Is It Bad Business Not To Offer Certain Types Of Wedding

Business By wgoat5 Updated 19 Jun 2008 , 2:48pm by wgoat5

wgoat5 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:50pm
post #1 of 71

cakes? I haven't started offering wedding cakes ... my long story short is.... I have taken calls on them... talked to them.. and have backed out.. ALL OF THEM I have backed out of. 2 of them are close friends of my family... and they laugh at me. The other one I cancelled on yesterday (well we had NO contract and she was hard to do deal with).

If I were to start offering wedding cakes on a reg. basis CAN I JUST do stacked cakes?????? Can I refuse to do the kind on the pillars with the fountains and such? I don't know.. I just have no drive to do these cakes...

Weddings scare me to death to extremes... I get the heeby jeebies and my bp goes wonkers... my family say I turn into bakezilla when I take on more then I think I can handle.

I also question my ability to produce ELEGANCE....

Just when do you know you should do them? Is anybody out there that DOESNT offer wedding cakes and STILL make a decent living on cakes?

Oh BTW .. I lost out on a 850.00 cake yesterday and my DH is fuming icon_sad.gif


sorry so long

70 replies
harlemcakelady Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:57pm
post #2 of 71

I felt the same way. I swore I would not have the time it takes to make a wedding cake and I also said I would never do sculpted cakes. I was terrified.

I conquered my fear by doing my first wedding cake and it came out great. I encourage you to do at least one to see how you feel after.

I still go into a frenzy when one is due, but I have made several and have grown to love them. Not to mention that is the most profitable.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Only you know your capabilities and your limitations.

cheeseball Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:03pm
post #3 of 71

Ok, I thought you meant something else, but I'll still put my two cents in (plus, I'm just a couple of posts away from regular member and I'm celebrating with a Calvin & Hobbes avatar icon_lol.gif). Your work is amazing and you totally have the ability to do silly ol' wedding cakes icon_wink.gif, but you have to do what you're comfortable doing. If the bride wants something you don't think you should do, just kindly send them to someone else. And don't let anyone make you feel bad for not taking an order - the upside to that is that it'll make you seem more exclusive. My taste runs toward a cleaner look, so I know what you mean about the cakes with mountains of buttercream ruffles, fountains and pillars - I don't really care for that look either. Now having said all that, I think we should all push ourselves beyond our comfort zones, at least occasionally, or we'll get stagnant and people will look at our portfolios and compare them to people still wearing high-waisted acid washed jeans icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

wgoat5 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:17pm
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LOL whats wrong with high wasted acid washed jeans? icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif LMAO

awolf24 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:23pm
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LOL you guys are too FUNNY! icon_lol.gif

Seriously, Christi, you definitely have the talent to pull off a wedding cake. A wedding cake is still just that...cake. Don't get scared by the "wedding" part of it. I think you would be selling yourself short by refusing all cake orders that have the word "wedding" attached to them. Go for it! thumbs_up.gif Start small - maybe something with 3 tiers, etc. You don't have to dive in with a huge 6 tier stressball that brings out the bakezilla in you. icon_smile.gif

Now, if someone is looking for the plastic pillar/fountain type look and that is not your thing, I think that it would be totally acceptable to tell the client that you may not be the best person for the job and to refer them elsewhere.

wgoat5 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:27pm
post #6 of 71

LOL Ok.. what about that I um .... am buttercream swag, rose, fountain AND pillar stupid? I can't make a bc rose to save my soul... and it's embarrassing to admit to a bride that I can't do it.. being a decorator. I don't want them to think I am not capable of doing something that is supposeably (sp) simple?

awolf24 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:31pm
post #7 of 71

Personally, I will NOT make a cake with a BC swag, fountain or plastic pillar so you can suggest designs that do not include those options!

