I have made a 6-tier cake for a wedding for 300 people tomorrow. I just got a call that the groom was in a horrible accident at 3 p.m. today and they are postponing the wedding. I told my customer previously that I do not offer any kind of refunds beyond 2 weekd prior to the wedding. I don't think the customer expects a refund... but what do I do if they ask?? What do I do with all the cake?? Has anyone experienced a cancelled wedding? Any advice would be appreciated.
No refunds. ASk them wht you should do with the cake. They might want it donated to a shelter.
I would do nothing with the cake untill I heard from the family. If you were already paid in full, the cake is technically theirs and they can decide what to do about it. Maybe it can be donated to a shelter or soup kitchen or something of that nature.
If/when the wedding is re-scheduled, and I was contracted to do the cake again, I would probably offer to do it at cost. My compassionate side would kick in there. After all, this was a totally unforseen situation.
It is so sad for them, an injured groom and now so many people to deal with too.
wow!!! well do u have a contract they signed? you might be able to get away with no refund...but it will be hard unless its in writing and then u have to think of the "losing the customer for further services" maybe give a parital refund? Not much and bite the bullet on the rest...hard place to be. As to what to do with the cake...
you can either donate it to local fire dept...ems station...senior citizens club, or put them out as further FREE ADVERTISMENT? get word of mouth out about selling cakes real cheap for an event NOW...real cheap just to get rid of it...and maybe off set alittle money spent. Depending on what the accident was...and if bad...maybe go to ur local restuarant and tell them story, asking them if they can sell it to raise money for the family???? Raffle it, sell slices???? Have the restuarant buy it???? JUST CRAZY IDEAS.
Best I can come up with....GOOD LUCK, let us know what you did.
first -- let's us all remember the groom and hope that it is nothing too serious and that all will be well soon.
... Depending on what the accident was...and if bad...maybe go to ur local restuarant and tell them story, asking them if they can sell it to raise money for the family???? Raffle it, sell slices???? ...
WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!! --- between the costs of the accident, hospital, doctors and then all the lost payments on the church, reception venue, catering, the cake and having to reschedule it all (hopefully RSN) -- this would be a great way to help the couple out.
I had a baby shower cancelled last weekend because the mom had the baby. That's not nearly as big of an emergency nor as big a cake.
I think some compassion is called for here. If the wedding does eventually take place they will probably want you to redo the cake. I would work with them. This is definitely something no one could have predicted and I am sure the wedding cake is the last thing on their minds right now. I would donate the cake or do something like was mentioned above.
Well cancelling a baby shower for that reason is just stupid. Who says the shower has to be before the birth??? No refund....
The wedding....I think all your ideas are just grand!! I think the couple likely would too.
I pray that the groom is going to be ok...that's the most important thing now here.
2txmedics - what a phenomenal idea!
Really creative thinking and holy cow would that family be touched and grateful to work with someone who goes the extra mile in such a difficult situation.
I wouldn't think twice about. I would offer them their money back and keep thinking good thoughts for everyone involved. Guaranteed the money you counted on and more will find it's way back to you.
Is there any way the cake could be frozen (assuming it's not assembled)?
" I wouldn't think twice about. I would offer them their money back "
WOW! That is very nice, but couldn't afford to give back that kind of money......... I would probably do the "re-do" for cost, but not give back 600.00 or 800.00 or what ever the final price was..... there was some GREAT ideas on here that would help everyone involved...... I just hope the groom recovers soon and they can go on with the wedding....
I would not refund but tell them you will do the cake when the wedding is rescheduled either for free or for cost.
Depending on your town, donate it to a Ronald McDonald house, Shelter, or even take it to the hospital he is in and donate to the ER or ward he is on. Also take some to the family and make sure the bride to be gets the top of this one to keep.
I guarantee unless they got wedding insurance then they are losing money on all of it and not getting a discount or refund from any of the other vendors.
My daugher just got married in March and fell and broke her ankle and dislocated her knee cap and had to have surgery 20 days before the wedding - the wedding went on as planned - just no dancing for the bride and the gown covered the cast and knee imobilizer. Went from high heels to ballet slippers. But we inquired about postponing and it was a BIG NO. Most vendors are booked and can not postpone and do not make enough to be able to deal with last minute cancelations for any reason.
It happened to me a couple of years ago before I got a contract. The bride skipped town right before the rehersal dinner. The cake wasnt paid for completely so I sold the satellite cakes for Mothers Day and donated the main cake the Salvation Armys Mothers Day Luncheon.
It worked out well.
I would talk to the family to see how they would be most comfortable in handling it. I agree with the poster that said to show some compassion to the family. It's not like they cheated you out of money by not paying. The idea about raffeling it off to raise money for them is great. They've already paid for cake and it wouldn't be right to charge them again if they are able to re-schedule when the groom recovers.
I also would not refund any of it, especially if you have a contract, but I agree, the cake is theirs. Ask them what they would want done with it. Since they have probably out of town guests, or a lot of people coming in to see how the groom is, they may want to cake to serve. Or they may want to give it to the fine doctors and nurses or EMT folks.
