Bride Wants To Transport Her 4 Tier Wedding Cake!!!!!

Decorating By sweetsbyl Updated 9 Feb 2009 , 10:34pm by butterflyjuju

sweetsbyl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 3:52pm
post #1 of 32

I have a potential client that really wants me to make her wedding cake, however, her venue is 100 miles away. She e-mailed and asked, how SHE can transport it safely to the venueicon_confused.gif
I do not offer pick up for cakes which are 3+ tiers. For 100 miles each way, I would charge her $100 to deliver and set up this cake.
How do I gently tell her that pick up is not an option?
Thanks icon_biggrin.gif

31 replies
sweetsbyl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 32


vixterfsu Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 4:54pm
post #3 of 32

Just tell her. I would hate to see what happens if she delivered her
own cake.

doughdough Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 4:58pm
post #4 of 32

If she insists, you are going to have to tell her that if she does decide to transport her own cake, she will have to accept FULL responsibility of anything that happens to the cake from the moment it leaves your property. Make sure you put something in the contract that covers this.

Hopefully the bride will decide that spending an extra $100 for delivery is worth the peace of mind!

jsmith Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:02pm
post #5 of 32

As the professional, you can tell her a stacked four tier cake won't make it. I would offer her a slightly different design though. I would put short columns in between the tiers with the plate attached and that way she can put each tier of cake on the plates when she gets to the venue. That way you can box up the tiers and she can easily assemble them on site. Just don't forget to tell her that once she leaves, you aren't responsible for them anymore. So if she slams on the brakes and they all slide into the side then you aren't going to drive over there to fix them. icon_smile.gif

michellenj Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:03pm
post #6 of 32

She's going to have a lot going on that day. Worrying about the cake would be like a kick in the butt, IMO. I'd pay $100 for some sanity. Seriously, what would she do if something happened to the cake? Probably call you in full-on freak out mode and beg you to come fix it. And pay you to do so.

funbun Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:03pm
post #7 of 32

I would just say that you make it a policy to delivery all cakes higher than 3 tiers.
Explain to her that she will have so much other things to do on her wedding day that you would hate for her to have to worry about setting up and leveling a wedding cake.
Your delivery charge is her piece of mind that the centrepiece to her day will be perfect.

HTH icon_biggrin.gif

Somethin-Sweet Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:03pm
post #8 of 32

I would definately tell her that she is responsible, but I would suggest using the SPS system that Leahs talks about. The 4 tier wedding cake that I just posted in my gallery, was transported using this system, FULLY ASSEMBLED. It did not move AT all! I will never cut another dowel again!!! Good Luck!!

BakingGirl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:08pm
post #9 of 32

I would also mention that one of the reasons it is better that you deliver it is that you can do touch-ups and minor repairs on site should the cake need it, something she will not be able to do.

tonedna Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:22pm
post #10 of 32

I would make her to sign a contract where you state that the cake was given to her in perfect condition and that whatever happens after she takes the cake out of the shop is not your responsability...

I had a bride that was getting married in Bermuda. Of course I can't deliver a cake to Bermuda... Knowing this, we decided that the cake should be made in fondant for added strength, since it was traveling in car and then plane, plus the wedding was on a boat. The cake was supported well. Everything went well..

I always finish my cakes at the store, and they travel well, but you have to make sure she signs a waiver just in case something happens, she knows you are not at fault, your services were available and she refused them..


terrylee Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:35pm
post #11 of 32

Oh my gosh Edna......I haven't even gotten to the point that I will travel with 2 tiers...... across town......

Your cakes are amazing and your confidence is beyond me..... I hope to be as talented as Edna when I grow up...

costumeczar Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:41pm
post #12 of 32

A lot of 4-tiered cakes do make it fine, it's a matter of how they're constructed, packed, etc. I personally don't let people pick up cakes that tall, but there's a store here that delviers them all in one piece all the time, I think they're frozen, though, so that probably has a lot to do with it!

