melissamc Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 9:34am
post #1 of

AWell my best friend is getting married. I've only been doing cakes for 4 months. And only after the first 2 cakes I've ever made she asked me to do her wedding cake. The talent just came naturally. So I'm maid of honor too. I've gotten over the initial stress and think I got this down. Going to have my mom assemble it that day. My question is, I showed her examples of lots of cakes and have an idea of what I'm going to do. But it's not exactly what she pointed out. I'm OCD about these kinds of things so me and her both know it's going to be beautiful. She's not paying for it nor would I ever ask her to. Do you think I am cool just doing whatever I want? Trying to keep it in her style, but I honestly I hated all the photos she loved. Is it bad for me to just surprise her? I know her well enough to know she'll love whatever. But just wondering if I am being selfish. I did do a mock top tier to practice my gumpaste flower skills and her mother was texting the photo to every one she knew, she loved it so much. Her color is purple so that is about the only thing I am sticking with that she specifically wants. Here is the mock sample cake [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3141493/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

36 replies
cupcakemaker Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 10:01am
post #2 of

AYes! It's her wedding not yours.

cheeseball Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 1:36pm
post #3 of

The first thing you do when you're giving someone a cake is decide what you're willing to give.  Check around on Cake Central and you'll see how many times people thought they were graciously giving a cake for 100 and it ballooned into a cake twice that size, because they didn't set parameters first.  Second, when you're giving a cake, it's her wedding but it's your gift.  That's another little nugget you'll find here:wink:.  Of course you want to give her the colors and general style she may have requested, but when it's a gift, it's caker's choice.

cakefat Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 1:41pm
post #4 of

You're asking if you're selfish because you want to design the cake that you want for her wedding?

 

yeah that sounds a bit selfish to me. It's not your wedding. 

 

The amount of cake etc is totally up to you since it's your gift..but I don't agree that you have the right to ignore what she wants -color/design wise- because you like something else.

 

At least run it by her first before you just show up at her wedding with a completely differently designed cake than what she's expecting. 

-K8memphis Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 2:14pm
post #5 of

i take into account what the bride wants only because it's easier for me--i don't always want to design and edit--they usually tell me what they want but i've been at this for as many decades as you have months into it--so since you are just starting you of course you have so many directions you want to go in--

 

hey the bride and groom are probably registered at several stores but they do not dictate the gift each guest will bring--you and your mom (smart brilliant move there) are bringing and gifting the cake so i say go for it!

 

it's sucha labor of love -- be careful to edit -- and to reflect the bride -- as opposed to a display of your new found pretty dang good skill/talent--not that you would do that--just saying--i think you can do your own design tempered by your desire to create something beautiful for her on her most special day--

-K8memphis Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 2:19pm
post #6 of

also cakes are last minute brick wall deadlines--build much more time into your schedule than you think you'll need because you will need it and because you are have a lot of responsibilities as moh too--

 

a non-friend hired wedding cake maker can require more moral support than the bride sometimes especially with under a year of experience--

 

best to you 

jenmat Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 2:43pm
post #7 of

Yes, you are gifting it to her, and that is very generous. But if you have decided that you want to surprise her, then you need to ok that with her. 

 

What would it feel like if you do you own thing, expect to be given praise and hugs (and who doesn't want this when they are just starting out?) and instead you get crickets? I would give her a basic sketch and tell her you may make adjustments but that is the basic feel you want to go for. Make it clear that THIS is what you feel comfortable doing for her. 

 

In the end, while your generosity is wonderful, it won't matter if you didn't listen to her wishes on her big day and you will end up with very hurt feelings.

howsweet Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 2:56pm
post #8 of

AIs it bad for me to just surprise her?

Of course that would be "bad" . If you have other ideas you think she might like, by all means sketch them out for her. If you're unable to execute the designs she liked, you must let her know. A sketch is always appropriate for a wedding cake. I can't imagine doing one without one.

remnant3333 Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 3:49pm
post #9 of

Your mock cake is very cute!!! If you have only been at it for 4 months you are doing very good at caking!!!  Just as others said I agree it would be good to let her see a sketch of what you plan to do. Also give yourself a lot more time in case you have issues then you would be able to fix any problems. So how many tiers do you have to do? Good luck and please post a picture.

