Wedding cake quandary


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First off, let me say I'm so glad I found this forum. I bake and design wedding cakes and always like to talk with my fellow bakers. On to the issue. When I deliver my wedding cakes, the bride has agreed to leave flowers and greenery at the cake table, so I can finish the cake at the venue. I had something happen today that has never happened. I delivered the cake to a home that was rented for the weekend and the wedding. I go to the cake table and the are 2, dollar store flowers and that was it. I asked the girl helping the bride were there any more flowers or greenery. She says "oh sure" and brings me 2 plastic pieces of eucalyptus. At first I was very surprised that she would pay $197 for a wedding cake and plastic flowers. Then I felt bad and had to ask God to forgive my thought. Maybe that was all she could afford. My questions is, what should I carry with me next time, incase this happens again. I really feel mad at myself for feeling miffed. Every bride to have a special cake and she hired me to do that for her. I did my very best to make it as pretty as I could. It was a small 2 tiered semi-naked cake, so there were no other decorations. Thanks for any ideas in advance.
Sharon
 
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First off, let me say I'm so glad I found this forum. I bake and design wedding cakes and always like to talk with my fellow bakers. On to the issue. When I deliver my wedding cakes, the bride has agreed to leave flowers and greenery at the cake table, so I can finish the cake at the venue. I had something happen today that has never happened. I delivered the cake to a home that was rented for the weekend and the wedding. I go to the cake table and the are 2, dollar store flowers and that was it. I asked the girl helping the bride were there any more flowers or greenery. She says "oh sure" and brings me 2 plastic pieces of eucalyptus. At first I was very surprised that she would pay $197 for a wedding cake and plastic flowers. Then I felt bad and had to ask God to forgive my thought. Maybe that was all she could afford. My questions is, what should I carry with me next time, incase this happens again. I really feel mad at myself for feeling miffed. Every bride to have a special cake and she hired me to do that for her. I did my very best to make it as pretty as I could. It was a small 2 tiered semi-naked cake, so there were no other decorations. Thanks for any ideas in advance.
Sharon

Hello, welcome to the forum.
When a bride want to supply any of her own decorations, it’s very important that information be in writing in contract.

The contract should have a general description of the decorations the bride for each tier.

The contract should also state the bride or a representative of the bride will deliver the decorations two weeks (or whenever the final payment is due) before the event.

It is important you have everything you need to complete the cake before you even bake it.
 
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The contract did state all of that. I have in my contract that the bride is to provide the flowers from their florist at the venue and leave them in the cake table. I put the flowers on when I am setting up the cake. Many of my brides are from other states. The brides always use fresh flowers. I have never had a bride use plastic flowers.
 
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The contract did state all of that. I have in my contract that the bride is to provide the flowers from their florist at the venue and leave them in the cake table. I put the flowers on when I am setting up the cake. Many of my brides are from other states. The brides always use fresh flowers. I have never had a bride use plastic flowers.
I should add that I’ve been doing this for 2 years and this has never happened.
 
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The contract did state all of that. I have in my contract that the bride is to provide the flowers from their florist at the venue and leave them in the cake table. I put the flowers on when I am setting up the cake. Many of my brides are from other states. The brides always use fresh flowers. I have never had a bride use plastic flowers.

There’s not much you can do if it was in the contract and she didn’t specify they were artificial. A contract is to lay out all of the exact details so there are no misunderstandings. That leads to disappointments. Which turns into disputes.

It sounds like you did everything right.

Standard Items in a kit:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer wipes

  • Dowels, straws, and skewers
  • Scissors and dowels shears
  • Exacto knife & spare blade
  • Needle nose pliers

  • Off-set spatula
  • Fondant smoother
  • Paint brushes
  • Vodka or lemon extract

  • Portions of powdered sugar/cornstarch, shortening, and piping gel

  • Business cards, pen & sharpie

=========================================================

When you contract to bake a cake, you are responsible to bring the tools and materials necessary to make any minor repairs to the cake on site. And you can only decorate the cake per the contract. And in this case, the contract stated the bride would supply the decorations on the day of the wedding. And as heartbreaking as it was to find the only decorations provided was a couple of artificial flowers, if that was all you had, there wasn’t much you could do. Perhaps had you known you might have been able to work something else out with her.

Items specific to the order - what you bring on site is really specific to the order. There really isn’t much you could have done.
  • Name & address of venue
    • Cake order form
    • Signed contact
    • Sign off on cake sketch (also for reference in set-up)
  • Catering sheet
    • Bride & Groom Name
    • Time of event
    • Cake storage instructions
    • Cake cutting instructions for cater
    • Number of servings
    • Whether top tier is to be preserved for bride & groom
  • Emergency Repair specific for the order
    • Extra buttercream, fondant, and ganache, modeling chocolate, etc to repair any dings to cake during delivery
    • Extra sugar paste decorations to replace one or two that may be damaged during delivery (if using)
    • Extra fresh flowers to replace a few that may be damaged during delivery (if using)
    • Extra decoration (pearls, sequins, glitter, ribbon, etc) that may fall off or be rubbed off during delivery (if using)
  • A cake stand (if the contract provides for one and you have the necessary deposit)
  • Cake box(es) for top tier and/or leftover cake if contract provided for box(es)
 
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Yes. I have and do all of that. I have a “on site” kit I bring to every venue. I even carry wire cutters. The stems were so thick on the plastic flowers I could barely cut them. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever run into this situation and how they handled it. Thanks so much for the input.
 
