Budget Wedding Options

Business By karateka Updated 29 Nov 2010 , 5:33pm by Chef_Stef

karateka Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 10:30pm
post #1 of 21

I've just spent the last hour trying to search the forums for the previous posts and can't find them. icon_sad.gif

I've read a few about bakeries who offer a "budget" wedding option, say there are 3 designs and maybe 2 or 3 flavors to pick from: then these are cheaper than something custom.

But I can't find the posts to read the details. I was turning this idea over in my head but am having difficulty, so if anyone can point me to these threads I'd be appreciative.

OR....if you'd care to chime in if you have "budget" wedding cake options, and how you work them specifically in comparison to your regular custom wedding options, that would so great!

20 replies
BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 11:24pm
post #2 of 21

Are you hurting for business?

cakegirl1973 Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 11:34pm
post #3 of 21

I am finding more brides are requesting smaller cakes (like a 6", 8", 10") and kitchen cakes when they have about 200 guests. By using sheet cakes, they save money, at least under my pricing.

Corrie76 Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 11:38pm
post #4 of 21

The only "budget option" that I offer is that the couple get a smaller wedding cake and then an undecorated simply iced kitchen cake to provide the extra servings needed when it's time to serve the guests. I find, especially myself being a perfectionist, that it's almost as difficult to make a "simple" design as an elaborate one. With simple cakes, you can't hide flaws behind swags and flowers.... I have seen though, where bakeries do offer budget options like you speak of, it seems the options are less layers and filling and simple flavors, lol, I only offer simple flavors and fillings so I can't really offer "budget" wedding cakes.

Dayti Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 11:38pm
post #5 of 21
brincess_b Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 11:40pm
post #6 of 21

Try searching for $99 cake as well... Also try google, and search for cake central aswell, usually gives better results.

Corrie76 Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 1:11am
post #7 of 21

So I looked around and saw the little news clip about Village Desserts doing a 99$ deal for a 100 serving wedding cake....so then I find a more recent article...looks like it wasn't such a great deal. you can read the article here:

indydebi Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 1:18am
post #8 of 21

I offered such a package. I had a few brides ask about it, but they always went with the "regular" cake because they wanted the options.

karateka Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 1:57am
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10

Are you hurting for business?

YES! I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's my personality. Or my looks. Or halitosis. Or heaven knows what, because I've revamped my cakes by changing to the creaming method which made the texture much softer and more refined, so I really cannot see any room for improvement there. We've already covered my decorating skill in another long post earlier last month.

I've searched high and low for reviews of my business, and can't find anything negative. My prices are in line with everyone else I can find that lists prices in my area. I'm trying to find time to make wedding cake dummies for extra weddings in my portfolio.

I've paid for preferred status on The Knot.

But the only calls I get lately are last minute "I need this for tomorrow" type calls. And every single person wants a tasting, whether they are ordering a 10 serving cake or a 100 serving cake, and if I tell them my "only for weddings of 100 servings or more" policy....I never hear from them again! (can you tell I'm frustrated here???)


So I went into the long story, but yes....I need business.

Thank you for the links- I'll check them out. I haven't decided absolutely to do it yet....but I need to research and think about it. Gotta get some butts in the seats, so to speak!

costumeczar Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:15am
post #10 of 21

This time of year is slow slow slow for booking weddings. Starting in January will be wedding season, but Nov-Dec is engagement season.

You might want to do some kind of a Christmas promotion, maybe dessert cakes instead of tiered cakes?

karateka Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:22am
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by costumeczar

This time of year is slow slow slow for booking weddings. Starting in January will be wedding season, but Nov-Dec is engagement season.

You might want to do some kind of a Christmas promotion, maybe dessert cakes instead of tiered cakes?

I was wondering about that, too. I could sell a few wintery desserts, maybe some cheesecake... Just need to figure out how to charge for them and get a newsletter out.....put something on the website. Do you sell those this time of year?

costumeczar Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:51am
post #12 of 21

I don't, but a lot of people do. I just take this time of year as a slower than usual lull before the storm of tasting appointments.

Every year there is a slowdown in November and December as people are busy with the holidays and the wedding season is winding down. I always start to feel panicky because I don't get as many inquiries, but then I remember what time of year it is. Engagement season is right around the corner, and when that happens and the wedding shows gear up in January, you'll start to get calls again. I usually have a ton of appointments booked right after Christmas and into January.

caymancake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 5:01am
post #13 of 21

I have special packages for various occasions on my website - birthdays, showers and weddings. All of my packages come with sugar cookie favours, which is still a fairly new idea here in the Cayman Islands, so trying to build up my niche there. My wedding packages are really really basic, but it helps to suite the brides budget, and I do them based on guest size...giving options for tiered cakes or smaller cake with cupcakes. I mostly end up doing really small intimate weddings as I'm a preferred vendor with a local destination wedding planner. A lot of my brides are tourists - either stayover or cruise ships, as destination weddings are quite popular here in Cayman. Its nice because I have a steady flow of small wedding cakes (usually single tier or 6 inch with cupcakes)....but it sucks because creativity wise - the brides usually just stick with the basics to save money. I'm probably going to review my prices in January though - the price of everything is going up! LOL.

