Ok so this is kinda a vent, kinda just an observation. I have several wedding schedualed and most of them were books almost a year or more in advance (which while nice, as it gives me tons of time to get prepared it seems almost extreme) and here lately Iv been booking more that are 3-4 months out (this is what usually happens to me). But then all of a sudden I have people calling wanting to do a tasting this week and are getting married next saturday (Im not kidding its extremely tight), and while I can do this if I have no other cakes schedualed it just seems crazy to me that someone would wait until that close to the wedding. And most of the people that are doing this arent wanting a deal or anything, most are willing to pay a bit of a rush fee so it just seems weird to me. I would never wait that close to time for something thats a main focal point in my wedding! Is this happening to anyone else or am I jsut the lucky one?
I have the same thing happening to me all of the sudden to. Though not a wedding cake, I've had two family reunions to pop up. I was contacted Monday for a Saturday event for 75 people. Not a high number count, but she wanted additional food items besides just the cake. Main entree's. Like you, I wouldn't wait until the last minute to do anything involving someone besides myself. I might be last minute making a cake for my family reunion, but I can put that kind of pressure on myself.
The customer didn't mind paying me in total on Monday.
The other family reunion, they are still adding items to the invoice, and every time they add, they paypal me immediately. It is the 28th and I'm still not sure what exactly I'll be providing in total. I will cut off their requests on the 23rd.
Both coordinators have known about their role as planners since last year.
I live in an area where I've gotten a lot of last minute orders simply because of the circumstances surrounding the event. We have a lot of military and they come and go at the drop of a hat. Not everyone is in a position to ideally plan ahead. Most clients that have been last minute have to sacrifice on details and go for simple designs and I have not yet had a client who didn't understand why but was still willing to pay a rush fee. You just simply have to evaluate what you can or cannot do and let clients know your limitations.
My mind gets blown on a weekly basis by people waiting until the last second to order a cake. I got a call from a Mom last week on Thursday wanting "something really special" for her one-year-old's birthday on SATURDAY!
As far as "rush fees" I look at it this way... If I'm not booked and have an opening, then you get the regular price. If I think I'll be up til 2am working on your cake (think "overtime") then I deserve overtime pay. That's the way it works at most "real businesses" and I'm a real business.
Good point Jenniffer about overtime pay!
For about the last year I noticed people booking closer to their wedding date, and I also had people trying to book REALLY close like the OP. If someone wanted to book that close fine, but I'm not rearranging my schedule for a tasting appointment for someone who can't plan ahead. If they're doing tastings with me then they're probably trying to do them with othe rpeople too, so forget that.
I just noticed today that people seem to be booking farther out again, though. I was going to write something on my blog about it. The couples who came to my tasting today were all for 2013 except for one of them, and htey all said that they were trying to book things far ahead of time to get hings out of the way. So maybe things are changing!
^^ I sure hope so. One thing I've observed with quite a few clients is this: My policy says 2-3 weeks notice and I clarify by stating this means: place your order 2-3weeks in advance. I've spelled this out clearly. Yet I get people who tell me about their order 2-3 weeks in advance but don't actually place the order until, say, 2 days before they need it, and then they request the most elaborate cakes. I'm not sure why they think telling me they want x cake is the same as placing an order for the cake.
I dislike the idea of a rush fee but I may need to institute it if this continues.