How Much Deposit Do You Require For A Wedding Cake?

Decorating By labmom Updated 4 Jul 2011 , 2:38pm by ladyonzlake

labmom Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:35am
post #1 of 15

My husband and I are at a disagreement. With cakes being more and more expensive and the economy weak and many cakes and weddings canceled due to brides who can't affford them. were at odds about deposits. Date & security deposits.

He wants me to charge at least half for a depoist on the big wedding cakes, and me, I just charge enough to hold the date.Usualy around 50.00

It makes him mad that I turn down business on these held dates, then the brides call the weddings off or change dates over and over. So he said that we should at least get a good faith deposit that is large enough to cover at least some of our loss.

I told him that I would check with everyone here and see what you do.

Also do you charge security deposits on your equipment? I do, then give the check back to them when they return my equipment all in one piece and clean.

I also charge $25.00 cleaning fee if my equipment comes back dirty.

I had one family clean everything in the top of the tub but when I got to unload it a few days later to wash and put away I found everything molded and gross.. they only did what they had to so they wouldn't get charged the cleaning fee.

From now on I check things right away when it comes back. And I give them the 25.00 back if it is clean.

Please let me know how you handle things.
thank you

14 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:02am
post #2 of 15

Our deposit is 50% of the total for all of our cakes, Wedding or otherwise. We charge a refundable deposit for our cake stands that is equivalent to the value of the stand should we not get it back and need to replace it.

ladyonzlake Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:16am
post #3 of 15

I charge a nonrefundable $100.00 deposit with the balance due 4 weeks before the wedding date.

I charge $100.00 refundable deposit for my cake stands and a $25.00 rental fee. I don't charge anything extra if the stand comes back dirty...most times it comes back fairly clean but I still have to wipe it down a bit.

KoryAK Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 4:35am
post #4 of 15

I'm 30% non refundable retainer to hold the date. For cake stands, $150 deposit and $25 weekly rental fee. I, too, used to be $100 deposit and zero rental fees for the first week but had too many brides bail with almost no repercussion and realized that it is wear and tear on my stands each adn every time they are used.

leah_s Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 12:12pm
post #5 of 15

I take a 25% nonrefundable for any reason deposit. The only equipment I get returned is a cupcake stand. $40 rental and $20 refundable deposit. And that's too low.

cutiepiecupcake Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 12:39pm
post #6 of 15

$50 non-refundable "secure a date" deposit (credited to cost of order), and that is only if they are unsure of the cake design and the total price.. otherwise if they have their mind set on a design in advance and have accepted a quote, I take 50% upfront, final payment to be made 30 days prior to the order date, and my terms and conditions state that no refunds are given if cancellation occurs within 30 days of the order's due date (unless otherwise negotiated by management... there are always exceptions to the rule when tragedy strikes). I have introduced the '30 day' condition because this reimburses me for the loss of potiental orders that I may turn down because one minute I'm fully booked for a particular date.. then BAM.. a cancellation occurs and I'm left high and dry on that date if I have no deposit.

brenda549 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 1:17pm
post #7 of 15

50% deposit on all orders, balance due 21 days from event. For orders less than $100 (very rare), balance can be made at pick-up/delivery. Equipment deposit is the replacement cost of the equipment. Equipment rental fee is $25.

No one has had a problem with my deposit policy so far. Most are appreciative when I explain to them, it helps me limit the number of orders I take for a particular date/weekend, giving more time and attention to their cake.

snocilla Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 1:52pm
post #8 of 15

50% non-refundable deposit due to book the date. Remainder is due 2 weeks prior to wedding.

cakesbycathy Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:52pm
post #9 of 15

I agree with your husband icon_smile.gif

For wedding cakes I have a 50% non-refundable deposit policy and the balance is due 30 days before the reception.

I charge the full replacement value on any equipment and they get half back when they return it.

kathie-d Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:10pm
post #10 of 15

I charge a %50 non-refundable deposit, balance due 2 weeks prior to delivery date. Refundable quipment deposit of $50 and a $50 rental.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:18pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathie-d

I charge a %50 non-refundable deposit, balance due 2 weeks prior to delivery date.



Same here, 50% at time of order and the remaining 50% 2 weeks before delivery, for large orders only. Most of our orders are smaller birthday cakes in the $50-100 range, those are payable on pickup or delivery with no deposit necessary.

snocilla Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 4:23pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathie-d

I charge a %50 non-refundable deposit, balance due 2 weeks prior to delivery date.


Same here, 50% at time of order and the remaining 50% 2 weeks before delivery, for large orders only. Most of our orders are smaller birthday cakes in the $50-100 range, those are payable on pickup or delivery with no deposit necessary.




I do still charge 50% deposit on birthday cakes and such, but allow the remainder to be paid upon delivery, rather than 2 weeks prior.

cutiepiecupcake Posted 2 Jul 2011 , 11:25pm
post #13 of 15

I've set my minimum order to $100 now so as I can afford to pay myself a reasonable per hourly rate. This definitely limits my orders too, but like Brend549 points out, I get time to devote my full attention to the cakes I do have scheduled.. and most of them in my calendar now are wedding cakes, and I ADORE making wedding cakes.. to me wedding cakes are the ones that pay the bills and allow me to buy more equipment. Any other orders made that are due within 30 days I require full payment upfront.. I don't accept payment on pick up or delivery because I don't ever want to play the awkward game of the 'debt collector', and I don't wish to have my time and money wasted by having an uncollected and unpaid for cake sitting on my kitchen bench... that would pee me off to no end! I love my business with a firey passion.. but I don't do it just for the love!

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 1:25am
post #14 of 15

The problem with only charging $50 to hold the date is that it's very easy for brides to just walk away since in the scheme of how much a wedding costs overall that's really nothing. Now you're out the order and you've already invested time and money (if you've offered a free cake tasting). Plus you may have turned down other orders since you think the bride is booking you so you've lost money there, too.

It needs to be a substantial enough of a deposit to make the bride think twice before walking away. Chances are she's not worried about losing $50 but will definitely not want to lose the $300 or more that she's put down.

ladyonzlake Posted 4 Jul 2011 , 2:38pm
post #15 of 15

I've tried it both ways. I tried to collect 50% deposit and my bookings dropped off so I went back to the $100.00 deposit (for wedding cakes). For celebration cakes I collect 50% deposit with the balance due 2 weeks prior.

I have have only a handful of brides back out and I have kept their deposit.

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