nydeco Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 9:50pm
post #1 of

New to the site here . I don't know if this would fit into disasters forum, but here goes ...( I can finally vent to people who would acctually know my pain..) I did my nefews wedding cake over the summer . I was asked to make their cake but, I offered it as a wedding present . I was delighted and excited to have been asked to make this for them . Well , as the wedding got closer , the order for the cake was getting larger and more expensive. A simple three tier cake turned into a three tier cake with three different fillings(one for each tier). Each tier, a different flavor cake. Then a full sheet to add to the list , to accomidate the amount of guest that were added at the last minute. Also , creme puffs , cannoli's, and ecalaires ( three trays) were added also. OH, and the bride and groom cake !!! icon_eek.gif oaky, so I know I'm the idiot that kept saying "Sure no problem " and let it keep going . Thats because I offered in the first place and thought it would have been rude to say "no" or be charged .

After all that was said and done , the wedding was beautiful , everything was great . Cake pastries and all . I got alot of compliments and a thank you from the bride and groom.

Two months later I recieved the same thank you note that every one else recieved . I spent over $500 to $600 dollars on the supplies . AND saved them over $1,500 to $2,000 , If they would have gotten it from any place around here. I was accually really hurt. I thought a personal note attached would have been nice. It's not like I showed up at the wedding and ate, then gave them $50 bucks like most guest. (no offence to guest that do )

So my advice over all this to others is , if you offer your services to a family member as a gift weather it's a wedding cake or birthday , make sure you make it clear what you will be able to donate , and any thing here on after has to be paid for some other way. That way you are not being taken advantage of. I know I'm not the only cake decorator that gets this treatment from family and friends.

Thank's for the vent!!
I love this site!!!

50 replies
mlynnb Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 9:56pm
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nydeco wrote:

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So my advice over all this to others is , if you offer your services to a family member as a gift weather it's a wedding cake or birthday , make sure you make it clear what you will be able to donate , and any thing here on after has to be paid for some other way. T




Very wise words! I'm glad you were able to pass a very good lesson along, now if only everyone would take your advice, we could save ourselves alot of stress! thumbs_up.gif

dianagreen Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 10:00pm
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Thanks for that - im going to do my cousins wedding cake this spring - and was wondering how it would go --now i know what i dont want to happen. Ill make sure to keep track and even price things before hand

Thanks and Welcome!!

Diana

nichi Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 10:14pm
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I offer up my services to family for "free" as LABOR ONLY and always make sure they know that they have to fork over the money for the supplies (less of course anything I would be able to keep such as cake pans). Seems to be working well so far, because I don't ever feel like I'm being taken advantage of (knock on wood).
I think all the time and effort you put into something so beautiful should be gift enough.

And btw... any pictures of the end product??

modthyrth Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 10:27pm
post #5 of

Woah, they just sent out a generic thank you note? When I got married 5 years ago I made sure I wrote personal notes for every present. What a shame that your efforts weren't acknowledged! It sounds like you put forth a tremendous effort for them. At least we here know how hard it was!

mthiberge Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 10:30pm
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Oh my goodness...I would be hurt as well. I would also assume that when a wedding cake is offered as a wedding present, it offers more free range to the decorator, meaning no major list of requests for cake flavors and fillings...of course you want to please the bride but lets be reasonable... As for the rest of the pasteries I would have kindly told them what I charge for them or at least had them pay for ingredients...I'm sure it was beautifull and they tasted wonderfull and I'm glad you learned a lesson to pass on to all of us, thank you. I'm sure the event was wonderfull exposure for your fansies and I hope it brings you many happy paying clients!! Cheers!!

lu9129 Posted 24 Oct 2006 , 11:47pm
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I know how you feel! I did the wedding cake for a present. Approximately 200 people. The difference is, I didn't even get a thank you note and the couple I did this for, I see every Sunday and they don't even acknowlege my husbands or my presence. Isn't that a hoot!!!!

