Repeat Customer, Wants Wedding Cake For 8/8/08, What To Do?

Business By Chef_Stef Updated 30 Jul 2008 , 1:19pm by MichelleM77

Chef_Stef Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 3:55am
post #1 of 17

OW. This mom calls me, whose daughter's wedding and wedding shower cakes I did last year, with lots of notice ahead of time...

Her son is getting married 8/8/08, sort of "a last minute thing". I"m thinking: Huh? WHO gets married on less than two weeks' notice??!? icon_confused.gif

Thing is, I have a wedding the 8th AND the 9th...and I don't really feel like squeezing another one in.

*IF* I were willing, what would you do? Do you guys charge a last minute extra rush PIA fee? I don't know where the venue is, how big the event is, or anything, and part of me doesn't even what to know, but I thought I better ask what you all would do.

I'll probably just tell her I'm busy...wonder where she's going to find a wedding cake for 8/8? sheesh!

16 replies
lisa78332 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:08am
post #2 of 17

i'm thinking that if its last minute planning, then its not fancy. Offer her a sheet cake. Tell her thats the most you can do since you're already booked. Orrrr... tell her you can't and if she insists, still offer her the sheet cake but tell her you will have to charge extra because you don't really have the time to squeeze in another cake. Then maybe tell her that you have to keep it simple. ...Good luck in whatever you decide.

Chef_Stef Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:29am
post #3 of 17

I know; it can't be too big a shindig at such late notice.

I'm just recalling her daughter's wedding last year; they had three different specialty flavors in that cake, all expensive...all fondant cake, but simple and very easy design. And the family's very nice to work with. (I'm such a softy...I really should just say no)

But I...suppose...I wouldn't be against sneaking a $6.50/sv cake for 100...heh heh. I could use the extra cash right now, and DH is like, "Push yourself. You can do it."

Wonder how far the venue is?? Now I have to wait til tomorrow to find out.

peg818 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 12:29pm
post #4 of 17

sounds like you have already made up your mind. Frankly if they are good to work with and its able to be done, then i would probably do it.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 12:53pm
post #5 of 17

I just want to say, this cake is for a different bride too so just be ready to say Oops so sorry I thought if it was like the cake last year I could squeeze it in, but I don't have time in my schedule for a cake like this.

Also, you want to add this sentence to your repertoire, "No changes." Once and done.

No loose ends either. All info all at once. All decisons made at booking. And don't be afraid to say Cash payment in full at booking. Because maybe the bride's Aunt Louise promised to pay for this not the family that you have a relationship with. It would be very awkward to collect like that.

Just be business about it, real matter of fact. It's ok.

I would not charge a pia fee. But I would stick to my guns as listed above.

I mean like if they forget the color swatch or something like that, then they get my idea of "light blue". If they forgot to bring the topper, then they get it to the reception and you'll put it on. Nothing left on you for later.

Keep yourself off the hot seat. You can easily maneuver that due to the late date. If they are not ok with that, then they get the pia fee, (fifty cents to a dollar more per serving) or just say no is what I would do.

aswartzw Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 2:07pm
post #6 of 17

I would tell her since it's under 2 weeks there is a rush fee. Also, ask her for some general information to decide if you even want to fool with it. Could be someone's being shipped overseas or something like that.

melodyscakes Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:02pm
post #7 of 17

I'd squeeze it in...extra money...but thats me.

Really, extra money.

and charge more for the last minute order.

and did you think about the extra money? it may be worth no sleep for a couple of days.

let us know what you decide!


Chef_Stef Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:44pm
post #8 of 17

Thanks guys...!

Well, I talked to the mom today, and she is so sweet and thankful that I said yes--they weren't very hopeful that I'd be available, but they were hoping...they loved the cakes last year so much, etc.

It's quite a last minute wedding, for whatever reason, (she didn't say), but they sprang the whole thing on everyone last week. The bride and groom are in CA, and they gave up planning a wedding there, so they're getting married up here at his parents house, backyard wedding and reception for 35-40 people. The B and G aren't even GETting here until the day before the wedding. So I'm doing them a simple BC 6 and 8", but they're ordering a $5.00/sv flavor, so that helps. And their house is like 5 minutes away, so I can deliver this to them in the a.m that day and be on my way.

She is going to find out flavors and design today for me, and I have to drive right by her neighborhood this afternoon, so she can pay and be done.

