Hotels And Wedding Cakes

Decorating By Cathy26 Updated 14 Sep 2009 , 9:46pm by minicuppie

Cathy26 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 27

Ok, so i have now done 4 weddings and 3 of those i have had a problem with the hotels.

I work full time so i deliver the cake the day before the wedding. now i get it, obviously it would be handier to deliver on the day but it really cant be that mad to deliver the day before can it?
The first wedding was no problems, the function room wasnt being used to the table and stand was there waiting for me. i had rung and checked, etc so that went really well

i rang the hotel for the 2nd cake and was assured by the wedding co-ordinator that it was no problem at all to deliver the night before....got there and was met with blank expressions and was told that the room was being used and id have to leave the cake and they would set it up. i said that was impossible i had to pipe a border and it was a 4 tier cake, not just anyone can throw the tiers on. in the end they let me set up in a side room and then they lifted and set it onto the stand and wheeled it in the next day.

3rd wedding cake, same thing, am assured it's fine and then i arrive and am told to leave it in boxes BEHIND RECEPTION and they'll set it up. i said look, in this massive hotel is there nowhere i can set up and leave this cake and eventually a porter showed me to a side room right off the function room where i got it set up. The mad thing was there was another 3 tier wedding cake set up in the SAME ROOM that a bride had left earlier that day!!! what sort of wedding co-ordinator is this. honestly you'd have thought id asked for something ridiculous and there was a cake already stacked there all along. also, i had rung and asked them what stands they had and had picked the 16 inch square stand which they stated they had so i bought a 16 inch drum for the cake and when i saw the pictures, they had put it on a round 16 stand so the corners of the board stuck right over and looked absolutly horrific. they could have just left it on the table rather than use a round stand, it just was so awful i was so disapointed.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that today was the final straw. this wedding was on a saturday so i thought at last, no problems, so i ring the hotel, am assured that the room will be set up overnight so i can arrive at any time only to arrive at 12.30pm and am shown to a bedroom where they tell me the room isnt set up and could i just leave it. its 90 cupcakes, a tower and a cutting cake so no, i think id rather set it up myself!!!! i was getting really pissed and then a manager came and offered to get me a table to set up so it ended up fine but was just extra stress.

Im just so pissed its really putting me off doing weddings when every time im met with these "oh i dont know where you'l put it" or "you'l just have to leave it here for us to set up". does anyone else meet this, i cant understand why its such a problem, i mean if the bride was making her own cake she's hardly going to wait until the morning of the wedding to deliver her cake and also with really busy decorators, surely some of them deliver a day early. what gets me is the attitude of the wedding co-ordinators who are all "no problem you can set it up here" and then you get there and they look at you like you;ve two heads. i mean what if today had been a 5 or 6 tier cake, was i just supposed to leave it sitting on a bed and get someone else to set it up??? i mean when you think of all the weddings at hotel, each of them has a cake so you;d think they'd be prepared for them!

vent over, sorry!

26 replies
G_Cakes Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 5:59pm
post #2 of 27

Awww hun take a deep breath...

I haven't done any wedding cakes (yet) but my father was a chef and ran a catering business specializing in weddings.

I can tell you that in my father's hall's (he had 3 in one building) each hall had it's own room set up just for bakers to come and set up their cakes.

These rooms were set up like a small commercial kitchen with fridges, KA and anything else they may have need in case of an emergency.

My father also made it a point to develop relationships with everyone, this encouraged business referrals all around.

Now I know that this little story doesnt help you in your situation, but perhaps you could take a moment to contact the venue and speak with them directly and advise them of what you will be needing in order to set up the cake for your mutual clients.

Maybe even meet with them ahead of time and drop off some cards and brochures. Ask for a quick tour of the venue etc...this way your not coming in and getting a blank stare from someone you have never met before.

I would even try calling ahead the day before delivery and remind them that you are coming.

For me personally, I find wedding planners are useful for larger weddings of 300+ guests, but at times create more problems than they supposedly solve.

HTH

peg818 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 6:04pm
post #3 of 27

I always deliver the day of the event. If its a family event we are there early in the am to set up and then off to get ready for the party. But I don't think i have ever had a problem where i would have to set up a cake the night before.

Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 6:15pm
post #4 of 27

Most hotels etc here are booked all 3 days of the weekend..Friday,Saturday and Sunday and most times they just do not have the room in their fridges/coolers to store extra cakes because there is so much prep and food for each event.I have even had cakes damaged from staff squishing and throwing bags of food into the cooler ontop of a few of my cakes....If the venue is fine with the day before delivery then I would deliver then too...otherwise..the day of!

-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 8:05pm
post #5 of 27

I've never heard of delivering day before as a rule.
I only deliver day of.

Because what if a mouse took a nibble & called the family over for good eats?
I'd loose control of the cake--I would not do that.

Now when my daughter got married the venue rental included the day before for rehearsal so I was gonna take the cake the day before & frige it but the frige was a) not ready b) scarey. So I delivered that one day of too.

cakedesigner59 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 8:23pm
post #6 of 27

Lots of folks on here work full time and do cakes, but deliver the day of. Actually, I had never heard of anyone delivering the day before, until your post. Like Kate said, I would never leave a cake sitting out where bugs/rodents could get to it. If you work on the day of the wedding, perhaps you could get someone else to deliver for you.

Cathy26 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 9:05pm
post #7 of 27

i couldnt deliver the day of - i work 9-5pm monday to friday so its just out of the question.

like i said, i have always contacted the venue a couple of weeks before and then the day before and each time i have been told that its fine to bring down the cake but then suddenly its an issue when i get there. the thing that got me with the 3rd cake was that there already was a cake that was set up in the storeroom when i got there - the wedding co-ordinator just didnt have a clue what she was doing and she was getting on like there literally wasnt a spot for the cake but that yet that storeroom had a cake already there for the next day for another wedding.

also, the thing that really got me was that today, when i thought it would be fine since the wedding was today, there was STILL a problem where the room wasnt set up even though they said it would be set up from early morning and they wanted me to leave the cupcake tower in boxes for them to assemble - that's me completely out of control of the cake again and i left it until 3 hours before the wedding!!

im just pissed, the wedding staff tel you one thing and then get on completely differently. obviously if a bride is delivering her own cake she would deliver it the day before (i know of people who have done this) and it seems to always have been fine but i just keep getting really bad luck with this.

not sure what to do, cant deliver the cakes on the day due to my job but then even when i do on a saturday there's still a problem.....grrrrr

minicuppie Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 9:17pm
post #8 of 27

Why can you not deliver and set up on your day off? Do you have all Friday weddings? I don't understand.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 9:26pm
post #9 of 27

Just a few hints I hope may help you in the future:

Do you have a name you and refer to when you arrive at the hotel? It's always best to arrive at the venue and say "So and so made these arrangements with me."

Confirm this pre-delivery arrangement in writing and confirm that you will have a place to take care of all your set up issues - and that's it is NOT a hotel room. Get it ALL in writing - what you need from them, where you'll be setting up, etc. before you arrive. And take this with you when you go.

I would cc: the bride or her wedding coordinator (if she has one) with the delivery details as soon as you have them confirmed. No just to keep her in the loop, but also if something goes wrong at the hotel's end, you're a@@ is covered.

miss_sweetstory Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 9:51pm
post #10 of 27

I worked in the hotel industry for many years, primarily in sales and operations, but with a few years in banquet and catering. I can tell you that a large hotel will often "turn" banquet and reception rooms very quickly. It was common to have a Friday evening reception, a Saturday day booking (seminars and such), and a Saturday evening reception that all used the same facilities.

We seldom allowed more than two hours for a standard wedding set up. That was the window in which that room was laid, and most deliveries and set ups occurred. If a bridal couple wanted to ensure that the space available earlier than that for decorations, early band sound checks, etc. They paid for the time. We strongly discouraged early delivery of cakes, as the potential for damage was too great. If we had last minute interest for banquet space during time the space was considered "available" we crammed it in there if at all possible. In a hotel, empty space is not making any money.

