sweetflowers Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 9:01pm
post #1 of

I'm sorry this is another pricing question. Basically I just need to know approximately the going rate for custom cake in and around the Atlanta GA area. Buttercream cake, red velvet with cream cheese filling. Just a ballpark per slice seving price if possible?

If you want to read the back story to this here it is....
My best friends daughter is getting married just outside of Atlanta (McDonough area) and she wants me to fly out from California to make the cake. I've only met her daughter a couple times so don't know her well. I know my friend and her husband don't have much money. She keeps saying she's out of money for the wedding. I would be sleeping on an airbed in the family room with no privacy, no stand mixer, over 2 hour drive to the venue, and she said she was hoping I would also be cutting the cake at the reception. I can't imagine trying to cake and decorate a cake in a stange house, dragging all my stuff from CA with a house full of 11 family members visiting. And while my friend is also making food for the reception (to save money). As an option we talked about getting a cake at a local store so I could just decorate it, but she stopped short, basically implying I'd be paying for the cake...

soooooo, anyone have a general idea of a per slice price pelase?

35 replies
CTamiLynn Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 11:36pm
post #2 of

I live in McDonough and I've never priced wedding cakes in this area, but I'd guess around $3-5 per slice since we are south of Atlanta. Cakes prices in Atlanta and North Atlanta would be much higher. You said the venue was 2 hours away-what area is it in?

I just decorate cakes as a hobby, but I can't imagine hauling all my stuff across the country and being in an unfamiliar kitchen to bake and decorate a cake.

I looked at your website and I can see why she wants you to make the cake. You do beautiful work!

BTW, I'm a Tami too! icon_biggrin.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 11:48pm
post #3 of

Is this like you life long best friend who gave you a kidney or something. I can not see EVER asking someone to fly across the country to make a cake, and okay, let's say I could deal with that. But then you ask them to fly across the country to sleep on an airbed AND not only will they be making the cake, you also want them to WORK at the wedding, by CUTTING THE CAKE. If the wedding is too much and asking you to go through all these hoops are some of her cost cutting measures, then that's a little selfish. How about you suggest she scale back on the guest list. How many people would this cake before by the way?

QTCakes1 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 11:50pm
post #4 of

Okay. SO I just caught the part that said if she bought the cake, that it would be YOU paying for it. I have no words for that.

Pebbles1727 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 11:57pm
post #5 of

Roughly $3 to $6.00 per serving, depending on level of decoration/location/etc. I think most wedding cakes will fall within about $4.50 a serving category.

pummy Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 12:10am
post #6 of

I'm sorry, but this sounds like a hot mess! I would kindly back out of this. Me personally, I do not like anyone else in the kitchen while I'm baking. Also to bake in a different environment can throw you off too. It seems like your friend thinks you produce cakes from under your armpit! icon_eek.gif Then, to imply you will be paying for the cake...hmmmf. This is not cool.

sweetflowers Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 12:39am
post #7 of

Yeah, yeah, I know, I was caught off guard when she originally asked. And I honestly thought the wedding would be closer to her house and much smaller (she originally told me 50- 80 people).

A hot mess... I completely agree, and I've pretty much decided there is no way I can do this. She doesn't even own a stand mixer and her oven is only 14" wide. And I hate other people in the kitchen when I'm working. I believe they have sent out about 200 invitations, but realistically only expect 150 people. The wedding is actually in McDonough, she lives about 2 hours away, so I was just trying to see what the prices were, but there is no way I'll be paying for that at what you all have quoted me.

Thank you so much for your help!! Now I just need to find the 'balls' to tell her no. I've known her since kindergarten and it's really tough to say no to her. Oh, and I'm a Tami Lynn too!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Pebbles1727 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 12:52am
post #8 of
Quote:
Quote:

Now I just need to find the 'balls' to tell her no. I've known her since kindergarten and it's really tough to say no to her.




