What Would You Want Your Bride To Ask?

Business By jenmat Updated 12 Nov 2009 , 5:51pm by jenmat

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 5:41pm
post #1 of 33

So I've read some really great threads recently about those silly articles in bridal magazines with the top things you should ask your baker.... you know what I'm talking about.
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My question is what questions do you WISH a bride would ask, or things you wish a bride would tell you/comment? Things they don't think of but should know?

32 replies
costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 6:15pm
post #2 of 33

1. Are you licensed and insured?
2. Did you do all of the cakes in the pictures you have in your albums?
3. Do you decorate the cakes or does someone else do them and what experience do they have?
4. Who's going to deliver the cake?

The last two are because I've seen some cakes decorated by people other than the baker who did the tasting, and they weren't up to the standard the bride was promised. Also one that was delivered that was squashed, but the delivery guy was just that, and didn't have any ability to fix it.

leah_s Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 6:15pm
post #3 of 33

The number one question I want a bride to ask is,

"Do you take checks, credit cards or cash?"

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 6:16pm
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

The number one question I want a bride to ask is,

"Do you take checks, credit cards or cash?"




icon_biggrin.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 6:31pm
post #5 of 33

I encourage them to ask all questions and as I'm going through the paperwork with them I often ask "does this make sense?" and "do you have any questions?" Often they end up needing things clarified which is fine by me. I tell them "an educated consumer is the best consumer" and they know I have their best interests in mind right from the start. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 8:06pm
post #6 of 33

In no particular order:

- Are you licensed and insured?
- Have you been to this facility before?
- How big of a time-window do you need for delivery & set-up?
- Do you charge for delivery and set-up?
- What does your base price cover?
- What things do you charge extra for?
- I have $xxx.xx to spend .... how much cake can I get for that?
- Do you provide plates/forks? (I hate the "assumption" that I will drop of a cake with a sack of plates/forks, too!)
- What kind of things will be a hindrance on the cake table? (I'm thinking of table linens with the bunched-up look .... cakes need a FLAT surface; I'm thinking of small xmas lights under tulle .... cant' sit a 4 tier cake on TOP of strands of lights)
- What size table do you need?
- Any considerations we need to factor in the placement of the table (such as not near a big window with sun streaming thru it; not over a floor register or near a big heat duct; etc.)

Honestly, making this list was hard for me because it's not necessarily a list of questions I want them to ask me, because I automatically cover all of this in our appt, but it's the type of things they need to ask during their comparison shoppping, if it's not already covered.

at the end I ask "Is there anything I didnt' cover for you?" and invite them to call or email me with any question they might think of later.

sherrycanary62 Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 8:11pm
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

In no particular order:

- Are you licensed and insured?
- Have you been to this facility before?
- How big of a time-window do you need for delivery & set-up?
- Do you charge for delivery and set-up?
- What does your base price cover?
- What things do you charge extra for?
- I have $xxx.xx to spend .... how much cake can I get for that?
- Do you provide plates/forks? (I hate the "assumption" that I will drop of a cake with a sack of plates/forks, too!)
- What kind of things will be a hindrance on the cake table? (I'm thinking of table linens with the bunched-up look .... cakes need a FLAT surface; I'm thinking of small xmas lights under tulle .... cant' sit a 4 tier cake on TOP of strands of lights)
- What size table do you need?
- Any considerations we need to factor in the placement of the table (such as not near a big window with sun streaming thru it; not over a floor register or near a big heat duct; etc.)

Honestly, making this list was hard for me because it's not necessarily a list of questions I want them to ask me, because I automatically cover all of this in our appt, but it's the type of things they need to ask during their comparison shoppping, if it's not already covered.

at the end I ask "Is there anything I didnt' cover for you?" and invite them to call or email me with any question they might think of later.




I know you write articles...but have you ever written one on this subject...."What Every Cake Designer Wishes Her Bride Would Ask"? or have you thought about putting out a DVD (you know with your extra time icon_biggrin.gif ) and if you have written an article like this where can I find it?

LaBellaFlor Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 8:32pm
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

1. Are you licensed and insured?
2. Did you do all of the cakes in the pictures you have in your albums?
3. Do you decorate the cakes or does someone else do them and what experience do they have?
4. Who's going to deliver the cake?

The last two are because I've seen some cakes decorated by people other than the baker who did the tasting, and they weren't up to the standard the bride was promised. Also one that was delivered that was squashed, but the delivery guy was just that, and didn't have any ability to fix it.




thumbs_up.gif YES! I realy like the "Did you do the cake in the pictures?"

Loucinda Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:29pm
post #9 of 33

EXCELLENT post - can we have this submitted to the bridal magazines?? icon_smile.gif All very good points!

