I'm meeting my client tomorrow who wants to get her wedding cake done. This will be my first formal attempt at the wedding cake and to be very true I'm nervous and clueless how to handle the meeting!
Can you all pros please help me how should I go about handling the meeting. What questions to ask? What things are required from my client. What are the important things I should keep in mind handling a wedding cake.
The cake is due on March 7th and total number of guests are 200 but she wants the cake for 100 people.
Also, what size cake would be best for 100 people? Does 12",10"8"6" sounds right?
Thanks a ton!
Wow that's a lot of questions, but I'll try to help- briefly.
When I meet with brides, I make sure I have my portfolio and some other wedding cake books for them to browse for ideas, but I always have a note pad handy to jot down their info, which will go in their contract later:
1. Event location, date, time.
2. Indoor or outdoor cake table.
3. Quantity of servings, colors.
4. Contact info (venue, bride, and one or two others)
5. Styles and shapes? round? square? etc
6. Cake flavor(s), fillings, icings.
We talk about design and I pencil sketch while we talk, until we come up with exactly what they want. I give them an estimate of price based on their servings needed, and tell them that if they're *sure* they want to book this date, they can leave a deposit to hold the date, and then the rest is basically handled by email. When I get back to the office, I redo their sketch in color and in detail, work up a contract with the info above, and email both to them, so they can sign and return the contract, and they have the sketch, so they know what their cake will look like. However I don't do a color sketch for them unless I'm sure they're booking with me; no sense wasting my time if they're going to take my sketch to someone else and ask them to make it instead!
This is just off the top of my head and I'm sure I've missed some things, but it gives you an idea. My consults usually take 30-60 minutes.
I'd do a 6, 9, 12" for 100 servings, assuming they serve the top tier, because I make them a free anniversary tier in a year.
Handling the cake? Well, first and foremost, use a great support system like Logicpic or the others on here, so it's STABLE and LEVEL, and make sure you can lift it or have help to move it. Carry it level in the vehicle you deliver in, and take pictures after you set it up. If it's truly stable, it's not scary at all to handle a wedding cake.
Remember *you* are the cake decorator/designer/expert.
Don't let the bride dictate to you. If you don't like something she picks out (out of your talent orwhatever) let her know - sorry, that's not a good choice because....it's too small; it's not something I have ever attempted etc.
ChefSteph has covered nicely the important steps
I would also make it VERY clear in the contract ......
"Bride is aware that 100 servings of cake will be an insufficient amount for the 200 expected guests and does not hold cake maker responsible when some guests are not served dessert."
If you have a clause about no other cake at the reception, you should also find out WHY she is only ordering 1/2 the amount .... is there another cake coming in from somewhere?
I got totally burned at a reception once .... they were trying to do it "on the cheap" as my husband says. They ordered food for 125, had 170 guests show up, the only thing I ran out of was meatballs .... and the mom who never gave me a check for any of this told me that *I* should have planned better! Bite my a$$, baby!! They did the same thing to the bartender, who was in the kitchen on the phone trying to get more supplies brought in.
Servings: I printed out the Wilton Wedding Chart and keep it in a plastic sleeve protector and when it's time to figure servings, I pull this sheet and use it. Even tho' I know the servings by heart, referencing a sheet like this shows them "this is the serving amount ... this is what you are paying for". If they want to argue (which none ever have), I can easily just show them the chart instead of trying to convince them that I'm not making up numbers.
Facility Info: Contact name and phone number so you can call and work out the logistics of cake delivery....what time you will be there, what door is the best to use, do they have a cart you can use to move the cake into the facility, do they need a copy of license and a certificate of liability insurance, etc.
I'm with IndyDebi! The first thought that popped into my head was, "What in the world are they thinking inviting 200 people and only ordering enough cake for 100?" That is pretty stupid on their part!
Yah, I forgot to address the issure of the very small amount of servings.
I had a gal come in to discuss a wedding cake. I forget exactly the #s now but let's say she wanted a cake for like 120. She never follows thru & actually places an order. Months later, just a week or so before the date she comes in and knows exactly what she wants....a cake that will serve only 50. When I deliver it there are 3 full sheet cakes from WalMart there Make sure you have it in your contract you won't leave a cake if there are any other cakes there! It's your reputation that will be at stake. Who is going to know if the got the WalMart dry cake or your good cake? The bride sure isn't going to ask which cake did you get served??
Thanks guys for all the important tips. I'll surely make a note to ask about the servings!
Can I use Wilton cake drum as a base ..or do I need to use something more stable. If yes, then what can I use?