Omg Please Help! I Don't Know What To Do With This Bride!...

Business By mom2spunkynbug Updated 25 Jun 2008 , 9:06pm by michellenj

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:55am
post #1 of 50

I will try to make a long story short...

Back in January I did my first wedding expo. Met a bride - she had attitude from the get-go. She told me she could do this cake herself, but her mother didn't want her to. She wanted me to use HER recipe.

We emailed back & forth. I tried her recipe - it was great. She wanted me to use HER filling. I said I would have to use one of my fillings, that she couldn't supply the filling. She also wanted her florist to put the flowers on the cake. I told her I would also have to do this myself. She agreed to everything.

In February I ended up making her sample cupcakes with her recipe and 3 different fillings for her to try. She gave me her cake topper and I told her about how much the cake would cost, and I told her that she would need to sign an agreement when she was ready to pay the deposit.

She called & left a message a few weeks later asking where to send payment. I called back & had to leave a message stating where she could send the check to and reminded her about the agreement also, and that if we couldn't meet, we could at least do it through the mail.

I never heard from her, so about a week later, I emailed her stating that I left her a message and typed everything I had said in the message (this was in late February/early March). I never heard from her.

So, June 1st, she emails me and says that she checked her records and found the deposit check and that she sent me a new one out in the mail.

Here it is, 3 weeks later, and I still don't have the money. (She lives like 5 minutes from me, and I repeatedly offered to meet her at her work at her lunch hour, or at her home, or at my "office" to do the paperwork.)

In the meantime I've been having tastings and bookings. Well...now her date is booked. I have a wedding booked (deposit paid) for her date AND the day before her date (both deposits paid).

WHAT DO I DO NOW?!

I'm just starting so I hate to turn away business...but I don't really think I can handle 3 weddings in one weekend! Plus I don't even know what filling she wants, who her florist is, where her wedding is, nothing! Do I tell her that I'm booked now? Do I try to work her in?

Part of me thinks she's doing this on purpose and that she WANTS me to tell her no so she can say "well I want my topper back then" because she's probably going to do it herself or have family do it or something. I just don't want her bad-mouthing me to other people.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?! (Indydebi...you out there?!)

Help! icon_cry.gif

49 replies
-K8memphis Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:23am
post #2 of 50

I just see it as you being responsible for the business that you do have. She still is not your client without any money having changed hands. Chill. It's ok.

My only other thought is that I hope you charged her for the cupcakes etc.

ccr03 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:31am
post #3 of 50

Wow, that's a tough situation and I totally understand about not wanting to do three weddings in a weekend.

I would be upfront and honest with her. Contact her ASAP and tell her:

Hello Bride,
I hope all is going well with your wedding plans. I'm sure this is a very exciting time for you. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to do your wedding cake. Another paid-in-full order has come in and it is my policy to limit myself on the number of wedding cakes I do per day as to ensure high-quality work.
I apologize for any inconvience this may cause but without a signed contract or deposit, I was unable to hold your date for you.
Please contact me as soon as possible so I can return your cake topper."

IF you have any fellow decorators you can recommend - definitely include that info as well.

servingzero Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:37am
post #4 of 50

I also hope you have charged for the tasting.
If you don't think you can handle 3 weddings in one weekend, then do say to her that you are booked, and due to the negligence on her responding, you cannot accomodate her cake. Lesson learned for her about booking large orders!
I mean I am nervous about my FIRST wedding cake,and had PLENTY of notice (propbaby WHY I am nercvous) and thusly am NOT taking any other orders for the same time. You have to make sure that YOU are in a good place as a decorator. If you're stressed then your cake won't be what you want. Then again, if you work best under pressure then book it.. I know my best art project is school was under pressure, but I didn't have to bake anything, I just had to paint on canvas (that I made, 20 min prior)

CambriasCakes Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:38am
post #5 of 50

This chick is playing games with you and it's unacceptable! Call her up and tell her she's S.O.L. You never received her deposit or any other information from her so you booked her date. She has no reason to bad mouth you either. It's her own fault she took so long to get back to you! Good luck!

arosstx Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:43am
post #6 of 50

Honestly, I would suggest that you stop contacting her altogether and let her contact you. I've never heard of a store calling people to see if they want to be customers...the customers come to them! icon_smile.gif

If she wants or needs a cake, she knows how to reach you, at which time you can apologize that the date is no longer available and how it's such a shame SHE waited too long....

Not your job to babysit the bride!

CakeDiva73 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:43am
post #7 of 50

I agree...run, baby, run! Return her topper and call it a day. Hopefully you charged for all the samples but you sound like a soft touch icon_smile.gif so you were probably too nice to do that! icon_smile.gif

I would have really been leary after she asked me to use her recipe. And either this is what she wanted or she is a total flake and will be shocked that the whole world wasn't revolving around her 'special' day. You have to protect yourself and your business and that's what you're doing. icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:52am
post #8 of 50

no money? no contract signed? no worries...

