moralna Posted 24 May 2009 , 10:31pm
post #1 of

I just finished delivering a wedding cake for 300 people. I was so excited because this was my first truly big wedding cake and I was looking forward to it. Plus the bride and groom were so nice that I wanted to do a really great job. My first problem came with my SMBC; the bride asked if it could be white and I tried really hard to make it as white as possible, using clear vanilla extract, but I guess with all my effort, I could not get it white (I guess with all the butter), it came out a creamy color. I did the gumpaste bow and orchids and I was very happy with them. I stacked the first 3 tiers and decided to put the top tier on when I got to the reception hall. I guess because of the warm weather (though we did have the air conditioner on at full blast), the buttercream became soft as we drove to the event location and the tiers shifting making the cake very crooked. Some of it cracked a little as well. I tried the best I could fixing up the crookedness, but it really didn't work all that much, not to mention that the room was a cream coloring and with the lighting made the cake look even more cream colored. I tried to fix some of the more crooked spots and cracked icing with the orchids, but I was still so unhappy when I left. I just got home and cried my eyes out. I feel like it was such a beautiful location and everything was set up so beautifully and here is this ugly cake that looks like it was made with 2 left feet. I am wondering now whether I should approach the bride first and apologize for presenting not my best work or wait to see if I hear from her. Any advice? The picture of the cake is in My Photos. It is the first cake you see.

39 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 24 May 2009 , 10:46pm
post #2 of

First of all....I am confused. Judging by the seriously awesome cakes in your pics, unless they are all dummies....how is this your first big cake, and big dear just means more cake, not a challenge to the decorator part of you.

SMBC is going to do exactly what you described if not handled properly. You may have had that a/c on high in the car, what were you doing with the whole time before? No way would it have been shifting if it had recently come out of the fridge.

Also....SMBC could never be truly white. I have a disclaimer to this effect because I refuse to insult a batch of good SMBC with clear (shudder) imitation vanilla...goes against all that is good and holy.

Sorry this happened to you, and I'm sure you'll figure out what went wrong. Me, I'm going to your pics for the 3rd time to figure out which cake this was.

jeking Posted 24 May 2009 , 10:46pm
post #3 of

So sorry about the difficulty...we've all had them. I had one completely crash over in the back of the van a few weeks ago. icon_cry.gif

I can't see the photo yet, but unless the cake was a real disaster, I would let it ride for now. If you feel it was a total disaster, then you could contact the bride or her mom in the next few days and apologize, offering a refund.

I know that many folks on here only offer a partial refund, and I think that's fine. We offer a full refund to the bride if they don't get what they ordered within reason. It's just our policy...thankfully it's only happened twice that I know of...including my disaster a couple of weeks ago.

The important thing is to do your best to figure out what went wrong so it doesn't happen again. I figured out that the back of my SUV has too much vibration so I put the back seats down and put in a plywood piece cut to fit the back, making sure it was level side to side and front to back. Then I covered it with the cushioned shelf stuff and now I put the cakes in from the side door and let them ride right behind the front seat. Works like a charm. There were a couple of design issues with mine as well that we won't repeat!!

Brujalita Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:16pm
post #4 of

The first cake in your gallery looks beautiful!! If you had issues with it, I'm not able to pick up on them. I think we're our own worst critic. If I were you, I would wait and see if the bride contacts you. With everything else going on that day, she probably didn't notice what would be glaringly wrong to you. All the other cakes in your gallery are also beautiful!! Chin up!! Unless the cake fell to the floor after you left, I'm sure it was all gone by the end of the evening.

Doug Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:21pm
post #5 of

I agree the cake looks yellow --- see what happens with bad lighting!!!!! ABSOLUTELY nothing you could do about that (save have some come in and fix that bad lighting!!!)

(oh, and a camera will only make it even more yellow looking if the camera is set to take photos outdoors and then is used to take photos indoors! -- yes those settings are important!)

---

now as for looking like IGOR had at it (hump and all) -- oh pishaw! -- that cake is lovely......

