Post # 1
Fiance and I are having our wedding with an “all-inclusive” package….so it “includes” the cake.
We were originally looking at this cake:
We were given an “upgrade” pricing of $2.25 per slice. That included fondant upgrade (buttercream is the included), airbrushing to make it pink, and a fresh fruit upgrade (we want strawberries). That would be an extra $340.
A few months later, we decided we really wanted this cake (although the hexagons will be made from all fondant or gum paste or whatever, not the sugar):
We’re now being quoted $4 per slice upgrade. This includes the fondant and fresh fruit. This would be $600 as our upgrade charge.
Now, I know cakes are expensive, but doesn’t $600 as an UPGRADE charge sound like a lot? I mean, what the heck is actually INCLUDED in our packaged price?
I sent an email asking that, so we’ll see….
Am I being unreasonable?
Post # 3
It is a lot, so I don’t think you’re out of line to question it. My daughter’s was included in the package price too, and was whatever style we wanted (within reason) for 150 people. The baker was a little unreasonable about making it in buttercream, and insisted it would melt if we didn’t cover it in fondant (an upgrade charge of $300.) Being transported from her to the venue was a 10 minute drive, in late June, in an air-conditioned van into an air-conditioned ballroom….and it wouldn’t hold up?
Can you provide the additions yourself to save on them getting them for you (at least the fresh fruit) or just go with it being done in buttercream? That’s what I’d do, and maybe find something else for decorations you can provide yourself. I bought the ribbon and brooches for the cake and had her put them on, giving her a picture of how they wanted it.
Post # 4
@ItWasntMe: Thanks! I actually felt bad for questioning it, but for $600 I don’t really see what’s actually being included….just the baked cake? haha. We’ll see what she says. It’s kind of annoying, because we have to go through the venue to talk to the cake woman (who works solely for them). I feel like if we could go directly to the baker it would be so much easier and less frustrating!
Post # 5
Hmm I’m not sure, maybe take a pic to a bakery and have them quote you for the whole cake? Then you can compare the two? You could also bring that pricing to your venue too if it does turn out they are overcharging you.
Post # 6
No…I think its the fondant that’s making the price go up, as well as anthing else you want to add. Every time they have more to do on a cake, they charge for it.
Post # 7
Can you opt out of the included cake? My venue included a $5 per slice cake fee and I decided to go with my own baker. The venue charged me a $1 cake cutting fee but it was still cheaper than their vendor.
Post # 8
No, it’s unreasonable. I’d force them to do it in buttercream. I’m sure 100% of that upcharge is going to be because of the fondant work.
And they are on crack if they think that first cake needs to be fondant. That cake is colored buttercream, for sure. No fondant, no airbrushing… nothing like that.
Post # 9
The upcharge is for fondant and the extra time it’ll take them to make the hexagons and all the extra work. It’s not an easy task to make fancy cakes like that, which is why there are all the upcharges. Those costs seem inline with the upgrade fees I’ve seen from bakers around me, though. ($2-$4 extra for fondant alone, then extra for fancier cakes)
Post # 9
I make and decorate cakes as a hobby so I think an upgrade of $2.25 per slice for fondant, fresh fruit, and additional decoration (airbrushing) is reasonable. It’s the different between the two that seems unreasonable to me.
I think the first cake would actually be more time consuming/difficult to make especially because you are going with gum paste/fondant hexagons.
If you break it down, there is no justification for the difference in price:
Both cakes will have the same flavor cake and fruit filling – no difference there.
Both will have fondant. If I had to guess, they would use about the same amount of fondant. For the first cake I would assume that they would cover all the cakes with a very thin sheet of fondant, and then add more fondant on top to create the layering effect. The second cake would only need one layer of fondant for the actual cakes and then the extra for the hexagons.
The first cake has the additional work of airbrushing the gradation effect. The second cake has the time to cut out and attach the hexagons. Both techniques are very straightforward and simple.
So breaking it down, there isn’t a reason for the cost difference in my opinion. You should definitely ask them why. The only thing I could think of is that they think you want the hexagons in sugar. Working with sugar is very finicky and the result is pretty fragile. If you don’t have experience it can be difficult. I think that detail would justify a cost difference.
Post # 10
@morkiemama: Just to be clear – both cakes were supposed to be in fondant with the first one costing an additional $340 on top of the base price and the second cake being an additonal $600 on the base price. Right?
Post # 11
@Crabbabs: “I think an upgrade of $2.25 per slice for fondant, fresh fruit, and additional decoration (airbrushing) is reasonable. It’s the different between the two that seems unreasonable to me.”
That’s exactly my issue! Thanks! You put it into better words than I did.
We actually DID want the sugar, and would be willing to pay that cost difference if that were the case, BUT, the baker said she does not work with sugar, so it has to be gum paste or fondant (whichever they use). The difference between that $2.25 and $4 for those two seems high to me.
Post # 12
@Crabbabs: Exactly. Both were fondant. Both have upgraded fresh fruit filling.
Post # 13
One option, and a big money saver would be to make the hexagons out of colored clear plastic, and they will look the same but cost pennies.
In fact when I was talking to our florist, she asked if we wanted flowers on our cake to which I replied ‘yes we will ask the baker for it’. And the florist said that sugar flowers are very expensive and she will, for free, add some real flwoers onto my cake that will look gorgeous and will be taken off before the cake cutting. I took her up on the offer!
Post # 14
I think thats way too expensive… I would rather get the cake from another baker and have them deduct the price of the cake from their inclusive package.
Post # 15
@morkiemama: Ok, just wanted to make sure I understood everything correctly 🙂
I would just ask for a detailed explanation of the reasons for the cost increase. If they won’t go down in price, I would just go with the first cake. Personally, I think the charm of the second cake is the translucent quality of the sugar. I know you like the design of the second cake better, but I wouldn’t pay that much extra for the design change.