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cost for wedding cake

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
ok i got the cater taken care of but the cost for a wedding cake that i have heard just seems like a lot for me... im expecting 200 people and i have heard from 800-1000+. are these prices a lot or are these just what im going to have to pay.

i like in the sacramento CA area if that makes a difference. also if there are any pastry chefs that do wedding cakes that are in my area please feel free to contact me.
post #2 of 60
That's not a bad price!!!!! In 1996 when we were married the average per slice cost was close to $5.50 I had a pastry chef on the payroll (off site) and I was going to get the cake through work. Luckily he was also a friend.

Long story but I had a wreck 6 weeks before our wedding and almost broke my neck. The restaurant released me because of lost time and we were scrambling for many reasons but mostly because we needed to definitely keep to the budget. We had already signed contracts for most of the other stuff and only budgeted what he was originally going to charge us for the cake. We called for 125ppl and the cake cost us 280.00. It was an outstanding cake yet very simple in presentation compared to those that were in the 8.00 per slice cost. If he had not been a friend and made the cake for us it would have cost us close to that 5.50 average.

Come to think of it.......when I was able to return to work I did some contract work during the holidays for the Catering facility he was tied to at his recommendation. He saved my arse twice!:rolleyes: :cool:
post #3 of 60
We're a small outfit, and last year we did a wedding cake for $3/slice. We charged for cutting, plating and serving $1/pp. It was a simple cake with real flowers and not overly decorated.
post #4 of 60
I'm not familiar with prices in your area, but yes, wedding cake costs are very high, mostly due to the labor intensity required for the detailed decorations, not to mention the expense in transporting such fragile cargo.

In metro New York you would be getting by VERY cheap at $1000 for wedding cake to feed 200. I'm sure it's at least double that figure, tho I haven't checked lately. but just google Colette Peters or Sylvia Weinstock, both well known wedding cake makers here, and I'm guessing you can see some typical cakes and prices on their sites.
post #5 of 60
Thread Starter 
i mean i know it dose take a lot of work, but really is it really 1000$ worth of work or do bakers know that wedding are expensive and they want in on the money.

i have been working the kitchen for 8 years now and it just seems like im getting taken. all i want is a 3 teer butter cream cake, not sure on the filling but im not asking for something thats very hard, im thinking about trying to make it my self but i know im going to be very busy.
post #6 of 60
3 teir what sizes ? 20 16 14 0r 10 8 6 ?



You get what you pay for . Wedding cakes take skill, not everyone can do them.if you want a cheap cake try your nearest grocery store yummm. not.
post #7 of 60
I'm going to go out on a limb and say you cannot probably make a wedding cake that you and your spouse to be would appreciate. Wedding cakes are an art, and not even all pastry chefs are good at them!

If you've been working in kitchens for 8 years, perhaps you have a pastry chef friend who will "give you a deal," but other than that, it's going to be fairly expensive to have a beautiful, delicious wedding cake.

Some halls include the cake in their packages, but it doesn't sound as tho you have booked such a place.
post #8 of 60
Why go the wedding cake route at all? It seems that lately, my brides ask for cupcakes. They're easier to eat, look nice in a display and can be decorated easier than a cake.

One bride had late summer flowers on hers and the upcoming one is having a single pink rose on hers. The late summer cakes were very bright and the flower mostly covered the top. The pink rose cakes will be very simple and easy. Both brides opted for a small (6') cake for the cutting ceremony. Cupcakes are served from a cupcake tier that can be decorated by your florist and is also very pretty.

Just a thought from someone who is NOT a pastry chef. I can't imagine paying $1000 for a cake no matter how good it is! I don't mean to say that they're not worth every bite and every minute the pastry chef puts into it, but I just couldn't do it. My entire wedding AND honeymoon didn't cost that much, so I'm not a good judge of what's a good price for cake!:blush:
post #9 of 60
3 tiers, butter cream, filled for 200 ppl. So you're going to save the top tier for your first anniversary too????? C'mon Damak think here. If you try to do the cake yourself don't bother. You'll not make it. :eek: Nothing like starting out in the doghouse I always say. :rolleyes: From the Grooms perspective you ain't gonna have the time. It's not like your having a few friends and family for an open house. You're talking 200ppl and that's at the moment. Wait until you figure in those last minute invites.:smiles:

Can't say I agree with the cup cake thing but then I'm a traditionalist. To each their own. :rolleyes::beer:

Like ChefRAZ said.... "you get what you pay for" and with that in mind there's always the bakery department at the Sam's Club, Target or even Wal-Mart. But be prepared to pay close to the Grand for the type you want. Sure it'll be nice but..... really? If you need a reference to things just look at Pan's site He's a member here too. Panini Cakes

