Has anyone come into a situation with a bride and groom who were family? I personally just gave my first "no payment = no cake" for a wedding of my husband's nephew that is in two weeks. Multiple emails went their way regarding their entire cake order, the cost and when payment is due (my contract is 2 weeks prior to event or no cake). They never gave my deposit I require (let it slide since "family") nor did they ever sign the contract. Therefore, the two week deadline was yesterday and I gave notice that they will not have a cake. Of course I am made to be the one to look like the bad guy and why is it that I am feeling bad about this? just wondering your thoughts if anyone had a similar situation..... thanks
Ask for help. Since it's family, I would contact their parents ( your husbands sibling?) and explain that "bride/groom not returning calls, haven't paid agreed amount......you don't want to bother anyone, you are not sure how to approach this since they are family, and it is awkward. Could they help you come up with a solution?"
Hopefully you will find an advocate in the parents and you won't have to be the bad guy.
If anyone says anything about how you could "let them down" I would point out the numerous emails and attempts to get payment..pointing out that you can't afford to give cakes away and that you figured that by this point they didn't want you to do the cake since they never officially booked the date.
Basically, when it comes to family, if you can't afford to give the cake as a gift then you have to treat it just like a client and that means playing hardball with the contract. First step is to make sure that you end it way before this point. State when you are talking to the couple the very first time that since you can't afford to do it as a gift then you need to follow your proceedures and the first of that is when they sign the contract they need to also give you a check. No contract signing/no check = no cake. Tell them that until you get a contract/deposit that you will consider the date unbooked and will NOT save the date for a cake that day. I won't take a wedding cake less than one month from the date of event so at that point I would have called the nephew as well as the sibling who's kid is getting married and let them know that they have only a few days left in order to book or they will need to find another cake.
You may want to offer some sort of deal tho...close friends/family get a 50% deal with me so basically I'm pretty much giving my labor as a gift..and that's how I put it..."as my gift to you two I'm going to give you the "friends and family discount!". HTH Cat
I wouldn't call the parents. If they are old enough to get married, they are old enough to handle their own business.
They did not sign a contract therefore you do not have a cake order. It's their problem.
I know, I know. It seems harsh. However, if this was a stranger, that's how you'd feel, right? Well, just because they're family doesn't mean they aren't a customer. How ticked are you going to be if you make this cake and never get paid?
My motto is this: If you can't conduct business with your friends or family, then don't do business with them. You have to treat them like any ol' customer. It's for their protection, too. Let's say they pay and you don't provide a cake or something goes wrong. They need the protection of that contract and they need to feel they can come back to you to get recompensed for the problem. This is a business transaction, period.
They wouldn't let you walk into their place of employment and walk out with hundreds of dollars in freebies that takes food off their table (via a paycheck), would they? If you make them a cake without having the money in hand (and CASH at this point), you are LETTING them take advantage of you.
If it was me, I would call the parents(just because it is family, so I don't think you would be over stepping)
And they might have better idea of whats going on.
Hope it all works out and you won't become the bad guy in all of this.
I guess it depends on the family. I just mean I think it would be better to call the parents than have the cake be a no show. It's not hard to call them and say. "I've been trying to get ahold of so and so, and they haven't responded. Do you know if they are away or something, they haven't paid me yet?"
You don't have to demand payment, but the first thing that's going to happen if the cake is a no-show, is the parents are going to want to know why? This way they are aware of what's going on, chances are they are helping out with paying for the wedding in some way.
Thank you for all of your wonderful insight! I had already given them a $65 credit but this is my business and I treat it like so....whether i know them or not. from the beginning I had a feeling that this would not come about but she has blasted me with emails and have already found an alternative (shocking for only being 2 weeks away and all!) I was even going to reconsider until the emails came my way--oh well, lesson learned and I appreciate the support from everyone! thank you!!!!!