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:11am
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

I agree...run, baby, run! Return her topper and call it a day. Hopefully you charged for all the samples but you sound like a soft touch icon_smile.gif so you were probably too nice to do that! icon_smile.gif

I would have really been leary after she asked me to use her recipe. And either this is what she wanted or she is a total flake and will be shocked that the whole world wasn't revolving around her 'special' day. You have to protect yourself and your business and that's what you're doing. icon_smile.gif




Yeah, I didn't charge her for the cupcakes - they were free!! I met her at my first show in January, and gave her the cupcakes at my second show in February - I told her there was no cost since I'd be there with cupcakes anyway & meeting with a bunch of brides. icon_rolleyes.gif

AZCakeGirl Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:18am
post #10 of 50

Here's my two cents on ideas for an email or letter you can send her (good to have it in writing)...........

Option #1:

Hello [bride's name],

As mentioned previously, I require a deposit in order to hold your wedding date for the cake order. Unfortunately, I still have not received the deposit from you & the date you were interested in has been booked by another party. Please contact me to schedule the return of your cake topper.

I know that early on, you had mentioned the idea of doing the cake yourself. However if you are still planning on hiring someone to do it for you, I have provided the contact information below for a few other decorators in town. I wish you all the best of luck with the remainder of your planning.

Best regards,
[your name]



[insert vendor list here]


Option #2 -Keep it simple & eliminate the 2nd paragraph & the vendor list.

Ednarooni Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:36am
post #11 of 50

TIME is MONEY...You have gone above and beyond..and if she's only 5 minutes away, she can get her topper, unless you just want the headache to go away..

melysa Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:40am
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2spunkynbug

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?! Help! icon_cry.gif




absolutely nothing. not worth the headache. without a deposit or contract, there is no obligation whatsoever on your part. she waited, so SHE will have to figure it out. not you.

miss_sweetstory Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 6:19am
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2spunkynbug


So, June 1st, she emails me and says that she checked her records and found the deposit check and that she sent me a new one out in the mail.

Here it is, 3 weeks later, and I still don't have the money.





Hmmm...I think you're going to hear back from this 'zilla. In her mind she has you locked in. (She was expecting you to chase her down for the deposit and contract.) I do agree with the poster who said that you need to inform this bride that she has lost the date. Be firm...your "paid" brides deserve your time and energy.

marmalade1687 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 12:09pm
post #14 of 50

I agree with the other posters...tell her that the date is booked - a date is not booked unless the deposit money is put down to hold it (topper does not hold the date!! icon_confused.gif ) Return the topper to her asap and forget her - enjoy working with the clients that you have booked with! icon_biggrin.gif

aligotmatt Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:22pm
post #15 of 50

I love the thoery of cancelling her, but i'm a pushover. I can say, no money no cake... but I always end up doing it!! I love cake. I love weddings. I can't imagine saying to someone, you are not going to have a wedding cake.

I have 2 lingering brides right now, they both keep emailing me saying they want to put down 50%, but I don't know what kind of cake I'm making them. What's 50% of who knows that? So I haven't taken any money. But, I am holding the dates for them as we finish designing their cakes and finalize a price.

wendalynn11 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:30pm
post #16 of 50

I agree with PP's, no money, no cake. On the bright side, it sounds like you got a great new cake recipe out of the fiasco, use it on other orders!!!

awolf24 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:35pm
post #17 of 50

Exactly what wendalynn11 said! At least you have a great new recipe! icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:36pm
post #18 of 50

The deposit is to secure the date. She didn't pay you, you have booked the date with someone else. Sorry bride.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:38pm
post #19 of 50

Thank you all so much for your feedback! I really appreciate it.

ccr03 - I really liked how you worded your letter, so I decided to go with that.

miss_sweetstory - I agree with you. In her mind, she thinks we're booked. Like I said, there was attitude from the beginning & I'm sure I haven't seen the last of it!

aligotmatt - I'm with you, but I just did my first wedding cake this last weekend. I think I'm pushing myself to the limit by doing 2 wedding cakes in one weekend, there is no way I'd be able to do 1 one day, and 2 the next day! I'm a licensed home-baker doing this out of my home and that is just too much for me.

Thanks again for all the feedback! icon_smile.gif

ccr03 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:40pm
post #20 of 50

Glad I could be of help. Hope everything goes well!

Zaxapi Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 1:43pm
post #21 of 50

Like others have said, I would email her and let her know that you are now booked. You snooze you lose. Also if she is that close to you drop her cake topper off at her office if you know where it is and wash your hands clean of the whole situation. She sounds like someone you dont need to be dealing with anyways. Enjoy your other cake orders.

miss_sweetstory Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 2:04pm
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt


I have 2 lingering brides right now, they both keep emailing me saying they want to put down 50%, but I don't know what kind of cake I'm making them. What's 50% of who knows that? So I haven't taken any money. But, I am holding the dates for them as we finish designing their cakes and finalize a price.




