I'm a long (looong!) time lurker just starting the process of planning my own wedding, fun fact: way more stressful than anticipated!, but am really excited about the cake part*.
Luckily, my fiance (!) gets it and we both want something a little off-beat, tasty, and non Cake Wrecks-y.
My problem is we're paying for it ourselves and being an avid cake fan has made me into the classic "champagne taste, beer budget' (i know, i know. Though to be fair it's more like "fancy sparking wine taste, blended scotch budget"). and I'm not sure how to approach cake artists without them feeling like I'm wasting their time or trying to get something for nothing.
It's also going to be quite a small wedding (40ish people?) and I know a lot of places have minimum orders. I'd also love a 2-tier but is that infeasible? Maybe an 8" and 10" square or something?
I guess what I'm saying is I have so much respect for what you do and I don't want any of my inquiries to come off as rude or demanding. Is there a way of asking if something can be negotiated within my budget (looking like $400ish) without giving off that impression?
*(mini vent: My mom thinks this makes me some kind of foot-stamping,"Give me *your* credit card! I watch TV and know I *deserve* a 6-tier Colette Peters because...well, because!" Bridezilla. Which is so not true!
Mom: Why don't you make your own cake?
Me: Because I'm clumsy, terrified of dowelling and everything I make falls apart?
Mom: Back in the '80s, we didn't care if cakes fell apart. We weren't as *fancy* as your generation.
Me: But it would make me so sad if something I worked so hard on fell apart! And it would feel like bad luck or something...
Mom: Why don't you get a Safeway cake? They did a wonderful job for your 3rd birthday. Polka dots AND stripes!
Don't be afraid to work with bakers they are artists who will get you a cake you love within your budget. It might not be super detailed or huge or over-the-top Ron Ben-Israel work, but there are many brides who are made happy within a budget. Just be prepared to hear what can and cannot be done at your price point. Flexibility will be key for you. If you speak with a cake designer and they give you an attitude despite you telling them you are going to be realistic about pricing, go with someone else. It should be fun to find a cake, not stressful and intimidating.
As for your mother, she just doesn't understand and it's simply a generational thing. I would avoid telling her the price of your cake or any other monetary details unless it's absolutely necessary.
I was lucky, my mom was upset because she thought my cake was too small… She was footing the bill, so I had no problem with her complaint. Fortunately, we had a dessert table as well and I think it was enough for 120 ppl.
Haaa haa ha, nice to know that you aren't going to make yourself a nervous wreck making your own wedding cake on your special day, believe me you will have plenty of other things to worry about.
I think it's very doable. I think many cake artists would respect the fact that you would be telling them your budget upfront.
My second bride only had a budget of $350.00 and I made her a three tired 6-8-10 cake with BC roses. I was happy to be chosen to make her cake and that she trusted with full creative control of the design.
Please don't feel intimidated and go to Safeway
Congrats on your nuptials, I hope you find the perfect cake artist for your cake!
ABe honest with the bakers. Let them know you are looking for down thing within this budget.
Absolutely! I offer a 2 tier that serves 45 and would be perfect. Remember square cakes serve more people. Also, some bakeries may charge extra for square.
At my bakery, the small 2 tier would cost $358.02- $412.77. My starting cost is $4.50 per serving. I would suggest looking for someone in the $4-5 starting price range if possible.
Honestly, with a $400 budget, I think you will be MORE than fine for the vast majority of high end professional bakeries.
$400 for 40 people is a whopping $10 a serving. As long as you aren't looking in to crazy 3D or something, and just a standard wedding cake you really wont have a problem.
AWhat everyone else said, with one small request: don't do an eight inch top tier, it's massive, unless you plan on having a proportionally large topper to balance it out. Good luck, hope you find someone who makes the experience great for you!
You guys are the best!!
AZCouture- Being totally spatially-challenged, I was wondering if that would look wonky.. do you have any suggestions of what would look more proportional?
Thank you for the advice and congrats, very much appreciated :)
AA 10" and a 6" is a nice combination. You'll have more than 40 portions - but then you can have cake for breakfast for a couple of days afterwards!
for what it's worth--a square 8 x 10 is just over 80 servings, twice as much as you need--in squares if you did an 8 x 6 you'd get about 50 servings
best to you
AMy personal favorite for your guest count is a 6" & 9".
I would be delighted if a bride started by telling me their budget!! I've started trying to ask this very early on so that I can provide them with something that they can enjoy instead of seeing them get excited about a design and then be disappointed when it's over their budget...unfortunately people seem to be very reluctant to tell you. Congratulations and enjoy planning your wedding :-)
Hey! i'm from the 80s and I can tell you I cared! LOL Yer mom is cray! :
you could also go with an 9-8-7-6, which would be so sweet, and would give you 47 servings with the 6 inch reserved as the anniversary tier.
APricing should be the very first thing discussed after greetings and pleasantries. It's a waste of everyone's time to start talking about design and whatnot if it's not going to fit the clients budget. I can't imagine how people make appointments for potential brides without them having a clear understanding of estimated costs first. I get a general idea of the style they're looking for, and their guest count, give them a ballpark cost and let them know half of that would be due at the appointment, and THEN we proceed with that appointment if necessary.
Brilliant, you guys rock. Feeling a bit more prepared :)
and ellavanilla, thank you!! vindicated! :p