The "simple" Wedding Cake Blues (Just Fussing)

Decorating By jhay Updated 7 Jul 2011 , 6:10pm by costumeczar

jhay Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:03pm
post #1 of 25

Is anyone else kind of tired of the phrase "Oh, I just like something plain and simple". ZZZzzzzzzzz



Everyone has the right to have thier dream wedding cake...I just wish some of their dreams were a bit more interesting. LOL icon_lol.gif

I try to suggest monochromatic patterns, interesting shapes, but to not much avail with some brides. (sigh)

Anyone else having the same gripe?

24 replies
KristyCakes Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:09pm
post #2 of 25

When my customers say "plain and simple" it means "I want something really nice... but I'm not going to pay for it!" I'll make you your simple cake... but it will cost the same! icon_smile.gif

kathie-d Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:30pm
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyCakes

When my customers say "plain and simple" it means "I want something really nice... but I'm not going to pay for it!" I'll make you your simple cake... but it will cost the same! icon_smile.gif




That's exactly what it means in my world too. I had a bride say that and then sent me a photo of a cake with the most intricate piping work you can imagine...can I do it, yup, does she want to pay for my time to do it, nope. Makes me laugh really. What else can you do?

AnotherCaker Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:45pm
post #4 of 25

Market yourself as a custom designer, or someone who only works on interesting designs. Find a way to word it. I had to put a stop to swiss dots and scrolls myself, cause it was getting boring and I hated it. So far so good.

LKing12 Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:45pm
post #5 of 25

Yes, I know that story. Had a bride email me about wanting a simple cake. She said that she did cakes herself but didn't want the stress of doing her own and that another caker wanted $4.00 per serving. Second email. Oh, she wanted each layer torted and some piping and on and on, and by the way the venue is off the main road and will have to be carried in. I sent her a price and she emails back that she thinks it is too pricey for what she wants. I hope she made her simple cake!

indydebi Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 12:45am
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathie-d

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyCakes

When my customers say "plain and simple" it means "I want something really nice... but I'm not going to pay for it!" I'll make you your simple cake... but it will cost the same! icon_smile.gif



That's exactly what it means in my world too. I had a bride say that and then sent me a photo of a cake with the most intricate piping work you can imagine...


I've had that, too. I tell them, "Oh what a beautiful cake! Where's the "plain and simple" part?" icon_rolleyes.gif

amygortoncakes Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 2:15pm
post #7 of 25

I totally feel you but I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. All I do is kids birthday cakes which are colorful and require a lot of creativity. I look at all the simple white wedding cakes and long to do one of those.

And on a side note...the simple designed cakes are harder in my opinion because if there is a flaw in the fondant it can't be covered with some sort of decoration or flower.

You know what I have done. Find a cake that you really want to make...and then try and find someone that would possibly want it and just charge them for ingredients. That way you can make something thats out there and interesting and the cake doesn't go in the trash.

millermom Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 2:49pm
post #8 of 25

I find most brides want a "plain" cake, and then have the florist add flowers. I can't imagine that flowers are that much less expensive than cake, especially since most brides want roses, calla lilies, etc.

Many of my clients are from church, and we have another friend from church who is a florist, so she and I have collaborated on several cakes. She is really great with flowers, and she always does a great job.

I do have a cake this month that I am SO looking forward to! Our best friends' daughter is getting married, and I am gifting the cake to her. Her dad is an artist, and she is a photographer, so she has a creative eye.

She actually wanted gumpaste daisies (her colors are yellow and grey, and her flowers are all daisies) and a vine going all the way up and around. I told her she wasn't getting the typical 3-tier cake. It has evolved into 6 tiers of several different heights, and I am putting their monogram on it. Also, when looking at cakes on here with her, we found a Superman cake that will make a perfect groom's cake. I can't wait!

pinkpiggie78 Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 3:27pm
post #9 of 25

I am contemplating give a discount to those who want to "experiment" with their design or allow me full creative control. At least it gives you something interesting to do or get paid to make a cake that you have been wanting to do.

Tacy09 Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 5:50pm
post #10 of 25

I have had a few of those people who want "simple" and then send me a picture of the most intracate cake ever. But lately I have had a ton of brides say simple and all they want is a white cake with a colored band around the bottom....it seems like thats all I'm doing lately...its making me crazy! I wish you could charge more for boredom!

