How Do I Handle This? Groomzilla?

Business By Tellis12 Updated 4 Jan 2010 , 1:55am by JustToEatCake

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Tellis12 Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:22pm
post #1 of 31

I met with a bride and groom this morning about ordering a cupcake tower for their wedding. The groom had some very definite ideas and must have a specific picture in his head.

They haven't booked yet and I'm not sure I'd like to do this wedding at all because I feel like there will be stress I don't want to deal with. I'm not sure I'll be able to do exactly what he wants. Can I decline this and how do I do that?

Or should I go ahead and try to do it? I think I understand what he wants but I'm not positive. I'd definitely exchange pictures and that kind of thing but concerned he might be a groomzilla.

Any advice?

30 replies
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mommy1st Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:34pm
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Trust your gut instinct on this. Just tell them that after thinking over the order that you don't feel you can provide the cupcake cake to their expectations. From experience, if you are unsure if you are both thinking of the same thing, usually you are right. It wouldn't be worth doing, if you spend the time making what you think it is they want, and they are upset it isn't what they were thinking. Good Luck

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vickymacd Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:36pm
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It's odd that it's the groom, but I would go with your gut.

You'll be stressed the whole time 'wondering' if this is right and then he sounds like he wouldn't be happy no matter what.

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newmansmom2004 Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:39pm
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I agree with the others - if you have a bad feeling now, it'll probably only get worse. If they haven't put down a deposit yet to hold the date, tell them their weekend has just become unavailable due to other orders/obligations.

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LaBellaFlor Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:58pm
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I think it was Costumeczarina who said if we all just listened to our psycho radar, we'ld save ourselves a lot of stress.

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indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:00pm
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I've dealt with a number of grooms who were very involved in the cake design. That doesn't make them a 'zilla. Most of my involved grooms were in the art field .... photography, graphic design, etc. ..... so it's natural for them to have some strong ideas and input.

If the design is a little daunting to you, then of course you should consider whether it's within your ability to fulfill the order. OR .... you can look at it as a challenge to take your skills up a notch. If you decide to go with it, be up front with them ... let them know it's a new design for you and you're excited about trying it for them.

Something I would do when confronted with a new design is offer a "prototype price". I'd tell the bride ".....if you let me experiement on you with this design, I'll give you the prototype price (my flat rate). Once I do your cake, then I'll know the actual cost and time involved and I'll guarantee you that the next bride will pay WAY more for your design!" Without exception, all of my brides LUV'D this idea. THey got a great price and I got to expand my portfolio!

Bottom line is you should do whatever is the most comfortable for you. I've had more than one potential 'zilla where I didn't even send them the quote because I knew it was going to be a problem.

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_Jamie_ Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:17pm
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What is he trying to design? Can you describe it to us? I bet we could come up with a clearer picture for you and see if it's that bad afterall.... icon_smile.gif

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KHalstead Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:35pm
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since it's cupcakes, if he's REALLY picky I'd just tell him that you'll decorate 1 cupcake the way he wants it (charge him of course) and he can continue to "BUY" cupcake prototypes until he's satisfied with the decorations. You'll get the practice and you'll know that the end result is exactlly what they want!

Unless you think he's the type that will NEVER be satisfied, in which case it's best just to cut them loose now!

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CakeMommyTX Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:48pm
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I've had customers who were in the art field (graphic design, photographers, tattoo artist, etc.) who had a very clear idea of what they wanted and I gave them the option of drawing the design themselves. That way it was what they wanted and there was no confusion , sometimes people explain things differently then we are used to.

They say layers when they mean tiers, no fillin means no fruit filling and not actually no filling, etc.

This would give a visual aid as to what he wants .

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KoryAK Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 6:29pm
post #10 of 31

I would meet with him and see exactly what he wants before you throw the order away... it may not be that bad at all.

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jenmat Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 6:47pm
post #11 of 31

Sounds like its going to be all about communication on this one (I guess when isn't it).

Everyone else hit it on the head- either don't do it, or make sure you get a sketch. When meeting with them (him), if he says, "you know what I mean?" Say, "no, can you sketch it for me?"