Hi Alison,
Have you considered a "hold the date" deposit? My neighbor is a chocolatier, and since her order quantities often get finalized late she collects a non-refundable "date deposit" when she is initially booked. When the order is finalized she collects funds to bring her up to a 50 percent deposit, with payment in full due 10 days before the event. (Most brides just pay in full at the 10 day point, rather than pay in three parts.)
She is quite strict that the date is open until she is paid to hold it. This has really weeded out wishy-washy brides and reduced her problems.

southerncake Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 2:07pm
post #23 of 50

I'm so glad you decided to use ccr03's wording! I think that is great. Keep us posted as to what her response is!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 2:08pm
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt


I have 2 lingering brides right now, they both keep emailing me saying they want to put down 50%, but I don't know what kind of cake I'm making them. What's 50% of who knows that? So I haven't taken any money. But, I am holding the dates for them as we finish designing their cakes and finalize a price.



Hi Alison,
Have you considered a "hold the date" deposit? My neighbor is a chocolatier, and since her order quantities often get finalized late she collects a non-refundable "date deposit" when she is initially booked. When the order is finalized she collects funds to bring her up to a 50 percent deposit, with payment in full due 10 days before the event. (Most brides just pay in full at the 10 day point, rather than pay in three parts.)
She is quite strict that the date is open until she is paid to hold it. This has really weeded out wishy-washy brides and reduced her problems.




I have even recieved a deposit from a bride that doesn't know exactly what she wants yet either! We've kind of narrowed it down, but she knew that she wanted me and wanted to give me some money to hold her date - and she is not from around here! She mailed me a check a while ago to secure her date. That's why I don't get what was going on with this bride. Oh well. She knows now!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 2:12pm
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncake

I'm so glad you decided to use ccr03's wording! I think that is great. Keep us posted as to what her response is!




Thanks - I will definitely keep you posted!

You know what I'm thinking about now? I remember the "tux/DJ" guy (he owns the tux shop & is partners with the DJ)...I remember him saying that he was doing her wedding. Not sure if he meant the tux part of it or the DJ part of it, but do you think she has paid them for their products/services?! I doubt he would even say that if he didn't have a deposit from her!! (And this was months ago!)

AZCakeGirl Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:15pm
post #26 of 50

Opps, somehow I missed the letter that ccr03 wrote - I think that is better than mine, especially because right off the bat, it starts out wishing her well. Good one to go with, she worded it perfectly & very professionally!

DebBTX Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 4:46pm
post #27 of 50

When y'all mail a "letter of regret" so to speak (or letter of great relief icon_lol.gif ), do you mail it where the recipient has to sign for it to prove they received it, with a notice of signature sent back to you?
I am thinking this would head off future problems with a difficult person who might claim they never received the letter.

-Debbie B.

giggysmack Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:31pm
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt


I have 2 lingering brides right now, they both keep emailing me saying they want to put down 50%, but I don't know what kind of cake I'm making them. What's 50% of who knows that? So I haven't taken any money. But, I am holding the dates for them as we finish designing their cakes and finalize a price.



Hi Alison,
Have you considered a "hold the date" deposit? My neighbor is a chocolatier, and since her order quantities often get finalized late she collects a non-refundable "date deposit" when she is initially booked. When the order is finalized she collects funds to bring her up to a 50 percent deposit, with payment in full due 10 days before the event. (Most brides just pay in full at the 10 day point, rather than pay in three parts.)
She is quite strict that the date is open until she is paid to hold it. This has really weeded out wishy-washy brides and reduced her problems.




I agree get a hold the date deposit. I often have unprepared brides that have no clue what they want and I don't have hours to spend with them. So I ask $100 to hold the date. I have found the first few times I said ok to brides with no $$$ they left me haning and the week or two before decided they wanted a cake. I've also had people ask me to give them a quote with no response contact me just before the cake is due and wonder why I don't have them booked. You do have to be clear with customers don't assume they know how it works.

gateaux Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 5:36pm
post #29 of 50

I would sugest sending the letter with the a Proof the delivery by USPS Mail it only cost a little bit more and you get the post stamped card that says your letter was sent.

Most efficient - I use this all the time (not cake related....but I think it totally applies).

If you are sending her an e-mail make sure you hit the read reply feature it's a blessing so many times! Even with family!!

I also really like that hold the date non-refundable deposit. Keeps the customer legit too.

Good Luck.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 6:12pm
post #30 of 50

Do you guys really think I need to send her a certified letter by USPS? I mean, she has not signed a contract nor do I have the deposit money. I just emailed her saying I am not available to do her cake anymore.

I appreciate the feedback - thanks!

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