This thread is both funny and makes me shake my head, wow! I make custom cakes part time and have a full time job. My nephew is getting married in 2 years after college and is planning the wedding and budget already, which is small since they will both be graduating. His fiancee asked if I would make the wedding cake for them, I told her that I would be happy to. I live in Texas, they live in Vermont, and I would be going there to attend the wedding anyway. But I wouldn't normally ship half my kitchen up there, so I wanted to get some details so that I could plan and let her know what to budget and if I could realistically do it for them.
She told me they were going to invite 200+ people. Before things could get out of control and assumptions made by anyone, I emailed her a few websites that showed how big a cake for that many people would be and how much it would cost, just so that she could understand the grand task that she was asking for. I knew that they wouldn't have that kind of money in the budget.
I made the suggestion that she let me make her a beautiful 2-3 tier 10"/8"/6" for the showcase cake that they cut and serve each other and immediate family/wedding party, that I would make sheet cakes of the same recipe that the caterer could keep in the back and cut and serve and no guest would be any the wiser. I said that I would kick in my time and $300 toward perishable/non-reusable ingredients and decorations, and I would transport my kitchen gear to VT to make the cake as my wedding gift to them. I said that anything above and beyond that, they would need to pay for (which means she would get the cake for free if she took my recommendations).
I wouldn't be working in my own kitchen, I wouldn't have the refrigerator or freezer space to make a cake for 200+ people, but I could do the smaller cake and the sheet cakes without too much problem. I thought it was a great offer, but I haven't heard back from her yet and it has been 2 months or so. I know the wedding isn't until 2015, but I would have expected some response, like "wow, that's so sweet, thank you, we will talk more as the event gets closer". Nothing! SMH