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Need advice about family and big wedding cake!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Do you charge family for cakes? If you do do you charge them a discounted price or what?
My dillema I have is my husband's cousin is marrying a friend of mine. I told her 4 years ago that when they got married I would make her wedding cake. Well, the problem I'm having is she's one of the get stuff done last minute type of brides...her wedding is in 2 weeks and I just now got a chance to sit down with her and discuss her cake.
I had told her that I had planned on my wedding gift being their wedding cake since I was friends with her and the groom was family. During our meeting she tells me that as of this morning the RSVP was at 205 and there was still several who hadn't sent in their RSVP cards. And to make matters worse my husbands cousin keeps inviting people who he runs into.
So now not only do I have a last minute wedding cake to hustle to do but this cake is going to have to be huge and what I was thinking would only end up being a low priced cake I could be charging $400 or more! So I'm not sure what to do because this may be my husbands cousin and friend but I wasn't planning on giving them a $500 gift!!
What should I do...talk to her about it or just go along as I had previously stated back in February about it being a gift?
I'm also at a loss about how to transport such a large cake. The seign she has picked out is going to require precise placement of each tier. I'm considering trying to talk her into have a regular fancy cake and then a grooms cake in the grooms choice of cake (the only cake the groom will eat is funfetti....yes I know!!) and make two less large cakes then one giant cake.
Any advice or comments are welcomed!
post #2 of 16
Well, hindsight is always 20/20, but fact is, you should never make an open ended offer for a cake.

If you want to make the offer during the planning stages, when the number of guests is just a question mark, you should offer only the number of servings that you feel represents what your "gift" would normally cost.

Now, you're going to have to back door it by telling her, quite honestly, "I'm sorry, but I'm not able to give you a $500 gift. I'm not able to give ANYONE a $500 gift. I still want to give you a cake, but the most that I can give outright is X # of servings. Beyond that, I'll need $Y to cover the cost of ingredients for the rest of the 205+ servings."

Her last minute planning and open ended guest list......and 205+ is NO small, cheap, wedding....IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

The cake that you give her could be the cake that she and her hubby cut at the reception. She could then pay you for kitchen cakes for the rest of the guests.

If you don't reign her in, you'll be allowing her to take advantage of you and you'll wind up feeling used and angry. That's NOT the spirit of a gift.

Tell her what you CAN do, what you WILL do, and stand strong. If she gets bent out of shape because of $ or time---------IT'S HER PROBLEM.

A GIFT is the choice of the GIVER, not the receiver.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #3 of 16
^^ Excellent post.

I never understand why people become so inconsiderate when they're offered free stuff. You would think, knowing that wedding cakes cost a grip, she would try to reign in her fiance or even offer to cover some of the cost. 205 free servings of complicated cake?

The only things I can think to add to what BlakesCakes said is this: If at all possible get quotes from bakeries to give her an idea what this fancy cake of hers would cost if she were paying another baker to do it, maybe that will give her some perspective.
post #4 of 16
You also should give her some restrictions on what design you are able to make. If you can't comfortably do the complicated and precise design, tell her RIGHT AWAY that you can't, immediately followed by what you are able and willing to do for her. Much better to do a design that you can successfully make that is a compromise with what this bride wants, than to do something out of your league and have it not turn out will. But you need to have this conversation immediately so you both can come to a compromise in size and design and if she needs to get supplemental cake servings else where that she can get shopping.
post #5 of 16
My family gets a discount. They can order whatever they like, but they still have to pay 75%. Then I may or may not decide to give a part of the remaining order as a gift. Typically, I ask them straight out but keep it light and kind of humorous "do you want (some of) this as your gift or do you want a regular gift?"

At least you'll know for next time icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 16
I'm with Blakescakes.
In your mind you expected to make her a certain size as a gift. Make it and nothing else.
Let her know that the present she is getting from you will be a beautiful cake to be the star of her pictures and a focal point for her event. If she wants to feed a hoard of people she needs to make those arrangements for herself....and SOON!

Next time treat everyone like a stranger, no open-ended statements, or blanket promises. Everything must be in writing and limits set up front. Keeps the peace and no hard feelings.

mommachris

wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

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wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

Reply
post #7 of 16
denette said:...give her some restrictions on what design you are able to make. If you can't comfortably do the complicated and precise design, tell her RIGHT AWAY that you can't, immediately followed by what you are able and willing to do for her. Much better to do a design that you can successfully make ......