(same can not be said for decor in background or the lighting (did I mention I teach theatre and lighting is my FAVORITE part, followed by sets!?))

---

so....NO do not all the bride.

do -- insist on better lighting and decor.

do heed the advice to chillSMBC before transport (and prechill a good long time the car too!)

cookieswithdots Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:25pm
post #6 of

Please don't be too hard on yourself, ok? It looks great and you know, just live and learn. I am no expert at all, but don't beat yourself up!

Hugs-
Melissa

jeking Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:26pm
post #7 of

OK...now that I can see it...I would definitely NOT contact the bride. It's absolutely fine. You will see every single flaw in your own cakes but not even notice ones in other peoples! It is nominally crooked...not enough that most folks would even notice. Your right...it's not white but I don't think the bride will even notice. One thing to do if you see your cake isn't as white as you think it should be is to slightly tint the decorations...in this case, the bow. That will make it look more uniform and the color isn't that noticeable.

Now dry those eyes and relax...have a drink...watch some TV!!

__Jamie__ Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:31pm
post #8 of

I see it now....I tend to look at my cakes with a critical eye searching for every single flaw possible, probably for no other reason than to say...."I could have done better". Why?? I don't know. Maybe it makes me try that much harder next time.

Cake looks great! Stop beating up on yourself. And no, don't call them. If it is soooooo bad, they will come to you. And besides, you know that thing tastes like heaven!! So....I doubt you will hear from them!

JCE62108 Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:32pm
post #9 of

Aww i think the cake looks beautiful and Im sure the bride will be very happy with it. Also remember that little imperfections that YOU notice, most people wont. You have trained eyes, they dont. It looks beautiful to me. And there are always going to be cakes you love, and cakes you are dissapointed in. I had one of those yesterday.

It was a two tier graduation cake. UGLY colors to start with, but I had problems with the buttercream being bubbly (I think it was because the cake was frozen) and I guess my co-worker didnt cut the layers square enough because the cake didnt line up like it was supposed to at all. I was very disapointed in it and was even embarrased when the customer showed up while I was working on it.......she loved it though! lol.

Dont be upset. icon_smile.gif

DeeDelightful Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:36pm

REALLY, the cake does NOT look bad at all. I'm not just saying that to be nice, but it looks fine. It's pretty to me.

patticakesnc Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:46pm

The cake is beautiful. I love the look of SMBC and IMBC...I just wish I liked the taste....

tonedna Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:49pm

The cake is great...you cant make SMBC white..first rule..tell your brides is made with butter and it will be
yellowish. As for using that buttercream for wedding cakes...I prefer to stay away from it.. I live in FL. 5 minutes in a car
ride can mean disaster!..
Edna icon_smile.gif

vicky Posted 24 May 2009 , 11:52pm

Your cake is not as bad as you think. We are our worse critics of ourselves, (however, husbands can be worse. icon_cry.gif ) The first wedding cake is always the worse. What kind of supports did you use in the cake? I know many people use butter, however, I never use it, it makes me nervous. I use a crusting buttercream, it is not as sensative as butter, and it is whiter. It is very difficult to deliver cake in the heat. I had an SUV with an air conditioner vent in the back, it helps so much. I also make sure the bride warns the hall to have it cool in the hall.

I've made and delivered a wedding cake where the first layer of the cake completely seperately crack and break off while delivering. Thankfully, I had enough time to rush home and rebake a cake and ice it; luckily I delivered it in the nick of time. It was enough to pull out my hair. You will learn from your mistakes. thumbs_up.gif Good luck.

moralna Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:13am

Thank you all for your really kind words. I know I will get over it, but it's bothering me so much because I was so looking forward to creating an awesome cake!! I did put plenty of support through the cake and the cake was fridged until we had to put it in the car. I made sure of that simply to make it more secure and car had been cool, so that's why I am not sure what happened. Funny thing is that during the cake tasting I had the bride taste the sweeter buttercream that uses less butter and more confectioner's sugar, but they found it too sweet. I don't know, I can offer myself a whole bunch of excuses, but it doesn't make me feel better. I just keep thinking of how everything in the reception room was so high end and here is this cake that is the 300 pound gorilla in the room. I apologize, I don't mean to have a pity party; I guess right now my self confidence is just a bit beaten.