I know how tough something like that is, and guilt trip is just unbearable. Maybe you can figure out a way to compromise? Baking and decorating in that kitchen is obviously out. Just try to think out of the box. Do you have an already completed dummie that can be shipped and used for the wedding and pictures? Or maybe if you have time and want to do something nice, make a dummie for bride's dream cake? It could be displayed, pretty photos taken, nice memory shared, etc... and then they can serve sheetcakes/kitchen cakes out of the kitchen? Costco, Sams, WalMart could all be cost efficient options for a tight budget. And also, since your business is nowhere close to GA, it really does not matter about people associated your cake with sheetcakes.
Just a thought.....
Good Luck on what you decide,
P

QTCakes1 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 2:34am
post #9 of

Now that I have picked myself off the floor, I thought I would point something out. If she sent out 200 invites, that does NOT mean 200 people. If you invite a couple or a family or most single people bring a date, you are inviting anywhere from 2 to 4-5 people per invite. So those 200 invites actually cover at least 400 people, and as the standard 80% goes. thats about 320 people. Once again, for someone who is on a budget, they need to scale back the invites. And a true best friend would not make you guilty about saying no. My best friend won't even ask me for a cake and I am more then willing to give her one for free.

CTamiLynn Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 2:40am

I'm guessing this is not being held at a commercial venue since you mentioned she was making the food for the reception.

But if it is, would the venue allow you to bring in a cake made in an unlicensed kitchen? If so, this could be your way out since you can't bake from a home kitchen in Georgia.

sweetflowers Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:14am

I tried the 'not in a licensed kitchen' ploy right off the bat. But unfortunately the venue doesn't care.

Pebbles, the guilt trip is what's killing me. And QT, you are right about the number of invites, but from what I understand, a lot of them won't be coming. My friend has a huge extended family, but they never ever travel, so they are assuming they will all to be 'regrets'. And you are both right, I would never ask my friends to do this for me, in fact, I can't remember ever asking her for any favor.

Now, if they lived in the area, I'd be thrilled to make the cake. It's the $300 plane ticket, no sleep, 5 days off work, strange kitchen, no mixer, 5 hour drive and working the reception that's making me want to say no. I did my friends sister's wedding cake, and her parents 50th anniversary cake so I guess she shouldn't be too mad at me if I bow out? She just kept saying she was 'out of money' on the phone...so I feel really bad now about sticking her with no cake. Hence the reason I was asking prices...

I'm not sure about the dummies but it's an interesting thought. Maybe mail them? I guess I just don't want to even fly out there..uugh I'm feeling the guilt...

MimiFix Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetflowers

I guess I just don't want to even fly out there..uugh I'm feeling the guilt...


Can you decline the event and send her the $300 you would spend on your ticket?

IvyCakes Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:40am

You know, I bet if you go through with this it'll hurt your friendship with her more than help. You'll feel upset, stressed, over worked and under appreciated. Your best gift for your friend, is to decline. (See how that works? icon_biggrin.gif You're doing what's best for her! No guilt needed!) What they see when they look at your cakes, isn't what you'll be able to provide in their home. I mean not just kitchen change, ingredients, humidity, oven temps! Just convince them that they'll get something much higher in quality by going another route.

Maybe you can make them a sugarflower topper or something to mail them to ease the disappointment. Then go spend 300 dollars at the spa since you saved that on the plane ticket. icon_wink.gif If all else fails to calm the guilt, buy some self improvement books. It's how my mom has avoided buying me a car for 10 years. icon_razz.gif


Btw seeing your cakes.........darnit I want you to do MY wedding! Lol! I can see why they want you. @_@

matthewkyrankelly Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:50am

First - you do beautiful work.

Second - this was going to cost you a lot no matter what. $300 plane ticket - lost income from days off - a wedding gift or cake in lieu of gift - A LOT of money.

Why not stay home and call a good bakery and arrange to have a cake delivered to the reception? You could even ship some of your sugar flowers to the bakery to make it more personal.They will just have to deal with the cutting of the cake themselves - people get through it every day! Honestly - I don't see how writing a check for $800 could cost more than the reality of this whole mess.

