I get a lot of quote request inquiries with pictures of 3, 4 or 5 tier cakes. If the inquiry doesn't specify, then I usually email the person back asking how many people the cake needs to feed. Many times I get the response back of 15, 30, or maybe 50 folks, and I tell them that the cake they sent feeds way more people than they need it to and send them a quote for a smaller-scaled cake where tiers of cake will not be leftover. Sometimes people are fine with that, but other times they still want the big cake.
While I am happy to create a 5-tier cake for a party of 30, I don't think many people want to pay for it, and I am not starting off with a 2-inch top tier ( Icing anything smaller than 4 or 5" across is a huge pain in the butt. The cake just moves too much and I don't want to deal with it.). I also understand that people want the cake to be the centerpiece of the party. So what does one suggest in these instances? I suggest changing your train of thought. It's not quantity... it's quality. In my opinion, I think spending money on a well-executed, single-tier cake makes a better statement than spending the same amount on a 3-tier, crooked, sloppy one. And who wants to have all that left over cake hanging around the house begging to be eaten?