I Don't Know What I Should Do

Business By lenagc Updated 2 Dec 2012 , 9:59pm by lenagc

lenagc Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 8:52pm
post #1 of 25

I have offered to make a wedding cake for free, for a friend of the family, who has been so wonderful to our family. The problem is, when I made the offer the cake was to be for 150 people, but now I received and e-mail stating that they have increased the servings to 250 if that would be a problem. Now I don't know what to do, I wasn't expecting to do a huge cake for free, but I'm not in the habit of going back on my word. The fact that this couple has been so good to us I don't feel right about charging them, I'm afraid it wouldn't sound right. Plus we are going to be guests at their wedding, how can I charge? do any of you wonderful CCrs have any advice for me , the wedding isn't untill next year, but they are coming tomorrow to discuss the cake. Thanks in advance.

24 replies
kkmcmahan Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 9:18pm
post #2 of 25

Hopefully those with more experience will also respond but here is what I would say to you.  Your gift to the bride and groom is their wedding cake and that is a huge gift.  They have almost doubled the number of guests that they originally thought they would invite.  Couldn't you suggest that for the wedding cake you go with the original 150 count and they buy a full sheet cake from Sam's or Costco?  When the wedding cake is taken to the back to be cut the sheet cake would also be cut making sure there is enough cake for all.  It may even be that with this suggestion they will realize the additional cost and offer to pay for all of ingredients and materials used to make the cake.  Your time to make the wedding cake is still a huge gift.

Stitches Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 9:21pm
post #3 of 25

Urg............that is a sticky spot. I would keep my word, especially if I never set any limits on my offer. They don't understand your costs and time involved.........so they don't realize that is a big increase and a burden to you. In the future I'd try to educate this friend about how much effort and cost does go into all of your work.


Last of all, I wouldn't worry about the numbers until you are getting a final count. You never know, that number can change drastically. When they find out what the cost increase is from all their other vendors they might go back down to their original count.

LisaPeps Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 9:29pm
post #4 of 25

APersonally I would ask them for payment for the difference in servings or pay for the ingredients. Just say that you agreed to do the 150 servings but the 250 is almost double what you expected and you won't be able to cover the ingredient costs for the bigger cake. The only thing they can say to that is either yes I'll pay, no ill have the smaller cake or they could try and barter with you which would be very rude IMO, and that will show you what type of couple they are. They're not going to cancel with you cos they're getting a free cake.

remnant3333 Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 9:41pm
post #5 of 25

Do whatever is in your heart to do!! It sounds like the people have been very good to your family.  Good luck and hope everything turns out for you. 

FullHouse Posted 26 Nov 2012 , 10:44pm
post #6 of 25
Originally Posted by LisaPeps 

Personally I would ask them for payment for the difference in servings or pay for the ingredients. Just say that you agreed to do the 150 servings but the 250 is almost double what you expected and you won't be able to cover the ingredient costs for the bigger cake. The only thing they can say to that is either yes I'll pay, no ill have the smaller cake or they could try and barter with you which would be very rude IMO, and that will show you what type of couple they are. They're not going to cancel with you cos they're getting a free cake.

This.  It is always difficult when you offer a gift and the gift requested winds up being more than you can afford to give.  But, it is a gift and any other guest at the wedding will get to choose the gift they can afford to give, it should be not different for you.  If you were going to give a gift worth $500-$600 (at 150 servings), that is extremely generous.  I would let them know that although you wish you could afford the time and cost involved in giving more, you are not able to.  Let them know that you can do a cake up to $xxx in value and if they want/need more, you can let them know the price difference and they can decide whether they would like to pay the difference or graciously accept what you have offered.

A cake needs to be budgeted for in a wedding, just because it is a gift, does not mean there is no budget, whether it be yours, theirs, or a combination.  There needs to be a limit or you will wind up resentful.  I've learned this one the hard way, then had to remind myself as I was working on the cake, that though I felt taken advantage of, the fault was entirely mine. I didn't speak up or set limits and, not being a cake designer, how could I expect they understand the time and cost involved.

lenagc Posted 27 Nov 2012 , 1:55am
post #7 of 25

Thank you so much everybody, I knew I could count on you guys to help me out. I have been so torn between my head and my heart. I will take all advice in consideration, and let you all know how it goes. Thank you all again for taking the time to help me out.

BlakesCakes Posted 27 Nov 2012 , 3:13am
post #8 of 25

The gift you offered was 150 servings of cake.  I think it's very reasonable to have them pay for the additional 100 servings. 


If they had told you that they had a double bed and you planned to buy them a sheet set at $XX and then they said they had gotten a king bed--and now the sheet set would be 2X the cost of the double--you might be inclined to choose another gift that  was closer in price to $XX.


