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Very upset - MOB called from venue - cake was leaning - Page 2

post #16 of 41
I'm sorry this happened to you...it really doesn't sound like anything you did wrong.

I agree that the homemade cake stand was probably a part of it, but the lights being strung AFTER the cake was on the table also sounds very suspect to me.

Did any of you see the Amazing Wedding Cake show where Nadia Cakes made a 5-tier pillow cake, put it on one of those big silver cake plateaus and it BENT the cake plateau's legs?

Yep...that Wilton standy thing the bride made definitely makes me wonder.

Can you post any pics you have of the cake showing the stand?
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

The stand was completely sturdy.




Doubtful. If even one of those was longer than another, and it shifts, the whole thing is compromised. That's a heavy cake to put on something so ridiculously flimsy. Flimsy-yes.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s




Oh me too Leahs. The money some of our brides, well all of them, invest in our cakes, we wonder what they were smoknig sometimes when they set up their cake tables. Several times, we have completely swept the table clear, set the cake up how we needed it, and put some of their stuff back. You can't really look at some of the stuff and think what a mess, you have to be ballsy and smart and get rid of it, or they will blame you. There's no way what they made was bad/wrong/unstable, they're the bride, remember? IF they want to put anything back, that's ok, it's out of your hands at that point. But setting it up your way, how it should be, should never be fretted over or apologized for.

Look, your $3000 cake would have fallen if I didn't remove your homemade stand. Ok? Ok.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by madgeowens

No refund..they got to eat it didnt they! Hope you have pics from all angles too.



This is not the best attitude to have if you're in this business, I'm sorry, and don't mean to be rude. We hear from so many clients that come to us after hearing about pushy and defensive bakers that go on and on and on about what they're not responsible for, like lighting at events for gosh sakes. We focus on what we do provide, and how compensation is handled should anything happen to go wrong. Which, knock on wood hasn't happened yet. Of course we have the standard disclaimers, but not many.

Sometimes, it really is the bakers fault, even hours after delivery. It's true. And what are they supposed to, run to get sheet cake so they can return a big pile of cake for a refund?

Sounds to me though, that this little homemade thing is probably responsible, and the tiers on top will start to lean before you usually notice the lower ones.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10



Sounds to me though, that this little homemade thing is probably responsible, and the tiers on top will start to lean before you usually notice the lower ones.



Yep, think of it like this: If you have a big, tall stack of cups sitting rim-down on a table, the top half or so can lean without the bottom half leaning. By the time the bottom half is leaning, the whole thing is on the floor. It's only natural for the top to lean while the bottom stays in place. Especially if the bottom is heavier than the top.
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #21 of 41
Did you know ahead of time about this stand? I'm not sure it was in your best interest in utilizing something that is not constructed specifically for being the base of such a large cake especially from what I understand was utilizing 2 stands sandwiched with plastic pillars whcih I've used wilton pillars and they have cracked on inserting and applying pressure in my cakes so maybe 1 leg cracked and slipped just enough to shift the weight of the whole cake then slowly over time causing a lean. Regardless by utilizing it, you as the professional are responsible for the outcome
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10

Several times, we have completely swept the table clear, set the cake up how we needed it, and put some of their stuff back. You can't really look at some of the stuff and think what a mess, you have to be ballsy and smart and get rid of it,

During a consultation a bride might ask me if it's ok if they put this or that on the cake table. I would ALWAYS tell them, "Darlin' you can put anything you want on the table 'coz if it's in my way, I'll just move it!" (smiling my southern gramma smile! icon_biggrin.gif )

Since I usually cut my own cakes I also told them that any candles WILL be blown out before I start cutting. I caught my hair on fire once because of that and will not chance it again. No one ever objected to this one!
post #23 of 41
I don't know if this story pertains to this situation or not but I'm sharing it.

here is the link to my son's wedding cake from thsi past weekend: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1837561&sub=1838544
Read the narrative under the pic.

In short, the cake looked great when I set it up, but later we noticed a lean. A very NOTICEABLE lean. When I pulled the cake apart (first time I ever had to do that) the dowels were all in place .... none had slipped, moved or were out of whack. I could only assume that somehow I had cut them wrong and the ones on the left were just barely taller than the ones on the right.

I "whittled" the ends of the dowels down (less than 1/8" - more like I 'shaved' a thin layer off and not so much 'cutting' some length off), reassembled and wow, what a difference! Perfectly straight and level!!

I always cut my dowels the same length and lay them side by side to make sure but evidently I missed this micro difference in length in dowels in two different tiers.

