Imminent Cake Disaster...rant..sorry, Long

Decorating By pastrylady Updated 23 Sep 2008 , 4:29am by lalaine

pastrylady Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:00pm
post #1 of 43

A few months ago a wedding planner (never worked with her before) called me to schedule a consultation for a client.

They come in for the consultation and decide immediately to work with me. They're having the reception at the mother's house and it was pretty casual, but they wanted a really fun and funky cake and didn't mind paying top dollar. They chose three different custom flavors and we came up with a fun, beach themed cake with whimiscal tiers, lots of different colors, shells and coral. The planner pipes in right away to say they don't need delivery, she will pick up the cake. The reception was about an hour away (I'm outside Philly) in Delaware. I deliver to Delaware all the time, but they never considered delivery.

Anyway, two days ago I get an email from the planner asking what she needs to do for the delivery, so I give her the whole spiel---flat area in the vehicle, preferably a van or SUV, blast the air conditioner, don't put the cake in the passenger seat or in the trunk, drive like a grandma, etc..

I have the cake ready for pickup this came out really cute and I knew the couple was going to love it. The planner shows up and raves about the cake. I offer to carry the cake out for her.

You know what's coming next...I go out to the driveway and see a small, beat up sedan with the trunk open. The planner's husband is scrambling to move all the junk out of the trunk. I tell them "no way". He offers to carry it on his lap, "nope", they want to put it in the back to their 2 year old in the car seat...are they kidding? Meanwhile, I'm standing in the rain with my husband holding an umbrella and my arms turning to jelly.

My husband offers to deliver. I tell them that I'll have to charge them extra to deliver since we'd have to rearrange our day. Her husband says, "don't worry it'll be fine". I look the planner in the eyes and tell her "you know, once it leaves my kitchen it's no longer my responsibility".

Finally, they put the cake in the back seat with the toddler and the husband squeezed into the 3 inches between the kid and the cake. As they pull out of the driveway she casually tells me that she's not driving straight to the reception in Delaware, but is going back to Philly to get dressed and then will drive to DE!!

Of course that means the cake will either sit in the hot car, or will be carried in and out of the car a few more times before it gets to the couple that paid for it.

I know it's not my problem at this point, but I feel bad because I think the couple will never see the cake as it was. I'm sure it's gonna be pretty beat up by the time it gets to Delaware. I'm tempted to send them an email next week with a photo so they can see what it was supposed to look like.

Sorry so long, just needed to rant and my husband's been listening to me go on about it all morning.

42 replies
terrig007 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:09pm
post #2 of 43

I would send and email and picture now. It's probably too late for them to check their emails but I would let them know that she knows what it looked like before it left your home. Seems kind of strange doesn't it? I wonder if she'll be bringing the tot and the hubby to the festivities as well.

mymomandmecakes Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:10pm
post #3 of 43

The whole problem is people think it is like picking up a cake at the grocery store..."no really i can put it in my car".....OMG i worked how long to watch people slide everything over inthe trunk to watch my hard work go bouncing down the road. OMG i HAVE EVEN FOLLOWED PEOPLE IN MY TRUCK JUST TO MAKE SURE IT MAKES IT IN ONE PIECE!

I have a hard time letting my husband drive with cakes in the back of the truck I just keep saying CAKE drive like you have A CAKE....he laughs and sometimes get irritated. He is a fed ex man and I have seen how they

I always take a picture of how it looked prior so I have proof that it was good when it accidents yet ...knock on wood! I feel your pain!

shanasweets Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:10pm
post #4 of 43

hope you took a picture. At least when its a mess, you can offer the couple a nice photo, besides backup to protect yourself. Some people just don't get it. I bet you that toddler gets a taste before everyone else does!!

terrig007 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 43

Forgot to ad-you did get her to sign a form stating about once it leaves your hands it's out of your hands, right?

