Cupcake Wedding Order Changed 1 Week Before.. Wwu Do?

Decorating By luvscakes Updated 6 May 2016 , 12:32pm by cakebaby2

luvscakes Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:12pm
post #1 of 18

Hi!
I posted a while back on a cupcake order for 200 cupcakes with chocolate 3-D butterflies, gumpaste rosebuds and leaves and a 6" topper cake decorated the same.
Well, I do this w/ a family member (NOT a great idea) and the family member (SIL) took this order and did not "hammer down" details until 2 weeks ago. Every week it changes and my SIL has told the bride I would do "extra" gumpaste flowers to set on the stand, along with a "spray" of gumpaste roses. Basicly she keeps adding stuff that I need to do and things that cannot be last minute!
So, the newset one is that the bride now wants almost 50 more cupcakes. Well, the wedding is 6 days away! My family member told her SURE not a problem and it IS a problem with me!
#1- I ended up buying rosebuds as I could not figure how how to work the gumpaste and had only 2 1/2 weeks until the wedding to make them. I ordered only enough for the original order.
#2 - I am making chocolate clay roses for the stand and the 6"- told my SIL a "spray" is out of the question on such late notice and I am NOT spending even more of my commission on buying already made "last minute stuff".
#3- I would have rather told bride something like, "Well, since it is such late notice I can make the extra cupcakes but I will not be able to put any decorations on them"
I mean come on!
Obviously, this is bugging me and I was just wondering if everyone else thinks it is more professional to always say "OK" (Even if you haven't got any idea what you are talking about or how much work is involved) and then work your tail off to accomadate your customer, or if you would draw a line somewhere and where would that be?
Thanks for reading and for your imput!

17 replies
SugarplumStudio Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:33pm
post #2 of 18

Ugh, what an icky situation. You might find that you have to eat some crow on this one icon_sad.gif
The best way to handle damage control is prevent it. As much as I hate it, I have a generic contract for everyone...family included. It clearly states cut off dates for changes AND additions.
Never take an order through anyone else. My family does this to me all the time. Mom will call and say, " Aunt Mary wanted to know if you could do a cake for her." I say, " Tell Aunt Mary to call me." Eliminate the middleman, even if it is family.
I used to be a YES woman, but taking less and less of a profit after working my backside off got really old. Now, I just tell people, "I'm looking at my schedule and as much as I'd love to accommodate you, it just is not possible in the time I have to work with. Maybe we can talk about an alternative?" Something easier on you, obviously!
For last minute orders, IF I can accommodate the order, I tack on a surcharge for a rush job. I appreciate the business, but I'm not desperate for the money. I would say that I've 'trained' most of my repeat customers to call early, and follow through if they have decisions to make. Be proactive.
Repeat after me: "I cannot start this order until I have all of the information I need to make it. The last day to get the information to me is_____. After _____, I won't be able to accept any changes to the order. If that isn't possible for you, I'd be happy to help you find a baker to refer you to."
Good luck! icon_smile.gif

cb_one Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:39pm
post #3 of 18

I have to agree with SUgarplum..Family and close ones tend o do it the most unfortantely. icon_mad.gif
With Weddings now I have a Non-Refundable deposit and charge extra if changes are made if the event is 2 weeks or less away. And thats if I can do it.
A lot of people don't understand how much work goes into our baking, family or not they will have to understand. I personally wouldn't do it unless I could charge more.

cakesbykellie Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:42pm
post #4 of 18

hmm...well for starter, i would charge EXTRA for anything ordered 2 weeks before the wedding...if you are charging $2/cc i would charge at LEAST $3/cc for any she is adding. Naturally, the spray would be out of the question... unless she wants fresh flowers... she could talk to the florist about it but they might laugh her out of the shop at this point! would she pull this crap with a bakery? if she did, they'd cancel her order after the first change. good luck with this... i would say charge her more or do not accept the changes.

luvscakes Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 6:47pm
post #5 of 18

Thanks...
I guess I just have to buck up and do a little of it. Here's the thing maybe I didn't make clear, my SIL and I started this cake business together. This is an order SHE has taken and given me 1/2 of the responsiblity... the flowers and butterflies- SHE has done all contact with the customer, and SHE is the one who has already agreed and promised these things wITHOUT talking to me first. AGGGHHHH.
After our last big wedding cake I decided I am branching off to do it on my own because this type of thing is happening with EVERY order she takes! The bummer is now I have to think of a different name and get a different website icon_sad.gif My hubby thought of the name but it isn't worth fighting over. I'm trying to make the split peacefulicon_smile.gif

soccermom17 Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 6:59pm
post #6 of 18

I'm so sorry you are in this situation. Does your SIL do the baking/decorating too? Or is she all the paperwork part? I feel she needs to buck up and work as hard as you are or will be on this order.. Good luck with the split. I understand the sticky situation.

Ladivacrj Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 7:01pm
post #7 of 18

This is a tough situation. Have you had a heart to heart with your SIL about how to take an order and the rules of the order road.

IF there was time to do all of this, in a store front bakery they would be charging out of the nose. The same thing shjould apply here. And in no way should things be added without the SIL making sure that it can happen.

