I am new to the cake business, yes, I am working in a commercial kitchen, OK'd by the dept of health. I advertised and was asked to do a birch cake for a wedding. I have done buttercream cakes, mostly the flower swirls, and lots of fondant cakes, which I find pretty easy, as I am also a potter and working with the fondant is very, very similar to working with clay. Except you cannot eat the clay. And many people would say that about the fondant, also!!
So eventually after seeing my other cakes, and asking for my flavor and price list and a contract, the bride says, "So how do I know you can do this, if you haven't?" I told her that it wasn't a difficult cake, and that if she had asked me to carve a car, a model of her husband or something that wasn't in my comfort zone, I would refuse. But I know I lost this customer. She had the jitters, and I can understand, because I am new and don't have a shop or pages and pages of cakes I have made. I have about 10 good pictures, and some terrible ones I did before I took a workshop and got a lot better.
Advice?? I feel like this is a very, very tough field, weddings. Brides are nervous wrecks already, so even though the local bakery uses box cakes and pre-bought frosting, she does ten cakes a week in a very small community and I find it is hard to get even one.