I had a bride today that booked today with me about 2 months ago. She filled out the contract in its entirety and paid her deposit. the final paymen (due 2 weeks before event) was a week late, but I only had 3 cakes this week so I let it slide. She had mentioned at the meeting that she MAY use a topper, but never talked to me about it after that. I called her yesterday to confirm the cake topper, as her how much it weighed... We decided it could just stand on the cake without extra pillars. she said she would leave it at 'the restaurant' for me.
Okay, she was scheduled to have her cake delivered at 1pm at restaurant A. She told me they did not get the room until 11am, so the cake had to be there after that. I wanted to wait a bit to ensure the linens were on the table and all, so I intended to leave with the said cake at 11:15 for a 11:25am delivery.
At 10:45 am I get a call from restaurant B saying that this girls reception started in 15 minutes, where is the cake?! okay... 2 hours earlier... different restaurant than on the contract... I load up the cake and start driving to restaurant B. On the way, I call restaurant A, and they say that they have no reception by that name. I get to REstaurant B at 10:59 am - 1 minute before the guests are to start arriving and did a very quick set up (had to put on sand and shells...). then I found the banquet manager and asked to see the contract they had, sure enough we had the same girl with 2 different restaurants and times.
Now, I tell people at the consultation that I am busy, I don't have time to call them and check on every detail and if they need any changes made, they need to call and send an email. I always tell them a little story about a bride who didn't tell me she wanted live flowers on her cake and I showed up to 3 DOZEN roses and had to do something with them. They say they understand it's important to keep me in the loop. This girl said it as well.
It was crazy for me, to say the least. i told a few friends and they were all like, oh you should call and confirm everything. I used to call people the week of their weddings and confirm things when I first did it, then I started calling venues and leaving the bride alone. but, I've delivered a lot to both of these places actually, and I figured everything was straight, so I didn't call the venue to confirm times and which room and all of that.
So do you call anyone? just go by the contract?
Why wouldn't someone tell me they changed times and restaurants?! I'm not a mind reader...
if you don't have time to call them, maybe an email with all the info and a short line with ,
"If you have any changes please respond with said changes via a reply within 24 hours, if you do not respond then I will proceed as per contract"
In my contract is a clause that anything changed after the contract is signed must be in writing and signed by both the party responsible for paying me and my company.
Obviously your friends don't have a clue on what it's like to run a business that is busy. I have 40+ brides a year to keep track of .... a bride has ONE cake lady to keep track of. I do everything in writing and I send everything by email.
I STRONGLY encourage my brides to verify and confirm with ALL of their vendors a week before the wedding. I always share the story of the florist who put the wedding on her calendar wrong. The bride called her the day of the wedding to find out where the flowers were. Bride HAPPENED to catch the florist in the shop only because the florist had stopped in there for a second on her way to the lake to get on the boat with her family!
During the consultation, my closing speech includes the following:
"Please look these order forms over carefully. Between now and your wedding, I will talk to a number of brides and I promise you, I will NOT remember this conversation. Be sure that what I've written down is what you are expecting. And if it's NOT written down ... then it's NOT happening!"
I LUV my brides who call and confirm their details! But once I have a confirmed order, then that's what I'm going with unless they tell me otherwise.
I conceed it would be great customer service to call every bride and ask "are you still getting married? is it still at this place? do you still need the same cake?", but if you do any volume at all, that is just not always possible.
Maybe someday I'll be big enough to hire someone just to do this. Until then .......?
I once worked a wedding (me = cake) and the musicians, caterer, photographer and I all had different start times on our contracts. Same venue, different start times. It wasn't particularly pretty.
I agree with Indydebi, it states in my contract that if any changes are made it is the responsiblity of the person who signed it to call me and make the changes.
I send a written order confirmation via email and as soon as the customer oks what the order then it goes on my spread sheet and that is what I go by.
If they change something then they have to let me know. I only do about 5-7 cakes a week, but between the cake inquiries, returning emails, confirming orders, phone calls, and three kids (I do all my "office" work from home during the day) I really don't have time to re-confim all my orders.