apetricek Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:16am

ok first off I think your cake is the prettiest thing in the picture...what the heck were they thinking with that decor.....honestly I agree with some of the others...I know I am my worst critic, and there have been cakes I have done that I wished I could re-do and then the non-cake people think it is just awesome, so I would just let it go, chalk it up as a learning thing...but seriously I think the cake is fine and a good job done! I wouldn't even contact the bride, other than to maybe thank them for their business. I always send every customer a thank you note or email, I think it gives an added special touch that they may remember. Don't beat yourself up, and in a few days/weeks/or months you may not think it is so bad! :c)

SaraClassic Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

"I live in FL. 5 minutes in a car
ride can mean disaster!..
Edna icon_smile.gif




Ditto to living in Fl and a no no on the SMBC for me too.
Your cake looks great, back up your work with a smile, icon_biggrin.gif Im sure you'll get a thank you card soon !

Angfastic Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:44am

I agree with everyone else. The cake looks beautiful to me. Wedding cakes are hard. I've only done 2, but both were really stressful. I don't even have my first one from 2 years ago posted. I thought it looked like straight up crap. I hadn't decorated a cake in in years and told my friend i could do her wedding cake and grooms cake. Nevermind I was going to be out of town until the night before the wedding. I think I got started about 9 or 10 the night before. Needless to say I missed the wedding and got there right before the reception started. Not sure what I was smoking at the time icon_smile.gif .
We are our own worst critics. I always feel the need to explain everything that is not right because that is all I see with my cakes. One day I'll learn to just say thanks when folks pay me a compliment.

tonedna Posted 25 May 2009 , 2:06am
Quote:
Originally Posted by moralna

Thank you all for your really kind words. I know I will get over it, but it's bothering me so much because I was so looking forward to creating an awesome cake!! I did put plenty of support through the cake and the cake was fridged until we had to put it in the car. I made sure of that simply to make it more secure and car had been cool, so that's why I am not sure what happened. Funny thing is that during the cake tasting I had the bride taste the sweeter buttercream that uses less butter and more confectioner's sugar, but they found it too sweet. I don't know, I can offer myself a whole bunch of excuses, but it doesn't make me feel better. I just keep thinking of how everything in the reception room was so high end and here is this cake that is the 300 pound gorilla in the room. I apologize, I don't mean to have a pity party; I guess right now my self confidence is just a bit beaten.





The only way I would do a SMBC four tiered cake is if it has fondant.. I am prefer telling the bride..Sorry..I wont be able to make the cake you want..I wont deal with that kind of disaster!
Edna icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:11pm

Boxes are our friend. If the cake is well chilled then transporting in a cardboard box is a very effective atmosphere controller. Memphis is hot and humid --oh I got a story--Last year I didn't make a box for this one cake, I though I'm tired of being so freaking careful, I'm tired (I usually make all the boxes & boards way in advance) so I figure I'm gonna sneak one in unboxed. Bwuwahahaha.

On a hot day, it rained like Noah would come floating by--then the sun came out full bore. The humidity had to be 170% <sick grin> I scrambled and tossed a freaking box together beyond last minute. I mean steam was pouring off the roofs.

My husband said lightly, "Oh it didn't rain long."
He still twitches when he remembers the look I shot him.

But I will even place some freezer packs wired into the corners of the box if it's a long ride. I have the freezer packs in plastic bags with a paper towel to absorb the moisture, securely wired in.

Hot delivery thoughts for you.

angelicconfections Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:33pm

oh, I am sorry you had trouble. Butter cream will do that, I have a disclaimer in my contract. If you want real buttercream it is not going to be lily white and if your wedding venue is outdoors on a 90 degree day or not properly air conditioned buttercream will melt! One bride did ask if there was somthing I could do, they were married in August outdoors. Even up here in Wisconsin it is HOT in August. Nothing in the world will stop meltage in high heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. She looked doubtful, so I suggested she leave a stick of butter out in the sun for an hour and see what happened. Can't change the law of physics honey! And by the way, the cake was beautiful. It was not at all as bad as you think, try not to be too discouraged!