AnotherCaker Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 5:58pm
post #11 of 25

Do any of you guys that are bored with these designs ever suggest different ideas? Ask them if they would like to get creative and incorporate ideas from their centerpieces, jewelry, flowers from the ceremony? Do you show them that they can have something creative and unique and not done a million times? I really don't believe most of these brides really want those simple/boring designs. I think it just takes a little conversation and a prepared decorator to show them some ideas, and they change their minds.

jenmat Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:17pm
post #12 of 25

I've actually gotten a break from the 'just want something simple' brides. I think its because I've been raising prices so the brides I've been attracting want the creativity of a unique creation. Kind of missing the no-brainer cakes, but hey, at least there won't be any repeats in the ole' portfolio this summer!

pinkpiggie- that has actually crossed my mind as well- a $25 discount for creative license. Or something in that direction. That way I get to have fun and they get to feel "financially responsible." Probably won't do it lol, but it has been a thought!

Anothercaker- My motto during the design process is that if I'm excited, the bride will get excited and then the creativity flows more freely. I ask that they bring in their invites, swatches, flower pics and centerpiece pics as well as any special elements they are using in the day. Sometimes they do pick a picture from the book or bring in a magazine clipping, but I do try and put a twist on the cake that makes it more unique.
I think bridal shows also help- if I'm thinking outside the box, then they can too.

Holdoll Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:31pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathie-d

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyCakes

When my customers say "plain and simple" it means "I want something really nice... but I'm not going to pay for it!" I'll make you your simple cake... but it will cost the same! icon_smile.gif



That's exactly what it means in my world too. I had a bride say that and then sent me a photo of a cake with the most intricate piping work you can imagine...

I've had that, too. I tell them, "Oh what a beautiful cake! Where's the "plain and simple" part?" icon_rolleyes.gif




I don't post a lot here, but I read as much as I can. Sometimes your posts make me laugh right out loud! icon_lol.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:37pm
post #14 of 25

Anothercaker- My motto during the design process is that if I'm excited, the bride will get excited and then the creativity flows more freely. I ask that they bring in their invites, swatches, flower pics and centerpiece pics as well as any special elements they are using in the day. Sometimes they do pick a picture from the book or bring in a magazine clipping, but I do try and put a twist on the cake that makes it more unique.
I think bridal shows also help- if I'm thinking outside the box, then they can too.


I definitely ask them to bring examples of cakes they like, they have to be made to feel like they are going to have their desires addressed and taken seriously. Then I ask what exactly they like about it. Then I look at what they bring. Where on earth does swiss dots and scrollwork and ribbons fit in with these beautiful orchid centerpieces and textured linens and crystal brooches? Nowhere. Bride, if I have my way, you are going to have a cake that looks like it fits your wedding, and stops people in their tracks. And it doesn't have to cost more. I swear if someone insisted on something dull, I would charge more.

jhay Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:40pm
post #15 of 25

I wish they were hoping for something more complicated...but the last few girls I've talked to really do want plain and simple...white or ivory fondant, a ribbon around the bottom, no details.

This whole elegant simplicity thing is making my eyes cross. LOL

Though I am saving a lot of time.

Brevity Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:42pm
post #16 of 25

Often when I set up an appointment to meet a bride, I ask for general wedding info, like colors, and what the overall "vibe" will be (modern, classic, etc.) I then make up some rough sketches of options I think might get the creative wheel rolling. It's hard for me to really get it - but some people are just not creative, & need a visual put right in front of their face. Things that make you go....hmmm...

DoubleA Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 6:57pm
post #17 of 25

I just had a young bride having a back yard wedding show me a pic of a beautiful cake with scrollwork and ribbon around the bottom. " I love this cake!" Me: " Great! I will draw a couple of ideas I have and email them to you. Then you decide which you prefer". I email her 3 drawings...scrollwork over the top, a little scrollwork with a couple of flowers, and a topsy turvy cake with "fun" designs. Guess which one she "fell in love with"? Yep! the topsy turvy! Sometimes, ya just have to paint them a picture!

cai0311 Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 7:31pm
post #18 of 25

90% of my brides come in with a picture of the exact cake they want. 90% of the time it is a plain cake with a ribbon around the bottom of each tier and flowers alternating on each side.

The next 5% don't come in with a picture but tell me "we want a plain cake with a ribbon around the bottom of each tier and flowers alternating on the cake".

