In early August I had a couple come to me asking if I could make their wedding cake. I met them at my house and the Bride-To-Be had a photocopied picture of a cake she really liked as the inspiration. Very nice cake-3 tier stacked, chocolate fondant with a white or ivory ribbon of fondant going up each tier, little loopy bows on the corners of the bottom tier and a large loopy bow on top. Bottom tier was a square cake, middle was a round and top was a square with large 'pearls' of white or ivory icing at the base of each tier. BUT she doesn't want the bows and she has her own topper. I try to explain that the cake in the picture is set up to look like stacked presents and without the bow on top, it may not come across looking like presents. She said she doesn't care; she doesn't want the bows...ok, no problem, just offering my advice. It is HER cake.
First thing first, how many people are you serving? About 75. What's the budget? About $100. So, I tell her that I won't do fondant on that cake for less than $100, but I will do chocolate buttercream and I can get it nice and smooth. She's good with that. Then she asks me if we can do a 10" square on bottom, an 8" round and a 6" square for the cakes. I think she may have already gone to someone else about this cake by this time. Anyway, I break out my cake pans and show her what the structure would look like, and she's happy with that. We go through the usuals: white cake, chocolate buttercream icing and filling, ivory 'ribbon' and 'pearls'...
I tell her that I'll give her an anniversary cake so that they can serve the entire cake at the reception. I tell her the cake will be $120 and she doesn't really flinch, just says that her future MIL is paying for the cake and she's only going to pay $100, so they'll have to come up with the other $20. When she leaves, we agree that she will bring me at least $40 by October 20th, giving me that week to buy the things I'll need to make the cake.
I don't hear anything from her again until she called me at work on October 9th asking me to do a groom's cake. At first she wanted an XBOX controller. I'm not the best cake sculptor in the world, so I tell her that I would, but with the cake being due while I'm working nights, I don't think I'd have the time to spend on a cake with that kind of detail. Then she asks if I could do a football. With a mental heavy sigh, I say sure, but it won't be a 3D football. I tell her I'll do a 12" cut down to a football for $25 and she says thatâs okay.
I email her a few days later telling her that I'll be off work from Oct 18-24 if she wants to bring me the $40 then. She replies that she'll bring me a check for the full amount ($145) on the 17th. I reply that that is okay, just to call me before she comes over because I'll be asleep that day so I can work that night. She never shows, never calls. I email her on the 19th asking if I missed her and that I was so sorry if I did. She replies back on the 22nd that she didn't make it back into town until 10 that night and she was really sorry. So, I reply the next morning that if I don't hear from her by the 27th, I can't guarantee that I'll have time to make the cake. (PS-we're broke right now and I need this money to buy the cake makings! Of course, I don't tell her that!) I also tell her that I would really like to be able to shop on Wednesday (my last day off before I go back to work for 7 12 hour days, then 7 12 hour nights) before going back to work. She calls me and says that she'll be at my house on Wednesday with the check for the full amount.
I hang around my house all day Wednesday waiting and she didn't show up. I called her at 9 that night and she told me that she was off work that day and just had so much running around to do that she didn't have time to come by. Okay, I understand that she and her fiancÃ© are both 18, trying to buy a house and getting ready for a wedding...I really do, but come on! I ask her if she can come by my house the next night (last night) and drop off the money, the topper and the picture of the cake. She says she gets off work at 6:30, and I tell her that I get off work at 7 and won't get home until 7:30, but she can come by anytime after that. We agree that sheâll be at my house around 7:45. So, when I tell DH about this, he gets really PO'd saying that I need to just tell her that I'm not doing the cake, but I canât do that because Iâm a softy.
Yesterday around at 6:45 she calls my house asking if I'm home yet. Hello?? DH says no, that I was still at work and he said she sounded disappointed! He told her when I'd be home and he said she sounded mad. He told her that we don't go to bed until around 10, so she could come over whenever. She tells him that she'll be there at 8:30. So, he calls me and tells me this. I about hit the roof. Okay, calm down, no problem. If I get the money Thursday, DH can put it in the bank Friday and I can run to Hobby Lobby for a few things with my 40% off 1 item coupons that I'll only have about 45 minutes to run to several different lanes to use! And if not, I can ask him to go for me on Saturday-heâll love doing that for me-ugh!
Guess what? 8:30 comes and goes. I call her cell phone at 9:15 and she tells me that her friend is in the hospital having a baby, so she had to go to that girl's mom's house to watch her other baby while that girl's mom goes to the hospital to see the new baby and that she's almost finished there and asks if itâs too late to come by in a few minutes. I tell her that it's okay, just try to get by my house by 10:30. NOTHING! I waited up until 11:30 and didn't get a call or anything.
She should try to go to someone else with $145 and have them do both cakes on a week's notice. Maybe I shouldn't be so hasty, and maybe I should have called her at 11 last night to ask where she was, but I'm not the girl's babysitter. It's really starting to annoy me. If she hadn't told me that she was going to bring me the FULL amount and only $40 back on the 17th, and then pulled all this, I'd have told her I wasn't doing the cake in the email on the 23rd. Should I call her and ask if I need to come by her house to pick up the money? I donât want to seem desperate, but we need the little bit of excess money and I need to start baking cakes!
