How To Handle This Bride??

Business By Michele01 Updated 4 Dec 2008 , 1:23pm by Santa_Kitchen

Michele01 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:11am
post #1 of 46

Ok, I really need some advice on what to tell this bride..... My policy on booking a wedding cake is: $75.00 deposit to hold the date, then the remaining balance is due 1 month before the wedding.

Wth living at the beach, I get a lot of brides in other states that will be traveling here for their wedding. So, we email and talk on the phone back and forth. I then mail out the contract to them, and they return it back with the deposit. They then mail their remaining balance at the designated time.

I emailed the contract to the bride, with all the information that I knew typed in. On the last page of my contract, I write when full payment is due. Well this bride sent me an email saying that she mailed in the contract with a $100.00 check, and that she would be making payments but didn't think it would be paid in full a month before. icon_surprised.gif I recieved the contract today, and she even crossed out the due date, and wrote what date she thought was appropriate for her.

When I originally made my contract, I basically found another bakeries contract online, and used it as a template. I changed a couple of things, but kept most the same since I was pretty new at the whole business thing. The part about payment in my contract says, " The full amount of the cake balance is due one month before your wedding, which can be paid by cash or check. Payments made after the four week deadline may only be made in the form of cash. If payment isn't recieved in full by at least one week before the wedding date, no cake will be made and your order will be cancelled.

Now seeing this, yes I know this may be my fault (I will take the blame) even though hubby thinks other wise. I will have that part of the contract fixed. Anyway, would you say something to her for having the nerve to cross something out on your contract (then signed her anitials next to it) and telling you when she decides to pay, or would you just let it go this time and say something if not paid in full a week before?

Sorry so long. icon_biggrin.gif Thanks for listening.

45 replies
SugarFrosted Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:16am
post #2 of 46

She altered YOUR contract without your consent, and plans to not pay the balance on time? I'd send her check back to her with apologies of having a previous booking for that date. She's trouble waiting to happen, imo.

Editted to add: If she'll do this, what else will she do before the wedding is over?

CakeForte Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:26am
post #3 of 46

I agree w/ the previous comment. All of the clients that I had any kind of issue or problems with were the ones that I made exceptions for, or went out of my way. She is telling you how it should be and didn't even bother to call/ email and talk about changes to the contract. Doesn't sound like a good situation to start off with.

leah_s Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:33am
post #4 of 46

In a similar vein, I just got royally ripped by a bride because I asked her to make her final payment. My contract requires payment in full 21 days prior, and states that it should be made online at my website. Easy, right? It's 8 days until her reception, she hasn't paid. She's now "taking her business elsewhere" because I was so rude. Whatever.

Long story short, you're got one who's going to be trouble. If you can get out of it, do so. And it's good that you've fixed that contract. I'd probably send her a new contract, just like the original with the correct due date and amount due highlighted in yellow. But I'm rude like that, so I've been told today.

Sorry to thread-jack your post.

paolacaracas Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:34am
post #5 of 46

I would not keep working with this bride, she is disrespectful, and not willing to pay, this will not be the first problem with her. RUN

meghan8684 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:44am
post #6 of 46

I am no pro at this buisness thing either. I work as a full time wedding consultant on a daily basis and when you first start off the "Contract" can be an ugly thing if you are not careful and can cause alot of stress and money waste.
So My opinion would be to revise your contract a little bit to where you are not giving them a choice of when the payment is due. They come to you for their cake so they need to pay when it is said to or there will be no cake.
The only thing in your contract that gave her an option was the bit about "Payments made after the four week deadline may only be made in the form of cash. If payment isn't recieved in full by at least one week before the wedding date, no cake will be made and your order will be cancelled. " This probably gave her the option of when she could pay she would so if it was me i would erase this part.
She does sound hard to deal with due to the fact she is telling you when she is going to pay so if she wants to pay after the wedding then make her a cake after her wedding. good luck !
I would either explain it to her or send her a check back and tell her you have a wedding that date. and you are sorry . icon_smile.gif

Michele01 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:53am
post #7 of 46

The date she said she is paying in full is actually a week and 2 days before her wedding. So, I should still be paid in full, just not when I told her.

aligotmatt Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 1:02am
post #8 of 46

I personally would send her a new contract with the final line revised. If she opts to change or not sign it, then move on. Contracts do not work that the signer can change and initial changes. Wouldn't we all do that if it was legal?

If you feel like you're stuck, then stick hard by the 1 week and 2 days paid in full in cash or her order is cancelled.

indydebi Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 1:07am
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01

The date she said she is paying in full is actually a week and 2 days before her wedding. So, I should still be paid in full, just not when I told her.