Lu

daltonam Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 12:02am
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WOW--i just got finished telling another member here, that my DH's cousin asked me about doing her wedding cake, what i charged & such....i told DH & he's like you should do it for free, well that's fine, BUT i won't be telling her this--i'll offer it as a wedding present after i set it up, & if things get out of hand, well then i'll charge a little something--WAY TO MANY people have been taken advantage of this way, i really don't understand what causes the recipient of the gift to think they can go crazy because some else says "gift" icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gificon_confused.gif

cncgirl00 Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 12:03am
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I was in a situation something like this. I made all the bouquets, corsages, boutineers, ring pillow, flower girl basket, table arrangements, small children's cumberbunds/ bowties for my brother's wedding. Not even a thank you! I'm glad that I didn't decorate cakes then or I probably been stuck doing that for free, too! Some people just don't get it, do they?

prettycake Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 12:05am

I did a wedding cake as a present twice in the past, but non of them was a hurtful/ungrateful experience.. The last one, who is a very dear and close friend of mine, she gave me a Tiffany crystal as her way of saying thank you for the cake I made for her with a very nice thank you card with a very long personal note.. And during the whole process, she never gave me any orders, I even kept asking her what flavors she likes etc... the other one who is a co-worker, she was also very nice. She gave me a very nice Christmas Snow Globe (high quality) that she got from Costco for $60.00 (I looked at the price when I knew where she got it). And they were both so grateful for what I did and we remained very good friends.

It's sad icon_sad.gif that there are people who take advantage of kind generous people. Maybe don't do this anymore to anyone in the future, regardless of who they are. Just a thought. There's always good karma to good people. icon_smile.gif

sarzoemom Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 12:09am

I am sorry that that had to happen to you. I just read an article about just that topic. This is the link to the article and it is very good advice

Here is what she said

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Even with Brides and Grooms cakes I never tell a Bride I will do her cake for free before she picks out the cake she wants. All of my cake albums have information labels attached to each cake. In that label the price per serving is included along with any additional extra charges such as cake tops, lace pieces, arranging fresh or silk flowers and etc. The Bride looking at these albums can make an informed choice without asking a multitude of questions to be able to stay within her budget. If she is a good friend I have the option or privilege of subtracting a portion of the cost of her wedding cake. Or I may chose to give her the entire wedding cake as her wedding present after she has made her choice. In the past I found that if I told a Bride I would do her cake for free and let her pick anything she wanted, I resented it when she picked a labor intensive cake. You might have had a $300 gift in mind and they choose a $1,000 cake. If they think they are going to be required to pay for the entire cake they are more realistic in their choices.




Here is her link http://www.earlenescakes.com/business04.htm
Lesson learned before I get burned! Thanks for telling us about your story.

jgclucas Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 12:20am

I'm sorry. People seem to really lack manners. You are a wonderful person for being so generous with your time for your family, it should be acknowledged and appreciated.

I flew cross country, with baked cakes in my carry on luggage, and made a wedding cake for my niece. I spent months preparing and practicing (it was my first wedding cake). I haven't even had a thank you note over a year later. Live and learn. All the others will be told they need to go to the bakery.

Cassie2500 Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 4:07am

Man, this is crazy!! NOT thanking someone for what they did for you at your wedding-especially the cake?? I am making my first "wedding" cake Thursday night and that is only for my Wilton class-other people in my class were saying they did not want to do the wedding cake because they didn't know what to do with it afterwards. But, I am wondering, DID I thank the lady who did my cake? My wedding was 7 years ago and we as brides-well, me, anyway-are just ready to get it done and get it over with.
I was ready to go away and get out-thanking anyone was probably the LAST thing on my mind. We probably only stayed for about 10 minutes doing the basic stuff- feeding each other the cake, throwing the flowers and garter-and then we were gone. We did not want anyone messing up our car either. I know that is wedding tradition, but we did not want it. I guess because we hate to clean the car. I did send out personal thank-you notes when I got back specifying each thing each person gave me, so I'm sure I did thank her-she gave it as a gift. Anyway, don't down the brides too much-they are probably thinking they thanked you and just don't realize they didn't. icon_wink.gif

lilsis Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 4:32am

That's reall sad that you didn't even get a personal thank you! I've done 5 wedding cakes - 4 for nieces/nephews and 1 for step-daughter of best friend....3 of the 4 were given for gifts --- which they didn't know until they opened their wedding card with a receipt stating 'paid in full"...the other 1 of the 4 I didn't charge for at all because I made it out of town (in GA) in my sister's kitchen and she paid for EVERYTHING I needed (including the pans that she let me keep afterwards!!)...but I still got thank yous...in person AND in a thank you card. Heck, one nephew (whose wedding cake was for 300 people...YIKES!! LOL) even had his DJ announce that the grooms aunt/godmother had made the cake and had the photographer take a pict of bride/groom/me with the cake -- now that was a thank you!!

