Oh No Not Again- Wedding Cake Payment Dilema Please Help!

Decorating By razzmatazz Updated 6 Oct 2014 , 10:02pm by MBalaska

razzmatazz Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 9:30pm
post #1 of 34

I never thought I would find myself in this position again. But the time has come for me to reach out to the Cake central sister and brotherhood for further pearls of wisdom. I hope this situation proves not to be as exciting as an episode of Eastenders lol. I took all your advice following my last wedding cake debacle-I spent the night before I was due to deliver a cake fearing I'd not get paid-and drew up a contract for my prospective brides.Such a contract was signed between myself and a client 2 months ago. The contract stipulated the type, size and decor choesn by the bride and clearly stated that a 50% deposit would be due upon the documents signing and the balance no less than 4 weeks before the wedding.The bride also agreed to set the date of collection.

The bride signed and gave me the deposit-so far so good. The wedding is exactly 4 weeks away and the day for the balance is here. The bride has told me she hoped to settle the bill 3 days before collection and wanted to collect the cake 1 week before the wedding as she'd forgotten to tell me she is getting married in another part of the country. That gives me 1 week less to make the rest of the elements for the cakes without receiving the final payment. I am worried that yet again I may not get paid for a cake or that I'll have to hold another wedding cake to virtual ransom.Help! Shall I cave in give her the benefit of the doubt and say she can have another week or stand firm this time. I thought I had done all that I could to avoid situations like this :(

33 replies
Dayti Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 9:55pm
post #2 of 34

It doesn't matter what she "hoped" in terms of paying the other 50%. What matters is that she SIGNED a document saying she would pay 4 weeks before the event. Stick to your guns, and do not make the cake if she doesn't pay in the next day or so.

 

Also, why would she want to collect the cake a week before the wedding? She should be aware that the cake will not be in optimum condition to serve to her guests. 

 

I say keep your 50%, do nothing further. Tell her you expect payment in the next 2 days, and you will have the cake ready for the week before her wedding. If she disagrees, do not make it, and tell her you will not be making it. Stay strong, it will save you much stress along the line. 

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 10:02pm
post #3 of 34

she wants the cake a week in advance? so it's a long lasting cake like a fruit cake?

 

no i would just say -- that bumps up your due date so payment of $xx.xx is now due or whenever it is -- i mean the due date is not figured from the date of the wedding it is figured from the date of delivery-- i always told my brides that the cake being delivered is not contingent on a wedding taking place --you pay you're getting cake -- had one girl pay in full a year in advance -- she said she would be ready to eat a lot of cake if things fell through in the meantime so -- all went well though

 

just express it to her easily and try to take it in stride -- 

Apti Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 11:02pm
post #4 of 34

First---Congratulations on a contract this time!  WELL DONE! 

 

Second--Now YOU have to be the professional and enforce the terms of the contract.   Why would you even consider for a nanosecond "caving in"? 

 

Just curious--Do you have a specific clause in your contract about the 50% deposit NOT being refundable?  Does the contract state that some or all of the 50% deposit is non-refundable if the client does not adhere to all the terms of the contract? 

 

This is what you posted on the previous thread, dated 6/6/14:  "Thanks for the advice. I agree I am way too timid and nicey nice for my own good. My hubby is always telling me to approach it as more of a business and going concern instead of viewing my orders as people just funding my hobby because they like what I do.It is certainly a lesson learned."

YOU HAVE 50% OF HER MONEY.  YOU HAVE A CONTRACT.  POLITELY, PROFESSIONALLY, ENFORCE IT or quit charging people to "fund your hobby".

 

I suggest you use this opportunity to take a long hard look and decide if the business side of cake decorating is for you.  You were provided with pages and pages and pages of excellent advice on a similar previous thread.  Both Dayti and K8Memphis have provided excellent advice on this thread, only 7 weeks later.  (By the way, it is helpful if you identify a country of origin when posting questions like this.  American cakes are very different than UK fruit cakes.  Delivery of an American style cake a week before a wedding would be a disaster.  Perhaps a traditional UK fruit cake is a totally different matter.)

costumeczar Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 11:11pm
post #5 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by razzmatazz 
 

 Shall I cave in give her the benefit of the doubt and say she can have another week

