SandyES00 Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 6:09pm
post #1 of

I got the attached picture from a bride asking for a quote for a end of Feb. wedding.  She is expecting 200 people.  I charge starting at $2.50 per serving for buttercream and $3.50 per serving for fondant.  I just have no idea where to start pricing out this flower cascade.  Also, this would definitely need extra structural support and more extensive set up, which I feel also warrants a charge, just not sure yet.  Any ideas?  How much would others charge?  I'm in the DC metro area, so prices here aren't cheap, but I'm not well known yet.

 

 

 

40 replies
BakingIrene Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 6:23pm
post #2 of

I suspect those are are real roses, because of the pile of matching flowers under the clear acrylic base plate.

 

I would also think that the square is NOT cake--maybe a cake holder, maybe a dummy tier.

 

So you can quote several prices: one for gumpaste flowers (using a proper hourly charge), and one without any flowers.  The bride would normally buy any fresh or silk flowers used, from wherever she likes.

 

Likewise, you can quote two prices for cake--one for five tiers and dummy, one for six tiers.  

 

Use the SPS support system price  (online), and get a quote for the custom acrylic base plate.

 

Setup is usually an hourly charge same as delivery.

SandyES00 Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 6:42pm
post #3 of

Thank you for the feedback.  Yeah, I thought they looked real too, but then she said she wanted them to be midnight blue instead of the purple.  I don't know a ton about flowers, so not even sure that's an option with real flowers.

BakingIrene Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 6:44pm
post #4 of

They ain't no sech t'ing as midnight blue roses...only hydrangeas come close to that deep shade of blue.

 

So the bride will have to use silk ones. Don't even try to make them out of gumpaste...you would go crazy.  Make sure you spell this out in your quote and contract, that the bride is responsible for  purchasing the flowers and getting them in your hands two weeks before the wedding date.

 

You would then tape and wire them into short sections of garland. Standard floristry tape and technique. I would use one cake spike per tier to hold the cascade.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:13pm
post #5 of

Maybe roses, also kinda looks like peonies and peonies are toxic but they are so big and so full I'm thinking peonies. Maybe. I'm not a flower guru though.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:36pm
post #6 of

AHow many hours do you expect this cake will take you to create?

We made a similar cake a few years ago, the customer provided real roses at their expense. It was 4 tiers, 160 servings, and $6.25/serving. Total cost was about $1100 (this was in the SF bay area) not including the flowers.

SandyES00 Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:49pm
post #7 of

How many flowers would you say are on there?  75?

BakingIrene Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:51pm
post #8 of

More like 150.

 

I made a drape like this on two tiers, it took 40 roses.

SandyES00 Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:52pm
post #9 of

Oh and one more thing, does this look like each tier has two or three layers?

-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:53pm

Are you doing all the falderal or just the cake and cascade? The cake is a straight up stacked 5 tier with ribbon border. You could even get your bride to get her florist to do the cascade if you wanted. I'd advise the bride about the potential hazards using flowers because florists sometimes are not aware of this. Are you doing the plateau and the whole tablescape?

BakingIrene Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 7:56pm

To my eyeballs those tiers look like 4" high.  

jason_kraft Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 8:02pm

AWhen we made this cake we put together the cascade ourselves with the flowers provided. No offense to florists but I wouldn't trust a florist to take the appropriate level of care to avoid damaging the cake.

SandyES00 Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 8:10pm

K8memphis:  We are literally just doing the cake and cascade. No plateau or tablescape, etc.  She said, she will do that.  

 

As jason_kraft mentioned, I'm hesitant to let someone else do the arranging for me with the real flowers, so I would want to do it myself and therefore should charge for the time, although not sure how long it would take.  I guess I would have to do it at the venue, the day of, so they are fresh,etc.

 

Jason_kraft:  You made this cake?  Nice job.  Do you remember how many flowers it took by any chance?

jason_kraft Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 8:18pm

AMy wife made the cake, she's the pastry chef and I handled the business side of the bakery. I did help with the setup, it took about 30 minutes to stack the cake at the venue and put the flowers on, we charge $60/hour for setup in 30 minute increments. I don't recall how many flowers we used, but the bride worked with the florist to make sure enough extra roses were at the venue for the cake.

kazita Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 10:26pm

AThat cake is awful tall you might want to take a stepping stool with you to the venue so you can work on the top of the cake without s problem

carmijok Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 2:29am

I don't mean to be a buzz-kill, but do you have the skill-set to do this type of cake?  I looked at your photos and I didn't see anything near this size and scope.  This is a huge cake and while the base cake (sans flowers) looks 'simple' (fondant with ribbon)...it can be very difficult to produce with such precision even for the most experienced decorator.  Stacking, delivery...the flowers...  I'm all for 'going for it', but keep in mind this is a wedding cake--the centerpiece of the reception--and the bride is expecting you to produce the picture she gave you (or at least something pretty darn close). 

