I'm A Bit Miffed By A Chepo Bride...

Decorating By stlalohagal Updated 9 Jan 2007 , 5:42am by aobodessa

ally912 Posted 12 Dec 2006 , 8:52pm
post #91 of 118

For the past year and a half I have been taking cake decorating courses (no pictures yet..new to the site but working on it) and consider myself to still be a beginner. Recently I've brought "practice" cakes into work and people LOVED them. And next thing I knew, I've got a different cake to do every week. I live in CT and everything here is expensive. When I started getting asked to do cakes I called around for the average price per person and got $1.85-$3.00. Currently I am at $1.50-$2.00 pp depending on the type of cake and what is involved. I too had a friend (co-worker) who pulled me aside and asked if I would do the cake for her sister-in-laws baby shower. She said the cake was her part of the contribution and we discussed her ideas. She wanted two full sheet cakes made to look like quilts and a baby buggy. The shower was about 58 people and we rounded to an even 60 for a total of $120.00. I called around for comparison purposes and found I was about on average $80.00 less than bakerie/private people around me. Although we had no disputes over pricing, my point for sharing this story is KEEP IT SIMPLE. I made an estimate, provided prices for comparison, and left it at that. Lucky for me it turned out great. GOOD LUCK. Looking forward to seeing pics from the wedding in April as the one's you have out there now are great!

newlywedws Posted 12 Dec 2006 , 9:12pm
post #92 of 118

I can tell that you are certainly trying to be gracious w/ the bride, which is nice...but after reading your letter...I couldn't help but see how many times you stated you wanted to do her cake, help her, etc.,
I know you are trying to be gentle but firm, and this may be a case where she see's how much you want to do her cake, and you get ripped off.
If you still want to do the cake, perhaps offer a payment arrangement like $100 now and the remaining balance due 1 week before the wedding (that way if she uses a check it has time to clear, and if it bounces there will be no cake, and no refunds).

Just me, I would have written something simple like

"As much as I would have loved to provide your wedding cake, I am unable to alter my prices to accomodate your request. Please let me know if your situation changes, and I will make every effort to provide your cake for you."

She doesn't need to know that you called Bakeries X, Y and Z -let her do the work. Let her find out on her own that in the business world, the customer doesn't dictate the price.

knoxcop1 Posted 12 Dec 2006 , 9:27pm
post #93 of 118

I have to chime in here. icon_smile.gif

I think that the fact you put in the part about "I called here and I called there" actually shows a concerted effort on STLALOHAGAL's part. It shows she KNOWS what her "competition" is spreading around. thumbs_up.gif

I probably would not include the part about "what I've got from my parents and what you've got from your parents" and all. But everything else is good.

Dollars to doughnuts says this bride comes screaming back and wants the cakes at $200. They always do---or they find another sucker.


aobodessa Posted 12 Dec 2006 , 10:07pm
post #94 of 118

[quote="RisqueBusiness] ....CHEAPZILLA ....[/quote]

Too, too funny, Risque! Truly says it all about some people who hire us! ROFLMAO


daranaco Posted 13 Dec 2006 , 4:03am
post #95 of 118

I have the PERFECT compromise for you! Have the bride pay for the cost of the supplies and then insist that she work for YOU for 22 hours for free. It makes up for the time you are expected to volunteer for her cake.

I'm sure you could use some help with doing laundry, cleaning the house, pulling weeds, painting the shutters.......

stlalohagal Posted 13 Dec 2006 , 4:33am
post #96 of 118
Originally Posted by daranaco

I have the PERFECT compromise for you! Have the bride pay for the cost of the supplies and then insist that she work for YOU for 22 hours for free. It makes up for the time you are expected to volunteer for her cake.

I'm sure you could use some help with doing laundry, cleaning the house, pulling weeds, painting the shutters.......

Ok, now I'm laughing again. The good Lord knows I could use it with 4 kids and a house that is currently under reconstruction after a tree fall through the roof. I have my kitchen draped in plastic as drywallers put in a new ceiling in the breakfast and main living room area with flank two sides of my Kitchen. The roofer finally just finished and just has the guttering to replace. Now it's up to the guys to come in and mud and tape for the next 3-4 days then sand it all, and they don't work on Sat so it will be well into next week before the painter comes and finishes his part.... Oh yeah somewhere in there I've got to clean the house after all that and put up a Christmas tree so the kids can enjoy their Christmas!!! Yeah I could use just a bit of help! icon_smile.gif

You guys make me laugh and cry and the whole bit. I am so glad I found this website and I can't wait to meet the folks that are local to me someday. This is a great group and I'm so glad I finally decided to take these classes and try to become a part of your world!!! Thanks for having me. I look forward to being her for a while to come!!

