Can't Take Wedding Order I Feel Bad

Business By imanah Updated 18 Aug 2011 , 5:39pm by cakesbycathy

imanah Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:00am
post #1 of 32

Just a vent, I had a tasting with a really nice couple last month. There wedding is in October. During the tasting (July 20) she said she would get back to me within the week. I did not hear back from her until Aug 9.

I told her I have a already booked up October and she is upset with me. I physically can't complete this order if I even try it would be crap becuase I am already fully committed.

This is what she wrote,

I must admit I am taken aback. Obviously we did not make ourselves clear enough at the tasting that we DID indeed want you, but were not yet definite on the aesthetics of the cake.
I thought you knew we wanted you as our baker, but perhaps you hear that all of the time.

I honestly do not know what to do now, because you were the only baker we both liked. We were ready to make our payment and everything. Is there nothing that can be done?




I just feel bad. Should I just get over myself? I feel like I am wrong for some reason. I never push customers to book me right away, I am a go with the flow person. I just feel crappy now because I truly can not help her.

Anyone else in the same situation?

31 replies
all4cake Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:26am
post #2 of 32

How were you to know, I'll get back to you within the week meant, we want you as our baker?

I'm not in the same situation but, I don't push either. I do mention the date isn't their's until the booking fee is paid though.

If I were in the same situation, I would feel badly, not because I couldn't accept the order but because they dragged their feet and lost the date...possibly by assuming you knew that I'll get back to you within the week meant, we want you as our baker maybe?

m_willford Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:33am
post #3 of 32

I wouldn't feel badly. It's their fault that they didn't firm things up. They could have done the contract and deposit, for sure booked the date... with just the basics of the cake. Then nailed down design specifics a little later with the understanding that some changes may increase the cost of the cake.

Not really your problem. And you wouldn't do justice to the cake anyway being so busy. Other people booked in time, they deserve your full attention. icon_smile.gif How awesome you're so wanted though!

mommachris Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:34am
post #4 of 32

Don't feel bad. You weren't their baker until they signed a contract and gave you money.

Just like the dress I tried on and loved last week isn't mine cause I didn't take it to the counter and buy it.
If it's not there when I go back on Saturday, I'm not going to yell at the lady at Kohls...not her problem.


Mommachris

mommachris Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:37am
post #5 of 32

Actually, this is good life lesson for them.
I mean they can't just look at a house and expect it will be 'held' for them until they decide to commit.
And the car they drove last month may not be available if they don't take care of business then.
If they are grown up enough to get married then they need to act like grown-ups and not think that by yelling "dibs on the baker" that they get the date.

mommachris

imanah Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 5:38am
post #6 of 32

Thank you for your replies. I just am sensitive (maybe too sensitive) to peoples needs and I forget I am actually running a business. Well at least she has until October to find someone icon_smile.gif


Thanks foe making me feel better and not crazy icon_smile.gif

JanH Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 7:55am
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by imanah

Just a vent, I had a tasting with a really nice couple last month. There wedding is in October. During the tasting (July 20) she said she would get back to me within the week. I did not hear back from her until Aug 9.




Think indydebi has that one covered. icon_smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"Dear Bride: Just a reminder that I do not show you booked on my calendar. When you are ready to book your event, give me a call so we can get your deposit on the books and your baking time on the calendar! Talk to you later!"



http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-7052058.html#7052058

HTH

cakesbycathy Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 10:53am
post #8 of 32

You should definitely NOT feel bad!

This is their own fault and I'm sure she knows it. If she really wanted to book you then she should have made damn sure she got her deposit in. I wouldn't feel the need to respond at all unless you want to reiterate to her that when she had her consult you told her a deposit was needed to hold the date and wish her luck finding another baker.

cakesbycathy Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 10:55am
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris

Actually, this is good life lesson for them.
I mean they can't just look at a house and expect it will be 'held' for them until they decide to commit.
And the car they drove last month may not be available if they don't take care of business then.
If they are grown up enough to get married then they need to act like grown-ups and not think that by yelling "dibs on the baker" that they get the date.

mommachris




I think this is great!!
Plus, good for you for knowing your limits and not taking her order on just because she tried to make you feel bad thumbs_up.gif

suzylynn58 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 11:14am
post #10 of 32

Definitely don't feel bad. I don't know what your booking requirements are, but for me, I make it clear that they are not considered booked until I have their deposit. I don't do the contract till closer to the wedding in the event they want to change something, but I tell them that unless the deposit is paid, I don't put them on my calendar.

If you informed them of this, then you have not reason to feel bad.

artscallion Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 12:14pm
post #11 of 32

I would email her back saying, "you would have needed to put a deposit down in order to hold the date. I'm not physically able to accommodate your order now. Sorry for the misunderstanding." If she is able to reply with, "why didn't you tell me that I needed a deposit to hold the date?" Then I would look at that question seriously and decide if you are communicating clearly enough during the tasting. If she is not able to reply with that question because you did make that clear to her, I wouldn't worry about it.

