They Booked, Now What?

Business By Tellis12 Updated 13 Jul 2009 , 8:37pm by indydebi

Tellis12 Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 8:16pm
post #1 of 20

I've just started to get into doing wedding cakes and I'm curious what you do between the time the bride books and when the event is. I have a bride who booked a year in advance and I was wondering if I should contact her after 6 mos. to make sure everything is still on (she signed a contract) or if I should just wait until right before the 90 days/no changes deadline just to let her know its coming up. What do you do?

19 replies
mommachris Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 8:27pm
post #2 of 20

Congratulations on the booking. I think I would make contact 6 months out to verify that her other arrangements are still applying. Has the time of wedding be changed, do they need to alter the size of the cake, etc....A year is a long time, and things can be altered due to changes like a sickness, job loss and other unforeseeable circumstances like a the venue burned down, closed or in no longer suitable for their party.

Just touch base and go over the basics to see if anything needs to be updated.

mommachris

leah_s Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 8:41pm
post #3 of 20

You have a 90 days no change deadline? And people think my 3 weeks is tough! Really, at 90 days out they won't even have *sent* their invitations, much less have an idea of their head count.

indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 9:14pm
post #4 of 20

If they book as far out as 18 months in advance, I don't hear from them until their payment is due, 2 weeks before the wedding. I dont' call, I don't contact, I dont' double check. The order is on the books. I dont' need to babysit it. If they want to change something, they call me. Otherwise, as I tell them at the sampling, "What I've got written down is what you're getting, like it or not!" thumbs_up.gif

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 9:19pm
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

If they book as far out as 18 months in advance, I don't hear from them until their payment is due, 2 weeks before the wedding. I dont' call, I don't contact, I dont' double check. The order is on the books. I dont' need to babysit it. If they want to change something, they call me. Otherwise, as I tell them at the sampling, "What I've got written down is what you're getting, like it or not!" thumbs_up.gif




One tough cookie! I LIKE IT! thumbs_up.gif

But I agree with Indidebi's first post ... by 3 weeks they should have 'final' numbers so that's when they need to confirm. (Not that I've done any wedding cakes, but birthday cakes can also change ... had that happen.)

Congrats on the booking. Gives me hope for my future. icon_wink.gif

costumeczar Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 11:28pm
post #6 of 20

When I get a contract I put it in a folder and file it, then do nothing until the final payment is due. I send out a statement and a sheet that lists all of the pertinent information about location, date, time, design, flavors, etc. so that they can correct anything. It's likely that if something major happens, they'll contact you, you shouldn't need to worry about getting in touch with them unless there's a specific reason.

kellertur Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:15am
post #7 of 20

Thank you... this answers my question as well. For some reason, I thought I was supposed to "remind" them, etc, etc... as the date drew near. So basically, it's up to them to notify me of any changes. thumbs_up.gif

It's confusing when a couple books, signs, makes a deposit, but won't respond to your quote... just says, we'll get back to you. icon_confused.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:43am
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

It's confusing when a couple books, signs, makes a deposit, but won't respond to your quote... just says, we'll get back to you. icon_confused.gif




Now I"m confused. You sent them a quote. They paid the deposit. That sounds like an accepted offer, so what is it that you're waiting on?

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:50am
post #9 of 20

I don't do anything. Why would you need to remind them of a cake that they ordered? icon_confused.gif

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:53am
post #10 of 20

I don't do anything. Why would you need to remind them of a cake that they ordered? icon_confused.gif

kellertur Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:36pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

It's confusing when a couple books, signs, makes a deposit, but won't respond to your quote... just says, we'll get back to you. icon_confused.gif



Now I"m confused. You sent them a quote. They paid the deposit. That sounds like an accepted offer, so what is it that you're waiting on?




