Feeling Guilty About Wedding Cake $

Decorating By beachcakes Updated 12 Jun 2006 , 4:03pm by candyladyhelen

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beachcakes Posted 22 May 2006 , 2:18pm
post #1 of 32

Back in Dec. a friend's sister asked if I'd do her wedding cake for her. At first I tried to get out of it b/c I'd never done one before. A few months later she tells me she wants me to do it and i tell her ok i'll be fair with the price, as I've never done this before and was just a hobbyist. (I've since sold a few).

It's a 16-12-8-6 white cake torted w/ choc filling for 150, stacked, fondant-covered, with white choc. seashells, lustre dusted. She has her own topper. She just called me at work to discuss the details (I had never given her a price as I was trying to figure it all out). So I told her $325.

Now I feel really guilty about that price being high! I bake from scratch, so the ingredients cost a little more, also I have to have fondant shipped and need about 25 lbs of it. Also the Merckens for the seashells had to be shipped, and there were various molds and 16" pan I had to get. The filling is planned to be whipped chocolate ganache.

She kind of hesitated when I told her the price and now I'm afraid I insulted her or something. Her sister got married last May and had a lady do it for $300 (initally quoted $400) for 100 people, but it was three tier, BC with piped decorations and fresh flowers (not included in the price).

31 replies
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lainee Posted 24 May 2006 , 1:50am
post #2 of 32

I don't think you should feel guilty. That cake will be a lot of work. Maybe you could talk to her about it and explain that, and also that fondant is not inexpensive. Explain why the cake she wants would cost more than the one her sister had.

Good luck.

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mmdd Posted 24 May 2006 , 2:00am
post #3 of 32

Don't you waste one second feeling guilty!! Don't you dare!

I actually think that is a very fair price...considering you've never done one before.

Your work is worth more than a supermarket bakery or walmart, etc., because you put a lot of time and dedication into your cakes...you don't just get it done as fast as you can.

Were they maybe wanting you to do a cake for them b/c they thought they'd get it for almost nothing.

If you price a cake high, you do have the option of lowering the price, but if you price it low, you'll regret it later.

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mmdd Posted 24 May 2006 , 2:00am
post #4 of 32

Don't you waste one second feeling guilty!! Don't you dare!

I actually think that is a very fair price...considering you've never done one before.

Your work is worth more than a supermarket bakery or walmart, etc., because you put a lot of time and dedication into your cakes...you don't just get it done as fast as you can.

Were they maybe wanting you to do a cake for them b/c they thought they'd get it for almost nothing.

If you price a cake high, you do have the option of lowering the price, but if you price it low, you'll regret it later.

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buzzybee Posted 24 May 2006 , 2:44pm
post #5 of 32

Don't feel guilty! If you want next time you talk to her ask her not to tell anyone your price because you gave her so much of a discount you wouldn't want just anyone thinking they could get the same thing. icon_wink.gif

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rezzygirl Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:01pm
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzybee

Don't feel guilty! If you want next time you talk to her ask her not to tell anyone your price because you gave her so much of a discount you wouldn't want just anyone thinking they could get the same thing. icon_wink.gif


That is so true. Your pricing is way under what it's worth. with findant, white chocolate, ganache, the tier sizes, she's getting a bargain and she should know it!

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Mac Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:09pm
post #7 of 32

Don't feel guilty at all. That is more than a fair price--even lower with all they are getting. I did an entire reception with 3 tier wedding cake, groom's cake with chocolate dipped strawberries, homemade cream cheese mints, punch and 3 cookie bouquets for 3 tables. I only charged $200.00, it was for a very good friend that I had known for years.

Guess what??? Only got paid $100.00 and have not heard from her again. She has left one message about getting together several months ago but now she has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have left a few messages for her--she screens her calls. And I have not mentioned anything about the $$$. That's no longer an issue.

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cakesbyallison Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:20pm
post #8 of 32

$325 for 150 servings is only $2.15 a serving. She can't get that cake anywhere else for that price!! You shouldn't give it a second thought about overcharging her! You do know that the cake sizes you mention too, are well over 150 servings... so in actuality, she's coming in well under $2.00 a serving.