Evoir Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:47pm

The cake is definitely not the gorilla you are seeing. I think it passes muster, with only a tony amount of shifting visible to this caker. I imagine the non-caking, alcohol-imbibing wedding guests noticed nothing amiss icon_smile.gif

moralna Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:50pm

CC Friends - Yesterday, I was in tears because I was so upset and today I am teary eyed with all the wonderfully kind words of encouragement from all of you on this forum post and on the comments section of my cake picture. Thank you all!!!

aquamom Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:50pm

It's a beautiful cake. You did a fantastic job. Relax and wait for the compliments icon_smile.gif.

Amymnn Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:05am

Oh wow! I would be THRILLED if my first wedding cake was as beautiful as the one in your photo. And double thrilled if I was the bride cutting into that gorgeous cake. icon_smile.gif

margaretb Posted 27 May 2009 , 5:55am

I guess maybe I can see a little bit of uneveness in the tiers -- IF I AM LOOKING FOR FLAWS. If you covered up flaws with flowers -- well, isn't that part of why decorators use flowers? It is definitely not a disaster. You did beautiful flowers, elegant design, successful set up -- so maybe it is not a 100% cake -- just a 95. That is excellence. I wouldn't bring it up with the bride -- unless the bride is a cake judge, probably the only thing she might have noticed is the cake not being snow white, and since she wanted an icing with lots of butter, there isn't too much you can do about that, unless you invent white butter, which would be kind of cool.

madgeowens Posted 27 May 2009 , 6:14am

I think we all are perfectionists to some degree...........people who make cakes...if you are passionate about what you rdo and take pride in it............so I understand how you feel....however, you made a beautiful cake and I congratulate you on a job well done..........you can't control lighting............and transporting a cake is the most stressful thing.I think giving birth is easier.............well any way your cake is lovely!

mrscromer Posted 27 May 2009 , 6:27am

Ok, still looking for the mistakes in this one. I thought the cake looked absolutely WONDERFUL. icon_smile.gif And I thought I was hard on myself....Don't worry be happy...it was a great cake. I always follow up on my cakes, just to make sure the customer was happy and if not, I learn and make corrections.

Cheer up!!! Honestly, the cake was great. It was the decorations and the lightning, not you. icon_cool.gif

michellesArt Posted 27 May 2009 , 1:34pm

angelicconfections-i love that about leaving a stick of butter out lol!!! thankfully the wedding orders i have coming up are all indoor receptions!! (all at the same venue too-totally unrealated) anyway, op we are all our worst critics and sometimes you just have to let it go understanding that most noncakers don't see what we see and just say look at our lovely cake!!when do we cut it *eeeek* i agree with doug that the decor and lighting certainly didn't help the situation either (i didn't realize they still had those ugly chairs floating around!!) did anyone decorate up the cake table or was that it? i've suggested to my brides to use tule and candles, flowers (florist arranging them) candles whatever but think about the whole table and not just the cake-i don't want my cake to look naked-it's about the whole picture right? you've got great talent so chin up and hugs!! icon_smile.gif

sarahcupcake Posted 28 May 2009 , 2:30am

Your cake looks great! We are our worst critics, I have handed over what I thought were disasters in the past that people LOVED. If the bride was unhappy, I am sure you would have heard from her by now. You did a great job!

bakingatthebeach Posted 28 May 2009 , 7:34pm

First of all, that cake did nothing but improve that setting. Wow, looked like a scene from The Wedding Singer! And as for the cake, looked great! We all are too critical of ourselves. I always tell people if they want white, I cant do it. I can get it close, but unless they want me to leave out the butter, it will have some off white hue to it. Dont call the bride, if she is really ticked, you will hear from her. You did a great job!!!

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