A lady ordered the cake for her daughter's christening. While talking to her on the phone, she told me about her wedding cake experience. Me knowing the bakery (considered well-established and quite known in my region), was interested to see a photo of the wedding cake they delivered. The lady paid $530 for three tier fondant 40 serv. wedding cake as on this photo (BTW if anybody knows who designed this cake, pls let me know - it was the biggest hit here).
And this was delivered:
(sorry for the photos, somebody just didn't have the right camera...)
She was quite upset about the cake delivered and complained with the bakery, but being in the 8th month of pregnancy, moving to the new house etc. it was not her priority at the moment to resolve the cake issue. There is nothing like contracts if you buy - even custom - cakes in the bakery with the storefront shop here, just pay the deposit, xx days before the event pay the remaining amount and they give you a small receipt. Their reply was: it's 3 tiers, the color is right, there are the decorations as requested, so it's ok. I was really shocked to hear this. Is there any way to get her money back? I don't know all the details but don't think she specified exactly every tier size (she only mentioned she wanted at least 4'' high cakes) as she is not a baker-cake decorator, just a paying client.
You have GOT to send that to cakewrecks.com! The what they ordered/what they got wedding cake photos are my favorite, and that fits right into it!
I'll ask the lady if she would. She told me that the tiers height was 4 cm each except for the first one that was even less. She's also got sick after eating the cake (pastry cream filling). I think they left it out for too long in the bakery battling with fondant and trying to stack unstackable. Or better - they didn't stack anything, just dumped those 'omelettes' one on the top of another.
I'm really sad when I sometimes see photos of IMO not so good wedding cakes - and sometimes the brides are even enthusiastic about the outcome! They have never seen a 'real one', so they are happy with even shoddy workmanship as they don't know how it should be executed. The problem of local bakeries is that they don't know how to work with fondant and have no clue how to bake a good, high, firm cake. Usually no clue about stacking either. They also use quite unsuitable fillings - but it's their tradition. They are quite good in BC cakes and piping but IMO they should not promise to do fondant wedding cakes from magazines if they don't know how to do them. Have a look at the following photos:
The cake promised:
The bride was extremely happy about the cake and recommended the bakery to anybody who asked...
It's not so bad as the one from my initial post but still... I'd not accept it as a cake I originally wanted. They probably wanted only 3 tiers but the proportions, fondant work, bows - had to be fondant but they had no clue how to make them.... to me it's quite a disaster. OMG now I noticed the dots! I'm probably too critical, sorry.
My opinion is that the bakery is hiring really bad decorators, and people are so used to badly done cakes that they're super easy to impress! Those are awful! I think that this kind of thing is more common than people realize, too.