pehumphrey89 Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 3:56pm

AI would NOT surprise her. Everyone has different tastes and this is her wedding so it should be what she wants. If she is anything like me and every other girl I know who are planning our weddings I would be upset if I showed someone pictures of what I wanted and they ignored everything I said I wanted. It's very nice of you to make the cake for her but when someone gives a gift they don't give what they would want they give what they think the recipient would want. I've been helping a friend plan her wedding and she has different tastes than me (and I think I know her since we have been best friends since grade school). We were looking through pinterest at center peices and she would do the, eeehh, not really liking that, face everytime I pointed something out. I don't care WHO the girl is any other day, but when it's her wedding she wants it to be perfect. And if you bring some cake, that by the way could be beautiful, but for her taste absolutely horrible looking... you could be sitting at a table chugging champagne wishing you had listened to her because she is shooting lazers in your direction. Also keep in mind you have only been doing this for a small amount of time. She is doing you a favor to. When people pick out someone to make their wedding cake they don't take your word for it... they want to see pictures of your work. She is adding a cake to your portfolio... so be greatful. Also don't get into the habbit of putting your style into every cake because one day when you deliver a cake to a client who KNOWS what they want and you didn't do it... that cake is going to go right in your face so better hope it was atleast tasty! GOOD LUCK! :)

Norasmom Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 4:15pm

Surprise her with what she wants!   Don't do what you want, it's her day.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 4:54pm

yeah all my brides knew how it was coming down--they agreed to the design in advance--so i agree with all the upthread peeps that you should get her in agreement that since you are gifting it you get to design and see if she agrees--because it would not be cool to back out either if she insists--you do need to negotiate this though--and also was said upthread--show her a sketch but be ready to burger king it--have her her your way

melissamc Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 6:33pm

AThanks for all the great suggestions! Part of the problem is that some of the things she picked out are just way beyond anything I think I can do. This cake is the only reason I've made more than the first two. Knowing I needed LOTS of practice. This hasn't been a cheap hobby to get into. I feel like I've been to Hobby Lobby/Michael's 30 times and spend 80$ every time. The wedding isn't until June so I still have plenty of time. I've given her taste tests so flavor wise, she loves what I came up with. I really think she doesn't know what she wants. But I see all of your points. And I agree I need not totally surprise her. A drawing is a great idea. But again, I still don't even know what I am capable of doing. Gumpaste flowers I know I can make way in advance. Fondanting a huge round bottom tier cake ... that's not going to be fun at all. I bought 'the mat' pro. It worked nice on a 10 inch. But I still haven't attempted anything bigger. Yes I'm honored that she asked me to do this. It's (hopefully) going to be nice to have pictures of this beautiful wedding cake that I can say I made. But not for any portfolio. A birthday cake takes me like and entire weekend day to make. After the wedding, I don't know if anyone could pay me enough to make another cake. Unless they are going to clean up the mess -- Back to the cake, one of the things she wants is this topper that has this blue policeman groom writing the bride a ticket (she's marrying a cop). It's very ugly, and the blue looks very tacky with her purple. I'll attach a picture of it. [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3141735/width/200/height/400[/IMG] There goes most of the excitement of the whole thing. Spending all this time and effort to make her a beautiful cake topped with this horrid tacky figure. -- Googling just now searching for that picture to post, I saw other less tacky police wedding toppers. Maybe if I show her some of them, she'll like them better. As far as her taste from the photos of cakes she likes, they all look like they are from 1982. Which is where I felt like I need to step in and change it up. Which I guess is where the drawing will help. But because my lack of experience, I don't know what I'll be able to deliver. I might not know until that day, which is partially why she might just be surprised with what she gets. I spent 5 hours 3 weeks ago trying to fondant a 4 inch cake. I must have ripped it off 8 times, eventually leaving on the ugly layer and adding another layer on top. But to sum it all up, I am OCD and won't deliver anything less than something that I know she'll love. I will try the drawing idea, and not add anything I can't deliver, and I guess just keep practicing the elements she likes and hope I can deliver. I just thought of this too, that I can keep texting her photos of how it's coming out, as I am decorating it, especially with any problem parts that I have to change, and make sure she approves.

Norasmom Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 12:32am

I don't think you should do this cake.  Especially when you say you will never make another cake again.  

 

It sounds like you are learning about fondanting a cake and if it isn't perfect it will mean you staying up all night for several nights e.t.c.   You don't want to have a nervous breakdown making a cake.  

I hate fondant, it rips, it tears, it looks like elephant skins sometimes… so all I will work with is buttercream, which can be make to a fondant-like finish.  (Although I'm still trying to perfect that too.)  It's a looong learning curve.

 

Sometimes we get very excited about the idea of a project and then the reality of the toll it will take hits.

I don't think your friend will be mad at you if you defer to someone else.