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barbaranoel Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:25pm
post #9 of 32

Experience talking here - DON'T CHANGE YOUR PRICE it's not worth it.
I did it for cost once and never again. It will haunt you for the rest of your life - no exaggeration.

Barb

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Lousaria Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:25pm
post #10 of 32

I did my first wedding cake for my friend's Sister back in Demeber. I have known my friend since I was 2. The first thing I did was go to a bakery and ask them what they would charge for it. They wanted $900 Can. It was a 5 tier cake with BC icing, but there were tons of Royal icing snowflakes all over it.(very time consuming) So I charged her $400. When it came time to pay she gave me $525, she absolutely loved the cake. Boy, did I ever feel guilty considering I knew her since she was born and the fact that the materials including the pan, and separator plates and other things that I can use again only cost me $230. It did take 2 weeks of my life to make though. Oh well, she offered to give me the extra money, so I took it. It's a lot of work.

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ps3884 Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:26pm
post #11 of 32

Do NOT feel guilty. You gave her a price break and she needs to understand that. I agree with what others mentioned. Itemize things for her so she understands where the costs are. She is asking for a more elaborate cake than her sister had.

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beachcakes Posted 25 May 2006 , 1:01am
post #12 of 32

Wow! Look at all the comments! Thank you all for your input! I had a feeling the cake should be worth more than that, but I agreed to make it before I ever sold a cake. So I kind of feel guilty b/c the bride doesn't know I've done it for money (LOL - that sounds funny). I told DH the price I quoted her and he was shocked it was so high. Not because of the going price for cakes - he understands that, just becuase he didn't think I was going to charge *her* so much. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well enough...

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DRose Posted 25 May 2006 , 2:07am
post #13 of 32

Don't feel guilty or lower the price.

People seem to think if you bake from home, they can get their designer cakes at grocery store prices.

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gabpeightysmom Posted 25 May 2006 , 2:53am
post #14 of 32

hi there...I have been working at a "modern day confectionery" for a couple months now (love it) and I know how wedding cakes are priced. A cake feeding 150 people with whipped ganache fillings and covered and fondant would run $562.50. Thats not yet including the seashells which for the most part are individually priced. We also charge for set-up and delivery which is 15% (We all know gas isn't free and neither is time for the most part). You might be thinking well you are talking about a professional, well darlin your work is just as good I looked icon_biggrin.gif . So if anything the bride to be should be thankful cause she is getting one heck of a deal!!!!!!

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beachcakes Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:23pm
post #15 of 32

Well the wedding was yesterday. I had a heck of a time with the fondant - tried a new brand, probably shouldn't have done that! I had to recover the 16" twice - grrr. Even so, I couldn't get all the wrinkles out and there were fine cracks on the edge of the 8". I decided to only charge her $275, but she put the $ in my pocket when I got there and paid me $350. I hope she liked it - she didn't see it before she paid me (it was in boxes)and I never saw her after I set it up. I haven't heard from her sister yet today so I hope all was ok. I think if I ever did another one of these, I'd have to charge alot more!!! Let me know what you think of it.

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LeeAnn Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:29pm
post #16 of 32

I would not even do it for that price I am a hopeless business woman but realistic I charde double for mine see Jackies Wedding

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Jenn123 Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:32pm
post #17 of 32

It looks great in the picture! Don't worry, people don't see all the imperfections that you do. I'm sure they loved it.

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sweetsuccess Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:39pm
post #18 of 32

When just starting out, it's understandable to charge less, because you are trying to get your feet wet and get clients. But, in my opinion, I think you should not continue to underchage once you gain your confidence.

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cakesbyallison Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:43pm
post #19 of 32

You did a great job! The cake is beautiful. Sometimes we are our own worst critics when it comes to finding fault with something... I'm sure she loved it!

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DelightsByE Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 1:54pm
post #20 of 32

I had a chance to see this photo through another post of yours and it took my breath away then, still does this AM. Beautiful work and I am very impressed.

This gal got a great deal and she knows she did. Her hesitation over the phone when you gave her the $ amt (from someone trained in the art of verbal communications) could simply have been her grabbing a pen to write down the price in her notes. I would not read anything into that at all. I am still getting my feet wet with weddings and I would have charged way more for this cake myself.

