Bad Bridal Behavior

Business By AmysCakesNCandies Updated 20 Mar 2011 , 5:27am by cake_architect

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:42pm
post #1 of 26

OK so this past weekend I had probably the longest hour of my life, it was a wedding cake consult from H**L.

The bride, groom , MOB & "planner"- aka Aunt of the bride first of all show up 20 min late. The groom mumbles so bad I can't understand a word he is saying and the bride is acting like she has been drug there against her will. First I think it might go OK when the bride pulls out some pictures of cakes she likes... Ok I'm thinking "at least she is prepared"- well that was pointless because she shows me a pic and the "planner" says she wants a cake like that, apparently the bride can't speak for herself.. Ok so I ask a few questions and give them a round about price... then the groom starts throwning out all kinds of different cake ideas... I am trying to address his ideas and the plannner keeps cutting him off, meanwhile the bride says nothing, just keeps looking down at the table. So I suggest we look at some pics- during the slide show the mother keeps getting up and walking around the room, the bride is staring at the table and the "planner" is texting and took a phone call (didn't boother to excuse herself from the table). Slide show over and I am trying to coax information about what they want out of theese people and the only person who apparently is deciding this stuf- "THe planner" takes 3 more phone calls leaving me talking to no one or sitting there quietly waiting. To top it off the groom tasted one bite of 1 of the 3 samples and no one else tasted anything. By far the longest hour of my career, and an utter waste of my time, product and effort.

So this whole thing has inspired me to address tasting and consult ettiquete in my next blog post... so I would love to hear your input/ experience with bad bridal (or family) behavior at tastings/ consults so I can cover the gamut of bad behavior
Can't wait to hear the terrible tales icon_surprised.gif

25 replies
EmmyNoah Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:57pm
post #2 of 26

I am sorry this whole situation happened to you. I am very fortunate, I have never had a bad consult - at least not one to date, so I cannot give you a horror story of my own. But I must say, you were very patient, because I would have stopped the whole consult once things got out of hand, stood up, thanked the folks for coming and invited them to come back when they were serious about ordering a cake and not looking to waste time and opened the door so they could leave. That is totally disrespectful of you, your time and your talent.

amyoungbl00d5 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:57pm
post #3 of 26

LOL Sorry for your terrible experience....But I love how you are turning this around! Can't wait to see this! You will get a lot of response from it! thumbs_up.gif

MikeRowesHunny Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:59pm
post #4 of 26

Start charging for tastings, at least you'll get some recompense for your wasted time then!

Tclanton Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:03pm
post #5 of 26

The planner was one word - RUDE!!! Poor bride - maybe she should just think about running off to Vegas!!! Sorry that you had such an awful experience - hope it never happens again for you.

LKing12 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:14pm
post #6 of 26

This give me another idea about the consult. Ask everyone to turn off cell phones. You have to in the doctor's office, church why not during my time. Phone calls are too distracting.

Buttercream_warrior Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:19pm
post #7 of 26

i always charge for my tastings so if they dont order from me then it wasnt a complete waste of time and if they do order from me i take the price that i charged for the tasting off of their cake order providing its more than 200. i havnt had that happen to me yet but i really hate when a whole crew of ppl come to a really dont need all these opinions and especially if the bride has no mind of her own and in your case no tounge to speak..ugh..i feel bad that this happened to you but your doing good to chalk it up to a learning experience..omg i hate it when im sitting accross from someone texting..your time is important too and it makes me feel like the other person is more important and you can wait till they are done,RUDE AND MANNERLESS.

StacyN Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:21pm
post #8 of 26

That is horrible. As a wedding planner myself I have and would never do that. Its just rude. I leave my phone off whenever I accompany a bride to any vendor appointments. I agree with MikeRowesHunny "start charging for tastings" All the bakeries my brides have used have charged for tastings. That could depend on your area though, I'm in Southern California. But I would check around and see in your area. Sounds to me like this bride either doesnt care about the cake or the wedding. So strange for a bride to just sit there and not say a word.

bobwonderbuns Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 26

One time (and only once) I had a consult from Hades and I simply packed up and said "when you figure out what you want, let me know, I'm available until this date..." and walked out. Forget it, it's not worth my time!! And guess what -- low and behold -- two months later she was begging me to do the cake (which had just doubled in price!) icon_twisted.gif

cakedout Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:31pm
post #10 of 26

whew! Reminds me of the few bad ones I've had in my day...including my very first consult! icon_mad.gif Spent almost two hours going over ideas, doing cake lay-outs with dummies, one point MOB actually said she didn't believe me that an 18" square cake would serve 100 (or whatever it was). icon_confused.gif Hubby wasn't home, but when I told him about the consult, he said he would have escorted them out! I wish I had- they took my ideas and went elsewhere. tapedshut.gif

