Final Wedding Cake Payment Overdue

Business By vernie_78 Updated 5 days ago by cadaless31

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vernie_78 Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 2:57pm
post #1 of 25

Happy easter all,

Just wanting a bit of advice of how to proceed with getting paid the final balance for a wedding cake.

The final payment was due yesterday and tbh I expected that she would not pay on time. When it came to paying the deposit I had told her that she would need to pay to secure the date at the consultation stage . After the consultation, there was a lot of going back and forth via email regarding the final design - a month of changing her mind on style and flavour. A month before her event I sent her another email saying that deposit is now due and gave her a few days to pay. She came back asking me to change to the tweaks on her invoice (flavour) and then she would pay that day. She did not. A week later i emailed her to say that if payment was not received that day i would not do the cake for her, then she finally paid the deposit.

So on the invoice and email i sent her i stated the final payment would be due 7 days before the event (silly I know) and guess what? She did not pay. After speaking with family, some have said to give her few days -  "You know how stressful weddings are" and my husband says that I should email her for the payment, but I'm not sure. As it's Easter today, then bank holiday tomorrow I will have to wait till Tuesday to act, but do I tell her that she needs to pay straight away? I don't want to come across rude. I did not make her sign a contract just stipulated my conditions within my invoice. I'm 7 sugar flowers deep, with all 3 of the 4 tiers baked. Help! 

Thanks in advance for your advice

Laverne 


24 replies
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ElizabethsCakeCreations Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 3:29pm
post #2 of 25

email her now, tell her she has till Tuesday or no cake

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ElizabethsCakeCreations Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 3:30pm
post #3 of 25

email her now, tell her she has till Tuesday or no cake

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-K8memphis Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 3:31pm
post #4 of 25

i had a big mess once where on a double wedding one bride paid and one didn't -- gaghh -- so when i made my decision -- and btw the cakes were designed to be intertwined of course -- insert: rolling eyes smilie face here -- when i made my decision i got sucha peace it was actually a wonderful experience --

i decided to do it without the final payment -- a great move on my part -- SO MUCH better on your health -- seriously -- because on the other hand being aggressive takes a toll on your bp & anxiety & stuff -- in fact i have a cake friend who had to go to the doc when she decided to not do someone's cake for non- payment -- it's not worth it --

so my plan from then forward is to do the cake and collect afterwards when necessary -- although my final payment is/was due three weeks in advance of the date -- (i'm retired)

and i just used an order blank -- we both signed it -- but i figured i am as liable to make it as the customer was to pay so that worked great for me -- i was a credit and collection supervisor for a company so i knew how to collect too -- rarely rarely happened --

...and eventually they paid -- kinda sorta -- but more importantly -- the one person who could make a big difference on the day of days for TWO couples -- seamlessly kept it positive and pleasant and sweet and that amount of sweetness is still reverberating around the universe 

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-K8memphis Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 3:41pm
post #5 of 25

when i say they paid, kinda sorta, they gave the last twenty bucks to my co-worker to give to me and she truly honestly lost the twenty and i really didn't care -- they were all so grateful and it was so sweet -- making sweetness is what its all about --

then in general to everyone --

and on this day of days -- easter of course --may i just go on to say no matter what you ultimately believe -- jesus made wedding refreshments so we're all walking in some lovely footprints purple_heart keep it sweet is the best advice --

no don't be a chump -- you gotta be a pro -- but there is just this one day and this one cake and this one time to hit it -- ain't no do-overs on a wedding -- birthdays come every year -- weddings sometimes do come in multiples but they are each unique one of a kinders --

best to you

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leah_s Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 4:49pm
post #6 of 25

Well, I'm in business to make money.  I did once have to call a bride, remind her of the stipulations on her contract (but I ALWAYS had a contract) and actually required her to come to my place of business with real, hard cash.  She showed up with the money still in the bank envelope.

I have no problems with this.  And certainly no guilt.

Srsly, do you think the florist acts like we do?  Or the dress shop?  Or the hall rental?  No payment and there'd be no flowers, no dress and the hall door wouldn't even be unlocked.

Buck up, cake people.

