It’s all go at Cake Towers! I have my first ever wedding fayre next weekend and I’m really excited. Or at least I was! I’m now full of trepidation and fear; mainly that I’m not going to be ready in time.
Planning a wedding fayre is quite an undertaking. From deciding which fayre you’re going to exhibit at (if at all – I know people that don’t), to working out what you’re going to display, how and what material you’re going to take with you. If you’re going to have a stand, you want to ensure that you’re the only supplier in your category (so you’re the only cake maker, for example). You need to know that it is being marketed correctly and that brides-to-be will come (and it’s best to find this out before you part with your hard-earned cash!). Remember, you’re paying what can be a lot of money (I know of some fayres which charge in excess of £250 per stand) and you need to know that you’re getting value for money.
Once you’ve decided which fayre you’re going to exhibit at, you’ve paid your money, you then need to plan your stand. It’s good to have as varied a display as possible. You don’t want your table to be crowded and too full, but, on the other hand, you don’t want only one cake on there as you’re there to showcase your talents to an expectant audience.
Ideally, you should have a variety of styles and colours; different shapes and different sizes. Try and be unique as well and have a stand that says ‘this is me!’. When you’ve grabbed the attention of the bride-to-be, you then need to engage with her. Ask her about the wedding; if she knows the time of year, has an idea of colours etc. Be interested in her and her day. You might not receive her commission, but at least she’ll go away thinking you were nice (which is always good!) and of course if you interact with brides, it makes the day a better experience for everyone!
So, you’ve enticed the bride-to-be with your stunning display of cakes. You’ve won her over with your charm and kind words. What next? Don’t necessarily expect her to book with you on the day, but give her something to take away with her so that she won’t forget you. I’ve had some extra business cards, postcards and leaflets printed out, so the brides-to-be can take them away and have my details should they wish to contact me. Why not give her an edible gift as well?
Smile and be as courteous to the bride-to-be that you speak to at 5 minutes to closing time as you are to the one that you speak to first thing in the morning. Remember, you’re providing a service and you’re representing your business. Don’t sit at your stand looking uninterested and texting people. If your business doesn’t interest you, why should it interest anyone else?
There is probably more advice I could give, but having not done a fayre yet, I’ll hold that back until after next week. In the meantime, I’m working on my designs. I’ll not go into too great detail here as they’re all subject to change at the moment. I had an unfortunate accident with a hand blender last weekend (just as I was starting to write this actually). I don’t know if I can do everything that I would like to, but I have been overwhelmed by offers of help – the cake community really does rally round!
If you’re getting married (congratulations!) and in the area, why not pop by and say hello. I won’t bite and you may find yourself leaving with an edible gift!
I do have one plea to ask of you all. As I mentioned above, wedding fayres can be quite expensive. I have applied to Fund101, from Enterprise Nation and if I am successful, they will cover the cost of the fayre. All I need you good and kind people to do, is to click on the following link and to vote for me: http://www.enterprisenation.com/funding-applications/claires-handmade-cakes/
I really appreciate your help. If all goes to plan (or exceeds my plans), I’ll blog again before the fayre. If not, I shall share the experience (and any lessons learned) sometime in early March… In the mean time, happy baking!