Doens't matter. She doesnt' dictate YOUR terms. Your business, your name on the sign, your rules. I'd take leahs advice all the way. Either get out of it, or send her a new contract with the CORRECT dates in it.

snarkybaker Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 2:11am
post #10 of 46

The real question is how much it matters to you that you get paid a month before the actual date. I, personally, would never pay in full a month before an event for food. Final head counts and payments aren't usually due at the caterer until around 2 weeks to 10 days before the event. Somebody who wanted and/or needed their money earlier than that would strike me as a cash-strapped, and therefore risky, person to do business with.

We get final payment Monday for a Saturday cake and Tuesday for a Sunday cake. My deposit of $1.50 per serving basically covers my food costs, and we don't bake until Wednesday anyway. Maybe instead of requiring such a dinky deposit, you should get a proper deposit ( if it's bigger and you don't refund it, you get a lot less cancelations), and then not worry about the balance, which should be your profit.

leah_s Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 2:52am
post #11 of 46

The problem may be that it takes about three weeks (certainly more than two weeks) for a check to clear if you don't use the same bank and the payor. That's why I require payment three weeks in advance.

snarkybaker Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 3:00am
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

The problem may be that it takes about three weeks (certainly more than two weeks) for a check to clear if you don't use the same bank and the payor. That's why I require payment three weeks in advance.




That makes sense, but when I think about it, I think I've only had 3 or 4 checks for final payment on wedding cakes. Seems like everyone here charges everything.

CakesByJen2 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 3:15am
post #13 of 46

I would either decline the order altogether, or send her a revised contract, with the payment information highlighted, and a note saying no alterations in the terms of the contract are allowed. In no way, shape, or form would I allow her to get away with making such a change.

SugaredUp Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 3:54am
post #14 of 46

What about calling her on the phone? I think that might come across better than just sending her a new contract (unless you just really want her to go away at this point). I would try calling her and telling her that you have to have the payment on X date, and that you're unable to extend that deadline. Ask her if she can have the payment in on time. If she can't, tell her you'll mail back her deposit (if it's refundable) and cancel her order. If she can, then I would mail her the new contract and ask her to re-sign it.

Michele01 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:49pm
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

The problem may be that it takes about three weeks (certainly more than two weeks) for a check to clear if you don't use the same bank and the payor. That's why I require payment three weeks in advance.



That makes sense, but when I think about it, I think I've only had 3 or 4 checks for final payment on wedding cakes. Seems like everyone here charges everything.





I don't except credit cards yet, and I have never had anyone question, or cancel over my policy. (not being rude by this statement) Like I said in the beginning, When I started my business 1 1/2 years ago, I found a contract from another bakery online and used their's as a template. That was actually in that bakery's contract, so it is not uncommon. My contract states that if you cancel before full payment is made, the deposit is non refundable. If you cancel after full payment is made, you will be refunded the full amount, minus the cost of supplies already purchased for your cake. Besides the fact of it taking a while for the check to clear, wedding cakes cost a lot of money. What happens if you don't collect your money at least 2 weeks prior, and the bride cancels? You could have booked another cake in that spot, and now your out a couple hundred dollars. No one feels risky about my policy because my bakery is run out of my home. They come to my home for the consultation, therefore they know where I live. But I have also said that I plan to change that part of my contract. 2 or three weeks prior to the event is an appropriate amount of time to recieve full payment. icon_smile.gif

Michele01 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 12:51pm
post #16 of 46

I forgot to add that I think I will just give her a call today to settle it. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. icon_smile.gif

Michele

cake4breakfast Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 5:34pm
post #17 of 46

To me it's not so much about how your contract is worded (and it seems fine to me BTW). It's the fact that she had the nerve to change your contract to suit her needs. I'd send her packing.

Pookie59 Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 8:01pm
post #18 of 46

You are perfectly within your rights to reject her "counteroffer". If you don't want to do things her way, then send the check back and write "REJECTED" over the contract. Tell her you are unable to meet her terms.

TexasSugar Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 10:40pm
post #19 of 46

I would just call her and explain to her that you have to have the final payment by the orginal date on the contract. If she can not do it by then, then she needs to find another baker.

If she balks, just explain that you have to have time for the check to clear the bank before you will even start on her cake. And certain cake elements, depending on design, are done before the final week before the wedding.

If she can't deal with your payment schedule, return her deposit and cancel the contract. But be upfront with her about it. Please don't tell her you have another cake if you don't. She needs to clearly understand why you won't do her cake.

If she does still want the wedding cake and will pay by the orginal date, resend her contact with the correct information on it.

cylstrial Posted 24 Oct 2008 , 11:05pm
post #20 of 46

When you call her, tell her that you would prefer that she pay cash, since it is so late. Then explain about the banks taking two weeks for the check to be cashed. Goodluck.. I really think you should get cash with this bride though.. she seems difficult to say the least.