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-K8memphis Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 5:19pm
post #7 of 25

yes some of them actually do final bill the balance after the event even the caterers billed us after our kid's wedding -- not everyone does -- but sure yes it is done -- the caterer i worked for billed afterwards -- i mean sure they get deposits and they will def take moolah in advance all the way to paid in full -- but sure many bill afterwards too --

at a large, prominent church -- the venue director was handing the happy couple the bill as they got into the honeymoon car -- smile for the pictures --

dresses -- i agree you gotta at least not leave home without your visa hahahahaha that you can pay off next year -- it's who we are -- buy/enjoy now -- pay later


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rollingstone Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 5:58pm
post #8 of 25

K8memphis....I just love you! kissing_heart

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maybenot Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 9:06pm
post #9 of 25

Be the adult here. You are a business--NOT a charity.  Why should this be on you and your conscience?  She's the one VIOLATING the rules.  You break the rules, you pay for it--one way or the other.

Email her NOW.  Tell her that the tiers are baked and you've been working on flowers, and that you are stopping RIGHT NOW, so as to limit your losses, unless she shows up in the next 24 hours with CASH. 

If she wiggles, drop her like a hot rock.  Remind her that her deposit is non-refundable and be done with her.  Don't give in to any threats of bad reviews, etc.  Save ALL communications and don't be afraid to make them public if she gets petty.

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Smckinney07 Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 9:08pm
post #10 of 25

I always have a contract, with final payment due 3 weeks before the event and a deposit required. I've had people make payments up to the three weeks, no problem I'm happy to work with reasonable 'payment installments' (I mean something we've discussed and arranged prior-not $10 every week) but I always have a date on the contract ' x amount is due by this date '. We both get copies, and all that fun stuff. 

In my experience, the people who don't pay on time certainly don't want to pay afterwards-And I'm not willing to go to their house or track them down. 

I was going to also say that I get another contact number as well, (bridesmaid, mom, etc.) If she's too busy why doesn't the Fiance come pay you?! That's crazy to me! I certainly don't mean that in a nasty way

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Smckinney07 Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 9:11pm
post #11 of 25

I don't think there's anything wrong with calling her/emailing her to remind her that her cake won't be delivered if it's not paid in full. You have to treat your business like a business if you expect her or anyone else to. Again, nothing meant to be disrespectful, just trying to save you some stress! My customers know I only accept a certain number of orders so I can give them the service and attention their event deserves-it's the same as the contract-it is in both of our best interests! 

Call her, you will feel much better about it! It doesn't have to be a confrontation. Good luck!

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cakebaker3 Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 9:22pm
post #12 of 25

I agree with smckinney07....just give her a call.  Remember this is her big day and she wants that beautiful cake....once the day is over the cake is gone....nothing to show for the money....get the money now or No Cake!

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vernie_78 Posted 16 Apr 2017 , 9:42pm
post #13 of 25

Thanks everyone for taking the time out to respond. I've taken everything said into consideration and will go ahead and email her first thing. Must keep reminding myself that this is not a hobby! 

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johnson6ofus Posted 17 Apr 2017 , 4:21am
post #14 of 25

+1Vernie.

Business has  contract and payment terms.

A round of applause for you! clap

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Smckinney07 Posted 17 Apr 2017 , 7:49am
post #15 of 25

CakeBaker: Yes, it seems like after the event they don't feel the urgency! Reminds me of a Seinfeld joke

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Smckinney07 Posted 17 Apr 2017 , 7:50am
post #16 of 25

I've been there! I ran an after school program when I sort of fell into my first order by one of the moms. It was a nightmare! She wanted a quarter sheet cake, but that wasn't even enough for half their guests. I recommend a bigger size, which she ended up requesting a larger cake at 7pm the night before-not that deep, but she reluctantly agreed to pay the $10 extra,  tons of things like that! Then she was upset since she had some leftover cake, then the cake had been too dry, no it was too moist...it took me months to get that stupid $30!  Months later she apologized to me but it was ridiculous but my own darn fault, which to me was even worse!

I realized it was my job to take control of the situation, educate the customers-especially when it comes to pricing and payment! I made a huge list trying to anticipate any/everything that could go wrong and had a professional help me finalize my contract. I also set a minimum order which 'weeded out' people who wanted a 'cheap' cake (some of them anyway lol) and it also ensured my initial costs would be covered from the start. 

Most impotantly, I started running my business like a business, as I stated before. 

Excuse my babbling! Basically I wanted you to know that these things happen (you certainly aren't alone)! Run your business the way you want, and certainly don't feel bad about about requesting payment! 

Hope all goes well, good luck!

