Wedding Consult Friday ~ Any Last Minute Advice?

Decorating By kellertur Updated 19 Mar 2009 , 8:51pm by cylstrial

kellertur Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 4:38am
post #1 of 21

Hello Guru's...
I have my first REAL cake/wedding consult this Fri 13th!!! with strangers... I've baked my cakes, made my icings (have to make fillings tomorrow), bottled water, confirmation email and phone call (was referred to as the "cake lady" which made me laugh). icon_lol.gif , made forms to send them home with (info about what they can expect if they choose me)... I'll tidy up the house, light subtle candles (no allergies, I checked)

icon_confused.gif Anything else I should add/remember? Last minute tricks? I'm last on the list so I need to leave an impression (in a good way... not by dumping cake on the bride-to-be). I'm kind of nervous... icon_redface.gif Ok, I'm REALLY nervous... (why isn't there a screaming emoticon????)

20 replies
arsing1 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:00am
post #2 of 21

How exciting! I'm sorry but I'm not gonna have any help for you. All of mine so far have been for friends. It sounds like you are very prepared though. Congratulations "Cake Lady"!

Now, just breathe....relax.......ahhhhhhh.

Good luck!

indydebi Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:17am
post #3 of 21

YOu sound like you've got it all organized! thumbs_up.gif

Just to share a story as a little confidence builder .... I had a sampling about 4 years ago. I was the last of SEVEN tastings she was doing that day. At that time, I only served white cake with white BC icing at a sampling. She told me she'd been tasting exotic flavors all day, such as Amaretta cake. I figured her taste buds were dead, and all I had was white cake with white icing. oh well ... let's go thru the motions. icon_sad.gif

She emailed me that they hadn't gotten to their car when they knew I was going to be making their cake.

Sometimes they DO save the best for last! thumbs_up.gif

kellertur Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:48pm
post #4 of 21

Thanks icon_smile.gif That's encouraging...

I baked more flavors than I had originally thought- got carried away and stuck it in the freezer. I guess other bakers here offer 5 - 6 cake flavors at tastings! (besides I might need them in a week or so.)
icon_confused.gif I still am having trouble coming up with fillings... I don't want to overwhelm or bore them...

Flavors I baked:
White/yellow (it's almost impossible to make a vegan cake "white")
Chocolate mud (seriously, after this one there's no turning back...) icon_rolleyes.gif
Hummingbird (because I was curious ~ & pair it with Rasp-lemon filling)
Green Tea
Margarita (lime-ish, since it's a summer wedding- may hold off on this)
Crimson Velvet (only a hint of radio-active red, to keep things natural)

Icings
plain vanilla BC (a classic)
Chocolate BC
Dreamsicle BC
Cookie's & Dream BC
Green tea
Ginger BC

Fillings (other than the above)
rasp-lemon
dunce.gif

S.O.S..... please icon_rolleyes.gif

cakesmade4u Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 4:16pm
post #5 of 21

What I sometime do for them is have cake dummies or pans in the size of the cakes so they know or have a idea of the size of the cake like 6" "8 "10 pans out stacked on top of eachother. Or if you need to use plates pillers set the dummies or pans on them to give them a visual, good luck I'm sure you will do great. icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

kellertur Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 6:46pm
post #6 of 21

One last question, please...

If (by some stroke of luck) they DO decide to hire me to do the cake during the tasting, do I offer them a quote then or should I work up the numbers (and make sure it's right) and then contact them in a day or two? (I set this up to be "no pressure/commitment consult".)???

My thought was I know if I'm on the spot, I'll probably price way under... and there's really no going back once that happens... What is typical protocal?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_smile.gif

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 6:54pm
post #7 of 21

I always give them a quote to take with them but I know that several people on here do it differently and will work up pricing after the meeting and send it to them. I think it just depends on how you feel comfortable. I would say though, it's hard for a bride and groom to decide to book with you on the spot if they don't have the price. If they have a budget to stick to - how will they know they can afford you? They'd have to get back to you so that is why I always provide a price at their sampling. Good Luck and keep us updated!

