My First Wedding Disaster!!!

Decorating By deliciously_decadent Updated 17 Oct 2008 , 6:03am by deliciously_decadent

deliciously_decadent Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 8:52pm
post #1 of 14

had a 4 tier gorgeoud topsy to make for a lovely lady all went perfectly on the weddign day i set off (had never been to the delivery town before so the bride had written me out directions) about 10 mins into the drive i realised she had sent me through a mountain range on a terrible road but i was out of satalite navigation reception as well as cell phone reception so couldn't change my route and gritted my teeth and continued on (very slowly) now i knew i was going to have to patch up due to the windy bumpy road, but about 10 mins out from the delivery sight i hit a pot whole and disaster hit. the top two tears slid completely off and the back half of the third crumbled. the top two were not that bad so i rescued those and placed them on some carboard on the floor and as i coouldn't ring anyonwe and was almost an hour from home and running a little late due to driving so slowly i had to continue on. when i got to the reception venue i realised the bride was already on site and heading toward me to see her cake, i burst into tears (i am not a cryer but i was hysterical!) she flipped out and stormed off screaming that she couldn't deal with 'it' luckily enough her family were fantastic and her great aunt stayed and helped me for two hours to try and save what we could. considering the disaster that i turned up with i think we saved it pretty well, eventually the bride came back and was impressed with our save. in my hysterics i had mumbled the words refund and then she turned around and said i can't take a full refund (i was never talking 100%!!!) and that 75% was sufficient, i thought this was fair so i agreed. now we have hit another snag, i thought i was agreeing to 75% of the cake price she thinks i meant 75% of the total costs (which included delivery fee and $100 for hand sculpted cake toppers that were not on the cake at time of disaster) what do you guys think i should do? i have refunded the 75% of cake price but there is a difference of abou $150 in what i have refunded and thought i was refunding and what she thinks i am refunding (two weeks have past and i can now talk about it without crying icon_smile.gif
here is the cake just before i left my house:
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1265501

and here it is after the rescue attempt:
http://imgsrc.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1269341&done=1

for some reason (she was having a country how down reception) her reception was all in red and green and she picked a pink and lemon cake? so all i had to work with was the red gingham ribbons and ivy[/url]

13 replies
janelwaters Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:08pm
post #2 of 14

Ok - I really don't think it is that bad! I think it looks pretty good. I would send her a letter or email and state that you are refunding 75% of the CAKE price, however, she still owes you the original total for the topper b/c it was not damaged as well as the full total for the delivery - she gave you the directions that killed the cake!

I don't own a business - but this seems fair to me! Maybe someone else can weigh in.

Good luck with this and I'm so sorry that it happend to you!

ThreeDGirlie Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:13pm
post #3 of 14

1. I think a 75% refund on ANY part is ridiculous. Aside from the fact that she SAW the cake that you arrived with, she wouldn't have known about it. She used the cake, all was good.

2. Sitcking to "your word" of 75" refund, that should be cake only.

mcelromi1 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:18pm
post #4 of 14

Great save.
From the picture you can't really tell that a disaster took place.
Is she asking for the rest of the money? or did you recently send her the refund and asking what you should do if she asks for the rest?

If she's not asking for the rest I'd just let it go and move on. 75% of the cake price was more than generous. The topper which cost $100, wasn't damaged in the incident and the cake was delivered as promised.

If she say something about the remainder of the money (she thought she was getting), just explain to her know that amongst all of the confusion that there was a misunderstanding. You were offerring a refund for damage caused to the cake, not the delivery and topper.

ThreeDGirlie Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:01pm
post #5 of 14

A rational exmple:

Let's say you buy a shirt and pants at the store. You get home and find out that the shirt has a stain so you decide to return it. Would you ask the clerk at the counter to refund you money for the cost of gas to get there AND to give you a refund for the pants that you that you're keeping? No, I didn't think so...[/u]

CakesByJen2 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:19pm
post #6 of 14

If you didn't know all that gingham ribbon wasn't supposed to be there, you'd never know from the picture that the cake was damaged at all. All four tiers were salvaged, displayed as a 4-tiered cake as intended, with a totally presentable front side so it was still a lovely centerpiece and fine in photographs, and almost all the cake was able to be served, except for a small portion of the back of one tier. So in the end, she had a perectly decent, 4-tier cake as ordered, only it had slight damage to the back. I would say a 75% refund of the cake price was WAY beyond generous (personally I would have only refunded the cost of the one significantly damaged tier). There was no damage to the topper, so she definitely is not entitled to any refund of that at all. For delivery, she gave you the directions; you followed them. She gave you no warning of the condition of the roads or travel time you should allow, so the late delivery and damage to the cake can be considered either her responsibility, or just one of those unfortunate things that we can't control. Either way, not your fault; it's not as though you took a wrong turn and ended up on a bad road by mistake.