 

Making cakes should be fun, not stressful.  This does not sound like a fun experience for you.  Maybe you can make her shower cake?

 

Also, the cake topper is not that bad, but I see your point there.

Kimdarella Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 7:39am

One person's "tacky" is another persons "cute and funny and totally in keeping with my man and I"  There is no accounting for taste, and that is fine, if we all liked the same stuff life would be so very dull.

 

I agree with the poster above, I think all things considered you should politely decline the offer, the idea that you bring the Bridal shower cake is a very good one, that should not be as stressful, nor as big a moment or disappointment for the bride (or yourself) if your taste and hers differ so greatly.

 

Best of luck with it if you do go forth with it, I really hope it doesn't cause you too much stress, but doing cakes for someone else doesn't really get much more stressful than doing wedding cakes, especially when your friendship is on the line.

 

:)

Daisyblue002 Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 11:28am

 Best of luck Melissa, I'm sure you'll pull it off and find a way to make everyone happy. I had a pic of a cute police topper in one of my files and this post reminded me of it - not sure how'd you tie blue and purple in together but I'm sure the end result will look fab :)

*

keithsheltonn Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 12:39pm

AThat's great wedding cake. I never ever seen like this attractive and awesome wedding cake or wedding gift. Thanks for sharing this ideas

embersmom Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 1:34pm

I'm with Norasmom on this one because, from the sound of it, you're too new to caking, IMO, to do a wedding cake.  That alone is going to kick your OCD into overdrive, and as Norasmom's said...it's supposed to be fun, not suicide-inducing (I mean that figuratively, btw).  The other thing is the fondant issue.  If you're spending 5 hours on a 6" cake because of the fondant..yeah.

 

I'm not trying to be unkind, just realistic.  I've been decorating for a good number of years, but I do primarily buttercream.  I've never had any desire to do a wedding cake, but if I ever did, I'd turn it down because I know people have it as a speciality and therefore could execute it better than I could.

kikiandkyle Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 2:10pm

ADoes the cake need to be fondant? That alone is going to save you time and money if you can just do buttercream.

If you can't execute her idea then let her know - she can either look for something simpler, go with one of your ideas or get her cake from elsewhere.

Feel free to show her some toppers that you find less tacky, but it's her wedding and if she wants those then that's her choice.

Honestly, the cake is a big deal to most brides and you don't want to ruin your friendship over this. Put on your big girl pants and talk to your friend while there is still plenty of time to make other choices.

pehumphrey89 Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 1:39am

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

Does the cake need to be fondant? That alone is going to save you time and money if you can just do buttercream.

If you can't execute her idea then let her know - she can either look for something simpler, go with one of your ideas or get her cake from elsewhere.

Feel free to show her some toppers that you find less tacky, but it's her wedding and if she wants those then that's her choice.

Honestly, the cake is a big deal to most brides and you don't want to ruin your friendship over this. Put on your big girl pants and talk to your friend while there is still plenty of time to make other choices.

I wouldn't recommend she do buttercream if she has never done it before. I do mostly buttercream cakes because most of the people that ask for me to do cakes say the don't like fondant and when I first started it was beyond frustrating trying to get it perfectly smooth. And if it's a tiered cake it's not easy to stack without getting fingers and hands in cake. 

 

Also don't be afraid to tell the bride if you can't do something. I'm sure she would appreciate you being honest instead of going in your own direction or trying what she wants and bombing it. If you are honest with her and have a sit down of what you can and can't do I'm sure y'all can find something she loves and something you can do. 

 

Also if you do show her alternatives for toppers don't tell her you don't like the one she picked because it's tacky... that's a little offensive. Just say something like, "oh, I found this other topper! See how you like this one!" 

 

Also kikiandkyle is correct about the cake... it is a big deal. If your friend says otherwise... she's lying. If you bring something she doesn't like... she will be disappointed. Not saying it will ruin a friendship though. 

