For those of you that do wedding cakes, do you ask for payment up front or after the cake is delivered? I've done a few wedding cakes so far and up until the last one that I did, I had always received payment when I delivered the cake. On the last one, after the bride ordered the cake she asked how much it would be and wrote me a check for it on the spot. Which way do you all do it?
I ask for 50% on the day of booking to reserve the date. the balance must be paid if full 1 week before the date. Sometimes they pay it all up front.
You contract or order form should specify the terms of your arrangement.
I ask for 50% at day of signing the contract. I then ask for the rest 3 weeks prior to the wedding. Anything after 3 weeks is only cash or money order.
I've had several to book on the day of the consultation. Maybe it's not the best "business move" for me, but I tell them that I'll hold their check for 48 hours, should they find someone else that they'd rather go with. I want to be honest, and give them that option. I mean, we're talking a lot of money for a wedding cake. My brides seem to appreciate that. As for payments, I require 50% down (which comes off of their total balance) AND a signed contract before I reserve their date on my calendar. They are welcome to make payments on the balance up until 2 weeks prior to their date. The balance must be paid in full prior to the 2 week mark. If not, NO cake, and their 50% deposit is NOT returned. When they know that the 50% is "lost" if they don't follow through, they pay by that 2 week mark. So far, knock on wood, no problems with any wedding cake.
When they book, I get a $50. deposit. Cakes are to be paid one week in advance of the wedding. It's too busy for the bride & family to worry about paying me when I usually don't run into them while delivering!
I only ask for hold-the-date deposits May thru Sept, and it's 10% or $200, which ever is smaller. I get 50% of the remaining balance 3 weeks prior to the event (along with final headcount, and final decisions on cake design and menus) and the balance due the day of the event. I tell them if they don't want the hassle of handing out checks the day of the event, they are welcome to send 2 checks ahead of time with the 2nd one dated the day of the event. My accountant and attorney REALLY DISLIKE this arrangement, but I've never been burned yet. I do not charge a gratuity up front (most caterers tack on 20% gratuity right from the start .... I HATE that! ) and I find that if they pay the balance the day of the event, they are more likely to add a gratuity, (which I split up among the folks I hire to work the reception with me) than they are if they pay ahead of time. I know my deposit/payment plan is pretty lenient compared to most, but we work under the philosophy of "we keep it simple for you", and it's worked so far.
i ask for 50 % before the wedding and the balance after they come back from honeymoon.