Teena_Marie Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:29pm
post #6 of 43

I couldnt imagine having to watch that, the poor couple.. i truly hope it makes it there for them to see how beautiful your work is. i dont even like driving my own cakes places (because i have a lead foot), i usually make my husband drive when i take a cake somewhere. If it doesnt make it then i hope the couple takes the hide off of that wedding planner. i know i would!

stephaniescakenj Posted 7 Sep 2008 , 12:48am
post #7 of 43

I would definitely send her a picture of the cake and at least wish her well or something to that effect so she knows what it looked like when it left your hands. I actually did that today for a treasure chest cake, I told the mom I would deliver but she didn't want to pay extra... wanted to have her nephew pick it up, I said fine but laid out the ground rules, flat floor, AC, etc. He comes to pick it up in a mini-van, I was nervous all morning about letting someone else pick up a cake but when he showed up in the mini van such relief came over me until he popped the trunk and made me put in the back. Apparently he uses the van for work so all the seats were folded down. The rest of the van was filled with tools and such. Well I told him to be careful, etc etc. As soon as he left, I emailed the mom the picture of the cake under the delightful guise of "sneak peek at the birthday cake" and said it was on its way, I hope she has a great party, etc etc so if it doesn't make it there in one piece she at least knows that it left me intact. On a wedding cake though, I don't know. I'm such a sissy and not able to stand up to anyone, but I might have put my foot down and called the bride to make sure she knew what was going on. Definitely email her the picture and follow up with her though. I would even mention the debacle if you can find a polite way to mention it. Good Luck!

indydebi Posted 7 Sep 2008 , 12:54am
post #8 of 43

I've sent brides photos of the cakes, sometimes photos of them going thru the buffet line, etc. I always word it, "I know your photographer got some wonderful pics of your wedding, but I just thought I'd share a few that I took.

You sound like a nice guy ... it doesn't sound like a CYA email ... and your point is delivered.

pastrylady Posted 7 Sep 2008 , 3:48pm
post #9 of 43
Originally Posted by terrig007

Forgot to ad-you did get her to sign a form stating about once it leaves your hands it's out of your hands, right?

There's a clause in my contract that the clients initial that states that once the cake is delivered or picked up it's not my responsibility.

Mostly I'm worried that the cake was damaged and that the planner tried to fix it up and didn't tell the couple what happened. I don't want them to think that I sent out a crappy looking cake.

Indydebi...that's exactly the type of email I had in mind. I'm going to email them a photo saying "I got a really nice picture of the cake and thought you might like a copy". Covers my butt without directly accusing the planner of wrecking the cake.

costumeczar Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:01pm
post #10 of 43

This is a perfect example of a "planner" who probably isn't. There are so many people in my area who have watched one too many wedding shows and think "Hey! I'll be a planner! IT WILL BE FUN!!" and they have no idea how to do it.

I feel bad for the bride , but what wedding professional in the world brings their husband and 2-yr-old to pick up a wedding cake in a sedan??? Idiot.

melvin01 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:13pm
post #11 of 43

I'm with you guys. "Professional" wedding planner...uh, I think not.

Who doesn't get ready and pick the cake up right before you head to the wedding? Wow, I sense cake-tastrophy written all over that one.

The only bad thing is that the wonderful planner will probably try to convince the bride that it was like that when she got it. Sounds like a flake who will try to cover her a@@ if things go wrong.

I hope it ends up alright but since the cake is gone and out of your control, you have to just let it go. I would be sitting there biting my nails worrying, but what can you do? It was the planner and bride who decided to fore-go a delivery charge.

Man, and you guys aren't kidding! Can you think of many things more stressful than driving with a cake on board?? White knuckle all the way!! icon_biggrin.gif

Jenni2383 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:24pm
post #12 of 43

I would have probably just delivered it free of charge to make sure it got there like I wanted it to. I know that is losing money, but if the bride told everyone who did the cake and it was damaged then that could put a dent in your rep.

pastrylady Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:30pm
post #13 of 43

Well...the cake DID NOT make it to the reception in one piece...anyone surprised???

I sent a photo of the cake to the couple and got this email in reply:

"Thank you so much. The cake was delicious.

