Thursday, March 29, 2012

Your Money & Your Wedding Cake

(M. Clay Photography)

I am so excited about this series and instead of just only sharing my experiences with you regarding wedding vendors, I figured I would get some of my preferred vendors to chime in. There is nothing better than hearing it right from the vendors mouth!

This post is about your Cake Budget. I interviewed one of my favorite and most trusted vendor, Gail Buff from the fabulous Cheesecake, Etc in Charlotte, NC. She offered a lot of insight to brides as they prepare their budget for their wedding cake. I asked Gail several questions and below are her responses.

1. What is the price range per serving for your wedding cakes?

Every baker has a different price range for their cakes. Mine start at $3.75 per person and go up from there. The most expensive cake I have done was at $10.00 per person. Most average about $4.00 - $4.25.

2. Do certain designs and flavors cost more money?

Yes- certain designs and flavors cost more. Basic designs include single dots, tricot dots and scrolls. My basic flavors include chocolate, vanilla, almond, pound and lemon. The basic filling is butter cream. Items that add to the cost of a cake include intricate designs, dragees, multiple colors, anything made of fondant, gumpaste flowers, stenciling, and hand painted designs.

3. If a bride wants five layers and five different flavor cakes and fillings is that more expensive?

If a bride wants a cake that is five tiers and five different flavors and fillings, that may or may not add to her cost. If all five flavors are standards, then I do not charge more. The fillings would add a bit to the price. I recommend that my brides limit their flavor choices to two. This will give their guests choices, but not so many that the guests will want to sample a piece of every flavor offered!

4. How many flavors of cake and fillings do you try at your cake tasting?

At my tasting, I suggest that my brides select up to four cake flavors and three fillings to mix and match. More than this can be a bit overwhelming!

5. Do you as the cake designer, decorate the wedding cake with fresh flowers?

As a cake designer, I will definitely decorate the cake with fresh flowers. Fresh flowers on the cake will match exactly with the other flowers from the event. This is a more cost effective choice than sugar flowers that can be very pricey. I prefer to add the flowers to the cake myself. If the florist adds the flowers and they inadvertently stick a finger in the cake, they can't fix it!!! When I leave the venue, I make sure that the cake is set up, flowers and/or topper in place, and empty box for the cake top under the table.

6. What advice would you give a bride about their cake budget?

Budgeting for a wedding cake can be a bit tricky. All the cake shows on television show us these fabulous cakes. Remember that they come with fabulous prices!! Don't forget to include delivery/set up costs and a cake stand. For a wedding with 150 guests, brides should budget a minimum of $650.00. This cost can be cut by having a smaller cake on display and then serving sheet cakes from the kitchen. "Fake" cake layers do NOT save any money. Those layers also have to be decorated!!!

I really hope you found this interview helpful. Beginning your wedding planning process with realistic expectations will alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress as well as keep you on your planned budget.

(Tim Hines Photography)

(Cheesecake, Etc)

Next post we will discuss Your Money and Your Wedding: Wedding Stationery

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