The couple Ive been working with on their wedding cake still has not made a final decision for their cake design. We did the consultation in early February and they picked a design that day. Then during multiple emails back and forth the design has gone from this to that to finally nothing at all. I have NO clue what she wants, none, nada. Every time I ask her about it she either doesnt respond to the question or gives weird broad answers that I have no idea what mean.
The 3 practice cakes that are in my pictures are the design ideas she was most interested in. I sent those to her May 8th. Ive asked her MANY times since then which design she liked best, the ONLY response Ive gotten is Ive been looking at ribbon but I havent found anything that catches my eye. What the heck does that mean?? So I responded by asking if she had decided she liked the cakes with the ribbon around the around each tier better than the one with all the fondant daisies, no answer. Instead she emails me back asking me if I can do a grooms cake for her. We email back and forth about that for about 2 weeks and in each email I ask about the brides cake, has she come to a final decision yet, no answer. Its like she is completely avoiding it and I dont know why. They paid a deposit and I think she wants me to still do it but why in the world wont she tell me what she wants.
The deadline date is July 5th and Im really starting to get scared about this cake. I feel so helpless; she wont tell me what she wants no matter how many times I ask her. I let her know shes got the rest of this month to figure things out but after July 5th thats it, still no response.
Any advice, warnings etc?
I would email her one last time and state that if she does not decide what cake she wants for her wedding you will pick one for her and have it made for that day!!
It can be hard to pin them down, once they start being wishy-washy. But protect yourself and do NOTHING without a deposit. You let her know that it must be finalized by whatever deadline you set, or you won't be able to do it.
Then, put it all in writing immediately, even if you have to write it out on a piece of paper. Number of servings, Shape, flavor, icing, flowers, decorations, a drawing, delivery date, time. Everything must be in place on your deadline. And then, include a statement that any changes will cost them money, and the deposit may not be refundable in full.
Better to lose the job, than be stuck with a disaster.
Quick question... How did you come up with a price if the cake decision isn't final? If you require payment before the date of the wedding, maybe you could use this to help you make her settle on something. I don't have a lot of experience with this, but usually the decorator bases the price on the cake design. The other thing that hits me is that she may not be able to get the cake she wants if she waits... you're going to have a hard time if anything needs to be ordered or made up in advance. Let her know that there's a lot of prep work involved in making a wedding cake and that you need her to make a final choice by such and such a date. I'd make her chose within the next week for sure.
They've already signed a contract that says pretty much all that JoAnn and I got their deposit. So I've got that part taken care of I just need her to pick a design or at least tell me she doesn't want me to make the cake. She's ignoring me and I don't know why.
I based the price of the cake on the design they picked when we had the consultation. And they were totally sold on that. So they paid the deposite based on that price as well. But what I should charge them now? I have no idea since I don't know what they want. That's another thing that's really annoying.
Communication about cakes through email can be tricky. I would (if you can) have a consultation in person and tell her you must have the details then - decided on and written down or you can't do the cake - some people have a hard time making decisions and it helps to actually be in person with them. Usually people like this need you to be firm and direct and give them very clear boundaries that you hold them to. good luck!!! we all feel for you - I'm sure
Well, if you have an agreement, you should stick to the original plan. If she doesn't contact you by the change deadline, go with it. But I still would be sure you were going to get paid the balance before you do too much work.
Should I send her an email saying that if I don't have an answer by July 5th then I will go with the design we have written in the contract? Even if I know that's not what she wants now and it will be more expensive than the more recent designs she's inquired about?
She knows I need the final payment 2 weeks before the wedding date. ALL of this info in her copy of the contract. We've done the whole formal consultation, tasting, contract signing etc etc. But she started waffling on her decision 2 weeks after all that. And I've been doing this chasing her around routine since Feb and I'm tired of it.
If I were you I would send one more email or a phone call telling her that if she does not give you a detailed, specific design by her "deadline date" then she has two choices: one, you will make the original cake design she picked or two, you will be refunding her money (minus a small percentage for your time and energy).
Also, if you do end up doing the cake, make sure you get the rest of the money (in the form of cash, money order, or cashier's check) at least two weeks before the wedding. And make sure she knows that NO money means NO cake!
If your contract with her states that she has until July 5 to make any final changes, then I would wait until that week to contact her. I am sure you feel like this cake is just hanging over your head right now, but if I understand your post correctly, she has just under a whole month to make changes still. Email that week (or the week before, because of the holiday) and remind her of the deadline. Of course, do not make any cake until you are paid according to the contract you had her sign and you are entitled to whatever portion of the deposit you have detailed in your contract for your time and creativity, etc...if she chooses to cancel. I hope she doesn't turn into a bridezilla on you! Good luck!