Why are bridal samples still a "thing"?
It’s going to become abundantly clear how much I dislike the NEED to have wedding cake samples prior to picking your wedding cake flavour. I know, and I’m not sorry about it.
If you’re getting married, chances are, you’re an adult who has had cake a minimum of once a year since since forever. I guarantee you could tell me if you prefer chocolate over vanilla, or hate carrot cake due to a bad run-in, or can’t stand the smell of lemon because it reminds you of an unsavoury dessert aunt Kathy used to make you eat.
Now I ask you, why? Why do you NEED to taste multiple flavours of cake to reinforce what you already know.
Chances are you are going to book a well respected cake artist, with years of experience, great reviews, and maybe, just maybe, you’ve already had their cake a time or two and know that this is the artist for you!
Okay, I get it. Bridal samples are all part of the show. The show that is your wedding. The traditions and events that you’ve seen in movies and TV shows, that you’ve read about in books and magazines, and that you simply NEED to check off you planning “to-do” list.
Let’s talk about feasibility.
Most bespoke wedding cake artists work out of their home, or a private studio. It’s within this private space that they create your magic; they do not have a retail area, a store front, or walk-in customers of any kind. Now, you come to them and ask for cake samples. In order to make you six flavours of cake, they need to make six batches of different cake. Imagine a single batch has an ingredient cost of $30, that’s $240, for you to pay $50 for just one sample from each batch. Now, let’s say you loved the cake and you’d like to book an 8” cutting cake for your wedding, YAY!
Cost to make bridal samples $240.
You pay $50 for samples, $150 for your cake.
You’ve now paid $200, where the cake maker has spent $240 for you.
So no, bridal samples do not always lead to a profit.
On the other hand, if you are choosing to book your wedding cake with a large scale bakery, chances are, they have a store front! They are probably a coveted local bakery with a line out the door every morning. This is the space that those extra cake samples can be sold and profited on.
ATTENTION ALL BRIDES AND SMALL BATCH CAKE ARTISTS:
THERE IS A WAY AROUND THIS
I call them “blitz” days. It’s where you pick 2-4 days each year to set as Bridal Sample Days (YAY!). You take pre-orders from your clients, you ensure you have enough clients booked for the day to cover your costs, and dare I say it, make a profit! If you do not have enough upcoming couples to fill your sample day, open it up! Invite everyone, make it a fun tasting box for a date night or girls night, or the perfect dessert to bring to family dinner. Share the love. I guarantee you will fill that schedule.
The groom now has re-confirmed he definitely still does not like lemon, and the bride chose chocolate.
And to clarify, I don’t know who I am speaking to in this post. It could be the caker, it could be the client, but overall, I think we all got the gist and now have a newfound respect for the trials and tribulations around wedding cake samples.