Some times I wonder what kind of world our kids are growing up in that they don't know how to say a simple "THANKS".....

(sorry I rambled!!)

nydeco Posted 25 Oct 2006 , 4:27pm

Thanks so much for your in put . People don't realize how much time and patience goes onto a gift like that . I just felt I had to vent . Like I said I was thrilled to be able to do it and I gave it with all my heart. But that simple thanks would have made all the difference.And I know the photographer took proffesional pictures of the cake , It would have been nice to have recieved one to add to my porfolio. But I'm going to have to ask for one i think ...lol thanks for the support!!!!!!

cassandrascakes Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 1:12am

Sorry, I had to add that people who really genuinely care about you won't take advantage of you. They knew the bill was mounting, but took advantage of your caring nature. I did my cousin's and best friends wedding as gifts and they footed every bill down to the eggs. They also purchased all decorations. My cousins dad gave me an extra hundred dollars when he saw the cake and all the work I had done. You were right to feel hurt at what they did. I am going through something right now with a family member, and I am hurt too. I'm just sorry we have to learn these lessons the hard way.

candy177 Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 1:23am

I recently did a wedding cake for a friend at work (we've become closer since lol), which I was paid for.

I did receive a thank you card - I even got my own personal - when a few people from work helped out and they received a group thank you card...not individuals.

I've never offered a wedding cake for free....but every time I just show up with a free cake, I get thanks!

susieq76 Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 3:25pm

It sucks when this happens doesn't it? I recently did a sweet sixteen cake for 200+ people for my niece who's dad died last Thanksgiving- gratis. She wanted Cinderella's Castle and I did it. It started out as a cake for 70 and spiraled.

It came out really nice (Thank God) and it was used as the centerpiece for her candle lighting etc. I was so hurt when she didn't mention me at all in her candles that I actually wound up in the bathroom crying (I also had a little too much wine and was very emotional). She did say "Wow! That's awesome" when she first saw the cake but thats it. I also never recieved a TY.

On the other hand I made the desserts (Suitcase Cake & Pastrys) for a friend moving to London's going away party and SHE thanked me like 20 times, wrote me a TY after they left etc.

Its strange how some people are...

KHalstead Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 3:34pm

this is precisely the reason why when my mom taught me at age 10 to right out thank you notes she made me well aware that you should never send out "generic" thank you notes.......at least the amount of time they spent picking out and wrapping your gift should be spent writing a letter of thanks for that gift. That means that bride and groom should have been writing a thank you note for like 3 months probably lol. but seriously.....that lesson has always stuck with me.....when I got married (even thouh I was tempted) I didn't send out the same note to everyone.....I thanked them individually for their gifts and said what the gift was and how much I adored it and how we were already making great use of it....and for gifts of money I let them know exactlly what we intended to use it for and then thanked them for being so generous. Maybe for her one year anniversary you should send her a note with a coupon to the book store so she can pick up a book on etiquette.......I hate when people take advantage of people like this.

karensjustdessert Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 3:46pm

Yes, at the very least, ask for a professional photo of the cake and a "testimonial" letter that you can use for your portfolio.
And ask for it now. And ask every week until you get it.

meghanb Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 3:54pm

Ugh, it all sounds so familiar. Last summer I was the maid of honour in my sister in law's wedding. I helped her plan the wedding (actually booking vendors for her), helped pick out decorations, favours, etc. I actually made most of the favours! I also helped her pick out attendant gifts and ended up making my own gift. icon_sad.gif After all of that, I still offered to make her cake and cupcake tower, but this was before I started decorating. She bought me 5 boxes of cake mix and some icing sugar, and I did the rest. 150 cupcakes. Oooooo...that was not fun. And after all of that, I also got a generic thank you note - a photo card. She did give me a gift though - a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks. I don't drink coffee and I live over an hour away from any Starbucks (and she knows both of these things!). Never again!

