2 Weeks Before Wedding, Bride Wants To Pay 1/2!!

Business By BuncoHappens Updated 24 Jul 2011 , 12:02pm by costumeczar

BuncoHappens Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:09am
post #1 of 56

Not sure if I'm asking for advice or just venting!!

I met with the bride and groom for a tasting in May. They said they would shop around and get back to me. A few weeks later, she called and wanted to use me. I told that she needed to reserve the date with me with $50 non-refundable retainer. She paid immediately through Paypal. Over the next week or so, we designed the cake, she approved it, but never emailed the signed contract back. I emailed her a few times requesting the contract and she would say the she is going to mail a portion of the balance and the contract. Of course, I never received anything.

My contract states that the balance must be paid 30 prior to the event. That date came and went. After a series of emails and calls, she leads me on a wild goose chase....check is in the mail, going to pay by Paypal, etc.

Now, we're 15 days prior to her wedding. I emailed her this morning and said that I must receive cash by the end of the day AND the contract ASAP or there will be no cake. I got a reply immediately and she asked if she could pay the $500 through Paypal. I said yes......and of course, she never paid.

The cake design requires lots of fresh flowers from her florist. I spoke to the florist yesterday and she did not order the flowers.

She just now left a message on my phone (at 11:00 at night!) that she would send (not sure whether mail or Paypal) $300 and they hope that that is OK. I have not responded to her yet....but it is NOT OK!!

SO....how do I handle this tomorrow???

55 replies
cakestyles Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:17am
post #2 of 56

Well I know how I would handle it. There would be no cake. She already missed her 30 day pay by date, so unless she handed me cash tomorrow I wouldn't make her cake.

I fear that if you accept the $300 that's all you'll get. It will be impossible to collect on the day of the wedding and even more impossible after the wedding.

I wouldn't do it unless she pays you in full, tomorrow, and in cash.

Good luck!

LKing12 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:21am
post #3 of 56

You told her what she needed to do and she didn't do it. Wish her the best and don't turn back.

SarahL4683 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:24am
post #4 of 56

Does she only want to pay $300 or is she planning on paying the other $200 at some point, too. Sounds like something is going on, maybe she ran out of money? Have you done business with her before? If she was a regular of mine, I'd prob take the 300 and make her sign a new contract stating 300 non-refundable (cus let's face it, this close to a wedding, she shouldn't get a refund lol) and she has 7 days to pay the balance. Maybe that would help her with the time she needs to gather the rest. If she only has 300, she doesnt get the same cake. Offer a simpler design or cake for only half her guests lol. That is of course assuming you still want to deal with her.... Otherwise, she clearly hasn't followed the contract, so you could just say goodbye. I bet she gets the money together, it's going to be too late to do anything besides sheet cakes at this point if she doesn't book with you...

angelleyes Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:24am
post #5 of 56

I agree with cakestyles.. She had more than enough time to handle this..Inless you have the money in hand don't do it. She sounds shadey and like she wasnts a discount

CakeCrystals Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:30am
post #6 of 56

I totally agree. Unless she pays in full there would be no cake. She's hoping that you (being a nice person) are making preparations (baking cakes, making decorations, etc.) to make this cake and will produce it on the day of the event. Don't do it unless you have the full balance in hand, in cash, or a cashiers check (money order acceptable), but no check.

Stand firm and don't let her talk you into doing a cake without payment.

YummyCreations Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:48am
post #7 of 56

I say she's a big girl. If she's old enough to get married then she's old enough to take responsibility for her actions. You are running a business which is why you have clients sign contracts that are binding. If she and her fiance can't afford all the wedding expenses then they need to either postpone their wedding until they can or downsize. What she shouldn't be doing is keep you hanging and not follow through on her word and expect you to deliver her a cake she hasn't paid for.