When I would talk to "would be" clients for wedding receptions about menu and cake, when we got to the cake part I explained that every tier above 1 cost an extra $300.00 (1998 prices). Sounds unreasonable but if you think about all the time involved in decorating and what can happen when trying to assemble the cake......:eek:
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
i understand that it is a lot of work im just not sure if i can bring my self to pay 1000 for a cake. like some one said about the cupcakes, if im going to do a cake i want to do it right, i would rather have no cake then cupcakes i think they look very tacky. i am going to call a few caters that i have worked for in the past and one of them is good with pastries. so well see if she will cut me a deal. i got a good deal on food. so im hopping to find it here too.
post #11 of 60
Go for a smaller 3 tier cake for presentation/photos, and the head table, and a real good slab cake for the rest of the guests. It's a lot easir to cut and serve and also easier on the budget.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 60
You know, you can't bang out wedding cakes. Part of it is spending time with the wedding party to make sure they get exactly what they want. Part of it is transportation and assembly.
post #13 of 60
We catered a wedding bbq last year, and were surprised to see the wedding cake set up on tiers with a selection of gorgeous looking muffins, in paper instead of paper cases with fresh flowers as decor on top. Heavenly. The guests were well impressed
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #14 of 60
I know, having just done a couple cakes simplier 3-tier cakes for friends I've charged $2/serving. It barely covered my costs at times, and didn't touch the amount of labor involved.
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #15 of 60
Please explain "paper instead of paper cases". I think paper cases are probably what I think of as muffin cups- the commercial pan liners that are normally found surrounding cupcakes and muffins. How did they use the paper?

As others have said above, they don't like the look of cupcakes/muffins at a wedding, but given the right type of wedding, ie a more casual style, they fit the bill perfectly. I've also heards guests rave about the presentation. To each his own, though, not everyone is awed by it.

My baker tells about her wedding 25 years ago when she was really young. They rented a big function hall with the house caterer. They got a huge tiered cake but were told to only cut "this" part-she didn't understand why until her husband tried to cut from another place. Turns out the entire cake save one part was made from decorated styrofoam. She said that the icing was crumbling off if it! The guests were served from a sheet cake in the back. Heck, she was 18 and said she wanted chocolate with white icing. The styrofoam cake had white icing and the sheetcake was choc with white....
post #16 of 60
Please explain "paper instead of paper cases". I think paper cases are probably what I think of as muffin cups- the commercial pan liners that are normally found surrounding cupcakes and muffins. How did they use the paper?

As others have said above, they don't like the look of cupcakes/muffins at a wedding, but given the right type of wedding, ie a more casual style, they fit the bill perfectly. I've also heards guests rave about the presentation. To each his own, though, not everyone is awed by it.

My baker tells about her wedding 25 years ago when she was really young. They rented a big function hall with the house caterer. They got a huge tiered cake but were told to only cut "this" part-she didn't understand why until her husband tried to cut from another place. Turns out the entire cake save one part was made from decorated styrofoam. She said that the icing was crumbling off if it! The guests were served from a sheet cake in the back. Heck, she was 18 and said she wanted chocolate with white icing. The styrofoam cake had white icing and the sheetcake was choc with white....

All in all, the sheetcake for guests isn't a bad idea to save some money. The guests will never know anyway.
post #17 of 60
The muffins were cooked in squares of what looked like coloured waxed paper. the effect was quite rustic
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #18 of 60
Wedding cakes make up the majority of my business...and even in a small town in the middle of Missouri our prices are nearing $4.00 a serving with little or no decoration other than flowers provided by your florist. To most brides the cake is just second to the dress. I have done "fake" cakes for clients who want the large cake look without the large price tag. You might check into that and then have sheet cakes for serving. It would save you much dough.
post #19 of 60
I did this for my brother-in-law's wedding. It saved them ALOT of money, and I was able to focus more time on making them a beautiful cake (Wedding was in Los Angeles, I live in Seattle)
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #20 of 60
I think it's a great idea for the couple to be able to save $$, but this couple wasn't told that the cake was fake beforehand. That's the part that I thought was strange. :-)
post #21 of 60
Sheesh! Why does nobody ever complain that the caterer, photographer or florist is trying to rip them off? Especially when the photographer is usually twice the price of the cake! Why is it just the price of the cake?

As a cake decorator, I don't charge what I do just because I "want in on the money". I am a business just like the local auto mechanic, lawn care guy and day care provider.

When was the last time you priced ingredients? Butter here is close to $4.00 per pound. Eggs are almost $3.00 a dozen. Milk is $3.89 a gallon. And quite frankly, I refuse to bake and elaborately decorate a wedding cake or any other cake and give it away simply because someone who has no idea what the ingredients that go into that cake cost nor the time involved, yet thinks that it should serve 200 people at the cost of a case of beer. No way. I use the best quality ingredients in every cake I bake and those ingredients cost $$$. And when I spend 12-18 hours on a wedding cake, you bet your butt that you are going to pay for my time, too. Then consider the utilities I use, the cost of the boards, support structure for the cake, cost of gas for delivery (sorry, but, I don't deliver a cake for free. Gas is almost $3.50 a gallon), and my time for set up of said cake. If I did all of that for free, then I'd be extremely popular, but, I'd also be out of business. Think about it, would you go to your local dentist, find out you had to have a tooth filled and then question what it would cost? No, you wouldn't. And why not? Because he/she charges that to fill a tooth and that price covers their time and supplies. Period.