I'd tell her that she can pick it up if she's willing to take responsibility for it from the moment that it's put into her car. And remind her that if it doesn't make it there in one piece you will NOT be available for emergency repairs!!!!

playingwithsugar Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:48pm
post #13 of 32

Edna's right. Make her sign a Release of Liability if she decides to transport the cake herself. Let us know if you need help writing one up.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

sweetsbyl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 5:59pm
post #14 of 32

Thanks for all of your suggestions icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 6:08pm
post #15 of 32

Share these stories with her. These came from a well respected bakery and I'm sad that these stories are no longer on the site. I think the last line says it all.....
Customer requests us to come on site to repair the cake. Fee: In zone, $100.00 plus $2.00 per mile, prepaid via credit card prior to us leaving the bakery. Out of zone, this service is not available.

Customer may bring cake back to bakery for repair, and repairs will be done at rate of $150.00 per hour, minimum $50.00.
While these policies seem harsh, they were motivated by over 20 years of real experience. For example,

Hung over best man picked up cake, put in trunk, and burned rubber down the street. Bride calls up crying, asking us to fix her cake. When we said it wasnt our responsibility, she replied, "but you know a best man isnt responsible!"

Place cake in back of pickup truck. Dad traveled 40 miles with it, couldnt fit on floor of pickup truck due to beer cans. You dont want to know the rest.

Place cake on floor of van. Dog jumped over back seat and had lunch. When cautioned about this possibility, we were dismissed. By the way, the dog hair was all over the van so it got on the cake too.

Cake placed on floor under toddlers car seat. Toddler kicked of shoe. That was so much fun, toddler kicked off other shoe. Add one Barney, and the entire cake was messed up.

Cake given to grandmother in front seat. Unfortunately, the sweet lady had a terrible cold. Bride brought cake back to us because Grandma sneezed, needed the cake re-iced.

Groom picked up cake. Was late. Cautioned to put cake on floor. Wanted to put it on seat instead. Stopped short to avoid accident, cake ended up on dashboard. By the way, groom was more upset about cake being in air conditioning vents of his car.

There are many more stories of things that could potentially have gone wrong, and many more that have occurred.

There have also been hundreds of cakes that have been picked up without any problems. Our delivery and setup service is designed to be a value. What is your peace of mind worth?

chutzpah Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 7:26pm
post #16 of 32

I have lots of customers who are, unfortunately, way too cheap to pay delivery (I won't deliver free.... my time is at a premium). I make them sign a waiver stating that they are responsible from the moment the carton leaves my countertop. They could trip on the sidewalk outside the store and drop the cake and I am not obligated to help them in any way (I would, of course).

I have had clients pick up 4-tier wedding cakes and transpot halfway across the province with no problems at all.

tonedna Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 8:17pm
post #17 of 32

We had a client that wanted to carry a 4 tier cake on their lap icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif ..I just wanted to die!

cakesdivine Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 8:52pm
post #18 of 32

I do not allow any cake over 1 tier to be picked up. All wedding cakes & 3D cakes must be delivered by me no exceptions! I will not entrust the construction or delivery method of someone who doesn't have experience in the caution necessary to transport a large cake for such an important event. If they aren't willing to pay the delivery fee then I am better off not taking the order in the first place.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 8:59pm
post #19 of 32

I don't know--I mother hen them quite a bit if they're transporting a tier cake--I know y'all find it hard to believe that I would ever lecture anyone icon_rolleyes.gif

But shoot yah, she can drive around with it anywhere she wants as far as I'm concerned.

I'd charge her more for packaging though because I would totally keep it climate controlled for her.

sweetsbyl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 9:24pm
post #20 of 32

Wow, thanks!

I just e-mailed her and I basically told her what's included in the delivery/set-up process and that the delivery charge is for her piece of mind.

I do not feel comfortable with any 3+ tiered cakes being picked up by the client, even if they do sign a waiver. I use the SPS and it works great but it will not help if the client does not drive cautiously. I have only made 2 3+ tiered cake, maybe after Ive made/delivered more 3+ tiered cakes then I will feel more comfortable with the client picking up.

