awela Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:19pm
post #1 of

My daughter asked me to make a wedding cake for her friend's daughter. This was an only 2 weeks notice, the lady is giving me $100 deposit. Ok, I made a trip from NJ to NYC to meet this woman. She looked through my portfolio and chose a cake that I easily sell for $700-800. Now the woman starts telling me that she's being disposed from her home in a couple of weeks and loosing her job almost at the same time. I am like... uh????? how is she going to pay for my cake with all these problems around her? Well my daughter gives me this look like "mom please do it!!!" I asked the woman for how many people she wants the cake, she says she wants 4x-10" and 2x-8" and half sheet one for people to take home in the little cute boxes with their names engraved ARGGGHH!; fillings to be strawberry, coconut/pineapple, bavarian and apricot (all homemade ones!!) My daughter again gives me the "please mom" look. Okay lady....errrr......I will do it for $200 AND you have the flowers ready at the site so I can take my pictures (you know, pics are very important to me I place them in my portfolio). She says "Ok, I will send you the money this friday when I get paid".I am like...."Hellooo!!!!...what is this?". I have to buy everything needed for the frikin' cake with my money! Here is my daughter again with same look in her eyes. "Ok" I said. I started working with the cake and spent close to $120 in supplies and ingredients without including 7-hours of baking and energy used for the mixer. Regarding the flowers, I contacted this people 4 times during the week to remind them to leave the floral arrangements for me, "don't worry was the answer". Finally, the wedding day arrived I am very proud at how beautiful and perfect the cakes came out. Here I made the delivery trip to NYC (FOR FREE INCLUDING TOLL AND GAS) under a hurricane weather, arrive at the posh reception site by the ocen and surprise!!!! .....there are no flowers for the cakes!!!!. After all my hard work, the cakes will look dull without their flowers. I called the bride she says "I am not in charge of the cake"....duh??? whoelse is ??? her mother is not answering the phone either! AT THIS POINT I HAVE ONLY RECEIVED $100 deposit! Then I decided to call the groom who has the b---s to tell me in an arrogant manner "well there are no flowers for the cake, there's nothing she (the bride) can do and nothing I can do, just assemble and leave the cake at the site as it is and that's that!!" What???!!! this a-- h--- has not chipped in a penny and he's telling me what to do with MY cakes? I was fumming, told my daughter the cakes are going back to NJ with me. My daughter then called the groom to tell him if he wants to have cake for his wedding, now price went up and he must pay $300 cash or no cake at the wedding; he said yes it's ok I will pay your mom whatever she wants tomorrow. "TOMORROW?????? I yelled" As I was switching the cakes back to my car, my daughter pleaded for me to leave the cakes as she will try for her friend to give me some more money after all this agravation. I agreed. BOTTOM LINE I had to go back a good 45 minutes ride to my daughter's home buy .99 cents flowers, arrange on the cake to take the pix I needed and go back to deliver the frikin' cakes. While I was leaving the reception, I noticed the manager of the place has called in the newlyweds and their parents onto her office and won't allow them to leave until the balance $495 was paid off. I don't know what happened next as I returned home after such an exhausting night. By the way, before I left the mother of the bride gave me another $100. Big deal.......Could anyone believe all this?

44 replies
cakesbyallison Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:33pm
post #2 of

That really sucks! Although... I have to say, even before I even finished reading half way through this, I already knew how it was going to end!! (I'm sorry!) ...but you had to see that coming?!! As far as the flower thing... I totally wouldn't have wasted any effort in "completing" that cake for her - portfolio or not (you can always photoshop them in later). I would never leave a wedding cake unpaid for - I'm glad you were able to squeeze enough out of her to cover your expenses - unfortunately, you probably won't see the rest of it. That's rediculous! Not a great way to start off on a marriage!

all4cake Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:33pm
post #3 of

I wish it had all gone smoother for you.

Your cakes are beautiful!

cakesbyallison Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:34pm
post #4 of

By the way - the cakes are really pretty! I bet they tasted great too! Who knows, maybe you'll get a referal out of it!

angelas2babies Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:47pm
post #5 of

The cakes turned out gorgeous. People have some nerve. It always amazes me that everything else gets paid for, and they just figure they will take care of the cake later. Rude.