For that $800 dollars, you will have saved the cost of a plane trip, saved the costs of food and travel while there, helped an old friend immensely, done a wonderful favor for that friend's daughter, employed a fellow baker, and purchased a whole lot of sanity for yourself. The check seems a bargain

Save the friendship. Save your sanity. Buy the cake. Relax.

Cakery2012 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 6:24am

I dont know if Id call someone a friend that expected so much from me. Sorry Ive had these kinds of friends . One still owes me money for bail money for her daughter.
Another thing people need to get their priorities straight . If they cant afford a big wedding they shouldnt expect friends to help pay for it .Its called common sense.
I would tell her just what you said about how much it
would. cost you to travel and take off work .
Its up to you if you want to send a monetary gift.
Her crisis isnt your emergency .

Pebbles1727 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 6:49am

This one is a tough one. Were you invited to the wedding or expected to go even before the cake request? If the answer is yes, than just avoiding this situation and not going is not really an option. If it is a really good friend, you really don't want to miss a wedding either, do you? But I know how it feels, sometimes our friends ask things of us that we don't think they should, but most of the time it's just because they don't really know how much it may "cost" us rather than that they simply don't care. So you have to figure out how to make it work without stressing yourself out and still enjoying your time with your friend. Come up with some other options, talk to your friend. It is not feasible for you to bake and decorate a big cake there, just shipment of all equipment (pans, spatulas, tools, etc.) will be an impossible task. How about ingredients that you normally use and that are not readily available from regular grocery stores? I know you would have loved nothing more than to do this for her, but the distance prevents you from making it happen. Tell her, give her some other options. Go with a larger dummie you decorate at home and then ship safe and sound. Offer to make a smaller cake for cutting just like you planned, and then they can supplement with sheetcakes from somewhere else. Offer to do a cupcake tower instead with a small cake for cutting. You have severe limitations to what you can do on location, so far away from your shop, supplies, tools, and equipment. Just take a breath and see what you can come up with that can make both of you happy in this situation. Making relationship tense over this will have a lasting effect. And whatever you decide on, do it--talk to her asap. The longer you dwell on it and longer situation is unresolved, the more miserable you are making yourself.
Good Luck, P

QTCakes1 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 2:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetflowers

And QT, you are right about the number of invites, but from what I understand, a lot of them won't be coming. My friend has a huge extended family, but they never ever travel, so they are assuming they will all to be 'regrets'. And you are both right, I would never ask my friends to do this for me, in fact, I can't remember ever asking her for any favor.




Okay, they are in the South. I don't know too many Southeners that won't travel for a wedding. They are assuming they won't come. She doesn't know yet. I agree with what another poster said, about you would be doing your friend a bigger favor by saying no. Your work is beautiful. I don't blame her for wanting a cake from you.

jenmat Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 2:43pm

I really like the idea of purchasing or helping to purchase the wedding cake from someone local. This IS a hot mess, and to get out of it gracefully would be your best hope.
I would call around or at least google it, and find a couple of bakers that would work for their needs and either offer to purchase part, half or all of the cake for them. You could even say, "I'll do $300, and if you want more cake than that you'll have to decide how to spend it." They can order a small tiered cake and sheets if they really can't do more.
In the end, this wedding is NOT your responsibility, and the fact that they are over budget is also NOT your problem. They can get married at a courthouse or in church without a big "to-do." In the end it is much more important that they are married than they had a fabulous cake or great food. I know we all want to have a tv wedding, but not always getting what we want is part of marriage, right?
You should feel NO guilt!!!!!!