I'm sorry if this is confusing, but I just had to get it all out to someone other than DH.
If I had my own business where I could do a real contract, this wouldn't be happening. *sigh*
Regardless of whether or not you are a real business, you need a contract.
Sorry, but I stopped reading about half way through the post and started skimming it.
You need something in writing that if the amount due is not paid by a certain date, no cake, period.
First, the BTB is 18 - very self centered at that age, and she sounds like she is both immature and irresponsible (which is normal for that age) - some are more mature and responsible than others, but unfortunately for you, she falls into the first category.
Second, she's given excuse after excuse and no money - and you've continued to accept it and negotiate, so you've given her the control and the license to continue to manipulate you. Time to stop that now - one last phone call - no money today - no cakes - period, the end. I'm not sure I'd even do that at this point, but that's your decision. If it were me, it would be my last phone call to tell her she's had enough time to pay me, make final arrangements, etc., but she chose to make other things her priority, thus I am no longer available to make her cakes, as I have priorities of my own as well.
Third, this is a business - you can't be a softy.
Fourth, even if you end up making the cakes, I fear this will turn into another story, and trust me, you don't need that either.
I read your whole post, and you need to call her ASAP and tell her that if you don't get the money in CASH by the end of today, you will not be doing the cake - period.
I understand about needing the extra money, but she is yacking your chain and your letting her. From here, I've learned that if you don't take yourself seriously and act in a professional manner - business or no business, than others won't either.
She needs to treat you with the same respect she is giving the other vendors.
i agree, you need a contract. i have a feeling she is going to be begging you to do this cake because she will not be able to find someone on such short notice to make the cake she wants for $120!
i would be pulling my hair out too!!
btw, how do you make any money??? $120 is not enough $$$ for a wedding cake for $75!
i looked at your pictures and they are beautiful.
let us know how it goes.
I'd don't think she has the money she says she has. And when all is said and done you will not get the balance. If I were you I would walk away now.
I did read the whole thing, and I think you are being a softee. Nothing wrong with that, but just as long as you realize this is the kind of clientele you will deal with.
You need to decide 1. If you truly want to do this cake. 2. How you choose to let her treat you.
You can't make her decisions or affect her behavior, only your own. When you decide both those items, you will have your answer.
So I just called her and she said at midnight she realized she'd forgotten about me. Well. I told her if I didn't get the money today by 8pm, I was not doing her cakes. She's currently getting dressed (she took today off-how nice) and is coming out to where I work to pay me. I'm shaking like a leaf. I don't know if it's because I'm that mad or if I'm that nervous about having to actually stand up to someone.
Thanks for the encouragement-it's what I needed.
And I'm working on a contract right now for future brides.
I have no idea why it did that
You do beautiful cakes!
I agree, make a "today I get the money or no cake" statement. And that means CASH, no rubber checks, no postdated checks, no promises.
I think you are wayyyy undercharging her by the way. And with that, she is treating you like a doormat. She doesn't know how good she has it!!!!!
I hope this works out well for you... keep us posted !!!!
So I just called her and she said at midnight she realized she'd forgotten about me. .
FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU?????????????????????????
Is she for real?
Unfortunatly I understand where you're coming from, being a softee myself.
However, I have gotten a sturdy back bone and when I set up an appointment with customers, I remind them that I need a deposit of half of the total, at the time of the cake order. If it's 2 weeks before the wedding, then it's payment in full, NO EXCEPTIONS! I've gotten burned too many times, so that's the way it goes.
Good for you for calling her. I know you're shaking but since this is the first time, it'll get easier for you each time after that. Walk through the fire and you'll realize you'll be ok in the end.
I agree that you should tell her that payment is due by the end of today, or you will be unable to do the cake. You've given her many opportunities to pay you and gone out of your way to make yourself available. In my opinion, being 18 is not an excuse for non-payment. If she's old enough and responsible enough to get married and take on huge responsibilities, then she's old enough and responsible enough to pay for her cake in a timely manner. My son is 18, and he has his own bank account, credit card, etc,. At this age, they are capable of handling finances and making timely payments. Don't feel bad about being a "softy" this time. We've all done it at one time or another. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
well i hope you are getting cash....listen i am in the same boat....i am a softy and i am broke...i have learned the hard way...and actually am still learning...but since i have been firm on my pricing and all the deposts etc....things have been going very smoothly!!!! good luck.....keep us informed!!!!!
You are doing the right thing! Stick to your guns! You can't let anyone do that to you. Would they do it to the photographer or the minister? I think not!
Smile, be pleasant, as I'm sure you always are, you old softee! Just remember, you are a business. The customer isn't always right!
Make sure to post the final design. It sounds nice!
