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Very upset - MOB called from venue - cake was leaning

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I want to cry and throw up at the same time, I am so, so, so upset about this. I'm upset that the whole thing happened but I'm also upset that I don't know what happened.

Bride (who is just so sweet) ordered a 5 tier wedding cake. 6-8-10-12-14 rounds.
6-8-10 were white cake (straight box mix, very moist- recipe I have used a thousand times without any problem) with strawberry filling
12 was a snickerdoodle cake (doctored mix) with cinnamon buttercream
14 was marble cake (doctored mix) with chocolate ganache filling

Buttercream icing.

Bride made the cake stand herself. 16 inch round Wilton plate with four 3" pillars (also wilton) glued to another 16 inch round Wilton plate (so the pillars were glued inbetween the plates. Make sense?) The stand was completely sturdy.

The topper was 8 silk roses and a monogram letter (plastic kind you get at Pat Catan's).
I delivered at 3:15. Left at 3:45. I used SPS. Stacked on site. When I left the cake was perfectly fine. I have the pictures to prove this.

Venue calls at 5:45 and tells me the cake is leaning and the MOB wants me to come back and fix it. I was truly stunned to get the call. Reception starts at 6. I race back. I arrive at 6:08 and see that the top 3 tiers are leaning towards the back. The bottom 2 tiers were fine.

I honestly do not know what happened that the top 3 tiers would lean like that. I ended up cutting little pieces of cake board to put under the tiers to kind of prop it up so it didn't look so bad, but of course smooshed the buttercream so had to try and smooth it out to fix it (all this while guests, MOB and groom look on). That part was at the back so I don't think it was as noticable.

I didn't know what else to do. It was warm in the room but when I mentioned that the 2 ladies from the venue got all defensive ("What if it was winter and we had the heat on?"). I don't think anyone moved the cake, but wonder if the table got bumped at all when they plugged in the string of lights underneath the tablecloth. I just don't know.

Sorry this is so very long. I am really at a loss here. I'm also terrified that the bride is going to ask for a refund icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #2 of 41
Aww icon_sad.gif

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this....no fun!

I would say that you fulfilled your end of the agreement. 1) You provided the cake the bride requested. 2) You left it in good condition 3) You used good support 4) You came back to try and fix it after who-knows-what happened to it.

If it didnt fall over, and they served it...no refund!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
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It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
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post #3 of 41
Did you take pics after you set it up at the venue? If so, you can prove it was fine. You can also tell them you used SPS - the sturdiest way to stack. Anything could have happened at the venue - from someone moving it, to bumping the table, and you can't be responsible for that. You did go back and fix it, so you went above and beyond. I know you are worried and stressed, but you did all you should have.
post #4 of 41
No refund..they got to eat it didnt they! Hope you have pics from all angles too.
post #5 of 41
I always worry when I leave a venue. Several times the cake was on the most unstable table there. I have only had a cake lean once and that was while I was still there and I had to put in several more supports to keep the cake from falling.
I also cut freezer paper and glue in place on the cardboard. I have had issues with the moistness of the cake and or frosting making the cardboard soft and therefore even with the best system the cake will shift. Sorry that happened to you.
post #6 of 41
I just did a friends wedding, and they had me set up at a restaurant (where the reception was after the cerimony). I put the finishing touches on it, and walked out the door, just as the guest were starting to arrive! When they were returning my cake stand they mentioned how they entered the reception room expecting to see the cake (because that is what we agreed on) and it wasn't there!!! The manager of the restaurant decided it should be in the fridge until they were ready to eat it.. so it wasn't even on display AT ALL!! (Not that this has anything to do with leaning cakes) But my point is, you don't know what happened after you left. Some people dont know how to keep their hands to themselves!
post #7 of 41
If you used SPS correctly, it could not have been leaning unless something significant happened. SPS transfers all of the weight of the cake to the pillars and the base of the cake - like a high rise building.

My thoughts - Was the table level? If not, and the table got knocked, the plate may have become dislodged.

The lessons are

Bring a level with you to check the table - it is important - ask the people in Pisa.