AnnieCahill Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 2:52pm

I feel like she is taking advantage of your generosity. A wedding cake is a VERY expensive gift to give someone. It would be one thing if it were local, but you have to travel, miss time off work, and work in unfamiliar and uncomfortable circumstances. I would never ask someone to do that for me, nor would I expect that. I think it's her problem and if I were you I would either try to get out of it as gracefully as possible, or if you do decide to bake her one, do a small tiered cake for them to cut for the pictures and have the mom get some Costco kitchen cakes to supplement. That's what happens when the cake is an afterthought!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

cattycornercakes Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:07pm

Wow...I'm just in shock.

Here's the bottom line - they are planning a wedding they can't afford. Its not your responsiblity to bail them out. It woudl be nice to help out if you lived closer. But there are just too many obstacles. I can't believe she asked considering where you live but hopefully she'll understand why you just can't do it. And if she doesn't, well...I'm not sure how much of a friend she is then.

sweetflowers Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:56pm

First, I want to thank you all for the compliments on my cakes, it's very appreciated icon_smile.gif

I'm really torn, but I did send an email today, telling her as gently as I could that I just couldn't fly out and do the cake under the conditions she had. You all are so right about the stress I would have working in a strange kitchen with 8 or 10 people going in and out all day, preparing meals and all when I'm either working on a cake or trying to keep it in her refrigerator. I feel guilty, and kind of on edge about it, I know she is going to be upset. She is not like those people who overextend and want champagne on a beer budget, she's realistic that way, but she does get what she wants, always. She can really guilt you into it.

Ivycakes, I wish I had you write the email, you worded that so well...

I really can't afford to send someone $300-$800 as a gift for a cake. Spending $300 on a plane ticket where I would get some vacation and fellowship time is one thing, but that wouldn't be the case for this either. As you all have said, I would be too stressed and it would definitely strain our friendship. Heck, I'm stressed just thinking about it.

I love some of Pebbles ideas, cupcake cakes, dummies, etc. so I'll suggest them to my friend, if she's still talking to me of course. I also love the idea of having a baker in McDonough do it and helping pay for the cake. That's a win for the baker, me and my friend, if she can pay for anything over what I can afford. I can easily make the chocolate sea shells her daughter wants on her cake and send them to the baker. Fortunately the daughter only wants sea shells on the cake, so that's pretty easy to send.

Thank you so much for all your support and suggestions. I couldn't even think straight

icon_razz.gif

denetteb Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 8:03pm

Good for you, this is a bad idea through and through for all the reasons you have identified. Her lack of proper budgeting is not your problem. Don't let her talk you into something you aren't comfortable with, determine what you are willing to do and stick with it. I had a friend ask me to do her wedding cake, no problem. Then I realized she wanted it organic, supplies from the whole foods coop, etc. I decided it was just getting to be too complicated and let her know that. She found a health foods place to make it for her. Win-win for us both. Just politely stick with your guns and hopefully she will move on and find another option. Remember, it isn't your problem to get her a cake, baker, etc. It is hers and the brides.

pummy Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 1:50am

Let us know what happens. icon_surprised.gif

debidehm Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 2:26am

"so I feel really bad now about sticking her with no cake"...

No, you aren't sticking her without a cake. She should have budgeted for it. If she truly was a friend, she wouldn't be laying a guilt trip on you. Don't feel bad if you can't do it.

Cakery2012 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 5:36am

Just a side note on expenses I seriously doubt you can get a RT ticket from Calif to Atlanta for $300 either.
You are not obligated to pay anymore for a cake than a regular wedding gift . Like others said her lack of budgeting is not your problem .Dont let her put a guilt trip on you . If she does what kind of friend is that .

Bridgette1129 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:04am
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

Is this like you life long best friend who gave you a kidney or something. I can not see EVER asking someone to fly across the country to make a cake, and okay, let's say I could deal with that. But then you ask them to fly across the country to sleep on an airbed AND not only will they be making the cake, you also want them to WORK at the wedding, by CUTTING THE CAKE. If the wedding is too much and asking you to go through all these hoops are some of her cost cutting measures, then that's a little selfish. How about you suggest she scale back on the guest list. How many people would this cake before by the way?




thumbs_up.gif If you BARELY know her daughter that makes it worse in my opinion. This seems like a bad idea all together...