I had a similar experience as yours once- the daughter of one of my 'regulars'. Daughter seemed like she didn't want to be there, let alone get married; FI was a jerk; MOB was simply embarressed. The wedding was called off. thumbs_up.gif

Had another Bride that brought along a huge entourage of sisters, MIL, aunts, whomever(didn't tell me).....she was totally indecisive with an overbearing got nasty between them until the Bride was in tears! icon_sad.gificon_confused.gif I gave them only my "2 cent" spiel with a rough estimate on cost and told them they could re-schedule when she was more ready to make a decision. They never called back. thumbs_up.gif

And of course, there are always the dozen or so consults where the Bride brought along her baby/kid(s)! icon_confused.gif

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:48pm
post #11 of 26

I appreciate the input about charging, I do not charge for tastings and it doesn't bother me no to. I consider it as a cost of doing business, and it is not a high cost at that. So the $$ involved have never been a concern for me and i have no plans to start charging anytime soon. But I am just astonished at the complete lack of general coutesy that some people seem to have. Theese little things like not answering your cell phone and being polite that you wouldn't think you have you remind people about.... but alas you do! Oh and family members that refer to themselves as "the wedding planner" just drive me crazy, especially when its aparent they do not have the slightest clue about it.

kakeladi Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:48pm
post #12 of 26

Yes Amy, I think it's time you start charging for consults *AND* limit the # of people that can be in attendance. What RUDE people you encountered! icon_sad.gif As other said, charge - maybe $50 - then take that off the order when they do order their cake from you.

When I had my shop I would give out pieces of cake that were 'full' slices - oh so nice & pretty on a pretty plate w/a 'real' forkicon_smile.gif After throwing out 99% of the cake - they'd take maybe one or two bites -I went to pieces only about 1x2x2 - just enought for a bite or two on foam plates & plastic fork. Almost always I gave 3 flavors for them to choose from. & one of those three would have fondant icing so they could taste that. (Most of my orders were buttercream).

jade8 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:51pm
post #13 of 26

Wow. How did we ever get by before cell phones? Also is it me or is being rude and pushy the norm these days. So disrespectful of them. Hopefully they dont call you back. Do you really want to be dealing with them after seeing all that?

EmmyNoah Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:54pm
post #14 of 26

Amy - I also think you should start charging for your consult. I think it's great that you had not felt the need to do so, but I can guarantee you that when folks know that money is coming out of their pockets for a consult, they will behave differently. Right now, it's no big deal to them because it costs them nothing, but it does cost you something - even if minor as far as financially, but costs you more in your time, which is worth money as well.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:03pm
post #15 of 26

I just don't see where charging for consults will magically give people manners. My gripe is not with the consults themseves but the way people act.

And yes jade8, unfortunately rude behavior does seem to have become the norm

LKing12 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:12pm
post #16 of 26

Charging for tastings doesn't make people polite-but it does make them serious about doing business and not wasting your time.

EmmyNoah Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:13pm
post #17 of 26

When folks have to dish out money for something, they give it a little more attention and respect. Depending on who you are dealing with, it may work or to your point, it may not.

cakedout Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:33pm
post #18 of 26

I can't believe that you folks haven't had any bad consults! Sheesh! icon_confused.gif In my 18 years in business I've had my share of doozies and "no-shows"!

I never charged for my tastings either, Amy. Charging $50 isn't going to make them suddenly nicer.

Babs1964 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:45pm
post #19 of 26

I think this is so sad that this has become such a widespread issue! PARENTS teach your children from little that reality TV ISN"T REALITY! The world does not revolve around them and their bad behaviour!
Similar thread on here yesterday, this is much too commonplace and apparently people are willing to accept it- I'am not, don't accept rudeness from my kids and won't accept it from yours either. Thats why in yesterdays thread we were trying to come up with a one liner that simply states bad behaviour is unacceptable.

costumeczar Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:43am
post #20 of 26

I don't charge for tastings because it isn't something that's done around here. I don't think that charging would help in that kind of situation, it would give you something for your time, but it would also make them feel like they are paying you so you have to do what they want.

I limit the number of people at a tasting to three, the bride, groom and one other person,. If the planner insists on coming then they can decide whether to leave mom or the groom home or leave the planner out.

You need to take charge of the appointment, and that just comes with learning how to deal with the occasional idiot. Most people are totally normal and cooperative, but you'll run into a group like that one every now and then, so it happens. When it does happen, you need to take charge and redirect the conversation. Tell (don't ask) the planner to turn the phone off or leave to take her calls, direct your questions to the bride and cut the planner off if she tries to butt in etc. etc.