I have'nt had anyone change times on my though...yet.
I have'nt had anyone change times on my though...yet.
I had it happen twice.
One was a bride who made an appt to come back over and discuss everything. It was a short 20 min visit, but during the conversation, as I'm going thru the list of everything I had down, we discovered she had moved the event up 2 hours! I said, 'Gosh, that's something I really need to know, ya know!" Well, we laughed about it, since we had discovered it about 3 weeks before the wedding .....! But a VERY good example of why I encourage brides to confirm everything with every vendor.l
Another was a dinner for a Knights of Columbus. I arrived a little before the scheduled 5:30 set-up time (for a 6;30 dinner). The guy was SO relieved...."Thank god the caterer's finally here!" COnfused, I said, "well I said I'd be here at 5:30 and it's 5:20!" He the explained that he had put the wrong times on his invites to the KofC members so they thought dinner was being served at 5:30! I told him, "if you change the time of the dinner, you have to call and tell me that. Tell your guests I'll get it set up as quick as I can .... in the meantime, they can spend more money at your bar."
Poor planning on your part ...... does not make ME a dumba$$!
I generally talk to my brides before the wedding but not always. It is their responsibility to get any changes to me. I have a contract with EVERYTHING spelled out in it down to the delivery time 2 hours before the ceremony.
If they make changes they need to let me know. As someone else said - I have a number of brides and other cake customers, a part time job, a husband, 2 kids at home, one kid gone with his own family, a dog that is picky as all get out and a rabbit...I am busy...you make changes...let me know . Otherwise, your cake will arrive as stated on the contract you signed....if that is too early, late, or in the wrong place it will be a PP. (personal problem)
While I don't mind going the extra mile I am not their wedding coordinator.
I do the same as Debi. At the consultation I tell them that in 8-9-10-11-12 months I will not remember this conversation, and if it's not on the contract or the order form it won't be on the cake. They always seem surprised when I say I won't remember what we talked about. I'm such a big part of their special day, but to me they're just another customer in a long line of customers (I would never tell them that, though). I always make them feel really special, and that's why I have a booking rate of 98%.
I had 85 wedding cakes last year. I can't call and confirm every last little thing, otherwise I'd never get off the phone. I do call venues the day of delivery, to confirm that everything is set up so i can drop and run.
I always send a confirmation email to the bride about one month before the wedding date to go over the order and delivery details. This also gives me a chance to remind the bride about their final payment that is due two weeks before the wedding.
I also remind the bride that if there is anything that they need to drop off at my home (ie. toppers, cake stands) to please make arrangements with me asap so that I have plenty of time to figure out any design details that will be required for it - I don't have them deliver them to the venue anymore (learned that lesson early!! ).
Lastly, during the week of the wedding, I call the venue to confirm any delivery details. Most of the venues know me by now, so it is just a quick call to give them an estimated time range for my delivery. There are a few venues that I haven't worked with yet, so I have to find out entrances, and their delivery policies (if any!). I find that most venues really appreciate this service.
3 weeks prior to the wedding I send an email to the bride, reminding them balances coming due, confirm details on order (if we need to adjust size of cake) and confirm delivery time w/ her. The week prior to the wedding, I call the venue to confirm delivery (usually on a Wednesday). Just because the bride wants the cake delivered at a certain time, doesn't mean the venue will have the cake table ready then. It only takes a minute to make a phone call, and confirm delivery - and if it's a new venue I haven't been to, I also will ask for any specific delivery instructions I need to be aware of. I think it's good business and if anything, I feel better organized. I do about 1-3 weddings a weekend, and haven't had a problem yet! (Knock on wood!!)
....and if it's a new venue I haven't been to, I also will ask for any specific delivery instructions I need to be aware of.
I also contact any new venues ... Need to also find out if they require a certificate of liability insurance and if so, how they need it made out. I also ask if they need a copy of my license and verify best door for delivery.