Okay - So Now My Turn To Rant (Long Vent!)

Decorating By moralna Updated 14 Jul 2010 , 4:09pm by moralna

moralna Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:23pm
post #1 of 17

I really, really need to vent and who else to vent to but to those who I am sure can relate and maybe offer advise or even tell me if I am wrong. .. so here goes. . . I have a family member who is getting married on a Friday afternoon/early evening in August. Many months ago I offered to do her wedding cake as a gift; I really wanted to do this for her and give her a special cake. She comes over in late April and we decide on cake flavors and she decides on a topsy turvey cake (the kind with wedges in between the tiers and covered by flowers). Now let me backpedal by saying that I live about an hour and a half from the church and about 2 hours from the reception hall (without traffic and remember this is a Friday with summer, end-of-week rush hour). So when we did the cake tasting and she decided on her cake, I told her that since she her church ceremony is at 3 p.m., I would go to the reception hall first around 12:30 p.m., set up the cake (since I would be taking it in pieces) where it is supposed to be set up and then drive back 30 minutes to where the church is located to make the ceremony. At that time, I remember telling her that I wanted to go ahead and get everything done with the cake on site early because I did not want to rush and this was the type of cake that once set up should not be moved around. Now note, she is also having a 6:30 p.m. vow ceremony at the reception hall. So a few months go by and I really have not heard from her - which is fine, because I know she is busy and all. The other day she sends me an e-mail advising that she had gone to the reception hall to iron out some details and lets me know that the banquet manager advised that I can go early to the reception hall to set up the cake, but I cannot do it in the room where her reception will be held. I will have to set up the cake in a different room and then the cake will be moved to her party room right before her reception is to begin. She goes on to say that he advised her that if I need to set up in the actual party room, I will not be able to get in until 6 p.m.!!! I am reading this and saying to myself "WTH??? - is she kidding me??" So I write her back and let her know that we have a big problem and . . . . 1) I do not want to set up that type of cake in a different room and have it moved by someone else - it is not a small cake (5 tiers)and that this is the type of cake that should be set up once and not moved at all so that would mean 2) that I would have to leave my house at 4:00 p.m., which would mean that I would miss the church ceremony where my entire family will be to get to the reception hall at 6 p.m. - at about the same time the her guests would be arriving all dressed up for the 2nd ceremony, while I am in jeans bringing in the cake, boxes with flowers, etc. to set up the cake, which then means that I would also miss the 6:30 p.m. vow ceremony and probably part of the cocktail hour which is immediately following. So basically while my entire family is together and watching her get married, I am busting my butt setting up the cake and then rush to finish getting dressed. I heard back from her and she said she understood and would not want me to miss the ceremony (not sure which one she was referring to) and that perhaps I could call the catering banquet manager and try to arrange something. I say to myself "really - I have to do that too - this is a gift and now I have to work to do even more because you can't speak up?" But I say okay to her and tell her to give me the person's name and number. This was all this past weekend. So yesterday early morning I send her another note letting her know that after thinking about it these are 2 options that I can offer her . . . .1) I can take the cake early, set it up in a different room and she can take the chance of folks handling the cake back and forth and something happening to the cake or 2) I can do a similar car but not topsy turvey so that I can still go early, but the risk is a little bit less (not much) of something happening to the cake if it is moved. Her choice. I have still not heard from her - not with her thoughts on my options or the name and number of the catering person. I am giving her a few more days, if I have not heard anything, I am going to send her a note letting her know that since I did not hear from her, I am going to do what I think is best and not go with the topsy turvey. I know I still have some time, but you know what - I refuse to stress over the next few weeks. I should have just kept my mouth shut and just have gone as a regular guest and just brought a gift. Again, please forgive me for this long rant, but I just needed to get it out of my system.

16 replies
Skidoochic Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:32pm
post #2 of 17

Wow! Very nice of you to offer to do the cake.

In my experience, with family weddings, I NEVER get to go to the service/church. I just don't want to be rushed that much. I also have never been told I can't set up the cake earlier than the reception, but I am also usually only asking for two hours prior to the reception.