No. Tell her that her payment is due now and that if you don't receive it you won't be making her cake, per the terms of your contract. It's business and you need to be businesslike!

kakeladi Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:34am
post #6 of 34

Follow the advice already given here.

razzmatazz Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 7:36am
post #7 of 34

AThanks for all your advice. The main cake that she has ordered is a 3 tiered fruit cake, which has already been baked and are ready for their coating of marzipan, so luckily there is no issue with the main cakes freshness, however she has also ordered a stand alone sponge which is to be a madeira cake which is not ideal but does tend to keep very well for up to 10 days-not that I've known any cake to last that long! The cake is needed a week in advance as the bride and groom will be traveling in advance to their wedding destination. Yep the 50% deposit is non refundable. I will be telling her that she needs to pay me within the next 3 working days. I suppose I am just surprised that someone can sign a document and then think that they can ignore it’s contents. I think I am also concerned as the contract is not legally binding –no solicitor was involved in it’s drafting-not that the bride knows this. My problem is also that the cake is for another work colleague who ordered it off the back of the last cake that I made because she was impressed with the taste and design and I fear that if I stand firm and withhold my services this will cause a tense atmosphere @ work and may affect future business. As I am sure you know people have a tendency to speak negatively of a service even if they are the ones at fault. Fingers crossed she pays up but if she doesn’t I will stand firm and cease all further work. I’m trying v hard to see this as a business which is why I drew up an agreement and so on and thought things from her on in would be clear cut.

maisie73 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 8:37am
post #8 of 34

AHi razzmatazz. I remember your last thread well. You were panicking right up to the day of the wedding weren't you? I'm pretty sure it is legally binding. They're your terms and conditions and she's sign to agree with them. This is why you started having contracts remember, don't want to feel like you did last time do you? Re: Madeira cake, I wouldn't be happy about delivering that a week before it was going to be eaten tbh. Unless it can be frozen and the bride defrost it closer to the day. It's ok eating week old Madeira in your own house but serving it to wedding guests, hmm, I think people will say it's dry and I doubt the bride will tell everyone who eats it that it had to be delivered a week early so it's not the cake makers fault.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:30pm
post #9 of 34

Stick to your guns like others have said.  I would politely refer to your terms and say that unfortunately, if the balance is not paid within X days, you will be unable to make her cake.  I can understand your concerns about working environment but be polite and do not mention it to anyone in the office (at least unless your business is being spoken about in a negative way).  I actually require full payment for fruit cakes 6 weeks before because of how far in advance they are made.

 

Re: maderia sponge a week in advance, I would just say no.  It will not still taste good bearing it mind it would probably need to be made 10 days before...serving it would reflect badly on my business so it wouldn't happen.

 

You cannot afford for this to go pearshaped and her not pay up - a 3-tier fruit cake is expensive to make in both time and materials.

 

And if it all does fall through, you will have an amazing Christmas cake ready for December!!!! :-)  Good luck x

peachcake Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 1:01pm
post #10 of 34

I know what you mean about a coworker but business is business. I tried a bakery with my sister in law who didn't have a clue about anything, I had a gut feeling about the whole thing, should have listened to my gut. She is still trying to make it work, I had to go after 5 years of trying. Good luck and don't let anybody do you wrong.

Gingerlocks Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 2:21pm
post #11 of 34

It is legally binding; if you write terms and both sign then its a contract..even if you wrote it up on a paper napkin; its binding. So don't worry about that!

 

She agreed to it and that's that; she needs to pay.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 2:24pm
post #12 of 34

It doesn't even need to be written down apparently!  As far as I know, even a verbal agreement is considered binding...the problem is proving it (one reason why many businesses now have voice recorders for phone lines).

cai0311 Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 12:49am
post #13 of 34

AMake sure she signs something stating you are not held responsible for the cake once it leaves your possession. She will be traveling with a cake for a week. That is a disaster waiting to happen!!

costumeczar Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 1:23am
post #14 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by cai0311 

Make sure she signs something stating you are not held responsible for the cake once it leaves your possession. She will be traveling with a cake for a week. That is a disaster waiting to happen!!

very, very good point.

