deliver. Some have their own pastry chefs and charge a steep fee if you bring in a cake.


Minette

CWR41 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:30pm
post #3 of 13

"Materials only" doesn't work well for me. They end up taking advantage of this by getting a huge cake for 700 people when they know they're only inviting 200 or so. You'll find yourself spending a lot more of your time doing the cake than you expected.

"Friend/family discount" doesn't really mean anything to them, if they don't do the work researching exactly how much their dream cake is worth in the first place. They could take your word for it, if you give a discount, but until they know what the actual retail "going" price is for the area, they may not realize the sticker shock value.

I'd let them get quotes elsewhere, have them supply you with a copy of the bids, and then let them know you'll do it for 1/2 price or what your percentage off will be.

kger Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:02pm
post #4 of 13

RC is fine with outside vendors. Cake is for 70 ppl. Good idea about getting prices elsewhere.

multilayered Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:05pm
post #5 of 13

I just want to play devils advocate here....before you think about price. Are you fully confident in turning out a flawless fondant covered tiered wedding cake? To make a cake covered in just fondant with a ribbon border the fondant has to be FLAWLESS! Without embellishments or details every ripple bump, air bubble,etc will show. Perfectly smooth fondant it is a skill that takes a long time to master. If her wedding is at the Ritz she is probably expecting perfection...if you are confident in your ability to produce that greaticon_smile.gif If you are sure that you can deliver the cake of her dreams then price accordingly. If her intention was paying for the cake then maybe you could give her a "friend Discount" of maybe 20 to 30% off. If you think the cake may be less than perfect than maybe just charging for supplies would be best. Congrats on the great opportunity and good luck icon_biggrin.gif

DefyGravity Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:20pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by multilayered

I just want to play devils advocate here....before you think about price. Are you fully confident in turning out a flawless fondant covered tiered wedding cake? To make a cake covered in just fondant with a ribbon border the fondant has to be FLAWLESS! Without embellishments or details every ripple bump, air bubble,etc will show. Perfectly smooth fondant it is a skill that takes a long time to master. If her wedding is at the Ritz she is probably expecting perfection...if you are confident in your ability to produce that greaticon_smile.gif If you are sure that you can deliver the cake of her dreams then price accordingly. If her intention was paying for the cake then maybe you could give her a "friend Discount" of maybe 20 to 30% off. If you think the cake may be less than perfect than maybe just charging for supplies would be best. Congrats on the great opportunity and good luck icon_biggrin.gif




I agree! The first wedding cake I did was plain fondant with a ribbon, and it was more nerve wrecking than anything, because there's no way to cover up any mistakes. Plus, it was a last minute deal, so I didn't really practice. At least OP has plenty of time to practice, so it will be less intimidating when the time comes icon_smile.gif

Good luck and enjoy the experience!!

forthwife Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:33pm
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

RC is fine with outside vendors. Cake is for 70 ppl. Good idea about getting prices elsewhere.




My husband is an Executive with the Ritz-Carlton company. Our local property charges a $5 cutting fee (per slice!!!) for any cake brought in from an outside vendor. Additionally they will only serve cakes from a selected listed of approved vendors (this is for insurance and food safety reasons). I would double and TRIPLE check your information regarding their willingness to serve your cake. If you are not licensed and insured I cannot imagine there is any way they will allow your cake on property.

kger Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:34pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks, forthwife. I'll talk to her. Which RC is he at?

forthwife Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:14pm
post #9 of 13

He works in the corporate offices we have in Orlando. I am sorry I sounded like a super downer on my previous post, I just know they are uber conservative on what can and cannot be served. I hope you get the opportunity to do the cake though, that would be an absolute dream come true (as least for me!). I see you're in Virginia, I assume the wedding will be at one of the D.C. locations. Which one?

kger Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 6:36pm
post #10 of 13

No problem! We are/were both meeting planners, so we've done a lot with RC and have quite a few contacts and are stellar contract negotiators. I warned her that outside vendors may not be allowed, and then this morning she sent me an email and said they were. Then I emailed her back and asked her to verify cake cutting charges. This wedding will be at the Georgetown property.

In all honesty, it makes more sense (to me) to just have RC do the cake. But I think she wants to give me a break and throw some business my way. I don't think the budget is too much of a concern for her, but I think she would think it's "special" if her friend does the cake, kwim?

From what I understand, the wedding prices are packaged per person, so I'm curious to see what the pp difference is with cake and without. Even if she goes with the RC cake, I think I would still be doing a novelty groom's cake for her because she really wants this African drum, but I told her I can do it for the rehearsal dinner versus reception.

We'll see what she says when she emails back.

CWIL Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 6:46pm
post #11 of 13

The very first wedding cake we did was for a friend and it was done as her gift. I wouldn't do this for everyone, but she's one of my very, very special friends and I was honored to do it. JMHO

cai0311 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 7:40pm
post #12 of 13

I don't really understand what the venue has to do with her getting a discount. Yes the Ritz is a very fancy/upscale venue - so what? I am putting the Ritz down, I just don't see why it plays a factor in pricing.

Typically the only people that see the wedding cake are the guests and servers. And a place like the Ritz is use to seeing the best of the best. Those that they refer are the best of the best. So if you are thinking the discount is worth it because maybe you will make the "elite list", don't bet on it. I am not knocking your skills, just stating a fact. I say the exact same thing about me and my non ability to get on that list.

kjxoxo1 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 3:56am
post #13 of 13

I understand your excitement!! I would be excited too!!! If this was a good friend of mines, then maybe you can do the cake as a wedding gift. Just a thought. It would be exciting for me to be able to showcase my work to mutual friends. I am a newbie baker for home only. I am always amazed t the artistry on here. Good luck to you and I got excited reading your post because I could tell that you were equally excited. I really hope it works out for you!!!!!

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