Well, after 16 months into my own cake decorating business, I've experienced my first major disaster. I was to deliver a 3 tier, stacked wedding cake in Gatlinburg this evening by 5:30. Well normally, its a 20 30 minute drive from my house. I leave at 4:00 to give myself extra time. Well, thank goodness I did! This just so happens to be the first weekend folks from all over are coming into our neck of the woods to drive thru the Great Smoky Mountains to see the changing of the leaves. Being its Thursday, not a weekend, I figured traffic shouldnt be all that bad WRONG! I didnt get there till 6:45, so I was 15 minutes late. Well, if that wasnt bad enough I get within 10 feet of where Im to set the cake and SPLAT Down I went!!! I fell with cake in hand. I tried my best to save the cake at all costs, but couldnt. The cake was totaled. All I could do was cry. About 10 minutes later the bride came out with smile on her face and just said, oh sweetie, dont worry, just dont worry about it, are you alright? I told her I would go to the grocery store and try to get her another cake. She told me not to worry about it, it was fine. I felt so bad, I feel like I ruined her whole wedding. I told her again, I would go to the grocery store and buy her a cake and pay for it myself. So off I went. I knew I hurt my back, but was upset about ruining her wedding, I couldnt even think about myself yet. I get to Food City, the only grocery store in town and all they have is 2 little 8, single layer yellow cakes. I got them and heading back to the wedding party. It was all I could do, but came nowhere close to be able to serve the 50 people her ruined wedding cake was to serve. I was devastated, but what could I do? I told the bride I would provide her with a cake for her next event free of charge and I would also provide her with an anniversary cake free of charge for her first anniversary. I also plan on getting a gift certificate for dinner for two from one of the nicer restaurants there in Gatlinburg and just mailing it to her with an apology. I just dont know how else to make it up to her. Hubby drove me and was out in the car when I fell, so he didnt know anything about it till after the fact, but in his sweet, loving, supportive way of trying to cheer me up on the way home, he says, Well honey, you can officially say youve provided your first BIG smash cake. All I could do was laugh! In the meantime, I need to get to the doc in the morning, my back is killing me. But I just thought Id come share my disaster with some understanding friends. I guess its not all as bad as it could be; its my first disaster in 16 months. I think, no I KNOW I felt worse than the bride. But my fellow sisters, if this happens to you, just hold your head high, and keep pressing on. Accidents happen, Im just so very thankful I had a forgiving, gracious bride.
Bless your heart! I'm glad the bride was understanding, and not one of the Bridezillas we hear about!
Honestly, it could have been worse. At least your bride was understanding--lord knows you didn't plan for all your hard work and talent to end up on the floor! Dust yourself off, get your back taken care of and try not to dwell on it. You were probably more upset than your bride was! It sounds like sending them a gift card and offering free cakes is more than enough to make it up to them. Its a bummer that it happened, but you were lucky you had such a nice client to work with.
Oh how sad!
That bride is clearly a good person--thank goodness for that.
I hope your back feels better soon!
WOW, your not kidding! I just discovered that show - Bridezillas, and watched it last night, half the night. On cable, they just show one episode after another all night. I was shocked at how some of those brides really are and was thanking God I never ran across one of those bridezillas. Sure counting my blessings even more now that you mentioned that! Thank you!
Definitly go to the dr tomorrow. I hope you are ok.
The bride apparently was adult enough to know that things happen and the important part of her day was the man she loves professing his commitment to her, not a cake. So many brides lose sight of the true meaning of the wedding and just gets focused on the material parts. The cake will go away, the flower will die, the gown will go out of style. It is the love and commitment that is important. You didn't ruin anything for her.
oh my, that is awful...I think you are doing all you can do...that's great that she is understanding...
I hope your back is okay...hang in there!!
at least the bride was understanding and caring, it could have been a lot worse if she would have been upset. I hope your back feels better soon. Sorry this happened to you.
Thank you everyone for all the support. I really am feeling some better about things now. My back is still a mess, but it doesn't hurt near as bad as my feelings. Thanks again everyone, ya'll are just great!
Oh, you poor thing! Newbie, so of course I've never done a cake, but I was a wedding photographer for years.
Not only are there bridezillas but also groomzillas.
I have had a couple of times I was up all night crying because the pictures didn't come out for one reason or another.
Can't say much to help. Just so glad for you that you had a sweet bride.
Know the feeling of wishing you could turn back time.
Thank you. I told my hubby that if she was one of them brides, I would have probably been ruined. I think it would have probably scared me away from ever doing a wedding or any other special cake ever again. But maybe that's the lesson here, maybe I'm to understand first hand that there really isn't anything you can say to help the matter, there really isn't anything you can do. Accident's happen and that's all there is to it. All I can do that I know of at this point it to do as I have, offer her a free cake for her next event, provide her a freshly made anniversary cake next year and send her a gift card for dinner for two at one of the nicer restruants there in Gatlinburg. Hey, maybe at the restruant there where she was having her reception. Then at least it's a place I know she likes, and it's a pretty fancy, uptown place. May cost me $80.00 or more for dinner for two there, but it's worth it if she's pleased. Then I won't feel bad, I think at that point, I've gone overboard. What do ya'll think?
That sounds so nice!
Think of it this way, if you do those things for her, you'll have a customer for life (and a nice one at that!). Plus, I bet she'll gladly recommend you to family and friends in spite of the disaster.
If I had been the bride and the person delivering my cake fell, I would have done the same thing as your bride. BUT if she gave me all the things you did, I would have been so pleased at you for showing me that you cared for me as a person and not just another paycheck. I would have been a client for life too! You are a good person for treating your clients with such respect.
