How Do You Deal With A Late Paying Bride?

Business By mom2spunkynbug Updated 16 Aug 2009 , 1:37am by indydebi

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 8:12pm
post #1 of 11

This is my second year doing wedding cakes. I have had several brides make their payment late (past the due date printed on our contract).

How do you deal with this?

For example, I had a bride email me at the end of July asking about her due date & amount due (even though it is on the contract). I emailed her back the same day giving her all the info. I even put a statement out to her in the mail the same day.

Her due date is today...and so as of yesterday I still had not received payment. I emailed her a friendly reminder about it. She emailed me back bascially saying she was busy, but that she'd email me her credit card info tonight. Well I don't take credit cards!!! icon_mad.gif

I told her the only way I could take her credit card payment is through Paypal and gave her the link to that.

Should I add a late fee to my contract? This is getting ridiculous. I've received several payments late this year. Would it be ok if I got the cake to them late? icon_rolleyes.gif

Last year I had my contract set up so that they would pay their final payment two weeks before the wedding. Now I've changed it so that's it's one month before.

Maybe if I added a $25/day late fee I would get the money on time?!

Thanks for any info/advice!

10 replies
indydebi Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 8:25pm
post #2 of 11

My Terms says:

3.     The outstanding balance is due 14 days prior to the event, at which time attendance will be considered firm and not subject to reduction. All deposits and payments made are not refundable. Any payment not received as scheduled will constitute a cancellation on the part of the client and Cater It Simple will not show up at the event.

It is bolded and underlined in my Terms, and this is one of the many paragraphs the bride has to initial to the left to indicate "Yes, I read this and I understand it."

The performance of the bride AFTER the initial booking is totally contingent on how seriously it's presented to her DURING the initial booking.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 8:57pm
post #3 of 11

What indydebi said. thumbs_up.gif

And, since I work in a law firm (the job that actually pays the bills!), I totally agree with having the bride initial that she has read that part of the contract and understands it (and other very important stuff, like design and finalizing the design).

But since this doesn't seem to be part of your current contract with the bride (the initialing part), you really just need to harangue her about it. I like your idea of saying, "Well, you're 3 days late with your final payment. I guess I'll be 3 days late with your cake." (I know, we really can't/shouldn't say that, but we'd love to!)

Personally, I would probably email the bride (or whomever is actually paying for the cake) about a week before to remind them that payment is due. You can set up an automatic reminder in your email, and a standard text where you just insert the amount, so you don't have to remember yourself. Sometimes people get caught up in the whole planning and don't realize payment time is now.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 9:35pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

My Terms says:

3.     The outstanding balance is due 14 days prior to the event, at which time attendance will be considered firm and not subject to reduction. All deposits and payments made are not refundable. Any payment not received as scheduled will constitute a cancellation on the part of the client and Cater It Simple will not show up at the event.

It is bolded and underlined in my Terms, and this is one of the many paragraphs the bride has to initial to the left to indicate "Yes, I read this and I understand it."

The performance of the bride AFTER the initial booking is totally contingent on how seriously it's presented to her DURING the initial booking.




Thanks. I think I will add the last two sentences to my contract.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutiePieCakes-Ontario

Personally, I would probably email the bride (or whomever is actually paying for the cake) about a week before to remind them that payment is due. You can set up an automatic reminder in your email, and a standard text where you just insert the amount, so you don't have to remember yourself. Sometimes people get caught up in the whole planning and don't realize payment time is now.




Well, that's what I don't get - she emailed me about a month before asking me. I got back to her right away - kept checking my post office box and everything......yesterday I still hadn't received it & decided to email her on the off chance that she hadn't sent money yet. icon_rolleyes.gif

So now, even if she pays tonight, I will not get the money for another 3-5 days, per Paypal.