Momofjakeandjosh Posted 27 Oct 2006 , 8:59pm

That is irritating. My SIL (husband's sister) did something similar to my husband at her wedding. He does videos, so she asked him to video her wedding. Not only did she leave me and my son (her only nephew at the time) out of the wedding as well as not asking him to do anything special, she gave everyone a gift at the rehersal dinner but him. She never once said thanks. True, his supplies don't cost like a cake would, but he put many more hours into than he would have a cake. After all that work with no thanks whatsoever, the marriage didn't even last a year! I guess her husband found out how selfish and self-centered she was too.

mkolmar Posted 28 Oct 2006 , 1:35am

I feel so bad for you. I seriously think a lot of it has to deal with how we are raised(of course there are jerks who come from nice parents too) Whenever we have a birthday party we write thank you notes out and my little ones draw each person a special picture or a signature squiggle. I was raised to always say "yes, mam.---No, sir, thank you, god bless you and your welcome." I don't even call my family members by just their names, they have to be Aunt or Uncle. However, my cousin does not write out any thank you notes for anything--no matter what it is or what you have done for her. She tells people "thank you" and that's it. Her dad once asked why she doesn't send out TY notes and she told him stamps are too expensive! icon_surprised.gif I've learned some people are just a lot more greatful than others, it's too bad that you learned this from being taken advantage of. On the up note, we all here think you must be wonderful! So I'll try making up for those poopy heads that did this to you: To my Dear Aunt, thank you sooooooo much for the wonderful work of art you created for our special day. It tasted as amazing as it looked. We are truely grateful for all you undertook to make this day special for us and our guests. We are blessed to have such a thoughtful and loving person as you in our family. Love, your nephew and his new bride.

doleta Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 6:17pm

I recently heard on TV of a trend starting where the wedding invitations will say "A minimum $50 gift required to attend" icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif

IHATEFONDANT Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 6:35pm

Boy this kind of stuff just chaps my back side...

from now on tell everyone that their cake will be free but your services will cost xxxx amount of dollars.

RisqueBusiness Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 6:43pm

When my kids were little and family members sent gifts or gave them money.

I made sure to take a pic of whatever it was the money bought them, or if it had to be a combination of funds, I sent them all the same pic, with a short thank you attached.

The picture was of my little one eighter wearing the new duds or playing with whatever toy they combined their birthday and x-mas money to buy.

My family kept in touch with my kids, watched them grow from year to year and it was a way of me teaching my kids that it takes A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE TO RAISE A CHILD!
lol

mgdqueen Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 6:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by doleta

I recently heard on TV of a trend starting where the wedding invitations will say "A minimum $50 gift required to attend" icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif




That is disgusting. The self-centered little bridezillas and their all powerful MOB witches more than likely started that. I'm nauseated by people who think only in dollar figures and not a gift from the heart. I hope someday etiquette will be a required course starting in grade school for children whose parents "don't have time" to teach them the golden rule.

Maybe you should print out a copy of this thread and send it to the happy couple. They should know exactly how normal people feel about appalling behavior.

modthyrth Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 8:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by RisqueBusiness

When my kids were little and family members sent gifts or gave them money.

I made sure to take a pic of whatever it was the money bought them, or if it had to be a combination of funds, I sent them all the same pic, with a short thank you attached.
lol




That's perfect and thoughtful. Though I'm remembering what my brother in law bought with his christmas money from his godparents one year in high school: black vinyl assless chaps and lycra leggings (black, with the word sl*t printed all over them in red) to go beneath. Hmm. I don't think the godparents got a picture of how their gift was put to use that year. icon_wink.gif

RisqueBusiness Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 9:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by modthyrth

Quote:
Originally Posted by RisqueBusiness

When my kids were little and family members sent gifts or gave them money.

I made sure to take a pic of whatever it was the money bought them, or if it had to be a combination of funds, I sent them all the same pic, with a short thank you attached.
lol



That's perfect and thoughtful. Though I'm remembering what my brother in law bought with his christmas money from his godparents one year in high school: black vinyl assless chaps and lycra leggings (black, with the word sl*t printed all over them in red) to go beneath. Hmm. I don't think the godparents got a picture of how their gift was put to use that year. icon_wink.gif




hahaha!

You never know though, they may have sent him more thinking that his chaps needed more leather to cover the naughty bits! lol

zoomitoons Posted 29 Oct 2006 , 9:32pm

anytime I do an order for a friend or family I ALWAYS tell them that they are to pay for anything I have to buy, after that it's "free" this way I'm not out any money, just time basically and I have never had a complaint. I usually tell them that my gift to them is the time and energy I put into the product and they are thrilled at this.
I have been taken advantage of in the past and learned early to watch how i state my words so there are no issues later.
Amy

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