I am also a "You get what you pay for" believer. And, if you want a quality product, then you are going to have to pay for it. If you want cheap, then the local grocery/membership club is where you should go.

I apologize if this sounds harsh, but, this is a never ending debate between bakers and brides. I'll never understand how a bride has no qualms what-so-ever about spending $2-3,000 on a gown they'll only wear once, $1-2,000 on flowers that'll be dead the next day, $10-15,000 on a catered meal, upwards of $10,000 on the hall and the amenities to decorate it, $2,000 for a photographer and $500-$1,000 for a DJ/Band for 4 hours and never gripe about forking out the $$ for any of it, but, hear $500-$1,000 for a cake and we're the ones ripping them off!
post #22 of 60
You are SO right, Cakescraps! In fact, with the huge rise in prices for raw materials, I'm guessing the $500 wedding cake is pretty much a thing of the past. Unless it's very small, and completely devoid of decoration.

Gorgeous, delicious wedding cakes are works of art, and should be appreciated as such, and paid for gratefully. Or, as you said, there is always Wal-Mart. :rolleyes:
post #23 of 60
Thread Starter 
well i got a friend who had made several wedding cakes in the past make it for me. im going to pay her but im not expecting her to charge us 1200 or anything like that.
post #24 of 60
Unless your friend has an approved kitchen/bakeshop and any business licenses required by her state she would be in violation of state regulations or laws pertaining to commercial foodservice if you pay her any amount of money.
post #25 of 60
Of course he knows this. He's in foodservice! Maybe can't afford/doesn't want to pay thousands for a wedding cake. I understand that having non licensed bakers make wedding cakes seems to take away from the pros, but face it, damack isn't going to pay thousands, is he? The high price of wedding cakes isn't disputed. It's whether or not someone can or will pay that price. Perhaps he'd prefer to put the money elsewhere.

Damack, congratulations on your wedding. I know you'll be happy with your friend's cake and she'll be happy with what you pay her.
post #26 of 60
Of course he knows this. He's in foodservice! Maybe can't afford/doesn't want to pay thousands for a wedding cake. I understand that having non licensed bakers make wedding cakes seems to take away from the pros, but face it, damack isn't going to pay thousands, is he? The high price of wedding cakes isn't disputed. It's whether or not someone can or will pay that price. Perhaps he'd prefer to put the money elsewhere.

Damack, congratulations on your engagement. I know you'll be happy with your friend's cake and she'll be happy with what you pay her.
post #27 of 60
Of course he knows this. He's in foodservice! Maybe can't afford/doesn't want to pay thousands for a wedding cake. I understand that having non licensed bakers make wedding cakes seems to take away from the pros, but face it, some folks aren't going to pay thousands, are they? The high price of wedding cakes isn't disputed. It's whether or not someone can or will pay that price. Perhaps damack would prefer to put the money elsewhere.

Damack, congratulations on your engagement. I know you'll be happy with your friend's cake and she'll be happy with what you pay her.
post #28 of 60
Thread Starter 
o i understand that she would be in state violation and so dose she, the state really dosnt care unless a food disess happends or some one end up in the hosipital. and we dont care eather.

if she is going to make one cake and i know it will be good, i have also seen her cakes and i really like them too. and the prices that they quoted up in the above were no where near to the cost of my wedding, i have talked everyone down so far, and im getting wholesale flowers. yes our catering bill is one of the most expensive things but still at less then 30$ a head thats good,

i would rather spend the money eles were and have a good hunnymoon or something like that.

im not saying that you guys dont do good work its just way out of my price range for my bugdet on a cake
post #29 of 60
Some interesting posts. In the last few months, I attended, as a guest, two weddings that I know cost the families over $200K per wedding.

At each wedding, the wedding cake was small, basically symbolic, but each had a gorgeous dessert buffet.

For chitz and grins, I chatted with the catering manager at one event, asking why no wedding cake. He replied that he advised the families that a very high percentage of wedding cake served at upscale weddings, is left on the dining tables, and that they'd be happier with a variety of desserts. They certainly saved no money going this route, but, perhaps had a more celebratory experience.

The comment: There's always Sam's Club or Costco. I think you'd be surprised at how many of their full sheets frosted with premix are used at weddings every day.
post #30 of 60
RSteve, since the discussion was about cakes, I hadn't thought of the dessert route. At 1 of my summer weddings, the bride has opted for a small cake for the cutting ceremony and decorated cupcakes and lemon squares for the guests. The other has chosen a small cake for the couple and desserts including individual cheesecakes and other assorted desserts.

My desserts are less expensive by a mile than a full out wedding cake. That said, we don't do fancy desserts as a rule so I may be comparing apples to oranges in this case.
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