I figured, last year I did several 3-weddings-per-weekend stints (once two weddings for 300 EACH, both on the same day!); surely I can squeeze this little extra one the extra $ will be nice.

akgirl10 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:50pm
post #9 of 17

Good for you, I'm sure this family will never forget you for doing this at such late notice. Nothing like a loyal customer!

GenGen Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:01pm
post #10 of 17

my neighbors daughter just got married the other day, her email said they had five days to plan everything so i can assume they most likely had a costco cake or something (since we were never notified about anything till the day AFter) long story, more to it. wont bore ya with the details icon_smile.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:02pm
post #11 of 17

So glad it worked out for you.

Love them loyal customers.

mamajan61 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:03pm
post #12 of 17

In my opinion, it's very important to serve your customers as best as you can. I know from my own experience, I truly love the fact that I will do a wedding cake for a couple, then do their baby shower cakes... then comes the birthday and anniversary cakes... the chain never stops once you've established a great customer service reputation.

I know in this area, there are two bakeries that the owners/bakers have developed such an attitude of "I'm better than anybody else" that most of the people in this area are slowly backing off of them. And to be honest, I really don't blame the customers.

I think that it's very honorable of you to agree to do this "last minute" event since it's not going to exhaust you too much. I would do it also... but again, these are just my own personal thoughts....

michellenj Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:10pm
post #13 of 17

Being in catering sales, I have seen many, many of these last minute weddings. Usually, it's the bride and groom who is a little bit older and don't want the whole "to-do". Or they are just so caught up in being in love that they cannot wait another minute to be married. Or she's knocked up. Or a family member is dying, and they want this person to see them get married.

Anywhoo, I'm glad you are doing it. I'm sure that these people will talk you up to their friends and family. All the extra work will pay off.


julzs71 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:25pm
post #14 of 17

Maybe to help out, you could hire the neighborhood teenager to help you with doing the dishes. Cleaning the flours or any thing extra you may need. It will give you more time to do the things you need. Plus I hate the clean up after the cake is delivered.

CakesByJen2 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:26pm
post #15 of 17

Glad it looks like it's going to work out well for you.

I genenrally refuse last-minute orders (less than a month) because I have found them to be too much trouble. I don't like to rush around, and all too often these last minute people are PIA in other ways than being last-minute (I had a bride have an all out panic attack because she couldn't make a decision on her cake, and wanted more time to think about it, even though the wedding was only 2 weeks away!). If I were to take one, I would make it very clear that their options would be limited, and stick to it, decisions must be finalized immediately, and the cake paid in full, in cash. Many people do charge an additional rush fee.

I did make an exception and took a short notice order recently because it was a family I had worked with before and I try to accomodate previous good customers if I can. Funny thing was, it was for the same daughter who I had just done a wedding cake for less than 3 years ago and apparently that marriage was doomed from the beginning and she's now found a decent guy and getting remarried. I hadn't yet done 2 wedding cakes for the same bride and though it was kinda funny, so I did it. I told them I could only manage 100 servings or less of a basic design, and I had other committments all day so I could only manage an evening delivery. They actually changed the time of their reception and printed new invitations just so I could do their cake! They were so appreciative and nice, and even gave me a tip, so I was really glad I squeezed it in when all was said and done.

Chef_Stef Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 5:28am
post #16 of 17

Thanks you guys! I do feel good about doing it, even though it will be a busy weekend for me.

I spent awhile on the phone with the groom's mom tonight, who has had this whole thing sort of tossed in her lap--planning, hosting, and, apparently, paying...poor lady. She said they gave her flavors and that they want squares, but not much else, so I sent her some sketches tonight and will wrap it up tomorrow. She also said apparently Grandpa Whoever got the wrong flight from CA, and he gets into the airport 30 minutes AFTER the wedding now they're trying to rearrange the evening. I wonder what the rush is all about, but she doesn't seem to know or isn't saying.

It should be a cute cake--they want ivory, brown, and maybe some ferns piped on the cake.

MichelleM77 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:19pm
post #17 of 17

I always assume pregnancy or military when I hear of a last-minute wedding, but it could be a million things.

I'm glad you took it on, I would have too. They have to know that they can't have an elaborate design with just days notice. I mean, I don't make GP flowers, but they need time to dry, right? I'm sure they will love whatever you come up with and the family will always remember you!

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