Men are USUALLY more tactile (although I am NOT generalizing!), so he may even need some icing and a spatula to get the icing texture just right or whatever. (i have a bride like this- got out the icing and we made sure i knew what she meant)

Some people are good at having the vision, but not getting it into words. I like the idea of letting him buy the cupcakes until its just right. That way there is no confusion!

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leah_s Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 9:10pm
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I had one definite groomzilla that I cut loose. He suggested that I cancel someone else who I *already* had a contract with in order to contract with him. Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

Had another one that I kept. He specified that there should be 3 dots at the end of a flourish, not four.

Poor brides.

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catlharper Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 11:03pm
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As an event coordinator I can tell you that I've had my share of groomzillas...yes, they are a challenge to work with but if you can get them to actually say what they want then after the event they are also the most appreciative of clients! I would have him sketch out or find photos of what it is he wanted. Meet with him at least twice to make sure that the visions are the same and make sure to have a sketch or photo signed by him to say this is what he wants. Lastly make sure he knows the cut off date for changes and that any changes need to be made IN PERSON and IN WRITING. This way you can resketch or take in new photos before you pick up a spatula!

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indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 11:06pm
post #14 of 31

FYI with a tip on how to tell if a groom is REALLY involved. And I got this from a wedding planner, had a chance to try it out on one of my couples, and she's right!!

In the beginning of your conversations, ask them how he proposed. If he went ALL out ... hot air balloon, scavenger hunt, rented a limo or horse-n-carriage, etc...... then he's going to be really involved in the planning process. The more elaborate the proposal, the more involved the groom.

If you know this up front, you can get into the mindset you need to work with this kind of couple. thumbs_up.gif

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Tellis12 Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 3:35am
post #15 of 31

I think that if they call me I'm going to decline this one. The issue wasn't so much that the design was out of my skill set but that he wanted something that just didn't make sense. I'll try to explain what he said.

When we were talking about the space between each cupcake tier (before the cupcakes were actually on the stand, so approx. 4") I said that the cupcakes would be about 3" tall giving about 1" between the tops of the cupcakes and the bottom of the tier above, he kept saying "what are you going to fill that space with?" meaning that inch in between. I tried to explain that if we put something in there it would squish the tops of the cupcakes to which he responded, "no, listen to what I'm saying." I think he wanted some kind of icing border UNDER the bottom of each cupcake tier, to fill up the 1" space. It just seemed like he'd be very frustrating to work with. He also wanted to know exactly how many cupcakes would be on the bottom tier of the tower.

ETA: He also kept saying he wanted to the thing above the cuppies to "seal" them.

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indydebi Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 3:38am
post #16 of 31

oh geesh! icon_eek.gif

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baycheeks1 Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:02am
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I'm so confused...what does he want? That doesn't make any sense...

Maybe you should show him pics of what a CC tower would look like, and that way he can see that there needs to be nothin else but the cupcake with the icing on it...maybe a RI flower...but that is all...

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Tellis12 Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:07am
post #18 of 31

bayscheeks, that's exactly what I was thinking. I have no idea why he thought they should be "sealed." Maybe he thought they'd be sitting out for a week before I took them to the venue.

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baycheeks1 Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:24am
post #19 of 31

Maybe he was thinkin they should be put in the little individual containers or that the whole thing, CC and tower, should be sealed in some type of container until ready to be served...

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3GCakes Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:30am
post #20 of 31

I'd make him find a picture of what he wants. Or show him a typical cupcake tower and let him draw his idea on it.

He's had to have seen this before to have this "vision"...I'd put this square ball in his court.

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leah_s Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 2:55pm
post #21 of 31

I'd run.

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Loucinda Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 3:05pm
post #22 of 31

I am with Leah - if your gut is telling you not to do it, listen. It doesn't matter if it is a design you are able to do or something that would expand your skills - if the person is a pain to deal with now, it usually does not get better. (the closer you get to the wedding date, the higher the stress level for the bride and groom - and the attitudes do not usually improve!) Good luck with whatever you decide.

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_Jamie_ Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 3:43pm
post #23 of 31

Oh Good God....what a goofy groom. icon_biggrin.gif Yeah--I'd bow out of that too!

