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Food and Cakes

sticker shock? little cake rant.

So...I just priced some cakes by local bakeries for our wedding cake.....sweeeeet lord! I had NO idea how expensive these things were :( How depressing.

I'm looking for a cake with vanilla, chocolate and marble, vanilla buttercream filling and top icing. Approximately 200 servings....the average price I am getting is around $477.

Reallly? Almost $500 for that?  In my head, I'm not asking for alot...no frills or fancy shmancy decorating....just a plain white buttercream icing over cake. No fondant, no gumpaste decor..no elborate fountain thinger. :(

Uggggghhhhhhhh!Yell
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Re: sticker shock? little cake rant.

  • edited December 2011
    Our three-tiered wedding cake serves 75 (not including the top layer, which we are not charged for).  We're also doing plain buttercream with a simple design.  Additionally, the grooms' cake serves 30.  The prices for the two of them together, including rental of the cake stand, is $525.  
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  • nzchick88nzchick88 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Have you tried your local supermarket? Their cakes are good and if you just want something basic they should be able to help
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  • kristylin223kristylin223 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_sticker-shock-little-cake-rant?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:232884b9-9d8a-498e-90c8-0fa1aed87c07Post:e5482512-594c-4c2b-a3b4-c00ce1bc6248">Re: sticker shock? little cake rant.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Have you tried your local supermarket? Their cakes are good and if you just want something basic they should be able to help
    Posted by nzchick88[/QUOTE]

    Yes, actually. I priced the two groceries stores which are about $200 for 135 slices...and then I priced our Super Wal Mart and they said they ONLY do vanilla cakes and again they were about about $200 for 135 servings.
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  • cc+mmcc+mm member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Well the prices you were quoted are less than $3/slice. I think we got a great deal on our cake and are paying $300 for a cake to feed 70 people. Most of the ranges I have seen for cakes range from $3/slice to $7/slice and up. Did you ask about a smaller "show" cake to cut and then having sheet cakes in the back to slice for the guests?  
  • topchef33topchef33 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think our caked is priced for 175 people and it's about $450. That's a 3 tiered cake and then a sheet cake (maybe 1 1/2 I can't recall), plus delivery.

    Definitely do a smaller 'show' cake and then a sheet cake or two. I think the cake that will be sitting out will be a 6-9-12. I believe those slices cost $3.25 and sheet cake is $1.75 per slice.

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  • edited December 2011
    Have you looked into non wedding cakes, like sheet ckases or supermarket cupcakes?
  • edited December 2011
    I dunno, I think paying less than 3 dollars per person for a dessert is a pretty good deal. I mean, you'd pay more than that for a piece of cake at Starbucks, you know?

    But, if it really freaks you out, do one tier for cutting and have the baker make sheet cakes for the back room.
  • Beachy730Beachy730 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm not sure what price ours would have been since my aunt (MOH) made our wedding cake for us as a wedding gift.  She did a 4 tier cake, as well as 2 sheet cakes.  But a friend of mine got hers from the local supermarket and they got a small cake for show, and then bought sheet cakes to cut and serve and it was about $200.

    Also, some places make the show cakes were 2 of the 3 layers are fake, and only the one to cut is real, and it is much cheaper.  
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  • SSaltzman87SSaltzman87 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    They charge a lot mostly because of labor. I worked in the baking industry for a while, and trust me- they're not as easy to make as they look!

    A lot of people have gotten a 'dummy' cake for display (made out of styrofoam then decorated however you want) and then have sheet cakes for serving. This is usually a far cheaper option.
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  • edited December 2011
    That actually sounds like a great deal. Our cake for 75 people was $500, not including tax and delivery. 477/200 = $2.39/slice. Where I live, $5 a slice is common.
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  • sassybananasassybanana member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You have to consider that cakes are usually done within days of a wedding to stay fresh. When you have three different flavors of cake it makes it more time consuming to the baker, meaning three different batters to prepare. You may consider pricing out just one or two flavors of cake, maybe different iciing in the middle, or sheet cakes like the other girls suggested.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    That sounds like a reasonable price to me.  Our cake fed 175 and cost $800, and I thought I was getting a huge bargain.