Honestly, though, I don't know about getting mad at the groom so much. I would only call the person that was responsible for ordering the cake. They are the ones that I would be expecting to get paid from.
Angie

steplite Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 6:47pm
post #6 of

I was getting mad just reading about. People just don't know how much hard work goes into making wedding cakes. Well your cakes are beautiful and I quess we all learn from our experiences. Hope you have a great day.

MaisieBake Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 7:53pm
post #7 of

Wow, that stinks.

Remember that you can always say NO. And that if your daughter wants you to bake, she can pay your expenses.

LickDaBowl Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 7:59pm
post #8 of

AAARrrrrgggghh!! I'm sorry you had to deal with all that AND the hurricane warnings in your neck of the woods! I checked out your gallery and you really do beautiful work.

jwm296 Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 10:45pm
post #9 of

WOW, I cannot believe they had the nerve to do this !!!! You should have kept on loading up the cakes unless they came up with the balance that was due. I would have donated them to a local charity or food bank. It wouldn't get you paid, but atleast you probably feel better knowing that they went somewhere that appreciates it more. I guess this is good exaple of why wedding cakes should be paid in full before delivery[/u]

tccksmith Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 11:00pm

After the sob story of losing her job and house...then the talk of the purchase of cute little boxes with engraving to send home with the guests...I kind of figured she was just trying to get a deal. I'm sorry! Esepecially because your daughter was friends with the bride-it had to put you in a really tough position. It's sad that she would take advantage of your good heart, knowing that your daughters were friends.

tatetart Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 11:15pm

Yikes! You were put in a terrible position, and then to be treated with disrespect after you put yourself out for these people.
All I can say is Shame of Them!
The cakes are beautiful !! I wonder if the flowers didn't arrive due to nonpayment. hmmmm.... icon_rolleyes.gif

throwemndapan Posted 3 Sep 2006 , 11:31pm

Sorry you had a bad time. Your cakes are beautiful,try to look at it this way-you did this for your daughter she probably wanted the best cake for her friend. you did a great job. For every cheap skate or po-joe you'll have a customer that will pay on time.

Momof3boys Posted 4 Sep 2006 , 12:11am

Wow! Sounds to me like they got in over their heads. (and not just with the cake, with the reception as well) That's a shame, though. I feel badly for the MOB and the bride not being able to pay for the reception (or at least that's what it sounds like to me) Hopefully, they weren't just being cheapskates (although I know it does happen)
Sorry you were put on the spot like that.


Your cakes are beautiful, btw.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Sep 2006 , 12:56am

That really stinks... icon_sad.gif

That "Friend of a friend" thing is rough, I recently had someone who called saying they were related to someone in my church, and heard about my cakes, and said that a friend who was going to make her cake decided he could not do it so she was interested in me doing it... and then when I told her they started at $2/serving (which I have since upped slightly) she really backed off. I am not sure where she thought she was going to go to get a "cheap" wedding cake! I guess she assumed since she was related to somebody from church that I would give her a deal. I have gotten to where if anybody I know asks me to make a cake I wince.... and I usually either volunteer to do it as a gift if its a good friend, or I charge full price and hope they don't get mad.

I'd be teaching your daughter how to decorate real quick so she can help out next time she has such a bleeding heart. haha... She sounds like a real sweetie! I'm sure you are very proud of her.

newlywedws Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 6:54am

Wow. I'm guessing you had a good long talk w/ your daughter. icon_confused.gif Pleading eyes or not, your daughter should respect your talent, and realize that aside from the fact that you can decorate beautiful cakes, you are no different from a professional baker. When you've done a job, and have done your best, it's wrong for someone to underpay. Have you suggested perhaps your daughter should chip in and absorb some of your financial loss, since she was the referring source of all that trouble?
I can't stand people who automatically assume b/c they know someone w/ a talent, that they should be given a discount. If you want to discount fine, but it should be a choice -not made to feel like you OWE them a discount.
Just a thought -perhaps next time (should it happen -hopefully it won't) if you have a customer that claims to be in a financial hurt, perhaps you could divide your portfolio into sections that range from affordable to extravagant? Perhaps put little codes like $ to $$$$ -perhaps it would help your customers manage their budget (and keep you from being ripped off).

leta Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 7:23am

I hope you will trust your instincts next time--oh, and Dear Daughter not allowed at the tasting/contract.