SweetSuzieQ Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 12:49pm
post #12 of 32

I absolutely wouldn't feel bad. They took their time. When I got married, hubby and I knew as soon as we tasted our bakers samples during our initial consult that we wanted her so, we left a deosit on the spot figuring we would work out the details later. We just wanted to be sure she didn't book up.

Baker_Rose Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 7:23pm
post #13 of 32

If someone just wants time to "work out the aesthetics" then they will give you the deposit and THEN get back to you with the final details. I agree with the others, it was their feet dragging and NOT your fault.

Tami icon_smile.gif

ShandraB Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 7:59pm
post #14 of 32

I would not feel bad about this at all.

The only advice I would offer is to consider what you can do to prevent any misunderstandings in the future. I am not a fan of the "hard sell" either, but maybe your could reflect on how the conversation went and IF you were unclear.

Perhaps in the future you could plan to emphasize the fact the the date is not held until you receive a signed contract and deposit, or whatever your policy is.

I'm not trying to criticize, just help. icon_rolleyes.gif

howboutbake Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 11:57pm
post #15 of 32

Definitely don't feel bad.

They could have been baker shopping the whole time and decided that you were the best on August 9th.

At the very least she should have contacted you when she said she would, even if she wasn't ready to commit.

nicoles0419 Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 12:14am
post #16 of 32

I always feel bad when I have to tell people I cant do thier cake. I will streach myself thin just to fit someone in because I feel bad. Should I feel bad that they waited the week before to ask me for a cake and I'm already booked..... no, but I still do.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 12:22am
post #17 of 32

I had a similar thing happen recently. A lady at work asked me to make a house with a black lab and a multi-colored cat. I really wanted to do it because it was for twin boys. It would have been fun. But she only gave me four days notice. I work full time and I had a cake to do for my mother plus plans for Wednesday evening. I told her I couldn't do it and now she's snubbing me at work. It was hurtful but oh well. I have a life too that is not cake-centered (that's hard to believe I know!).

Lili5768 Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 1:08am
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by howboutbake

Definitely don't feel bad.

They could have been baker shopping the whole time and decided that you were the best on August 9th.

At the very least she should have contacted you when she said she would, even if she wasn't ready to commit.




These are also my thoughts exactly! I think they shopped around. I also don't like the tone of her e mail, as if trying to make you feel guilty. Bad news.

Just e mail her back and politely but firmly remind her that she was to call you sooner, and that you feel you can't possibly do justice to her cake as is your custom, and of course offering your services for any future ocasions they may have.

But rest assured, she shopped around.

artscallion Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 1:10am
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

I had a similar thing happen recently. A lady at work asked me to make a house with a black lab and a multi-colored cat. I really wanted to do it because it was for twin boys. It would have been fun. But she only gave me four days notice. I work full time and I had a cake to do for my mother plus plans for Wednesday evening. I told her I couldn't do it and now she's snubbing me at work. It was hurtful but oh well. I have a life too that is not cake-centered (that's hard to believe I know!).




I can relate to this, Annie. I have a coworker I occasionally do cakes for. About a month ago he asked me to do his wedding cake for last weekend. He seemed shocked when I told him I was out of town that weekend for another wedding and I couldn't. He was all like, "but I already told my fiance I could get a great cake from you." and "can't you make it and freeze it?" and on and on like I was the only baker in the world.

Now all week since his wedding he's been passive~aggressively poking at me about how everything was great at the wedding...except the cake! wink wink nudge nudge, as if I did something wrong to ruin his wedding. It's really getting old.

If people want a custom order caked, they need to arrange for it in time.

Mexx Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 1:38am
post #20 of 32

Perhaps as a way of letting them down nicely, you can offer them some advice about another baker that may be able to meet their needs and price range.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 11:31am
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Quote:


I can relate to this, Annie. I have a coworker I occasionally do cakes for. About a month ago he asked me to do his wedding cake for last weekend. He seemed shocked when I told him I was out of town that weekend for another wedding and I couldn't. He was all like, "but I already told my fiance I could get a great cake from you." and "can't you make it and freeze it?" and on and on like I was the only baker in the world.

Now all week since his wedding he's been passive~aggressively poking at me about how everything was great at the wedding...except the cake! wink wink nudge nudge, as if I did something wrong to ruin his wedding. It's really getting old.

If people want a custom order caked, they need to arrange for it in time.




SHAME ON YOU for not being in two places at the same time. Maybe we should invest in some holograms to help us out with that.

Sorry this happened to you. I guess people think we can just bang out a cake in two hours with a couple of days notice. People just don't get it.

Lili5768 Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 11:53am
post #22 of 32

[quote="artscallion"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill



Now all week since his wedding he's been passive~aggressively poking at me about how everything was great at the wedding...except the cake! wink wink nudge nudge, as if I did something wrong to ruin his wedding. It's really getting old.

If people want a custom order caked, they need to arrange for it in time.




