The Wedding Cake Saga

Discussion in 'Planning your Wedding' started by Melty Cat, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Melty Cat

    Melty Cat

    Mar 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Derbyshire, UK
    I recently contacted a local wedding cake maker about an estimate and for design discussion. I have long been admiring her work through her shop window, but have never been able to get a hold of her personally and was always told to 'come back when she was in' by other staff.

    I finally found a Facebook account and got in touch through there, shared my phone number and waited. She told me she'd give me a call the following morning. Never got a call.

    A few days later I found a message via Facebook saying that she hadn't forgotten me, it's just that she was super busy and that she would call me in the morning just after 10AM. Guess what? No call until 6 PM when I was in the middle of cooking!

    Burned leeks aside, we had a really nice chat about what I wanted. I told her I had seem a cake on her site that would be PERFECT and I'd only need a few changes. My theme is steampunk/victorian with an ivory, gold and duck egg blue colour scheme. She ooed and ahhed and said that she had done a steampunk cake before for a birthday and that it shouldn't be too difficult at all. I mentioned that I wanted the same kind of cake only with an extra tier and alternating colours to match the them. She said it would be super easy to do and I should get back to her with the colours as a design. (I'm an illustrator you see, so I told her I'd sketch it and show her what I meant.)

    She quoted me £150 - £200 for what I had told her and explained that if I wanted extras like pearls or diamantes that it would cost a little bit more and that if I had foam or silk flowers (Which I do!) that it would bring the cost down, as sugarpaste can be expensive and tricky.

    I spent a while on my design last night making sure the colour tones were just right and posted it, only to get a message back saying "Would work with the other aspects we spoke about interweaved into the flowers BUT not within the budget you quoted Im afraid Rachel. Start saving your pennies now x"
    I'm confused. I already discussed the changes BEFORE she quoted me and the changes are only really an extra tier and colour changes. (Oh and a tiny amount of gold chain, but I only added that to fill in space and I can take it or leave it.) But, she was already OK with that. We even discussed deposit prices and so on. I haven't added any pearls, diamantes, or shimmer powders and such to it, so I don't get it.

    Cake is for 30 to 37 people and really is not that much different at all to the original.

    My Redesign

    As I say, I only changed the colours which is actually something we discussed in great detail. I am in the same town as her in Derbyshire, so she said it wouldn't be too hard to do. She also never mentioned set up costs.

    I also made her FULLY aware of, my wedding is not until the 24th July 2016!

    We don't have too many local cake makers, so it's very difficult for me without having to travel by bus quite a distance into the city.

    I have started asking at the other cake makers too. I just hope they can deliver the same design I want, because some of them don't own shops and do it entirely as an online business.

    Anyway... On advice I went to one of the only local cake makers left to choose from and I had high hopes when she replied all professional and cheery. Such a stark contrast to the previous one. I was even saying to my H2B how happy I was with her reply. She said she'd be going away for a while so would meet up after she returned when she got back. I said that was not problem, showed her the design and explained the date and everything. We swapped mesaages and such and everything was so positive! I thought that I'd finally found someone I could mesh well with to make it.

    I logged in to find this:

    "Hi Rachel,
    Im afraid I only use hand made flowers. Cake decorating is my hobby and passion not baking. I only do that because the two come hand in hand.
    If you are wanting to use artificial flowers, have you tried ***** ***** on Nottingham Road. They don't make their own flowers so Im sure will be happy to use something else. Their cakes are very good and I believe they are quite reasonable.
    Should you change your mind and decide to go for the hand made option, by all means let me know and I will be pleased to arrange to meet you.
    Sorry I cannot help you at this time.

    Uh... OK. Yet ANOTHER sudden switch!

    I replied:

    "Would you have any objections to me adding on the flowers myself if I can get hold of them?"

    I got this in reply:

    "What I was trying to say Rachel is that baking is not my main interest. I don't bake for a job, this is purely a hobby, so I only offer a limited choice of flavours and only bake cakes because I need something to put my decorations on. There are plenty of people out there more qualified than me in the baking department such as *** at ***** ***** or ***** at the cake shop at the top of Church Street. Im sure they will be delighted to offer plain cakes in a range of flavours or even source the flowers for you if they can."

    (Starred names out for obvious reasons)

    I'm confused! Why market yourself as a professional cake maker if... I don't... What!? Is anyone in this area even remotely suitable? The heck!? D:

    I only have 3 choices left in the area and one of those I don't even like their cakes. :C

    Well... I had someone recommend a cake maker husband and wife team that is out of my area but deliver. So, on their recommendation, I looked at their site and contacted them. Beautiful work and a lovely choice of flavour. I was assured as well that they were nice people and accommodating.

    The reality? They outright REFUSED to make me a red velvet tier and gave me a huge lecture via email about how it's unhealthy, causes cancer and so on and so fourth. I explained that I prefer it traditional and made using beetroot and NOT with food colouring.

    They THEN started picking on my design by saying how out of proportion it is! JEEZE LADY! I drew it in 5 minutes! Give me a break! I'm hardly going to give you a masterpiece for a god damned CAKE example!

    I am seriously wondering what is wrong with cake makers... I'm pulling my hair out and this is all just for QUOTES! What's it going to be like when it comes to actually booking them!?
    Melty Cat, Mar 5, 2013
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  2. Melty Cat


    Apr 27, 2010
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    Eek, certainly sounds like you've had a run of bad luck there! All cake makers I've had dealings with in the past have been lovely, so I'm sorry to hear you've had a bad experience. I don't see why the silk flowers should be much of a problem. One question though - isn't a 3 tier cake going to be a bit too much for 30-odd people?

    There is a very lovely member on here called Helen who runs her own cake business ('Rock My Cake' - can be found on facebook), although she is based in Shrewsbury which is a bit of a trek from Derbyshire. However she might be able to point you in the right direction!

    P.S. Steampunk/Victorian sounds like an awesome theme!
    Becky, Mar 5, 2013
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  3. Melty Cat


    May 1, 2010
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    I love your theme :)

    Have you considered buying plain white iced cakes from somewhere like M & S and doing the decoration yourself? You can buy cake spray paint in gold (I'm not sure about duck egg blue though) and spray the top tier gold. I could give you a few pointers to create the sugarpaste drapes and using foam flowers would be nice and straightforward to do. Have you considered adding in cogs or pocket watches into the flowers? That could look very cool.

    I don't know why you have had so much trouble getting a quote, I suggest going into a local cake supply shop and seeing if there are any business cards there for people who don't have shops or websites, most small cake makers don't advertise.

    I do cakes for fun, I'm doing a couple of wedding cakes this year, for friends and family as wedding presents. They are going to be very different so watch out for the photos!
    Helen, Mar 15, 2013
    Becky likes this.
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