What Was Your Strangest Consultation?

Business By CakesByJen2 Updated 20 Aug 2008 , 1:08am by ShopGrl1128

CakesByJen2 Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 8:20pm
post #1 of 30

Reading some of these posts about customers lately got me wondering about what are some of the strangest things people have had happen at consultations??

Happily, I've never had an actual "Bridzilla", but I had one who I really didn't know how to deal with. It was only 3-4 weeks before the wedding when she contacted me, and though I usually don't like to do that short notice, it was a small wedding, so I thought would be no problem. In the e-mail she said it was a Western-themed, casual wedding and implied she wanted a Western-theme cake. I came up with a really cute design, using fondant patches to make a pinto pattern with rope borders. Well, at the consultation she decides that is too non-traditional, despite the fact they were going to be wearing black jeans, cowboy boots, and Western shirts for the ceremony! So she starts looking at pictures we discuss various designs, then all of a sudden she just starts to get all freaked out because she can make up her mind about what she wants and goes into panic mode. I don't know what to do, I've tried to make suggestions, sketch designs, and I'm thinking for gosh sakes, it just a cake, not some life-altering, monumental decision. Then, she says she can't make up her mind and will have to think about it and get back to me later, mind you it's at most 2 weeks to go. I'm just about to tell her that fine, but I can't guarantee I'll be available if she waits (and believe me, I wouldn't have been!). Then, her fiance realizes how ridiculous it's getting and knows they have to decide now, and takes her outside and calms her down and they talk and make a decision, finally! The wedding goes without incident, and all's well, but my original themed design would have been so perfect!

My other strange thing was the time a lady was suposed to come by to look at pictures to order a baby shower cake. When I go to the door (I was working from home), she's standing there in a bikini, covered in suntan lotion, wrapped in a towel! I was absolutely flabbergasted! Her excuse was that they were at a pool party in the next neighborhood, so just "ran over". I really felt like telling her to come back when she was clean and dressed, but I was so startled I didn't know what to say, so just got her in and out as quickly as possible and wasn't availale for her orders after that.

29 replies
marmalade1687 Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 9:02pm
post #2 of 30

My strangest consultation was when I first started...a couple came over with the bride's mom, and we went through the whole consultation designing a very pretty cake for their wedding. The bride was very into the cake, she seemed very happy until the end when she broke down in tears crying that she wanted cupcakes, and the groom was forcing a big cake on her! They started into an argument, just like on a Bridezilla show, and I told them that I couldn't take the order until they worked out their issues - they did leave with the bride still in tears, but called me about a week later to order the cupcakes - I guess she cried enough! icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 10:11pm
post #3 of 30

Had a bride who grew up in Small Town, Indiana, but currently lived in New York. She was getting married in Indpls. I think she had the attitude of "everything's cheaper in the country!" so came to me with a max of $25 a person as her spending limit. But she had a list of 10 exotic cheeses that she wanted during the appetizer period, plus the other appetizer items, plus the buffet, plus the cake, plus the tea/lemonade, plus the linens for the food tables, plus my staff, AND she wants it plated and served, not buffet .... for $25/person. icon_eek.gif

When I checked pricing for these cheeses (she gave me the list before the sampling ... red flag #1!), Sysco and GFS had not heard of most of them! So I go to a specialty store ... ONE of the cheeses she wants is so expensive that MY cost .. based on 4 oz per person ... is $7.50/person!! icon_surprised.gif $7.50 out of $25 for ONE of the TEN cheeses and the rest of the 17.50 is suppose to cover everything else!

She brought her dad to the sampling ... a regular guy, who sat quietly sampling my foods ... until he got to his breaking point and said, in a pretty sharp voice that only a little 'ole dad can do: "Girl, who do you think you're feeding this food to! We're from Muncie, Indiana! We eat Colby and Jack cheese! Now get down to earth here!"

I fell in love with him!

She was also trying to squeeze 300 people into a facility that would only hold about 250-275. The venue, wanting to book this event, was telling her "Oh yeah.... that'll fit!!" But to get it to fit, they suggested that she put the food outside on the patio!! IN OCTOBER!!! I asked her if she was renting a tent to cover the food. Well.....no. I shook my head and said, "health dept rules require that food be covered. You HAVE to rent a tent. But bluntly, I'm not inclined to put my food outside in October just so you can complain about the food being cold."

Then she wants to put the food on the dance floor at the opposite end of the room, furthest from the kitchen. I've worked in this facility before so I was very familiar with the layout and told her, no, I wouldn't do that. "Making my staff carry hot pans of food and hot pans of boiling water (in the chafers during tear-down) thru a crowd of 300 people is dangerous not only to my staff but to your guests. So no, we cannot put the food tables at the opposite end of the room."