- Paula

PS - I know I gave TMI (to much info) but I have know her for the last 6 years so she's not a complete stranger. We've been on a couple women's retreats together through church as a group thing but nothing more than that. So thus I felt comfortable saying the things I did in my note to her.
Thanks again all!

RisqueBusiness Posted 13 Dec 2006 , 4:51am
post #97 of 118

nah..the less people know about your business the better.

They don't want to know..they just want to know that you will do as they want.

stlalohagal Posted 15 Dec 2006 , 5:19am
post #98 of 118

Guess I was wrong, somewhat anyway. The MIL to be (also my daughter's Preschool teacher) phoned this morning to tell me that she'll have the money and to go ahead and plan to do the cake. They will pay for it. I will see them on Sunday to 'finalize' things. So there you have it. Guess I have my first cake order! icon_eek.gif

Thank you all for your input and support!!

- Paula

adven68 Posted 15 Dec 2006 , 1:27pm
post #99 of 118

It's obvious that you have a huge heart and you want to be kind, but the letter sounds a little unprofessional, and without trying to hurt your feelings...it's almost as if you're begging her to let you do it. (I'm sorry...I couldn't think of any other way to say it)

Be a little more simple if you can..to the point.

By the way....why are you "giving" her the snowflakes for free? I may have read it wrong but it sounded as if even if she didn't get the cake from you, that you would furnish her with your beautiful snowflakes?

You have so much on your plate.....and the time you are spending on her...between letters and worrying and calling...it's already not worth it.

doleta Posted 15 Dec 2006 , 2:42pm
post #100 of 118

Not only NO, but HeXX NO!
Your name will get out there, don't worry about that.
She is not the kind of doofy customer you want anyway.
I saw your photos. You are undercutting yourself.

SCPATTICAKESCREACTIONS Posted 15 Dec 2006 , 3:01pm
post #101 of 118

You did the right thing. If this person was truly a friend, she would understand and not risk taking advantage of you. Also maybe she should have thought of the cake before inviting 200 people. That cake you are doing for her is absolutely beautiful... and I am sure if she takes it to any bakery even in out back Dorchester, SC where I live it would cost her at least $350. You are a kind and thoughtful person!! Good luck!!

stlalohagal Posted 6 Jan 2007 , 10:45pm
post #102 of 118

I know it's been a while since a post on this thread but I wanted to post the link to the final outcome... the actual wedding cake.


The MIL to be (my daughter's preschool teacher) ended up paying for the cake. It was a great learning experience. I hope I can be more polished on the next one for April...

Thanks all for the input. I stuck to my guns even though I already offered a low price I know, probably lower than I should have but I was happy with it and I did learn a lot from it.

Thanks again all!!!

- Paula

sweetamber Posted 6 Jan 2007 , 11:00pm
post #103 of 118

Beautiful cakes! I must say though, those dolls kinda freak me out...


yassy Posted 6 Jan 2007 , 11:06pm
post #104 of 118

Your cake looks beautiful! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

stlalohagal Posted 6 Jan 2007 , 11:16pm
post #105 of 118
Originally Posted by sweetamber

Beautiful cakes! I must say though, those dolls kinda freak me out...


I totally agree. When I got them from her I asked if she really wanted them on the cake and she was just in awe of them and couldn't wait to see them on the cake. I said OK and they were so heavy that I had to stick a lollipop stick up their backsides to get them to stand upright. She originally wanted the snowflakes all over and then saw these Bratz things and because the girl had a snowflake on the little purse she is holding she had to have them... Oh well it's not my cake I just made it.

Thanks for the feedback!

- Paula

daltonam Posted 6 Jan 2007 , 11:57pm
post #106 of 118

oh you did a great job........but dang them dolls are weird & i didn't even realized it was a brats doll-lol

knoxcop1 Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 1:12am
post #107 of 118

Your cakes are simply gorgeous. That bride had an angel on her shoulder when she picked YOU to do her cakes.

She should be grateful for LIFE, and forever in your debt. That's easily a $450 job here where I live.

You should be very proud of your work!


