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First wedding cake disaster

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Oh goodness where do I start. I made a pretty cute baby shower cake (if I do say so myself) for my friend. A few months later her sister asks me if I would make her wedding cake. She said it wasn't going to be anything hard, just plain white cake with white icing, with some swirl designs on the side, squares and round, and for about 150 people. I thought that I could hopefully do what sounded like a pretty simple cake.

She knew I hadn't made any wedding cakes before and I told her that I would do my best. I should have known she just asked me because she was trying to be cheap and was expecting me to give her a really cheap cake because I am not a professional. Well I researched and found that $2 a slice was not unreasonable so that is what I told her. I had to drive an hour to get to the town and set up so I charged her $325.

She wanted it alternating square and round, and at first just wanted three tiers because it would be less money but then her mother said to get the cake she wanted and she would pay the for the extra tier. So to do that I had to enlarge the pan sizes so it looked right, so she was getting way more cake than she needed and I didn't charge her extra for that.

My husband helped me cut all the dowel rods for the tiers, and even put a few extra in the bottom to make sure it wouldn't fall over. I left feeling very relieved it was over and said I would never make a wedding cake again because it was to stressful.

A week later I am looking at her myspace page and there it says basically "my wedding was just perfect except for my cake falling over" What? I almost was in tears when I read this and didn't know what to do, and half mad that she tells everyone in myspace world before telling me about it. I talked to my friend and she said it was just the bottom tier that kind of collapsed on itself and the top three tiers were fine. I am guessing I put too many dowel rods in and the cake was too moist and it split causing the cake to kinda mush down. My friend said that it was fixed my the time they walked in and they still had the three tiers to cut which would have been enough I think, even though it was just the back side of the cake and I am sure some of that bottom portion could have been just fine to serve.

Since I am not a professional and this was a friends sister I didn't think to write up anything for them to sign saying once I leave the place I am not responsible for anything that happens to the cake. However, I am thinking it was my fault. The bride finally calls and I apologize a lot, and say I will make another cake and/or birthday cakes for free. I didn't mention a refund of any sort because I really wasn't making all that much in the first place seeing I had to buy a lot of the pans. She agreed, but has brought it up many times with my friend so I know she is not happy. I didn't want my first wedding cake experience to be a disaster but unfortunately it was.

Sorry this is so long, I just needed to tell let it out and see what others thought if I should have given her some of her money back.
post #2 of 41
Frankly she has choosen to bad mouth you either way. So i wouldn't give her any money back. She had a cake to serve and enough to feed everyone. She paid your costs not more. Give her a free small cake like you promised and go on to the next cake.

I don't see a picture of this in your photos, do you have one? I always take a couple of picts at the hall after set up. Then at least you can see if the table with the cake has been moved. If it was leaning before you left and maybe you didn't notice. And general stuff like that.

I understand you are upset about this, but she did take a chance by hiring a baker with no wedding experience so it was her gamble and you don't always win when you gamble.

Keep your head up, looks like you do some very nice work and i'm sure you will get another chance to redeem yourself.
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I did take a photo, I just really didn't want to be reminded of it so I didn't upload it here. I will so you can see it and maybe see something that I missed. Maybe I can even find the after shot for you as well, even though I hate to look at it...
LL
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Here is the shot of it falling apart..that she still has on her myspace page..great memories...
LL
post #5 of 41
That is a beautiful cake!
post #6 of 41
The cake looks fine from what I see in the picture. How do you know someone or some child didn't come along and bump it? She got what she asked for at a huge discount (which is what she was looking for anyway). She took that chance & I wouldn't give her ungrateful behind anything else!
post #7 of 41
It must have been those two candy bars they put on top! icon_wink.gif

I wouldn't stress over it too much. It sure did take her a long time to call you!
post #8 of 41
Easier said than done but..."don't worry about it." You did a nice job and she did take a gamble as the pp mentioned.

Chin up!
Pastryjen

Money talks...but chocolate rocks!
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Pastryjen

Money talks...but chocolate rocks!
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post #9 of 41
Hi, i am looking at both photos, and there are a lot of things on the table in the first pic, and then those things have either been moved or other things added. My point is when ppl set things up around cakes or cakes tables, it gets bumped ever so slightly, and it happens a lot, and ppl dont realize that they have done it, to many little bumps and things fall down. I dont think this was your fault, and i would not stop making wedding cakes, take this as a learning experience, and request that the table that the cake is setup on is complete when u get there. And it also looks like the cake was moved a little, so that could have done it to. HTH
Do you need an air conditioner........nah, we just flew in from the face of the sun, and are just trying to aclimate ourselves!!
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Do you need an air conditioner........nah, we just flew in from the face of the sun, and are just trying to aclimate ourselves!!
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post #10 of 41
I am so sorry this has happened to you on your first wedding cake. Its unfortunate this chick has decided to focus on the bad parts and is ignoring the bit about getting a beautiful cake that fed everyone for cost of ingtredients basically.

I hope some of the cakers here with loads of stacking/tiering experience chime in for you so you can trouble-shoot to avoid this happening again.

FWIW, it was alovely, classic cake, IMO!

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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post #11 of 41
I agree someone could have bumped it. Obviously they messed with it to put the toy cars on top!

I did have that happen to the 2 tier flowery cake in my photos too though. It was fine and then a chunk out of the back just fell off. 1. It was too soft for the torting and amount of icing I put in it. 2. I over dowled it. 3. It had a small break in it when I took it out of the pan, just like a hairline fracture but it was enough that when I dowled it it caused more of a stress crack and the weight of the icing made it break off, but like yours it was fine for quite awhile and then when no one was around it just collapsed.

It's ok...the cake is gorgeous!
post #12 of 41
OMG - those aren't candy bars - they are Matchbox cars!!! Ummmm, yeah. That really finished the cake off nicely.

Look at it this way - you did not charge more for the extra cake - so in essence, they got what they paid for. I wish I could figure out why it cracked like that if it was just sitting there. Are you sure it is still on the same table you set it up on and that they did not move it after you left? I can't see how too many dowels would cause it to collapse. Anyone else have any ideas?
Laura
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Laura
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post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support. I am not usually a "woe is me" type but this was just really bothering me. Yeah the "candy bars" icon_wink.gif on top were of course the brides idea because her hubby likes cars. I told her I didn't think it really went with the cake but didn't push the issue. I made sure to take a picture first before I put them on, hehe. Thanks again, my conscience is starting to feel better.
post #14 of 41
Ok, it's much classier now that they are Matchbox cars and not 3 Musketeers bars!
post #15 of 41
Your cake looked fine when you left, beautiful job by the way. Who is it standing with cake in her hand, a cake knife obviously used and a slice laying onthe table. Also, who put the cars on the top and what did they do to it that they didn't tell you. You did what you were supposed to, deliver the cake that they ordered. After that, not your responsibility. Sorry this happened to you, but some people just want to get something for nothing and then put the blame elsewhere. Like the prevouis poster said, Chin Up. Don't let this stop you from going forward.
"Life is only as SWEET as you make it"
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"Life is only as SWEET as you make it"
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