BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:38pm
post #1 of

First off, this is my first post! I have been scouring all over this site over the past few months...anyway...I'm very very new to wedding cakes. Like, I've made 3. I started with cupcakes and cake truffles/pops, little cakes...and now it's just started to blossom recently.

 

This last weekend, I had a wedding cake. The bride contacted me on Sunday asking how many days in advance I needed to make a wedding cake. I had her message me privately, and she did. She said her dad had planned on making the cake, but now was not feeling comfortable. The wedding was on Friday. I had her send me a photo of what she was wanting, so she sent me a photo along with a different color she wanted. I assessed, thought, ok, I can do this (I had another cake for that Saturday as well - that one just for a friend, no charge)...I told her we would usually charge per serving, but let's just do $180 (she said she needed about 120 servings). She's like oh wonderful! (P.S. I'm in Chubbuck, Idaho)

 

We proceed from there...I'll admit - I procrastinated a little bit starting the cakes, I would've normally started baking Monday, freeze, and go from there. Well, it came to Thursday and I baked the cakes. I was having an OFF day. Things just weren't turning out right, again and again, but I finally got all the cakes done that night and just needed to make icing for the crumb coat. For the icing, I DON'T KNOW WHY, but I tried a new recipe, which used shortening - I've never done an icing with shortening before - it turned out TERRIBLE. It was like really oily and just sloppy looking, even in the bowl! I'm not sure exactly what it's supposed to look like...but I'm sure not like that!! Looked gross - but what did I do anyway?? I tried crumb coating the cakes!!? OMG, are you joking me? Where is my brain?? P.S - I stayed up all night long doing all this. It was like a never-ending battle. So, I ruined my cakes with the icing....so, at about...10AM on the day of the wedding, I STARTED OVER! Using all my original recipes and everything, and things were going fine...until I RAN OUT OF ICING. Had to make more. (A side note, my fondant was supposed to be delivered the night before - it wasn't delivered, so I had to buttercream the whole thing. The bride didn't specify she wanted it covered in fondant, so I thought, ok, we can do this). 

 

We're going with the icing (my mom is helping me at this point, because we are so short on time!)...the clock is just going, the icing is not smoothing well...and things just seem to be going insane. The cake was actually to be picked up at 3PM, but we weren't done when the guy showed up. He agreed to just let me deliver it once it was finished, in about 30 minutes. (Way not enough time, really...). I just have to say, the cake looked terrible :( I was not at all pleased with it, and it just ended up looking pretty sloppy, and we didn't even have time to finish the back, but I thought, ok, it's just the back, we're fine. Still looked sloppy, though. We delivered it, and immediately felt my heart just sink to the very bottom of my stomach. I felt sick, terrible....I didn't want to not give her anything, and this cake was all I had! (I did not get her number, since we had been talking via Facebook - NOT SMART, lesson learned) I couldn't message her, who is answering facebook messages hours before their wedding?! She hadn't been quick to reply before, either. So we just delivered it. I wish I could have offered her a refund prior to the date...and I did end up offering her a full refund and another cake free of charge for their anniversary.

 

Long story short, I pretty much got bashed and attacked on Facebook - members of the family posting the photos of the cake, telling everyone not to order from us, we're fraudulent, urging everyone to share that this 'unedible' cake cost $180, and that we should offer a refund (which I had already done prior to the Facebook fiasco that happened this afternoon). I messaged the people I knew had posted, asking them to please please remove their posts, that I am in the beginning of my career of wedding cakes, etc. Everyone seemed to be so angry, but the bride seemed the nicest about it...which I thought was odd. 

