How Would You Handle This Situation?

Decorating By smc_paralegal Updated 24 Mar 2009 , 3:05pm by -K8memphis

smc_paralegal Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:42pm
post #1 of 13

My husband has a co-worker who is getting married 7-10-09 and they have asked me to do the cake. I met with the bride on Saturday and we sketched out the cake that she wanted. On Monday, she sent me four new cake designs and said that she still isn't for sure which one she really wants to go with. I also found out yesterday that this same bride didn't like her first engagement ring so got another, bought a wedding dress after they got engaged in December and now doesn't like it so she bought another one. With all of that said, a couple of the cakes that she wants are way beyond my skill capabilities, not to mention my oven simply isn't big enough to bake them in. She doesn't want to spend more than $500.00 and I know for certain one of the cakes (the leading contender right now) is a $2,500.00 cake. How would you handle this situation?

12 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:49pm
post #2 of 13

Tell her up front that some of the pictures she has chosen are more than you are comfortable doing and besides that...tell her again that the one certain cake will be way over $500.00.If she gives you a hard time and is rude..Say No Thanks!!!You don't need the aggrevation!! Trust me!! People like that are NEVER happy!!!

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 13

Charge her $2,500, cause thats what you say that cake will cost. If her budget is $500, then show her what she CAN GET in her budget. Tell her all details on wedding cake needed to be finalized 2 months prior to delivery date. I'm not sure about you, but I'm not trying to make 100 gumpaste flowers in a week before deivery date. Also, get a security deposit of 50%. I suggest this too you to prvent any bridezillaness (is that a word) & undue stress for you. OR if your concerned about how picky she is & always changing her mind & how that may affect you, don't take the order.

Cupcakeluv24 Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:55pm
post #4 of 13

agreed! with pp. I really hope I am nothing like that when I get married/Engaged. but then again I am a cake decorator so I will only be battling myself.
I am going through kinda the same thing with my best friend who I am also the MOH for in her wedding. Weddings in June and everyday its a new cake.aRRRRRG.

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:58pm
post #5 of 13

After the last payment is received, no changes can be made. I can add a kitchen cake for additional last minute servings but that's it.

So let her flop in the wind until that last payment date. With this chickie, I'd say 6 weeks to 60 days before the wedding date.

I'd price out the grandiose cakes--let her react then if she bites advise that your oven is not big enough.

Get your retainer! The money will do the talking for you.

Tell her ok on the 2500 cake. Say my retainer is $850 to hold the date with that cake. (No refunds on any payments.)

I would also advise how the cake process advances. It's not like a dress because a dress has no stale date--no 'use by' date. The cake (more so than the food from a caterer) has to have a long runway like an airplane. The food is more like a helicopter.

She can't order the whole airport.

pattigunter Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:00pm
post #6 of 13

I agree with everyone here. Dont give her any special treatment or you will be taken advantage of. Give her the price and show her what she can get for her budget and then stick to it. If she's not satisfied direct her to the local grocery store bakery icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:22pm
post #7 of 13

Pricing cakes takes time. You've already had the consult. I'd just advise her of the deadline and that you'll have to start charging her for the additional work.

I mean say she places the order then later decides she wants a lemon curd filling in the cake and it's got four tons of gum paste flowers that have to be placed before delivery. I mean some things are mutually exclusive. It takes time to think all this stuff out.

She needs to understand your boundaries.

sweetjan Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:34pm
post #8 of 13

What KiddieKakes and LaBellaFlor said..............tell her up front what you can and can't provide, get a deposit and a commitment in writing making it clear that after a certain date (of your choice) that changes may/will result in a refund of the deposit and cancellation of the order.[/i]

twindees Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:35pm
post #9 of 13

I totally agree with everyone else. Let her know what she can get for HER BUDGET and thats it. If she comes with anything else make it CLEAR that additional cost will be added.

Ruth0209 Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:38pm
post #10 of 13

Are lemon curd and a ton of gumpaste flowers mutually exclusive? I'm not being smart - I didn't understand that statement and it sounded like you were serious.

ladyonzlake Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:40pm
post #11 of 13

I agree with eveyone here. I ask for a nonrefundable $50.00 deposit which is applied to the price of the cake. I don't do any drawings or work until I receive the deposit and it's also to reserve her date.

You can either overprice the cakes you're not comfortable doing or let her know that you're not comfortable doing them. Let her know the prices of the pictures she has chosen and lead her towards cake designs that fit in her budget.

Let her know that she needs a final decision 4 weeks before her date so that you can order supplies and this is also when you collect the balance owed on her cake.

Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:46pm
post #12 of 13

I do not give refunds on any payments. I tell them they can do three payments. The first retainer (thank you Chutzpah) means that I am planning my life around that date. I'm not going on vacation, I'm reserving not only that day but the days leading up to that day for their cake. It takes more than ten random minutes, yes?

The second payment purchases the materials. If they change the date, I'm not going to be out that money. No refunds.

The last payment pays me for my work. No refunds.

I say I will try and work with you if something changes, but we are contracting for this date and time and cake, period, whether there's a wedding or not.

If I was 'a bakery' it would be different. I fly solo so that's the deal, take it or leave it. I had one girl order about a year in advance paid in full. She said she'd eat it herself if anything changed. lol

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 3:05pm
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

Are lemon curd and a ton of gumpaste flowers mutually exclusive? I'm not being smart - I didn't understand that statement and it sounded like you were serious.

I refrigerate that filling and I would not want to frige four tons of gum paste flowers. I was just trying to think of something that I would need to have planned out in advance. So actually you could work around that have to work around it. You run up to the day of delivery without having planned for that detail and all those flowers are wilting in the humidity you created putting in & out of the frige and...

I mean say someone wants a three tier cake and they want to use Grandma's plateau--then they call and say well we need to increase 35 servings....easy mindless changes except logistically it probably won't work anymore. Maybe you forgot you had a special base to use because they just called in the change two months after the consult--then two months later when you try to set up cake...oopsie.

It all has to be thought through from start to finish when it's custom work like that.

How many times we want to offset squares onto rounds but they won't fit--stuff like that --all those little details have to be worked out in advance--so you can plan around them or change it.

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