razzmatazz Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 8:56am
post #15 of 34

phew thank goodness for that. I politely yet firmly communicated with the bride that as per the contract the cake has to be paid in full within 3 working days. She has agreed to pay the money into my account today. She has also heeded my words of advice regarding the madeira and is going to pick up the cakes now closer to the day.It turns out the bride was not leaving London until the Tuesday or Wednesday before the Friday wedding- why she wanted to collect them a week in advance is beyond me.  Luckily my contract already states that I accept no responsibility for the cake after it has left my posession.I am so relieved I honestly don't think that customers know anything about the planning, expense and effort that goes into  a wedding cake and probably don't think anything about how collection dates and travelling arrangements can affect things. I shall be in future as someone else suggested be requesting payment for fruit cakes 6 weeks in advance.Luckily a lot of my wedding cakes are fruit base which gives me more time but does mean that they are always made well in advance so that if a bride does not pay i have already lost money.

Dayti Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 9:59am
post #16 of 34

Well done!

denetteb Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 2:52pm
post #17 of 34

It sounds like you need to have a different, earlier payment date for fruit cakes so that you have the deposit in hand before you make your ingredient purchases and especially before you start mixing.  It defeats a purpose of a deposit if you have the deposit due 4 weeks before the event but you need to bake the cake 6 weeks before, or whatever your time table is.

Dayti Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 5:28pm
post #18 of 34

I agree. Most of us I think get a 50% deposit from the customer to save the date for all orders including weddings or other large events. At this meeting, flavours and design are usually discussed and agreed upon.

 

Then I personally allow any changes they like (size, flavour, design etc) up to 2 weeks before the wedding, when their final payment is due. You wouldn't be able to admit any size or flavour changes because you would already have your fruit cakes baked, but stuff like the colour or type of flowers you could if you wanted. 

Apti Posted 2 Sep 2014 , 12:46pm
post #19 of 34

I agree with Dayti, Well Done!  Glad it has worked out so well. 

cakebaby2 Posted 1 Oct 2014 , 8:45pm
post #20 of 34

Razz Razz Razz! How big you've grown and you stayed sober this time ? I remember you faintly pickled....or was that me?

Time flies.

razzmatazz Posted 1 Oct 2014 , 9:49pm
post #21 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

Razz Razz Razz! How big you've grown and you stayed sober this time ? I remember you faintly pickled....or was that me?

Time flies.

Ha Ha Hi there Cake baby! yes the only bottles that were opened this time round were the ones in celebration as the cake was collected with minimal fuss with smiles all round nerves in tact ,paid for on time and  survived the journey up the motorway. Saw bride today following the wedding and she couldn't have been a happier customer, needless to say I'm a happier baker now and Alan Sugar is quaking in his boots at my new found entrepreneurial skills and business confidence-ahem well not quite but soon! Pic of latest wedding cake posted this evening Bring them on!

cakebaby2 Posted 2 Oct 2014 , 6:26pm
post #22 of 34

Good on you girl,The Devil Wears Fondant , that'll be you! Off to look at your pic x

cakebaby2 Posted 2 Oct 2014 , 6:34pm
post #23 of 34

Cant find it Razz, is it in round or square wedding cakes in the gallery?

razzmatazz Posted 3 Oct 2014 , 9:29am
post #24 of 34

Ait's in the round gallery

cakebaby2 Posted 3 Oct 2014 , 1:55pm
post #25 of 34

Sorry still cant see it, I hate how the gallery is now, its really hard to find things without trawling through and some of the comments dont match the cakes.

CraftyCassie Posted 4 Oct 2014 , 9:06pm
post #26 of 34

AHold firm to original contract. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. :)

razzmatazz Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 10:21am
post #27 of 34
cakebaby2 Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 10:31am
post #28 of 34

Its gorgeous Razz, thanks for finding it for me. Well done you, love your roses x

maisie73 Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 11:39am
post #29 of 34

AIt's beautiful razz. :-)

razzmatazz Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 1:12pm
post #30 of 34

AThank you so much. This was the second batch of roses that I had to make. As I am sure you recall the humidity recently in the UK has been really bad and the first batch ended up floppy and limp. I'd used satin ice gum paste and it is not the first time that models made out of this medium have reacted badly to moisture in the air. I had to add loads more cmc to the second batch and am contemplating making flowers in future out of something else. Any recommendations? Pastillage is good and does not react to moistuire but I find this hard to work with as it dries out so quickly.

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