Weddings and other spring and summer celebrations provide ample opportunities to cross-merchandise and showcase your store’s best promotional efforts.

Instore bakeries can take cues from successful retail bakeries. One great example involves offering party supplies that complement cakes. At Cake Life Bake Shop in Philadelphia, chef/owners Nima Etemadi and Lily Fischer sell eye-catching Meri Meri party supplies, including 6-inch birthday candles and party hats. “Being a bit of a one-stop shop is important,” Fischer says.

Thanks to the clever chocolatiers at Let Them Eat Candles, cake shoppers can now offer customers a new way to top party cakes and cupcakes with premium milk or dark chocolate candles, festively decorated in 12 colorful candy designs. These edible artisan candles are the brainchild of architect/mom Loree Sandler.

Providing an experience

Making colorful fondant cake decorations (like fun animals, owl faces or striped bow ties) is another marketing tool for customers to see in your front display case and choose to add to their favorite cakes. These fondant decorations can sell from $1 to $7 apiece. This serves as another way the bakery helps customers create one-of-a-kind experiences.

For the coming year, The Knot predicts that eats with a twist will be popular at America’s weddings. Think pairings that are unconventional and Instagrammable, such as root beer floats in champagne flutes. In desserts, the wedding industry saw donuts become a big part of receptions in 2018, and that trend will extend to a different baked good in 2019 as cinnamon rolls take center stage.

Wedding cakes will remain popular, but they will evolve in appearance. Couples are hiring professional cake bakers to create unexpected shapes and varying sized tiers that effectively turn cakes into art installations. Many cakes will feature stunning designs rich in color and texture.

Local partnerships

3 Women and an Oven, based in Overland Park, Kansas, conducts a variety of creative promotions that include happy hours that feature cocktails paired with unique flavors of French macarons (champagne, piña colada).

One of the groups the bakery works with locally is Top Shelf Bartending Services, a popular company for Kansas City weddings. Collaborations like this one help increase business and boost creativity in product development. In other wedding trends from The Knot, couples will incorporate details that show off their personalities and love stories in bold ways over the course of their entire wedding celebrations.

How to start your own trends

Rebecca Moesinger, chef-owner of 45 Surfside in Nantucket, Massachusetts, says that the best promotion you can have for your business is to send out each item with the hopes that it will be the best thing your customer has ever tasted.

“If you’re not aiming to amaze, you’re missing out on a marketing opportunity,” she says. “Customers know when you put all of your love and passion into your work.”

Start your own trends by looking in places others might not, she recommends. “The spring season’s cake trends might not be inspired by the cake magazines. Try looking at bridal gowns, popular venues and florist shops. Trends in relevant industries might help bakers predict what might be the next trend in wedding cakes.”

For example, she suggests looking at 1980s fashion. Look at the wedding gowns of that time and compare them to the wedding cakes. Both are just over the top, intricately detailed, conservative and traditional. As for today’s style, the dress is lightly adorned with lace, beading. The cake is equally as simple and elegant.