melissamc Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 7:07pm

AThere is no way I'm not doing it. She asked me. I said I'd do my best. She said she knows I won't disappoint. That's why I started researching and practicing this far in advance. I do and never would have thought I'd enjoy decorating cakes as a hobby. My boyfriend died suddenly 8 months ago. He had a huge sweet tooth. I never did, and still don't. Decorating cakes takes my mind off things and who knows, maybe this is him influencing me, showing me some talent I never knew I had. And I may not be perfect at it. But for only making 8 cakes or so I think I'm pretty damn good. I've got so many compliments. And learn a little more each time. I post photos of every cake to my Facebook and someone from my group therapy who has fallen in love with my talent suggested maybe adding a symbol or something to every cake as a tribute to him. But like I said, this is just a hobby. I have a full time job and a 21 month old baby. Being a newly single mom is tough enough. Especially when she darts for the oven the second I open it. But it does get my mind off things. Maybe that's why she asked me to do it. I don't know. It's not like she doesn't have the money to buy one. She just wants me to do it. I did get a lot of great ideas and suggestions and I will definitely use them. Thanks for the help. And I know just like anything else, the more I do, the easier (and quicker) it's going to get. That all being said, I'm almost sorry I posted for advice in the first place. From some of these responses, it almost feels like I'm being judged instead. Constructive criticism is great, how else would I improve? But now I'm scared to ask for help. Maybe I'll go back to just silently searching and hopefully will find what I'm looking for. Because for the most part, y'all are great. Very smart. And I've learned so much.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 8:18pm

~~~~~~~

 melissamc, please accept my sympathy in your stunning loss--

~~~~~~~

~~

 

no no no no no -- you need us maybe-- i want to help you -- please consider to keep on posting -- i/we would love to have an opportunity to contribute a particle to your sweet success--

 

yeah we get a little cross ways and crabby around here--if you click on anyone's name under their avatar you can block anyone you want--

 

i can't say we'll all behave but i can say you'll get a lot of help

 

RubinaD Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:04pm

Melissamc, I am so sorry to hear of your sudden loss, I know how you feel. Be strong! and ya, you may be right that your boyfriend is channeling  you to pursue this. I hear a strong individual with determination in your words, you are more than capable of making this cake for your friend, you know your abilities more than anyone and I am sure will be able to design and create a beautiful cake. Please keep us posted, I would love to see your final cake. Good Luck, and have a wonderful day!

melissamc Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 10:13pm

AAwe thank you. Y'all made me cry. That was really sweet. The 8 month mark was just Saturday. I'm a mess and still waiting to wake up from this nightmare.

howsweet Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 11:11pm

That's really sad. I'm so sorry to hear of your tragedy.   However, it might be a good idea to have some consideration for others. Not a good idea to insult your best friend's taste on national forum and then give all these personal details about yourself so there's no mistaking who wrote it.  Google "policeman writing ticket wedding topper". This thread comes up on page two for me - hope your friend doesn't see this thread.

Norasmom Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 12:00am

I didn't see judgement in anyone's post, just genuine concern for someone taking on a monumental task.  Your post makes you sound stressed out and not happy about making the cake, particularly with the topper the bride had wanted.  When people on this forum read what you wrote they were advising you based on personal experiences, not to be judgmental.   I won't say I haven't seen nasty posts in the past, but this thread does not have that.

 

You have had a very recent tragedy in your life and that is going to take time to fully process.  I am glad you have found a hobby to help you in time of sadness.  I think you can do the cake, but again, it just seems so stressful.  

 

Anyways, good luck and practice as much as you can.  

dukeswalker Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 12:53am

I just did a wedding cake as a gift for a close friend of mine. While I sent her over some pics to get an idea of what she liked, I left the ultimate design up to me, since it was a gift.  I even told her that I didn't want to give everything away because it was a gift - :) - she was totally cool with that.  If it were me, and there were things that she wanted and I wasn't sure I could deliver because it was out of my scope of abilities I would simply tell her that.  She obviously knows that you are new to this and I am sure isn't expecting Ace of Cakes kinda stuff. :)

 

Good luck!  (Oh...and really...just make sure it tastes yummy&  doesn't fall over! Look into SPS) :)

mfeagan Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 2:10am

Quote:

