Cake Due Sat 6/7 - No Check Now What??

Business By sassycleo Updated 13 Jun 2008 , 4:51pm by southerncake

sassycleo Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:34pm
post #1 of 100

Ok so I was contacted last Thursday by an event/wedding planner to do a wedding cake for this coming Saturday 6/7.

Everyone is from out of town and supposedly the cake decorator she originally had from her home town decided they weren't going to be able to provide the cake (found out from the planner I work with who referred me to this woman it was because they didn't want to make the 1.5hr drive with cake in tow).

So it's a pretty simple cake 3 tiers the planner is providing the chocolate seashells for the cake all one flavor cake 6-8-10 for the tiers filled with buttercream icing. Not an expensive cake but before delivery and tax $222. So she said when I talked to her last Thursday she was putting the check in the mail that Friday. Ok so here we are now Wed. and no check (checked the mail for today). I went so far as to email her last night to confirm we were still on and to let her know I hadn't received the check. The reply I got back is yes we are still on and she sent the check last week.

Ok so what the heck do I do. I was going to start baking the cakes tonight. fill tomorrow night and ice Friday evening. I don't want to not do them and get the check in the mail Friday then what do I do other than pull an all nighter. On the other hand I don't want to go through all of the work and get stiffed.

Please any advise is much appreciated. Do I wait until tomorrow (which will have been a week, mail doesn't take a week to travel in state within a distance of 2 hrs) see if the check arrives and if it doesn't email her stating that I still haven't received it and will need it when I meet with her Friday or no cake? I had high hopes for this as this would be working with a new planner which I THOUGHT might mean more business...


HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

99 replies
MaisieBake Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:44pm
post #2 of 100

Don't lift a finger for this cake until you have cash in hand.

That means do not even think about baking until you've been paid.

If this wedding planner is a professional and not just some scammer looking for free cake, she'll understand how it works. And either her check will arrive tomorrow (unlikely, IMO-- her previous cake person flaked and now her mail is flaking as well?) or she'll give you a credit card number which you will make sure goes through before you begin work (you might have her fax to you the order, both a written confirmation and the cc number) or she'll FedEx a bank check or money order to you by COB today so it's in your hands by midday tomorrow, or you'll have one less cake to make for this weekend.

tippyad Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 100

I'd ask her to send the money via Western Union. It can get to you in a couple hours. There are other ways to get $ than in the mail.

For an order larger than $75 I always expect 1/2 of the money up front.

I know you don't want to dissapoint any one, but don't dissapoint yourself. Your time is worth more than that.

Good luck and I hope you get your order complete!

FromScratch Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:53pm
post #4 of 100

Do not bake a thing until you have your money in cash. You could even have her pay via PayPal with a credit card (just be sure to add the fees to her total.. no need for you to pay them). I would call and tell her that unless you have your cash tomorrow her cake is off of your books and you will not be making it.

pastrylady Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 11:13pm
post #5 of 100

I have to agree with everyone else...no money, no cake. I require the balance of a cake to be paid 3 weeks prior...less than 2 weeks prior must be in cash. I've worked in bakeries where checks did not clear after the wedding date and the money was never received.

The only exception I make to this rule is for caterers that I work with. I bill them and am paid a few weeks later. But from individuals, no money, no cake.

MaisieBake Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 11:17pm
post #6 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrylady

I have to agree with everyone else...no money, no cake.

The only exception I make to this rule is for caterers that I work with. I bill them and am paid a few weeks later.




Just to clarify-- you're talking about caterers you've already worked with (probably more than once), not caterers who you hope to work with more but haven't ever done business with?

pastrylady Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 12:25am
post #7 of 100

Absolutely! I have a running business relationship with them and they are well established businesses in the area.

I understand your desire to develop a relationship with a new wedding planner who could potentially bring you more business, but I wouldn't want to work with a planner who didn't understand that you need to be paid up front.

michellenj Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 12:57am
post #8 of 100

Do you have a signed contract?

JanH Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:00am
post #9 of 100

JMHO, but if this wedding cake were important to the event planner (and bride); you'd already have the cashier's check in your hand (via express mail).

Of course, there are reasons why the money hasn't been forwarded, i.e., the bride hasn't paid the event planner, etc.....

But none of their "crises" constitutes or compensates for "emergency" baking/decorating on your end.

I recommend you "just say no" by calling the event planner ASAP and sending a cancellation email. (Their non-payment effectively cancelled any verbal agreement you may have had.)

HTH

sassycleo Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:24am
post #10 of 100

I normally have a contract signed etc and deposit. This was a "last minute" order. I personally loved the fact they were trying to book the week before the wedding.

I have read over and over in the past other people in similar situations and always agreed no money no cake, but isn't that always easier said when your not in hit in the face with it...lol

This is my first wedding season, all of it is new to me and honestly I would have thought by now that the check would have been here.

The email I had sent her last night went like this:
Hi Kim,

I just wanted to touch base with you in regards to the wedding this coming Saturday. I have not received anything in the mail as of yet and wanted to confirm we are still a go.

Please let me know.

