I'm just starting out selling my cakes, and I really could use all of the publicity I can get. I have a bride who came to me for a wedding of 300 (over a year away), asking me to make her cake. You'd think this would be a good thing, but the trouble is, after talking to her, she is one of those nit-picky brides who has known what she wants everything to look like since she was five. It's over a year away, and she's already stressing the small details. I've worked with brides like this, and the end result is never good. There's always SOMETHING they're not happy with, and I end up getting more negative word-of-mouth than positive. Now, like I said, I could really use the business, I'm just not sure if I should risk the outcome. Any suggestions, or has anyone ever been through this?
If you really DON'T want to work with her because she's driving you crazy, then there are ways to get out of it. We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it.
If you're worried about negative publicity, just remember, you are not the only person she is driving up a wall. All of her friends and family know how she is. If she's impossible to please, they will probably take that into consideration if she complains.
I actually decided NOT to do wedding cakes just for this reason. My first inquiry was for a wedding cake for 300. But, the rule of thumb is that only 60-70% of the invites will actually show to the reception and not even all of them are going to eat the cake! So, I told her this and she ignored it and still wanted cake for that many. I didn't really have the resources for this type of wedding so I politely declined when she emailed me saying that someone could do the sheet cakes for cheaper. I said that she should probably go with them and I am a full time student and don't think I can handle the workload.
sometimes you don't have to do a cake! whatever is your gut feeling is what you should go with! Thanks for letting me vent in here! LOL
I would go too, with your gut instinct. There are many factors to doing a wedding that large that you may not have the capacity to do if you go ahead and try to plan for a cake to feed that many people.
If you go with the 60-70% figure like Indydebi suggests, we are talking 180-210 people. This is still a very large cake. If you really really want the business, you could suggest making a smaller 3-4 tier and supplemental sheet cakes. If you do this however, I would suggest not discounting yourself at all for the sheetcakes and charge your normal price-per-serving for the whole deal. Especially with a nitpicky bride this early in the game. Let her get used to the idea of a $700-$900 cake and the price won't sock her in the "reality of it" later on.
Just a question, I don't mean to pry or make judgements but... are you legal? If so, make sure you are using a very well written contract with a cake this big and a bride who is nitpicky.
If you are not legal, you may want to re-think your decision more carefully. Liability of charging for a cake that could (and I'm not saying this would ever happen, I swear) make 300 people ill would be devestating. Think of the what-ifs. What if you get blamed for that, and you aren't insured or legal. That kind of thing... I just wanted to throw that out there, so don't be mad
Anyway, good luck with the endeavor! Im sure whatever decision your "gut" tells you will be a good one, either way
Thanks guys - Sorry for the delayed response - I didn't get any messages telling me you had posted.
I am in the process of getting licensed, and should be well before she needs the cake, and I have the facilities to do it. I've also done cakes this big in the past. I'm more concerned with meeting her standards - if that's even possible! I'll talk to her once more, and politely decline if I think it's going to result in negative word-of-mouth. Thank you Diane - I hadn't thought about the rest of the guests already knowing what she's like. That's why I love all of you - you come up with a freash perspective every time, and help me out my jams. Thank you guys so much!!!
My response, seriously, if someone like this was giving me the nitpicks a YEAR in advance, would be this:
*in best airhead voice*: "Oh, gosh, I am SO sorry! I just double-checked my calender, and I KNEW there was something about your date--I just realized I actually don't have that date available. Good luck with your wedding, though! You might try calling XYZ Bakery..."
If she asks, tell her that you're sorry but on that day you have a:
a. wedding to bake for OR attend (attend is good...)
b. grandfather's 90th birthday party to plan
c. root canal scheduled
Not worth it on this one, almost guaranteed.