dillyjanjan Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:24pm
post #1 of

The bride and groom are friends of mine. Almost best friends of mine. This is my first wedding cake and I asked them to pay for the fondant alone. Probably mistake number one cause all the other damn ingredients, ribbon, sugar paste, dummy and cake board is coming up to a lot!!!

My business is registered and I asked her to sign a contract because she is the most indecisive person I have ever met. After she signed the contract I asked her permission to leave out an element of the cake that I thought would not look good. The cake is three tiers of ivory with ivory calla lilly cascade. She wanted orange and yellow elements so I suggested the curly things. Later I asked her permission to change it to orange and yellow filler flowers which would be more classy. She agreed.

The wedding is this Saturday (July 7th). She sent me an email on Sunday (July 1st) asking me to eliminate all the orange filler flowers.

Tell me if I am wrong for being pissed. I took a week to make all the flowers and to let them dry. I shot myself in the leg not asking them to pay more because I did not realize all the other things were going to add up to so much.

Now, not adding the orange flowers to the cascade is not a problem BUT I took a lot of time making them. Making my sugar paste from scratch, colouring it, and crafting those flowers. What am I supposed to do with those flowers if I don't add it to her cake. That is sugar paste I could have used doing something else.Ron Ben Israel makes a million cakes so he could use up extra fillers. I might have 1 cake a month and might end up throwing those flowers away. I am thinking about telling her "HARD LUCK , you signed the contract and I will not be able to change the design".

If I was a professional she would never have done this but because I am her friend I feel like I am being taken advantage of. Who the hell changes the design a week before the wedding???

ADVICE!!!!

19 replies
johnson6ofus Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:35pm
post #2 of

I guess it depends on how you answered her when she made the request. I would just do "what looks good to me". If you feel like the cake needs all the flowers you made, use them. You can just say, since you didn't charge her, the investment in time was a gift and a portfolio builder.

You may if fact be happier with a "less is more" look on the cake anyway.

Now, there is not enough time to make and dry more flowers, so saying that is not untrue. You have to use what you have.

Good luck..... sheeesh... I have friends like that too.

dillyjanjan Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:48pm
post #3 of

There is enough time to make more flowers but the principle still stands. You asked me for orange and yellow, I made orange and yellow and now you want yellow alone. I am so mad right now. My husband is at work so I could only rant to my Cake Central Crew.

I am learning A LOT about doing things for friends. This is the second time I did an order for friend. The first time the bride asked for 750 cookies. I almost died making them. Obviously I am a slow learner.

BakingIrene Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:56pm
post #4 of

What are you supposed to do with those orange flowers?

Put them into an airtight container with a dessicating cartridge if your climate warrants, and save them for her first anniversary cake.

nhbaker Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:57pm
post #5 of

She probably has no idea about caking, etc. and doesn't understand that sugar flowers have to be made up ahead and that you've already made them, etc. If she's truly a good friend, explain that to her and she'll probably go back to the original design.

You mentioned that you had her sign a contract, correct? Is there anything in your contract regarding time limits on design changes, etc. (mine allows changes up to three weeks prior to the wedding date, after that, no changes). If so, refer her to that, if not, it's certainly something you may want to consider adding so that this type of thing can be avoided in the future.

It's tough with friends (and tougher with relatives) but if they know your policies going in, they're less likely to take advantage. (though some of them will still try!)

dynee Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:06pm
post #6 of

So sorry this happened to you. What I would do with the leftover flowers would be to make a side arrangement to set out on the table OR make a dummy cake later and send her the picture of what it "Should" have looked like. I did this with my cowboy wedding cake. The MOB had done all the planning with me and I had already made the western elements ahead of time and had let them dry. Then a while before the wedding, the couple called the wedding off. I really felt bad for the mother so I made the dummy to show her that all our planning hadn't been for nothing. In this case, thank goodness they had the sense to quit before making a more permanent mistake.

MimiFix Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:41pm
post #7 of

dillyjanjan, you have the option of telling this customer (even though she's a friend, in this case she is a customer) that you've been working on the cake as designed. Tell her at this late date the only choices are (1) to go ahead with the agreed upon cake design or (2) eliminate the orange flowers which would leave an unbalanced appearance.