CreativeCakesbyMichelle Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:59am
post #8 of 56

No money, no cake. End of story. She knew your policies regarding payment and chose to ignore them. Unless she gives you the full $500 in cash tomorrow, no cake for her and she loses the deposit. Let her get sheet cakes from walmart. It definitely sounds to me like she either doesn't have the money or is trying to screw you by essentially giving herself a discount (by only paying $300 now and never paying the balance). Stick to your contract and don't give in. You'll just regret it in the end if you give in because you'll end up spending all that time and energy on a cake that you're only getting paid 60% for. If my (theoretical bc I'm in nursing school) boss called and said she wanted me to work all week but was only going to pay me 60% of my normal wages would I show up? Heck no!

aundrea Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:22am
post #9 of 56

no cash - means- no cake. its that simple. i would tell her either by email or phone that she didnt make the deadlines for payment and unfortunately you will not be making her cake.
believe me if she wanted the cake she would have met all your deadlines.
it never ceases to amaze me how people can think they can control your business.
can you imagine going into walmart or any other store and tell them what you want to pay and when you want to pay it.
its unheard of-the same should apply to your business.
end it tomorrow and move on. and be very thankful that you are done with the nonsense.
good luck-would love to hear how it turns out.

shebellas Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:28am
post #10 of 56

I would NOT do this cake...you shouldn't have to chase the bride around to fulfill the order IF you get her $300 in check form, I would send it back to her with a letter explaining that not only did she not pay enough, she did not meet the obligations set forth at your initial meeting and you're unable to accomodate her at such a late date. If the payment comes through paypal, I'd refund the money and email (as well as mail) her basically the same thing...

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 6:06am
post #11 of 56

all of the advice given is spot on. I had a similar situation in which the client was told if I didn't have payment by end of the day, I would not show up with their catering. I got a phone call and arrangements to have the payment hand-delivered the next day.

The client does not dictate the payment plans. You do.

full payment ... in cash ... by tomorrow ... or she will not have a wedding cake. Period. anthing she MIGHT have mailed (I heard THAT line, too. years later, I'm STILL waiting for that money order to show up!) will be returned to her when it arrives in your mailbox.

I always found it irritatingly amusing to get a message of "I've put the partial payment in the mail .... is that ok?" darlin' the time to ask "is that ok?" is BEFORE you put it in the mail. Asking me after the fact just proves you're jerking my chain! icon_mad.gif

KellyJo3 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 1:06pm
post #12 of 56

I personally would tell her that the 300.00 is not ok and that since she did not pay the full amount as well as sign the contract that she will have to find another baker. Also I would not refund her the 50.00, as that was a retainer fee and I am sure you had to turn customers away that would have paid what they were suppose to. I am willing to bet there is no payment in the mail and if there is and if she meant she was just paying 300.00 now and the rest later, you probably will be stuck making a 500.00 cake at a 200.00 discount.

I mean can we go into a store and demand to pay only half of our total because we are low on funds? Wouldn't happen. I am sorry you have to deal with this, but really it's not your fault they are low on funds, and that they have been so disorganized. You did more then your part on trying to get them to get their crap together. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

gatorcake Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 1:30pm
post #13 of 56

I am all for second chances, but you have given them and then some. Frankly you have given her ample opportunity to meet your contract. Your reply should be I have cancelled your order. You should cancel it even if she shows up with $500 in cash.

Yes it is lost business but this is what you risk when you set hard deadlines---what is the point of having them if in the end you are going to constantly move them? Sure I can see giving a person another chance but lets sees--didn't sign your contract, has led you on a run-around (multiple chances here), and did not pay when you negotiated a new payment deadline. Time to show her their are consequences for her actions. Walk away even if she tries to pay you.

cakegrandma Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 1:39pm
post #14 of 56

I would call as well as email her, to have a paper trail, and let her know that if you do not have the contract and $500.00 in cash by xx time then you will not be making the cake.. That is what we have contracts for and it sounds as though, like others stated, she is running out of money. How many other of the vendors has she tried this with? If you have already purchased ingredients, you can use them on other cakes. An old Chinese saying comes to mind in this case, paraphrased of course, "NO money, no cake" period.
Let us know what happens.
evelyn

cakestyles Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 1:50pm
post #15 of 56

The fact that she never signed your contract means there was never an order anyway.

If you can book another cake for that date I would. This woman has no contractual agreement and you owe her nothing.

On another note...what a way to start a marriage. They're scrambling for $$$ to pay for a cake at the last minute you'd think a lightbulb would go off telling them to get their finances in order before they unite.

