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Wedding Cake Complaint

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So we just did a 5 tier wedding cake. We took the order in July with 1/2 deposit. We get to the wedding reception a half hour late because my sons babysitter never showed up. We explained and apologized to the bride. We set up, and the cake look beautiful. We show the bride she hugs and thanks us. The next day the bride's sister contacts us saying they want a full refund because the cake started leaning! mind you each tier had 5 dowls in it, we centered and made sure the cake was completely level. We told the brides sister we would not give a refund and that if the bride wanted to contact us we would explain it to her. And she hasn't called. But her sister and other friends are commenting on our Facebook picture of the cake saying how we are horrible and should give her the refund.(putting it nicely)
She had signed a disclosure stating once we leave set up and the cake has been approved we are not responsible for anything after. Now the sister is threatening to sue. Does she have grounds. What should we do?
post #2 of 16
What does your contract say about this situation? Are there pictures of the cake leaning? Did you take pictures of the cake when you set it up at the venue?
post #3 of 16

May I ask what your FB page is?  I would love to see the cake.

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

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I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply
post #4 of 16

Firstly, I would do as you have done and only deal with the bride who was your customer.

 

Secondly, I would tell the bride (if and when she contacts you - she may be on honeymoon) that you need photographic proof.

 

If she can produce evidence, then you may need to re-think. 

 

Suzanne x

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #5 of 16

What size were the tiers? If they were large, 5 dowels in each tier, (especially the bottom tiers) does not seem enough to support such a large cake.I use 5 dowels under and 8" cake. I'm assuming the bottom tiers were larger than that.

Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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post #6 of 16
Call the venue and ask them what happened. Talk to the person who actually cut the cake so that you can get a first-hand account. Do not talk about the bride, just tell them that you had heard that the cake was leaning and wanted to know what happened.

Also, block the people who are posting on your facebook page, you don't need that.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62 View Post
 

What size were the tiers? If they were large, 5 dowels in each tier, (especially the bottom tiers) does not seem enough to support such a large cake.I use 5 dowels under and 8" cake. I'm assuming the bottom tiers were larger than that.


Perhaps it depends on what dowels you use?

 

The maximum I've used on any of my large tiers is 5. 

 

Thank G-d, I've never had a cake collapse.

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik View Post
 


Perhaps it depends on what dowels you use?

 

The maximum I've used on any of my large tiers is 5.

 

Thank G-d, I've never had a cake collapse.

Really! I always thought the "rule of thumb" was use as many dowels as the are inches in the cake that will sit on them. I don't use That many but if I am setting a 12" on top of a 14" I will use more than 5. At least 10 dowels. I use pvc  for dowels, not wood. I am too paranoid to use the bubble tea straws!

Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Call the venue and ask them what happened. Talk to the person who actually cut the cake so that you can get a first-hand account. Do not talk about the bride, just tell them that you had heard that the cake was leaning and wanted to know what happened.

Also, block the people who are posting on your facebook page, you don't need that.


Good advice

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62 View Post
 

Really! I always thought the "rule of thumb" was use as many dowels as the are inches in the cake that will sit on them. I don't use That many but if I am setting a 12" on top of a 14" I will use more than 5. At least 10 dowels. I use pvc  for dowels, not wood. I am too paranoid to use the bubble tea straws!


I've heard people say that...  but the problem you have is that the more dowels you use (I used to use wood and now use plastic, was happy with both until my supply store changed brand and the wooden ones weren't straight!!!!!!) the less stable the actual cake becomes...  you're 'disrupting' the cake.

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #11 of 16
I dowel based on the size of the tier that will be sitting on them, and I use diameters divided by two as the guideline. So if a 10" tier will be sitting on a 12" tier, I use 5 dowels (one for every 2" of 10" diameter.) For a 6" tier sitting on an 8" I use three dowels.

I also will add one in the center of the tier (one extra dowel, not a long one that goes all the way through, I never do that) if the tier is larger...and I always use an odd number, so if it's an 8" tier I'll use five dowels instead of four. i don't know why, but an odd number just seems more stable.
post #12 of 16

Hi,

I've been making wedding cakes for 40 years and have never had a cake lean or collapse. I agree that too many dowels do weaken the cake. I never put them all the way through I always do them to the height of the cake and only use thin boards where one cake sits on top of the other. If I use pillars I always use drum boards a) because the thin ones bend too easily and b) because you get a better finish and more stability. Unlike America though I've never seen or made a wedding cake with any kind of cream covering. Due to being really ill of late my latest one was September, it was 4 tiered, the bottom 14" round fruit with 4 dowels that supported the next 10" round sponge with cream and jam which sat on the bottom one. These were followed by a crystal plate with 7 " pillars and loaded with sugar roses, resting again on 4 dowels, with an 8" chocolate cake filled with cream. This also had 4 dowels to support another crystal plate, again with 7" crystal pillars (not my choice I'd have chosen shorter pillars on this one) and lots of sugar roses, topped with a 6" fruit also covered with sugar roses. The cake wasn't cut on the night (the bride's choice) but stood firmly the whole time. I always put my dowels under the biggest stress points e.g. directly underneath the bottom of the pillars. I also don't put them too close together as that runs the risk of the cake breaking apart. Unfortunately my skills as a photographer leave a lot to be desired and due to a large window to the left of the cake you can't see any of the decorating on the top two tiers, otherwise I'd have posted a picture. I've been to ill to go and see the professional pictures but if I do get to go will post one on here.

post #13 of 16

Photographic evidence is going to be important if they try to go after you.

If your contract states once you set up the rest is in the hands of the client, then to me, you are fine.  Maybe the cake was bumped.  Good luck, I hope it turns out okay.

post #14 of 16

Or maybe, since the bride hasn't complained, someone is being less than honest and trying to recoup some money. If there is no photographic evidence I would ignore it. You have your waiver and with no evidence that the cake wasn't interfered with, I can't see that they have a leg to stand on. Quite honestly, as long as the dowels were not too close to the middle and you had the cakes on boards, I would say that it was virtually impossible for that to happen.

post #15 of 16

So the bride was already at the venue when you arrived? Were the guests there too? How long could the cake have possibly had to stand up?

I would do what costumeczar said and call the venue. Be proactive and educate yourself before you hear from the bride or a lawyer. If the venue says there was no problem, then awesome. If the venue says there WAS a problem, then you need to contact the bride, tell her you investigated the issue and will be giving a refund of $$$

 

Cakes should be able to withstand bumping. Not shoving, hot conditions, rain, drunken uncles or crazy florists, but if properly doweled or supported it is the baker's responsibility to make sure the cake is well built. 

 

Not saying yours wasn't, but a quick phone call will tell you the truth. 

life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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