This is the reply I received:
Yes we are still a go. I mailed the check out last week.


I am very surprised that is all there was to it. I personally would have been I sent check no. such and such on this date for this amount, if you haven't received it by such and such date please let me know so I can put a stop payment on the check. I also if I were in her shoes made sure I sent it to the correct address - BUT that is just me.

With it being the time that it is (ack, I had fallen asleep on the couch!) I am guess I will wait until I see what the mail brings tomorrow. If no check then I will have to make the dreaded phone call to tell her there will be no cake. Don't get me wrong I'm not calling it dreaded for any other reason then I really would have liked to have done this cake - it was simple...LOL

I didn't think I would come across this type of issue so soon!!!

Auryn Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:40am
post #11 of 100

honestly
i wouldnt do it even if you get the check- way too shady.
I would call her and tell her to put a stop payment on the check and to send you money western union.

This just sounds way too shady.

JanH Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:13am
post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auryn

honestly
i wouldnt do it even if you get the check- way too shady.
I would call her and tell her to put a stop payment on the check and to send you money western union.

This just sounds way too shady.




Pretty much what I was thinking! icon_lol.gif

Unless it's a certified check, you could easily be the recipient of a worthless piece of paper. icon_eek.gif
(I think it's calculated that the check will arrive too late for it to clear before you hand over the wedding cake.) icon_evil.gif

Too many red flags for this to have a happy ending (for you). judge.gif

Good luck! birthday.gif

Petit-four Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:16am
post #13 of 100

Sending good wishes your way, sassycleo....so sorry to hear of this. I hope it is resolved soon.

costumeczar Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:33am
post #14 of 100

Sassycleo-- I'm in Richmond too, and none of the planners I've ever worked with have paid me themselves, they always have the client do it. This might be someone new who's doing things differently, but if it's anyone that has a reputation in town they'd have driven the money to you personally to make sure that you had it. Even if you get a check now there's no way to know if it will clear or bounce.

I'd call the planner and tell her that unless you have cash in had tomorrow there's not going to be a cake. If she's desperate, then she could always go get sheet cakes from somewhere so they'd at least have cakes to serve, so don't worry. If you don't have a contract signed and a deposit in hand then you're not responsible for their last-minute lack of planning.

Keep in mind, too, that there are a TON of "wedding planners" around here who claim to know what they're doing, but have just watched a couple of wedding shows on TLC and think that they can do it. I'm not saying that this person is one of those, but don't be impressed just because someone says they're a planner. I've run into a lot of people who claim to be the planner, but who are either just friends of the bride or whatever...If you've worked with this person before, then you can call and tell her no cash no cake, and she'll totally understand. If you've never worked with her then she might just be someone who doesn't know what she's doing, so you probably don't WANT to work with her.

jewelykaye Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:23am
post #15 of 100

Hi Kim,

I understand you placed the check into the mail last week however, I have yet to receive it.

I will need to receive the full amount of $____ in cash no later than noon tomorrow, June 5th. If you are unable to bring the payment I know Western Union provides a 2-hour money transfer service.

Please let me know which method you will use to submit the payment. If I do not hear back from you regarding this email I will have to cancel the order.

Sincerely,
Your Name

This is what I would send. I would also be VERY tempted to charge a rush fee. If she doesn't respond or doesn't bring the money then don't do the cake. I understand you are looking forward to having another cake under your belt but honestly if they are going to be this much trouble it's not worth it. You shouldn't have to chase the money like that.

AZCakeGirl Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #16 of 100

jewelykaye - very well put! I agree 100%, I think that is exactly what she should do.

MaisieBake Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:56am
post #17 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassycleo

This is my first wedding season, all of it is new to me




Regardless of how great your work is, this is why they called you and not someone else. They're counting on your desire to break into bridal and possibly also on a certain amount of naivete on your part.

gateaux Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:00am
post #18 of 100

I agree with everyone - no cash no cake.

Anyone who is responsable would have called you by now and found out if you had the check and why you had not cashed it.

If you are comfortable with the planner that referred her to you, I would probably call her and ask how long she has known this new planner.
This way you might be able to make a better decision on what to do and feel better about it.

I hope that helps.

Good Luck.

Good Luck.

elvisb Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:21am
post #19 of 100

OK, haven't read all the threads, so I hope I'm not repeating anything here. I would either call or email right away and tell the planner you either have cash in hand in a matter of hours (give her a firm deadline) either by bank wire, Western Union, personal delivery, etc. Personal check will not do! I wouldn't trust her. If the cake is not paid in full by 00:00 PM today you will be canceling the order. If she chooses to pay in full after that deadline, you get an extra $100 for your trouble. I think it is very fishy that her other cake person cancelled this late. She should have known she wouldn't drive that far when she booked. That was rude on her part--or she figured out that this planner/bride were trying to take her for a ride. And now you're stuck with her.

Being your first wedding season, I know you want a cake to put in your portfolio, but honestly, you don't need customers like this. I hope you walk away from this one. I really have a bad feeling about these people. Good luck, hun!