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 10:13pm
post #10 of 33

that's where I was going with this whole thing- there should be articles in those magazines about how to work WITH your vendors instead of against them. We are NOT out to rob you blind, and we are part of the team that will be making or breaking your day. If you are antagonistic with us, our relationship is already stunted.
I would love to see an article called: 10 things every baker wants their bride to know.

snarkybaker Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 12:07am
post #11 of 33

Okay, you guys are going to hate me, but, when I talk to brides about comparing us to home bakers, I remind them to ask the following things.

1- If you break your arm the Thursday before my Saturday wedding, who will make my cake?

2- When were you last inspected by the health department ?

3- ( If it matters to them) Do bake from scratch ? Do you use shortening or butter in your buttercream ? Do you get your produce, dairy, etc, from local sources or do you just go to Sam's Club ?

4- What is your guarantee ?

5- Will you make me pay for cake servings I don't need?

6- What do you charge extra for ?

7- How much is delivery ?

8- How many weddings do you book a weekend?

costumeczar Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 2:48am
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Okay, you guys are going to hate me, but, when I talk to brides about comparing us to home bakers, I remind them to ask the following things.

1- If you break your arm the Thursday before my Saturday wedding, who will make my cake?

2- When were you last inspected by the health department ?

3- ( If it matters to them) Do bake from scratch ? Do you use shortening or butter in your buttercream ? Do you get your produce, dairy, etc, from local sources or do you just go to Sam's Club ?

4- What is your guarantee ?

5- Will you make me pay for cake servings I don't need?

6- What do you charge extra for ?

7- How much is delivery ?

8- How many weddings do you book a weekend?




I'm a home baker, and I tell people to ask other bakers, regardless of whether they're in a shop or work from home, these same questions!

jenmat Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 3:34am
post #13 of 33

well, i certainly don't hate you for that, but I'm not sure I understand some of the questions, especially the one about making a bride pay for servings she doesn't need.
It sounds to me as if some of those questions are more of a sales pitch in disguise, which is a great way to set yourself apart.
And the health dept- we don't get a choice how often we are inspected. I wish it were more often to tell you the truth.

I assume from those questions you aren't a fan of home bakers, but I'm glad you do have a list of questions that are useful to you.

all4cake Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:14am
post #14 of 33

I want them to ask the questions that matter to them...

are you available?
do you deliver?
give a general idea of cake design and preferences and serving desired and ask about how much would that cost?

I don't like extended phone calls asking questions that are available on my website(all but availability schedule is listed on my website...initial information like licensed/inspected/insured is also listed on my business cards.) In over 2 years, one person has called me using the listing in the phone book. I wish all would research the business before contacting them. Not every business has a Mary Alice(oh, how I wish I did though!)

ETA: If they haven't seen my website first, I'd like to know what their proposed budget is right after asking me my availability.

rosiecast Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:17am
post #15 of 33

snarky, could you please elaborate on question #5?. I didn't understand it. Thanks,

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:21am
post #16 of 33

Some people want enough cake for 100 people for example and end up ordering a cake with 120 slices but don't want to pay for the extra 20 slices because "they don't need them." icon_confused.gif I know, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif

rosiecast Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:24am
post #17 of 33

Thanks Bob. Well, if that's the case then can they figure out how to order a 100-serving cake? even if they have to modify their idea. I mean, I'm not a professional (i don't even sell cakes) but why would I have to "eat" the cost of those additional 20 serving just because the bride/groom don't need them. Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way.

Thanks for answering!

snarkybaker Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:28am
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Quote:


snarky, could you please elaborate on question #5?. I didn't understand it. Thanks,




Sure... for me, it's a design thing, but it works out in the brides favor. If a brides final headcount is 152, most bakers will make pay for a6,9,12,15 or 164 servings, or force her into choosing a hodge-podgey mismatched cake. If a bride's final head count is 152, I charge her for 152 servings. I don't make her choose between too few and too many servings.

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:30am
post #19 of 33

Rosie, you never eat that cost. It's really this simple: Bride wants a 4 tier cake. Let's say the smallest 4 tier cake you could possibly do serves 100 (not looking at charts here, just a #off the top of my brain), BUT bride only needs 50 servings. Insists on 4 tier. She pays for every one of those 100 servings and not a penny less.

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:35am
post #20 of 33

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif

rosiecast Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:37am
post #21 of 33

Thanks Jamie, I get it now. Love your tagline about cakewrecks. LOL One of my favortie blogs. So sorry I missed them last week.

Snarky, thanks for elaborating- I see your point. But some of these bridezillas just want to get everything free. So I might charge extra for nasty attitudes nto for extra servings. LOL

snarkybaker Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:37am
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Rosie, you never eat that cost. It's really this simple: Bride wants a 4 tier cake. Let's say the smallest 4 tier cake you could possibly do serves 100 (not looking at charts here, just a #off the top of my brain), BUT bride only needs 50 servings. Insists on 4 tier. She pays for every one of those 100 servings and not a penny less.




That's true...if the bride wants a design that requires extra servings, she pays, but, if her headcount just doesn't happen to magically match a 6-9-12-14 or a 6-10-14 etc. We only charge for the actual head count.