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cakemaker30 Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:04pm
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The first thing I thought of when I read what you wrote of his description was that he might want them in the individual clear boxes. I couldn't think of anything else after that because it was very confusingicon_smile.gif

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KHalstead Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:26pm
post #25 of 31

I'm with cakemaker....sounds like he wants them individually boxed and then have the boxes stacked up like a tiered cake. Maybe something like this but only with square boxes each with a cupcake?

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cownsj Posted 30 Dec 2009 , 4:43pm
post #26 of 31

At this point I'd stick it out with him, just out of morbid curiosity if nothing else. But, it might be that what he is envisioning is really just what it should be. I wouldn't write him off until you absoslutely know it's time. It could turn out to be a lucrative deal, but if you write him off now, you'll never know.

I'm of the belief that when unsure, take whatever action keeps your options open until you decide which option is absolutely right for you.

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Cake_Mooma Posted 31 Dec 2009 , 7:40am
post #27 of 31

IDK....I think I would show him pics of other cupcake towers and see where he is coming from on the space thing. Then I would ask him to "draw" what it is that he is looking for....

another thing that I have learned is... that people think they know what it is that they want, but when they see that it is something we do all the time and we are confident with our thought and with what we are doing they are happy and are ok with our design. Maybe it is something that you already do and it's not that big of a deal, but the way he is explaining it and the way you are understanding it it is making it confusing. icon_confused.gif

If you still don't meet in the middle RUN!!!!!

My ex-brother in law was such a groomzilla. But I say that he just knew what he wanted for a wedding and how he wanted it all to look.

Debi...I think there is some truth to that ex-brother in law arranged a huge surprise pool party at my house for my sister. Invited her friends, family and all. Had this elabarate plan on how to come over and bring "stuff" food and things to my house for dinner with just us icon_rolleyes.gif and hide everyone so when she got there everyone would giver her different things/gifts...and so on and so on. Until the gifts got to his gift, the proposal and the ring. king.gifprincess.gif

My husband on the other hand...hunny wanna marry me? yeah ok. have fun putting the wedding together. shows up and had a blast. party.gif

So yes I believe the theory.


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SomethingSweetbyJ Posted 31 Dec 2009 , 1:41pm
post #28 of 31

Lets give this guy a break. He probably has something really specific in his head, he just does not know bakery terms or enough "girl language" to get his idea through. I would give it one more change before I would run. Ask him to bring in pictures of what he wants, color swatches, and make him be specific. Just tell him that you want to make exactly what he wants and you need some information. Then...after that, if it is still weird and crazy, I will call and decline. It sounds like he has no idea what he is talking about. BTW: Men are one of the easiest people to up-sell on. If you get the right groom, and he is making the decisions, you may be able to talk him into something really cool and unique that will give you a better profit.

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Tellis12 Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 2:12pm
post #29 of 31

I haven't heard back from them, which is ok. The bride said I'd hear back by the end of the month. I think it wasn't so much the design being weird (which it was) but kind of an attitude thing. He was pretty sure he knew better than I did, which isn't impossible, but just not something I want to mess with.

As for the cupcakes in boxes thing, I'm sure that's not what he was talking about. He used to words "bead icing." Now maybe that's something he would have wanted but they were really cheap and I don't think they would have wanted the additional cost of the boxes.

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lutie Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 2:58pm
post #30 of 31

I see that there are several options here regarding the groom...

Option 1: This man is a cheapskate...he somehow got in his mind that cupcakes were cheaper and he wants "more bang for the buck"...if I were the bride, I would run for the hills...I would probably give him a cupcake and say, "show me what you mean"...then he would see how difficult one cupcake is to would change his thoughts on how "simple and much cheaper" cupcakes are.

Option 2: This groom is controlling...he wants to see how many women he can control...hopefully, this bride will not be a "victim"...I know he will not be able to control your are the boss of you!

Option 3: If this groom were an artist, etc., he would have given you a sketch without you even asking...that is how they communicate. Ask him what he does for a living...that will give you an idea (if he is an engineer, you will know he is meticulous in his thoughts, so you may ask him to design what he wants with graphs icon_smile.gif )

I would not worry about this deposit/no cake on that day. NEXT!

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