The last 5% have no clue what they want - and I mean no clue. I ask 15 questions trying to get some sort of idea, theme, inspiration, type of wedding (classical, modern...) and they have no anwers.

labmom Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 7:32pm
post #19 of 25

I have brides that are so into the plain and simple ribbon cakes they are fine.. and some that have so much stuff on there cake it is almost over the top horrible.

But I have two brides one with cake in September and one Jan 2012
and neither of these brides have any interest in the cake. They have gone through the huge number of books that I have and looked on line with me and yet.. no excitement no idea what they want other than enough cake to feed there guests. One admits she doesn't like cake and didn't even want a tasting, but her fiance wanted that and came with her and ate 3 pieces to decide on flavors which she has changed and not told me what they want and its september. But they don't have any excitement but they want to pick this cake. But have no idea what they want..

My husband said that I should just give them a choice of 3 cakes.. take them or leave them. let them pick the colors and flavors and if they want flowers.
He said I have enough stress with normal brides let alone these wacky ones.


I even suggested pies, other deserts or cupcakes.. if they aren't into the cakes and they looked at me like I was nuts... so what does that leave?

I love cakes with a challenge.. I am so tired off stacked cakes.. I am ready to try and invent somethiing different.. just because I am bored..
but I will say stacked cakes are so much easier to deliver.

does anyone watch gypsy weddings on TLC? they had such huge cakes that the decorators did amazing jobs on wonder wht they charge in England for those? I guess the grass is always greener than what your doing, I think we should be happy with what business we are getting in this hard economy

auzzi Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 10:01am
post #20 of 25

[q]does anyone watch gypsy weddings on TLC? they had such huge cakes that the decorators did amazing jobs on wonder wht they charge in England for those?[/q]

They are very expensive - lots of work and lots of hours. The parents are prepared to pay whatever the cost for their daughter's "princess for a day" wedding ..

AnotherCaker Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 3:54pm
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by auzzi

[q]does anyone watch gypsy weddings on TLC? they had such huge cakes that the decorators did amazing jobs on wonder wht they charge in England for those?[/q]

They are very expensive - lots of work and lots of hours. The parents are prepared to pay whatever the cost for their daughter's "princess for a day" wedding ..


Those dresses!!! OMG the dresses....unbelievable. Not saying they are pretty, just wow.

costumeczar Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:00pm
post #22 of 25

I've had this discussion with Anothercaker before icon_lol.gif

I live in Richmond, which is very conservative and traditional. The swiss dots and scrollwork are what I call the "Richmond special." I get bored with them, but I can knock them out fast so I get more free time, and they pay the bills.

I suggest different things to brides, I give them ideas, I show them pictures, but a lot of them still want the simple white on white patterns. If I want to run a business I need to do what the clientele want, which if it happens to be that. then it's that.

I ran a contest a few months ago where the winner would get a free wedding cake, up to 200 servings, but I would get creative control. the winner would hav to be something tht I'd be excited about making, so it would have to be an unusual design. I'd take their ideas into consideration but I'd get control of the final design. I got a total of 8 entries, and most of them were things like "I'm doing a tropical color theme, so the flowers on it can be bright." One girl said that she was doing an autumn-themed wedding, and I could even put leaves on the cake! Woo Hoo!

I think that people either just really like simple weddding cakes, or they have the idea of what it "should" look like in their heads, or they just can't think otuside the box. I try to give them outside-the-box suggestions but in general they want something more traditional. It would probably be different in another part of the country, but I don't know. If you look at pictures of real weddings in magazines the cakes are usually pretty traditional, maybe with a little bit of a twist, but not much.

I get tired of doing traditional cakes, but the $$$ is the same, so I'll do them as long as that's what people want. Like I said, if I can fit an extra $500 cake into the weekend because it's simple, that's extra cash in my pocket without too much effort.

AnotherCaker Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:02pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I've had this discussion with Anothercaker before icon_lol.gif


Yessssss, yes we have. icon_twisted.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:04pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Like I said, if I can fit an extra $500 cake into the weekend because it's simple, that's extra cash in my pocket without too much effort.


That is definitely hard to argue with, I'll give you that.

costumeczar Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 6:10pm
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Like I said, if I can fit an extra $500 cake into the weekend because it's simple, that's extra cash in my pocket without too much effort.

That is definitely hard to argue with, I'll give you that.




Hey, it's a no-brainer if you have sales quotas to meet. And it still gives me time to sit around in the evening and watch a movie or something relaxing because I can knock those plain designs out in my sleep at this point!

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