I'm constantly seeing really bad advice given to people in articles that were obviously written by someone who never made a cupcake in her life, let alone a wedding cake. One recently caught my attention, and parts of it were so insulting I need to respond.
The advice that I'm heated up about was to lie to your vendors and tell them that you're having a "party," but not to mention that it's a wedding, because the price will go up immediately when you say the word.
(Cue the scolding voice here) Contrary to the popular belief of most budget bloggers out there, the price of cake generally doesn't go up if the word "wedding" is mentioned. I don't care if you're having a wedding, birthday, retirement party, or a food fight, the price of the cake is going to be the same for each event if you get it from me.
Most other vendors I know don't adjust the price up when the "W" word is mentioned, either. The idea that we do probably comes from the fact that for a wedding, you generally have a larger guest list, and since our numbers are based on your numbers, the price is usually higher for weddings. Not higher per item, higher overall, because you have more items total. If you pay $5 for a restaurant dessert for one person, why is it hard to figure out that it will cost $750 for 150 people? The price didn't go up, your guest list did.
The sage advice to lie to your vendors and tell them that the event is something other than a wedding (and I've seen this piece of wisdom in a few places) won't save you any money, but it will make your vendors mad to think that you're trying to put something over on them. We will figure this kind of thing out, believe me.
(Okay, scolding over)
Most vendors are willing to work with you if you have a realistic idea about the cost of what you want. If someone comes in with a picture from a magazine of a cake covered with about $600 worth of gumpaste flowers, and tells me that they're willing to pay $200 for 150 guests, I can't help them. If someone else comes in with the same picture and asks if we can do something with the same feeling for $500, we can probably work it out.
I've said this before and I'll say it again...If you want to reduce the cost of your cake/catering/rentals, etc., reduce the size of your guest list!!! If you can't do that, and you can't afford a sit-down dinner for 250 of your closest friends, have a mid-afternoon cake and punch reception. Okay, I guess the scolding wasn't over yet, but I just get tired of reading that all wedding vendors are out to get you, since I know for a fact that it isn't true.
So the next time you're planning a wedding, birthday, retirement party or a food fight, give me a call. I'll be glad to make you a cake! Just don't tell me that the 4-tiered, white cake with sugar roses and fondant swags is for a 1-yr-old's birthday...I might suspect something is up.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com