It ain't gonna get any easier once they're married, that's for sure.

dldbrou Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:21pm
post #16 of 56

My thoughts are if she does come up with the cash, you can bet she tries to get a refund after the wedding.

Simply tell her that you have a business with a contract for a reason. It is not only to protect you, but your customer as well. Since she has chosen to disregard your request then she has chosen to loose your services. The deposit will not be refunded, since you had to refuse other orders. She needs to understands that you are not happy about having to request over and over for the contract and payment which neither were provided by her.

Thank you for considering my services.

Lili5768 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:23pm
post #17 of 56

Totally agree with everyone!

My thoughts are that this couple is brazenly trying to pay you only the $300. They didn't even let you know when the other $200 were coming!

I would reply as soon as possible telling her that you are sorry but that the terms of the agreement were such and such and that as much as you would like to accommodate them with a payment plan, (which they conveniently haven't offered you anyway!), at this point in time you cannot.

Be very sweet but firm, letting them know in no uncertain terms that the deadline for the full payment is today! Otherwise you must consider the transaction off and wishing them all the best etc.

Actually by now I wouldn't even want to do anything for these type of people, because who knows what they come up with next and try to ruin your reputation or whatever.

Sorry about this for you, but when you deal with people you see all sorts of stuff. That's why I'm a little afraid of doing this as a business yet icon_sad.gif

jenmat Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:48pm
post #18 of 56

Walk away, don't give them any outs or "have it by the end of the day." Just email back and say you're done.

mommachris Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:31pm
post #19 of 56

What I'd like to say is ...

Dear Not Ready to be married Bride,
I understand times are difficult and money is tight. However, if you only hand me $300 dollars I will only make you $300 worth of a wedding cake. Your guests can have dessert "while supplies last'.
As for your promises of the check being in the mail, well frankly your word has been broken so many times it doesn't hold water anymore.
Cash ( the whole part, no fractions ) in my hand by 5 pm tomorrow or you are going to need the number for Walmart's bakery. By the way they are going to want the money up front, too.
We bakers are just funny like that.

Serious woman who is running a bakery not a discount store.

aligotmatt Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:40pm
post #20 of 56

I agree with everyone. You call her, don't email, say, "I received your message last night about the amount. As stated on the contract I sent you, the entire payment it due 30 days prior to your event. I've worked with you over the last 2 weeks to try to ensure that you still have a wedding cake. As it is now 2 weeks from the date, if I do not have the full amount in cash by the end of today, I will no longer be able to make your cake."

I had a bride doing a similar thing, and when I called her she clearly was screening my calls. So I left her that message pretty much exactly. Got a call 10 minutes later and said she could be here in an hour with the full amount in cash.

If she doesn't pay you, then move on. I know it sucks because we often depend on the money, I think that's why a lot of us are pushovers when it comes to late payments. It's not as much about the brides, but more about the electric bills... however, being firm and decisive, and in control of your business, will make her either pay you, or let you drop the drama.

Occther Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:02pm
post #21 of 56

My contract states 30 days in advance - contract signed and entire amount due. 28 days before the wedding sent the contract to both the bride and the MOG (who was supposed to pay for the cake) with "cancelled" across the contract - due to non-payment. Got a very upset call from MOG - who said "check was in the mail" but it was too late in the evening and bank was closed. (Oh - and I never received the check.) Got a nasty email from bride calling me b i t c h (takes one to know one!!) In my case, I needed to order some of the supplies and three weeks was just cutting it too short.

Walk away and wish the couple well. They are going to need it!!

JessiesCreations Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:29pm
post #22 of 56

Too many red flags with this customer, do not make this cake.

BuncoHappens Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 7:45pm
post #23 of 56

Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll let you know how it turns out!

KarolynAndrea Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 7:53pm
post #24 of 56

I feel like if you do get the cash and make the cake, she's going to have problems with it anyway. I wouldn't do it. You gave her enough chances! Good luck, let us know how it turns out!

johnson6ofus Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 8:52pm
post #25 of 56

I want something, I pay for it.

Bridezilla wants something, she pays for it.

Your business, your rules.

PERIOD.

