Some brides come in for consultations armed with photos of cakes, color swatches and close ups of the embroidery on their gown…they are ready to choose a cake. Unfortunately, there are a lot of brides who have no clue what they are looking for in a cake. One of my friends wrote the other day asking how to guide the indecisive bride. These are my suggestions.
I always started the consultations asking if they had a concept of what they wanted. If they didn’t, I gave them a couple of our photo albums and some skinny post its. I told them to ignore the size and color of the cakes. I know how to change that. I tell them that what really matters on a wedding cake is the side designs and the shapes of the cakes themselves.
Once the brides start focusing on shapes and whether they like a separation or not, they quickly fall into traditionalists who like round or square cakes or into modernists who like unusual shapes or a mixture of shapes. Normally, within the first five pictures they mark, you can see where they are drawn.
Then I have them mark the side patterns they like. I tell them not to worry about finding one perfect cake…they are only looking for the elements they like. By the time they finish one photo album, I find they are marking the same few patterns over and over. Then I can start to sketch a couple versions of their shapes with their preferred patterns. Invariably, most brides would book once I guided them through this process.
Besides being a cake decorator and a cake designer, you also need to be a cake counselor. They aren’t in touch with their style until you guide them to a realization of what they like. Don’t forget my earlier blog and hold on to those sketches until the book and pay their date reservation fees!
One side note, I find that brides have a tendency to choose cakes that feature flowers and/or ribbons in their colors! It is funny that human nature causes them to gravitate to cakes in their colors…they just cannot imagine the other cakes in their colors as easily. This is another reason my decorators and I sketched cakes for brides. Many simply cannot see the designs in their head. They need you to take the things they like and put them on paper. If you can guide them to a design they didn’t even know they liked, you will most likely book that cake! Best wishes!