I'm doing a wedding cake for the first time and I only said yes because the lady was desperate. First it was for 50 people, and as of yesterday she now wants a 4 tiered cake. This wedding is for June 27th. Should I tell her there is a cutoff for making changes to this cake? What is the protocol for that?
Also, do people actually still freeze the top tier for their first anniversary? I'm thinking there is a 99% chance it will taste freezer burn no matter how much saran wrap you use, right?
Honestly, I've never heard of keeping the top tier until CC.
Well normally I tell brides there is a 30 day cutoff for changes with the exception of going larger on the cake but there are other contingencies at that point. As for saving the top tier, I always tell them that it will be good no longer than 3 mos in the freezer. They usually opt to not save it.
I absolutely have a cut off... No changes can be made after final payment is made (usually 2 weeks prior to delivery date) and it's spelled out in the contract. The saving the top tier is an old tradition, but I honestly don't personally know anyone that has actually done it... none of my customers do it.
My cutoff is the final payment date also - which is 30 days before their event. Any changes they HAVE to have after that point is going to cost extra. (and I have never had anyone change anything after that date)
I'm not sure on the changes but I know my wife and I kept ours and it was saved by the fondant. Being unsure and dare I say it, lazy, about the cake, we wrapped it in tin foil with plans to get saran wrap next time we went to the store. Well, we forgot to get saran wrap, and time went by and the cake got bumped and the foil got tore and things were set on it, etc etc. After 1 year came, we pulled the rest of the foil off and were very hesitant but wanted to at least say we did it. We cut into it and the cake was delicious. It was moist and tasted wonderful. The fondant was horrible, super chewy, and just inedible. Peel the fondant off and the rest of our top tier was very good. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to even turn an oven on at that point, let alone realize I would start making cakes myself a little later, so I don't know the recipe or any details. Just that the fondant saved it.
Saving the top tier is an old tradition. Nowadays, I think alot of couples eat the cake on a one month or 6 month anniversary instead of waiting the year. I've had some eat it when they return from their honeymoon. It's a personal choice. I just tell them I don't guarantee it to be fresh a year later.
For making changes to the cake, I will do everything I can to work with someone as long as it does not sacrifice the integrity of the cake.
I have one August bride who knows she is having a 4 tier round cake, purple buttercream icing, and piping on it. She has not decided if I am piping daisies, swirls, dots... I told her that she doesn't need to stress about making that decision, as long as nothing else changes, she could call me on Thursday with her wedding on saturday and make that decision... I don't care.
My customer from Saturday called me on Tuesday and added another tier to the cake, I had plenty of fondant and time, so it was no big deal.
I do have in my contract that no changes can be made once they pay the final payment. BUT I will accommodate as much as possible.
I let changes be made up to two weeks before the cake is due. If you think you can manage last minute changes then go for it.
How in the world are you going to make a 4 tier cake for 50 people? A 6/8/10 serves 74.
I tell my brides that I like to have things locked down by 3-weeks-prior. Their drop-dead date is 5 days prior. "At 5 days prior, what I've got written down is what you're getting, like it or not." (and they all laugh and we move on.)
Most brides finalized at 3 weeks, give or take. I DID have one groom call and completely change the cake at 6 days prior. I had just posted a new cake on my website, he saw and wanted that one instead. No problem ... it wasn't a big redesign deal. He just said, "Make ours like the one you just posted. Thanks! Bye!"
Since it is so close to the wedding, tell her tomorrow is the last day for changes.
My contract says 30 days before the wedding is when final payment is due and also the last day for changes. For orders with less than 30 days notice - full payment up front, no changes allowed.
BTW - she pays for the amount of servings she orders, not what she needs. She only wants cake for 75 but is ordering cake for 150? She pays for 150 servings.