    Supermarkets might offer a better deal.  Or get a small 2-tiered cake for pictures and cutting and have a couple Costco sheet cakes in the back.
  • kristylin223kristylin223 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ooh man...I seriously had no idea that they were so expensive and you all are saying it's a great price HAHAHA! So nieve :(

    I would totally be ok with sheet cakes...my Fiance isnt too much of a fan of cake to begin with....so we wanted to do oreo cookie dessert (Dirt) also. 

    I just really wasn't expecting to be paying that much....glad I looked into it now and not closer to!
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  • djshumwaydjshumway member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I decorate cakes as a hobby... and you would not believe he work that goes in to wedding cakes. I am paying $4.75 a serving and its well worth it. It is a lot of hard work and labor. Until you've decorated a wedding cake.... you don't really have the understanding of why they are so expensive :)
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  • Epic07032011Epic07032011 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Dessert is supposed to be special. Dessert is always expensive--it's why you have it for fancy events.

    That being said... our cake was over $500 for only 70 people (big city) and everyone is surprised we got such a good deal. Good deal? Wow, scary.

    But it's going to be delicious! And hopefully it will look awesome, too.
  • BlueBoxBrideBlueBoxBride member
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Depending on your venue, the cake may be included. We're getting married at a hotel, which employs a pastry chef already. You might want to run the #s pp you are budgeting for and comparison shop between venues. I don't want to say what we're spending (because we're getting married in Chicago and the number might scare you), but the hotel is including: apps, cocktail tables for the cocktail reception, 4 hours open bar, wine and beer during dinner, champagne, plated meal, all china/crystal/flatware, cake, coffee and tea service. It appears you are a year and six months out. I would talk to some venues and see if they have anyone on-site. You might be able to negotiate them throwing in the cake.
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  • edited December 2011
    Just remember, if you go with a grocery store baker, you get what you pay for.  We had a tasting with a "baker" (and I use the term loosely) who used to co-own a grocery store chain with her husband who still uses cake mixes that come out of gigantic sacks and fillings that come from buckets.  Not a single thing was made from scratch, and you could taste it.  There is a HUGE difference between a made-from-scratch cake and some of the crap you can get from a grocery store.  A grocery store cake may be fine for a birthday or a holiday, but unless it's something uncommonly special, it's not good enough for a wedding.
  • BeazillaBeazilla member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_sticker-shock-little-cake-rant?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:232884b9-9d8a-498e-90c8-0fa1aed87c07Post:fb7fe6c5-bafc-4cab-a303-5e226d4d371d">Re: sticker shock? little cake rant.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Depending on your venue, the cake may be included. We're getting married at a hotel, which employs a pastry chef already. You might want to run the #s pp you are budgeting for and comparison shop between venues. I don't want to say what we're spending (because we're getting married in Chicago and the number might scare you), but the hotel is including: apps, cocktail tables for the cocktail reception, 4 hours open bar, wine and beer during dinner, champagne, plated meal, all china/crystal/flatware, cake, coffee and tea service. It appears you are a year and six months out. I would talk to some venues and see if they have anyone on-site. You might be able to negotiate them throwing in the cake.
    Posted by BlueBoxBride[/QUOTE]
    Definitely ask about the inclusion of cake with a venue's catering when you're looking at places or caterers for the reception. The venue we went with includes cake, food, coffee/tea service, linens, china/flatware/crystal, a champagne toast, and simple centerpieces in the pp price. You've got plenty of time to look around for deals and talk with vendors.

    The prices you're seeing are pretty normal. If it's a fairly small wedding, you might check to see what bakers charge for a tiered non-wedding cake (yeah sometimes it's different) and get a simpler cake. The prices freaked me out at first too, but I looked into non-wedding cakes for a wedding and having sheet cakes. Actually if the site didn't include the cake, I would have worked with a friend who decorates cakes to further cut down on costs.
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  • edited December 2011
    For my first wedding we made the stand, the bought ready made cakes in the flavours we wanted (iced with white icing) then decorated the cakes with artifical flowers that matched the bouquets.
  • allisonkbyeallisonkbye member
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    not sure where ur located at in PA but i'm in indiana i'm using this girl www.fairmanscakes.webs.com her prices start at 1.25 a slice and she makes some awesome cakes if you look at her pics. i also got to taste some samples and it was so good!

    if i never found her i probably would not be getting a real cake and just sheet cakes. someone at a bridal show in dubois was charging $7/slice! that's just crazy
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