Wedding Cakes - To Do Or Not To Do?

Decorating By Cathy26 Updated 28 Mar 2010 , 8:36pm by tarheelgirl

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Cathy26 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 1:59pm
post #1 of 11

Hey everyone,

im just interested in how many of you out there just dont do wedding cakes, either because you just dont like it or not worth the hassle, etc....

im in two minds - i have now done four wedding cakes - 3 last year and one this week and yep, all happy brides, recommendations, no disasters, no falling cakes - just 4 nice looking, sturdy cakes with happy customers...

the problem is me!! i just cant seem to take wedding cakes like any other cake - i literally crack up and get all red and panicky and shaky and cant function properly! the cake this week was the first one done in my new kitchen at the shop and i took two days to decorate it so i gave myself enough time - thursday afternoon to level, tort, fill and crumbcoat and fondant and then friday afternoon to decorate. i got it done no problem but i was literally in a foul mood and it was so stressfull because i was aware of stuff that needed done in the shop (thank god for one of my staff who was able to get cupcakes frosted really quick!)..

so im wondering, are there many decorators who just dont do weddings? my husband says why am i putting myself through this, im exhausted, tired, down on myself and a nervous wreck until the cake is set up at the hotel and then people over here are so awful about the pricing they start off saying they want something really plain and then keep adding wee things on so you have to price everything individually and then they are sitting there lookijg at you while you try and work out how much itl cost for all the extras, etc, etc and basically acting like you are trying to rip them off, so im not even making that good a profit on them - really thinking its not worth my while now i have the shop to concentrate on - might just do the ones I have booked and leave it there and concentrate on the other cakes.

or maybe i just have to do like another 5 or 6 cakes and then il relax - lol decisions decisions! icon_redface.gif

10 replies
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cakesbycathy Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:12pm
post #2 of 11

Do you do other tiered cakes? If so, then IMO there is not much difference in creating a tiered birthday cake than a tiered wedding cake.

Also, if you have a shop can you financially afford not to do wedding cakes? Something else to think about.

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tootie0809 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:15pm
post #3 of 11

Wedding cakes are very stressful, I completely agree, but at least for me and the area I live in, it's really the only way to make some decent money on a cake. People here don't like to pay too much for a birthday cake, even if it's just as elaborate and time consuming as a wedding cake, and with wedding cakes most people know it's going to cost more. Still it's amazing how many people want a large wedding cake and think they can get it on a shoestring budget. I had one bride call last night wanting a 3-tier fondant cake for "under my $200 cake budget." Anyway, 90% of my business is wedding cakes, and while I do stress out big time on delivery day, I'm getting less and less crazy and cranky with each one. For me, the most stressful part of the entire process is transporting and setting it up. I stress all day about the what-ifs that could go wrong in transport. I know what you mean about it being overly stressful as it is a wedding cake and it is such a big part of someone's special day that you don't want to mess it up for anyone, so you have to decide if the stress is too much and if it is taking your joy of the job away. If you'd much rather do other occasion cakes and have the clientele base that can keep you busy with those, then I see no reason why you can't tell customers that you don't to weddings and refer them to another baker who does. It's your business, so you need to run it the way you feel most comfortable.

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Cathy26 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:25pm
post #4 of 11

i do other tiered cakes no problem!! usually just 2 tier christening cakes, etc but with the wedding cakes its the height and size of tiers which cracks me up - my usual 2 tiers are just one sponge each - i.e. i level the worst of the top off, flip it over, tort three times and end up with a cake that is about 3-3.5 inches tall which is grand - however with the wedding cakes i do two sponges for each tier so i get 5 inch high tiers so the cakes especially the 12inch ones seem humungous to me! covering in fondant is so stressful with such tall cakes and then stacking, etc and everything just takes so much longer!

i dont have a choice anyway - i have a few booked and il just have to do them and make up my mind afterwards - the money definitly is tempting, especially if i put my prices up a bit - i have been way to cheap up to now icon_sad.gif

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bcake1960 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:34pm
post #5 of 11

Wedding cakes used to make me crazy. I couldn't sleep worrying about all the "What IF's" I finally got my mind set that This is 4 or 5 CAKES just put them together.. decorate one at a time it will be fine.. I have been doing cakes now for 26 years.. and about 4 years ago began to feel OK about wedding cakes. hehe. I guess it was because I was always wondering if there was a step I did not know about..? or.. Is this how most do this kind of cake? I always have had happy customers and lots of compliments.. so I just decided to relax.. and have fun.. cuz this is what I really love to do..

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newmansmom2004 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:47pm
post #6 of 11

You have to enjoy what you do or you'll start resenting your job, so if wedding cakes make you miserable and stress you out - don't do them. You're in a wonderful position in that you have your own shop and can do what YOU want to do so have fun with it, enjoy it, and don't take on the projects that make you crazy. icon_smile.gif

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KarmaStew Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:52pm
post #7 of 11

I'm the opposite of most people. Most people start with ugly Wilton star character cakes, , but my very first decorated cake was a fondant wedding cake, as well as the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc.

I would much rather do wedding cakes than party cakes. I think they're less work (people here don't seem to want fancy borders and piped scrolls, etc., which means more money for me.

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indydebi Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 3:02pm
post #8 of 11

I'm with Karma ... I find wedding cakes less work than some of the super ornate birthday cakes people want. I also allocated two days to do wedding cakes, but it never took two FULL days .... level and crumb coat in a couple of hours ... set aside and work on other stuff. Next day, ice and decorate (2-3 hours), set aside and work on other stuff.

The birthday cakes you do are incredible and as I look at them, it just reaffirms my thought of "wow, those cakes are WAY more work than the wedding cakes I do!" icon_biggrin.gif

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mireillea Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 3:12pm
post #9 of 11

Why don't you specialize in cupcake wedding cakes?
It would take the stress of various tiers away, and you are sooo good at the cupcake thing, it would be an asset to your business!
Let people know that you do offer wedding cakes, but ONLY cupcake wedding cakes. You will feel happy and comfortable doing them and you don't have to sell a NO to wedding cakes.

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susgene Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 3:44pm
post #10 of 11

I know exactly what you mean about making wedding cakes. I've made a lot of tiered cakes with no problems on freaking out. Wedding cakes still freak me out... the whole process of the planning appointments and the tastings and the lack of sleep due to the stress. I KNOW I shouldn't stress about them... I just do. I'm hoping it'll get easier with the more wedding cakes I take on but I think I've just decided to only take a couple of wedding cakes a year until I can retire from my full-time office job. It's not worth it to take vacation days to make someone's wedding cake at this point. I find about half of the brides and grooms I've worked with are a little difficult and they want the cake at price #1, but then they just add a little fondant bow or a little something else and are expecting it to not cost more?! Silly cheapo people. I used to fall for it... not anymore!

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tarheelgirl Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 8:36pm
post #11 of 11

I agree that if you don't feel up to doing them and it stresses you out then don't do it. The last thing you want to do is feel resentful.. this is supposed to be fun right?! icon_biggrin.gif The most stressful for me is delivery but this will fade over time. I would much rather throw together a wedding cake with minimal design then to rather work on a elaborate special occasion cake. I would say just go with your gut feeling. Good luck with whatever you decide! thumbs_up.gif

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