I guess luckily this was not my cake, or I would have been way more upset and unable to do anything....
Went with a fellow caker to deliver a wedding cake this afternoon. My friend is in her 60's, and very good. Does more older style, but really really good.
We were delivering a 4 tier stacked (just with dowels) to a small club near the lake. I went along to chat and hold the top tiers for safety. Then I was going home and she was going to a picnic/cookout with her family, to which she was taking a big sheetcake with simple picnic decorations on the top.
We got it there, and were doing the set up, all going well. Family and such begin to show up and these 2 little boys (maybe 3 and 5) are running around like banshees. Screeching, throwing toys etc.
No big deal, so long as they are away from us right?
My friend is doing the borders, and all that last minute stuff, and the kids now are getting close enough and throwing enough stuff/running right past us that I get a person to ask the parents to chill them out. Don't want the cake knocked over right?
Kids are moved, sorta. You could tell the parents were more into getting at the free booze than controlling their brats. Not our problem though, so my friend finishes up, cake looks great. Bride is thrilled, as are the mothers, so she feels good, gets paid and we are heading out.
Stop in the lobby to chat with the MIL who wanted more caking info and we hear a shriek and then kids crying. We think the brats finally hurt themselves running around or the like..no.
The had run into the table with the cake on it.
Top 2 tiers are smashed, they flew off the dowels sideways and hit the floor. 3rd tier is torn and covered in bits from the top. Only the bottom tier is even still looking like cake. They had no sheet cake or extra, as it was a fairly small wedding. My friend did a stable set up (It was very sturdy, but could not handle the whole table almost falling over of course) and was paid and left a satisfied customer. She had no obligation to do anything about it at this point.
Bride and co. knew they were screwed and were SO upset. (Kids' parents still did not care, did not even apologize to the bride) Asked my friend if she knew where in town they could find some quick sheet cakes/pastries/anything and if they could pay her extra to fix the bottom tier.
My friend instead waved off payment, fixed the bottom tier to look good enough to serve as the nice one with the topper to be cut for pics, and brought out the sheet cake from her car, scraped off the picnic decorations, re-iced the top and let them have that for free.
I thought my friend was really classy to do that at all, not to mention very fast and for free. We felt very bad for the bride, who was in tears, but happy with the replacement set-up. When we finally did leave we could still hear the MIL screaming at the kids' parents and demanding they pay for the smashed cake etc. I hope the reception went well for the bride after that, poor girl.
It was a good lesson to always carry lots of extra icing and such for 'just in case', more than you think is necessary. I guess it doesn't hurt to have an extra cake in the car either! :lol