My Friend Is Getting Married...

Decorating By stacylambert Updated 17 Jan 2010 , 3:37pm by Mensch

stacylambert Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 10:17pm
post #1 of 28

... and asked if I would make the wedding cake. I jumped at the chance since I'm a hobbyist decorator and this is probably the only "real" wedding cake I'll get to make. Her wedding isn't until September and I'm already wishing I'd said no.

First of all, she wants flavor that I can't even find a recipe for - raspberry pink champagne cake. I asked if she meant pink champagne cake with a raspberry filling, but she said no. She doesn't want a filling, just frosting between the layers. I was like icon_confused.gif but started whipping up batches of flavored WASC. I made one that's pretty good, but she's yet make the time to try it.

Next, the design. She sent me this picture:

Image

I have no idea where she found it from, so I apologize if it belongs to anyone on here. I'll give you credit if you let me know.

Her colors were originally going to be fall colors (red, orange, yellow, and brown I think) with each ribbon being one of the colors. She's now changed it to just brown and red. I suggested chocolate fondant with red ribbons, but she quickly passed on that idea. After having me photoshop the picture for the umpteenth time she's settled on alternating red and brown ribbons with red flowers.

Anyway, the final straw for me is that she's is adamant about using artificial flowers. Blah. With nearly nine months left I would have more than enough time to make flowers for it or she could get live flowers that matched her bouquet. But no. Artificial.

I just wish I could say something to her about some of these choices. I'm not getting paid for this, mind you. It's my gift to them, so I haven't said a word other than making little suggestions here and there.

Okay, that's my little rant. It feels better to get it off my chest. LOL.

27 replies
audrey0522 Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 10:25pm
post #2 of 28

Since this is free you might want to let her know that you will incorporate her ideas but as a gift all the final designs and other choices are yours. I only make cakes for family and close friends. They tell me the colors they are using or theme and it is a surprize when they see it. She sounds very picky for getting a free cake.

diamondsmom Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 10:27pm
post #3 of 28

very beautiful cake.....all the best to you....U're gonna have to give her whatever she wants. Just do your best.

adventuregal Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 10:47pm
post #4 of 28

its always such a tough spot when its your friend-we don't want to come off wrong and have them get angry/offended, but at the same time I'm assuming your friend doesn't know a fraction of what you know about cakes. I would suggest you inform her you can't find the recipe-and ask her to find it for you-that way she will see how rare it is (I've never heard of it) and appreciate your effort more. Doing this cake for her is a very time consuming, expensive wedding gift and that is very generous of you-don't let her bridezilla you around because she's lacking knowledge of cakes icon_wink.gif

elliespartycake Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 11:19pm
post #5 of 28

WOW icon_surprised.gif does your friend have any idea what a cake like this would cost of she were to purchase it from a cake professional? Lots of work with all those flowers, etc. Don't let her get too demanding...it's your gift to her and if she is too pushy I'd let her know what her cake would cost if she were paying you. Maybe she'll back off a bit. I know she's a friend but...

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 11:39pm
post #6 of 28

Take that picture to a few bakeries and get some quotes. Then show the quotes to her.

Then tell her since she is getting her cake for free, this is what you can do for her. Be specific. Offer a flavor you can make and decorations you are able to do. If she doesn't like it tell her your friendship is worth more than a cake and she should get someone else to do it.

STAND FIRM!! If she is really your friend, she will stop acting like a bridezilla.

Elcee Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 11:44pm
post #7 of 28

I made a wedding cake as a gift for a friend who insisted on fresh flowers. While I have nothing against fresh flowers, I prefer that a cake have sugar flowers and I ended up being disappointed in the cake. I love making the flowers so I have decided that I will retain veto power on any further cake gifts that I do. No more fresh (or artificial) flowers. icon_smile.gif If someone for whom I would make a cake as a wedding gift really doesn't want gumpaste flowers icon_eek.gif , I will give them a gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond instead.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 11:56pm
post #8 of 28

[quote="Elcee]I love making the flowers so I have decided that I will retain veto power on any further cake gifts that I do. No more fresh (or artificial) flowers. icon_smile.gif If someone for whom I would make a cake as a wedding gift really doesn't want gumpaste flowers icon_eek.gif , I will give them a gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond instead.[/quote]

I agree, 100%!!!!!!

After all, people will know that you made the cake. You don't want them asking why you chose to put crappy artificial flowers on it, do you?

I'd be honest with my friend: I'm offering you a free cake. I'll do any colors you want, any flavor, but no artificial flowers. If that's a deal breaker, sorry--you'll have to purchase a cake from someone else. I have to be happy with the product and get some joy out of making it. If I have to ruin it with crappy artificial flowers, then I won't enjoy it.

Just because she's a bride doesn't mean that she gets to rain on your parade.....