Right now, my biggest thing is doing dessert cakes and doing custom birthday cakes, although many of my orders tend to be as you say, last minute orders...can I order a 3 tier birthday cake to be ready in 4 hours....things like that! LOL.

Chef_Stef Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 6:51pm
post #14 of 21

I spent a lot of time deciding to do this, and there was a long post that I started about my cheaper option. I call it Bake Me A Cake.

You can read how it works at the website www.cakesbystefanie.com; go to the Bake Me A Cake page.

Basically--all white cake, white butter cream frost and fill, no torting (one layer of filling only), 4 designs (one accent color, their choice), and two sizes, 50 servings for $99 and 74 servings for $149.00. They pay at order by credit card, pick design and color, and they're done. SUPER time saver for me, because there's no consult, no tasting, no sketching, no contract (invoice only), no deposit and final payment to chase around.

They are a huge hit, and I can practically make them in my sleep, so it's easy to work one (or more) in on a busy weekend. It definitely helped boost sales in the "We just need a CAKE, dammit" department (i.e. groom's calling, last minute weddings, super small budget etc.), and I get rave reviews on them because they're still getting my wonderful white cake and meringue bc. icon_smile.gif

Good luck.

Chef_Stef Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 6:55pm
post #15 of 21

I should add...on my Bake Me A Cake options...I *have* been known to allow ONE 'tweak" to the design or flavor (IF I like them, and IF I feel like it).

For example--instead of all white cake, I will sometimes do red velvet (not chocolate though) or yellow. OR I'll put a flavor in the filling if they reaaaallly want it. Or I'll brush the piping with a luster dust. Small tweaks are ok.

So--one tweak is allowable. But I don't offer it unless I see they're really wishing for it. AND: I have to like them. heh heh.

Flip side is this: Often they get excited and want more, and then I sell them up to a standard priced cake.

Oh, and I have also multiplied the servings so they can basically use same design and all white untorted cakes but get as many servings as they want for $2.00/sv. Only tweak I won't do is square cakes; rounds are easier for me, so I make them stick to that.

cakesdivine Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 11:44pm
post #16 of 21

I have an "Econoline" of cakes. Here is the link to it for info.


costumeczar Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 1:15am
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

I have an "Econoline" of cakes. Here is the link to it for info.


I have to ask...what kind of profit are people making on $99 cakes?!? It wouldn't be worth it to me to make cakes for that little money. What size are the tiers?

I just wrote a blog entry about this, I'm sincerely curious about what people think of this. If you want to go there to weigh in on it please do, I'd like to hear your opinions either here or there, whatever...


Chef_Stef Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 1:04am
post #18 of 21

Well...my $99 cake is a 6" and a 10" round white cake, probably uses a single to 1.5 batch of italian meringue, plus very little of my time involved, with no torting, coloring or flavoring icing, or crazy hard detail work. So, figure 2.5 recipes of white cake, 1.5 recipes of italian meringue, 2 wooden dowels, and a single 14" round base, no topper or flowers to deal with.

Haven't don't the math on ingredients for awhile, but, very often I have extra white cake, at least the 6" rounds, AND extra icing in the freezer from prior/current other cakes, so it's surplus ingredients in the first place (spare cake, I call it).

It works out fine for me, but then again, I don't do a ton of them and wouldn't want to pay the morgage with *just* that. I sell a lot of $6.50/sv cakes, so it balances out.

costumeczar Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 1:53am
post #19 of 21

Chef_Stef, do you have a limit for the number of these that you'll do on one day? And I assume that they have to pick up the cake, or that you charge for delivery too? I can see how it would be hard to figure out cost if you're using some "spare cake", which is an interesting concept. My kids make sure that I don't have any spare cake after decorating day icon_rolleyes.gif

cakesdivine Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 7:36am
post #20 of 21

Costume, very few brides choose this option. Since the launch of the line I have only sold 3 $99 cakes and 1 $174 fondant cake. Most brides want to change something, and it clearly states no changes allowed. The minute they want to change anything it is no longer an econoline cake. The designs are so basic and simple that I can knock one out in less than 30 minutes. The cakes are baked well in advance. So super fast to make. The profit margin is about 48% on these cakes. But like I said I generally end up with a custom design hense I make more money.

Chef_Stef Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 5:33pm
post #21 of 21

I'm with cakesdivine...they are super easy to do and yes, they most often pick them up, or pay for delivery.

I don't have a limit as to how many of these I'll do..it's more a limit of how many cakes *total* I will do that weekend or date.

Any time I have a big wedding cake with any white cake, often there's extra batter, so I fill the 6" pans and at least have those extras on hand.

Of 89 weddings last year, only 9 were this option. It's also nice for birthdays and anniversaries where they just...'need a cake' but want something not from the grocery store.

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