Please Help...what Do I Do??

Decorating By Kavrena Updated 11 Nov 2010 , 6:01am by Kavrena

Kavrena Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:06pm
post #1 of 10

I have been doing cakes for family and friends for a little over a year now. I have a family member who is getting married at the end of December and they asked me to do the cake. I contacted them about what exactly they wanted and they gave some general things that they wanted for the cake. I sketched out 5 cakes using what they wanted in each of them. I sent them in an email and got no response. A week later I sent an email stating that I just wanted to make sure that they had received it. A couple days later they wrote back and said that they were sorry they didn't get back to me, but they decided to come up with their own sketch and would send it to me in a "few" days. 11 days go by and I had still heard nothing. I send and email saying that I was just checking in to see how things were going and if they could call or message me. They wrote back saying that they were "sorry they didn't get back to me asap", but they would send me the sketch by that Friday. It's already been a week since that Friday and again I have heard nothing. Am I just being impatient or are they really procrastinating? I look at it as I am doing them a favor by helping. I told them that I need everything finalized no later than 3 weeks before the date. I had a feeling they were going to procrastinate which is why I got on it right away. Do I send a reminder or do I just wait? I am trying to not be mean but I feel that i should be professional about this even though I am not in business. If they wait till after that 3 week mark do i say I can't do it because they didn't follow the deadline?? Please help, because I am not sure what to do. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

9 replies
mom2twogrlz Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:19pm
post #2 of 10

I would politely explain that you really need to get a design down on paper, which you all agree, on so you can start your preparation. Remind them that you asked for it 3 weeks before the wedding, but would really like to get started, so you can prepare yourself to make the best cake possible for them. Also tell them that if they do not give you the details at least 3 weeks prior that you will not be able to do the cake for them, as you feel you would not be able to give it your best work. Hopefully that will clue them in, and if they still don't get it, cancel the cake. At that point they are just setting you up to fail, or themselves to be unhappy. It sounds like they are going to be hard to please. Family can sometime be the hardest to deal with. People tend to take advantage of family, thinking that because it is a family member we "have to" do it for them, like it is our family obligation. Good luck to you, I hope it all works out.

Dayti Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:26pm
post #3 of 10

Maybe they just remembered the part about having everything finalized 3 weeks before the wedding...they are not at that date yet so are probably not thinking about it too much, what with everything else they are surely planning.

They probably don't realise that you at least need to know approximate size/number of guests/flavours so you can make sure you have the right pans, ingredients etc. I would kindly let them know to give you that basic info asap, although final decoration can wait until 3 weeks before the date (but tell them nothing too complicated because you may have trouble finding special equipment for decorations at such short notice, should you need it!!)

TexasSugar Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:33pm
post #4 of 10

How about calling them and asking if you can sit down face to face sometime in the next week to talk about the wedding cake?

I know you don't want to keep bugging them but it also sounds like they aren't in a rush either, because they keep putting it off.

Pick up the phone and call them, put them on the spot and tell them that you really need to see their ideas now. That way you can make sure it is something you feel comfortable with, you have time to prepare anything you need to in advance, as well as make any changes if you need too. At this time you can also talk about sizes/flavors and so on.

pmarks0 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:55pm
post #5 of 10

I agree with everyone else.

You may not be in business, but you need to treat it as a business. Are you doing the cake as your gift? Have they said anything about at least paying for ingredients? You haven't mentioned anything about money at all. My view is that if someone asks me to make them a cake (family, friend or other) then there is going to be money exchanging hands. If I offer, then I'm paying for the cake. You've basically got 7 weeks til the end of the year. Without that drawing, you don't have any real idea of just how much time you're going to need to plan and do that cake. And with Christmas coming, you're time is going to be taken up with other things as well.

I would lay it out in an email or a phone call. Be frank and upfront and don't be afraid to tell them that if they can't give you this as you've asked, then you won't be able to do the cake for them.

Maybe they're having second thoughts about wanting you to do it and don't know how to say they've gone to someone else?

Kavrena Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 2:00am
post #6 of 10

Thank you everyone for your help. They do plan on paying for the ingredients. I can't meet them face to face because they are away at school and won't be "home" until Christmas. I have tried to call twice during the whole process and they just respond with an email, no phone call. I am going to take all of your advice and send a message laying everything out with an emphasis on needing the time to get special equipment. I am almost certain that they will want something that takes extra attention, and I have a huge cake just a couple days before. I wish that more people would watch shows like "Fabulous Cake" so they can have a real idea of what it takes to make a cake. I truly understand why people don't do business with family. Sorry to complain, but I really needed the help.

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 3:05am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavrena

Thank you everyone for your help. They do plan on paying for the ingredients. I can't meet them face to face because they are away at school and won't be "home" until Christmas. I have tried to call twice during the whole process and they just respond with an email, no phone call. I am going to take all of your advice and send a message laying everything out with an emphasis on needing the time to get special equipment. I am almost certain that they will want something that takes extra attention, and I have a huge cake just a couple days before. I wish that more people would watch shows like "Fabulous Cake" so they can have a real idea of what it takes to make a cake. I truly understand why people don't do business with family. Sorry to complain, but I really needed the help.




Make sure to tell them that if they don't get you all of the details by XXXX date, you WON'T BE DOING THEIR CAKE. Then don't do it if they miss the deadline.

I'd also suggest that you get the payment in advance, because it sounds like they'll also give you the runaround if you try to colelct payment after the fact.

jlynnw Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 3:25am
post #8 of 10

Just let them know that you "may" have to order in items for the cake. With the holidays fast approaching, you need all the time to guarantee that the items make it thru the mail in time. You also want to be able to work out any details you feel you need to brush up on. I would be firm in stating unless I have everything (design, servings, flavors, etc)by this Friday, I regret that I will not be able to do the cake. Seriously, you are doing them a favor and right now you are already stressing over it with them expecting the cake to be there. Cake muggles icon_surprised.gif

step0nmi Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 3:43am
post #9 of 10

i would definitely put a deadline on THEIR sketch...what if you don't understand something they drew or can't figure out how to do that technique right away? if you need to order ingredients online I would add another week or two to the deadline. with the holidays coming up I would push them to get this done faster.

i assume they think everything finalized the three weeks before...but there can be soo much back and forth after a design is sketched up.

might I just add icon_twisted.gif WTH is wrong with them not liking ANY of your FIVE sketches! icon_rolleyes.gif does that seem odd to anyone else? because sketches don't just take 5 minutes to draw up...I had to put a kabosh on this one lady because she thought that's how I did business because I did it once for a design I couldn't find that I liked...told her I don't do that for every order...anyway icon_lol.gif

Kavrena Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 6:01am
post #10 of 10

THANK YOU stepOnmi, I even did the sketches in full color with notes of what could be different, because I know that what I see in my head isn't always what everyone else sees. They will be buying the ingredients and I already told them that I have to have EVERYTHING by the 3 week mark. I think some people are just hard headed, LOL. I really do need to emphasize the holiday shipping. Hope that you guys don't mind, but I will be paraphrasing what you are all saying.
Thank you everyone!!

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