In my job I read a lot of wedding magazines for research. I like to see what’s trending for cakes, flowers, dresses, décor and what advice they are offering brides for their wedding process. A few years ago a piece of advice magazines were offering were to get “visuals” from your vendors. I do have some thoughts on this and I actually wish the magazines would ask the vendors their point of view on this subject.
I do have to say that we do very little sketching here at the bakery. There is a good reason for this, if we have done the structure before, there is no need for us to do a sketch. 90% of the time we are recreating the same structures, sure the surface details change and the flowers change, but not the structure. We always offer the client a photo of a cake that is similar to what they are getting and mark things on the photo that is applicable to the clients design. So really there is no need for us to sketch in this situation. The contract that we present to our clients has a very detailed description of their cake design. (Of course there is always an exception to this rule because every client is different.)
Now if it’s something that we have never done before, a sketch is absolutely necessary. There are logistics that need to be worked out between our head chef and the design team.
Another point I would like to bring up is that we are not artists. Well we are – but our medium is sugar, not paper. With that being said, our outcome is ALWAYS so much better than the sketch we present to our clients. If we ever produce a sketch, it’s always done after we have received the deposit to book the date. This is to ensure they won’t take our work to another baker to execute. (Yes – it has happened before.)
I am not saying that sketching is bad and it shouldn’t be done, it’s just not always necessary and clients need to understand that. The magazines are offering this advice because they think it’s a good idea. Every baker’s policy is different on this subject and I think the advice that magazines sometimes offer is too vague.
Sketches take time and in turn take away from our design team working on sugar flowers and cakes. If we do a sketch for a client, we basically try to do only one. While we understand the design process can be complex and does go back and forth, adding drawings into the mix can sometimes make the process longer than it needs to be. People do not know how our company operates, how are staff’s time is divided in their work duties and depending on the time of year, can actually create problems in our production schedule. And in most cases sketches are done after the staff’s full day of work, so now we are paying over time to get a sketch done that is not built in to the overall cost of the cake. Ahh, something to think about if you are a baker…
How do you feel about this matter? Have you sketched something for a client without a deposit only to find out another baker has executed your design? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject…