melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:37am
post #1 of

Months ago I agreed to make a wedding cake for a friend of a good friend. I told her at that time I was going to be out of town on her wedding day but it was a small enough cake ( 2 tier ) that I could get it to her family member the night before if they were willing to transport it. I normally wouldn't even offer to do this but it was a friend of a friend looking for a very unique design that no bakery in our area would make.

 

A week ago ( 3 weeks before the wedding) she contacts me and says her and her fiance were talking about it and they found another 'cake lady' to make their cake but they still needed me to make the flowers.

I should have said no, I know I should have said no, but I didn't because I can understand  their concern with me not being in town on their wedding day and I want it to be the cake she has her heart set on.

The " new cake lady" has promised them a round 4 tier 14,12.10,8 inch will serve 350 peopleicon_rolleyes.gif

The cake has cascading 1 and 1.5 inch flowers down the front and also cascading down the back I set them on a tier of dummy cake here, multiplied and came up with 150 minimum she would need to achieve the look of the cake in the photo she provided.

She comes back to me and says " the new cake lady says 75 will be plenty". I advised her I didn't feel that was going to be near enough but she is sticking to it. 

My concern is, this cake is going to look nothing like what she is expecting and she is going to be VERY upset.

I am considering having my lawyer draft a document for her to sign releasing me from any liability of the finished product. Also, stating that I advised her of an issue and she declined to make any adjustments to her order.

I have never been in this situation before and unsure if I would even be liable for the finished product seeing as I only supplied the flowers to the " cake lady"? 

Any advice? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Am I being over paranoid? I'm REALLY regretting not just saying " no" now.

Thanks in advance!

79 replies
jason_kraft Posted 29 May 2013 , 5:30am
post #2 of

AIf I were you I would just cancel the order.

vgcea Posted 29 May 2013 , 5:38am
post #3 of

AExactly. Too much hassle and headache. Contract or not, if the cake gets messed up, you'll still get your share of blame. Your initial agreement was nullified when they contracted another person to do the cake.

SugaredSaffron Posted 29 May 2013 , 6:09am
post #4 of

I say cancel too. Let her new cake lady make it if she's the dogs B's.
 

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 11:57am
post #5 of

Thank you all for your input.

The more I think about this situation, the more it stinks. I'm going to cancel, I hate doing it so late ( and having so many flowers left over ) but ya know how you can just sense that someone is going to be a PITA?!? I'm getting that vibe alreadythumbsdown.gif

Thanks again!

Godot Posted 29 May 2013 , 11:59am
post #6 of

A

Original message sent by SugaredSaffron

I say cancel too. Let her new cake lady make it if she's the dogs B's.

 

●snork●

costumeczar Posted 29 May 2013 , 12:15pm
post #7 of

I wouldn't cancel, this poor girl is getting screwed so why make it worse? I'd tell her that you'll send her an order form and she can fill it out. You suggest that she buy 150 flowers based on your opinion of the design that she want, and if she wants less that's up to her. If you fill an order that someone places it isn't your fault if it doesn't turn out the way it is in her head.

 

Or you could tell her that you think 150 is needed and if she wants less than that she can get them somewhere else, but I wouldn't cancel without giving her the option, know what I mean?

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 1:04pm
post #8 of

Thank you! I do feel bad just canceling on her 2 weeks before the wedding knowing that the new ' cake lady' most likely is not able to make the flowers or she wouldn't still be ordering them from me. 

That's a great idea, I guess as long as I can show that I fulfilled the order exactly as she placed it that gives me something to go on.

I have already advised her that she is not going to have enough cake and that the serving calculations the new cake lady have provided are off. I also I have in  emails where I advised her on 2 occasions that 75 flowers are not going to be enough to recreate the cake in the photo she provided. 

I did her bridal shower cake and she is very particular about the cake looking exactly as it does in the photos . She is on the brink of a disaster on her wedding day , I can see it coming a mile away and I want no part of it. I feel I have done my duty to give her accurate advice...she is on her own nowicon_sad.gif

But to save face, you are right,  I should give her the option of ordering the correct amount or go elsewhere. My luck I will get her to go for the 150 and the cake will be only 2 inch tiers ( the one in the photo look to be 5 inch ) and she will have too many. 

If ever in this situation again ( and I hope I'm not ) I'm saying no from the start.

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

I wouldn't cancel, this poor girl is getting screwed so why make it worse? I'd tell her that you'll send her an order form and she can fill it out. You suggest that she buy 150 flowers based on your opinion of the design that she want, and if she wants less that's up to her. If you fill an order that someone places it isn't your fault if it doesn't turn out the way it is in her head.

 

Or you could tell her that you think 150 is needed and if she wants less than that she can get them somewhere else, but I wouldn't cancel without giving her the option, know what I mean?

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

BeesKnees578 Posted 29 May 2013 , 1:08pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

 

Agreed...I am curious as to why you were only making her a two-tier cake if she really needed so many servings?  Just curious...

 

Also, I would make the 75 flowers she asked for and resist the urge for an "I told you so," if the obvious happens!  Just a simple "I'm so sorry she miscalculated..."