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:45am
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif




Oh puhlllleeeeaze tell us why this frump thought she should get a cake for free??

xiswtsawluiix Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 5:02am
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif




How much did you charge for the dummies? The same as the actual price/slice?

costumeczar Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 11:40am
post #25 of 33

Something else about the more-cake-than-you-need thing, is that for the most part, you only need 80% of the number of guests attending the reception for the number of cake servings. I think that Indydebi does it by saying 60% of the invited guests, which amounts to a similar count.

Not everyone has the cake, whether we admit it or not, and some people cut the pieces so much smaller than we tell them to, they'll get a lot more servings out of the cake than we estimate. The only time that I've had people tell me that they want a serving for each person they end up with extra cake. I've been to reception sites where the person who cuts the cake was cutting it about 1/4" thick, and I asked him if that's how he did it all the time. He said yes! icon_surprised.gif

I've also had people tell me that their method is to cut really small to begin with, then they wait to see how many people are coming up to get the cake, then adjust the pieces bigger if they need to. We can estimate all of the uniform-serving sizes that we want to, but we have no control over how the cakes are cut once we set them up and leave.

There are bakers local to me who tell brides that they have to get at least 100% of the number of guests for their cake servings, and one that says 110%! I hear from the reception sites (whose coordinators I know) that they always have cake left over when those bakers do the cake.

That's what I thougth snarky meant when she said "selling more cake than I need."

costumeczar Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 11:59am
post #26 of 33

I also have to add that the local bakeries who sell more cake than you need are storefronts, not licensed home bakers icon_wink.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 2:51pm
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif



Oh puhlllleeeeaze tell us why this frump thought she should get a cake for free??




I know, she flew in orchids from Bogota to put ON the cake -- can pay for airfare for a freaking flower but not for the cake proper?? Not to mention the fact that I was sitting in the oversized kitchen of her 10,000 square foot mansion listening to her "champagne wedding on a beer budget" nonsense. icon_confused.gif Nope, I wasn't buying it! icon_rolleyes.gif (I've ranted and raved about her several times over the past few years here on CC.) icon_rolleyes.gif

icon_rolleyes.gif I know, people are weird! icon_razz.gif AND CHEAP!! icon_confused.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 2:55pm
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif



Oh puhlllleeeeaze tell us why this frump thought she should get a cake for free??



I know, she flew in orchids from Bogota to put ON the cake -- can pay for airfare for a freaking flower but not for the cake proper?? Not to mention the fact that I was sitting in the oversized kitchen of her 10,000 square foot mansion listening to her "champagne wedding on a beer budget" nonsense. icon_confused.gif Nope, I wasn't buying it! icon_rolleyes.gif (I've ranted and raved about her several times over the past few years here on CC.) icon_rolleyes.gif




Well I guess you went over it in other threads then. Huh. I just can't imagine the way she described the way she thought a cake for free was justified. I bought the flowers....now you throw in the cake for free, cuz like you should just be cool like that? Wowwwww. icon_eek.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 2:55pm
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiswtsawluiix

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a bridezilla (or momzilla as the case may be) icon_confused.gif who wanted a 6 foot wedding cake "for free" (I kid you not!) and we negotiated size using two dummies for extra height -- to be decorated like the other tiers on the cake and what does she say to me -- but I don't want to pay for cake that's not a cake. (Heck, she didn't want to pay for ANYTHING!) icon_confused.gif In the end she paid for her real cake AND her dummies -- which I pointed out were not going to be donated to her cause and would take me every bit as much time and effort to decorate as the real cake would. Like I said, people are weird! icon_rolleyes.gif



How much did you charge for the dummies? The same as the actual price/slice?




I always charge exactly the same for dummies as I do real cake -- there's no discernable difference in the prep work which is what they are paying for. I still have to cover the dummy, decorate it, etc. If I don't get a discount, why should she? (Which is exactly what I told her!)

She was very unreasonable in many respects until I told her to make a decision or find another baker (knowing she would be laughed out of every bakery in the city -- which she was!) icon_razz.gif I then gave her a "this is what the entire cake will cost" quote which we went with. (She never got see the PITA charge I threw in there either...) icon_twisted.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:38pm
post #30 of 33

The only time I don't charge for full servings is when I round down .... servings, per the chart, comes to 153 .... I'll just charge for 150. But also bear in mind that I've worked with the bride on the 60% Rule and I've ALREADY saved her a couple of hundred dollars (or more, if she's ordering catering, too) just by getting her headcount to the realistic level.

But if she's one of those "I want a 4 tier cake but I'm only inviting 50 people" types, then tuff noogies. She's paying for the whole damn cake. If I have to do all of the work, then I get all of the price.

"Hello, KFC? I need to order one of your 16 pc buckets, but I'm only having 9 people .... what is my reduced price?"

Yeah ....THAT'LL work! icon_eek.gif

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