I feel for you, this is a family matter once you branch off, unfortunately.

alicegop Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 7:07pm
post #8 of 18

Call the bride directly, no more in between stuff, and tell her that your SIL misspoke. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but this close to the date it is too late to change. Sorry. You would be happy to make additional cupcakes, but they can't have decorations, but will taste great! If you are really nice I am sure it won't be a problem. Your SIL just keeps telling the bride it won't be a problem so she thinks she can keep changing. I bet though it is not a bridezilla and she will be very very happy with what you show up with.

Remember, this is suppose to be fun, don't let people get you all stressed out. In the end they will enjoy whatever you make because it will look and taste great.

thems_my_kids Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 7:16pm
post #9 of 18

From now on, it might be a better idea to have the bride contact you personally. It's you making the cake, not SIL, so you know what kind a time you need.

I'm not sure how I'd handle the situation if it were me. I'm a people pleaser and would hate for a bad rep to start. Good luck!!

indydebi Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 18

My sister gave me a great line which seems to fit well in this situation. She works in a manufacturing customer service position. They were SEVERELY backordered on a particular item (I'm talking like 9 months waiting list for this item). One of her company sales managers calls her and says he promised XYZ Distributor that he could get that in 2 weeks. She said (and I LUV this!).......

"Well let me know what part of your body you're pulling that item out of because it's not coming out of my factory in the next 2 weeks!"

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

She then gave him a big speech about ".....don't you dare promise things that YOU can't deliver. And don't you promise things without checking with me to make sure it CAN be delivered!"

(Can you tell she and I are related????) icon_rolleyes.gif


icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

jmt1714 Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 7:39pm
post #11 of 18

just say no - you can't make any changes. and any extras don't come out of whatever price you agreed to in the first place.

luvscakes Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 8:28pm
post #12 of 18

HAHAHAHA- that is a great line to remember, I'm not sure I can say it to her icon_smile.gif
Thanks all you guys for commenting. It seems pretty commen (like I thought) to have some sort of cut off date and the ability to say NO.
I have a tendency to ignore things until they are huge problems, but you have encouraged me to talk to her.
Thanks so much!

luvscakes Posted 18 Feb 2007 , 12:35am
post #13 of 18

Ok- so i know this topic is old news now, but he wedding was today. I have posted pics in my gallery. My SIL baked and frosted the cupcakes, and I was actually kind of embaressed by how sloppy I thought they looked- but from far away it looked Ok- but it confirmed just one more reason to do this alone now! I clocked close to 60 hrs. with these- and that's without the baking and frosting! I did not make extra rosebuds and my SIL took it upon herself to do extra tuxedos. When I e-mailed her about not doing them and charging the bride's mother (customer) extra for the last minute changes, she responded by saying she thinks of this as a ministry (and told me all the bad-luck of the customer), so she would never be busness-ey to the customer. AHHH! As were leaving, she also preceded to tell me that she has not yet gotten payment and will do it next week- I wanted to scream!!
Thank goodness this is the last cake with her!
And thanks for listening to me rant!!

JamesSweetie Posted 18 Feb 2007 , 1:02am
post #14 of 18

How kind of her to offer your services without checking with you first! icon_confused.gificon_rolleyes.gifthumbsdown.gif Did you tell her that you ARE running a business, not a charity? If she wants to offer extra gumpaste work then why isn't she making them? I agree with your decision to break off on your own, as it seems there isn't any communication. I would completely freak if I had spent 60+ hours on decorations and payment hadn't been recieved...and who will it be asking for the payment if this person all of a sudden can't afford it? (because of all their bad luck!)

RisqueBusiness Posted 18 Feb 2007 , 1:14am
post #15 of 18

if she thinks that being the "face" of your business is doing 50% of the work she is sadly mistaken.

She took the order, let her do the extra stuff.

Blks02 Posted 6 May 2016 , 9:11am
post #16 of 18

This is such a big help! I'm a beginner at selling my cakes. I was just doing them for family and friends until all of a sudden people wanted to purchase them. Knowing that a contract is key from reading all of your posts helps me a lot! Just today I sent the picture of a last minute cake order for a customer and they replied with wanting to add this and change that. This cake is due in 2 days. From here on out I will be creating a contract as to make sure this doesn't happen again. The worse part is the customer is actually going through a friend of mine who is playing the middle man. Lesson learned for me! 

-K8memphis Posted 6 May 2016 , 11:27am
post #17 of 18

good for you!

cakebaby2 Posted 6 May 2016 , 12:32pm
post #18 of 18


Quote by @Blks02 on 3 hours ago

This is such a big help! I'm a beginner at selling my cakes. I was just doing them for family and friends until all of a sudden people wanted to purchase them. Knowing that a contract is key from reading all of your posts helps me a lot! Just today I sent the picture of a last minute cake order for a customer and they replied with wanting to add this and change that. This cake is due in 2 days. From here on out I will be creating a contract as to make sure this doesn't happen again. The worse part is the customer is actually going through a friend of mine who is playing the middle man. Lesson learned for me! 

lol,I'm glad you found help just trawling the site, this thread is over 9 yrs old!

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