How far ahead do you book for a wedding? Also, would you do a tasting now if the wedding were a year away?
I'll take a deposit a year out. Usually do tastings 6 months out or less. No quotes until the tasting.
We've got several bookings for next year already. At least three for next June. Of course, this is my first year in business, so that may change as I re-evaluate my pricing structures.
I have heard of people taking deposits and holding dates for up to three years. Seems crazy to me, but I guess some people like long engagements.
I also have several for 2010. I do the samplings whenever they want ... they pay the deposit after they see if they like my baking and if they want me to make their cake (I'm averaging about 18 days after the sampling for them to make their final decision, ranging from 1 day to 79 days).
My cake prices are pretty stable, but I'd probably not quote a catering more than 12-15 months out without a "subject to scheduled price increase".
I guess if they book 3 years in advance, the chances are good that you won't be booked. LOL!
I'll do a tasting and take their NON-REFUNDABLE $ any time they want.
I already have several for next year and got a request for 2011 - as Leahs said, if they want to hand over the non-refundable dollars, I'll book the space!
I have several weddings booked for 2010. I try to only do a year away though. That's only because I run a legal cake shop out of my home and who knows what could happen in 2 or 3 years. I would hate to take someone's money and for some reason something happens and I'm not longer able to make cakes out of my house. I guess that could happen with anybody, anywhere, but I don't want to take any chances. If I had an actual storefront I might take some a little longer than a year away though.