For those of you that make wedding cakes, i was wondering what percentage of brides come to you with very definate ideas of what they want, and how many basically want you to completely design a cake for them ?
thoughts and comments would be appreciated !
i am starting out and think it must be so much easier working with people with very definate ideas, but on the other hand its nice to design and come up with things for them . . .
Also, one more point, if you are designing yourself, do you come up with several choices or just one cake, and is it acceptable as a cake designer to" go away and think about it" and come back to your bride a couple of days later with your designs once you have pondered and perhaps done some research ?
thanks all if you are reading and especially replying
I'd say its a pretty even split. There are always going to be brides that come in with a picture and say "I want this!" Others, may see a cake in your portfolio and say "Make me that one, but make it blue" Others, have some ideas and you can sort of guide them. There are also those who have no idea. Usually that is a good thing, but some of the "I don't really know" brides have a definite idea, but don't know how to articulate what they want. These are the tricky ones because it seems like they shoot down every idea you throw at them.
I tend to ask them what they DON"T like first as it helps me to show them only the things that they might like. It is a lot easier for people to say what they don't like as opposed to what they do like.
I'd agree that it's about half and half. I always try to suggest something to the ones who know what they want, though, to make it a little different.
I'd say it was about an even split, too. In my sampling-appointment-email, I tell them if they have pics of cakes they like, to bring them along. For those who don't really know, I have them flip thru my books and Post-It-Note-Flag any pic that attracts their eye. I tell them, "Don't even stop to try to figure out WHY it attracts your eye ... we'll get to that part later. Just flag it."
When they're finished going thru the books, we look at the flagged pages and they are surprised when I point out the commonalities in the cakes ..... common traits that they didn't even realize were there when they flagged it.
This is how we narrow down what they like and what they're looking for.
And my #1 Rule when asking them questions: Never give them more than two choices:
- Do you like round or square cakes? (Not "What shape do you like?")
- Do you like loose, widely spaces scrolls like this one .... or small scrolls that are really close together like this one? (Not "What kind of scrolls do you like?")
- Do you like the cakes stacked together with no space between them, or do you like space between the tiers?
My biz is compltely different, in that I state flat out on my website, that I don't copy cakes. I ask them to come with an open mind. I'd say in 10 years there have been less than 5 who come in with a design and won't budge.
I have them email me a picture of their gown including a close up pic of dress details, and I make some prelimiary sketches before they come, then do more sketches at the appointment. Ill do anywhere from 3-12 sketches.
Indy - that is some excellent info there. I NEVER would have thought to narrow the choices down like that! Thanks once again.
For the OP question, it is about 50/50 here too. I don't 100% "copy" a cake but I will try to comply with the brides wishes as much as possible.
.... but I will try to comply with the brides wishes as much as possible.
I tell them "choosing your cake design is a big cut-n-paste decision. you like this set-up, that border, those flowers, the other design .... we'll cut-n-paste the best parts together to create the cake you want."
Of course there are just not too many ways to do dots/scrolls with a ribbon wrapped around the base, so if that's what they want ......
I like the idea leahs about them sending pictures before the appointment, but HOW do you manage to sketch up to 12? When do you do that? Before they get there or during the sppoinment?
I don't give a sketch until I have a deposit. Have you had any problems with them taking your sketches somewhere else Leah?
1. I make the sketches on the back of my worksheet. So, no they can't take it - the order's on the front. And for the few who've asked I tell them "NO." The artistic work is my property.
2. Most brides get 6-8 sketches. Remember I'm working from their gown. For example if there's lace (which frankly is usually flowers and leaves) I'll do some kind of all over design, then one breaking out just the flower from the lace, then another breaking out just the leaves. Then there's usually one or two variations with and without ribbon. Then possibly break the designs with a separation. There's only a few original designs, then variations. Sometimes though the dress offers all kinds of great options and I just keep sketching.
This has all been very helpful, thank you all for taking time to reply, some sound ideas here