 

I had a friend of mine hand me a picture of a Ron Ben Israel cake once and ask if I could do it.   I said if I could do cakes like Ron Ben I wouldn't be doing them as a hobby and she damn sure wouldn't be able to afford me! 

 

Just be certain you can do it before you say yes and give a quote.    Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

SandyES00 Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 8:47pm

carmijok:  No buzz kill.  Totally legitimate comment, and I have thought of this myself.  I have gotten a lot better at fondanting, etc., so I feel that I would be able to do it.  However, I just found out, she is getting married end of Feb in 2014, not 2013.  A little far ahead for a cake order right? 

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 10:12pm

Well at least you'll have time to practice, lol.

I wouldn't price a cake that far out.  You could always give them a ballpark but tell them that since you cannot predict grocery prices over a year in advance the price is subject to change.

thumbs_up.gif
 

kazita Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 11:36pm

AHere I wad thinking really that's a really beautiful cake and if they were waiting until right now to find the cake decorator would be crazy.

Evoir Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 11:56pm

I would estimate that there are around 50 large roses on that cake. I have had to make this number for several different wedding cakes, and you will need to add a signigicant charge to your cake. I would recommend you use fine flower picks on each stem, and insert directly into the cake, rather than creating a wired cascade that then attaches to the cake.

 

If you do not wish to make them from sugar, I would recommend using silk. If you are concerned about silk touching your buttercream you can poke the stem through a circle of waxed paper or silicone paper before pushing the posy pick (or straw) into the cake.

 

Hope this helps!

 

PS I also would suggest ordering a spare 10 roses in case you need extras here and there to balance the look.

Stitches Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 12:43am

My two cents............first, for 200 people you don't need a 5 tier giant cake, like the photo exhibited. So the proportions in the photograph are not realistic of what you'll make them, unless you're make a couple fake tiers (and consider fake tiers are super easy to place flowers into).

 

For me those would be 4" tall cakes, I do 4 layers for that (it's my standard wedding cake size).

 

That's not a hard cake to do! The cake itself is plain fondant with a ribbon around the base of each tier...........are you guys looking at a different photo then I got? If you can't do a plain cake like that you shouldn't be selling any cakes.

 

Consider that the bulk of the flowers weight is on the bottom of the design. You could place your flowers into a "base" of floral foam (not wet) covered in the back for contact with the frosting, for the two bottom tiers. I'd wrap my flowers in saran wrap and insert directly into the cake for the top tiers. Then compensate for the lost servings where the flowers were poked into the cake.

 

The number of flowers depends upon the size of the flowers and the size of the cake. You can't count flowers until you establish the size of the cake and the flower type.

 

I would never purchase the flowers/provide the flowers for a cake like this. I'd make them buy them, period, so they are responsible for the quality of the flowers............and god knows how much those flowers might cost more then a year into the future. What if there's a weather problem and the flowers are $30. per stem....you can't give a quote on flowers that far into the future.

 

My experience with people looking for quotes so far in advance isn't great. Until things become more realistic, it's all just a day dream for this bride. The odds of her buying exactly what she wants quoted this minute is too low to waste your time. I'd just give her a ball park idea of what it might cost and leave it at that until it's closer to the wedding.

costumeczar Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 3:26am

All that is is a cake with fresh roses on it. You should plan for about an hour at the site setting it up and attaching the roses on it with buttercream. You won't need any special flower tubes or water anything, roses hold up well enough on their own. Just put the big ones on the ledges of the tiers first, then kind of prop the ones at the top of the tiers on the ones below as you set it up. Glue them onto the cake with icing. It isn't going to be difficult, just kind of time-consuming.

costumeczar Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 3:29am

And yes, that's kind of far out to be booking a cake, but not that far, I book up to a year or so ahead of time, and February isn't that far away!

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 3:57am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita 

That cake is awful tall you might want to take a stepping stool with you to the venue so you can work on the top of the cake without s problem

What a terrific idea!

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 3:58am
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok 

I don't mean to be a buzz-kill, but do you have the skill-set to do this type of cake?  I looked at your photos and I didn't see anything near this size and scope.  This is a huge cake and while the base cake (sans flowers) looks 'simple' (fondant with ribbon)...it can be very difficult to produce with such precision even for the most experienced decorator.  Stacking, delivery...the flowers...  I'm all for 'going for it', but keep in mind this is a wedding cake--the centerpiece of the reception--and the bride is expecting you to produce the picture she gave you (or at least something pretty darn close). 