LKing12 Posted 29 May 2013 , 1:30pm

I never fill an order that came from a conversation.  I always send an email confirming the order with details.  This way I can print out the order and if the customer needs to make any adjustments or has any concerns it is all documented.

I have saved myself a lot of pain because I had a printed copy of an order to put on the board with the flavors, colors and designs.  I have had customers that forgot what they actually ordered.

I would finish the order, but with paperwork.

Wish you well!
 

vgcea Posted 29 May 2013 , 1:41pm

AIf bride gets the flowers, it might be a good idea to communicate with the baker so that you are both on the same page about the final product.

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 3:14pm

She had initially orered a 4 tier from me, then decided it cost too much and wanted to negotiate.  I wouldn't budge on my pricing, so I gave her other options.

She decided to do a 2 tier and would source cupcakes from Walmart for the additional servings. I have to admit I'm quite surprised she is going for a 4 tier plus the cost of the flowers, I'm thinking this new baker is new to the business and is grossly undercutting. I'm also thinking price is why she cancelled with me , a Friday delivery hadn't been a concern for 5 months, I think she just found a cheaper cake.

Thanks for all the advice, I want to handle this tactfully and maintain my reputation, but it stinks.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 29 May 2013 , 3:35pm

I think CostumeCzar gave the best advice, I am never OK with cancelling on someone close to their wedding, that gives you a nice way to cover your tush and not back out last minute.

 

I would agree the 'cake lady' is probably very new, seeing as she can't even figure out how to read a cake serving chart.

 

Legally speaking though, the only thing you would be responsible for are the actual flowers, not how they are placed on the cake. That would be like going to Walmart and buying birthday candles, then getting mad at Walmart when you stuck them into the sides of the cake rather than the top :)

(At least that's how it was explained to me when I used to sell just flowers)

dawnybird Posted 29 May 2013 , 3:49pm

I have a question I didn't see mentioned: Who is placing the flowers on the cake, you or "Cake Lady"? Boy, this is a sticky situation. I wish you all the best. Let us know!
 

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 3:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

I think CostumeCzar gave the best advice, I am never OK with cancelling on someone close to their wedding, that gives you a nice way to cover your tush and not back out last minute.

 

I would agree the 'cake lady' is probably very new, seeing as she can't even figure out how to read a cake serving chart.

 

Legally speaking though, the only thing you would be responsible for are the actual flowers, not how they are placed on the cake. That would be like going to Walmart and buying birthday candles, then getting mad at Walmart when you stuck them into the sides of the cake rather than the top :)

(At least that's how it was explained to me when I used to sell just flowers)

Ahhhh! Great way to look at it. Thank you! I am feeling a bit less responsible for the final product. I will keep copies of her e-mail order along with the e-mail where I informed her she was not ordering enough flowers and her final decision to listen to the new baker.

Cancelling would make me look bad and I'd also be stuck with 80 traditional Ukrainian flowers that I'm pretty sure I won't be getting another order for any time soon.

Thanks!

jason_kraft Posted 29 May 2013 , 3:55pm

AHas the customer already paid in full?

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Has the customer already paid in full?

She had given me a deposit for the original cake which I am applying to the cost of the flowers. She is not paid in full at this point but her deposit coveres all but $30.00 of  the flowers.

Pyro Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:27pm

I would definitely not cancel if you are fine with just making her flowers instead of a cake.  Obviously she found a cheaper alternative ( getting her 4 tiers instead of 2 ) which will come to bite her in the butt. But that's not your problem.

 

Just make sure you have a new contract that says " 75 flowers , type of flower, colors " or adjust the one you have to make sure it's not implied in any way you are selling anything else to her in this order.

 

If I want to buy 75 flowers from you and run them over with my car, that's my problem as long as I pay you. And you are not responsible to what happens to them once they are mine, you are responsible to deliver the product ordered.

Pyro Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:30pm
jason_kraft Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:32pm

AConsidering you already made the flowers and they are already paid for you might as well continue with the order. I don't think it's necessary to pay for a lawyer for this, as long as the invoice clearly states the amount ordered and limits your liability to the flowers (specifically excluding the cake) you should be fine.

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro 

I would definitely not cancel if you are fine with just making her flowers instead of a cake.  Obviously she found a cheaper alternative ( getting her 4 tiers instead of 2 ) which will come to bite her in the butt. But that's not your problem.

 

Just make sure you have a new contract that says " 75 flowers , type of flower, colors " or adjust the one you have to make sure it's not implied in any way you are selling anything else to her in this order.

 

If I want to buy 75 flowers from you and run them over with my car, that's my problem as long as I pay you. And you are not responsible to what happens to them once they are mine, you are responsible to deliver the product ordered.

Thank you! I am going to do it, I feel bad this bride is set up for disappointment, but I guess as long as my invoice reflects only what was purchased from me, and I am going to have her sign off on it,  I should be ok.

I won't do this again...

Furthermore I question a baker who would accept flowers made by another designer , sight unseen, sizes unknown, to decorate a cake I am responsible foricon_confused.gif.