It arrived at our place around 3p, a little melty, the top two layers off, we had a pastry chef in the neighborhood who was able to salvage the third layer, but not the triangle on top...

I know that the pick up went wrong, and I do not hold you responsible in any way shape or form. You came through on your end and it was the most delicious cake I have ever tasted. Everyone raved about the flavors and textures of the decadent cake."

I sent her a reply saying, basically, that I know it wasn't my fault and told her about all of my concerns regarding the "Wedding Planner's" pickup. I also told her that my husband had offered to deliver the cake and was turned down.

I also offered to remake the top tier for them for their anniversary. Even though I know it wasn't my fault, I feel really bad that this happened and wanted to do something nice for them.

I was tempted to tell them they ought to get a refund for the price of the cake out of the "planners" fee. But, I figure since they know it was not my fault they will decide how to deal with the planner themselves. At this point it is not my business.

Anyway, here's a picture of the cake, pre-plannerator:

pastrylady Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:35pm
post #14 of 43

Sorry, I don't think the photo came through. I never attached a photo before and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

I'll try it again...

bethola Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:37pm
post #15 of 43

Oh PUL-LEEZE! What kind of "Planner" tries to even DELIVER this kind of cake? Was she MAD? Obviously the answer to that is YES! She's a complete NUT CASE! Probably has a self-esteem issue and wanted to prove that she could "do it all".

Well, the cake was lovely and I'm glad the bride didn't hold you responsible. It's nice that you are going to do an anniversary cake for them.

Beth in KY

HBcakes Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:40pm
post #16 of 43

That truly sucks that you had to hand that great piece of work off to that crazy lady!! Isn't it just the worst feeling to know it's going to get ruined before the bride gets to enjoy it and there's nothing you can do? I imagine the bride will let that excuse-for-a-planner have it after pulling such a rediculous stunt with her cake!

melvin01 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:42pm
post #17 of 43

OMG! I'm SO SORRY! I know you feel bad, but at least the bride knows that it wasn't your fault (and the wedding planner should be shot!).

I can only say that hopefully this is a learning experience for us all. If people balk at a delivery charge or want someone else to pick it up, put you foot down and say that you only deliver and assemble cakes yourself (no middle man since you cannot guarantee the final product). I would wrap a delivery charge in the cake price if it was an issue with price, but you said they didn't have a problem with that.

It bites to spend so much time working on something that we take pride in only to have others ruin it!

That is so bad. I wonder what else went wrong that the "professional" planner did....maybe she had to pick up the other food that was served at the reception!! I sure hope not.

justsweet Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:43pm
post #18 of 43

Sorry to hear about the cake, the picture does not come up. If I were the bride I would get money back from the wedding planner.

SweetResults Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:44pm
post #19 of 43

What a friggin nightmare!! I really hope the make the "plannner" pay for the cake!!

itsmylife Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 5:49pm
post #20 of 43

Wow icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif Your cake was phenomenal! I love it. It would be interesting to see the cake as it was there at the reception (just to see exactly how much of it was truly messed up).

I wonder if the 'planner' was a friend of hers because it just seems as though she was not as upset as what she should've been (in the email, at least). That cake you made looked as though it was really going to be the center of their reception. So - maybe the planner was a close friend or relative of hers.

In any case... I would definitely make a note of that planners name and never, ever work with her again (or just have a no pick-up policy at the very least).

Great job on the cake!!! At least the bride has some good pics from you of her cake.

Cakebelle Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 6:00pm
post #21 of 43
Originally Posted by bethola

Oh PUL-LEEZE! What kind of "Planner" tries to even DELIVER this kind of cake? Was she MAD? Obviously the answer to that is YES! She's a complete NUT CASE! Probably has a self-esteem issue and wanted to prove that she could "do it all".

Well, the cake was lovely and I'm glad the bride didn't hold you responsible. It's nice that you are going to do an anniversary cake for them.

Beth in KY


pastrylady Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 6:01pm
post #22 of 43
Originally Posted by melvin01

OMG! I can only say that hopefully this is a learning experience for us all. If people balk at a delivery charge or want someone else to pick it up, put you foot down and say that you only deliver and assemble cakes yourself (no middle man since you cannot guarantee the final product).