OK, I'll agree that roses are hard to completely avoid but your GP and fondant work is BEAUTIFUL so you can suggest mediums other than buttercream for those elements.

harlemcakelady Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 8:33pm
post #8 of 71

Buy the flowers. They sell royal icing roses and gumpaste flowers. Use your power of persuasion. Sometimes they will take your advice and change their mind.

sugarcheryl Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 10:01pm
post #9 of 71

I've seen your work and you would do wonderful in doing wedding cakes. but like you I would not do any kind of wedding cakes I also dislike the fountain and ruffles. I recommend them to someone else but try one wedding cake and take it from there. icon_smile.gif

LeanneW Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 11:07pm
post #10 of 71

I see the issue here is just confidence. It is right to feel a sense of responsibility when you are comissioned to do a wedding cake. It is an important day, but, you are definately being too hard on yourself.

I struggle with confidence too and the only remedy is to jump into it. practice the things you aren't confident in. Go get those pillars and make a pillared cake this weekend.

Also, don't take a cake order for a cake that you think is not within your ability. But do take a cake order for something you think you could learn by practicing.

Remember as the professional you can really influence your brides... I'm not saying you should bully them into ordering a cake that you want to make. But you can certainly make suggestions of designs that you can or are willing to do.

I can't tell you just how much more confidence I have from practicing

wgoat5 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 11:13pm
post #11 of 71

Leanne I absolutely agree with you... I wouldn't EVER tell a bride I could do something that I couldn't. Like as of right now... if I had a bride that wanted a 6 tier cake with a bc rose cascade and offered me 5,000.00 I wouldn't be able to take it icon_cry.gif ... they take LOTS of practice... and believe me when I say EVERYTIME I make BC I practice them. I don't know if I just need someone to make one in front of me or what .. but I just can't.

I also know that since I haven't done a pillared cake I wouldn't be confident in telling a bride that I can do those. So I just don't take them. What if I were to mess up? If I practice them that is great... but right now I wouldn't feel confident enough to charge what I should for them. AND I don't feel like losing money. So I guess off to practice I go I guess LOL...

I know I need to take the plunge...

Also... is it everybodies experience that MOB or even the brides themselves are very hard to work with? Or just the ones coming to me?

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 12:43am
post #12 of 71

You might be getting the difficult people...I find that most brides are pretty easy to work with, but every now and then you get one who you prefer not to deal with, shall we say!

As far as the design of the cakes go, I don't do the fountains or the staircase thing, and I do just fine income-wise. If you really don't care for a certain type of style, you can either choose to not do it at all (which is what I do) or you can go ahead and do it and just grit your teeth and be done with it. Not a big crisis one way or another, it just depends on what you prefer to do.

If you're worried about pillared cakes falling over, try the push-through pillars. The pillars get pushed all the way through the cake so that they're resting securely on the lower board, not on the top of the cake tier attached to a plastic plate. There's far less chance of a cake on push-throughs tipping over, so it might make you feel better about doing them.

wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 12:55am
post #13 of 71

Thank you icon_smile.gif

I can honestly say I don't even know how to work those contraptions.

I know... I REALLY need to hone (sp?) up on my caking skills...

Erdica Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:05am
post #14 of 71

I honestly say that I refuse to do cake with fountains, plastic people on stair cases...anything along those lines.

My reasoning is because it's not my style. If a bride calls me and says she wants a cake with a fountain and staircases and I say ok. When I go to work on that cake, my heart isn't in it. I am dreading the cake. And it will show in my work. So instead of slapping together a cake and taking the chance on my reputation, I'd rather just say no. Maybe it's just me....but that's how I feel.

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:09am
post #15 of 71

Christi, I felt the same way about stacked cakes. HATED doing those! I felt like they were always crooked, VERY hard to level, and I just hated, HATED doing them.

(And to me ... they are ugly. No height, no "Grand Centerpiece" ambiance, they look short and stumpy. I hated working that hard on a cake that didn't look as grand as I think a wedding cake should look. icon_confused.gif )

Bear in mind that I started making cakes in the late 70's when fountains and stairs first came out, so as I've mentioned before, I cut my cake-making-teeth on those kinds of cakes.

Anyway .... what I wanted to share is that as much as you fear and dislike pillared cakes is pretty much how I felt about stumpy ... uh, I mean "stacked" cakes! But with each one I got better. And what I discovered is the process is the same. They still need leveled, they still need dowels, etc.

Don't fear the 'falling over' thing ..... pillared cakes can stand for hours and hours, just like stacked ones! You've read lots and lots of threads about stacked cakes that fell over or were damaged in some way. It can happen to pillared cakes ... it can happen to stacked cakes!

