Going From Bday Cakes To Wedding Cakes

Business By Trixyinaz Updated 8 Apr 2008 , 1:52pm by fabfour

Trixyinaz Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:59pm
post #1 of 21

When did you know you were ready to start doing wedding cakes? I'm still new to decorating and the thought of doing wedding cakes scares me to death....although this is my ultimate goal. When did you know you were ready and felt confident enough to compete with the big guys? Did you give yourself xxx number of months decorating? Did you just take the plunge and do it adn get better and better as you went along? Do you freak out that something will go wrong and you'll have ruined the brides "day?"

Like I said, I'm still new, but I'm afraid I'll never get that level of confidence it takes to move on. I'm a perfectionist and hate failure so I'd rather quit sometimes before the confidence sets in as to avoid any failure. KWIM?

20 replies
yummymummy Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:05pm
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I'm sort of jump right in kind of girl and worry about if I can do it later. icon_rolleyes.gif I know...not really that smart! But, I have a fair amount of confidence in my abilities and only do designs that I feel are achievable right now. I haven't done a wedding cake yet, but I'll be doing a 50th anniverssary cake next month and it's pretty much like a wedding cake. icon_smile.gif

PaulaT Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:10pm
post #3 of 21

Hi Fellow Michigander!!!
You are well on your way - your cakes are beautiful. I just took the plunge. Did my first wedding cake about 4 months after completing all the Wilton classes. Was scared to death but if you are completely prepared for it and do the taste testing and know exactly what the bride wants you should have no problem at all. I e-mailed my Wilton Instructor several times with questions which also helped. The first one is definitely a "confidence builder" and then after that it's "a piece of cake"!!! I have found after several years that the most important thing is having everything ready (equipment/icing & your cakes baked and thawed) the day of construction. I've only done a few and have found 12 hours is the approx. time for doing a wedding cake. Of course it all depends on if it is B/C, fondant and the size of the cake. PM me any time with further questions. Much good luck to you in your wedding cake quest!!! I still love doing them. thumbs_up.gif

Cakesbylori Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:11pm
post #4 of 21

I started doing wedding cakes when I was asked to do a wedding cake. So, I guess I just threw myself into it. Your cakes are great, I would not hesitate to get your first wedding cake order.

peacockplace Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:14pm
post #5 of 21

I started with tiered cakes first. Doing tiered birthday cakes for my own kids and friends. The first big cake I did was an anniversary. I was so nervous that my hands kept shaking the whole time I was driving to deliver it. It was still a few months after that when I got my first wedding cake. Actually, before the wedding cakes were a few groom's cakes. My groom's cake orders started picking up and then the wedding cakes came after. You really want to take your time and make sure that you have mastered your stacking technique. That takes practice but it becomes easier with time. Good luck!

poshcakedesigns Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:23pm
post #6 of 21

I just plunged right in once I got ask to do one. Was scared to death but did it and it turned out great.

Just think of it as a large birthday cake.

confectioneista Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:26pm
post #7 of 21

Ya know, it's fear of the unknown really. icon_surprised.gif You're not sure what to expect - at least it was that way for me. So I practiced, practiced, practiced (and am still practicing). Get you some cake dummies and practice your designs/decorating. I think you'll soon discover that you can do it. Probably the hardest thing to get comfortable with is the overall construction of the wedding cake - getting it there and setting it up. But there are some fool proof ways to overcome this and are even posted here on CC. Leahs has great advice about that kind of stuff.

And besides, once you've made some cake dummies, take pictures of them and keep them for your portfolio to show potential clients! Good luck and have faith in yourself! thumbs_up.gif

LSUmomma36 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:27pm
post #8 of 21

After having practiced on all my family and friends for free icon_lol.gif The word got out and the orders came in and I just went with it. Be confident in yourself and your work. Be well prepared. Start anything that can be started several days in advance ie: your BC, flowers etc. Allow yourself plenty of time so you don't feel rushed and in case something goes wrong. You can do it girl!!! icon_biggrin.gif

DoniB Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:31pm
post #9 of 21

My first wedding cake coincided with the first wedding ceremony I performed. The bride was the mother of a good friend, and she was marrying her high-school sweetheart, 50 years after the fact. icon_smile.gif They wanted something small and informal, but it grew. I had never done a wedding cake before, and was really panicking. I got NO sleep the night before, and finished the cake mere minutes before I had to get ready for the wedding! LOL

But they believed I could do it, having seen pics of my other cakes, and my friends believed I could do it... that confidence from them helped get me through my 'there's no way I can pull this off!' moments, and it happened. icon_smile.gif (it's the white cake with red roses in my photos, if you care to look) It wasn't perfect. It wasn't exactly what I'd envisioned, but the bride and groom loved it, and thought it was the most perfect cake they'd ever seen. And that's what's important! icon_smile.gif

Just do it. If you want to do one for practice, do so, just so the first big one is out of the way and doesn't 'matter'. But don't be afraid to try! It's soooo worth it! icon_smile.gif

fabfour Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 5:45pm
post #10 of 21

I decorated cakes off and on for 7 years before I ever did a wedding cake. I used to say that I would NEVER do wedding cakes. DH would just say "yeah we'll see" and low and behold my brother asked me to do their wedding cake 3 years ago. After I did that one, I was hooked! That year I did another one. The next year I did 3. And this year I already have 5 booked and waiting on a possible 6th!

Everytime I do one though I am SO nervous I feel like I could vomit until it is together and the bride and groom see it. I'm terrifed that something will go wrong...BUT the minute they see it and all the guest see it. BOY, when the comments come in, it is so worth all the stress! icon_biggrin.gif


Good luck!