I'd make sure she gives you CASH, no checks at this late date and if she wasn't there by 5:00pm there would be no cake. My daughter is 14 and she has better manners than this girl that is jerking you around.
In my opinion, being 18 is not an excuse for non-payment. If she's old enough and responsible enough to get married and take on huge responsibilities, then she's old enough and responsible enough to pay for her cake in a timely manner.
I was thinking that thru the whole thread!
When my son was 18, he was a Marine, heading for Iraq. When my daughter was 18, she had finished her Army basic training and was on her way to Korea.
She's a twit who sounds like everyone has made excuses for her, her entire life. Sounds like she is due for someone to give her the Mom-Speech she's been missing and let her know how the real world operates.
I'm not saying you have to chew her out. But if you're running this as a business, then you need to run it as a business. Here's the rules .... here's how it works ... here's your (bride's) obligations.
You can bet that she got the church, the reception hall, the florist and for heaven's sake, her DRESS all paid for and taken care of on time!!!
I really need to *insist* you get cash If she is this much of a flake, a bounced check is probably nothing. Personally, I would've have told her no way after the second time she gave me an excuse....Once? ok, everyone gets busy - no problem......but this many excuses? and you are giving her the deal of a lifetime and probably turning no profit at all. A football cake for $25???
If she was sweet and polite then I could see you being nice and giving her a chance......and could understand you giving her such a great deal too. But she is a heathen! Since she is an adult now , let her have a taste of the adult world.......' no tickie - no laundry '
Don't mean to sound harsh but this kind of thing just pi$$es me off. No manners and she gets away with it, ya know?
btw, how do you make any money??? $120 is not enough $$$ for a wedding cake for $75!
i looked at your pictures and they are beautiful.
let us know how it goes.
I was thinking the same thing. And, what about the check bouncing?
I COMPLETELY agree with saying it has to be in cash. I wouldn't be surprised if the check bounces and you've already bought the supplies. Then she'll mess around getting you the money and probably not cover your returned check fee either.
This is a hard lesson learned. I agree that her age isn't an excuse for this behavior.
You can always post a contract and ask for feedback to make sure you are getting just about everything in there.
Keep us posted.
I lost patience with this whole senario about 1/3 the way through your story. If she treated her job this way, she'd be without a job. If she treated paying rent/house payment this way, she'd be without a job...
don't pay your light bill on time... lights out, baby!
See where I'm going here???? Quit chasing this self-centered airhead around and tell her the time has passed, she's off your books.
*Looks over her head and yells --- NEXT!*
Tough love time:
....toughen up!!! She jerked you around because you allowed her to.
Your cakes are beautiful, now give your work the respect it deserves!
I would have told her to find someone else long before it got to this point. You're not making any money...why put yourself through this?
I hope that you don't find yourself on the other side of this wedding with her complaining that something was wrong and demanding her money back.
I'm (VERY) happy to say that I have my money! She brought me a check from her future MIL that looked as if it had already been processed, though, with 'CENTRALIZED RETURNS' stamped on the back, then crossed out and initialed. Then SHE stamped it with her works deposit stamp on the back, too! I asked her if it would go through like that and she gave me the "oh, yeah, I've called the bank, they told me it was okay, I just wasn't thinking" line. So, as soon as she left, I took a lunch break and went to my bank, who is also her MIL's, and they took over 10 minutes figuring out what happened. The didn't tell me what the RETURNS stamp was, but I deposited 1/2 and got 1/2 in cash after they told me it was a good check. Big sigh of relief.
I agree that she's very immature to be getting married and trying to handle most of this stuff on her own. When she got out of her car, she told me she forgot the cake topper and after I told her to make sure that it was at least on the table when I set the cake up, she confessed that she really didn't know where it was because it was her mom and dad's from thier cake...yada, yada. I told her to just find one and make sure it's on the table when I get there.
Anyway, I've got my money and I'm buying the supplies tonight and beginning baking tomorrow night after work. I really wanted to do this cake and I'm happy that I'm going to. Everyone tells me I undercut myself on my cakes and I know I do, but I love doing them. I'm not going to turn to mush everytime someone calls me for a cake now. They've seen my work, know what I can do, so it's time to start charging accordingly. No more softy!!
Thanks everyone for your opinions and advice! I really appreciate it. Even if I'm not a real business, I can't let people push me around. I will post pictures once it's set up!
Well at least you got your money.
Good luck and let us know how it all goes. Can't wait to see pictures.
I got married at 18.
My hubby-to-be and I planned and paid for it all ourselves. Not one single person needed to badger for their money.
This one's a bit of a flake. Be sure you get someone to sign off on that cake when it's delivered!
Um No way. Keep us up to date she needs to find someone else!
Be sure you get someone to sign off on that cake when it's delivered!
Yes, I'm definately going to put something in writing that the cake was delivered and in good repair when I dropped it off. I'm dropping the cake off by 5, then have to be at work by 7, so I may stick around just until they show up to make sure she agrees that the cake is acceptable. And to see her face when she sees what a wonderful cake it is! (Gotta keep optimistic)