Your friend is no doubt under a lot of stress and probably has no idea that this change causes you problems. Focusing on cake flowers helps her feel more in control. Friend or not, you do not have to make changes.

dillyjanjan Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 6:41pm
post #8 of

Thank you so much guys. I used the template contract from the Cake Boss site and I don't know if there is anything about not changing the design close to the date.

My climate does call for some sort of drying equipment because a few days ago I woke up to find all my previously hard lillies all soft and out of shape. It had rained the night before.

I spoke to her and she has agreed to leave the filler flowers in the cake.

I am guessing that a strongly and specifically worded contract is my best tool in this business.

I am also learning a lot about doing business for friends.

LKing12 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 6:56pm
post #9 of

Ah! I have no friends when it comes to business! I have never offered to do a cake for someone before the fact. I have given friends a cake, but they did not know that I was going to do that. If I am going to be successful, then everyone is a customer and I need to know what it is going to cost me to give the gift-in whole or in part. It's not just a cake, it is business.

grama_j Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 7:17pm

Oh, for me there is no problem changing things at the last minute...... I can do that ... BUT you MUST PAY for all of it..... the old design AND the added ingredients and time into the new design...... on a high note.. SHE gets to keep the flowers that she no longer wants.... after all...... she DID pay for them....... TEE-HEE....... So far, NO ONE has taken me up on it.....( only two have tried)

kakeladi Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 7:31pm

Don't worry about any unused flowers. They can always be used for another order &/or later date.
Sounds like you got things worked out w/the bride. Goodicon_smile.gif

jgifford Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 8:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillyjanjan

Thank you so much guys. I used the template contract from the site and I don't know if there is anything about not changing the design close to the date.

My climate does call for some sort of drying equipment because a few days ago I woke up to find all my previously hard lillies all soft and out of shape. It had rained the night before.

I spoke to her and she has agreed to leave the filler flowers in the cake.

I am guessing that a strongly and specifically worded contract is my best tool in this business.

I am also learning a lot about doing business for friends.





Always, Always, ALWAYS know what you are telling the bride. You should know your contract forwards and backwards. This is your legal "leg to stand on", and it should also itemize the total you end up charging for your cakes.

BakingIrene Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 8:49pm

Indicating dessicator cartridges are reusable and sold worldwide. http://www.desiccantpackets.com/dry-packs-dehumidifier-products-canisters-boxes/dry-packs-silica-gel-dehumidifier-canisters-40-45-750-gram/dry-packs-40-gram-silica-gel-aluminum-canister.html

DO NOT buy the ones that turn blue to pink as they contain cobalt salts (toxic).

You must place the cartridge UNDER the flowers in the airtight container, so that dust does not come off.

dillyjanjan Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 3:48pm

Thanks again every one.

With regard to the contract, I had no intention of doing one until this girl decided to change her mind every time she saw me. "I want this, no I want that, Can you do this, no I want you to do that instead, I want 3 tiers, no I want 4 tiers, I want leaves, no I want flowers" SHE WAS PISSING ME OFF. So my husband said to print up a contract to sort of "shock" her into realizing that this was a BUSINESS. She got serious after she signed the contract but still was trying to test me I think. My husband told me I should not even have entertained any of her changes and let her know immediately that the contract is signed and no changes are allowed. He also told me that I should have told her to pay for any changes which one of you suggested.

I will look into the cartridges cause RIGHT NOW IT IS RAINING HARD and my flowers are already starting to soften up. I live in Trinidad in the Caribbean and it is the wet season (we have wet and dry seasons unlike other countries that have Winter and Spring etc)

The flowers are giving me a migraine. Someone suggested putting them in my oven with the pilot light on but I am afraid they will bake. icon_sad.gif

cheeseball Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 5:11pm

Hi, I just sent you a private message.

dillyjanjan Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 9:28pm

Hi all,

I survived my first wedding cake. Had some bumps along the way but learned a lot. Everyone was in love with the cake esp the bride. Thanks for all the support.

