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Wedding cake for a friend  

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well my best friend is getting married. I've only been doing cakes for 4 months. And only after the first 2 cakes I've ever made she asked me to do her wedding cake. The talent just came naturally. So I'm maid of honor too. I've gotten over the initial stress and think I got this down. Going to have my mom assemble it that day. My question is, I showed her examples of lots of cakes and have an idea of what I'm going to do. But it's not exactly what she pointed out. I'm OCD about these kinds of things so me and her both know it's going to be beautiful. She's not paying for it nor would I ever ask her to. Do you think I am cool just doing whatever I want? Trying to keep it in her style, but I honestly I hated all the photos she loved. Is it bad for me to just surprise her? I know her well enough to know she'll love whatever. But just wondering if I am being selfish. I did do a mock top tier to practice my gumpaste flower skills and her mother was texting the photo to every one she knew, she loved it so much. Her color is purple so that is about the only thing I am sticking with that she specifically wants. Here is the mock sample cake 400
post #2 of 35
Yes! It's her wedding not yours.
post #3 of 35

The first thing you do when you're giving someone a cake is decide what you're willing to give.  Check around on Cake Central and you'll see how many times people thought they were graciously giving a cake for 100 and it ballooned into a cake twice that size, because they didn't set parameters first.  Second, when you're giving a cake, it's her wedding but it's your gift.  That's another little nugget you'll find here:wink:.  Of course you want to give her the colors and general style she may have requested, but when it's a gift, it's caker's choice.

post #4 of 35

You're asking if you're selfish because you want to design the cake that you want for her wedding?


yeah that sounds a bit selfish to me. It's not your wedding. 


The amount of cake etc is totally up to you since it's your gift..but I don't agree that you have the right to ignore what she wants -color/design wise- because you like something else.


At least run it by her first before you just show up at her wedding with a completely differently designed cake than what she's expecting. 

post #5 of 35

i take into account what the bride wants only because it's easier for me--i don't always want to design and edit--they usually tell me what they want but i've been at this for as many decades as you have months into it--so since you are just starting you of course you have so many directions you want to go in--


hey the bride and groom are probably registered at several stores but they do not dictate the gift each guest will bring--you and your mom (smart brilliant move there) are bringing and gifting the cake so i say go for it!


it's sucha labor of love -- be careful to edit -- and to reflect the bride -- as opposed to a display of your new found pretty dang good skill/talent--not that you would do that--just saying--i think you can do your own design tempered by your desire to create something beautiful for her on her most special day--

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


post #6 of 35

also cakes are last minute brick wall deadlines--build much more time into your schedule than you think you'll need because you will need it and because you are have a lot of responsibilities as moh too--


a non-friend hired wedding cake maker can require more moral support than the bride sometimes especially with under a year of experience--


best to you 

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


post #7 of 35

Yes, you are gifting it to her, and that is very generous. But if you have decided that you want to surprise her, then you need to ok that with her. 


What would it feel like if you do you own thing, expect to be given praise and hugs (and who doesn't want this when they are just starting out?) and instead you get crickets? I would give her a basic sketch and tell her you may make adjustments but that is the basic feel you want to go for. Make it clear that THIS is what you feel comfortable doing for her. 


In the end, while your generosity is wonderful, it won't matter if you didn't listen to her wishes on her big day and you will end up with very hurt feelings.

life is short, get a cakesafe.
life is short, get a cakesafe.
post #8 of 35
Is it bad for me to just surprise her?

Of course that would be "bad" . If you have other ideas you think she might like, by all means sketch them out for her. If you're unable to execute the designs she liked, you must let her know. A sketch is always appropriate for a wedding cake. I can't imagine doing one without one.
post #9 of 35

Your mock cake is very cute!!! If you have only been at it for 4 months you are doing very good at caking!!!  Just as others said I agree it would be good to let her see a sketch of what you plan to do. Also give yourself a lot more time in case you have issues then you would be able to fix any problems. So how many tiers do you have to do? Good luck and please post a picture.

post #10 of 35
I would NOT surprise her. Everyone has different tastes and this is her wedding so it should be what she wants. If she is anything like me and every other girl I know who are planning our weddings I would be upset if I showed someone pictures of what I wanted and they ignored everything I said I wanted. It's very nice of you to make the cake for her but when someone gives a gift they don't give what they would want they give what they think the recipient would want. I've been helping a friend plan her wedding and she has different tastes than me (and I think I know her since we have been best friends since grade school). We were looking through pinterest at center peices and she would do the, eeehh, not really liking that, face everytime I pointed something out. I don't care WHO the girl is any other day, but when it's her wedding she wants it to be perfect. And if you bring some cake, that by the way could be beautiful, but for her taste absolutely horrible looking... you could be sitting at a table chugging champagne wishing you had listened to her because she is shooting lazers in your direction. Also keep in mind you have only been doing this for a small amount of time. She is doing you a favor to. When people pick out someone to make their wedding cake they don't take your word for it... they want to see pictures of your work. She is adding a cake to your portfolio... so be greatful. Also don't get into the habbit of putting your style into every cake because one day when you deliver a cake to a client who KNOWS what they want and you didn't do it... that cake is going to go right in your face so better hope it was atleast tasty! GOOD LUCK! icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 35