So, I guess my advice to you, FWIW, would be to 1) hopefully talk to the reception site (maybe you can google it and get the number yourself) and get something worked out; 2) forego the service and set up as quickly as possible; and 3) there is always the risk of damage, collapse no matter what cake style is used- she needs to be aware of that anyway and just let her know it is increased the longer the cake is left unattended and in the incorrect location. No matter what - it is out of your control and in the control of the reception site at that point. (Be sure to take a picture of your work before you leave!)

You are in a tough situation. I hope you can find a solution that makes you happy.

itsmylife Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:40pm
post #3 of 17

It's hard to believe that if the reception hall will be open at 6:30 for the vow ceremony, that the earliest you can get in is 6 pm. It must take them longer than a half hour to set up for all the guests, so they must be in there setting up prior to 6pm.

If you talk to the banquet manager directly, you could explain your position better. If you know the name of the place it's being held, just call & ask for that person. It's one more thing you have to do, but it would be worth it if it results in less stress for you down the road.

The only other thing I was thinking was that the room where she is having the reception may have an earlier party in it & that may be why they won't let you in earlier.

Hope you get it sorted out!

Solecito Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:42pm
post #4 of 17

It is so stressfull when you want to do a nice thing and offer such gift, and suddenly everything turns on you.

I'd insist on having the name and number of the banquet manager so you can talk to him/her. May be thay are going to be moving stuff around and that's the reason they don't want the cake on the reception room.

May be you could have the wedges ready with the flowers so you can just assemble the cake a little faster. And do everything that you can ahead of time.

Go on early, unload the cake at the hall, then after church assebmle the cake, so you wont miss a thing.

costumeczar Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:49pm
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmylife

It's hard to believe that if the reception hall will be open at 6:30 for the vow ceremony, that the earliest you can get in is 6 pm. It must take them longer than a half hour to set up for all the guests, so they must be in there setting up prior to 6pm.

If you talk to the banquet manager directly, you could explain your position better. If you know the name of the place it's being held, just call & ask for that person. It's one more thing you have to do, but it would be worth it if it results in less stress for you down the road.

The only other thing I was thinking was that the room where she is having the reception may have an earlier party in it & that may be why they won't let you in earlier.




That's probably what it is, and don't think that they can't flip a room in half an hour! I've seen people do it, so they really might not let you in before then. Why don't you call the site and ask them if they have a table that can roll, that way you can set it up and they can just roll it into the room when it's ready. They could also have you set it up and move the entire table, not just the cake. I've seen that being done, too.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 17

Very nice of you to do the cake. And, very few people really get what it entails.

I would simply inform her that with the restrictions on the banquet hall, a topsey turvey just can't happen. Maybe do the same design with traditional separators and the flowers in between, but level.

Also, is it possible for her or someone in the area to arrange for a cart to be there to assemble the cake on? A dessert cart with a tablecloth? Maybe the caterer? I think wheeling the cake in rather than carrying would be best.

Finally, consider constructing with SPS for stability.It will add considerable stability and probably allow you to stack ahead of time and enjoy your day. The extra cost will be well worth it for the gift, preserving all of your hard work, and your(and your family's) sanity at what should be a pleasant event.

Now as Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"

artscallion Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:16pm
post #7 of 17

When I am asked to, or offer to, make a cake for someone at who's wedding I would ordinarily be a guest, I always ask myself, "which do I want to be? a guest or the cake vendor?" Because in my experience, problems arise when you try to be both. So I pick one or the other and go with it. But your priority has to be one or the other.

If she decides she wants the topsy with someone else moving it so you can attend the ceremonies, you'll sit in the church worrying and angry the whole time. If you arrange it so you can get in at 5pm to set up, but now can't be at the ceremony, you'll spend the time setting it up, resenting the experience you are missing at the ceremony.

In my experience, it's a no-win either way...unless you decide which is your priority and let the other go. Then if you walk in there with the attitude that you're the cake vendor, and this is your contribution to her wonderful day, that fact that you have to shift this or that around to make her day work will seem more like a gift from you than an imposition on you. It's when you try to also be a guest that the works get gummed up. And that's not the bride's fault.

moralna Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 17

There is no party the night before or even on the same day before her event, that is why I am having a hard time understanding. I will definitely see if I can contact them.


matthewkyrankelly - you know, I never even thought about doing the separators as normal and not topsy wedges - thanks for the idea.

artscallion - I never even thought about it the way you explained it - one or the other, I guess I just figured that I could easily do both. you have given me a different insight for next time.

Solecito Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:51pm
post #9 of 17

I've been making my nieces quineañera cakes and attended the mass and party, and I'm making a niece wedding cake and have another event the same day (200+ servings per cake) next month. It's all about planning.

moralna Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:25pm
post #10 of 17

The thing is I had my schedule for that day down, even allowing extra "non-expected stuff happening" time and then this happens. I have delivered early to catering halls before with no problem.

Jenniferkay Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:36pm
post #11 of 17

my thought is maybe she didn't ask the right question to the banquet manager....I would really call. Vendors are usually expected to be there an hour or more beforehand and out before the first guest is to arrive. Your plan may still work...you just need to call and find out for yourself.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 10:38pm
post #12 of 17

Sorry, this is too much stress for a gift........

My simple response is:

I very much want to give you your wedding cake as a gift. I also very much want to attend and ENJOY your wedding ceremony and reception (with the rest of my family) without having to worry (that a cake I put dozens of hours of work into) is being handled properly by the reception site people (who have no business moving a 5 tier wedding cake OF ANY DESIGN, really), so..............in the interest of having this work out well for ALL OF US..........

I'll do the cake but not as a topsy turvy. It will all be the same flavors, colors, decorations, but it will have to be stacked in a more standard way. This will enable to reception staff to move it, if necessary, without the potential for certain types of (unrepairable) damage.

Neither of us wants to arrive at the reception site and find a disaster. I don't want to spend the evening trying to save a damaged cake and I certainly don't want to give the entire family something negative to talk about for the next 40 years.

Please try to understand this from my point of view. I want you to have a lovely cake and I think this is the best way to do it, considering the constraints put on us by the reception site.

Love,
Moralna

JMHO
Rae

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:05pm
post #13 of 17

No freakin' way the florist, the DJ, the bartender ..... any of those vendors WON'T be permitted in the room until just 30 minutes before the ceremony STARTS! Heck, you know the guests will get there before 6:30! They always do. If something STARTS at 6:30, then it's just proper manners to get there a few minutes early.

She didn't ask the right questions. She didn't push for what SHE ..... the CUSTOMER ...... needed from the person she is paying BIG MONEY to for the use of the room.

Way too many holes in this story.

(p.s. can you please hit the 'enter' key a few times to break up the paragraph to make it easier to read? I had to copy it to a word document, then add my own paragraph breaks before I could read it. Thx!)

emiyeric Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:37pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


(p.s. can you please hit the 'enter' key a few times to break up the paragraph to make it easier to read? I had to copy it to a word document, then add my own paragraph breaks before I could read it. Thx!)




HA!!!! I see you've started writing "enter" instead of "return" now, Indy ... icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:42pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

HA!!!! I see you've started writing "enter" instead of "return" now, Indy ... icon_smile.gif


Hey, I pay attention around here! Who said an old dog can't learn new tricks!? icon_lol.gif

Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:30am
post #16 of 17

Honestly, if you can't make arrangements with the banquet manager I say go early, set the cake up where they want you to, and let them worry about the rest. Go to the wedding and enjoy yourself. Seriously, you are going to BE at the reception so if the banquet hall people screw it up, you will easily be able to say, "It was perfect and gorgeous and THEY wrecked it!" (I know this doesn't help your cousin, but I guess I'm being cold about this because she has been quite unhelpful to you.) I would be VERY clear to the banquet manager that if you cannot set up the cake in the FINAL destination early enough to accomodate your schedule, (which is standard practice to gain entrance several hours before the wedding) then he/she will be responsible for what happens to the cake, up to and including a complete refund of the cake's full value. (Not how much $ you put into it, but how much it would retail for!) Seriously, be aggressive and you will find that they are usually willing to accomodate you! Best of luck.

moralna Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 4:09pm
post #17 of 17

Thank you all for your support and great advise - I knew you guys would understandicon_smile.gif I have actually spoken with my cousin and she completely understood if it couldn't be a topsy turvey if I can't set it up in the actual party room. I think you guys were right, she didn't ask the right question. She is actually going to call the banquet manager and let them know that I will be calling him - maybe if I can explain the details of the cake, he will be more cooperative. And if not, then I will do the stacked cake.

Indydeb - you know what? I did not even think about the fact that other vendors need to be there way before 6:30 p.m. - especially the DJ who needs to scan the room to set up his electrical equipment!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%