I was doing wedding cakes for customer for June 27 (2 1/2 weeks), but I got a call last night and the wedding is off. She has already paid for half the cakes, now my problem is how much sould I refund her and how much should I keep for the Supplies bought alredy and blocking the date. I had to turn another wedding down for this same day. I do this on the side, I have a fulltime job. Not sure how to handle this one...PLEASE HELP
You should have in your contract (please tell me you have one) that the deposit is nonrefundable. You should owe her nothing.
i think in circumstances like this, out of their control and hard enough as it is, i would bite the bullet and give back as much as i could. maybe minus the supplies and an extra 10 or 20%?? as a business, i feel that i'm in this to turn a profit and do what i love, but i also try to cut slack when i can, win customers in the long run, and sleep better at night.
Ok, I happened to be one of the brides to cancel a wedding...we had contracts for everything from caterer to hall to cake. It was stated in each contract that if the wedding was cancelled we lost our deposit. So...we lost our deposit on everything--and we accepted that, didn't even ask for anything differently. Our hall said if we got married within a year of our cancel date, he would use 40% of our deposit for the new wedding date. But they were given a two month notice...not two weeks. It really stinks to cancel a wedding but that's just reality. Ours was by choice, not because someone was sick or worse, though. I think the circumstances might make a difference to me but I am wishy washy like that.
I agree. When the bride and groom signed that contract, they knew very well that it was a real possibility that the event could be cancelled. No, it's not something they would necessarily think about, but any grown adult knows that it can happen. When they signed the contract they agreed to your terms. I would only refund what is guaranteed in your contract (assuming you have one.)
Now if you don't have a contract, I would just say this...do whatever will make it easier for you to sleep at night.
I'm currently engaged and I'm fully aware that of we cancel for any reason we loose the deposit. That said the two major reasons for cancelling is that the wedding has been called off or because of a major illness of a family member. Both are pretty devastating. One idea would be to apply the deposit to a future cake order. You can of course put stipulations on it and even deduct any specialty supplies you purchased for her cake. I consider that more than fair. Just make it clear on what you are willing to do, for example you may say except June and July because of the busy wedding season. Just a thought. It's kind of you to offer her anything.
Unless it is because of a serious illness or death of either the bride or groom or an immediate family member, this close to the date - no refund.
I am not trying to be mean here, but for me this would be a business decision.
ETA - That is just my policy. You should abide by whatever you have stated in your contract.
ok not to be a doubty mustafa,
but are you 100% sure the wedding was cancelled??
The only reason I ask is because we have seen so many issues with scamming brides lately, that I wouldnt put it past someone to say the cake was cancelled if they found someone to do it cheaper.
I would just say check at the venue and with the coordinator (if there is one) that it really was cancelled.
After that, it would depend on what the contract says.
Yes it sucks, but they knew the cancellation policy, and you have already lost money by turning down other customers for that date.
The electric bill isnt gonna care why they canceled the cake when you can't pay your bill because you refunded them and now cant pay your own bills.
I too cancelled a wedding. 6 weeks before the date. NO REFUND!!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! And just to tell you the extent to which I will back this up... We were getting married in Canada, and b/c his mom lives in Wales and DOES NOT travel, we bought and paid for 11 plane tickets, and had all the deposits to renew our vows over seas. So if ANY bride tries to give you a sob-story, don't give in!!!
Oh, and PS, Cancelling a wedding b/c you changed your mind is not necessarily a "devastating" event!!! Even IF you find out 2 weeks later that you are pregnant!!!!
Since my cakes are paid in full 30 days before the wedding or event, this couple would lose out on the entire amount.
The ONLY exception I would make is if there were a death to either the bride or groom........I'm not that heartless!
I don't agree with offering them to apply the deposit to another date/cake. You already booked off that date for them, you've turned down other orders and now it's very unlikely that you will get another order in such short notice.
Now............if you are not doing this as a business and this is for a friend then you need to use your own judgment.
I too wonder if the wedding was REALLY canceled or if Aunt Matilda who has made a cake once or twice in her life has offered to make them their wedding cake.
i feel that i'm in this to turn a profit and do what i love,
and part of turning a profit is making sure your calendar is full. When you book a bride, you have what is called "opportunity costs", which means I lost the opportunity to do business for a bride who DID get married and I lost the opportunity for that profit. When someone cancels, they lose their deposit as compensation for my time and for me blocking the calendar JUST for them, based on THEIR committment to me.
Klpint - what did your contract say about the deposit?
first...there should be a contract...especially with wedding cakes. i wouldn't even dare sell a wedding cake without it.
if you lost other orders because of this cake, i would figure that in, along with supplies you purchased.
I too hope you had a contract! definately no refunds at all, they should actually compensate you & pay the full price of the cake. Did the bride or the person who cancelled give you any explanation?
Thanks to all the help.. The couple agreed that the payment made was a non-refunable depoist, they both agreed to call wedding off. Thanks again...
Good! We're glad that you get to keep the money. But it kind of sounds like maybe you didn't have a contract, because
The couple agreed that the payment made was a non-refunable depoist, they both agreed to call wedding off.
Why did they need to agree with you? If you already had a contract, you would just tell them - hey, you've lost your money, because I've lost a lot of money myself. I can't get another wedding cake for that day anymore.
Anyway, if you don't have a contract - get one going! Glad it turned out the way it did!
I din't have a contract..new at this (weddings) I am working on drawing one up.
Ok! Well I'm glad that this experience worked out for you! And the bride and groom were good about the situation. Good luck figuring out your contract!
Glad it worked out, but it sounds like you just got lucky on this one. Remember the contract is there to protect you and your interests.
I had a couple cancel and they did not get any money back, per the contract. I did tell them verbally (email) that I would still make cakes for them as a credit. So they could get one big fancy cake for an event, or several small cakes. They chose the big fancy birthday cake at a later date, and it worked out.
I don't want to open the legal/nonlegal debate here, but is a contract binding if you're not a legal business? Since the OP is in Texas, and I'm under the impression that Texas doesn't license home bakers, will it protect her at all if she writes up a contract?
Again, I'm assuming that you're not legal because you said you're new to the wedding cake business, correct me if I'm wrong.
Also again, I'm just curious about whether a contract will be considered binding if you're operating illegally. What if you sell the cake, they cancel a day before, you have the whole thing baked, decorated and ready to go, and they demand the entire amount back? Do you have a legal leg to stand on? If they take you to court what would the result be? I'd just be cautious about advising someone to have a contract if it won't protect you as much as it protects the client.
Any lawyers in the room?
Or before anyone jumps on me for bringing it up, let's change the profession... If I hire a guy who does auto repair out of his garage, but isn't a legal business, can he make me legally sign a binding contract for the work?
Yes it does protect them; the contract is still good (I think as long as they know she's not legal).
I watch Judge Judy.