It sounds like the planner wasn't very professional to begin with, so there's no reason to defer to that. If they end up thinking that you're rude for taking charge, good, maybe they'll go bother someone else and leave you alone.

And do I need to say (I hope I don't)that if this group tells you that they want to hire you, you should be booked for their date.

indydebi Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 5:40am
post #21 of 26

ditto costume's comments. taking control of the appointment is important and it comes with experience. A few more brides like this and your tolerance level will be nonexistent and you'll have no trouble at all telling them to hit the door! icon_biggrin.gif

While customer service is #1 for all of us, there comes a point where we stop being "nice" and start being in charge. Push the literature and info toward them and suggest, "Why don't you take this home and come back when you're actually ready to make a decision. I feel like you're in information overload right now."

I also limited mine to 4 people .... bride, groom, plus 2.

And wedding "planners" who are just "relatives in charge" I would ignore. I mean turn my back to them and talk ONLY to the bride. I would not give friend-relative-planners any credibility at all. If they didn't have a business card, they didn't merit my attention. Period.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 12:44pm
post #22 of 26

OH yeah, my calendar is suddendy "full" sorry- I already pplanned on that icon_wink.gif

costumeczar Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:19pm
post #23 of 26
Originally Posted by AmysCakesNCandies

OH yeah, my calendar is suddendy "full" sorry- I already pplanned on that icon_wink.gif

heh heh heh!

nhbaker Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:04pm
post #24 of 26

It seems like most of the replies here missed your whole request for input on their own bad consult experiences! So I'm happy to share a couple of my horror stories with you!

First off, I do consults (wedding cake only) from my home (which is difficult in of itself!) and I also charge $40 per couple and $10 for each additional, no kids! The $40 is credited of final balance of cake if ordered, the rest is mine.

I've got MANY stories but here's a few that come to mind:

I once had a couple that came and brought the in-laws. The FOB couldn't sit still and had to "wander". He walked around my entire downstairs, into my laundry room, and then proceeded to open my fridge, etc. In between trying to talk to his daughter about her cake, I had keep getting up to see where he was. I finally had to put down and tell him to go SIT when he tried to go upstairs. The rest of the group laughed it off. I was appauled!

Had another MOB that asked me about the ingredients I used in my cakes. Told me I should use only "fresh" lemons (uh, don't have many citrus trees in New England!). She was going to "send" me some from California. She also said I used too much sugar in my cakes and then proceeded to tell me her recipe. Her daughter just kept rolling her eyes. I sensed things weren't going anywhere so I just looked at the bride directly and asked if she'd like me to contact here later. We ended up working things out on our own.

My most recent was a young couple who brought MOB. By young I mean the bride to be just turned 18. The poor thing couldn't get a word in edgewise as mom just took control. My first impression was the girl was too young to be getting married (I think he's in his early 20's) but since mom was a child bride hereself. .... I tried my best to just listen to what the bride wanted and later sent here a sketch, etc. and yup, you guessed it, she had me send it to mom to see what she thought!

TillieBK Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 5:01am
post #25 of 26

I am a licensed event planner by trade (key word--licensed...if someone tells you that again just ask if they are licensed--it is certain to shut them up) and I have to say that I have had more than my share of those brides. You learn how to deal with them very quickly. I am adamant about only taking the bride and groom to the tasting because it is THEIR wedding (and that is really the only part the groom enjoys LOL)! I sit and allow the cake artist to talk and get the info they need in order to create that perfect cake, I take notes, let the couple ask them the questions, may unobtrusively intervene with other questions if necessary, enjoy the tasting, and do my follow up.

As a planner, my cake artists/bakers do not charge for a consult. But if you are dealing with just brides and feel as though it is necessary, I might suggest that you charge a non-refundable fee for the consultation--maybe a low $25 for a max of 3 people and if they end up ordering their cake from you then you can credit it back towards their final payment? However, with this policy you might lose several legitimate clients this way.

My advice is to be sure to set limitations for people who enter your home. If you are a licensed professional baker doing business out of your home you should have an area that portrays such if you do not already.

Good luck!!!

cake_architect Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 5:27am
post #26 of 26
Originally Posted by nhbaker

I once had a couple that came and brought the in-laws. The FOB couldn't sit still and had to "wander". He walked around my entire downstairs, into my laundry room, and then proceeded to open my fridge, etc. In between trying to talk to his daughter about her cake, I had keep getting up to see where he was. I finally had to put down and tell him to go SIT when he tried to go upstairs. The rest of the group laughed it off. I was appauled!

no no no! wandering around the house- how horrible is that! i would have been following him around too lol!

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