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-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2017 , 10:46am
post #17 of 25

always best to get the money before and of course call them and press them in a professional way --

true about the urgency waning after the reception -- but me being a former credit collection supervisor and knowing the ropes makes it easy peasy to create  urgency after the fact -- when necessary -- and it rarely is necessary --

but just in the sense of continuing education let me say that during the consult you chat them up and find out where they work -- at least the bride and groom and if possible any of the parents -- write that all down afterwards so you don't look like a stalker  --

so here's my mind set on the do the cake anyway without the final payment in hand -- like for example if two/thirds of the money has been paid -- i'd picture myself in judge alex's court and me getting grilled on how could i not do the cake even though i had collected most of the money 

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-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2017 , 11:00am
post #18 of 25

so that got posted too fast ^^^

so it's that dilema where you have most of the money and you alone have that one chance to make it happen or not forever -- and sure it's all written down on the order blank we both signed so it is binding both ways -- i woulda never thought one could have such a physical peace come over you -- 

but as far as collecting afterward and legally and not interfering with your health -- no guilt no problem-o -- just call all the numbers you collected at the consult -- especially their places of employment -- if they can't come to the phone then just leave a message from acme cake company to please have xyz employee call me back --

don't mention the debt that's illegal -- just leave your name & number --

works like crazy -- start with bride & groom -- in a few days add the others -- if told to stop calling you do have to stop but otherwise call every week then go to twice a week -- it doesn't take long at all

rarely ever happens -- but that's another way to do it 

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johnson6ofus Posted 1 week ago
post #19 of 25

A debt is collectible, but what an aggravation and PITA.

Money up front, or don't turn on your oven. The more you "bend" and are flexible, the more they will try. Don't invest your valuable TIME in collections.

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-K8memphis Posted 1 week ago
post #20 of 25

yes i agree 1000% -- sure -- absolutely -- avoiding a situation is definitely plan A --

but when you find yourself already in the very uncomfortable, unenviable position of having to split the baby like this -- try not to stress -- you can collect later -- it's not hard -- it's a few phone calls -- 10 minutes a day maybe or less even -- typically doesn't take long -- just gotta be consistent -- much easier than blowing a cork and/or blowing their wedding --

or you could dumb down the cake -- deliver a lesser version

or you could hold the cake hostage at the reception but that involves either deviousness or more chutzpah than i have or want to use -- like  come in with the balance due on an invoice and quietly make your point that way

it's a very difficult position to be in -- it was for me 

so when you called today -- what happened?


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sugarbritches Posted 1 week ago
post #21 of 25

This won't help with deadbeats but I've found that brides or most of my clients actually, just don't want to deal with getting cash, mailing checks etc. So they procrastinate payment.  But, since I started using Venmo (phone app that's used for electronic payment) as my preferred payment method I rarely have a problem.  People are always using their phones so if I invoice them, it pops up on their phone and it's a simple one click approval. It's also advertisement because the fun of Venmo is that it's sort of a social network and you can see who pays whom (you can't see the dollar amount just what they put in their comments).  PayPal charges 10% to invoice using their app. 

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sugarbritches Posted 1 week ago
post #22 of 25

This won't help with deadbeats but I've found that brides or most of my clients actually, just don't want to deal with getting cash, mailing checks etc. So they procrastinate payment.  But, since I started using Venmo (phone app that's used for electronic payment) as my preferred payment method I rarely have a problem.  People are always using their phones so if I invoice them, it pops up on their phone and it's a simple one click approval. It's also advertisement because the fun of Venmo is that it's sort of a social network and you can see who pays whom (you can't see the dollar amount just what they put in their comments).  PayPal charges 10% to invoice using their app. 

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cadaless31 Posted 6 days ago
post #23 of 25

Hi @sugarbritches is this considered 'online sales?' The reason I ask i because my state limits 'online sales' for Cottage Food Estabilishments and was looking for a way to accept electronic payment. As you said cash can be a pain for some. I know I hardly ever carry cash.

Quote by @sugarbritches on 23 hours ago

This won't help with deadbeats but I've found that brides or most of my clients actually, just don't want to deal with getting cash, mailing checks etc. So they procrastinate payment.  But, since I started using Venmo (phone app that's used for electronic payment) as my preferred payment method I rarely have a problem.  People are always using their phones so if I invoice them, it pops up on their phone and it's a simple one click approval. It's also advertisement because the fun of Venmo is that it's sort of a social network and you can see who pays whom (you can't see the dollar amount just what they put in their comments).  PayPal charges 10% to invoice using their app. 


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sugarbritches Posted 6 days ago
post #24 of 25

@cadaless31 ‍ I don't think Venmo would be considered online sales because it's purely a phone app and not an online web browser.  It's merely an electronic payment method.  However, if you look at their website it warns against using  venmo with strangers - although I have many times - because it's not protected like paypal.

 

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cadaless31 Posted 5 days ago
post #25 of 25

thank you!

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