500 Guest Wedding, Two Weeks Notice For Cake

Business By Swede-cakes Updated 25 Sep 2010 , 12:41am by Ruth0209

Swede-cakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:42pm
post #1 of 8

I just got a call from the nicest sounding bride. She needs a wedding cake for early Oct. I asked her the usual questions, while peering at our fairly full schedule. She says "well, we have 500 guests coming but I only need to serve like 300 because it will be cut up and put out on a table for people to take if they want some." I politely asked her if she realized that most people order wedding cakes months in advance. She said she was so focused on the dress and the flowers, and she thought a cake was just "you know, mix it up and pop them into the oven and it only takes a couple of hours to do".

So then I asked since she had everything else already done, did she have a cake budget she was working with. (In other words...do you have any money left??) Yes, she says, like no more than about $500. I explained our pricing and calculated a 200 srvg cake for $650. We chatted for a few more minutes, and then I told her that we were pretty booked with orders and that I simply couldn't take on a large wedding order at this point. She told me she'd figure out what to do and call me back.

Unfortunately, this girl may have the dress of her dreams...but she may not end up with the cake of her dreams. Sometimes it's hard for customers to realize what goes in to what we do.

7 replies
Shannon1129 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:08pm
post #2 of 8

Oi. I hope things work out for her.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:49pm
post #3 of 8

A fake rental cake with 500 servings of kitchen cakes should be doable in 2 weeks (although you may need to outsource the rental cake).

kelleym Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:37pm
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

A fake rental cake with 500 servings of kitchen cakes should be doable in 2 weeks (although you may need to outsource the rental cake).



Yes, if the bride gets her kitchen cakes at Costco or some other ready-made bakery, and finds someone who has a dummy cake just laying around waiting to be rented. The point is that most professional custom cake artists book up months in advance, and regardless of how "easy" an order sounds (just mix up some batter and throw it in the oven!) they literally do not have time for it in the schedule, because they are booked with customers who actually planned their event.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:43pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Yes, if the bride gets her kitchen cakes at Costco or some other ready-made bakery, and finds someone who has a dummy cake just laying around waiting to be rented. The point is that most professional custom cake artists book up months in advance, and regardless of how "easy" an order sounds (just mix up some batter and throw it in the oven!) they literally do not have time for it in the schedule, because they are booked with customers who actually planned their event.



Obviously if the schedule is completely full it's not possible, but charging a premium price for a "rush" order of several kitchen cakes and contracting out the rental cake (there are business that specialize in renting fake cakes) could prove to be quite profitable.

KHalstead Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:57pm
post #6 of 8

I had the exact same thing happen to me....2 weeks out from the wedding (actually 10 days!) and 500 confirmed guests. i didn't charge any "late fees" I had the weekend free because our church was having an outreach but I was able to deliver and still do the outreach so I agreed.

Here is the cake (there were kitchen cakes as well) http://www.freewebs.com/khalstead/apps/photos/photo?photoid=75920794

The bride was THRILLED..........her baker cancelled on her 10days before the wedding and she said she never expected the cake to actually look nice with only 10 days notice! lol

Swede-cakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 8

Gorgeous cake KHalstead! thumbs_up.gif

During our chat, I did suggest that she strongly consider a smaller 3 -tier (10/8/6) for photos, and kitchen cakes. She didn't totally jump on that idea. She was holding out for a biggie; a 4-tier big enough to serve 250-300. I've did a cake that size this summer...it served 248 and had an 18" base tier. It was a biggie alright! And heavy too!

I don't know if I'll hear back from her. I hope she finds a cake!

Ruth0209 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:41am
post #8 of 8

What a dopey woman. Who in the world would think they could find a good decorator for a very large cake with less than two weeks notice? Surely in the rest of her wedding planning process she's gotten the message from ALL of her other vendors that they needed a lot of notice for such a large event.

I've heard that brides have been getting the advice that in this economy they might get a discount on a last minute cake order because cake decorators would be glad for the business if they hadn't booked the date at that late point. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I don't discount cakes for any reason. Last minute or a year in advance, they pay the same price.

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