Why are wedding cakes so expensive?
“Why are wedding cakes so expensive?” If I had a pound for every time I had heard this question I would be a very rich lady. The truth is that they are not expensive. They are actually very good value for money especially when you consider that many cake makers earn less than minimum wage. You just need to breakdown the work that goes into making the cake as well the service that you get. As a wedding supplier is it heartbreaking to have to keep justifying our prices which is why I have decided to do this little breakdown.
The service starts at the very beginning
The service you recieve starts long before the wedding cake is even booked or even baked. Even before you have first made contact with us.
Money has to be spent on websites, advertising, attending weddings shows at an average of £250 per show, making dummy cakes to show our skills and wares. All this to get you to make that first phone call or email.
From that initial enquiry we are taking time from our work day to speak with you. Time spent responding to emails and answering calls all needs to be factored into the overall costs.
Next up is your consultation. These are offered to you complimentary but for us they are not free. There are the costs involved in making the cake samples for you to test as well as the time spent with you on the consultation day.
If you do book with us you then receive a written order confirmation as well as a sketch of your final wedding cake design.
Of course leading up to your wedding day there will be further communication. Emails backwards and forwards confirming final details, delivery details etc.
4 Weeks before the wedding you will receive your final invoice, order confirmation and sketch.
The making of the cake
Then, finally, work starts on your wedding cake. The amount of time and money spent at this point depends on your final design and choice of flavours. Some flavours cost more to make than others. Fruit cake for example costs more than sponge cake and this is reflected in the cost of your cake. The icing alone to make an average three tier wedding cake costs almost £50. The boards and boxes are another £20 minimum and that doesn’t include the cost of ingredients, utilities, time spent baking, washing up and other sundries.
Covering and stacking the cake is another days work and can’t be rushed. There is a common misconception that if a cake has no decoration it should be cheaper but a plain cake is a cake decorators nightmare. There is no margin for error – no cover ups if the cake has a slight imperfection. The cake and the icing needs to be flawless and this takes time and good quality icing.
The decoration is where the most time is spent. If you are having sugar flowers then these do take a considerable amount of time. In some cases it can take 1 or 2 whole days to make enough sugar flowers to decorate a wedding cake. The cutters and other tools to achieve these beautiful decorations aren’t cheap either.
If the cake is having pipework this can take anything between 1 hour to days.
The final countdown
Once the cake is complete at La Belle we offer you the chance to view the cake the day before the wedding. This is the perfect opportunity to make any last minute adjustments should they be needed but again this takes time.
When it comes to the wedding day at La Belle we then deliver and set up the cake for you. Depending on the designs some cakes require more time to set up then others and all cakes are insured in transit from the minute they are put in the car to the time they are set up. Only once the cake is set up is our work complete.
We understand that it is easy to think that a cake is just eggs and flour and so it should be cheaper. And that would be true. It would be cheaper – if we were to work for free. As much as we would love to, like everyone else we have bills to pay.
Be it your cake maker, photographer, videographer etc the prices charged represent a fair hourly rate for the level of expertise and skills you are receiving. The years of specialist training and experience as well as the other costs incurred in providing your products and services.
In any other industry consumers agree that it’s fair that individuals get paid a fair wage for their skills. Isn’t it about time that wedding suppliers get fairly paid for their expertise too?