So, I've only been making cakes for about 10 months. I work full time and decorating cakes is my hobby. I really enjoy it and feel like the little money I get from it is just bonus. I've just gotten an email from an apparent relative of my friend. I made a patriotic cake for my friend for a family reunion and she handed out a few cards with my information. So this lady emails me and asks me if I will do her wedding cake next July. I've never done a wedding cake and am not sure if I even want to. I don't want to deal with bridezillas, their mothers or the stress of trying to get a wedding cake done while working a full time job. Are weddings worth it? If I choose not to do it, what do I tell this bride without spoiling future business?
First of all I would suggest that if you do go and do this for the bride then get everything signed in a contract. This protects you both!
You said you dont want to deal with a bridezilla...does this mean you know the bride and think it is gonna be that way or are you assuming the worst?
If you know the bride is that type of "personality" then dont do the cake. Just explain to her that you do cake strictly for family and a few friends and have not attempted anything of that caliber, or tell her you cant cause your already booked LOL.
Now if you are assuming that she is going to turn into a bridezilla then talk with them first and find out what type of cake she is looking for. Perhaps it is something that you will be able to take on with little headache and good planning.
Either way good luck
I've only been decorating about the same amount of time and just finished my first wedding cake (which was far easier than some other specialty cakes I've done) and have a second lined up for October. Remember that a "wedding cake" is just "cake". But, like you, I won't take orders from someone I don't know and my standard response is "Sorry, but I am not a business and not licensed so I only bake for friends or family." When I delivered my wedding cake the photographer asked for a business card and that is the response I gave him. I will get licensed soon but until then, that is my response and truly my position.
If you do decide to do it (the money is great!) be sure to charge appropriate market price for your cake and don't think twice about it. The fact that you are a hobbyist doesn't change the amount of time and stress you are going to put into making that cake should you take it on regardless of her possible (probable) expectation that you'll be cheaper because you aren't a business.
only one humble opinion for your consideration.....
good luck and trust your instincts.
I did my first two wedding cakes while I was employed and working 60 hours a week. No lie, it's a lot of work and hard to manage the time when you have a "real job" too. But, my experience has been that wedding cakes are actually a lot easier to do than many of the smaller cakes and they definitely pay better. I've spent just as much time on a small birthday cake that only paid a pittance compared to a wedding cake and I decided about two months ago to concentrate on weddings for that reason. Decide if you're in need of the money or if you want the experience and ever plan to do wedding cakes. If not, then just tell her you don't do wedding cakes because of the time commitment and you have another full-time profession. If you know anyone that does them, it would be a good public relations move to give her some names and numbers. I'm finding that there aren't that many people in my area that do weddings and brides are just happy to find someone to do it regardless of their level of expertise or willingness.