Tammi

cylstrial Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 6:54pm
post #8 of 21

K2cakes -- are all of your recipes vegan?

indydebi Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 7:05pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsHowTcakesRolls

I always give them a quote to take with them but I know that several people on here do it differently and will work up pricing after the meeting and send it to them. I think it just depends on how you feel comfortable. I would say though, it's hard for a bride and groom to decide to book with you on the spot if they don't have the price. If they have a budget to stick to - how will they know they can afford you? They'd have to get back to you so that is why I always provide a price at their sampling. Good Luck and keep us updated!

Tammi



This post is correct, there are lots of ways to do it and you need to find what way works best and is the most comfortable for you.

All of my order forms are on Excel and are formula driven, so I'm filling in the forms on the laptop while we're talking. At the end of the meeting, I turn the laptop around and show them "....this is what I'm going to email you." I explain how to read the forms, show them the payment schedule, they can see the totals at that time. I then review them later to make sure I've included everything and got all the details down, then I email it to them, with my pre-formatted email that explains "here's what you're getting .... here's what you need to do next".

I do the no-pressure thing. I WANT them to comparison shop. I WANT them to take a couple of days to think about it. I have found this cuts down on my "buyer's remores" cancellations.

kellertur Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 10:59pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

K2cakes -- are all of your recipes vegan?




Yes, my business (and home icon_rolleyes.gif ) is vegan owed and operated. icon_smile.gif

ClassyMommy Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 11:14pm
post #11 of 21

All vegan, that is pretty awesome! Not much advice here, other than...BREATHE!! Congrats and enjoy!

jillmakescakes Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 11:14pm
post #12 of 21

A few things--

Have something that will allow you to give them time alone. Sometimes, but not always, I get the impression that they want to discuss things privately. This is usually followed by "We're going to go ahead and put down a deposit today". If you have something, like making a photo copy, or putting away dishes then its not quite so awkward.

Have a "schpele" ready for when they have cake in their mouths. That is the time to tell them what sets you apart, not ask them questions.

Ask them how they got engaged! Very few couples (ok, mostly brides) don't enjoy sharing the story.

Have a piece of "non-cake" advice handy. Occasionaly there are lulls in the conversation, or places where you just need to fill time. I've mentioned giving small kids (if there are any) ages 3-9, disposable cameras for the ceremony and telling them to take pics. It keeps them busy and quiet and some of the pics are adorable. Now some are strictly butt-shots, but it makes for a nice memory, at least if you like kids.

Relax, have fun, be yourself and enjoy what I'm sure will be the first of many.

Lastly, rush right back here to CC and tell us all about it!

indydebi Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 11:28pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

A few things--

Have a "schpele" ready for when they have cake in their mouths. That is the time to tell them what sets you apart, not ask them questions.




icon_lol.gif I tell them right up front, "I'm going to take some notes so I can send you the proposal based on what we talk about today ... and I'll warn you now that I'm VERY good at asking you a question JUST as you get a mouthful of food." And when I do, I say "Told ya!" icon_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

Have a piece of "non-cake" advice handy. Occasionaly there are lulls in the conversation, or places where you just need to fill time.



Oh absolutely! I find people will book with the one they find most helpful. And when you can give them a small piece of advice on anything, even non-cake related, they walk away thinking you are the most awesome person! Kinda cake related, but I talk to them about not having DJ speakers close to the cake table and relay some true stories about why that's a bad idea.

