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!!!! :)
Edited by BAKEdeliciousbc - 7/22/13 at 4:44pm