Sorry, this was one of my first weddings, so it got complicated... they were here for a tasting, liked my portfolio and cakes, so they left a deposit to hold date with only an 'idea' of what the cake "might" cost, but with NO idea what they wanted for style. Last week they finally got back to me on a closer number of servings and a design style. (they kept going back and forth through email between many designs- some simply, a topsy, etc...so I could never give them an exact quote.) They were "too" busy to decide and kept putting it off.
ANYWAY~ when they were finally here last week, I gave them a number and they didn't say a word, told me to "email" it to them. I never heard back, so I'm not sure what to think. Also, at the first meeting many, many times the bride kept saying: "I really don't care about design.. as long a it looks nice". icon_confused.gif

I was just wondering if this was how it works sometimes ~ because the couple I had Friday night were so much easier. (sketched out design, approx. servings within 50, made deposit, signed... it was seemless).

icon_redface.gif I'm not trying to be a PITA, I just don't like loose ends this close to a wedding. This is my first summer getting into a lot of weddings and I want to get it right.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:51pm
post #12 of 20

It sounds like you took a deposit without a contract. A sort of save the date deposit. I hope that it was significant and non-refundable. That may be the only profit you get from that date. In the future, nail down a price and a plan for a cake design. That way you've got a contract and a plan. Allow for reasonable changes with cost changes as well, but then you are at least working with a couple and a cake.

Right now, I'm not sure you have a client...just a prospective one.

costumeczar Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:54pm
post #13 of 20

Yeah, you basically have a save-the-date deposit for an indecisive couple. You should get them a quote as soon as possible, nail down a design and have them sign a contract. It sounds like they're going to wishy-wash you to death if you don't do this soon!

kellertur Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:00pm
post #14 of 20

Yes, I took a non-refundable deposit along with a signed Terms of Agreement contract, but no signed order form, since it was mostly blank with no real quote. I only take the deposits with the Agreement form. If it was me, I'd never sign without knowing how much I'd be spending.

I did give them a quote last week when they were here. Prior to that, it was only a very rough estimate based on Per serving, not style.
It's true what they say... it's easier to maintain control than it is to re-claim it.

My applogies to the OP for selfishly taking this thread over. icon_redface.gif

Tellis12 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:10pm
post #15 of 20

So if 90 days is crazy to have as a no-change deadline, what is yours? I'm open to hearing all advice! I want to do well with this. Thanks!

Tellis12 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:11pm
post #16 of 20

So if 90 days is crazy to have as a no-change deadline, what is yours? I'm open to hearing all advice! I want to do well with this. Thanks!

K2cakes, no problem! It's all good info. Good luck to you.

jillmakescakes Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:16pm
post #17 of 20

I have had (and still have) couples that tell me "we want you to do the cake, we just don't know what we want it to look like yet!" We sign a contract with as much completed as possible and put TBD on the design elements. Then, I schedule another appt for them about 1 month out to finalize all the details, give them a fridge magnet with an appointment card and send them on their way.

Nine times out of ten, they stop by before then to finalize the design and make a payment.

Ruth0209 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:35pm
post #18 of 20

Here's my cancellation schedule that I have in my contract. I require a 25% deposit at the time of booking that includes the $50 reservation fee.

6 weeks or more prior to event date: Deposit refunded, minus $50 reservation fee.

4 weeks prior to event date: 80% of deposit refunded, minus $50 reservation fee and any cost for gum paste flowers, supplies and/or equipment purchased specifically for your order.

2 weeks prior to event date: 50% of deposit refunded, minus $50 reservation fee and any costs for gum paste flowers, supplies and/or equipment purchased exclusively for your order.

Less than 2 weeks prior to event: No refund is available

costumeczar Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 8:29pm
post #19 of 20

I have no design changes after two weeks before the event, but I've seen other people do 30 days. It depends what kind of changes...design changes or size-of-cake changes, too. I'll change the size of the cake right up until the time I have to bake it, no big deal. Other people won't, it toally depends on what you feel comfortable with.

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 8:37pm
post #20 of 20

They can change it up to 6 days prior. "At 5 days, what I've got written down ..... goes into play. Only had one couple change it that late, though. I had just posted a new cake pic and they liked that one better.

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