I actually have some of this stuff written and include it in my info packet when they make their initial inquiry (Tips on Outdoor Weddings; How to set up a reception room)

kellertur Posted 13 Mar 2009 , 12:41am
post #14 of 21

Ok, here's a conversation starter~ My good friend is a fabulous photographer and I was her first professional "gig". I loved her because she didn't pose us...
ANYWAY~ in the diningroom (where the consult will be) is a hilarious wedding photo of my husband and I "being ourselves" that always gets people asking questions. (It's funny, because when she took that photo she told us to "be ourselves" and now it's her most requested photo position...so much for originality. icon_rolleyes.gif ) So, hopefully that will help lighten the mood.

These are all great ideas~ so leaving the room wouldn't be seen as rude... I think I'll do that, because I'd want some space. Now, to figure out if I've gone all "weird" on my flavor choices... (see above icon_rolleyes.gif )

cylstrial Posted 13 Mar 2009 , 6:36pm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

K2cakes -- are all of your recipes vegan?



Yes, my business (and home icon_rolleyes.gif ) is vegan owed and operated. icon_smile.gif




Very neat! If I even need a vegan recipe, I'll know who to talk to! thumbs_up.gif

kellertur Posted 13 Mar 2009 , 11:54pm
post #16 of 21

I SURVIVED my first (real) wedding consult / complimentary tasting! icon_eek.gif

It went really well... I posted a photo of my "spread"... to commemorate the experience. Ok, so I'm annoyingly sentimental. icon_rolleyes.gif

They will let me know in a day or two, I need to email a quote to them. But, they were SO nice and said the other cake places didn't even offer cake samples!!! icon_confused.gif I was surprised. They have a couple other places, so hopefully they can compare.
Now the BEST part~ ALL, yes I said ALL of my cake was eaten!!! (They liked my "redish" Velvet so much, I had to grab 2 more pieces for them to take home.) Even when I mentioned it was vegan, they just kept on eating it. It's so nice to meet people who aren't afraid to try new things and put all stereotypes aside.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I'm not sure if they will choose me... but I got some good practice in, so I feel good.

Now, to figure out the quote...and sent the right info... icon_rolleyes.gif
LL

jillmakescakes Posted 14 Mar 2009 , 12:22am
post #17 of 21

CONGRATS!!!! I'm so happy it went well. Now that you have one under your belt, how do you feel?

kellertur Posted 14 Mar 2009 , 12:45am
post #18 of 21

A little dizzy... confused. icon_confused.gif I still need to work up some numbers and all I have to go on really is the number of servings and a basic idea. What if I undercharge because they finally decide on an elaborate cake design? Is a quote just a rough estimate? Than the real quote comes later?
There must be some "loophole" wording or something... I'm not about "SURPRISE!!! Your cake now costs $200 more than expects." I'd rather be upfront so if they sign, they know what to expect.

indydebi Posted 14 Mar 2009 , 12:55am
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

A little dizzy... confused. icon_confused.gif I still need to work up some numbers and all I have to go on really is the number of servings and a basic idea. What if I undercharge because they finally decide on an elaborate cake design? Is a quote just a rough estimate? Than the real quote comes later?
There must be some "loophole" wording or something... I'm not about "SURPRISE!!! Your cake now costs $200 more than expects." I'd rather be upfront so if they sign, they know what to expect.




You give them a price based on what they said they wanted at the consult. If they upgrade the design, then you upgrade the price.

PRetty much your quote goes out something like, "Your quoted price of $450 is for a 3 tier, round cake, stacked, all BC, with BC borders, dots and scrolls on the sides."

Specifically state what the quoted price covers.

kellertur Posted 14 Mar 2009 , 5:44am
post #20 of 21

Thanks Debi~ that helped.

This is going to sound conceited, but I really liked my presentation (thanks for the idea Debi). I didn't realize how striking those colors were going to look together until I layed them out. (an artist to the end...I see patterns of color in closets too... icon_rolleyes.gif )

The green cake is Green Tea, but I introduced it as "spinach" as a joke, which got them laughing. icon_lol.gif

cylstrial Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 8:51pm
post #21 of 21

Glad it went well!! Let us know if they book with you!! Sending luck your way!

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