Thank you SO MUCH Califdreamer. That was so sweet. I sure wish you were the bride. I'll know more this evening how she feels as I will be calling her this evening to talk to her again. She was drinking at the wedding and I'm not sure if she even knows what I told her, but I did tell her I would call her this week when she returned from their weekend honeymoon and talk to her. I'm praying she'll be as gracious and forgiving as she was Thursday night, and have the same feelings as you do. I will post this evening after speaking with her and let ya'll know how she feels about things now. Thank you again everyone for all the support you've been to me thru this. This was probably my worse nightmare come true.
Please tell this bride, "Thank you" on behalf of ALL of us here on CC.
Honestly, I have 3 more wedding cakes to finish up and I am paranoid with each one that the bride will act like the last two brides did (a little "testy").
It's GOOD to hear that there are graceful, understanding people out there!
Bless your heart. It wasn't your fault that you slipped. It sounds like you did all the right things to make it up to her.
Thank you Cathy, and I will tell her everyone here at CC thanks her and wishes there were more brides just like her.
Good luck with your, I'm sure they will be just fine. I'll pray for at least 3 more brides to be as my last one.
I have another wedding this Friday, but it's really small (smallest I've ever done) a 10" round and a 6" round. They didn't even come to pick a design, told me to just make it pretty. So I'm sure this one will be one of those good ones.
Bless your heart! Thank goodness for people that understand that we are all human!
Hey, I just love your neck of the woods! We were up there this past summer and hope to make it back up there around Christmas. (We are from Georgia.)
I'll have to remember who I was talking to recently about a small wedding cake for a wedding in Gatlinburg...they were going to try to take one with them, but I told them it would be smarter to find a baker up there...do you mind if I give them your info?
I agree with the rest of the girls here. It was just an accident and I'm glad for you that you had an understanding bride. Too many brides get caught up in the details of the wedding and lose sight of the meaning of the marriage. Sounds like she is a sweetie though. I would probably try to give her a restaurant gift certificate just like you mentioned. That sounds like a great way to make up for it right now, as well as a nice anniversary cake for later. That will get you brownie points down the road too. Hopefully she will pass along your great customer service to all her friends and you will have a lasting customer in her. I think good customer service is a lost commodity these days. Sounds like you are on the right track. Hope your back feels better. Keep your head high and keep trying.
I'm just now getting to read your posts. I'm soooo sorry this happened to you!
You and I do business the same way, because your offerings sound EXACTLY like what I'd do in your situation!
I'm so proud of you for "dusting yourself off" and getting back into the batter!
Aren't you glad she was a kind bride? I sure am glad for you!
And yes, I've been covered up with the tourist orders from the "early traffic" we've had up here this year already! The cabins are teaming this year---very much about 4 weeks earlier than last year. I'm thinking this is because of the lowered gas prices, maybe?
I hope you're feeling better very soon. I absolutely LOVE your work.
Awww! That is too bad. I am sorry, all of that hard work. But at least she was super understanding. The other thing is ....it is JUST CAKE. I mean it is more than cake to us, but to most people, cake is just cake. I cant believe it would ruin the whole wedding, if it did they have more problems than cake.
Did you get a picture of it? Maybe you can send her a picture too..... what the wedding cake looked like before..... hopefully it will be a funny memory for her. I don't know what I would have done if my wedding cake was smashed - esp. b/c I really did care about that part of the wedding! It was an accident though - and I hope your back feels better and that you never have such an experience again!!!
At first I thought you had delivered a small "smash cake" like for a baby's first b-day to a wedding by mistake.... or you got in your car with that cake and forgot the wedding cake at home........ I totally wasn't expecting that you smashed the cake literally! It sounds like you have things under control though.
My only suggestion is that you don't need to spend $80 for a nice dinner - not when you're going to provide two free cakes as well..... you could go someplace a little less pricey but still good. Just to save you a bit of $ - b/c you DID make the cake, you DID deliver it, you DID buy them a new cake, and you are now providing two free cakes...... it seems like you're going to be out quite a bit of money....... did you offer them a refund on the cake or are you using their money to pay for all of this stuff to make it up to them? I think you sound like a very sweet and wonderful person - I just don't want you to go overboard and be broke all b/c of an accident.........
Good luck and I hope everything turns out for the best!
I feel so sorry for you I would have died if this had happened to me! You are so lucky that she was so nice about it!
I hate to hear that girl. Thank goodness you had a understanding bride.
Thank you! As far as that understanding bride, well I'm not so sure now. It's been 2 weeks since that happened and I've been trying to call her to talk to her in order to reinterate the free cakes I promised her. She was drinking at the wedding and I'm not sure how much she was really aware of. She was way to happy! Anyway, I only get her voice mail and I leave messages and so far she hasn't returned my call. I will still send her a card with a certificate for dinner for 2 with an apology note. We'll see!
I noticed your in Palatka, Florida. I went to College there in Palatka! I'm from St. Petersburg, Florida, but I lived all but the last 5 years of my adult life there in Middleburg. No one knows where little ole' Middleburg is, but I know you do! Small world isn't it?
I'll let ya know how things turn out with my bride as it goes along. Thank you for the support. It really means alot to me.
you poor thing at least the bride was so caring. Hope you feel better soon.
I'm so sorry this happened to you!!! I hope if/when I have a disaster I am able to handle it as professionally as you did. She may not have returned any of your calls because she may still be on her honeymoon. My friend just got married and they are taking a 2 wk honeymoon. I would give her another week or so and then call her again if she doesn't call you.
Hi- somebody linked me to this and I was just curious to know - what ever happened?
I would love to hear how this turned out too!
Oh, I haven't seen this till now, what happened?
Yeah - I would like to know too. I'm curious why you felt you didn't need to refund her money?