Surprise her with what she wants!   Don't do what you want, it's her day.

post #12 of 35

yeah all my brides knew how it was coming down--they agreed to the design in advance--so i agree with all the upthread peeps that you should get her in agreement that since you are gifting it you get to design and see if she agrees--because it would not be cool to back out either if she insists--you do need to negotiate this though--and also was said upthread--show her a sketch but be ready to burger king it--have her her your way

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great suggestions! Part of the problem is that some of the things she picked out are just way beyond anything I think I can do. This cake is the only reason I've made more than the first two. Knowing I needed LOTS of practice. This hasn't been a cheap hobby to get into. I feel like I've been to Hobby Lobby/Michael's 30 times and spend 80$ every time. The wedding isn't until June so I still have plenty of time. I've given her taste tests so flavor wise, she loves what I came up with. I really think she doesn't know what she wants. But I see all of your points. And I agree I need not totally surprise her. A drawing is a great idea. But again, I still don't even know what I am capable of doing. Gumpaste flowers I know I can make way in advance. Fondanting a huge round bottom tier cake ... that's not going to be fun at all. I bought 'the mat' pro. It worked nice on a 10 inch. But I still haven't attempted anything bigger. Yes I'm honored that she asked me to do this. It's (hopefully) going to be nice to have pictures of this beautiful wedding cake that I can say I made. But not for any portfolio. A birthday cake takes me like and entire weekend day to make. After the wedding, I don't know if anyone could pay me enough to make another cake. Unless they are going to clean up the mess -- Back to the cake, one of the things she wants is this topper that has this blue policeman groom writing the bride a ticket (she's marrying a cop). It's very ugly, and the blue looks very tacky with her purple. I'll attach a picture of it. 400 There goes most of the excitement of the whole thing. Spending all this time and effort to make her a beautiful cake topped with this horrid tacky figure. -- Googling just now searching for that picture to post, I saw other less tacky police wedding toppers. Maybe if I show her some of them, she'll like them better. As far as her taste from the photos of cakes she likes, they all look like they are from 1982. Which is where I felt like I need to step in and change it up. Which I guess is where the drawing will help. But because my lack of experience, I don't know what I'll be able to deliver. I might not know until that day, which is partially why she might just be surprised with what she gets. I spent 5 hours 3 weeks ago trying to fondant a 4 inch cake. I must have ripped it off 8 times, eventually leaving on the ugly layer and adding another layer on top. But to sum it all up, I am OCD and won't deliver anything less than something that I know she'll love. I will try the drawing idea, and not add anything I can't deliver, and I guess just keep practicing the elements she likes and hope I can deliver. I just thought of this too, that I can keep texting her photos of how it's coming out, as I am decorating it, especially with any problem parts that I have to change, and make sure she approves.
post #14 of 35

I don't think you should do this cake.  Especially when you say you will never make another cake again.  


It sounds like you are learning about fondanting a cake and if it isn't perfect it will mean you staying up all night for several nights e.t.c.   You don't want to have a nervous breakdown making a cake.  

I hate fondant, it rips, it tears, it looks like elephant skins sometimes… so all I will work with is buttercream, which can be make to a fondant-like finish.  (Although I'm still trying to perfect that too.)  It's a looong learning curve.


Sometimes we get very excited about the idea of a project and then the reality of the toll it will take hits.

I don't think your friend will be mad at you if you defer to someone else.


Making cakes should be fun, not stressful.  This does not sound like a fun experience for you.  Maybe you can make her shower cake?


Also, the cake topper is not that bad, but I see your point there.

post #15 of 35

One person's "tacky" is another persons "cute and funny and totally in keeping with my man and I"  There is no accounting for taste, and that is fine, if we all liked the same stuff life would be so very dull.


I agree with the poster above, I think all things considered you should politely decline the offer, the idea that you bring the Bridal shower cake is a very good one, that should not be as stressful, nor as big a moment or disappointment for the bride (or yourself) if your taste and hers differ so greatly.


Best of luck with it if you do go forth with it, I really hope it doesn't cause you too much stress, but doing cakes for someone else doesn't really get much more stressful than doing wedding cakes, especially when your friendship is on the line.



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