Agreed!
Blakes cakes siad:......The cake that you give her could be the cake ...cut at the reception. She could then pay you for kitchen cakes for the rest of the guests......Tell her what you CAN do, what you WILL do, and stand strong ......

Again, agreed icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 16
All relatives get a four tier cake for free, even if it is more cake than they need. It's my gift. BUT, my husband buys me new pans and covers all ingredients and materials. This weekend I have a wedding for our niece. I am providing the cake, all table decor (place cards, baby beads and crystals, fabric, bows, runners, floral arrangement, and more flowers), a few candy jars, rugelach cookies, and chocolate covered strawberrries. I have about $500 in the cake, display, and food. The time is my gift and he gives the actual cash outlay.

I love doing it and it's become a tradition. If circumstances were different and I couldn't afford it, I would have no problem making my gift the labor and asking for the materials. But I would make this clear up front, not open-ended as Blakes mentioned.
post #9 of 16
Well, since you already offered to do it as a gift...I think you should. 200 + servings (while a big cake) is not an overly large wedding.
What I think you should do is say "I didn't realize your wedding is so large...how about if I do a 3 tier wedding cake with the rest of the servings in sheet cakes that will be cut and plated from the venues kitchen. I haven't really done cakes larger than that...and I definitely want to be comfortable with what I am doing". Just be honest.

BTW...Our kitchen cakes are double stacked so when they are cut and plated they look just like they came out of the main wedding cake. They are simply decorated...we don't even take the time to smooth them out. I do a spatula texture on them and a quick border.
post #10 of 16
Tell her you will make her a a three tier cake with her choice of decoration. That will make a fixed number of servings...if they need more, they should get in touch with the local bakery for sheet cakes or a groom's cake.

Here's what you say: "Dear bride-to-be, once the cake is baked, there is no way to make it bigger. More people means more cake. Cakes are NOT made out of rubber bands that can be stretched out to make more. Please: to entertain your last minute guests, you will need to pay the last minute price to somebody else. And while you are there, ask them for a price estimate for the wedding cake that you are getting as a gift. That way you know what it would really cost."
post #11 of 16
If it's something of considerable size, I give familyh $50 off. That's more of a discount than anyone else is going to give them. If you offered to give it as a gift, then...give it as a gift. Think long and hard before you make that statement again. LOL But in my opinion family should be the one group of people who want to support our businesses, instead of asking for discounts they should be paying full price and giving a nice tip along with it. LOL

In this case, charge for the ingredients if nothing else. Good Luck !
Got Cake!
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Got Cake!
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post #12 of 16
Just sit down and talk to her about it. She probably has no clue how much this cake will cost you to make. It doesn't sound like she's being rude or demanding, or out of control. She was told she would be getting a free cake, so she told the OP what she wanted, what's wrong with that? She won't know it's asking too much unless she's told that.
Sit her down and either come up with a cake that you can afford to give her for free, or talk to her about paying for some of it if she really wants something too big. Tell her how many people it will serve, and if her fiance invites people beyond that number, that's not your problem.
(Now of course, if she IS being rude and demanding, etc, then that's a different story!).
Best of luck icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

^^ Excellent post.

I never understand why people become so inconsiderate when they're offered free stuff. You would think, knowing that wedding cakes cost a grip, she would try to reign in her fiance or even offer to cover some of the cost. 205 free servings of complicated cake?

.



Because people don't know what a cake costs, they think it's just a bag of flour, sugar, eggs and butter.

The OPs mistake was offering a cake without stipulations as a gift. Tell them that you will make a cake up to $200 or whatever you feel is fair and they will have to pay for the rest of it.
post #14 of 16
To answer the OP, tell her that you do not feel comfortable making such a large cake or being able to transport it. Instead you will make a regular wedding cake that you are comfortable with, and one or more sheetcakes (which are for serving and do not have to be elaboration decorated) that can be kept in the kitchen of the venue and served to accommodate all guests.
post #15 of 16
I agree with everyone else , You need to sit her down and explain , Its last minute , You dont have a magic wand to whip out a complicated design for who knows how many people . Also that you didnt expect to give her a $500 gift .

Tell her what you can do . Make a scaled down cake and she can buy sheet cakes . . Make a fake cake and buy sheet cakes ,
But tell her you didnt expect to give her a $500 cake , She is also running out of time, If she balks tell her to shop around and fast , because Im sure she will come back.
My first thought on these scenarios is how old is the bride ? 17 LOL
But i assume that most people who haven't ordered a special custom made cake for a crowd don't have a clue..

Good luck and I hope it all works out , Dont take on too much stress for it . She should have never waited this long plan a cake,
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