Trixyinaz Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 6:15pm
post #11 of 21

Wow, thanks for all the replies. When you have someone egging you, your confidence builds too. Wish I could have you guys in my kitchen when I'm decorating chanting me on... icon_lol.gif

I start my 2nd Wilton course tomorrow and then move on to Tiers/Fondant then onto the final course - gumpaste flowers. I think once I get done with those, I'm gonna make a wedding cake for the fun of it and bring it in to work. Thanks for suggesting that I do a practice one to "get it out of the way." It doesn't have to be HUGE....maybe an 8, 6 and 4 inch cake.

Okay, off to go look at all your photos. Coming here has inspired me to follow my dreams.

misha35 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 6:30pm
post #12 of 21

My first wedding cake .... a very good friend was getting married & I offered to make his cake as my present. i practiced A LOT for it. (The people in my office love getting practice cakes, so they were happy.) I was volunteering stacked cakes for niece's athletic events to get more practice at stacked cakes. I'm not sure that may people feel extra confident with that first one. It was incredibly stressful, but I was so excited when the first guest walked up and took a picture of my cake icon_smile.gif

misha35 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 6:30pm
post #13 of 21

oops - computer mistake - accidentally double posted

misha35 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 7:27pm
post #14 of 21

My first wedding cake .... a very good friend was getting married & I offered to make his cake as my present. i practiced A LOT for it. (The people in my office love getting practice cakes, so they were happy.) I was volunteering stacked cakes for niece's athletic events to get more practice at stacked cakes. I'm not sure that may people feel extra confident with that first one. It was incredibly stressful, but I was so excited when the first guest walked up and took a picture of my cake icon_smile.gif

lovetofrost Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 12:34am
post #15 of 21

I was wondering when you were ready how did you market for getting just wedding cakes? I am not quite ready, but will be in a couple of months and would like to start my book of business for weddings. any tips?

indydebi Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:11am
post #16 of 21

A wedding cake is just 3 birthday cakes all stacked up. YOu just do them one at a time.

Jessica1817 Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:59am
post #17 of 21

I just did a handful of wedding cakes last year, but quickly realized it was more worth my time financially to make wedding cakes than birthday cakes. I took the plunge and started advertising on the Knot in January, and have been busy since!

biancas_mommy Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 3:28am
post #18 of 21

i'm pretty new at this too and my coworker's having me do her wedding cake in september. icon_surprised.gif so it was sort of a jump right in as the opportunity presented itself thing, i didn't go out looking for a bride. but she's seen all my practice cakes since i bring them into work, she knows exactly how much experience i have (or don't have!), and she seems to have complete confidence that by september i'll be able to construct the cake of her dreams (it helps that she's already settled on the design so i can spend the next 5 months practicing the exact techniques she wants). i don't think i'd have been comfortable doing a stranger's wedding cake at this point because like you said, it's the bride's BIG DAY. but when it's a friend and most importantly when you're totally honest about your experience and abilities and she knows what she's getting into, i feel like it's a little easier to take the plunge. icon_smile.gif i just tell myself i'll do such an AMAZING job on hers that from then on the brides will be pouring in, right? and like indydebi said, a cake's a cake! if you can do an awesome birthday cake, you can do an awesome wedding cake.

Trixyinaz Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:20pm
post #19 of 21

You guys make it seem so easy! I hope it falls into my lap that easily, Bianca's Mommy!

Debi - it's the stacking that scares me. I've done one cake stacked and that was 4 years ago. It was actually on pilars. I actually surprised myself, but I did have my mom right there coaching me. By the time I am done wiht the next Wilton class, hopefully I'll be a little more at ease with tiers and stacking and pillars.

I just need to take the plunge and do a practice cake. So you decorate each cake first then stack them on top of each other, right?

Okay, I can do this....I'll need to do a stacked cake and bring it in to the office upstairs to the other departments. I have a group of 90 in my department, but no one is getting married. I'll have to branch out to the other departments icon_lol.gif In an office of 400 total, someone is bound to be getting married later in the year or early next year, right? hehehe.

And thanks to all who visited my photos and said they were lovely/nice/good, etc. I feel they are basic, but as we all know, we are our worst critics. icon_smile.gif

havingfun Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:38pm
post #20 of 21

Vicki,
I am sooo nervous when I stack a cake, that my hands shake. They shake so badly, I have to do calming exercises! icon_redface.gif The first one I did was a small 50th anniversary cake, and I left small prints where I was "afraid to let it go". After that, I started leaving the dowels sticking out about an inch, placing the cake on the dowels, then watching it slowly sink into place. Be sure your dowels are straight up and down, and if it is sinking at an angle, just take your pointed spatula, and guide the cake board on down. It really is so simple this way. My nephews cake was very large (tall) and I had no trouble at all with it. My biggest problem is with my nerves, and now my DH comes with me and stands between me and the inevitable gawker. They make me nervous!! I am a detail person and have everything prepared, marked, and a kit. ( just in case.) This helps me be less nervous. Good luck to you. Remember, a cake made with love is a beautiful cake no matter what.

fabfour Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:52pm
post #21 of 21

Everyone does it different, you will have to find the way that works best for you. For me, I don't do any detailed work on a tiered cake until I'm at the reception site. Then stack the cake and finish all the details. I too, leave the dowels out about 1/2 -1 inch and let it slowly sink in place. I have only used buttercream as the main icing and it doesn't matter how crusted it is, there will be smudges. That's why I wait.

HTH!

Missy

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