Since the OP used SPS, I don't think this was the issue with this cake, but since we're having conversation of "it looked fine when I left it", I thought I share that sometimes it just doesn't show up right away.
post #24 of 41
Oh wow, that stinks. Totally stinks. The fact that you had to go and "fix" it in front of everybody, including a mad momma, makes my knees weak.
If this stand was still intact when you arrived back at the reception, did you check it closely? (hard to do with an audience, I know). What is weird is that the stand wasn't out of whack or cracked. A homemade stand wasn't a good choice, but I've been in that place where you look back and wonder what you were thinking when you agreed to do such and such.
Maybe the cake tiers settled? The appearance would appear to lean then but the structure would remain intact. Otherwise, once the homemade stand broke/cracked, shifted, etc, that thing would have been on the floor, especially with all the tiers on top of it. I'm thinking it may have been baker's oops on this one. Bummer.
life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #25 of 41
I have been a hobby decorator for 25 years now (real job is an RN) and I will do wedding cakes for friends, they just supply the money for ingredients. Know how you feel, but the upside is it stayed up! If you look at my tiered cake with the purple flower vine, the top two layers slid off after standing for 6 hours in an 85 degree room. A/C not working, cake table in front of window at an ocean front hotel facing the setting sun (made them move the table) and I thought it was my nerves as to why I was sweating so bad but my husband commented on how the thermostat was saying it was 85 degrees! Bride was cool about it and I did her baby shower cake a year later! She said if that was the worse thing to happen all day, oh well! You know I felt sick about it for a year afterwards. The square wedding cake in my pics is all SPS and I drove with it stacked to the reception. If mine didnt budge with the driving, I dont think your SPS is the problem. Sounds to me like someone moved or bumped that table which made the homemade stand wobble and the glued legs shift. You will feel better in a year (or 6 months since yours stayed up lol!)
post #26 of 41
I'm Abby from Nadia Cakes (we did the cake From Fabulous Cakes on TLC that almost fell over when the cake stand leg collapsed). I wanted to comment on the discussion because after the show, we made some big changes to the way we do large tiered cakes. Here is the link to the video of the almost disaster if you missed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwtiO5gP0vs

We don't get the chance to actually cut and serve a lot of the cakes we do so it was really helpful seeing the pillow cake broken down so I could see where the structure failed. After the leg broke, the cake began to lean pretty badly and the internal supports pretty much failed me. When the cake pitched forward, the dowels slanted inside and the cake began to settle forward in the direction of the broken leg. I sat next to that cake FOR 3 HOURS making sure it didn't fall! The producers from the show still talk about it LOL! I had to restack it twice to redistribute the weight. Thankfully it was a pilow cake and not a wedding cake so it didn't look bad with the pillows all unevenly stacked. It just looked like tossed pillows so it worked.

Anyway, after that we realized that larger cakes need a centralized support system. I had doweled it together with skewers but they wern't strong enough to keep the cake from falling over. If the cake had pitched forward with a pole through the middle, there would have been no chance of it leaning. It also would have kept the dowels from slanting since the cake would have been held stationary regardless of what the dowels were doing.

We did another episode of Fabulous Cakes for season 2 and the cake is a huge cake. We used the pole system in it and we had NO problems with leaning. We go into the support system in depth on the show so if you watch you can see what we did this time around. Not sure when the show will air but if you follow us on Facebook, we'll post the date:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palmdale-CA/Nadia-Cakes/119751804228

I learned my lesson BIG TIME from that pillow cake! I swear, my whole life flashed before my eyes when that cake stand broke. We seriously almost lost that cake. It was terrifying!

The pole system we use now is actually a cupcake tree from here: http://www.bossmanufacturing.com/

You just take off the plates and then use the center pole to dowel the cake. Its much easier then getting a PVC pipe and fashioning your own pole system like you see on a lot of the cake challange shows. Its a pretty cake stand and it doubles as a cupcake tree as well and its reusable. You can even order extra pole extensions to make it as tall as you need it. I made mine 4 feet tall for the last spisode we filmed. Very well made stuff. We get all our stands from here. Hope this is helpful! I'm a self taught cake decorator so I don't know what I don't know until it happens to me. Luckily we were able to save that cake and learn from it!
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadiacakes


I learned my lesson BIG TIME from that pillow cake! I swear, my whole life flashed before my eyes when that cake stand broke. We seriously almost lost that cake. It was terrifying!




I bet!! All I kept thinking was how mad I would be at having to buy a new stinking plateau!

Is the new system you use something you take a deposit for and have to get back?
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #28 of 41
The cake stands that we use cost about $200 each. We charge $35 to rent them with a $100 CASH deposit that they get back when they return the stand to us. In the economy we decided to only get a $100 deposit instead of the full value of the stand. $100 is enough to get someone to return it and its easier on their budget.

We explain in depth that the stand is their responsibility and must be returned within 3 days of the event. We don't go pick them up and they will lose the deposit if its damaged or not returned. We also take down the phone number for the person responsible for returning the stand. A lot of times the bride and groom are on their honeymoon and another person is the one in charge of returning the stand.

Never lost one yet!
post #29 of 41
And yes, since the pole system is basically a broken down cupake tree, there is a deposit on it.

As for the other stand, we just bent ALL the legs forward and we still use it. You can't even tell. Looks nice! LOL!
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadiacakes

A lot of times the bride and groom are on their honeymoon and another person is the one in charge of returning the stand.

I had one that backfired on a family. Bride's family was from another state and dad sent in the check for the cake, including a deposit on the silver plateau.

After the wedding, plateau was given to a groomsman, who lived here in town, with instructions to return it. groom drove it around in his trunk for close to 2 weeks before it got returned, and this was only after a few emails from me asking, "Where's my stand?"

After the return, dad is expecting his deposit back, which he's not getting because it wasn't returned by the Tuesday after the wedding. Dad actually figured that since HE gave it to a groomsman to return, that means the plateau was out of his hands which would be the same as "returned".

uh, sorry dude! "Returned" is defined as when it is back in my hands. Dad told me "I gave it to the groomsman." I told dad to collect his deposit from the groomsman, then, snice it was the groomsman's (lack of) action that caused the problem and cost dad the deposit.
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