 

I know I was in the wrong, I messed up, made dumb decisions, and probably shouldn't have even accepted the order to begin with, especially since I had another one that weekend. I've learned SO MANY lessons, but that doesn't mean the posts and words didn't hurt. I may have ruined the bride's day, but it felt like I ruined everyone else's. We are issuing a full refund and offering a free cake whenever they want it, but I still feel terrible. I've been so sad most of today. What I am wondering.....has something like this ever happened to any of you at the beginning of your careers?? Am I the only one? How can I overcome this?? I unpublished our Facebook page for the time being, and I'm just going to keep on going, do my best, and republish when I feel things are better. I am also done with wedding cakes after I do my friends in a couple weeks, if just for a little while, so I can really learn what I'm doing. LIVE and freaking LEARN. Also, if you read this entire post, you're amazing, and thank you for any responses!!!! :)

75 replies
cakefat Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:46pm
post #2 of

can you post a photo of the cake?

sarahgale314 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:47pm
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AOh man, that's terrible! I'm so sorry! I would say to just get more wedding cake practice for a while. Before I officially started my business, I made wedding style cakes for all my family members' birthdays... my mom and stepdad, my dad and stepmom, my mother and father in law, my husband, myself, and my three kids. I just did small ones - 4-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch tiers, and that way I learned what to do and what not to do, and got my recipes all established.

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:49pm
post #4 of

That's a wonderful idea. I had been kind of doing that the past few months. This had definitely opened my eyes and I'm going to be doing A LOT more practice before going back to wedding cakes. 

sarahgale314 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:51pm
post #5 of

AI was also able to photograph all those wedding style cakes I made and have a nice portfolio for my website. So, that was handy!

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:53pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat 

can you post a photo of the cake?

 

I know, it's so terrible :( I had done a wedding cake before this, that turned out way better :/ The bride was going to put her own flowers on the corners, so that's one reason it looks so unfinished. This is the only photo I have, I didn't take one of the back. (The bottom is rice krispie treat - her fiance didn't like cake. I should have added another layer of the rice krispie...I know, least of my problems....)

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:53pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahgale314 

I was also able to photograph all those wedding style cakes I made and have a nice portfolio for my website. So, that was handy!

Nice! My sister does photography, so I'm lucky I get awesome photos most of the time :) I love this idea

mightydragon663 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 11:59pm
post #8 of

No, you are not the only one.  I didn't have the exact same thing happen, but I have had many "off" days where everything I touched just went to H*!! in an hand basket.  I had an incident where my dogs got in my van and ate a three tier sweet 16 cake just two hours before I was to deliver it.  I had no alternate cake for her.  I have not written "Happy Birthday" on a cake, and the client was very disappointed.  The bottom line is, we all have done dumb things, made dumb decisions and have had just dumb luck on occasion.  It happens.  You cry about it and  lick your wounds, but most importantly, you learn from your mistakes and move forward. 

Hang in there. 

ArwenLovey Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 12:00am
post #9 of

What a rough 48 hours. I have completely dropped cakes and ruined them and had to start over, but have always been able to deliver on time. I think you should keep trying. Don't give up now! I struggle with buttercream. I do free labor buttercream cakes all the time for close friends just for the practice. Maybe practice wedding cakes by making small versions for your friends and family. I'm sure most people have horror stories. My Momma always tells me "this too shall pass". And it will.

thumbs_up.gif

cakefat Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 12:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahgale314 

Oh man, that's terrible! I'm so sorry! I would say to just get more wedding cake practice for a while. Before I officially started my business, I made wedding style cakes for all my family members' birthdays... my mom and stepdad, my dad and stepmom, my mother and father in law, my husband, myself, and my three kids. I just did small ones - 4-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch tiers, and that way I learned what to do and what not to do, and got my recipes all established.

 

This is a great idea.

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 12:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightydragon663 

No, you are not the only one.  I didn't have the exact same thing happen, but I have had many "off" days where everything I touched just went to H*!! in an hand basket.  I had an incident where my dogs got in my van and ate a three tier sweet 16 cake just two hours before I was to deliver it.  I had no alternate cake for her.  I have not written "Happy Birthday" on a cake, and the client was very disappointed.  The bottom line is, we all have done dumb things, made dumb decisions and have had just dumb luck on occasion.  It happens.  You cry about it and  lick your wounds, but most importantly, you learn from your mistakes and move forward. 

Hang in there. 

That is terrible! We've all gotta feel like the only one at times...I'm glad I found this website (I'm not even sure if I posted this in the right category haha!) ...

Thanks for your reply!!