But if you agreed to do it all for 200 and schlep it to the city you can't blame the bride/MOB/Groom for being underpaid.

It's awesome you can sell your cakes for a nice profit, make sure to find the people who are willing to pay for it. How many servings did you figure? By my count it was probably around 1.00 per serving possibly less--There's no profit at that price point, and the worst cake to make is the one you resent having taken on.

Sounds like some couple/family. Did you meet with the Bride or her mother? My understanding was that you met with the mother of the Bride. I hope you had a contract. It is especially important in the case of friends and family and friends-of-family.

Lazy_Susan Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 7:42am

First off - I'm sorry you had to go through this terrible ordeal!!

Secondly and most importantly - If I were you I would sit my daughter down and have a LONG discussion with her!!! She should have never put you in this position. She being friends with the bride should have known something of the financial situation and the lack thereof.

Kudos to you for even going through with letting them keep the cakes. If they were descent honest people that were trying their best to pay their bills and then try to fund a wedding but were having a hard time...then I think maybe I would do the generous thing and make the cakes for a smidge above cost. However, it sounds like these people were trying to have an extravagant wedding at the expense of all the vendors! Sorry if I sound like I am a terrible person but this just makes me mad when good people get taken advantage of!!!

Lazy_Susan

CakeRN Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 7:44am

Well friend or no friend I would not have done those cakes for 200 with the assorted fillings plus a sheet cake. If they could afford to have cute little engraved boxes for people to take cake home in then they could afford to pay you more.
If you felt obligated then you could have said....for 200 I will do 2 10 inchers and 1 8 incher... but you will have to pick the cakes up yourself and there will be no sheet cake for extra's to be sent home. You can't do business like that. Your cakes are beautiful to say the least and I would be wary of getting any business from people that went to that wedding. They will try to finagle a cheap cake out of you too.
Stick to your guns. She could have gotten a cheap cake at sams or walmart....

oceanspitfire Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 9:15am

well as cheesy as it was for your daughter to manipulate you like that and the woman to do the seame- I have to agree- you could have said no- I'm sorry, that you went through that this time, what's done is done- but please learn from that experience next time- i'm not saying that harshly- I'm saying that as nicely as possible-
I also agree you need to sit down and talk with your daughter about that- friend of a friend thing

that whole 'i know someone who'- on a generic topic now- that's just all a load of crap- and just because I know someone who is a plumber, doesnt mean the plumber is reputable- you dont OWE your friends or family anything to go on their suggestions or word or batting eyelashes or anything else to say- well come on do me a favour and hire this person. NO - it's a short word- it's an easy word to say once you practice.
Again, i'm not wanting to be harsh about this. I'm not defending the woman or anyone else out there who pulls crap like this sob story stuff.

You always have the opportunity to say no. And who cares if they think you're an ass., or your daugher 'hates' you for a while. Or friend or son or cousin., They'll get over it,. And if they dont, that's their problem. Seriously, they have growing up to do also. You cant (generic)just let people walk all over you jsut because they're friends or related.

Like I said, sorry you went through that- but she displayed all the signs going in that it was bad news deal, and you let your daughter manipulate you- yeah I know that sounds harsh- and it's not anythiing about beating anyone up- but you have to see that for what iat is. She was not really respectful to you and your craft to do that.

Please tell her that you're really not happy about that and that she ought not try that kind of stuff again. thumbs_up.gif

And in case that didnt come through before- I'm not trying to be nasty- just a lot of you people out there seem to think you have to bend over backwards and take stuff because the bride will be upset and it will ruin her day blablabla. The world is full of first class grade A manipulators- who put on the sob stories and the whole nine yards for years and have it down to an ART that you woudlnt see it coming if it blindsided you.

