Wedding Fountain Cake

Decorating By tootie0809 Updated 28 Jan 2011 , 3:17pm by cheatize

tootie0809 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:27am
post #1 of 14

I have a request for a cake with the fountain on top of the bottom tier (think those 1980s cakes). I have never had anyone ask for this style. Even the wedding planner said she's not seen a request for this style of cake in years! I priced out buying the fountain and extra tall columns to separate the cakes, and it's pretty expensive (about $120.00). Since it's something I most likely will not use again, I am thinking I will just charge the customer the full price I will have to pay to buy the items. I'm just wondering if that is the best way to go or if it's better to have the customer buy the items herself. I haven't run into this situation before, so just would like some opinions. TIA!

13 replies
costumeczar Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:37am
post #2 of 14

When I get this request I tell people that I don't have the equipment, and they would need to buy it. Or they can go to the lady in town who does that style all the time and has all the equipment herself icon_smile.gif That usually takes care of it.

aligotmatt Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:47am
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by costumeczar

When I get this request I tell people that I don't have the equipment, and they would need to buy it. Or they can go to the lady in town who does that style all the time and has all the equipment herself icon_smile.gif That usually takes care of it.

Agreed. Same with stairs.

Evoir Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:51am
post #4 of 14

I have a local cake deco supply shop that hires that sort of cr*p out. Maybe try that avenue (if you really want to do a vintage cake design)?

tootie0809 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:53am
post #5 of 14

Thanks everyone! I like the idea of telling the bride she will have to provide the items herself. (Don't really want to do this one anyway.)

indydebi Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 4:28am
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by tootie0809

Even the wedding planner said she's not seen a request for this style of cake in years!

How old is the planner? icon_lol.gif

I heard that everytime I set up a fountain cake in a venue. "Wow, haven't seen one of those in years?" My response was along the lines of "Really? I do them pretty often." icon_biggrin.gif

tryingcake Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 5:47am
post #7 of 14

Side note: When my daughter-in-law was surfing for their wedding cake, just last year, everything she picked out was from the 80s.. fountains and stairs. She was only 24.. but that's what she was drawn to.

Anyway - I don't have a problem with doing cakes I feel are outdated or even downright ugly. Bottom line -money is money. Who am I to say what is pretty and what isn't? All that matters is that I execute the design well.

I own the fountain and stairs. I bought them, charged the customer and kept them. It's called doing business. What were the brides going to do with them? This is how much I am charging for the cake $XXXX - the couple agrees - what the costs are are none of their business. I get non-disposable items back, including fountains and stairs. It's called making a profit.

Evoir Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:25am
post #8 of 14

I guess it all comes down to what people want in one's area. For me, it would sit in a cupboard taking up valuable space, and I know the cake shop has them for hire. So that's my solution icon_smile.gif But, it IS worth my while keeping a cake plateau or two, and several cake serving plates and cupcake towers because I do so many of those.

The reason I think they are pretty crappy has nothing to do with profit, because I never get asked for them, and everything to do with how plastic and unappealing they look. The ones that the cake deco supply shop hires out look yellowed and pretty damned ugly (to me). Each to his own, though!

I know I am "guilty" of making ugly cakes because that is what the client wants! After all, it is the client forking out the big bucks - they get what they want!

So, I am sorry if I offended anyone with my earlier comment about fountains and stairs etc.

doramoreno62 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 9:57am
post #9 of 14

You can get one for under $40 at e f a v o r . c o m no spaces. I got mine there a few years ago and it works great! I actually have a couple of pics in my photos if you're interested. Not my favorite accessory either but since the fountain was so inexpensive, I decided to do the cakes as requested.

Occther Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 11:45am
post #10 of 14

Tootie: Where do you live? If you live close, you could borrow them from me. I bought a lot of stuff when a cake decorator went out of business and have used them a few times when I first started decorating cakes.

what_a_cake Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 11:47am
post #11 of 14

Personally disike any plastic accesory look, but honestly think there's actually no one to be considered "universal authority of the likes of the world". What's nice and trendy in one place could be considered bad taste in another. The world is wide enough to hold people with different taste or preferences, and being tolerant and patient with each other is what peace and harmony is all about.

I believe that as consultors we can suggest ideas, educate customers in the last trends of cake decorating, lead the project... but never judge. If your customer wants a fountain you have two choices, either help her/him design a beautiful vintage cake or kindly tell you have no experience whatsoever and, if possible, refer to someone that actually does.

This said with no intention to hurt anybody's feelings icon_smile.gif

nhbaker Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 1:08pm
post #12 of 14

This style of cake seems to be making a comeback. I'm pretty remote and I get one or two requests for this style every year (doing one next month actually). I ended up purchasing the whole set up myself and then I "rent" it to brides -- takes a few rentals to recover your costs but you do get it back. I also charge an "equipment deposit" (which is much higher than the rental fee and is conditionally refundable) so in the event something doesn't get returned or isn't returned to your standards, then you're covered.

You can also look around for places that rent this setup -- I found a place locally (after I had already purchased everything) and it was pretty inexpensive to rent. However, then you can get into the tricky part of who does the renting and takes on the responsibility of return, etc.

Ebay might be a good place to look (or for the bride to look) as I'm sure others have probably bought it all for just a one-time deal and are looking to sell it.

Right now I'm running into a similar problem with people wanting cupcake stands (I thought this "fad" was dying down but apparently not as I've had several inquiries for cupcakes in the last few weeks, ugh, not my fav). I refuse to buy any as the good ones are really expensive and no two brides like the same thing! I direct them to the rental company

tgress13 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 1:58pm
post #13 of 14

Design taste is relative. What works for one person may not work for the other. How many styles have we seen make a comeback every decade or so? I think for the person who wants to work "outside of the box" from time to time, it's a nice challenge to recreate/update a "vintage" style. This may give you an edge up on those who won't do it and people who have been secretely dreaming of such a cake will know exactly who to go to.

That being said, I agree with some of the previous posts that you should seek out a local rental party place to rent the equipment if you don't want to invest in it. Good luck!

cheatize Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:17pm
post #14 of 14

The fountain may be $40, but there's still the plates and columns that have to be purchased, too. I would check out rental companies first to see if you can get what you need that way. Make sure to look at what they're renting as those plates and columns definitely yellow over time.

Once you know whether that's feasible, cruise the web looking for ideas and see if you can't find something esthetically pleasing. See if you can find a way to put a modern twist on it.

As far as you purchasing or the bride, I think it's six of one, half dozen of another. The bride has no use for it afterwards unless she's going to loan it to her friends. If you purchase it, you would at least charge part of the cost to the bride. However, if you truly think you'll never use it again and can't rent it, then the bride should bear the total cost, in my opinion. Whether that means you buy it and include the total cost in the cost or she buys it and gives it to you is a matter of personal preference. I know I would prefer to buy it myself so I know without a doubt I have it in my possession in time to make the cake.

If you decide to purchase it, don't forget about using 40% off coupons.

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