Bridgette1129 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:06am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetflowers

Yeah, yeah, I know, I was caught off guard when she originally asked. And I honestly thought the wedding would be closer to her house and much smaller (she originally told me 50- 80 people).




Oh AND you do AMAZING work, btw!

Bridgette1129 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery2012

If they cant afford a big wedding they shouldnt expect friends to help pay for it .Its called common sense.
I would tell her just what you said about how much it
would. cost you to travel and take off work .
Its up to you if you want to send a monetary gift.
Her crisis isnt your emergency .




thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Curtsmin24 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:21am
Quote:
Quote:

It's the $300 plane ticket, no sleep, 5 days off work, strange kitchen, no mixer, 5 hour drive and working the reception that's making me want to say no



First I have to say that I read every post and I have to say that you are a GREAT person to even stress yourself out because of your friends mistake.

Second, a true friend would never: a) expect you to be a hero or guilt you into taking care of their responsibilities.
b) Ask you to spend that much money on them as a "favor"
c) make you feel uneasy about saying no to them.

I know how you feel and it sucks so bad, but this lady is not really your friend. I have plenty of people that i've known my entire life and my true friends are the ones that know the answers to my questions before I ask them, the ones who understand what i'm feeling when I don't know how to express it in words, and the ones who don't try to take advantage of me because i'm good at something they need.

If this affects your friendship the way you feel it will, then you were more of a friend to her than she was to you. If she was asking to borrow the money it would be another story. I can picture her face when you told her to order a cake and you could decorate it. I've seen that face and all I could do was walk away and say goodbye. It hurt because I thought we were close but I have a family and I can't give away anything above $100 unless it's for charity and a wedding is not charity. As someone previously posted they could go down to the courthouse and get married.

And your flight wont cost $300 unless you purchased it wayyy in advance. I feel so bad hearing your story. Sorry you are going through this. Hopefully you can work it out.


Edited to add: I appologize if it sounds like I have an attitude, I promise it's not towards you. Your situation just takes me back to mine and it still bothers me.

IvyCakes Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetflowers

First, I want to thank you all for the compliments on my cakes, it's very appreciated icon_smile.gif

I'm really torn, but I did send an email today, telling her as gently as I could that I just couldn't fly out and do the cake under the conditions she had. You all are so right about the stress I would have working in a strange kitchen with 8 or 10 people going in and out all day, preparing meals and all when I'm either working on a cake or trying to keep it in her refrigerator. I feel guilty, and kind of on edge about it, I know she is going to be upset. She is not like those people who overextend and want champagne on a beer budget, she's realistic that way, but she does get what she wants, always. She can really guilt you into it.

Ivycakes, I wish I had you write the email, you worded that so well...

I really can't afford to send someone $300-$800 as a gift for a cake. Spending $300 on a plane ticket where I would get some vacation and fellowship time is one thing, but that wouldn't be the case for this either. As you all have said, I would be too stressed and it would definitely strain our friendship. Heck, I'm stressed just thinking about it.

I love some of Pebbles ideas, cupcake cakes, dummies, etc. so I'll suggest them to my friend, if she's still talking to me of course. I also love the idea of having a baker in McDonough do it and helping pay for the cake. That's a win for the baker, me and my friend, if she can pay for anything over what I can afford. I can easily make the chocolate sea shells her daughter wants on her cake and send them to the baker. Fortunately the daughter only wants sea shells on the cake, so that's pretty easy to send.

Thank you so much for all your support and suggestions. I couldn't even think straight

icon_razz.gif




*Hugs* You did the right thing! icon_biggrin.gif Just remember, the hardest part is over now! If she gets a little bit bitter, just chalk it up to her inner Momzilla, and once the wedding has passed she'll come to her senses. icon_wink.gif I think the box of seashells for the cake sounds awesome. It's the personal touches that makes a cake special, so they're still getting a wonderful gift! thumbs_up.gif

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