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Couple postponing wedding.....advice please.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I have a couple that booked me to do their wedding cake for August 18th (this was in March) I just received an email from the bride saying this:

"We have had a bit of change in plans! We are in the midst of selling our property here in [removed]and buying a new home in [removed]. We have decided with the timing of all this to postpone the wedding. Our closing date is Aug 15th. Here is our question.. Could you just keep our deposit and order until we chose a new date? We do not want to cancel it just put it off.. but possibly for another 9-12 months"

This is a new one for me (have had someonce cancel before, but never postpone. So my question is this - because she "postponed" so close to the wedding date, should I deduct any fee's from what she's paid so far because at this point there's no chance I'll fill that spot with another wedding cake, or just leave it as is ?

My initial reaction is to say that's fine but I cannot guarantee that the next date you choose will be available. But at the same time I can't help be feel like I'm owed something.

My contract states: "If cake is cancelled less than one month prior to event date, any monies paid will be forfieted to (my biz name)." but like she said... she's not cancelling, just postponing.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 31
Considering the bride did give you almost a month's notice I would apply the full deposit towards the new date without deducting any fees.

Depending on how big the deposit was, another option would be to offer to apply the deposit towards a smaller "housewarming" cake, then when they set the new date for the wedding they would pay a new deposit to hold that date.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
they have actually paid the full amount - something they wanted to do at the time of placing the order.
post #4 of 31
Let it go and give them a new date. It's good Karma. Unless you are going to go hungry or homeless because of not making a wedding cake that weekend. Did you spend the money, did you put it in escrow, did you start baking , did you buy all the supplies for that cake?

Do what you would want done for you to do if the roles were reversed.
post #5 of 31
I would happily allow them to change the date. My hope would be that the wedding cake would be the first of many cakes I do for them.
post #6 of 31
Especially in light of the customer's goodwill by paying the entire amount upfront instead of just a deposit.
post #7 of 31
Since it's at least a month out (I) would accept their reschedule, but I would mention in writing that YOU require a minimum of 30 calendar days notice of the new date and CAN NOT guarantee they date they chose may not be available.

Each customer and situations always differ and I normally use my best judgement and sometimes over ride my contract for these special circumstances. At least it's a reschedule and not a cancellation.

Good luck.
post #8 of 31
If you allow the date to be changed and keep all monies paid so far (which is the entire amount according to one of your posts) then you need to decide what to do with the money if they pick a date you already have booked. Will you refund the deposit (doesn't matter that they paid in full, what would the deposit of been had they not paid in full?), all the money or none of the money. What you decide they need to know now so they know to hurry up and pick a new date you have available.

I would refund the money minus what the deposit would have been. I would explain that since they don't have a new date picked out I can't tell them if I can make their cake or not at this time. So, I will refund the money except for the deposit that will either be applied to their future order if they book within 1 year and I have the date available or forfeited if they don't book within 1 year or I dodn't have the new date available. I would explain that because the notification for postponement was less than 30 days, according to the contract, the deposit would not be returned no matter what but because of the circumstances (I would sound very understanding at this point) I would refund the rest of the money and allow the deposit to be applied to a future order according to the terms I just spelled out.

From here on out, you should have something in your contract about this.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #9 of 31
If you decide to keep any of the mony alread paid to you I would make *sure* I put it aside and not spend it - just in case something else comes up with them in the future.
Many people book and pay for their wedding elements (cake, flowers, venue, etc, etc) as much as a yr in advance.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Let it go and give them a new date. It's good Karma. Unless you are going to go hungry or homeless because of not making a wedding cake that weekend. Did you spend the money, did you put it in escrow, did you start baking , did you buy all the supplies for that cake?

Do what you would want done for you to do if the roles were reversed.



I totally agree!!
post #11 of 31
All they're asking you to do is change the date.

I wouldn't hesitate to do as they ask, just tell them to be sure and let you know ASAP when the new date is set. And I wouldn't even discuss contracts, deposits, refunds, penalties, etc. As far as they're concerned, the cake element of the wedding is all designed and paid for (which it is) and one less thing they have to worry about. Talk about a chance for some good PR! This is it and probably the best one you'll have for a long time.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Obviously from some of the replies I'm getting, people misunderstood my post.

I came on here hoping for some helpful advice and it certainly has fallen short of that.

All I was considering doing was charging her a small fee for that fact that I have had to turn down other business for that date because I was "booked". I am a one-person show and I only take on two wedding cakes per weekend so that I can be sure I have the proper amount of time to dedicate to them without burning myself out.

Though I run a successful home-based (LICENSED) business, it certainly isn't one that I can depend on for an type of real income, especially in my area. Hence, SoFlo, I don't spend what I haven't rightfully earned.

I can't imagine the venue, caterers, etc. are being so "forgiving" as far as moving the date. So to answer the question, if I were in here shoes, yes, I would feel bad for having to move the date and would expect that there might be some sort of penalty involved.

And since when is paying the full amount of the cake fee upfront considered "goodwill" -- this was THEIR choice, NOT my request.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:

I would refund the money minus what the deposit would have been. I would explain that since they don't have a new date picked out I can't tell them if I can make their cake or not at this time. So, I will refund the money except for the deposit that will either be applied to their future order if they book within 1 year and I have the date available or forfeited if they don't book within 1 year or I dodn't have the new date available. I would explain that because the notification for postponement was less than 30 days, according to the contract, the deposit would not be returned no matter what but because of the circumstances (I would sound very understanding at this point) I would refund the rest of the money and allow the deposit to be applied to a future order according to the terms I just spelled out.





This was something I was also considering. Thank you!
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbaker

All I was considering doing was charging her a small fee for that fact that I have had to turn down other business for that date because I was "booked". I am a one-person show and I only take on two wedding cakes per weekend so that I can be sure I have the proper amount of time to dedicate to them without burning myself out.


You need to consider for yourself whether the opportunity cost of potentially not having a cake booked that day outweighs the positive PR chance you have here.

Quote:
Quote:

I can't imagine the venue, caterers, etc. are being so "forgiving" as far as moving the date. So to answer the question, if I were in here shoes, yes, I would feel bad for having to move the date and would expect that there might be some sort of penalty involved.


That's exactly the point of the "unhelpful" replies you've received in this thread. You have a chance to go above and beyond from a customer service perspective at a minimal cost to yourself, or you can do exactly what is expected for an average customer experience.

Quote:
Quote:

And since when is paying the full amount of the cake fee upfront considered "goodwill" -- this was THEIR choice, NOT my request.


If the customer had the option of paying only a deposit or the full amount of the order and they chose the latter on their own, they were expressing trust in your business that you would take care of them and wouldn't run away with their money. I'm not sure how you can interpret that as anything other than goodwill.
post #15 of 31
If your gut tells you to charge her a fee and some of the members don't agree, well follow your own gut. It's your business. But it is wise to take into consideration what people are saying. Yes, you may have had to turn down other events for her but if you decide to charge her a fee or not want to hold a spot for her then she may not come back at all. If that is business worth risking then by all means do it. I'm not judging you or attacking you. I'm just putting in my two cents and the decision is yours.
People have things in life that come up. Stable housing is important especially in this economy. I'm sure postponing a wedding wasn't an easy decision for them either. But, as mentioned before do what you feel is right. No sense in listening to others and fuming about it later on/.
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