Rae

Texas_Rose Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 11:59pm
post #9 of 28

Well, if you want to make free wedding cakes, you could probably find someone a lot less picky to make one for than your friend icon_biggrin.gif This isn't your only chance ever to make a wedding cake, don't feel like that. I'm a hobbyist too and if I wanted to start giving away wedding cakes or even doing them at cost, I could make a wedding cake every weekend. There are always people with champagne taste and beer budgets out there.

I agree with Sillysierra, ask your friend for the recipe for the cake. It sounds like your friend is playing fantasy wedding but that doesn't mean you should be whipping up batch after batch of WASC trying to create it.

And about the flowers, silk flowers will be all right as long as she buys high quality ones. The cake itself will be enough trouble without making all those flowers. You could always tell her that you really prefer to make your own flowers because a lot of silk flowers are made in China and there's too many issues lately with lead or other unsafe things in products from China, so you want to make sure that everything that goes on the cake really is food-safe...not that the silk flowers would be a problem really, but if you want to make your own then that would be a good excuse.

Uniqueask Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 12:25am
post #10 of 28

GOD bless you for making that cake for your friend, and like others say stand your ground. I think you will spend more money on the cake than buying a gift, because you have to buy champagne, and that is a beautiful cake by the way, good luck I hope it turns out well, Post a picture for us when it is all finished,

LOOK IN MY SIGNATURE AT THE GOURMET RECIPIES AND YOU WILL FIND THE CHAMPAGNE CAKE

It is a recipe for pink champagne, but you can buy lorann gourmet flavoring, in raspberry and add it to it. that is if they don't sell raspberry flavor champagne,( sorry don't drink).

Lorieann55 Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 12:45am
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylambert

...

Anyway, the final straw for me is that she's is adamant about using artificial flowers. Blah. With nearly nine months left I would have more than enough time to make flowers for it or she could get live flowers that matched her bouquet. But no. Artificial.

Okay, that's my little rant. It feels better to get it off my chest. LOL.




Is she insisting on the artificial flowers because she is using them throughout her wedding and wants everything to match?
If not, can you make a few flowers to show her how beautiful you can make them?

denetteb Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 12:57am
post #12 of 28

I made a friends wedding cake 2 years ago. Great experience. Made 3 carrot cakes to pick from and 3 cream cheese frostings, had fun tasting them and letting them pic their favorites. Talked design, made a couple samples for other events and all was great. Fast forward to last fall and agreed to make a wedding cake for another friend. All started out well then gradually little things started to pile up. Gave 3 choc cake to choose between and they picked one. But then was wondering if it could be more chocolatty. Then wanted most ingred. purchased from the whole foods co-op. Then all ingred from the co-op (she would pay the costs). Then said coffee creamer (for the frosting) was poison. I decided it was too much for me to do with all the strings attached and before things got more out of hand and I would resent it and it would interfere with our friendship, I suggested she buy it from an organic bakery because I wasn't comfortable with all the specifications. It was a hard decision but I don't regret it. Just go with your gut and if you don't think you will be happy with the outcome and if it isn't giving you joy to be doing it, then let her know while she has time to make other plans. At the least put some limits on things that you feel strongly about.

stacylambert Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 1:34am
post #13 of 28

Thanks for all the comments everyone. I thought maybe I was being unreasonable about her requests!

I think I may try to nicely talk her out of the artificial flowers (I like Texas_Rose's point about the chance of them then not being food-safe!).

Rae, you definitely have a point. I didn't even think about the fact that everyone at the wedding is going to see it and that my name will be attached. Gah.

Lorieann55, I asked her what flowers she's using but she doesn't even know yet. She said she has a list she's thinking about but she has talk to the florist. From that it sounds like she'll be using fresh flowers for the rest of the wedding.

Uniqueask, thanks for the recipe. I did something similar to that, but I used a combination of champagne and raspberry juice which I pressed from a bag of frozen berries. I hadn't thought of the lorann oils. Thanks!

Such a fine line between standing firm and potentially offending her. I get way too emotional about things, I'll have to type up the email and have my husband read it before I send it! And no, I'm not taking the easy route with the email. We live far apart so that's how we communicate.

Again, thanks everyone!

cdgleason Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 1:55am
post #14 of 28

I just made a FREE wedding cake for some friends of the family... the cake served 210 people so it wasn't exactly a cheap cake!
the bride and groom requested something that I wasn't crazy about, but I didn't mention it until it was time to decorate the cake... then.......I decided that if I was making the cake for FREE, then I had the right to speak my professional opinions, so I did, and they trusted my opinion, and in the end, I got what I wanted, a simply white ribbon on a white cake, covered in snowflakes... NOT a shocking royal blue ribbon!!!
Everyone was overjoyed with the final results, even me!
I say you stick to your guns, if you feel like you will be doing something that in the end is going to be less than flattering, you should tell them!!
Then, try to find a really good example of your ideas!! goodluck! cindy~~

cdgleason Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 2:09am
post #15 of 28

after a second look at the photo, those flowers look like they should be fairly simple to replicate for your friend, in gumpaste!!! You could probably even order them!