Michele01 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 9:02pm
post #21 of 46

This lady is really aggravating me now. I decided to call her (left a message) and send her an email. She said she would send me a new contract, and mail me the remaining 225.00. The only catch was that she didn't get paid until the 14th (which is when the balance was due). Well I said no problem, as long as I recieve everything by this week. So, I recieved the check in the mail today. Guess what? there is no new contract in the little envelope, and she only pays me 200.00. I think she is truly just seeing what she can get away with. The first check she gave me was a cashier's check, and this one is a money gram. I don't like the way this is going. I think I am going to send her everything back. I can be a really nice person, but she is really pushing it. She tries to use the whole, "it's hard to plan a wedding from another state bit". We'll I did it, and I made sure everyone got what they needed on time. That's the easy part of it. icon_mad.gif

mixinvixen Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 9:24pm
post #22 of 46

my mom and dad own apartments in kentucky, and have a tendency to let people run over them...unfortunately, i live in tennessee and can't help them manage these apartments and tenants. ANYWAY, last year a lady came and met with them, went on and on about how cute the apartment was, totally gained their trust, and then started flaking on the rent...she'd put notes in with her rent that she couldn't pay it all and would be making payments, and for the next month, she'd only be able to pay $350, instead of $450...when my mom told me this on the phone, i asked her what the heck they were doing letting the tenant tell them how much she was going to pay????? fast forward 6 months, my mom and dad get a judgement on her in small claims court.

people who make their own rules, like your client, have a tendency to do that in every aspect of their lives....they feel as though they are most important. do not let her get by with this.

fem128 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:11pm
post #23 of 46

Drop her like a hot potato! lol icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:44pm
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01

She tries to use the whole, "it's hard to plan a wedding from another state bit".




Whatta crock! I deal with a lot of college and military brides .... and we do it just fine!! My longest distance bride was stationed in Japan. We planned the whole thing via email between me in Indpls, her sister in Wisc, her mom in Chicago and she was in Japan.

terrig007 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:58pm
post #25 of 46

I have to agree with Debi. I planned my VA wedding from GA and got my checks to the vendors-including the Custom Cake Shoppe in VA BCH with no problems and knew going in when things were due and how much had to be paid. She sounds like some chick on that awful Bridezilla show who was trying to get out of paying the final 3K to the reception site but they told her no money no reception. $25 is $25-drop her like a hot potato and she can always go to Farm Fresh for her cake if she doesn't like it. Good luck with this one.

cakesdivine Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:14pm
post #26 of 46

Don't you just hate brides like this. I agree with all who say drop her. She will probably after the fact claim you didn't make her cake the way she wanted and then demand her money back. Sometimes the trouble isn't worth the money, and if her cake was only a $300 cake, it really isn't worth it.

DebBTX Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:22pm
post #27 of 46

If you decide to return her money, it might be a good idea to have the post office get her signature for you as proof of delivery. I would hate for her to claim she didn't get her money back.

-Debbie B.

panchanewjersey Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:32pm
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarFrosted

She altered YOUR contract without your consent, and plans to not pay the balance on time? I'd send her check back to her with apologies of having a previous booking for that date. She's trouble waiting to happen, imo.

Editted to add: If she'll do this, what else will she do before the wedding is over?




I have to so agree with you on this one. Don't make it hard on yourself though just do what you have to do.

gibson Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:51pm
post #29 of 46

Wow! I didn't know you could change contracts like that....I'm marching straight to my bank tomorrow morning and telling them when I feel we should pay the mortgage and how much I think we should pay. Wouldn't life be so nice if it were that simple.
She is definately walking all over you! I would hold my ground and I think even by this point I would send everything back to her. I agree with making sure she signs for it. Sounds like she would try anything! If she's giving you this much grief now is she going to be one of those brides who complains that the cake wasn't cooked or it "fell" or something crazy trying to get money back?
RUN! AND RUN FAST!!!!!!!!

all4cake Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:51pm
post #30 of 46

" The full amount of the cake balance is due one month before your wedding, which can be paid by cash or check. Payments made after the four week deadline may only be made in the form of cash. If payment isn't recieved in full by at least one week before the wedding date, no cake will be made and your order will be cancelled. "

Maybe she actually read the contract and has full intentions of paying you in cash which seems still within the confines of the details of the contract.

Maybe she scratched out that date and initialed it to save any possible trouble it may cause you or her by discussing it, you possibly sending out a new contract with the new(hopefully approved) date on it. What's the worse that could happen? You wouldn't agree to the date and she then get possibly crazy-eyed over it because it IS in the contract that payment can be made after that date...just in cash.

I would contact her and acknowledge the change she made in the contract and restate what the contract reads...."Payments made after the four week deadline may only be made in the form of cash. If payment isn't recieved in full by at least one week before the wedding date, no cake will be made and your order will be cancelled. " "okay, I just wanted to be sure you were aware of that portion of the contract" to which she may say, "I am supposed to be in town at that time and will be able to bring it to you."

I wouldn't run or get bent out of shape. If after you contact her and she seems wishy washy....I might suggest she secure someone who is more at liberty to be flexible. Then, return her deposit.

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