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Hi, I'm Marina Sousa, the instructor of Jeweled Wedding Cake. I am going to share with you just a few tips about working with brides when designing their wedding cakes. Wedding cakes are something that are filled with a lot of emotion---just like every part of wedding. Brides usually come in knowing exactly what they want or they kind of have no clue whatsoever. The biggest tip I would share is just always make sure that you and your bride are on the same page. Sketching out that design really helps that process, and more so than anything, knowing who you are as a designer, knowing what your capabilities are, and being able to fulfill on the promises that you make.
If the bride shows up with a photo from a magazine, I personally try to tailor it a little more to them. Sometimes you can't change their mind. But usually if you offer the concept that you really want to make it customized and personal to them, they will buy into that concept enough and let you have a little bit more creative freedom. The biggest thing is not to over-promise and under-deliver. The exact opposite of that is what I always try to do: under-promise, over-deliver. That always makes for a happy client.
Another subject that sometimes is a little bit tricky is working with brides' budgets. Budget and money in general are a sticky subject sometimes. And with wedding cakes, you never really know who is paying for the cake. And it's important to establish that early on. And as far as determining a budget, sometimes when I'm working with a client that's just kind of all over the board in regard to their taste, ranging from my lowest-cost-per-serving to my highest-cost-per-serving, sometimes it's just easier to ask exactly what their budget is, and say, "that way we know what we're working with and I can design something within that." The worst thing that happens is when a bride falls in love with a design that, ultimately, she can't afford. And even though you tailor it down and try and make something work within their budget, they're always going to have the more expensive, intricate design in their head. And that's what they're going to compare to what you ultimately deliver---not what was actually agreed upon.
So the last tip I'm going to share with you is about delivery logistics. You want to keep in mind, from the beginning, where the cake is ultimately going to be displayed. Being able to get it there is clearly the most important factor. If the cake's not at the wedding, or if it's not standing up, it doesn't matter how beautiful it is, or how good it tastes. So make sure you're not designing something that is too big for your vehicle or can't get out your door. Or know that if the last half-hour is straight up hill, and your car doesn't have the best air conditioning, you may want to put some of it together on site. So just think through the entire design process from beginning to end and I'm sure you'll end up with a great cake.
So, if you'd like to learn more about wedding cakes, take my course Jeweled Wedding Cake on Craftsy.com.
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