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Thinking of invoicing my sister-in-laws...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

...just to be a jerk. Warning: this is a vent. And I apologize that I am still new around here and venting, but my family and friends no NOTHING about cake decorating so they just wouldn't get it. 

 

My in-laws 50'th anniversary is in a couple months and my sister-in-laws (who I've only known for a few years) nominated me to do the cake. At first I thought "I'd love to" as my in-laws are just delightful and I would be honored to give that gift to them. I wasn't too excited that they didn't "ask" me, but rather just told I would be doing it...but whatever. They said it would be a SMALL family thing with a couple close friends, most likely at my one sister in laws house, so I tried to stay positive about it.

 

So over the past couple months this is what THEY decided will be done... I will now be recreating their actual wedding cake which was 7 tiers and VERY intricate (did they actually make cakes that big back then?? icon_wink.gif), for 80-100 people, and I will have to deliver it (with 3 children) to a WINERY they rented out for the day, 2.5 hours a way (driving normally, not driving like I have a cake on board!)!! 

 

Oh and here's the best part... My husband and I are also expected to "pay our share" of the total cost of the venue, food, wine, decorations and invitations. Oh and my husband says we need to get them a gift!! 

 

There is absolutely no way I am actually going to put myself through this torture. I think I am just going to tell them I'm sorry but call Walmart... but first I would LOVE to send them an invoice/contract and tell them I will need a deposit...party.gif

post #2 of 15
Dealing with family is hard. It's pretty well known that I will make birthday cakes for my nieces and nephew. Dealing with my sister is the easiest-she even planned her daughter's first birthday and baptism around my wedding schedule so I wouldn't stress about a wedding cake and the party cake. One of my brothers once told me they needed a cake for his son's birthday. TOLD not asked. I was happy to do it but I was a bit peeved that it was told to me. His daughter's birthday is coming up and of course it is in the middle of wedding season. Last year she didn't even care about her cake and even threw it in the car. My mom was pissed!!

Have you talked with your in laws at all? Do they want the recreation or is it your sister in laws? I would treat your parent in laws just like you would a wedding client. Deal with them and do what they want, not what their daughters want. Also, the cake is your present and your contribution. Don't let them try to tell you otherwise. My cakes are my present.

Good luck!
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Birthday Cakes
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post #3 of 15
Dealing with family is hard. It's pretty well known that I will make birthday cakes for my nieces and nephew. Dealing with my sister is the easiest-she even planned her daughter's first birthday and baptism around my wedding schedule so I wouldn't stress about a wedding cake and the party cake. One of my brothers once told me they needed a cake for his son's birthday. TOLD not asked. I was happy to do it but I was a bit peeved that it was told to me. His daughter's birthday is coming up and of course it is in the middle of wedding season. Last year she didn't even care about her cake and even threw it in the car. My mom was pissed!!

Have you talked with your in laws at all? Do they want the recreation or is it your sister in laws? I would treat your parent in laws just like you would a wedding client. Deal with them and do what they want, not what their daughters want. Also, the cake is your present and your contribution. Don't let them try to tell you otherwise. My cakes are my present.

Good luck!
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Birthday Cakes
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post #4 of 15

My word that's a lot of work, time and money! Send them an invoice and that'll give them a wake up call. They'll want to downsize to a Sam's Club sheet cake in a heartbeat! :) You're so right, though! Family and friends don't understand the time, energy and costs associated with cakes, let alone a seven tier cake.

post #5 of 15

"Do you mean you want a $XXX cake IN ADDITION TO 'our share' of the expenses?  Really?"  And you need to give hubby a wake-up call as well.  The cake is the gift, no matter what size you end up making.

post #6 of 15

 I would offer to recreate the top tier so your in-laws can cut it. Let them serve walmart cupcakes to everyone else. It's a thin line to walk between being a "good dil" and a doormat. Invoice it so they know how much it's going to cost you..and...you can tell them that they can deduct the amount you spend on the cake from the total cost of the party. AND...tell them you accept cash only for the difference in cost from their expenses and the expense it cost YOU to make the cake. icon_twisted.gif

Seriously though, from someone who had major in-law issues for many years...let hubby handle this fight. Then play dumb like you only made what he asked. All communication should go through the spouse related to the crazies. icon_wink.gif

Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #7 of 15
Oh my fanny, heck no to all that mess! A little replica top tier should suffice. Or invoice them at least $1,000 for a tiered cake.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
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post #8 of 15

I would figure out the cost of the cake how they want it and tell them the cost of the cake is X amount and when they figure out the total that you and your husband owe, you will deduct that from the amount of the cake and they can split the rest of the cost between themselves.  I'm sure that they will have a change of mind then!  If what you owe them exceeds the amount of what it was to make the cake, then you tell them you will deduct the amount of cake from the cost you own and pay them the difference.

Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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post #9 of 15
Yeah, just saying no to the whole cake is probably wise. What I would be tempted to do though, is go along with this plan, sort of. Buy a gift? Certainly! Split the cost of everything? No problem! BUT the cost of the cake is included in that everything. Then when you submit your invoice and all expenses are calculated and divided up they will likely end up owing you money.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Amen to all of you! And thanks for the listening ear. I'd respond more throroughly but I'm rushed for time and on my phone now...

Unfortunately for them I RARELY do traditional wedding cakes and the ones I've done were small and simple. In other words I'd also have to invest in new equipment/stands/etc so that it didnt look sloppy.

It is a fine line and I DO love my in laws. But I agree that a small special cake for just the two of them would be a great idea. Heck I'll even do cupcakes in addition! Maybe I'll draw up the invoice and let them decide icon_wink.gif
post #11 of 15

On a side note, (I'm not in the family any more) but when my in-laws were getting to their 30th anniversary my (at the time) SIL (who was in by marriage) said to me that we should do a celebration for them.  So I thought that was a nice idea and I'd been in the family longer than she had so I was all for it.  There were 2 sons and a daughter in this family.  The daughter is laid back and didn't care much what was going on, she was happy to do whatever.  The sons were busy working and they are guys so they didn't really care one way or another.  So I met with florists, bakeries, venues, etc. to get prices.  I figured that I'd go back with all the prices and everyone could agree to things and that would eliminate them from having to run around.  Before I did this I had told the SIL that was in by marriage I was doing this and she said that was fine and agreed that we could all sit down and talk after I got all the information.  So I got everything and call her to let her know and she does a 180 on me and tells me this is not my place to plan this, it is the boys' & the sisters place and I should step back.  I was furious that this happened.  Turns out that she wanted to plan it all herself and didn't ask anyone else for input.  She then turned around and said that us and the sister owed her and her husband X amount. The kicker is a week before she asked me if I could make my devil eggs, but out of the small eggs you get in the big trays of the small eggs that have like 30 in them.  She wanted me to do about 6 of them to get about 180 eggs.  I was beyond ticked and didn't want to do it, but my husband begged me since it was his parents and since I had nothing against them I couldn't say no. Bottom line is when things go on like this family turns into enemies sometimes.

Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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post #12 of 15
I agree that your husband needs to step up here or it will get ugly, but if he's anything like mine he'd roll over and do whatever it takes to avoid getting in a fight with them - or I should say he'll roll over and have me do whatever it takes. Make sure your husband knows what kind of expense this is going to involve, as well as the amount of time it will take, and include every single thing you'll have to buy. That ought to get him to see things your way.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #13 of 15

"I'd love to do a special cake for Mom & Dad, but what you guys want is unrealistic on every level for me and my family as far as time and expense.  Now, here's what I can do: A or B or C or D.  Pick one." Period. Very easy.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot View Post

"I'd love to do a special cake for Mom & Dad, but what you guys want is unrealistic on every level for me and my family as far as time and expense.  Now, here's what I can do: A or B or C or D.  Pick one." Period. Very easy.

Yes, this. Very direct and to the point.

 

It's continues to amaze me how clueless people are about cakes- I don't even ask for them to understand the time involved, just the cost of supplies! You would think they would at least be able to stop and think, "Hmmm, ingredients for a seven tier cake just might cost some money!" icon_rolleyes.gif

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by as you wish View Post

Yeah, just saying no to the whole cake is probably wise. What I would be tempted to do though, is go along with this plan, sort of. Buy a gift? Certainly! Split the cost of everything? No problem! BUT the cost of the cake is included in that everything. Then when you submit your invoice and all expenses are calculated and divided up they will likely end up owing you money.

 

I agree, and though it's true that many people think cake decorators overcharge for our cakes, people who plan parties do know what things cost. So if they balk, be prepared with the cost of a local bakery and be clear that it would be a grave insult for them to go somewhere else because they were being spiteful. Furthermore, since they are planning everything else, you would like to plan the cake. 

 

Be prepared for hubby to get an earful. I find being calm and direct gets you the most reasoned responses when dealing with family situations. 

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