So I'm ordering all of you to stop being such softies ! LOL (that was a joke by the way like lovingly cause you're all groovy people but STOP IT! LOL)

throwemndapan Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 2:47pm

I disagree. Her daughter did call the groom and up the amount. It was the bakers choice to accept the job. I probably would have taken the job also because it was for my daughter friend. This bride should have asked for a simple cake knowing her family was having money problems.

oceanspitfire Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 3:57pm

I'm not saying that she shouldnt have taken the job. I would still think it cool to mention to the daughter how she didnt appreciate the pressure etc etc
My issue is with the ENORMOUS amount of talent I see in here, tremendous talent, that just deserves a little bit more respect all around including self respect/or sense of self worth. And so to maybe sit down and not go over your head just because your daughter's friend is getting married or someone else you know, to say listen lets sit down and talk about an 800 dollar cake that you can't afford and a 200 dollar cake that you CAn afford. The cheaper cake wouldnt have had to be crap obviously.
Again, I'm not defending the family- if they knew they were having money problems, the only mature/responsible thing to do would have definitely not been to try and take advantage of the friendship/relationship connection to try and get an 800 dollar cake for 200 or 100 or whatever ended up getting paid. Not just the fact that the groom tried to get more money, just the fact that someone that manipulative gets away with that kind of behaviour without knowing it was not cool.

At the very least she needs to know. Listen, I did this favour for my daughter because she's her friend, but I have to tell you, whatever you decide to do with this information, I have no control over, but I Really found it disrespectful and you took advantage of the situation and while I did her that favour the one time I wont be doing anything like that again.

It's perfectly OK to share your feelings with people about how you feel. Not always easy but it gets easier with practice. The main reason people like that continue to breathe (or continue that behaviour I mean) is because people continue to allow them to walk all over them. Or at the least if it happens to say afterwards, listen my lesson was learned but you need to know that your behaviour was not cool etc etc.

I just hate seeing you people with your huge talent allow yourselves to get abused, that's all icon_smile.gif

cambo Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 4:10pm

I don't think it was wrong to accept the job....I may have approached it "what/how much do you want to spend and I'll accomodate". This is why I'm SO scared to do wedding cakes! I have my second wedding cake consultation in a couple of weeks and I'm so damn nervous about it I can't sleep. I told my husband I've contemplated telling the couple I've decided to concentrate on "other" cakes and no wedding cakes! They're not getting married until next Summer so they have time to find another baker!

CarolAnn Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 4:29pm

When the woman said at your meeting that she was losing her home and her job I think it should have been a BIG red flag, which it sounds like it was. At that point I think you didn't want to do it. Personally I believe I would have talked to the woman about the cost and what she could afford. Gee, it sounds like she gives the sob story about losing the home and job yet she's going ahead and planning a big wedding she might not be able to pay for. I would have bowed out of this deal and let me daughters jaw drop open. I am a nice person bt I'm not doing charity work here. I've given pleanty of discounts to friends and their friends but something like this smacks clearly to me of people way in over their heads and no $ to pay it off. I'm sure sorry this happened to you. I wish you'd packed the cakes off to some churches or something. I think you'd have felt better about all the time you'd invested. And yas, I'd have quite a talk with my daughter. Although mine knows what work goes into my cakes so that wouldn't happen here. AND I don't mean that as mean criticism towards your dd, so please don't take it that way.

debsuewoo Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 4:38pm

Cambo, wedding cake or occasion cake, pressure is pressure. Don't be afraid to do a cake. All you have to do is make it clear as to what you expect from your customer. After all, they would not hesitate to let you know what they expect from you, right?

I have a friend who liked to volunteer my services for birthdays at church. She went to the later service where most of the younger kids attend, so no one from the earlier service really knew what was going on, but it finally got down to "I've had enough practice, now I want to be paid for my efforts" and she has since stopped asking me to make cakes.