Tell him that you'll be more than happy to make his baby shower cake, BUT with enough notice to properly do it! icon_wink.gif

cakelady45 Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 1:23pm
post #23 of 32

I too, know exactly what you are feeling. I started my business in 2007 and did nothing but the cake business that year. Then I had to go back to my full time job in 2008 (not cake related) and ever since then I have only about 4 hours each night to do cakes. I have built a great business and clientele where I live and work but I turn soooo much business away because I can't do it full time! I HATE having to turn business away but you know what....you are only one person and you can't kill yourself! I have three grown childen and 3 grandchildren and sadly I don't get very much family time...I'm always working at one or the other of my jobs.... I actually started taking only 3-4 cakes per week now (unless I have a wedding cake, then that's the only order I take for that week), but it just wears you thin... I still love doing cakes but you have to try to keep your priorities in order too! Good Luck and God Bless!

costumeczar Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 1:37pm
post #24 of 32

This happens relatively frequently with me...I tell people not to wait too long or their date may be gone. I've had people say "I definitely want to hire you" then I never hear from them again. I've also had people who wait too long to send the deposit and their date is gone. I tell themt hat I don't hold dates without deposits, so if they want to drag their heels that's on them. Don't feel bad about it.

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 2:41pm
post #25 of 32

I have made that mistake before where I have booked 3 clients in one weekend and it was BEYOND stressful for me! I didn't sleep all weekend and was worried that I wouldn't finish on time. Not only was I exhausted and doubtful of the quality of my work but the days of the deliveries since I was so tired and jittery I dropped 60 cupcakes on the floor! Thank God the client was so easy going about it and we were able to come up with solution.

Moral of the story? If too many projects will compromise the quality of your work then you shouldn't take on too many. You should explain that to the client and encourage her and ALL you clients to always put a deposit for their weekend. Even if the design of the cake is not clear.

Don't feel bad you are doing the right thing!

QTCakes1 Posted 13 Aug 2011 , 5:21pm
post #26 of 32

It does sound like she is trying to make you feel bad, but I think she was still shopping too. I would remind her that you don't hold dates without a deposit and that she said she would get back withyou in a week, when she didn't, you assumed she hired someone else. Kind of like putting the ball back in her court, cause I am sure she is going to try to make you feel bad again.

cai0311 Posted 17 Aug 2011 , 3:45pm
post #27 of 32

I understand why you feel bad. I too would feel bad for the bride. That being said, I don't think the situation is your fault. If she really wanted to book you she would have called/emailed earlier to tell you so and take the necessary steps to officially hire you.

I wasn't at the consultation so I don't know what was said or not said but make sure you stress that bookings are a first come first serve and an order is NOT booked until a signed contract AND deposit is received by you.

I only take 1 wedding per weekend. As a result I book the months of April - October really fast. Every couple I meet with walks out knowing that I am having consulations with other couples for their same date and will continue to do so until someone books that date. If the couple wants to book on the spot I have them sign the contract and give me a check right then. On the rare occassion they don't pay then (sometimes their parents are paying for the wedding but the parent didn't come so no check book) I send the contract with them and tell them they have 1 WEEK to send the signed contract and deposit back to me. After 1 week I will resume having consultations with other couples for their date.

sweetideas Posted 17 Aug 2011 , 4:03pm
post #28 of 32

I got married 7 years ago, but come on! It would be unreasonable to expect someone to hold a date without a deposit. I would have put down the deposit and if I found someone else, just lost my deposit. It is what it is. I agree with the dress philosophy: if you like it and don't buy it, there's always that chance you lose it to someone else. Do you give out a quote on paper? If so, maybe make sure there''s a sticker or something in color stating a deposit is needed to hold the date. Other than that, don't feel bad. I think her email comes off somewhat rude and she probably was shopping around, but even if not, the policy is the date is open until a deposit is received and that goes for birthday parties, weddings, flowers, dresses, invitations, everything. Why would the cake be different?

imanah Posted 18 Aug 2011 , 5:07am
post #29 of 32

Thanks again everyone. It is reassuring to see so many of you in the same boat. Really it makes me feel less bad.

I think overall I should be CLEARER about booking. I am too "relaxed" during the tasting that I do not even tell the couple that if I have no deposit then technically I am not booked. For me I always felt like tastings should be more relaxed and if they want to see the fine print they can read my contract. This made me think I should have something in my contract about bookings.

I contacted her again and apologized. Clearly the quality of my work would suffer from taking her order.

I too hold a full time job (not cake related), have little kids (one of them super demanding & destructive in a cute way of course). I find myself either averaging 10 hrs of sleep a week or not sleeping at all when I am stretched thin. It can just be unbearable and I want to still love cake decorating but I know if I continue going at a ridiculous pace something bad will happen.

She did not reply to my last email but oh well, at least I was being honest icon_smile.gif

cai0311 Posted 18 Aug 2011 , 1:53pm
post #30 of 32

My tastings are more "relaxed" too (unless the couple wants to book on the spot). I don't go over every little thing because my contract covers every little thing and they will read, initial, date and sign the contract if they book me. But I do tell them the important stuff:
deposit, when final payment would be due and an order is not considered booked by me until I receive the signed contract and deposit.

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