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Considering you already made the flowers and they are already paid for you might as well continue with the order. I don't think it's necessary to pay for a lawyer for this, as long as the invoice clearly states the amount ordered and limits your liability to the flowers (specifically excluding the cake) you should be fine.

Thank you Jason, that's where I was hesitating. The lawyer would have cost more than the cost of the flowers and it would be a losing situation for me, but worth it if she was to get sue happy.

Thanks again for your legal expertise icon_biggrin.gif

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro 

Here's 4 tiers, enjoy !

 

LOL, actually, that's what I am picturing happening. We have very few designers in my area, and even fewer that can construct a 4 tier fondant covered cake with professional results. I know most of them, and their prices are in line with mine. I'm hoping I get to see the end result of 4 cheap tiers, at least the flowers will be nice icon_wink.gif

jason_kraft Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:42pm

AIf there is a problem with the cake and the bride ends up suing (realistically this has a slim chance of happening) you may end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit as well, regardless of what it says in your contract. Your liability insurance company will protect you in case this happens and should get any potential suit thrown out quickly.

The bigger concern would be having your name associated with a potential cake wreck.

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

If there is a problem with the cake and the bride ends up suing (realistically this has a slim chance of happening) you may end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit as well, regardless of what it says in your contract. Your liability insurance company will protect you in case this happens and should get any potential suit thrown out quickly.

The bigger concern would be having your name associated with a potential cake wreck.

Ahhh, hopefully it won't go that far, if by chance it does I do have some excellent liability insurance ( at least my agent says I do ).

I thought of having my name attached to a cake wreck, and it bothers me, on the flip side, should this cake lady" pull it off, she will be getting the credit for my work thumbsdown.gif

It stinks, never again...never again.

Thanks!

Paperfishies Posted 29 May 2013 , 4:59pm

I would take a picture of 150 of the flowers on the dummy cakes, send it to her...then take a picture of 75 flowers on the dummy cakes and send it to her...Showing her what each looks like.  If she still wants just 75, fine...Sell them to her.  Keep the emails, just in case.

Baking Sis Posted 29 May 2013 , 5:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperfishies 

I would take a picture of 150 of the flowers on the dummy cakes, send it to her...then take a picture of 75 flowers on the dummy cakes and send it to her...Showing her what each looks like.  If she still wants just 75, fine...Sell them to her.  Keep the emails, just in case.

 I think that is a great idea!

bittersweety Posted 29 May 2013 , 5:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by melanie-1221 

Months ago I agreed to make a wedding cake for a friend of a good friend. I told her at that time I was going to be out of town on her wedding day but it was a small enough cake ( 2 tier ) that I could get it to her family member the night before if they were willing to transport it. I normally wouldn't even offer to do this but it was a friend of a friend looking for a very unique design that no bakery in our area would make.

 

A week ago ( 3 weeks before the wedding) she contacts me and says her and her fiance were talking about it and they found another 'cake lady' to make their cake but they still needed me to make the flowers.

I should have said no, I know I should have said no, but I didn't because I can understand  their concern with me not being in town on their wedding day and I want it to be the cake she has her heart set on.

The " new cake lady" has promised them a round 4 tier 14,12.10,8 inch will serve 350 peopleicon_rolleyes.gif

The cake has cascading 1 and 1.5 inch flowers down the front and also cascading down the back I set them on a tier of dummy cake here, multiplied and came up with 150 minimum she would need to achieve the look of the cake in the photo she provided.

She comes back to me and says " the new cake lady says 75 will be plenty". I advised her I didn't feel that was going to be near enough but she is sticking to it. 

My concern is, this cake is going to look nothing like what she is expecting and she is going to be VERY upset.

I am considering having my lawyer draft a document for her to sign releasing me from any liability of the finished product. Also, stating that I advised her of an issue and she declined to make any adjustments to her order.

I have never been in this situation before and unsure if I would even be liable for the finished product seeing as I only supplied the flowers to the " cake lady"? 

Any advice? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Am I being over paranoid? I'm REALLY regretting not just saying " no" now.

Thanks in advance!

I didn't finish reading all replies so this may have already been brought up, but first and foremost i'd tell her the new cake lady is wayyyy off on the servings she promised her...a 14.12.10,8 is not gonna serve 350. not even close.. so i'd bring that to her attention ASAP.  as far as the flowers, you gave your professional rec and that's all you can do. if she wants 75 then fine, 75 it is. but yeah, i'd definitely bring the serving issue to her attention. good luck!

melanie-1221 Posted 29 May 2013 , 6:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperfishies 

I would take a picture of 150 of the flowers on the dummy cakes, send it to her...then take a picture of 75 flowers on the dummy cakes and send it to her...Showing her what each looks like.  If she still wants just 75, fine...Sell them to her.  Keep the emails, just in case.

Thank you!

Maybe if I give her a visual it will click .. I don't know for a fact but I'm thinking she just wants to do it as inexpensively as possible and doesn't want to pay for the additional flowers.

She was on a VERY tight budget when booking the cake and unless she has experienced some sort of cash windfall, I think this is still the issue.

Jess155 Posted 29 May 2013 , 6:14pm

Is this new cake lady charging her for 350 servings and giving her half of that basically?

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%