So, things didn’t go quite to plan and I didn’t post in the build-up to the wedding fayre (or for a week afterwards!). It was actually quite a fraught week and all I can say is I got through it! I went to check on the progress of my finger a few days before the fayre and the nurse was so concerned, she sent me straight to A&E. Four hours later, I emerged with the knowledge that I had fractured it! It wasn’t quite the news I was expecting (or indeed hoping for)… Needless to say, I didn’t manage to get as much done as I had planned (a fractured finger provides quite an impediment to most cake decorating!), but overall, I’m really pleased with how my stand looked. I ran out of time to make my macaron tower and I had to re-cover a cake which was damaged in transit, but I was so proud of what I had achieved. I couldn’t have done any more, I learned I have some amazing friends, who rallied round and came over and helped me out and my stand screamed ‘this is me’ which is what I really wanted.
I picked up a few tips along the way, which may be helpful to a prospective stall-holder.
1 Know your prices. You will be asked how much the lily cake costs (and how many portions it gives!), so make sure you know.
2 Smile! Even if you’re exhausted and would rather be on your sofa with a glass of wine, don’t let it show.
3 If you have leaflets to give out (and posters to display), don’t wait until you’re due to leave to go to the fayre before you get them ready. (Incidentally, I still don’t know where my A3 poster montage is…)
4 Have examples of your work displayed. Have some photos blown up. Get some photo albums (which you can pick up cheaply from most on-line photo companies) and put them out on your stall in different places. People like to look at things, it will show your versatility and if your stall is busy, will give people something to do whilst they wait for you.
5 Related to 3 & 4, plan your display. When you book your stand, you will be given the dimensions of the table (and any display boards etc) which have been allocated to you. Think about what you will place where, before you leave home ideally.
6 Have a selection of styles / colours / shapes. The cakes that drew the most interest were my purple butterfly cake and my bauble cakes, which no-one had seen before.
7 Related to 6, cover all budgets (or as many as you can!). I had ‘simpler’ cakes as well as more detailed options.
8 Write down how many people you speak to / give your business cards to. This is a really good idea as you will then know how successful the fair has been when the brides contact you.
9 Take food and drink with you! It’s a long day, so be prepared.
10 Take layers with you and just because you are indoors, you will not necessarily be warm!
11 Take painkillers with you! Having barely slept for 2 days and having a fractured finger, meant I wasn’t my usual chirpy self. Over-the-counter drugs really helped.
12 Samples aren’t necessary. I had neither the time (nor the inclination!) to bake and I can honestly say that I don’t think it cost me a single sale. If people like what you’ve done, they will book a consultation with you; free cake won’t really make a difference.
13 Befriend the organisers! The stallholders next to me didn’t show up on the day and I was offered their table. It’s really important to build good relationships. Also, befriend your fellow stall holders as it’s a long day.
14 Last one – enjoy it! You’re there to sell your business and to be involved in what should be the happiest day of a couple’s life.
I hope that I’ve given you some food for thought if you want to have a stall at a wedding fayre. Would I do it again? I honestly don’t know the answer to that, though I am veering to the side of ‘no’. I don’t regret it though and you have to take some risks in business.