Leauna Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 10:03pm

Glad it all worked out! icon_smile.gif

akaivyleaf Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 10:11pm

I know I'm late and I know the problem has been resolved... but part of being in business is the ability to control the situation as best as possible up front, and leave room for inevitable changes/occurrences should they happen.

I think you always have to take into consideration a change order/request, and the fact that it can happen at any time. In this case, yes I realize you've already put time, talent and money into the "present" design, but I think you should be flexible enough to allow some last minute changes. This example is what I would call a good change business speaking... in that you don't have to do anything new, in theory you've been paid for something which isn't needed. Not all change would be this easy and therefore would require more outlay of cash if there was time to complete the request.

You also have to walk a thin line between "professional judgment" and "fulfilling client requests". You might think the orange flowers were vital to the design, but I am a strong proponent of giving the customer what they want within reason. Maybe because I'm so exacting and know exactly what I want, I do so hate for someone to discount my thoughts and ideas especially when I'm paying for them to be done like I envision. I try to extend the same courtesy to my customers.

Now when someone has a death defying construction idea, and I'm uncomfortable with my ability to have the cake stand on its own, I'll politely decline the business. I recognize my ability. If someone wants a flavor I've never heard of, I offer to make them a sample to make sure their taste buds are agreeable to my way of making the special cake, their great aunt served them as a child... before I take on the order. This is my "professional judgment". When someone says they no longer want a certain color flower on their cake I would explain that I'll be happy to discard the flowers I've already made but understand those have been paid for already. It will cost X amount of dollars to fill that space with additional flowers and that is only if I have time to remake them. If I don't have time I would tell them that I'll be happy to discard those flowers, but there will be a void in the pattern as I have no time to create additional ones. In the latter case, time is finite and there just isn't time to do anything different.

I never get upset with someone over their change request - I just know what space of time I can and cannot operate in, and sometimes their money will dictate whether or not their change can occur. It is always their final decision. I'm not emotionally invested I guess you could say, in discarding something I've already done in the way of prep work. I always can use the practice.

dillyjanjan Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 11:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaivyleaf

I know I'm late and I know the problem has been resolved... but part of being in business is the ability to control the situation as best as possible up front, and leave room for inevitable changes/occurrences should they happen.

I think you always have to take into consideration a change order/request, and the fact that it can happen at any time. In this case, yes I realize you've already put time, talent and money into the "present" design, but I think you should be flexible enough to allow some last minute changes. This example is what I would call a good change business speaking... in that you don't have to do anything new, in theory you've been paid for something which isn't needed. Not all change would be this easy and therefore would require more outlay of cash if there was time to complete the request.

You also have to walk a thin line between "professional judgment" and "fulfilling client requests". You might think the orange flowers were vital to the design, but I am a strong proponent of giving the customer what they want within reason. Maybe because I'm so exacting and know exactly what I want, I do so hate for someone to discount my thoughts and ideas especially when I'm paying for them to be done like I envision. I try to extend the same courtesy to my customers.

Now when someone has a death defying construction idea, and I'm uncomfortable with my ability to have the cake stand on its own, I'll politely decline the business. I recognize my ability. If someone wants a flavor I've never heard of, I offer to make them a sample to make sure their taste buds are agreeable to my way of making the special cake, their great aunt served them as a child... before I take on the order. This is my "professional judgment". When someone says they no longer want a certain color flower on their cake I would explain that I'll be happy to discard the flowers I've already made but understand those have been paid for already. It will cost X amount of dollars to fill that space with additional flowers and that is only if I have time to remake them. If I don't have time I would tell them that I'll be happy to discard those flowers, but there will be a void in the pattern as I have no time to create additional ones. In the latter case, time is finite and there just isn't time to do anything different.

I never get upset with someone over their change request - I just know what space of time I can and cannot operate in, and sometimes their money will dictate whether or not their change can occur. It is always their final decision. I'm not emotionally invested I guess you could say, in discarding something I've already done in the way of prep work. I always can use the practice.


Hi,

I convinced her to keep the flowers. The only thing she paid for was the fondant. I covered the cost of every single other thing.

akaivyleaf Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 4:55pm

Must have missed my first sentence....

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