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 12:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArwenLovey 

What a rough 48 hours. I have completely dropped cakes and ruined them and had to start over, but have always been able to deliver on time. I think you should keep trying. Don't give up now! I struggle with buttercream. I do free labor buttercream cakes all the time for close friends just for the practice. Maybe practice wedding cakes by making small versions for your friends and family. I'm sure most people have horror stories. My Momma always tells me "this too shall pass". And it will.

thumbs_up.gif

I am going to keep going! Practice, practice, practice. Thank you :)

kikiandkyle Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:17am

AI've tried to think of a way to say this that doesn't sound mean but I am not doing well.

Ultimately the bride should really be defending you to her friends and family instead of allowing them to call you out like this. She chose a baker that had very little experience, and who only charged her a fraction of market rate, she should have known that she wasn't going to get a Ron Ben Israel creation. Thats not to say she shouldn't have expected a decent cake, but she chose to take the gamble and sometimes you lose the bet. At least you have learnt some lessons from this, and as plenty of us who had mishaps at our weddings will attest, it takes a lot more than that to really ruin a wedding. They will be over it by the time they're back from honeymoon, I promise.

You obviously put a lot of effort into the cake, and if it had not been for the unfortunate series of events it would have turned out really nice. You clearly went above and beyond to try and rectify your mistakes, and that's all you can do. Everyone has bad days, you have to pick yourself up and look at it as the valuable experience it was.

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

I've tried to think of a way to say this that doesn't sound mean but I am not doing well.

Ultimately the bride should really be defending you to her friends and family instead of allowing them to call you out like this. She chose a baker that had very little experience, and who only charged her a fraction of market rate, she should have known that she wasn't going to get a Ron Ben Israel creation. At least you have learnt some lessons from this, and as plenty of us who had mishaps at our weddings will attest, it takes a lot more than that to really ruin a wedding. They will be over it by the time they're back from honeymoon, I promise.

You obviously put a lot of effort into the cake, and if it had not been for the unfortunate series of events it would have turned out really nice. You clearly went above and beyond to try and rectify your mistakes, and that's all you can do. Everyone has bad days, you have to pick yourself up and look at it as the valuable experience it was.

She had messaged me back about the refund, and said she apologized for any harm to my business, but she couldn't control how her guests and family reacted to the cake, which ultimately is true, but she didn't really seem to care. On the other hand, I'm not sure she knew how little experience I have had with wedding cakes, and 'didn't know how much cakes cost', I didn't actually tell her that, but I mean...she could have researched around..? Eh, oh well, it's all said and done. Just gotta keep moving! You all are helping me, thanks so much. 

kikiandkyle Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:30am

AI'm glad you're getting past it, you can't let yourself dwell on it. You aren't 100% to blame for it, and her wedding wasn't ruined because of it. I'm sure that people who have seen your better work will know that this one cake isn't representative of your ability.

Norasmom Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:44am

You offered the refund, that's the right step.  Keep practicing!  I will never do a wedding cake, I could not handle the stress.  I give you credit for trying.  I hate when I try something new and it doesn't work.  But that's how we learn, by making mistakes and learning from other people's mistakes.  From your mistake I learned to never try a new recipe on a customer.  Also, square cakes are so hard to ice, I only do round ones.  Way easier.

Actually, I made  a "new sew" curtain with glue, but I glued the fabric on to the wrong side of the curtain...so you can see why I would not be doing a wedding cake...LOL  It is a pretty curtain, just won't hang right.

icon_biggrin.gif

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 2:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom 

You offered the refund, that's the right step.  Keep practicing!  I will never do a wedding cake, I could not handle the stress.  I give you credit for trying.  I hate when I try something new and it doesn't work.  But that's how we learn, by making mistakes and learning from other people's mistakes.  From your mistake I learned to never try a new recipe on a customer.  Also, square cakes are so hard to ice, I only do round ones.  Way easier.