Can't make those BC roses? JUst buy 'em. thumbs_up.gif

wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:10am
post #16 of 71

Good so I shouldn't feel bad.. when I do start to do wedding cakes NOT to take things my heart wouldn't be in ...

That is pretty much what I wanted to know icon_smile.gif

I also wanted to say... I believe in being upfront with people... if I DO NOT think I can do something I won't try.. and I tell them.. IF I think I can do it... and haven't done it before I DO tell them that also... "Yes.. I think I can do it.. but beware this is my first time doing so.. etc. etc. " icon_smile.gif

summernoelle Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:12am
post #17 of 71


I've said it before, and now I will say it again "YOU HAVE GOT TO START BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!"

You are so incredibly talented. You can totally handle a wedding cake!

BrandisBaked Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:14am
post #18 of 71

Christi... don't make me challenge you to a wedding cake throwdown just to prove you can do it. icon_wink.gif

DoniB Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:18am
post #19 of 71

I'm on the other end of the spectrum, it seems. I don't mind pillars, fountains, or stairs. icon_razz.gif There are some designs that are, shall we say, 'enthusiastic' icon_razz.gif but I think that some of them can be downright beautiful, if done right.

To be honest, the fondant-covered ones with just a spray of gumpaste flowers and ribbon are the ones that scare me! LOL I don't have good luck with fondant, when it matters.

I'd say just be you. If you fill your portfolio with pictures of the ones you enjoy doing and are good at, then your brides will more than likely go for those. If they want the other kind, they'll look through your portfolio and go elsewhere.

Either way, I think you could do it. You're very talented, and I think you're ready for it. icon_smile.gif I'd suggest doing a wedding-like cake for, say, the 4th of July, and take it to your picnic/get-together. That would give you a good chance to do a stacked cake in a friendly environment, and get lots of feedback. Just a thought!

Good luck!

wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:18am
post #20 of 71


Ohh how I would SOOO lose that one!!!!

Meloda Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:21am
post #21 of 71

OMG, your cakes are beautiful. Lots of your stacked cakes could be wedding cakes if you just change the colors on them. You definitely have the ability and talent to make a wedding cake. Looking at your pictures I am amazed that you haven't made any "wedding" cakes. Go for it!! You will be pleasantly surprised. Hey you did a cake challenge, I wouldn't do one of those!!!!!! Can't wait to see the first wedding cake. Go Christy go Christy.

Cheering you on

BrandisBaked Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:23am
post #22 of 71
Originally Posted by wgoat5


Ohh how I would SOOO lose that one!!!!

Chicken. *makes clucking noises*


wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:26am
post #23 of 71

Looking for chicken feed... cause I'd eat that one LOL

wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:29am
post #24 of 71

Ohhhh I also wanted to explain something..

I DONT think the pillars and such are UGLY... not in the least bit (well most of them... some of them I can do without BUT... ).. I am just thinking of a time that I go to set up a pillared cake with stairs crossing a fountain and I do it backwards? LOL Or have it break on me.. or or or LOL ... that is one of my dreams..

getting to the venue... looking for the table.. finding it to set up the cake... OMG the table is tooooo small... 3 dozen people are watching me setting up the cake... my hands shake I start sweating profusely..... I set the stairs up and they break... going into the side of the cake.... the fountain starts spewing pink water all over my white cake....

Ok so you get it now LOL

BP rising just thinking about it!!! LMAO

BrandisBaked Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:36am
post #25 of 71
Originally Posted by wgoat5

Ohhhh I also wanted to explain something..

I DONT think the pillars and such are UGLY... not in the least bit (well most of them... some of them I can do without BUT... ).. I am just thinking of a time that I go to set up a pillared cake with stairs crossing a fountain and I do it backwards? LOL Or have it break on me.. or or or LOL ... that is one of my dreams..

getting to the venue... looking for the table.. finding it to set up the cake... OMG the table is tooooo small... 3 dozen people are watching me setting up the cake... my hands shake I start sweating profusely..... I set the stairs up and they break... going into the side of the cake.... the fountain starts spewing pink water all over my white cake....