Originally Posted by melissamc 

There is no way I'm not doing it. She asked me. I said I'd do my best.
If you're really that uncomfortable even at the thought, it's probably your best choice. I make wedding cakes, but not all the time. I would rather do birthday cakes and other celebrations. I make tiered cakes, but like them small. I am working on a 4 tier cake this week and always am a wreck when I'm doing them!
She said she knows I won't disappoint. That's why I started researching and practicing this far in advance. I do and never would have thought I'd enjoy decorating cakes as a hobby. My boyfriend died suddenly 8 months ago. He had a huge sweet tooth. I never did, and still don't. Decorating cakes takes my mind off things and who knows, maybe this is him influencing me, showing me some talent I never knew I had.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I can't imagine what you are going through, but perhaps his love of sweets is your way to get through this awful time! It is probably a comfort to you knowing that what you are making, he would have loved!!!
And I may not be perfect at it. But for only making 8 cakes or so I think I'm pretty damn good. I've got so many compliments. And learn a little more each time. I post photos of every cake to my Facebook and someone from my group therapy who has fallen in love with my talent suggested maybe adding a symbol or something to every cake as a tribute to him. But like I said, this is just a hobby.
I have done this for 10 years as a hobby/side job and am STILL learning stuff! Your sugar flower you posted was beautiful! It looks like you just have a natural talent for it! I think making other people happy with your cakes is going to help you heal in this process. You could even think about getting a little stamp made you could impress into your cakes on the back that is your signature…something that means something to you that is special about your boyfriend. I think Sylvia Weinstock "signs" all of her cakes, but does it very discretely. :)
I have a full time job and a 21 month old baby. Being a newly single mom is tough enough. Especially when she darts for the oven the second I open it.
I hear ya girl!!! I work 40 hours for a hospital and my baby just turned 1…still crawling…trying to walk…I'll have to reserve baking for the times she is sleeping!
I'm almost sorry I posted for advice in the first place. From some of these responses, it almost feels like I'm being judged instead. Constructive criticism is great, how else would I improve? But now I'm scared to ask for help. Maybe I'll go back to just silently searching and hopefully will find what I'm looking for. Because for the most part, y'all are great. Very smart. And I've learned so much.
Don't stop posting. Someone on here really rubbed me the wrong way once, but I chose to ignore her. She really ticked me off and it ate at me for days. I just decided I wasn't going to let someone I didn't know and probably would never meet in my life dictate what I was going to do.

It may have seemed like some of the posts were judging you, but they were really just trying to help you in a situation you really didn't want to put yourself in. Especially if your friend was showing you pictures of things she liked and you wanted to surprise her with something else. Something like that could ruin a friendship and you don't want that! (Although, 80s cakes are ugly and your cakes are probably waaaay nicer!!!)

Just keep practicing with your fondant. Try making some so you don't have to keep buying it! I would recommend buying a few cake dummies so you can practice just getting that part down. If you're looking for a cheap place to purchase dummies, Taylor Foam is great. That's how I practiced covering cakes. You can use them over and over and over and you're not wasting money on ingredients! If you don't want to spend money on dummies, buy a hat box or something from a discount store and try covering that! Get them in square and round. The square one may tear your corners a little since they are so sharp, but you would get the hang of getting it smooth. Even try covering a round bowl! Watch YouTube's Sweetwise channel and get tips on how she covers cakes. She uses the Mat too!

Good luck!!! Please be sure to ask if you have any more advice! Keep your head up! You will get through this!

(((((((HUGS!))))))))

 
melissamc Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 2:47am

AThis whole thing has got totally out of control. I've showed her around 30 photos and she told me things she liked and didn't like. She never told me exactly what she wanted. So the surprise element that I started this whole conversation about was about incorporating different things from the photos I showed her. I'm not insulting her. I think that topper is tacky and I've told her that. So howsweet, I think your comment was completely rude. You had nothing to say that had to do with the topic. Just I'm a fool and that it's on google. Gee that's wonderful, thank you for letting me know, more reason to me to just shut up and not even ask for help. About 4 or 5 of these posts are jabs and rude. I'm so annoyed at all of this. I don't even want any advice. If I thought for a second that she trust my judgement then I would have never agreed to do it. And since she doesn't even care to look at photos, I think I'm good no matter what I do. Y'all are acting like this I'd a customer and a complete stranger. This is someone I'm more closer to than my own sisters. Someone I've known for 20 years. I can predict what she's gonna say before she says it. So when I say she trusts my judgement, I can promise you that the surprise of seeing it in person put together, just trusting what I do, will be a happy pleasant exciting surprise for her. I'm so done with this. It just keeps getting worse. Some of you are awesome. However here I am crying again. I wish I could delete this thread. My whole account. I don't want help from know-it-alls with bad off topic advice and have nothing better to do than criticize people who haven't been doing this for their whole life. I'm sorry I'm not as good as you. I'm sorry my bride trusts my judgement enough to be surprised. Maybe I'm just that good that quick and your jealous. I don't know. But this ridiculous.

kikiandkyle Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 2:59am

AHere's the thing about the internet - you might write things meaning one thing and others read what you wrote as something completely different.

A lot of us read your posts and answered the questions we thought you were asking. You read our replies and came to the conclusions you did.

Nobody is attacking anyone - when you come to a website asking for advice you are opening yourself up to answers you might not want to hear, but that doesn't make those answers any less valid.

Perhaps you might want to consider your words more carefully in future posts, you are more likely to get the answers you are looking for if you ask for what you actually want.

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