Lorendabug Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:33am
post #20 of 100

No money, no cake! If they do pay it is late and this is a rush order, meaning more money. At this point I would be very cautious, this planner sounds a little fishy to me.

I hope things work out for you. There will awlays be another customer and another chance to do a wedding cake. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Mac Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:41am
post #21 of 100

I dealt with a "wedding planner" and she was just a friend of the family that wanted to "get into the business".
I only dealt with her--her idea on the cake. Wanted a square 3-tier cake with ribbon around base of each tier and then marzipan fruit on the corners and top. Had to call twice to get money--1st clue.
Then delivered the cake and the marzipan fruit did not go with the rest of the colors--pinks. Talked with "wedding planner" and it was decided to pull some "pink" flowers off the table for the cake.

Both cakes (bride and goom's cakes) had expensive internal cake supports and on silver cake plateaus. Wedding on Saturday afternoon.
Called "wedding planner" on Monday for my equipment. She had no idea what I was talking about--even though I talked with her at the reception and showed her a pic of the internal support and pointed to the plateaus. By Wednesday, she brings me the internal supports--unwashed!!!! Asked where my plateaus were...Deer in headlights look. What plateaus? I didn't see any? Told her and showed her my pics with the cakes on the plateaus. Oh, I will have to call bride.

Needless to say, "wedding planner" did not call me back and then blocked my calls. FINALLY found my plateaus myself--still have strawberry juice on it and the finish was ruined on one. Found out that "wedding planner" called bride and told her that SHE owed me $160 if the plateaus were not found. AND she was a friend of the family. I sent "wedding planner's name" to all cake and caterer friends as a red flag.

Sorry--hi-jacked this thread, too! What is it with me????

dandelion56602 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:42am
post #22 of 100

Dito what everyone else is saying. Plus, here (and I'm sure almost everywhere else) banks hold a personal check for 10 days before putting the funds into your account b/c of it bouncing. Soooo, I believe this is why most people require a 2 or 3 week deadline to have the cake paid in full. That way it would give you time to get a cashier's check, WU, Money order, American Express check, cash, etc if the check bounces. So, remember, even if you get the check tomorrow it can still bounce. (When I worked at a bank people would bring a check to the bank b/c that's where the check came from & the teller can check funds---but there is no guarantee that you're check will clear before other checks do!)

indydebi Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:24am
post #23 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar


Keep in mind, too, that there are a TON of "wedding planners" around here who claim to know what they're doing, but have just watched a couple of wedding shows on TLC and think that they can do it.




Agree. When I get a "wedding planner" accompany a bride, I ask for their business card and ask how long they've been "in business". When they tell me they are just getting started or they are "helping out" the bride, I pretty much ignore them during the appointment. I'm polite .... I include them in the conversation .... but I view them as a friend of the bride, not as a wedding professional.

God save me from "friends" who like to play the role of planner!

michellenj Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 100

I generally like it when brides get a planner, but they can really mess things up if they don't know what the heck they are doing.

Keep us posted on what is going on. Hve you made the cakes yet, or heard frm them?

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:59pm
post #25 of 100

NO CHECKY
NO CAKEY

darandon Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:59pm
post #26 of 100

No money, no cake - sorry about their luck!

aswartzw Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:04pm
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassycleo

Do I wait until tomorrow (which will have been a week, mail doesn't take a week to travel in state within a distance of 2 hrs) see if the check arrives and if it doesn't email her stating that I still haven't received it and will need it when I meet with her Friday or no cake?




Sure it does. USPS does lose mail and they have been getting really bad about it. I can't even get mail in the same city anymore in that short of a period. BTW, my check to the gas company is still on it's way (it's been 2 months).

I would call her up and tell her to do a stop payment on the check and send a new one via certified same day mail. Then cash the check. Then do the cake. Make sure you have the $$ in your bank account with no more issues before doing anything.

summernoelle Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:04pm
post #28 of 100

Let me get this straight-the wedding planner was the one you just said "yes, I sent the check?". It wasn't the bride?
That is too fishy. A professional would have responded with a check number, amount, and date mailed.
Yeah, I would say if it isn't here today, then NO NO NO CAKE FOR YOU!
Also, if the check is here, then go straight to their bank and cash it (even if there is a fee) to make sure they have available funds.

aswartzw Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:10pm
post #29 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

Dito what everyone else is saying. Plus, here (and I'm sure almost everywhere else) banks hold a personal check for 10 days before putting the funds into your account b/c of it bouncing. Soooo, I believe this is why most people require a 2 or 3 week deadline to have the cake paid in full. That way it would give you time to get a cashier's check, WU, Money order, American Express check, cash, etc if the check bounces. So, remember, even if you get the check tomorrow it can still bounce. (When I worked at a bank people would bring a check to the bank b/c that's where the check came from & the teller can check funds---but there is no guarantee that you're check will clear before other checks do!)




This is why you go to the bank and cash it. You have the $$ so nothing can happen to you.

costumeczar Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:24pm
post #30 of 100

But the bank will still pull the money out of your account if you cash it and the check bounces later. They'll probably find a way to charge you fees on it, too!

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