Good luck, and let us know. Seems like a "rush fee" may apply if any cash comes your way for the "almost" contracted cake. thumbs_up.gif

MyDiwa Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 10:07pm
post #26 of 56

My biggest concern about this is that you don't have a signed contract. YOU DON'T HAVE A CONTRACT!!! Anything in that contract that protects you is useless because it doesn't exist. You've allowed the terms stated in that non-binding contract to be waived so anything else can also just be "amended" after the fact to her benefit. You've been generous and I think you should now stop and protect your business. Never mind that she wants to pay $300 - the due date for the $500 is long past and she didn't ever sign the contract so you have not made a sale and you have no obligations to each other. You're done.

costumeczar Posted 24 Jul 2011 , 12:09am
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

The fact that she never signed your contract means there was never an order anyway.

.




Yesssss......I see so many people on here talking about chasing customers down for one thing or another. If you don't have a signed contract in your hand you shouldn't accept a deposit. If they send a contract back to you without signatures, send it back and don't cash the check or withdraw the paypal payment until you have the signatures on it. Here's a blog entry I wrote about this recently. If you search my blog for the word "contract" a bunch of articles will come up...

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/06/contract-talk-how-do-you-handle-non.html

Kitagrl Posted 24 Jul 2011 , 12:22am
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

The fact that she never signed your contract means there was never an order anyway.

.



Yesssss......I see so many people on here talking about chasing customers down for one thing or another. If you don't have a signed contract in your hand you shouldn't accept a deposit. If they send a contract back to you without signatures, send it back and don't cash the check or withdraw the paypal payment until you have the signatures on it. Here's a blog entry I wrote about this recently. If you search my blog for the word "contract" a bunch of articles will come up...

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/06/contract-talk-how-do-you-handle-non.html




Question about this.... I generally take a deposit first as that reserves the date. Then I do the contract. Sometimes, if the cake is many months in advance, I give them leeway in not having all the details down pat until its closer to date. Most people do not know final head counts or final design 6 months in advance...okay not most, but some.

However recently I have run into a snag, I have a deposit for a bride, and she has narrowed her cake down to two designs, both of which I've quoted...but then she has not sent me her final word and we still do not have the contract done because of it. I've reminded them a time or two and this week I'm on vacation but happened to realize her final payment is due in two weeks, and we still have no contract, because we still have no final design decision by the bride.

Basically she'll end up owing the final balance at the same time she finalizes the contract and it will probably work out just fine, but I HATE babysitting clients and nagging them to make their decisions....so...

How do you finalize a contract with a deposit when not all the details have been decided yet? And if I make them wait til they've decided, they may lose out on the chance to reserve the date....

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2011 , 12:27am
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

How do you finalize a contract with a deposit when not all the details have been decided yet? And if I make them wait til they've decided, they may lose out on the chance to reserve the date....


I was always able to do everything at the consultation. On the rare occasion that I had a bride who just couldn't decide on details (this happened about 3 times that I can recall), I'd plug in "TBD by mm/dd/yyyy". This "TBD" info never affected my pricing, though, so if it affects yours, you'd most likely need a clause to stipulate "final price to be determined when design is finalized, no later than mm/dd/yyyy."

artscallion Posted 24 Jul 2011 , 12:28am
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

The fact that she never signed your contract means there was never an order anyway.

.



Yesssss......I see so many people on here talking about chasing customers down for one thing or another. If you don't have a signed contract in your hand you shouldn't accept a deposit. If they send a contract back to you without signatures, send it back and don't cash the check or withdraw the paypal payment until you have the signatures on it. Here's a blog entry I wrote about this recently. If you search my blog for the word "contract" a bunch of articles will come up...

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/06/contract-talk-how-do-you-handle-non.html




Absolutely correct. A deposit is on a contract. You can't make a deposit on a contract if you don't have one. She'd be making a payment on an agreement that doesn't exist. So a deposit becomes meaningless. But if you take the money without a contract, you are setting up false expectations on both of your parts. It falsely implies all kinds of things to both of you that are not enforceable. It's a recipe for problems.

Of course her deadline passed last night. Leaving you a message at 11pm does not extend the deadline another day. If it were me, I would call her and send a followup email informing her that her order has been canceled. End of story.

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