You could probably make a few of each, lilies, roses, and leaves, then use some simple dusts to make them the exact colors she wants, then show them to her!!
NO ONE in their right mind would say no to beautiful, hand made, gumpaste flowers!!

as for the cake flavor, you may just have to put your foot down, offer her two diffent versions, tell her to chose!! If she continues to be difficult, then you may just have to do what "stacylambert" did, in order to preserve your friendship!
Stacy, it was nice hearing your story, but I'm sure it was a difficult thing for you to tell your friend to find another baker!

stacylambert Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:55pm
post #16 of 28

Okay guys, I had to bump this so I could add her newest request.

I woke up this morning and found an email from her in my inbox, which I knew couldn't be a good thing. She now wants the main cake to be a dummy with a small cake for each table. All in different flavors. And all with artificial flowers. icon_cry.gif

I think she's trying to kill me. I need to say something and soon before each guest gets their own cake to take home...

julzs71 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 8:16pm
post #17 of 28

Have fun with this.
Could you tell your friend that this is more expensive than you originally planned and that you will make the cake for her for free, but she has to pay for the supplies?
This isn't the final cake either. You know that right.
You will see 200 more cakes before she decides.

CeeTee Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 8:29pm
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylambert

Okay guys, I had to bump this so I could add her newest request.

I woke up this morning and found an email from her in my inbox, which I knew couldn't be a good thing. She now wants the main cake to be a dummy with a small cake for each table. All in different flavors. And all with artificial flowers. icon_cry.gif

I think she's trying to kill me. I need to say something and soon before each guest gets their own cake to take home...




Charge her, and charge her a LOT. Tell her for the amount of work you CANNOT do it for free, or even as a gift. You better grow a spine fast or she will be changing her mind up till the last second and all that will come of it is lots of hurt feelings and potentially an end to the friendship. It's not worth it!

DanaG21 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 8:45pm
post #19 of 28

Say no now. This will probably just get worse and worse. Individual cakes are a huge pain and she still wants you to go through the effort of decorating a full dummy cake? Do you have the time? I think it would be cheaper to just buy her a gift and maybe offer to make the bridal shower cake. Best of luck can't wait to hear where this goes next.

ksmith1012 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 9:06pm
post #20 of 28

This is getting way out of hand- and the others are right, it will not stop, she will keep making changes until the wedding. I've done several cakes for one of my best friends, she gets particular about the designs of the cakes she wants, but she also PAYS for it! So i do not mind. I typically offer her 10%, because I want to, not because I have to. And she always offers to buy my supplies on top of everything else! I'm not cheap to begin with- so I appreciate her appreciating my time and talent. Yep- it's time for you to grow some cake balls- thumbs_up.gif - before this gets too nasty. Or else you will end up resenting her and the friendship will suffer. I think offering to maybe just do the shower cake and going with a gift card is the best way to go if she remains unreasonable. Good luck!

SpringFlour Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 9:07pm
post #21 of 28

That is one GENEROUS gift! There is NOBODY in this world (well, probably my kids, once they reach marrying age) who would receive a gift from me worth hundreds of dollars. No matter how good a friend it is, I don't think I'd do it for free. I think there are too many opportunities for hurt feelings or pissiness (on both sides).

In order to preserve this friendship, you need to honestly and delicately tell her how you're feeling. Maybe she has NO idea the work and time involved in what she's asking. he still has time to find someone else, if not, perhaps she'll come back to you and offer money.

tiggy2 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 9:19pm
post #22 of 28

There is no way in he$$ someone would dictate what I'm giving them as a gift. I think I would email her back and let her know that her expectations far excede my original offer and it would be best if she just hired someone to do her cakes as this is way out of my budget.

stacylambert Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 9:21pm
post #23 of 28

You guys are absolutely right about this being too much for a gift. I'm wondering if somewhere along the way their was a miscommunication and she thinks she's paying for it? Maybe that's why she's been so particular about everything?

I'm going to have to just come out and ask her today if she's planning on paying because it's just too much work, not even counting all the materials. I'll keep the post updated when I find out more.

Thanks for all the support thumbs_up.gif

Mensch Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 9:28pm
post #24 of 28

Well, Missy, you need to grow you a BACKBONE right now this very instant (or a good hefty set-o'-cakeballs) and NIP this behavior in the bud.

If you don't put your foot down NOW she will just use and use and use you.

SharonK1973 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 10:10pm
post #25 of 28

NO!!!! What does she take you for? Her own personal , private fool? NO!!!

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 10:27pm
post #26 of 28

DEFINITELY take care of this situation now! This is going to get costly and its a ton of work!

stacylambert Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 10:04am
post #27 of 28

I sent her an email today, so I'm just waiting to hear back from her.

Honestly, I kind of like the idea of the mini-cakes. I just need to know that I'm not going to be footing the bill for everything. I also asked her how many tables there will be since that would make a HUGE difference.

Mensch Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 3:37pm
post #28 of 28

Do you have the space to store that many cakes? What size? Tables usually seat about 10 people. Does she realize just how SMALL a six-inch cake is?

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