One thing I feel obligated to mention is you should never take into consideration supplies and equipment you need to buy (like pans and chocolate molds) that would be used again...this shouldn't be overtly passed on to the customer. It falls in the category of cost of doing business.

The other thing you need to think about though, is price the cake for the serving count the cake will provide, NOT for the headcount at the wedding. That will prevent a bride from taking advantage of you because she wants leftover cake for free. I had a bride this spring at a consultation who wanted a 4-tier that would have fed somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 people, and when I gave her the price she said "well I'm only having 80 people at the reception, so why should I be paying for 300?" Turns out she wanted a BIG cake because her cousin had a BIG cake and it was some rivalry thing, plus she wanted to have leftover cake for the gift opening brunch the following day.

Hey - everyone is entitled to my opinion icon_lol.gif

Oh - one more thing....you really should try MMF. I know I'm going to!

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cashley Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 2:02pm
post #21 of 32

You did a fabulous job on the cake and she was lucky to have such a wonderful cake for so cheap a price. I made an 50th anniversary cake and told them I didn't want to get paid it would be a gift for their party, I didn't even get a thank you for all my work. Don't worry about the small things that you noticed, we are always too hard on ourselves your cake was beautiful.

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heychele Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 2:05pm
post #22 of 32

Your cake turned out absolutely beautiful!!
I think she was undercharged, but what do I know, when it comes to undercharging I am the certified queen!

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Alicandra Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 3:10pm
post #23 of 32

Thank you for posting your photo of your first wedding cake! Congrats are definitely in order - your work is outstanding, and I'm sure the bride and groom thought so too...

I was following the posts and I think everyone would agree - you gave her a wonderful and generous bargain - no guilt allowed...

Keep on creating....

Ali in MA thumbs_up.gif

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JulieB Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 1:25am
post #24 of 32

I bet she put the extra in your pocket because she found out what they cost. Wedding cakes are expensive, and a lot of brides just don't know this going in. But I wouldn't let that back me down on my prices. Think how much it cost you. I bet you didn't make much.

I bet the cake was beautiful.

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fosterscreations Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 4:37am
post #25 of 32

WOW that is postively stunning. I would have charged her $525 at least for this plus extra for the shells. So she definitely got a steal.

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TexasSugar Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 4:50am
post #26 of 32

Please don't feel guilty for what you charged. I personally think you didn't charge enough! Your cake was very pretty!

Before you do another paid cake, please sit down and figure out what you spend making a cake. From the ingredients that go in to your cake, fillings, and icing, to your boards, boxes and so forth. You need to know how much you are putting in a cake to know what to charge for it. When you know how much you spend take that number and times it by 3. Some feel that is too much for their area, so you can do by 2.5, but please never ever go less than x2.

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newcakelady Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 12:38pm
post #27 of 32

Maybe she hesitated because she couldn't believe what a great price it was!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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mommymarilyn Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 3:03pm
post #28 of 32

You cake is STUNNING!!! Fantastic job!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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beachcakes Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 3:04pm
post #29 of 32

Thank you all for your comments. icon_smile.gif I know she got a deal - I had told her I'd be more than fair with the price. I was also excited that someone trusted me to do it! LOL. My costs for ingredients, fondant, boards, plywood, dusts, etc. plus the 16" pan (I know generally you wouldn't pass the pan cost on, but since I'm a hobbyist, I don't think I'll be doing any more of these!) were $240. I easily put 24 hours into the cake, if not more. If I were to make another one, which i doubt, I would have to charge at least $600 to make it worth my while. And where I live, I think I could probably get a few hundred more. I just spoke to my friend (bride's sister) and she said it looked beautiful and everyone asked about it. She took credit saying my best friend did this! LOL She didn't know how it tasted b/c they didn't cut it until after 11:00 and she had already left!

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wendysue Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 3:11pm
post #30 of 32

Your cake looks soooooooo beautiful!!! Don't feel any guilt whatsoever because you did an excellent job! icon_biggrin.gif Let me just say that every cake probably has a few imperfections known only to the decorator. Never point them out unless they're just screaming to be explained. icon_wink.gif This cake was worth every bit what you were paid and then some. I'm sure they were VERY pleased with it!
I'd say if anyone wants this cake in the future you should charge at least $3 a slice, or charge a little less per slice and then charge additional fees for the shells. Great work! thumbs_up.gif

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