Actually, I made  a "new sew" curtain with glue, but I glued the fabric on to the wrong side of the curtain...so you can see why I would not be doing a wedding cake...LOL  It is a pretty curtain, just won't hang right.

icon_biggrin.gif

Haha, stress is right! This was also the first time I'd iced a square cake. Bake and learn! :)

shebysuz Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 2:53am

AI would like to chime in. You made many amateur mistakes. Yes you did. And you have owned all of them. Please DO NOT let this break your confidence. Do not allow yourself to feel shame for too long. You have a few days to sit on your pity potty and them it's time to get off!! Lick your wounds, and move on stronger. One day when you are:) a seasoned professional at this, commanding top dollar, you will have this story to tell. This will pass, dear! Get that Fb page back up and do not allow this one learning experience break you. :grin:

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by shebysuz 

I would like to chime in. You made many amateur mistakes. Yes you did. And you have owned all of them. Please DO NOT let this break your confidence. Do not allow yourself to feel shame for too long. You have a few days to sit on your pity potty and them it's time to get off!! Lick your wounds, and move on stronger. One day when you are:) a seasoned professional at this, commanding top dollar, you will have this story to tell. This will pass, dear! Get that Fb page back up and do not allow this one learning experience break you. icon_biggrin.gif

I am feeling much better about the situation already tonight - I am just planning on leaving it unpublished while the waters calm, as there were a few (I think) family members who were having real fits about it...thanks so much for the encouraging words icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:29am

The cake looks pretty bad, but if it ruined the wedding, then their is not much hope for them staying married, in my opinion. At the end of the day, it is cake. It wasn't like the groom was making out with the best man... just saying. She certainly deserves the refund, and we all deserve great cakes, and I try my very best for perfect, but you should feel worse than the bride, IMO. If it really really ruined the wedding, then they need a reality check...First world problem!

shebysuz Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:29am

AYeah lay low for a minute, let those mean old hens move on to something else. Sounds like the bride is smart and grounded enough to realize that a cake certainly cannot ruin your wedding day if you are focused on the actual marriage itself. It's not the dress, the cake, the horse drawn carriage. So they didn't get a gorgeous dream cake. Bah. It might make you feel better to express in writing to the family what you have expressed here. They will then see you as a human who made mistakes and who feels awful about it. I think when people bash a cake like that on FB they think they are bashing a faceless bakery , a business- and not a real person who is learning a new craft and trying to improve their skills. One more thing- remember some of the fault falls on the customer here. She contacted you days before a wedding. Not weeks, or months. Most bakeries would have turned her down. She was in a pinch. So she took a chance with you and things weren't perfect. They still got 100 servings of cake which probably tasted pretty darn good anyway. By the way, you had guts to try to pull this off. That tell me you will not keep your tail between your legs for long. You will get over this.

shebysuz Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:32am

ASorry for the typos. I am typing on my phone and am too lazy to fix my mistakes:smile: Ps. Hi Anna

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

The cake looks pretty bad, but if it ruined the wedding, then their is not much hope for them staying married, in my opinion. At the end of the day, it is cake. It wasn't like the groom was making out with the best man... just saying. She certainly deserves the refund, and we all deserve great cakes, and I try my very best for perfect, but you should feel worse than the bride, IMO. If it really really ruined the wedding, then they need a reality check...First world problem!

I always try my best for perfection too :/ I'm one of the biggest perfectionists that I know, so I was sorely disappointed. 

Elcee Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

 At the end of the day, it is cake. It wasn't like the groom was making out with the best man... just saying.

OMG...you kill me! icon_lol.gif

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by shebysuz 

Yeah lay low for a minute, let those mean old hens move on to something else. Sounds like the bride is smart and grounded enough to realize that a cake certainly cannot ruin your wedding day if you are focused on the actual marriage itself. It's not the dress, the cake, the horse drawn carriage. So they didn't get a gorgeous dream cake. Bah.
It might make you feel better to express in writing to the family what you have expressed here. They will then see you as a human who made mistakes and who feels awful about it. I think when people bash a cake like that on FB they think they are bashing a faceless bakery , a business- and not a real person who is learning a new craft and trying to improve their skills.
One more thing- remember some of the fault falls on the customer here. She contacted you days before a wedding. Not weeks, or months. Most bakeries would have turned her down. She was in a pinch. So she took a chance with you and things weren't perfect. They still got 100 servings of cake which probably tasted pretty darn good anyway. By the way, you had guts to try to pull this off. That tell me you will not keep your tail between your legs for long. You will get over this.