I think OP should sit with her daughter and read her the riot act for putting her in the position she was in. Impressing her friend was one thing, but manipulating her mother was another.

joanmary Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 4:43pm

Your cakes were beautiful. I can understand you doing the cakes for your daughter's sake; and I can even understand her wanting you to do them for her friend's sake. And, people do have financial reverses - I understand and sympathize with that - and maybe the financial problems began after they committed to this wedding. What I can't understand is how ungracious and ungrateful they were and how they treated you. You gave them something wonderful for next to nothing and they felt it was perfectly fine to give you next to nothing - financially and attitude wise.

throwemndapan Posted 5 Sep 2006 , 5:24pm

ocean, I was not disagreeing with you I did disagree with newlywedws I'm so sorry, by the time I posted several other comments had been made.
We all pretty much agree that she has real talent and that she maybe should have discussed price with the MOB before agreeing to make the cakes- maybe suggesting a cheaper alternative usually I would say Mind your own business but in this case the MOB told on herself-no job no home...

I do not believe that the daughter owes her mom a thing she only wanted the best cake for her friend the responsiblity is with the baker like I said to discuss price and options with the bride and family or whoever. How many posts have been on this very topic most people dont think what we don is difficult or expensive, how much of a deposit and when to collect payment. i think wedding cakes should be paid for in full 7 days b4 the event, especially if fondant and elaborate decor is included.Some will pay for beautiful and delicious cakes.
These folks were broke and I hate it for them but I hate it more for the ones that were stuck losing money with them. If folks would accept the fact that maybe they cant afford everthing they want we would not be having this discussion now.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 1:39am

I've learned not to give discounts unless it is a rare, rare occasion, and only then it is because I decided to on my own, having nothing to do with what the customer can or cannot afford.

I either give cakes as gifts...or if a customer cannot afford a quoted cake I either try to suggest a cheaper design that they can afford, or they decide to buy one elsewhere.

A good way to "cheapen" a wedding cake is to make a smaller tiered one and then make sheet cakes to cut in the kitchen.

oceanspitfire Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 2:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by throwemndapan

ocean, I was not disagreeing with you I did disagree with newlywedws I'm so sorry, by the time I posted several other comments had been made.



Okie doke artichokie- no prob- I shoulda looked at timestamps lol-is ok if you were disagreeing anyway cause that's allowed :p I was more thinking in retrospect how I might have worded what I said differently to get my point across lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by throwemndapan

These folks were broke and I hate it for them but I hate it more for the ones that were stuck losing money with them. If folks would accept the fact that maybe they cant afford everthing they want we would not be having this discussion now.



Exactly- it's a sad thing- Ive been in financial bind, and I know plenty of others who have- probably everyone has at one time or another. Another rule about integrity I guess. If you cant afford something, you take a raincheck on something or cut back in places. But alas we live in a society where we 'buy now pay later' and with that I think goes the attitude that well I WANT IT NOW and 'we'll have to go without' just isnt in some people's vocabulary unfortunately. (Example, my sis - one of them, is single parenting, end of summer expenses putting kids into activities, well her car insurance ran out and she had to pay a speeding ticket off before she could renew insurance. And she's telling me this as she's stopping into 7-11 to buy 4 slushees for herself and the kids- uh hello- anyway- apparently I'm related to her LOL)

throwemndapan Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 5:03am

ok ocean I agree I know someone with the same issues right now. When I got married we could not afford air. I know my wedding was if anything was $500, that includes food the cake my salon trip and everything. I am still married and happy and if I had a million dollars the only thing I would change would be the cake. It was cute and tasted great, but I would get one of my cc buddies to do it....................for a discounted price of course LMAO!!!!!!!!!

People can always find a way to pay for what is important to them ya know like fast food and concert tickets no not bills no never!

mkolmar Posted 10 Sep 2006 , 6:09pm

well hopefully your daughter learned her lesson on this one. Friend or not do not ask mom for this kind of favor ever again! These people should have had a small scale wedding for their budget, not the elaborate one they had which it sounds like they were not willing to pay for. Sorry for all the frustration you had.

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