QUoted her an ungodly price in the hopes that she would go somewhere else. Thank goodness she did.

christeena Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 10:54pm
post #4 of 30

I had a consultation just last night with a bride that I work with who is trying to save $$$ and do a lot themselves for 400 guests (down from 900)!!
Sooooo . . . we start discussing the cake and I ask her where - in a local park. I ask her if there will be tents - nope!! She is having her guests sit out in the sun and expect any cake I make to sit out in the sun! GRRR!!! Indy, you'll love this, she says that she has trimmed her food budget down to only $4 per person and my $2 per serving on the cake was just a bit more than she could probably manage and she will get back to me after talking to her fiance. The wedding is Sept. 21st and she was going to do a dessert buffet herself but is starting to feel stressed! Ya think!! Don't brides realize that heat+humidity+insects+cake= disaster!!! I almost hope that she decides against me!!

indydebi Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 11:10pm
post #5 of 30

OH christeena, where in Indiana are you? 'Coz I don't want this chic calling me! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif I just love watching the grandiose ideas of these "little girls" (and that term has nothing to do with chronological age!) meet up with the hard arm of reality!

I can just hear them now, because I've heard them say it .... "Oh we'll just have some "simple little" desserts ... that's shouldn't cost more than a Twinkie!"

There are not enough laughing icons for me on this bride story! Oh PLEASE keep us updated, even if you have to sneak in the wedding to see how it turns out!

chutzpah Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 11:15pm
post #6 of 30

Here's one that some of you have read elsewhere, in a galaxy far, far away.

WARNING: do not be drinking anything at the time of reading or else it will blow through your nose all over your screen!



I do all my preliminary contacts with couples online. I have a two-page thingie that I send out, which explains about the cakes and prices and figures etc. I always send this out so they can take a look and then if they are interested they can book a consultation/tasting. When they book a consultation I always send out a new mail asking them to have some idea of what they want as it saves so much time. They don't have to show up with pics and sketches of exactly the cake they want, but please do think about a bit, thank you very much!

Coupls shows up to consultation and has absolutely no idea. Obvious that the cake isn't a priority (doncha just HATE that?), and after 2 hours 15 minutes they have finally made a decision as to flavors and looks (I really try to keep the consultations less than 1-1/2 hours).

He then asks the price, and I get out the calculator and add it up. Simple cake, decorations are included plus 20% for RF. He gasps and says, 'We don't have that kind of money!!' I was like WTF, thinking to myself that I am absolutely NOT gonna dick around with this one (I think at that very second I had a premonition of what he was going to attempt). I closed the folder, stood up and said simply but nicely (and completely SEETHING inside), 'Well then, I think we're done here. It was nice meeting you and I hope everything works out with your wedding plans.'

I know it's a cliche about someone's jaw dropping, but his did. He said, 'Well, aren't we going to discuss the price?'.

I said, 'We just did, and even though you recieved the pricing information and could do the math yourselves, you chose to book a consultation.'

He says 'No, I mean negotiate the price?'

I KNEW it! I said, 'My prices are non-negotiable. This isn't a flea market. People are knocking down my door trying to order my cakes. I am going to have at least 20 couples calling to book your date. I have no need to lower my prices to snag an order. Now, if you don't mind I'd like to finish my work here so I can get home. All consultations are scheduled on my leisure time which consists of about 10 hours a week, and you have just wasted 2 of my valuable hours.'

I hustled them out the door and locked it after them. I could see them on the stairs outside looking at each other, wondering what just happened.

Three days later she showed up at the shop, telling me they'd like me to do the cake after all and that she was ready to pay her down payment to book the date.

I said, 'I am no longer interested in doing your wedding cake.'

She said, 'It's only been three days! How can that date have booked up so fast?'

Well BLESS her little misunderstanding heart! I then replied, 'I never said I was fully booked. I merely said that I don't want to make your wedding cake.'

OMG!!!! Y'all should have seen the look on her face.

SCORE

Chutzpah 1
Wanker 0

cjmommy Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:01am
post #7 of 30

Oh Chutzpah... I should have listed to you... I now have water all over my computer screen icon_smile.gif!

sari66 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:54am
post #8 of 30

LOLOLOLOL chutzpah you are fabulous!!!!

Jasmine33 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 5:17pm
post #9 of 30

hahahha that is funny!

mommachris Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 9:11pm
post #10 of 30

hello mezzaluna icon_razz.gif

mommachris

ShopGrl1128 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 9:44pm
post #11 of 30

hahaha...Chutzpah you're my hero!

FromScratch Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 9:54pm
post #12 of 30

HA!! I love this story seester.. icon_wink.gif

CakeWhizz Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 10:14pm
post #13 of 30

SCORE

Chutzpah 1
Wanker 0[/quote]

LOL!!! Nice one!

APrettyCake Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 11:35pm
post #14 of 30

Chutzpah - I once said in a post recently that I do not bow down to the cake gods...however, YOU are now my idol! icon_rolleyes.gif I wanna be just like you when I grow up!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

MamaBerry Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 10:06am
post #15 of 30

Chutzpah, I want to have your baby!