The advice I would give is to find a way to deliver/set up as close to the event as possible. Also, when speaking to to venues, talk to the banquet manager, and if possible touch base with the banquet supervisor who will be on duty for your event. They are the people who have a handle on how busy they will be, what the turn entails, available space, etc. Remember that the on-site wedding contact is often part of the sales team, rather than the banquet department, and may not be the best person to answer your questions.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 10:41pm
post #11 of 27

When I book a cake, the bride understands that the cake is typically delivered two hours in advance of the event therefore the cake table gets dressed first.
The cake table must be ready for the cake so it's numero uno on the listo
'cause I said so
or else-o. icon_biggrin.gif

I get the names & numbers of all the principal players and vendors and I call in advance and make sure everyone is on the same page. Door will be unlocked, whether someone will or will not be there at that time, the cake table is ready for delivery of the cake two hours in advance. end of the world amen

indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 4:11am
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

I worked in the hotel industry for many years, primarily in sales and operations, but with a few years in banquet and catering. I can tell you that a large hotel will often "turn" banquet and reception rooms very quickly. It was common to have a Friday evening reception, a Saturday day booking (seminars and such), and a Saturday evening reception that all used the same facilities.



While I've not worked in the hotel industry, my past experiences have had me working VERY closely with hotels/etal and I agree with miss_sweetstory. My best friend back home was the head of sales for a hotel so I learned alot from her just from our Girls Night Outs!

I delivered a cake 20 minutes early to a hotel once (scheduled to arrive at 4:30 .... traffic was good so I got there about 4:10. They were still tearing down the room from the afternoon seminar and didn't have the reception anywhere near ready to set up. They were great about getting a cake table clothed and set up right away for me, though, and I did appreciate the extra effort they did for me.

That said, when you call in advance and get the ok from someone to set up the day prior, then I would be as frustrated as you, too. Is it possible for you to call/email her that morning to confirm the arrangements ".... as per our conversation of last Tuesday."? Defintely have the person's name and when the front desk or whoever you see initially can't find anything about it, you can easily reference "Sally Sue confirmed it would be all set up for me."

And just out of curiosity, do you have a lot of Friday weddings where you're at?

favrtdtr Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 4:29am
post #13 of 27

I currently work in the hotel industry and the problem is you are calling the wrong person - the wedding co-ordinator has no say as to what happens to that room - the hotel does. Try calling the hotel directly and if they can't help you then chances are the room is not going to be available.

heavenlys Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 4:37am
post #14 of 27

My DH worked in a hotel/restuarant that had a ton of banquet rooms and they would book all of them at the same time but the thing is the staff that books the parties in the rooms and answer the phone when you call to ask about logistics are not the lovely staff that work the party.
The office staff usually work 9 to 5 M-F. So they say yes to everything and usually don't pass the word on to the banquet staff. They are also really great at underbidding a party and totally tanking the kitchens food cost icon_rolleyes.gif
The office staff really has no concept of what goes into the putting together of these events. So unfortunately I think you are destined to be frustrated. icon_cry.gif

favrtdtr Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 4:43am
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlys

My DH worked in a hotel/restuarant that had a ton of banquet rooms and they would book all of them at the same time but the thing is the staff that books the parties in the rooms and answer the phone when you call to ask about logistics are not the lovely staff that work the party.
The office staff usually work 9 to 5 M-F. So they say yes to everything and usually don't pass the word on to the banquet staff. They are also really great at underbidding a party and totally tanking the kitchens food cost icon_rolleyes.gif
The office staff really has no concept of what goes into the putting together of these events. So unfortunately I think you are destined to be frustrated. icon_cry.gif


thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif AMEN AMEN AMEN thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

sugarMomma Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 4:53am
post #16 of 27

favrtdtr is exactly right. I also work in the hotel industry, banquets specifically (just got home from working a wedding) and we have functions morning, noon and night almost everyday. No way would we let anyone deliver a cake the day before, and no way would we even suggest setting it up. Not taking responsibility for that, it's just policy. And the wedding coordinators have no say in the matter.

I work in a 21 story Hilton, and we have a very large kitchen and banquet facility that can seat over 500 guests and there is still no room for a cake to be sitting around. Would probably be damaged if it were. And most other venues around here only give you a 2 hour window for delivery. When I made a cake for a friend's wedding they gave me only 1 1/2 hours before the start of the event because they had to flip the room from a earlier wedding. So consider yourself lucky that they even consider letting you set up early, and don't listen to the wedding coordinator. Call the venue.

leah_s Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 5:39am
post #17 of 27

I noticed that you're in Ireland. In the US, our weddings are primarily on Saturday, with some on Friday night and Sunday evening. Since you work Mon - Fri, your work schedule would be fine for delivering day-of in the US. So I guess I'm asking, what day of the week is most popular for wedings in your country?