As far as buying kitchen cakes from another source, I personally won't supply any cake if a product from another baker/bakery will be present.  I don't want anyone to confuse an inferior product with my cake. 



denetteb Posted 27 Nov 2012 , 5:09am
post #9 of 25

Is your concern the additional cost of supplies or actually preparing the additional servings?  If it is the cost, when you meet tomorrow, simply tell them you were offering 150 servings and the additional servings would cost xyz.  If it is actually making them, is there a way that it would work for you?  Some simply iced two  layer sheet cakes to supplement the original 150 servings would probably be easiest if you could handle it.  Just be honest with them and it will be fine.  If you aren't honest it won't be as fun for you and you will probably eventually resent it.  Just let them know tomorrow.  The same goes with designs.  You have a lot of time to practice and learn new techniques but if they want something you just aren't comfortable with let them know so you can come up with something you are comfortable with and that they will also like.  For example if you prefer buttercream and they are talking fondant, work with them so it is a buttercream design.

lenagc Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 3:32pm
post #10 of 25

Thank you so much everyone for your help, well I met with the couple, and I was still nervous about how to bring up money, and wouldn't you know before I could even say anything the groom to be says " about money, I know you said you wanted to do this as a gift, but really that was before we added more people" so if you need any money or items or if we can help in anyway please let us know. I was so relieved, we sat down and discussed price and they will pay for any additional cost passed the 150 servings.   This couple is so thoughtful, it is going to be a pleasure to do their cake as a gift, and now I know if it cost more then I can afford they don't mind covering the cost. They were just so happy that I was going to do their cake period, they said " We didn't want anyone else but you to do our cake anyway" how wonderful is that. Thank you everyone for your help.

BlakesCakes Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 6:32pm
post #11 of 25

That's great news! So nice to see that some people can step up to the plate before being asked to do so.



remnant3333 Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 6:59pm
post #12 of 25

Great news to hear!!!! Make sure you post pictures of the cake!!/Mary

Godot Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 7:57pm
post #13 of 25

great news. I know you must have been nervous!

KoryAK Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 8:37pm
post #14 of 25

AHOORAY! Reasonable and thoughtful people still exist! :)

Apti Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 9:50pm
post #15 of 25
Originally Posted by KoryAK 

HOORAY! Reasonable and thoughtful people still exist! icon_smile.gif

I agree, KoryAK. 


Lenagc~~What may have been a worrisome issue has turned into a gracious exchange between friends that will be remembered long after the cake has been eaten.   Thank you so much for letting us all know how this lovely couple responded. 

Nixs247 Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 10:34pm
post #16 of 25

What at great ending for the start of a new chapter!!


Phew - You must be so so relieved?   I know I would be.


This just goes to show that there are still considerate people, in this world who sincerly appreciate the people that come into their lives.


So happy your worrying is now over.


All the best with your/their wedding Cake for 250 servings...lol



lenagc Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 11:32pm
post #17 of 25

Apti------ WONDERFULLY SAID, I couldn't have said it better. Thank you!!

and thank you to all of you for taking the time to help me and write a response.

Apti Posted 29 Nov 2012 , 7:07pm
post #18 of 25

Cake friends make our hearts glow.  

lenagc Posted 29 Nov 2012 , 9:28pm
post #19 of 25


vgcea Posted 29 Nov 2012 , 10:02pm
post #20 of 25

Such nice people, I can see why they deserve your gracious offer.

lenagc Posted 30 Nov 2012 , 5:42am
post #21 of 25

They really are thumbs_up.gif

AmandaVermont Posted 2 Dec 2012 , 1:22pm
post #22 of 25

AIt is wonderful when a young couple just starting life together demonstrate they possess qualities that make for a lasting marriage. This couple certainly shows they have green brought up to understand that the offer of a gift does not extend beyond what is offered. How refreshing!

Godot Posted 2 Dec 2012 , 1:40pm
post #23 of 25

Hmmmm ....... how can you be assume that they are a young couple just starting their lives together? Maybe they're in their fifties and have been living together for thirty years?


Anyway, they sound lovely and very understanding.

AmandaVermont Posted 2 Dec 2012 , 7:32pm
post #24 of 25

AGood point, Godot, but the reason I thought they might be younger is because, in my own experiences, when a guest list jumps from 150 to 250 it is usually a younger couple who all of a sudden have discovered protocol for invitations to weddings, or who have family members (like the parents or siblings) who have suddenly mentioned that if they invite so-and-so they really ought to invite this person and that person. Generally, in my own experiences, the older the couple the less likely the numbers change too much from the original count, which has usually been padded to some degree anyway.

At a wedding we attended a while ago, the couple had no idea of invitation protocol within even the family structure or boyfriend / girlfriend / significant other or partner relationships etc. When they discovered their mistake the guest list changed really quickly. Generally speaking, older couples already seem aware of the social graces, where often times the young folks Re still learning.

Best, Amanda

lenagc Posted 2 Dec 2012 , 9:59pm
post #25 of 25

Yes AmandaVermont, they are a young couple, and they are just starting out, I'm so impressed with how they handled this situation, that it is my pleasure to do this for them. I am also impressed with the cakers who have taken the time to comment. Thank you for your lovely words.

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