Irish245 Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 9:41pm
post #5 of 11

I have it in my contract the following: that the balance is due 2 weeks before their event. If they do not have payment to me at that time, their contract is null and void. If I then choose to keep the contract intact, I need paid in cash PLUS an additional 15% the total cost of the cake. I have only had one problem. A bride's mother was paying for the cake and on the date the balance was due, payment was not made. Before I got a chance to call the mother, she called me to let me know that she would be mailing the payment the following Monday (two days later). I explained that unless she paid me in cash that day, I would be canceling the cake order and she would lose her initial 1/2 total cost of cake deposit (as it also states in my contract). She got very rude with me and finally said, "well I don't understand why the payment can't be a couple days late"....and I had had enough of this woman (many things happened previously), so I answered,....."ok, yes, I will accept the balance a couple days late....as long as you don't mind the cake being delivered a couple days late". She shut up quick and said she would drop it off a couple hours later (she lived a couple hours away..hehehe)...and she did show up with it...but she put the cash in my mailbox (the dummy) because I watched her do it....and then called me immediately to tell me it was in the mailbox. She was too chicken to actually face me in person hehehe. It was a shame too because her daughter, the bride was a real sweetheart!!!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 9:55pm
post #6 of 11

Irish245 - ugh, that mother irritates me just READING your post! LOL! I can't believe you actually said that (deliver the cake a couple days late) LOL! That's great! (I would want to say that, but never would have the guts. Although...my guts are getting bigger & bigger the more I get irritated!)

Hm....like the additional 15%....I'll have to think about adding that...

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 10:01pm
post #7 of 11

Indydebi - have you ever received the deposit payment, and then not the final payment & just not show up?

indydebi Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 10:08pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2spunkynbug

Indydebi - have you ever received the deposit payment, and then not the final payment & just not show up?



The closest I ever came was dealing with a prom committee (teenagers). I'm waiting for payment and she emails me to ask about what kind of chocolate they can have in the chocolate fountain. I tell her she's getting regular chocolate, since that's what I have in stock, but continued with ".... but that's the least of your concerns right now. Your payment is late. If I don't have a payment in my hand by 5:00 p.m. tonight, I'm not showing up."

The committee advisor called me inside of 20 minutes and arranged to bring me the payment the next day. All worked out ok.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Aug 2009 , 10:17pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

The closest I ever came was dealing with a prom committee (teenagers). I'm waiting for payment and she emails me to ask about what kind of chocolate they can have in the chocolate fountain. I tell her she's getting regular chocolate, since that's what I have in stock, but continued with ".... but that's the least of your concerns right now. Your payment is late. If I don't have a payment in my hand by 5:00 p.m. tonight, I'm not showing up."

The committee advisor called me inside of 20 minutes and arranged to bring me the payment the next day. All worked out ok.




Hm.

I think I'm going to add a time (along with the due date). I do this out of my home, but am a member of a local wedding referral company. They close their shop at 5pm, so I think I'll add that the payment will be due by 5pm on such-and-such date.

This bride seemed so non-chalant about everything, that just irritated me even more. So now I'm waiting 'til midnight for her payment?! Then what if she doesn't pay by then?!!!

Ugh.

costumeczar Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 1:26am
post #10 of 11

Tell her that if you don't have a payment, she won't have a cake. If she says that she has a contract, tell her that she'll have voided the terms of the contract by not paying on time, so no, she doesn't have a contract anymore.

For the future, add the cancellation clause to your contract, but I'd also add a grace period in which they can pay (like 5 days after the due date) as long as a late fee (whatever amount you decide) is also paid.

indydebi Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 1:37am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If she says that she has a contract......




Tell her, "Right. And the contract says you have to pay me by a certain date or you're not getting a cake."

Funny how they always seem to skip over the "client must pay for cake" part of the contract, isn't it? icon_rolleyes.gif

Edited to add: I had an ex who read the divorce decree the same way. He was REAL good at reading all the things *I* was suppose to do, but somehow he never saw the part on his copy about "Shall pay a weekly child support payment of ......" icon_rolleyes.gif

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