ValMommytoDanny Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 1:23am
post #108 of 118

Fantastic and Quite Beautiful! You should be sooo proud! icon_smile.gif

aboelkens Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 1:44am
post #109 of 118

congrats, it is a beautiful cake! I am sure you will get orders from this.

Have to agree about the dolls, I could see them as the main characters in a horror movie. icon_surprised.gif

eriksmom Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 1:45am
post #110 of 118

All your work is simply stunning! If you're only on course 3 and a newbie at the art, then you have a very bright future ahead of you!
That was one lucky bride. but just from reading the first page of thread, my first thought was that if she wanted such a big wedding, she should have financially planned for it as well. If ya can't afford to feed 'em, don't invite 'em!

lionladydi Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 1:47am
post #111 of 118

Just read this thread from the start and I am glad to see a happy ending to it. You are a very good friend and she should appreciate what you have done for her. Even in my neck of the woods where I'm afraid to charge what cakes are really worth, I don't think I would have done all of this for that price. You were underpaid but if you are happy, then so be it.

Dealing with good friends is always a touchy thing. I kept giving breaks and finally my girlfriend told me that I had to get a backbone and charge more. So far no one has complained so I guess I am not overcharging!

Congratulations on solving the whole problem and being happy about it.


P. S. I forgot to add that the cakes are simply beautiful!!!

hazelina82 Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 2:08am
post #112 of 118

You're cakes are gorgeous! Everyone here on cakecentral does a great job of making a person feel good. thumbs_up.gif I even feel better about the whole ordeal.

trouble1313 Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 2:12am
post #113 of 118

I have looked at your cakes and you do great work. I hope you didn't reduce your price. I think 200 is not enough to start with. So did you make this cakefor her? icon_confused.gif

MeloMiMi Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 2:17am
post #114 of 118

Your cakes are beautiful. Glad to hear all turned out with a happy ending.

stlalohagal Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 5:25am
post #115 of 118
Originally Posted by trouble1313

I have looked at your cakes and you do great work. I hope you didn't reduce your price. I think 200 is not enough to start with. So did you make this cakefor her? icon_confused.gif

I'm not sure I understand,.. and it's late so forgive me as I reply...

I did make the cakes and I did them for the $200. No it probably wasn't enough but in calling around I found our low was $1.35 and the high around $1.85 here in STL. My Wilton instructor charged $1.25 so I thought I was doing good at $1 to start since I'd never made one,.. other than my course III final and I thought since it was a 'friend' though I'm closer with the MIL to be than the bride herself, I was doing an honorable discount. My thread started when I took offense to the bride saying that the $1 pp was to much when I already thought I was giving a great deal. My next two brides don't care... the one for June said... 'Whatever you charge will be fine. Just let me know the bill!' And she wants two cakes! One for their OOT wedding in Florida for 20-30 people and one for their reception when they return. I will be charging more hereafter do not fear. I feel like I have 'the experience needed' for the job now. I know I could have been more 'professional' on my responses to them but here I am new at this game and used to talking and dealing with 4 kids 24/7. icon_redface.gif

Enough said... just wish she wouldn't have had those dang dolls on the top! (Yuck!)

Thanks all for the great feedback. You always make me feel special and that's one thing I love about CC and why I can't get off my computer at night and go to bed after all is done for the day! This website is very addictive!

- Paula

lionladydi Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 5:44am
post #116 of 118

As I said before........you're happy and she's happy and that makes me happy. Good luck with your future cakes. You are doing wonderful so far. Wish I could do that good. I just can't get up the nerve to try the fondant and luckily have not had anyone ask me to do any. My daughter does so I would have to refer them to her.

Like you, I can't seem to get off of this PC. I've been baking cookies and just had to check my email before going to bed!!!


Janette Posted 7 Jan 2007 , 6:00am
post #117 of 118

Let her go somewhere and even come close to that.

Whatever you do don't lower your price. From your pictures you are really good and should have charged her $2.50 pp.

I suggest you not tell people how much the cost to make it - they don't understand the time and work put into a cake.

aobodessa Posted 9 Jan 2007 , 5:42am
post #118 of 118

[pouting ...] I wanna look, too! But the server problems are keeping me out! Boo hoo hoo!!!

I'm sure your cake came out wonderful, 'cuz everyone says so! But I REALLY want to see the grotesque dolls that they're all raving about! HA!

Seriously, I'm glad it worked out for you. Always a good thing when everyone gets to go home happy. Keep up the good work!


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