Ok guys, I've had a cake commission in and I'm really struggling to get my head straight on how much to charge for it. I could really do with some advice.
They are getting married in August this year and they are looking for a 4/5 tier 'wow' factor cake. Here is an image they have supplied to give an idea of the structure and effect they want, but not the actual cake:
They want sugar flowers in between each tier (wild flowers in purple, green and white), with lace detail on each tier and a monogram at the top, with a floral spray topper. Small extra fondant book themed details in between the flowers.
2 real tiers, 3 fake tiers.
Any advice??? I'm dead excited at the idea, but as its only me at my company, its a BIG task.
They have suggested other floral options (fresh included in that), but they want pricing for each option.
Thank you in advance.
Congratulations on your order! The most costly thing about this cake is going to be the flowers, whether they are sugar or fresh. You really need to sit and work out how long it takes to do a few kinds of flower, then calculate how long to do all the ones you will need, plus add in time for arranging the flowers in the polystyrene separators. I bet that if you talk to a local florist they could give you a ball park figure for how much it could cost for fresh flowers, and I bet it would be cheaper than sugar flowers, and it would save you a heck of a lot of work.
The actual cake part will be quite simple, as long as you have one of the many lace effect techniques learnt.
For dummy cakes I give a 20% discount on the real cake price of the same size. You are only saving on eggs, butter, sugar, flour and some baking time, but you still have to buy the dummies, and decorate them of course.
For more inspiration on cakes with flowers between the tiers of cake, you could check out weddingcakes.com and see Ron Ben Israels work.
AIf I were you I'd find out what their budget is before sitting down to work out what all that is going to cost. You're looking at well over 100 flowers there, plus $6-10 per serving of work on the actual cakes, and delivery and set up fee. The fact that they're asking so close to the date and wanting fake tiers suggests they're not expecting the kind of price tag this cake has.
Thank you both! Its really tough to know what price to offer, as the sugar flowers would be a GINORMOUS amount of work for just me. Especially as they are 'wild flowers' so not the ones I'm more used to and are requested frequently.
What would your reaction be to £1640, including set up and all the details mentioned?
Just for the cakes alone, I would be at €1110 roundabouts, calculating 4" high tiers and 185 servings. Note that in the picture the cakes are 6" high I think (comparing the height to the lady in the picture's hands and head!), which adds wow factor but another 50% of servings if you decide to go that high.
Setting up the cake would take a long time and would have to mostly be done at the venue.
Flowers I have no idea - but those little wild flowers would take a heck of a long time to do since you would need so many.
But yes, I think your price in GBP is about what I would arrive at to do the cake, if the tiers were 4" high. Maybe a slightly more actually, just because of the fiddly little flowers.
As kikiandkyle says, I don't think your bride would expect to pay that much, although you might be surprised. Just don't back down if that is a price you are comfortable with. Nothing worse than working on a cake feeling like you've been taken advantage of.