Holy crap. icon_biggrin.gif

I've had issues with not knowing my self worth. I've been working on it lately and I've printed out your post here and I'm carrying it around with me.

It is going to be my current buddhist meditation. (Who says a buddhist cannot stand up for themselves and know their worth?)

fluttercakes Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 12:48pm
post #16 of 30

Chutzpah, I need your cahonies (if I spelled that right icon_lol.gif)!!! Love it!

Cakebelle Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 5:07pm
post #17 of 30

Chutzpah, TOO FUNNY! LOL..............ROFLMAO............... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
Oh yeah! And thank you for standing up for of us Cake Wizards! Cake Muggles- I tell you!!!!!! Hah! icon_rolleyes.gif

mariela_ms Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 5:36pm
post #18 of 30

Cakebelle--- Great comparison!!! lol From now I'm calling myself a cake wizard!!!

christeena Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:57am
post #19 of 30

Well, Indy, she isn't going to use me for her cake as her fiance reminded her that her gown and the tuxes cost less than my $2 per serving ($800) wedding cake. So she doesn't know what she's going to do 'cause the fiance wants to serve ice cream cups and she wants
cake! She just doesn't want to pay for it! I wished her well! Sometimes you just got to let them go!!

indydebi Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 2:20am
post #20 of 30

christeena, your bride needs to read www.etiquettehell.com and see how people react to 'tacky' weddings! icon_lol.gif

Ice cream cups!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

christeena Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 2:33pm
post #21 of 30

Indy, the funny thing is is that she told me that she wants to have the kind of wedding/reception that people will talk about for weeks later!!! I have a feeling that they are going to talk alright but she isn't going to want to hear what's being said. It's too bad to 'cause she is a sweet thing-just a bit clueless with this reception for 400!!!

mommachris Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:16pm
post #22 of 30

Maybe she needs to cut the list to 200 of her 'best friends and family' instead of every person she has crossed paths with since she was is grade school...honestly who 'knows' 400 people?? icon_confused.gif

At least then she can serve a decent dessert to her guests.
icon_wink.gif

mommachris

Muse Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 7:45pm
post #23 of 30

Dude, who knows 900 people?

chutzpah Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 7:50pm
post #24 of 30

Dang. NINE HUNDRED people??? That's not a wedding reception, that's a gift grab.

melodyscakes Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 8:36pm
post #25 of 30

chutzpah, I want to be more like you and indydeb.

I need your balls.

my strangest consultation: we did the whole cake tasting, price, ect.. she asked if I'd consider doing some bartering....ok,like what? I can have a 30% discount on anything I buy from her place of employeement....if I could give her a 30% discount on her cake.
huh?


melody

chutzpah Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 4:35am
post #26 of 30

Where does she work and what do they sell? You never know, it might be worth it if they sell something you want/need and you can make a HUGE purchase there.

Magnum Posted 18 Aug 2008 , 6:44pm
post #27 of 30

(chutzpah)

I was wondering, when your not using your backbone, may i use it please? icon_biggrin.gif

michellenj Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 12:18am
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

Where does she work and what do they sell? You never know, it might be worth it if they sell something you want/need and you can make a HUGE purchase there.




That could be worth it if they sell something you spend a lot on. I did that w/ my wedding dress and veil, actually. I wanted a $5,000 wedding dress and couldn't afford it, the designer wanted my high-end brides, so she took off $100 for every bride I sent her that bought, and $50 off for every MOB, MOG or bridesmaids dress, and I ended up getting it for like $1200 and the veil they threw in for free.

marcimang Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 12:56am
post #29 of 30

I did a tasting with the bride, groom and mother of the bride. During this time my husband was in Iraq. The groom kept licking the tines of the fork and giving me the eye- weird. Then he asked me at least ten times how long my husband was gone for. Then he kept turning around during the tasting and looking into my china cabinet, like he was casing the joint. Asked to use my bathroom three times, like he was checking out my house.....
I was totally freaked out- set my security system for the next week and never returned the call to do their cake. It would have been my biggest paying cake ever. But that groom gave me the creeps....
I should also add that he used every oppurtunity to put me down, like saying my buttercream tasted like movie theater buttered popcorn and that my cakes were just ok... MOB was a well known professional...

ShopGrl1128 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 1:08am
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcimang

I did a tasting with the bride, groom and mother of the bride. During this time my husband was in Iraq. The groom kept licking the tines of the fork and giving me the eye- weird. Then he asked me at least ten times how long my husband was gone for. Then he kept turning around during the tasting and looking into my china cabinet, like he was casing the joint. Asked to use my bathroom three times, like he was checking out my house.....
I was totally freaked out- set my security system for the next week and never returned the call to do their cake. It would have been my biggest paying cake ever. But that groom gave me the creeps....




Crreeeeepy...
This is why I don't do tastings at home, I normally meet people at restaurants and cafes.

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