Also, you don't owe them money. I'd feel bad, but I would explain to them that you invest in the best systems to avoid this. They probably don't understand how you supported the cake and think it was collapsing. it wasn't. It got knocked.
post #8 of 41
"Bride made the cake stand herself. 16 inch round Wilton plate with four 3" pillars (also wilton) glued to another 16 inch round Wilton plate (so the pillars were glued in between the plates. Make sense?) The stand was completely sturdy."

Sorry this all happened to you...but I am just curious.

If the bride made the stand did you or bride check to make sure the stand was level to begin with? Was it possible there could have been an issue with glue letting go?
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away ...
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away ...
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post #9 of 41
I'd say that two Wilton plates glued to four Wilton pillars was the problem. Those plates are NOT designed to be cake stands. Something shifted at the table or "cake stand" level and SPS was still holding it together.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #10 of 41
I believe too it was the cake "stand". No way was that foolproof for a 5-tier cake of those dimensions! If I imagine substituting a 16" cake tier for the 16 inches of nothing there in that stand the bride made, there is NO WAY IN HECK I would put 4 measley support dowels into that 16 inch tier to distribute the weight of that enormous cake above (I would use a minimum of 7 dowels in that case - one per every two inches of immediate tier above). I'm sorry but I see this as a total issue of the bride's making. Even if it was a little bump to the table, 4 pillars alone can rotate simultaneously to cause the entire cake to 'screw downwards', meaning it would begin to lean.

I consider bride and family incredibly lucky the whole cake didn't go for a slide off the table!!

Life's too short to make cake pops.
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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
Thread Starter 
If it was the stand, why do you think the bottom two layers were still level and the top 3 were leaning? Wouldn't the whole cake be leaning?

That sucker was heavy!! So now I am wondering if the pillars shifted at all. The stand seemed intact when I went back to try and repair.
I also really wonder if the table somehow didn't get bumped when they plugged in the lights.

Still upset about this and am wondering a)what happened after I left and b)if the bride is going to call.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #12 of 41
Yeah, I would have looked at that hot mess of a "cake stand" and said, "Ummm . .. no I'm not putting the cake on that."

I rejected a cake plateau left by the rental company once because it had rust spots on it and I didn't consider it appropriate for pictures of my beautiful cake. A couple of days after the wedding the Rental Company called me to thank me for helping them notice they had a problem with their cleaning procedures. They had been running their plateaus through the dish machine and were in the process of ruining their entire inventory of plateaus.

Another time I rejected a plateau from a florist because it was a full 3/8" out of level. MY CAKE was level which was obvious when I put the level on it, and the plateau was just as obviously warped when I put the level on it.

The message here is, You're The Expert and you can reject crap that others leave for you to work with. But I'm pretty mouthy and directive. icon_smile.gif
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #13 of 41
Yeah, I can barely lift a 5 tier cake of that size, there's not way a glued together plastic stand would be adequate. I would also wonder if something happened with the stand, maybe one of the legs shifted, someone noticed, fixed the stand and then called you. Not saying that's the cause, but I would have to wonder.
post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
So no word from the bride yet, but she leaves for her honeymoon tomorrow so maybe when they get back. However...

I think Facebook is going to either be my friend or my enemy here but I am not sure which. Bride and I are friends on FB so pictures of the wedding are showing up (not from her, but her friends are tagging her so I can see the pics).

There are 5 pictures of them posing next to the cake and cutting the cake. In a couple of them the cake looks fine. But in the others it definitely looks like the cake is leaning. I'd love to say it's the angle that the picture was taken from that makes it look like it's leaning, but not really sure if that's the case.

And that makes me wonder if when they get their pictures back fromt he photographer and it's leaning in the professional pictures if she'll start wanting a refund. They spent over $600 on the cake so they expected it to be perfect and it wasn't.

Ugh! I just want to cry and throw up all over again. Sigh....
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #15 of 41
Just wanted to say sorry. I know that sick feeling...and the worst part is there isn't anything you can do now to rectify the situation. Hopefully the family and the bride are decent people and can see that you did everything you possibly could to fix the problem. And maybe the bride knows that she is partly to blame for the homemae stand. I think the best thing to do is get back on the horse and turn out an even better cake. Good Luck...and keep your head up.
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