Thanks so much for your encouragement, really! :)

Annabakescakes Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by shebysuz 

Sorry for the typos. I am typing on my phone and am too lazy to fix my mistakes:smile:
Ps. Hi Anna

I do the same thing when I am on my phone, lol. HI!!! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAKEdeliciousbc 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

The cake looks pretty bad, but if it ruined the wedding, then their is not much hope for them staying married, in my opinion. At the end of the day, it is cake. It wasn't like the groom was making out with the best man... just saying. She certainly deserves the refund, and we all deserve great cakes, and I try my very best for perfect, but you should feel worse than the bride, IMO. If it really really ruined the wedding, then they need a reality check...First world problem!

I always try my best for perfection too :/ I'm one of the biggest perfectionists that I know, so I was sorely disappointed. 

I reread what I wrote, and it seems harsher than I meant it, so I am glad you took it okay ;-) I don't want you to get over it 100%. I want you to think about it every time you do a cake for the next 20 cakes, and I want you learn from it! Try harder, start sooner, and never ever let it happen to you again! You can do it, I see talent in there! Watch some videos on smoothing, and stacking and practice, practice practice! And THEN get over it ;-) 

cakefat Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 4:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

The cake looks pretty bad, but if it ruined the wedding, then their is not much hope for them staying married, in my opinion. At the end of the day, it is cake. It wasn't like the groom was making out with the best man... just saying. She certainly deserves the refund, and we all deserve great cakes, and I try my very best for perfect, but you should feel worse than the bride, IMO. If it really really ruined the wedding, then they need a reality check...First world problem!

 

couldn't agree more! 

 

OP- I'm sure you've learned so many things about this situation and there were a lot of errors made..but by the bride as well. I mean- really she expected a super professional 4 tier wedding cake for $180??  And she claimed she had no idea how much they cost? I cry BS on that.

 

You were the first person that she came to for her cake? Did she see your portfolio? 

 

Just wondering- was the cake edible? Did you save some scraps or something to taste it? Because lots of not very attractive cakes can be very tasty.

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 4:57am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

I do the same thing when I am on my phone, lol. HI!!! 

I reread what I wrote, and it seems harsher than I meant it, so I am glad you took it okay ;-) I don't want you to get over it 100%. I want you to think about it every time you do a cake for the next 20 cakes, and I want you learn from it! Try harder, start sooner, and never ever let it happen to you again! You can do it, I see talent in there! Watch some videos on smoothing, and stacking and practice, practice practice! And THEN get over it ;-) 

Haha, right! Totally understood thumbs_up.gif I'll definitely never forget this experience!! YouTube has been my best friend :) I think this needed to happen to me, honestly. I needed to learn all these things. I guess I'm glad it's sooner rather than later. 

morganchampagne Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 4:59am

ASorry what happened to you! Had an off day myself. Happens every time I try to do too much so have no one to blame but me. Currently drowning my sorrows in a glass of mr.pibb lol

BAKEdeliciousbc Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 5:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat 

 

couldn't agree more! 

 

OP- I'm sure you've learned so many things about this situation and there were a lot of errors made..but by the bride as well. I mean- really she expected a super professional 4 tier wedding cake for $180??  And she claimed she had no idea how much they cost? I cry BS on that.

 

You were the first person that she came to for her cake? Did she see your portfolio? 

 

Just wondering- was the cake edible? Did you save some scraps or something to taste it? Because lots of not very attractive cakes can be very tasty.

I'm not sure if I was the first person, but it seemed like it. I guess I would have figured that she looked at some photos before contacting me...another mistake, I suppose. I've learned not to assume ANYTHING, at this point. Really, the cake should have been perfectly edible. I did have some cake left that was the same recipe, and it tasted just fine. I mean, was it so ugly that they couldn't even eat it? Like, really, I don't know...

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