 

I had a friend of mine hand me a picture of a Ron Ben Israel cake once and ask if I could do it.   I said if I could do cakes like Ron Ben I wouldn't be doing them as a hobby and she damn sure wouldn't be able to afford me! 

 

Just be certain you can do it before you say yes and give a quote.    Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

That is hilarious, and SO TRUE!

jason_kraft Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 4:06am

A

Original message sent by Stitches

That's not a hard cake to do! The cake itself is plain fondant with a ribbon around the base of each tier...........are you guys looking at a different photo then I got? If you can't do a plain cake like that you shouldn't be selling any cakes.

If the customer wants a real ribbon then it's not too bad, but if the ribbon is made out of fondant it can be a pain to get just right. In either case it's certainly worth more than $3.50/serving.

My experience with people looking for quotes so far in advance isn't great. Until things become more realistic, it's all just a day dream for this bride. The odds of her buying exactly what she wants quoted this minute is too low to waste your time. I'd just give her a ball park idea of what it might cost and leave it at that until it's closer to the wedding.
I don't think it's too far in advance, at the very least OP should collect a non-refundable deposit to hold the date based on what the price would be today, with the understanding that the price may change.

Evoir Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 12:41pm

AKara (costumeczar): Just to clarify quickly - when I mentioned posy picks, I mean using the cheap small ones which are the width of a small straw, and about 2" long with one sealed end that goes into the cake. They don't hold water, they are to stabilise and precisely position flowers on a cake. The OP said the bride wanted a deep blue rose or peony arrangement, hence one option is to make sugar roses. I personally don't trust stacking sugar roses on cake ledges and then balancing additional ones on top.

These flower picks (which come in various sizes) are awesome for positioning any kind of flower, without worrying some numpty is going to bump the table or - god forbid - touch the bloody flowers to "see if they're real" :-) And much simpler and easier than using straws with plugs of fondant, Saran Wrap or parafilm.

Stitches: you said its too large a cake for 200 guests, and to use two cake dummies for the lower tiers, but a 6/8/10/12/14 serves 206 in 4" tall tiers, so I'm not sure how you're calculating your servings??

costumeczar Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 1:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir 

Kara (costumeczar): Just to clarify quickly - when I mentioned posy picks, I mean using the cheap small ones which are the width of a small straw, and about 2" long with one sealed end that goes into the cake. They don't hold water, they are to stabilise and precisely position flowers on a cake. The OP said the bride wanted a deep blue rose or peony arrangement, hence one option is to make sugar roses. I personally don't trust stacking sugar roses on cake ledges and then balancing additional ones on top.
 

I've done loads of cakes with flowers stuck on with icing and nothing has ever happened, but the picks would give you some extra insurance, definitely. I just think it's time spent that isn't necessary if you have to get to the reception site, attach the picks to the flowers, then insert them. If I was making gumpaste I'd insert the ones in the sides of the cake with some kind of toothpick to keep them there, but with fresh flowers (which I don't like using anyway because of the pesticides and dirt) they're easy to jam in amongst each other so you can get them to stay where they need to be without inserting anything.

 

Regardless, I agree that you defintiely don't need the ones that hold water, that's total overkill for roses. As long as they're n water up to the point that you put them on the cake they'll be fine for the time they're on the cake.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 4:00pm

Yes so have I previously but now we know that there are flowers that are poisonous and there are products used on and with flowers that are toxic-- so we get the choice now to use the information we have to provide as safe a product as possible. There might be a guest with impaired health or a very young or very old one.

Stitches Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 10:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


I don't think it's too far in advance, at the very least OP should collect a non-refundable deposit to hold the date based on what the price would be today, with the understanding that the price may change.

Yes, I would totally take a deposit to hold the date. To clarify, I find people change their minds about their design over a long time period. There's too many factors that can change in that long of a time span, that it's not fair to be locked into a price quote. Perhaps the bride really loves your work and is just concerned that you'll be available for her.

 

The cake in the photo appears t have real ribbon borders, not fondant. Yes, fondant borders are far more difficult then real ribbon. Real ribbon is a breeze to use!

 

I've started a thread here before talking about servings.............it is a extremely subjective topic. I've been instructed by one Chef I sell to, that he gets 140 servings out of a 14" & 10" cake, he sends home the top 6" layer so it's not counted into the servings. I don't follow any-ones elses chart religiously............

 

I peeked at Costumeczar's blog where she shows a photograph of a mass plating of cake servings. That's what I've seen cut 99% of the time by Chefs. They cut thin to be certain there is enough, they don't care if there is extra or if people get a slightly smaller portion, their motto is "cover thy butt". Left over cake isn't a problem ever, not enough is their worry.

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