Lessons learned from a Bridal Show

Toptier 

What a day!!! My first bridal show was definitely worth all those late nights these past three weeks.

Seeing so many beautiful , glowing brides-to-be - so excited and with their moms or fiance in tow - was quite a happy experience.

Displaytalble   

The display for the cupcakes was made with foil covered cake boards and the columns that separated each layer are cake dummies wrapped with a matching ribbon. The stand could hold around 50 cupcakes. My macarons were presented on some of my favorite cake stands.

Our experience at the farmer's market helped us prepare for the logistical challenge of the show. What I did not expect was the sheer volume of people who attended the event. When our friend said to pack our lunch since there would be literally no time to take a break…she was not kidding.

Cupcaketree

There was an endless line starting from 11:20 am to 3:30 pm…seriously!! I was afraid I was going to lose my voice running down the list of flavors for both macarons and cupcakes…not to mention the frostings that went with them. All 300 hundred of my handouts were gone halfway through the show…my 150 mini cupcakes were gone in 2 hours …not to mention the ones on the display -more on that later. Three hundred macarons, each cut in quarters - making 1200 pieces, held out till the last hour, but we ran out of chocolate with espresso buttercream earlier on.

Firstiercupcake 

So what could we do better?

1. Make enough cupcakes…it was all gone way too early.

2. Make around 50% more handouts.

3. Make a sign that says " For Display Only" for items that are really for display only. My back was turned away from my cupcake tree for quite a bit and when I turned around , I noticed that there was only one of the daisy ones left. Others started taking the cupcakes off the display – so what can a sugar pusher like me say? It was too funny! And I was so flattered when a couple of the brides came back to tell me that they were truly the best cupcakes they have ever tasted :).

4. Make a sign with the flavors being offered . I don't know why I didn't think of that since we always did that for the farmers market. Believe me … you don't want to repeat yourself 300 times ;). Don't get me wrong, I love talking about my cupcakes and macarons …but a label beside each flavor helps the process greatly especially when loud speakers are blaring in the background.

Oh, and Gerber Daisies rock! Besides being my favorite of all blossoms they worked out perfectly as a base for my cupcake tree. I had each of them in a water tube and the size of the flower head was large enough to hide the tubes so I can easily tuck the blossoms around.

Tier2cupcake 

Above is one of my favorite designs for my cupcakes.

Emptymacs   

A friend of ours suggested putting the picture of the product on the "empty" stands. πŸ˜€

And below, the last samples of the macarons. They were an incredible hit too! A lot of people did not know what they were but were simply amazed at the uniqueness of the taste and said they would be perfect for showers and favors. And ofcourse, it helps that macarons look adorable on its own anyway. They loved the subtle tartness of the passion fruit milk chocolate, the kick of chocolate and espresso buttercream…and more than a couple of brides said that the vanilla buttercream tasted like ice cream – which is what I think I am eating whenever I clean out every bowl of vanilla buttercream I make. In all the rush, we forgot to save some macarons for ourselves :(.

So lesson no. 5: Tuck away some macarons for later eating before you set out for the bridal show ;).

Almostempty 

It was a phenomenal event with a great turn out! I'm so happy to be a part of it!

And my thanks to the "Hungry" Hubby who provided the muscle, who washed all the dishes when I was baking and frosting cupcakes late into the night, who printed and stapled 300 handouts, who hauled the coolers and table out of the show and who sliced all those macarons fast enough and made sure the cupcake tray was full…I truly could not have done it without him.

33 thoughts on “Lessons learned from a Bridal Show

  1. Fabulous! On the bright side, the fact that they were all gone and that people were coming back to tell you they were good meant they were after more than the free sugar buzz and they know where to find good stuff. I am so happy it went this well.
    P.S: even if you put a sign with the flavor on it, people will still ask you…it helps to break the ice for them to ask you what they are.

  2. ;0) How perfectly fantastic Veron! Makes me wish I was getting married;)
    Seems like you have a fool proof plan for the next "shower" and lunch should be part of the plan with macarons and maybe wine for you and the 'worker' afterwards!
    Super congratulations!!

  3. What an incredibly beautiful display! It sounds like an amazing event- Congrats on making it through in one piece! Hopefully those brides will know quality when they see it and provide you with a good bit of business soon. πŸ™‚

  4. what a beautiful display veron! i'm so happy for you that business is blooming. those are amazing cupcakes that any bride would die for!

  5. Congratulations to you! I was at a bridal show this weekend too! In Sacramento on the photography side of weddings! I did flock to the cupcake towers on display (only 2) They had signs on front of the towers indicating display only. I do believe that helped. They also made 500 mini cupcakes to give as samples and had their flavors listed on handouts instead of listing each time someone asked….your display looks wonderful…much better than theirs! πŸ™‚ Good luck to you!

  6. Congrats on having every bit of sugar morsel eaten!

    The "display" only story is hysterical and reminds me of the time a woman tried to "eat" the varnished display bread at a Farmer's Market and wondered why it was so "hard".

    I love the daisies too, both real and frosted versions.

  7. Those are crazy events. I remember when I was planning my wedding and going to one. And the people are all over the food!
    Everything looked beautiful!

  8. Thanks Helen! It was really great to see a bunch of enthusiastic brides that loved the cupcakes and macarons.
    thanks Nikki – it is a day I am sure to remember.
    Thanks jesse – I was really pleased how the cupcake stand turned out and how the macarons looked so perky on the cake stands.
    Thanks Tanna – I think it is a good idea to eat a substantial meal before the show starts. And there was definitely some vino after the show…in fact…I couldn't wait to get home kick back and have a glass!
    Thanks Hannah! I sure hope they will realize how goodies made from scratch will make a difference in their wedding.
    Thanks Aran! I was really pleased how the cupcakes turned out.
    Thanks Lindsay! I am so flattered that you think my display was better than the one you saw at Sacramento. I hope the show you attended will bring you great business. My photographer friends were actually the ones that told me about the show.
    Thanks Ashley!
    Thanks Mary! Isn't it hysterical! Actually I was feeling bad that some of the brides who realized it was for display was feeling bad about taking it too and was apologizing for it and was going to put it back but I told them "No worries"…it is all in the spirit of the event! :). Now that varnished display bread story IS hysterical!
    Thanks Peabody! I had a bride actually tell me "Aren't we a crazy bunch"

  9. Gorgeous display!! I love the daisies! I did most of the baking for my wedding and it was so fun. Everything told me I was crazy but it kept me calm and I had a blast!! We had a black and white dessert/candy station! I wish I could do it again!

  10. Congratulatios for such a success at the Bridal Show! I will defintely write down all your experience as I am sure we over here will experience such an event in 2009! Well done Veronica, our favourite baker!

  11. wow everything is so so amazing i love those flowery cupcakes and the macaroon stand i really fell in love with it. wish i could buy one. You re amazing. I didn t have any doubt about being a sucess. πŸ™‚

  12. I just helped with a wedding and we also made a tiered cupcake stand. Yours is gorgeous! You never know how hard it is to get everything in place until you do it yourself…nice work.

  13. A mixed blessing I think,you are sure to be really busy now! I definitely vote for macarons as a wedding favor, except that it could cause fighting as macaron thieves go table to table,scarfing up the unattended macarons!!

  14. Veron! I'm absolutely amazed, inspired and in awe with where your hobby has taken you to! WOW, more power to you girl πŸ™‚
    Mitos Benitez

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