Ok so you get it now LOL

BP rising just thinking about it!!! LMAO

Well, *I* think pillars are ugly. I use them if I have to, but if I can help it, I disguise them as much as possible. They just scream "1977 Wilton Catalog" to me. And I don't care how much someone offered me, I would NEVER use one of those plastic fountains, staircases, or plastic bridesmaids/groomsmen. Gag me with a spoon. Heh. icon_wink.gif

dolcesunshine20 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:44am
post #26 of 71

I too, really prefer NOT to do a wedding cake with gobs of pillars and a fountain, stairs, or plastice bridesmaids and groomsmen. Then, 2 years ago, I got this order to do a cake with ALL of the above!!!!! I was about to flip out! I mean, this is my reputation at stake too, plus the fact that I was scared to death to have to set up all of that stuff. I checked and double checked that the layers were even and level, that's the biggie with doing all those pillars. If you have level cakes, after that it's just kinda like putting together legos. =) Maybe you could try doing a sample cake with pillars and the fountain, just to give yourself a little more confidence. But believe me, you have the talent to do a wedding cake...go for it girl!

FromScratch Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:47am
post #27 of 71

I think pillars are ugly too.. and stairs.. *hurl noises*.. and fountains.. *BARF*. But that's me. I like the look of elevated tiers with flowers in the spaces, but I don't like seeing the pillars. You know what you need to do Christi my dear.. is to get your self some pillars and make yourself a practice cake or 2.. or 5.. or whatever number would make you feel comfy that you can pull it off. *I* know you can do it.. now *YOU* have to believe you can. I swear.. I need to come out there and we can have a fun cake weekend with you or something.. we can do the things you don't think you can do.. and I'll help you with BC roses.. once you find the flow they aren't bad.. though I still don't like them.. they remind me too much of grocery store cakes. Try making them on a skewer too.. I find it's easier to do it that way when you are learning the rhythm.

Mac Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:48am
post #28 of 71

If you don't feel comfortable making ANY kind of cake...find you a decorator that you like that can do that kind of cake. Refer the customer to them. But the decorator has to be someone that you are comfortable with & like their work. I have done this a few times if I have been booked, out of town on a certain date. The customer appreciates that you will refer them to someone that YOU yourself would trust.

I have several customers that I have referred to others and they come back to me and tell me how much they appreciated the referral, the decorator was pleasant to work with, cake was great....They know that if I refer them to another "specialty" baker, they are going to get quality work. There are a few cakers around East Texas AND plenty of business for all of referral circle never feels like we are stepping on toes.

wgoat5 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 1:54am
post #29 of 71

The lady whom I cancelled I asked if I could refer her. She was disappointed... I had done many cakes for her...

But with the other cakes she called every other day to see if I was still doing the cakes.... THEN when it came to the wedding cake I couldn't get ANY details... I couldn't even get her to come for an appointment cause she already KNEW what flavor she wanted.... I asked for a swatch of material for the color.... she told me the bride wouldn't be in town till a month before the wedding and she would have it then icon_rolleyes.gif WHY would she call me for these NOT AS important cakes but give me NO detail on the wedding cake...

I'm not so sure anymore if it is just the wedding cake.. or the people I have dealt with !!! UGHH

leah_s Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 2:03am
post #30 of 71

OK, first off, cakes will separations (pillars) are not difficult and not all that ugly, although I mostly do stacked cakes. I think you're using SPS, and you know that's a secure system. For a cake with separations, you just use one of the longer legs and proceed as usual. You'll probably shove flowers into the airspace anyway. And that makes a very lovely cake.

As for stairs and the marching plastic people, nope I don't do them. Not for any amount of money. Ever. No way. There's a decorator in town who does this style well, and I am happy to refer those potential customers to her. She has excellent piping skills - much better than me. And her cakes look like a Wilton catalog from 1980. Believe it or not she is busy all the time, as there is a demographic/market for that look.

I'm busy all the time too. I'm one of only a few (like 2) people in my large town who will do fondant.

The bottom line is this: a wedding cake is just a large cake. It does come attached to a bride but most are reasonable. I'm up front about what my skills and style is. I'm not for everyone and that's OK.

You'll be fine. And frankly, weddings are where the $ are.

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