I've done a few weddings before but all were family or friends or friends of friends and the 'consultation' was pretty informal. Anyhow, I have my first real consultation on Friday and I have no idea what I should have on hand...I work out of a restaurant and so I don't have much of a display. Basically I have no idea what is expected of me at a wedding cake consultation...Please help
Be sure to bring pictures of stuff you've made. Not just pics of stuff you can do, but stuff you've actually done, so as to avoid situations like these: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/search/label/Wedding%20Cakes
I'm not trying to say anything about your work, I looked at your pics and they look very nice, but I always try to make sure they know what skill level you're at.
Is this going to be a tasting? Then you'll want to bring samples of course and I would probably bring a couple bottles of water so they can cleanse the palate between bites. Plates and silverware too in case the consultation is being held in a place other than your home/restaurant. Other than that you'll want your order blanks and a calculator so you can figure out pricing options/sizes.
The first questions I ask are when and how many is on the quest list? Some decorators will tell you to figure out the budget first, others will tell you to leave money matters for the end. It's up to you. What if this couple has a cake budget of no more than $100? I would feel bad if I went through the whole consultation process only to find out in the end there is no way they can afford me. Good luck and have fun!
I think Rose nailed everything. I would have them bring pictures of what they are interested in having - that way you can get a visual of what they want, if they can't explain it well. And, if it's not something you can do - tell them what you can do. You don't want to get in over your head - that just puts way too much pressure on a person! Congrats on your first consultation - let us know how it goes!!
I do it at my house, I feel more comfortable with it. I have done some where I meet at Star bucks and some how I feel more nervous.
I also have the problem that I am new at this, so I don't have a big photo album. I asked them to bring photos or ideas of cakes they like with them.
They already have looked at my website, so they know the prices and what I do. I have with me, gumpaste flowers I had made, so they can look at that, my house is small, so there is no room for dummie cakes.
I have a worksheet with me. I am attaching it. That is the information you need to get from them. And then have a contract ready too.
I have magazines of cakes with me, in case they mention something, and I have seen it in Xx magazine, I pull it out and say, like this? and they like that. We come up with the design, and it has worked so far.
I make two flavors of their choice, if they want more, I tell them I would have to charge them $15 each 6"cake that I would be making for them, and that they get to take it home in a box. I learned that here in CC.
thanks everyone...anyone else want to chime in? I'll be on again in the morning, I'm sure.
I have very little in the way of magazines But I do have internet access at the restaurant. I'll bring what I have and google what I don't. It isn't a tasting but I do have cupcakes on display so if she does want to taste, I'll have a few flavors on hand. I have my contract and and worksheet ready and printed. She's been on my website so she has seen my actual work so I'm not too worried about that aspect. I've seen the 'copies' on cakewrecks and I'd feel just horrible to do that to someone so I'm fully honest about my abilities and would not agree to take on something outside of my comfort zone.
If you have access to a color printer, start collecting photos of wedding cakes. I print them off, all with the 'net address (copy the photo to Word, copy the 'net address. I also then add info on the page of cake sizes and how many it serves "as shown".)
As I explain it in this thread: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-648082-knit.html
I have two books I show brides: book of pics of cakes I've made, and a book of cakes I've printed off of the internet. What I tell them is:
"Making cakes is like any other craft, like knitting. If I can knit, then I can follow any pattern and make any sweater. (Touch the book of my cakes .... ) This books shows you I can knit. (Tough the book of internet pics..... ) This is the pattern book."
So if you dont' have a lot of pics yet, you can explain it this way. Just because you haven't actually made a particular cake yet, doesn't mean you can't!
Like you, my prices are posted on my website and they can determine up front if they can afford me or not. If a baker is unable to post their pricing, a way to approach the budget question is "Do you have a dollar figure we want to keep this UNDER?" That gives the impression you want to stay INSIDE their budget. The question "What is your budget?" tends to make people feel th salesperson want to be able to quote the max (Used Car Salesman Mentality).
Thank you all, it went well! I didn't get a deposit yet but I left with a very positive feeling. She said that she has to schmooze her dad into paying and then she'd be back on next Friday...so it may have been a bust but I don't think so. I'm really excited, things are really starting to pick up around here
I hate when they say they have to talk to their Dad.
But if she liked your cake. I bet she will convince daddy to pay for it!
I am glad everything went well.