But yes, I would only consider delivering a cake on the day of the reception, never the day prior.

Cathy26 Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 7:52am
post #18 of 27

yeah, if all my weddings were on saturdays i would have no problem but they are all for fridays EVERY TIME!!! so annoying.... friday seems the favourite day here so with working m-f 9-5 its a bit of a problem.

maybe from now on il just have to take only weddings that are on saturdays, have three friday weddings booked for next year but apart from that maybe il just have to turn down ones that arent on a saturday and then with the saturday ones il just have to get my slot for delivery......i guess i just thought hotels expected deliveries of flowers, cakes etc before the wedding and had facilities to store stuff like that. i had no idea you all were delivering cakes like 2 hours before the wedding. i assumed that cakes got set up early in case of mishap, etc but its given me food for thought.

sugarMomma Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 1:30pm
post #19 of 27

It does kinda suck when we have that small window too, because when I did my friend's wedding cake I had to miss her entire ceremony since there was no time for me to set up and drive across town to the church on time.
I ended up just staying at the venue and waiting for them to arrive at the reception.

maisyone2 Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:02pm
post #20 of 27

Like you said.....maybe you shouldn't book anymore Friday weddings. Either that or do what I do.....Schedule that Friday off. Take it as a vacation day or if you haven't given it that thougth ahead of time, call in sick. No one at your work has to know why you are taking the day off, it's none of their business.

Just my opinion,

Gayle
SE MI

leah_s Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:03pm
post #21 of 27

Even if the weddings are on Friday, its evening right?
The cake would be at your place, mostly completed, you run home from work, load it up and go. You should be able to get to the venue in time, unless your weddings typically start early on Friday eve, or you're driving a long distance. Our weddings here normally start around 6 pm -ish but they don't get to the reception venue until 7:30 or so.

I work with a lot of florists and they don't deliver the day prior either. They can't put flowers in the kitchen refrigerator/cooler. It's the wrong temp for flowers.

Cathy26 Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:56pm
post #22 of 27

sadly not evening weddings either - here in ireland the ceremony is at about 11 or12 and then they arrive at the hotel around 3pm and the cake is sitting out from then. dont really know what to do, its a bit awkward and i suppose its just me being naive and inexperienced that thought id find a way round it by delivering it early, ah well, maybe wedding cakes just arent for me until i can afford to go part time at work and then have fridays off or at least a half day icon_sad.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:09pm
post #23 of 27

11 or 12 on a Friday? wow, things really are done differently there. Around here, there would be no one at the wedding if they had it during the day on a weekday (read "work" day).

majka_ze Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:35pm
post #24 of 27

Just wanted to chime in - here (meaning Czech republic) are most weddings on Fridays too. The reason is that most weddings are still civil ceremony here - and we still (some 20 years after the communism went bye bye...) try to serve the public servant icon_smile.gif
If you want "normal" wedding here, you will get married on Friday. There is wedding on 10.00 am, on 12.00 am and 2 pm you can choose from...
Do you want to get married on Saturday? It would be the same hours, but you pay for the luxury. No registrar wants to give his/her weekend up icon_biggrin.gif
But for a cake person who is working this means: either don't offer delivery at all (and it is quite common here) or you need to get leave from work. Sad, but reality.

minicuppie Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 12:00pm
post #25 of 27

Ok...now I get it. I agree with OP's...after you have a deposit and date call the venue and let them know you are doing so and so's cake and make a plan for delivery. Do it again about a week before the date. Get the details ironed out. Knowledge is power...power equals less stress.

Cathy26 Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:51pm
post #26 of 27

i thought all weddings were like this - i have been to weddings on wednesday and friday mornings which is so crap - you have to use a day's holidays from work to attend and for someone who hates weddings, i really begrudge using a day of my leave for a wedding.

you all in the USA have it good - saturday weddings are the way to go - wish we werent so awkward here icon_sad.gif it sure makes it hard for me to deliver wedding cakes icon_sad.gif

minicuppie Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 9:46pm
post #27 of 27

Is it possible for you to train a reliable stay at home mom or retired person to do your deliveries?

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