Wedding Cake Payment Questions

Decorating By Teenequeene Updated 16 Sep 2008 , 6:41am by all4cake

Teenequeene Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:06am
post #1 of 11

I started selling cakes about 7 months ago. I have a few people that asked for business cards saying they are interesting in wedding cakes. Im doing my first one for a friend in Nov and Im really excited. When someone orders a wedding cake I know I should get a deposit up front.

Do you ask for a flat rate for the deposit or a percentage?

At what time do I ask them to pay the remaining balance?

Do you refund the whole deposit if they cancel or does it depend on how far in advance they cancel?

If I get into making wedding cakes I need to make up a contract.

Thanks for your help!!

10 replies
luelue1971 Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:35am
post #2 of 11

I just recently started doing wedding cakes as well. I require 50% up front and the remainder 1 week before delivery.

Deposits are nonrefundable (generally). I would probably consider refunding under some circumstances but my general stand is no refunds. I would however let them apply the credit to a future order.

kakeladi Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:42am
post #3 of 11

I only asked for $75 deposit to hold their date. The balance was due no less than 2 weeks before their date. They could make payments along the way or wait until due date.
Yes, deposits should be non refundable. You might have to turn down other orders so that compensates you for the loss OR for whatever you might have purchased for that cake. Of course if there are any really special circumstances you could always give a partical or full refund.

It would be a good idea to get a couple of people to send you their contract so you can make up one for yourself. Then you will have it on hand when you need it. Don't wait until you think you have someone ordering then look for that info.

all4cake Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:48am
post #4 of 11

I require a 50.00 hold-the-date fee when booked longer than 30 days out from date of event. It is non-refundable but it does get applied to balance on the final payment.

50% is due no more than 30 days out from day of event and remaining balance is due no later than 10 days out from day of event. Any other payment options have to be discussed and approved by the responsible party and myself.

If cake is ordered less than 30 days from day of event, 50% is required then the balance due at 10 day mark.

If less than 10 days, 100% plus 10% rush fee is due and options are reduced greatly.

If less than 1 week, 100% plus a 25% rush fee is due and options are reduced greatly.

kelleym Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 7:21am
post #5 of 11
Quote:
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Do you ask for a flat rate for the deposit or a percentage?



50% down is required to book the date.

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At what time do I ask them to pay the remaining balance?



2 weeks before the wedding (in order to allow time for the check to clear).

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Do you refund the whole deposit if they cancel or does it depend on how far in advance they cancel?



The deposit is non-refundable because I am turning away other business in order to hold their date.

Quote:
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If I get into making wedding cakes I need to make up a contract.


Here is a thread with several posted contracts:
http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-586999-contract.html

indydebi Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 12:31pm
post #6 of 11

mine used to be 20% or $200 whichever was lower .... then I got a year where I had two canc'd weddings (they called off the wedding). That $200 just wasn't sufficient to cover my lost income because it was too late to rebook the date ... so I upped it to 50%. Now most of my (catering) deposits are over $1000.

chutzpah Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 3:31pm
post #7 of 11

First of all, use the word 'retainer' instead of deposit. The word deposit implies that the money will be returned.

I charge a retainer of $150. Non-returnable if they cancel, and if I cancel they do get the whole thing back.

Remainder due FIVE weeks before wedding date.

CelebrationsbyLori Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 10:21pm
post #8 of 11

"First of all, use the word 'retainer' instead of deposit. The word deposit implies that the money will be returned. "
...EXACTLY! I got into this a couple of years ago and changed all my wording in all my contracts to reflect that. The word deposit can get confusing especially since I charge a damage deposit on stands, fountains, etc. so I changed all that to "hardware deposit" and changed the other to "non-refundable retainer". I've had to explain to a couple of girls what a retainer is, but aside from that, it has cleared up a lot!
I charge a flat amount since I have a lot of brides that book far ahead and don't have all the decisions needed to get a final price, so that's easier for me! AND always, always, get a signed contract!
Lori

kelleym Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 2:34am
post #9 of 11

I guess you would have to consult an attorney if you wanted to be legally precise with your wording, but to me "deposit" is a perfectly acceptable term in this case. There are many things you purchase that require an initial deposit which is non-refundable. Dictionary.com has this definition of deposit:

1. to place for safekeeping or in trust, esp. in a bank account: He deposited his paycheck every Friday.
2. to give as security or in part payment.

So, in my completely non-legal opinion, I think "deposit" is fine. icon_wink.gif

chutzpah Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 6:08am
post #10 of 11

Um. You and I know the definition of DEPOSIT, but 90% of the population doesn't. They think a deposit is refundable. The word retainer helps avoid confusion.

all4cake Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 6:41am
post #11 of 11

Regardless of the word used, surely it's clarified that it is non-refundable before accepting the monies...whether in writing on the receipt or email ...somehow and is sure the customer fully understands that fact. I know I wouldn't just say, "uh, you need to give me fifty dollars to retain my services" without being prepared to explain.

I explain that the 50.00 holds the date and is applied to the final payment. If the event is canceled, they lose that amount.

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