I often get asked this question “Why is a wedding cake more expensive than a birthday cake?”
So I thought I would write a little article about it as it’s a totally genuine question. Unless you are in the business of actually making cakes, it’s extremely hard to understand why something costs what it does. What I find extremely frustrating and sad, is the amount of wedding blogs and magazines that tell couples to lie or disclose the fact that the cake they are ordering is for a wedding.
There is this assumption that as soon as you mention the word wedding to any business we see £ signs dancing in front of our eyes and we just inflate the price for the sake of it. Where I am not disputing that it might be the case with some companies, not everyone is the same. If a couple enquires about my “Wedding cakes”, yes the cost is going to be more than a celebration cake, but not because it has the word wedding in it, it’s because it includes all the additional services you get with it. Let me explain….
Someone wants to order a cake for a birthday. I ask a few simple questions regarding how many people they would like to feed, flavour and design and give a quote. If the customers agrees to place the order I email them an order form, they return it with a deposit and that’s it, order booked. I then bake and decorate the cake and it gets collected at an agreed day/time.
Now, someone wants to place an order for a wedding cake. Believe it or not the work has started even before I receive that first email! How did you find us? Was it wedding fayre? An advert in a magazine? Or maybe Google? All this has already cost us a small fortune. I recently attended a wedding showcase, and after adding all the costs, I worked out it came to just over £1000 to attend…that was just for one showcase and we do a few a year. Ouch! We also need to stay on top of trends, this means constant research and producing display cakes so we can show you at the showcases or during consultations. Our public liability insurance also goes up in price, we are catering for a lot more people and transporting our goods as well as having people coming in into our property for consultations.
Let’s talk about your order….After the initial enquiry, I invite the couple over for a consultation where they (and sometime other members of the family or friends) will get to sample several of our delicious flavours we provide over a lovely hot drink. During the consultation we discuss their design in more details. Most wedding cakes start from 3 tiers and that usually involves some design elements on each tier. We discuss things such as pattern/design, style, theme of their wedding, flavours, venue, flowers, colours (did you know that there are hundreds of shades of each colour?) amongst many other things. The consultation tend to last approx one hour….but that is the easy (and fun) part! Once the booking has been confirmed the real work starts. I start by sketching your design (unless you have chosen one of our previously pre-designed cakes). Hours of research go into finding the right items for your beautiful bespoke cake, such as looking for the right shade of ribbon or cupcake cases, researching flowers so that when I come to make them in sugar form they resemble the ones in your bouquet or centrepieces, sometimes this involves a trip to the florist to actually buy the flowers for us to study and practice making them. We might need specific equipments, eg if you would like a pattern to match the lace on your dress for example, we might need to have a custom stencil made. We have to liaise with other vendors such as the venue to arrange delivery. If it’s a new venue we are not familiar with, it might require a pre-visit to ensure a safe delivery. Also as we deliver all of our wedding cakes, this limits the amount of orders we can take on that day. Your basic and straight forward delivery takes approx 1-1.5 hours if it’s a local venue. If the cake needs assembling at the venue or if the venue is further afield, the numbers of hours can escalate pretty quickly and we might also have to rely on the other vendors working with us too, such as the florist or table dresser being there when we arrive, on several occasions I have turned up at a venue at the agreed time only for the room not to be ready so I have had to sit and wait, which means my other deliveries and collections have been compromised. All this and I haven’t even started making the cake! Which has to be flawless! There is no room for error when it comes to weddings. This cake will be seen by all your guests, it will be photographed from every angle and you will still look at those photos when you are in your 80s, it has to be a perfect fit for you and your special day. Also the majority of weddings get booked at least a year in advance, that is a long time! A long time for your theme and taste to change (You would be surprised how many times that happens) which means changes to the original order and more hours of work to re-sketch and research again.
The list could go on and on.
So, the point I am trying to make is, yes a wedding cake costs more than a celebration cake but for a very good reason. I totally get it that not everyone can afford the price tag and that is not a problem at all! Be honest with us, tell us what you would like and your budget. You can still have a beautiful cake as long as you are happy to forgo the “wedding treatment”.
Lots of love and Sprinkles