I do like the idea of offering them the other cake at costs when they reschedule. Or at least a discount.
I have cancelled a wedding for no other reason than he was a cheating b******d, and I KNEW even before the words were out of my mouth that all the money was gone. That's it. No refunds. Nothing. And we had booked and paid 10 plane tickets to England, had double weddings in Canada and England, hotels in both countries, cake, flowers... the whole 9 yards. And you know, I'd do it again. I'm sure that a cake is the least of the bride's concerns right now, and offer of a new one at cost will be so awesome for them down the road.
I would call them and ask them what they want you to do with the cake and give them some options mentioned here. It is technically their cake and it is paid for. I wouldn't refund anything and offer to do their cake for cost when they do finally get married. I mean you have already made money on the cake and it's not like they were dicking you around or anything. How horrible for them. I hope that he is okay and that their wedding plans can get underway soon.
I don't really know what you should do.
Except I wish everyone would turn the refundometer off. I mean every time something happens a new clause is born in the thirty page contract and we start throwing money out the window. But anyway...
Part of my schpiel when I sell a cake is that they are contracting with me to make them a cake and I will deliver it on that day to that place at that time whether there's a wedding and reception or not. That I am one person, I've set aside and planned my life around that day and time and I have no way to store it I have no means to refund or change anything within six weeks of event. The train has left the station. They just bought a cake.
I'm telling them gently in so many words I don't care about your wedding, I'm a merchant, my priority is me.
So I set folks up at the consult for such an unfortunate time as this. I'm very very sorry but I am bound to fulfill my end of the contract as much as they are bound to it.
All things considered I would scramble and do what I could but there's a point of no return and anything less than a week, is definitely past the point of no return.
No easy answers. If I was a bigger business it would be different. Glory if I was a business at all it'd be different.
I also tell them to consider a back up plan of who's got a freezer big enough--maybe the church or whatever--but like I said the train has left the station.
I have my charity work I do that is my choice.
This could be real cold but I don't want to work for cost. I could discount but not co-ost that is too much work for free. Everyone has terrible misfortune. Why should I work for free. I promise that my burn out would kick my hinny but good if I go promising a cake for cost. It's like kryptonite out of the lead box, baby, cahhhn't breathe...Lois, Jimmmeeee, hellllp me aghhhh......
Thanks everyone for the advice! It's wonderful!! I will let you all know what happens.
On another note, sorry for the duplicate posts... I have lost my mind.
So sorry for the couple, awful thing to happen. divaofcakes, just call & ask what they want done with the cake. Business is business no matter how much compassion we have for others. Only you will know what you can afford to do if they want another cake.
1st I'd ask what to do with the cake then I too would proable offer to do their next cake at cost if the wedding is rescheduled.
Not to mention it's a chance for 300 people to see your work.
I definetly would NOT offer a full refund.
That is terrible. I hope the groom is ok.
I did have a groom die recently -- 3 weeks to the day of the wedding. Cake was paid for. I refunded ALL of the money - but I was out nothing. I hadn't bought anything. I was technically out the $900 but good gravy, he DIED and it was 3 weeks before hand.
In your case, he is not dead and you have already made the cake. It is technically their cake as others pointed out. Ask them what they want to do with their cake. I love the idea of the raffle! Wow that is something! I would pay a chunk for a slice of cake like that!
I would not refund though. You did what you were contracted to do and have already spent the time and ingredients that you can't get back. Can you freeze the cake for when they do get married?
As for doing the next cake at a discount I don't know that I would do that either. This is business and while we should have a heart (that is why I refunded) we don't have to give away the store.
In my case the poor soul was gone. His bride was devastated and so was his mother. I had to speak to his mom because he wrote the check I had in my purse. She sent me a lovely note and that was wonderful. But had he just been ill and they postponed and I had already made the cake I would not have refunded.
Best of luck on this and I hope the groom doesn't suffer long term problems. I will be praying for them.
Oh yeah...and when I spoke to his mom she asked me if I had already spent any money on the cakes because she wanted to repay me for that. Some people are just down right wonderful.
Also because I did have a contract and did actually return money I can write it off as a loss on my income tax. I would have rather made the cake - he was only 27.
UPDATE: So glad to tell you all that the groom, while in critical condition still, is going to make it! The wedding will be rescheduled in a month or two.
My customer has asked me to wrap and freeze the cake and when they reschedule the wedding, I will pick up right where I left off... defrost, re-ice and decorate and deliver it. I hope this will work!!
The rest of their vendors said 'tough luck' so they will be left with a cake and punch reception for next time. At least the groom will be able to attend.
Thanks again for all your advice and heartfelt words!
Diva - that is just wonderful! Glad to hear he is going to be ok. Wrap the cake in press and seal and it should be fine!
Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
I didn't realize you were in Houston. I attended the Pearland cake club DOS in Fresno just awhile ago!
oh i'm so glad that he'll be ok and that they decided to try and keep the cake for the wedding!!!!!