I've been talking with my husband about how I should handle this situation next time. I always take an "emergency contact" number in case I have a situation on the day of the wedding and need a decision from someone. I was saying to my husband that next time I would refuse to send out the cake and call the "emergency contact" person so they could speak with the bride and get the OK to either send the cake as is or have me deliver it. Of course, as I was saying this, I realized that the planerator was the emergency contact for this couple.

I sure I'll be telling this story to every couple that decides they want to pick up their cake instead of having me deliver it.

Itsmylife, it would be interesting to see how the cake looked at the reception. I'd love a photo of the wrecked cake so I could show it to clients who think paying a delivery fee is a waste of money...

tx_cupcake Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 6:05pm
post #23 of 43

First, I just want to say that the cake you made looks AMAZING! That "wedding planner", however, is a selfish cow. I hope she got the bridezilla b*tching out of a lifetime!

CakeDiva73 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 6:09pm
post #24 of 43

OMG, what a complete tool! I would have liked to bat her around a little bit, I think.........

melvin01 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 6:13pm
post #25 of 43

I like that "PLANERATOR"....I'll be bock! (sorry, and Arnold moment.)

I hope the same person doesn't plan her baby shower when the time comes. You live and learn.

PGray315 Posted 9 Sep 2008 , 7:42pm
post #26 of 43

Your cake is terrific! I can't imagine the planner not taking your husband up on his offer to deliver it. Delivery is not a responsiblilty most of my customers want. They are graciously willing to pay for delivery.

I have taken on the delivery at my own expense occasionly to avoid a "help, there's been a cake disaster" phone call. On one of those occasions I heard from a bride that her dad would be picking up the cake (4-tier chocolate buttercream) and driving 50 minutes on a hot summer day. I waited a respectable time, called her back and told her my plans for the day involved driving past her wedding venue and that I would love to save them the the trip by delivering the cake. After seeing the cake, they realized it wasn't exacly like picking up a box of doughnuts! They were so happy they didn't send Dad to transport it, they insisted on tipping me $75.00.

That was one avoided....unlike the people that bring along the family dog! One lady sent her husband...he brought his dog that jumped into the cake before he got it home. One lady brought her dog, stopped to pickup an item along the way and the dog ate parts to 2 of the 3 tiers. There are cars full of children (who grow extra fingers when they see frosting!), cars full of dog hair, trucks full of tools and old coffee cups ....etc. etc..

Oh yes....I push for delivery and money has little to do with it!

margaretb Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 3:32am
post #27 of 43

Good grief. What kind of idiot would see that cake and think, sure I'll just shove it in here beside my toddler and it'll be fine -- looks super stable and hardy to me.

I like that you informed the bride that delivery was offered. Hmm, wonder if you could tactfully say you are willing to testify if she decides to sue the wedding planner...

I also think it was very gracious of you to offer to make an anniversary cake for them.

missmeg Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 4:20pm
post #28 of 43

I can't see the cake icon_sad.gif...

I have it listed on my website and in my contract that I REQUIRE I deliver any cake over 2 tiers. Here is the exact wording:

Do you deliver? Delivery and set up is free if your event location is within a 30 mile radius of our location. We feel it is in your cake's best interest to be transported to your event by professionals. As this is especially true of tiered cakes, we do not allow pick up of cakes over two tiers. An additional chare of $75.00 per hour (round trip) will be applied for distances beyond 30 miles.

This is an area that I will not compromise on. I put too much blood, sweat, and tears into each and every cake to take the chance of someone else wrecking it.

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 1:42am
post #29 of 43

Wow. Just wow. That poor couple! Glad you had a "before" pic!

missmeg...great phrasing. If this is copied from your website, though, go back and fix the word "charge"'s missing the G! icon_smile.gif

krystyne_wilson Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 1:56am
post #30 of 43

The cake is sorry that they weren't able to show off your work at the reception icon_sad.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%