If she pushes it, I would just tell her exactly that, that there was no damage to the topper, she provided the directions, and your offer was only in regards to the actual damage to the cake itself.

weirkd Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:30pm
post #7 of 14

I have to agree that you shouldnt refund 75% for everything. But the sticky thing is if she still owes you money on it, your probably not going to get it from her. One thing I learned a lesson on is gettiing paid in full before delivery. I had a cake disaster similiar and they had enough cake to feed everyone but they only had a two tiered cake for show and the other two were in the kitchen. I only asked for a $50 deposit and the customer was suppose to pay the rest of it on delivery. Ofcourse I didnt see a damn dime from the guy! So you live and learn. Making mistakes is how we all learn and grow.

tdybear1978 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:30pm
post #8 of 14

I'm sorry but I would not have offered a refund, had she not been there to see the problem to begin with and came after the repair she would have been perfectly happy as the repair job is awesome. Unfortunately you already agreed to a refund of the 75% (which is too much in my opinion) of the cake and I would leave it at that, you still delivered it and the topper was there and in perfect condition and you should be paid for that.

deliciously_decadent Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:08am
post #9 of 14

hi guys thanks for backing up what i thought (i was worried i was being unreasonable) all my cakes are fully paid for two weeks prior to the delivery so it is me refunding her which i have done 75% of cake price only. although the same day i refunded dhe emailed me asking for her money 'please' to the amount of 75% total (she had worked out the money figure and written it down) there is about $150 difference between her figure and mine. i have not heard back from her since then but she is on her honey moon and may not have realised there is a difference between what i have paid back and what she has assumed she is getting so i was wanting to know how to handle it if she is not impressed when she finds out. thanks for all your great advise. my mother also agreed that i refunded way to much but i completely panicked as i just fealt terrible. my lovely husband had a rather large bottle of wine on ice and my best friend who had my kids had a very cery strong vodka when i finaly returned!! (she is my neighbour so rest assured no drink driving icon_lol.gif ) and it is only this week i have been able to bring myself to review the photos and realise i didn't do a too bad a patch up! half the 3rd tier was missing though and i had to suport the two top tiers with paper cups as there was no cake at the back to hold it up. there was also a largish crack at the front bottom tier don't know how well you can see it? i was going to stand strong about the toppers but was unsure as to the delivery cost as i didn't deliver it in one piece so thank you guys for clearing it up!!! i am early on in my cake business and almost shut up shop after this, i mean i know its gonna happen sometime -i was just hopping it was gonna be way way way down the tack! icon_biggrin.gif lol!!

costumeczar Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:08am
post #10 of 14

Be strong if she calls you back...I agree with everyone else, if the cake was the issue, refund on that, not on the topper or delivery. She got a very nice-looking cake for 1/4 of what she was going to pay for it, so she should just be happy that you even gave her that.

For your own peace of mind, ask if there are any harsh driving conditions when you get directions from now on! I had to deliver a cake today for a reception that turned out to be at the end of a VERY long gravel and mud "road" out in the boonies. I turned onto that and said "Oh, [email protected] no" to myself. I'm going to start asking about gravel roads, too...

cathyscakes Posted 11 Oct 2008 , 6:17pm
post #11 of 14

I think the cake looks nice, she is being unreasonible, so sorry you had to go thru this. It happened to me too, the cake ended up o.k.It was a cake I assembled once I got there, I can't imagine delivering a cake like yours in those conditions. I had to drive 30 miles up in the mountain on a wash board road, driving 10 mph, it was awful. I thought I would never get there. Should get hazzard pay for that.

Ruth0209 Posted 11 Oct 2008 , 6:39pm
post #12 of 14

I think I would have put one big wooden dowel down the middle of that top to bottom to keep it from sliding, although harsh driving conditions might have been too much even for that.

Regardless, I'd say that 75% was a VERY generous refund since the cake looked almost exactly the same (at least from the front) after your patch up. You've done more than enough to rectify the problem with the cake.

I hate the delivery part. I'm terrrified every time!!

Horselady Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 5:42am
post #13 of 14

I agree with what you've done as far as the 75% of the cake. I probably would have included the delivery price in there too since it wasn't delivered whole....

But, I do agree with you on the topper.

That said, i dissagree with some on the actual cake. The cake is a big deal for the wedding, I mean we spend so much time advertising how it is the only food made just for weddings "wedding cake" (Indydebbie says it better)...So, If I were a bride and my cake arrived with half the back missine, and a crack in the front and the decorator in tears, I'd probably be very upset, and may have even wanted a full refund. Even though it looks good in photos, people walking by I'm sure could see it had something going on....

I don't mean to be rude, please don't take this wrong, as I think you handled it the best you could, but we also have to see where she's coming from and this was her special day, and the cake is a focal point of the reception.

Also, be very up-front with her...I would have included the reason for the refund dfference with the check, so everything would be clear, etc...

deliciously_decadent Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 6:03am
post #14 of 14

i have since refunded 75% of the deliery because yes it was not delivered as stated, this has finished the issue as far as i know as i have not heard any more form the bride. in hind site i wish i could have remained calmer as i think 75% was too much given the costs involved and i think that had the bride only seen the repair job and no the cake after the accident matters would also have been different as she was quite happy with the repair job but i had already muttered those words refund and there was no going back then! chalk it up to a learning experience and hopefully never think about it ever again, i would love to have been able to point out to the bride that we are only human and things can go wrong but not to worry

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