Again, thank you everyone for all of your input!

Deb_ Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 9:36pm
post #21 of 32

To the OP, I agree I wouldn't feel comfortable letting her pick up a 4 tier cake, but I would consider her picking them up if they were 2 - 2 tier cakes.

You didn't mention the design, but is it possible to stack the bottom 2 tiers separate from the top 2 tiers and box them separately? This way she could just place the top 2 onto the bottom 2 when they arrive at the venue.

The only thing that could hamper this situation is if the border needs to be done after stacking or if the bride sticks her fingers into it while stacking. (which we all have done and we're used to doing this stuff).

Why is it that the one place they try to save $$$ is on the cake? I mean, your delivery fee of $100 is VERY reasonable. You said 100 miles, that's 2 hrs approx driving time each direction, 4 hrs not including the set-up time. That's not even $1 a mile. She's getting a bargain and she doesn't even know it.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 10:00pm
post #22 of 32

You think the bride should have to diddle with stacking a cake on her wedding day?

The only way to do that is to have the top two tiers sit on a pillar separation.

The bride would totally ruin the icing.

A carefully packaged four tier cake is not that big a deal.

Bu-ut--how many folks deliver unboxed cakes hmmm???
Now that would be freaking scarey but properly packaged she'd fine.

Mencked Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 10:07pm
post #23 of 32

I agree with K8. Delivering a 4-tier cake already assembled is not that big of a deal--Use SPS!!! After you've delivered several 4 tier cakes using that support system, you will be far more willing to let your wedding cakes be picked up by the customer (after signing a waiver) and think of all the extra time you'll have not having to deliver every cake you make!! DM

chutzpah Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 10:07pm
post #24 of 32

After several threads on here it would seem like many transport unboxed, unpackaged cakes in their car. That's just gross.

Deb_ Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 3:52am
post #25 of 32
Originally Posted by k8memphis

You think the bride should have to diddle with stacking a cake on her wedding day?

No, I don't think that. Just offering an option, that's all.

Delivering a 4 tier cake across town to a venue is one thing, delivering one 100 miles is quite different. I don't care what support system you use, you run the risk of the cake getting damaged. Especially, when the person delivering is not used to driving with a 4 tier cake in the car.

tonedna Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 4:59am
post #26 of 32

If very well supported a 4 tier cake will travel well. To me the biggest issue is weight. The cakes can get really heavy and people
dont know how to carry them. They usually tilt the cakes.

summernoelle Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 5:11am
post #27 of 32

Holy cow-will she even be able to lift it?

I would prob. say okay-WITH a very detailed explanation to her, and a signed contract. If she wants to take that risk, that is her decision.

milissasmom Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 5:27am
post #28 of 32

I use the SPS system and have traveled over 100 miles to deliver cakes fully assembled with no problem. BUT, when a bride is getting ready to get married, who knows what frame of mind she is in? Is she on time, will something come up etc. This means she is taking the cake to the reception site THEN going somewhere else to get ready for the BIG day! If she is not being CAREFUL or having the proper help when she arrives, there is a WHOLE different issue. I am sure she will pay the 100 bucks.

brownsugar1 Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 9:35pm
post #29 of 32
Originally Posted by chutzpah

After several threads on here it would seem like many transport unboxed, unpackaged cakes in their car. That's just gross.

Isn't that what Duff does? So it can't be wrong..right? icon_lol.gif

I kid..I kid..

bethola Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 9:47pm
post #30 of 32

Well, guess I'm a little different, but, if the BRIDE is paying and she wants to assume that responsibility I'd let her do it. Have her sign a contract that you are not responsible as soon as SHE (literally) picks up the cake. She has paid you to bake and decorate an awesome cake...if she wants to chance it ending up in her air conditioning be it. It's HER dime. Well, maybe her parents' dime.

Beth in KY

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