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Yes. I have and do all of that. I have a “on site” kit I bring to every venue. I even carry wire cutters. The stems were so thick on the plastic flowers I could barely cut them. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever run into this situation and how they handled it. Thanks so much for the input.
I wouldn't put fresh flowers near a cake unless they're specialty grown food grade and pesticide free .
I always explain this and they're quick to abandon the idea, I can make decent flowers quick enough.
If they want to grow their own flowers thats ok.
These are marzipan, point is , the more of your work you can put in the cake the higher the price.
 

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I wouldn't put fresh flowers near a cake unless they're specialty grown food grade and pesticide free .
I always explain this and they're quick to abandon the idea, I can make decent flowers quick enough.
If they want to grow their own flowers thats ok.

Seriously, event cake bakers and florists know this. When an order is put in for flours for a wedding cake, Florists know what type of flowers are safe to use on cakes and know to order organic flowers. Flowers have been used on cakes for years. My wedding was at one of the most exclusive venue in San Francisco in 1989. I had fresh flowers on my wedding cake.

Use of fresh flowers on wedding cakes is perfectly safe. Bakers are taught to seal the stems to insert safely in a cake. We have been doing it for years—and training bakers to do it for decades. And florists have provided organically grown flowers specifically for use on food, not just cake, for decades.
 
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I wouldn't put fresh flowers near a cake unless they're specialty grown food grade and pesticide free .
I always explain this and they're quick to abandon the idea, I can make decent flowers quick enough.
IMG_0273.jpg

If they want to grow their own flowers thats ok.
These are marzipan, point is , the more of your work you can put in the cake the higher the price.
Yes, I understand about the fresh flowers. I do not make flowers or use fondant. I only use swiss buttercream. I have always used fresh flowers, gold flake, sugar pearls, buttercream texturing and that kind of thing. I only use local florist and they and I both know what flowers are "cake safe" and pesticide free. I have my own herb garden and occasionally use that with fresh berries as well.
https://www.instagram.com/tenacioustart/
Everyone has their own style and they are all fabulous. I just have never had that kind of situation come up.
 
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Seriously, event cake bakers and florists know this. When an order is put in for flours for a wedding cake, Florists know what type of flowers are safe to use on cakes and know to order organic flowers. Flowers have been used on cakes for years. My wedding was at one of the most exclusive venue in San Francisco in 1989. I had fresh flowers on my wedding cake.

Use of fresh flowers on wedding cakes is perfectly safe. Bakers are taught to seal the stems to insert safely in a cake. We have been doing it for years—and training bakers to do it for decades. And florists have provided organically grown flowers specifically for use on food, not just cake, for decades.
I worked as the pastry chef when I was living in New Orleans. I incorporated edible flowers in one of my desserts and the chef had a salad with a few fresh, edible flowers adding in. They are such in interesting flavor and so beautiful. I remember it mentally, felt off eating a flower...haha
 
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Thats what I said, when its safe.
I've done both on the same cake.
View attachment 4102

You are out of touch with the industry. No one is abandoning flowers on cake. It’s as popular as ever. And people are not freaked out about price. Average spent on the cake is $500. And where I live is a destination. Couples spend upward of $75k or more for a wedding here. Wedding cake starts at $8 serving and can go beyond $25 a serving. Upscale bakeries and pastry chefs require a $500 minimum. A $1500+ cake is common.
 
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I worked as the pastry chef when I was living in New Orleans. I incorporated edible flowers in one of my desserts and the chef had a salad with a few fresh, edible flowers adding in. They are such in interesting flavor and so beautiful. I remember it mentally, felt off eating a flower...haha

The realm of food is so vast. We don’t realize how narrow our concept of eating is until we begin to train and travel. There’s so many edible things in the garden that we think of as simply ornamental. There’s a produce market in the city where my brother lives that sells edible flowers. They make a lovely touch to spring cakes and pies. There are more difficult to find where I live. Which is odd because I live in the heart of the Napa Valley—a major food and wine center with plenty of farmer’s markets.
 
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You are out of touch with the industry. No one is abandoning flowers on cake. It’s as popular as ever. And people are not freaked out about price. Average spent on the cake is $500. And where I live is a destination. Couples spend upward of $75k or more for a wedding here. Wedding cake starts at $8 serving and can go beyond $25 a serving. Upscale bakeries and pastry chefs require a $500 minimum. A $1500+ cake is common.
Your post has absolutely nothing to do with what i typed.
 
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I worked as the pastry chef when I was living in New Orleans. I incorporated edible flowers in one of my desserts and the chef had a salad with a few fresh, edible flowers adding in. They are such in interesting flavor and so beautiful. I remember it mentally, felt off eating a flower...haha
I did a 60pp dinner for les amis d'Escoffier yrs ago, I remember a violet sorbet and paying $400 for violet petals.
Someone wasn't thinking when they booked that .
Nowadays they're cheaper.
 
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Your post has absolutely nothing to do with what i typed.

Your original post was completely inaccurate stating brides quickly abandon the idea of fresh flowers when told about cost.

That’s not true. You’re not involved in the wedding industry at all. You have no idea what couples are spending on weddings, let alone the cost of a wedding cake.

And you surely don’t know what brides are putting on their wedding cakes. Fresh flowers have and continue to be a favorite decoration. And meringue buttercream and fresh flowers are as popular as ever-especially among the clientele who care enough to buy cake their guests can/will eat.
 
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Yes. I have and do all of that. I have a “on site” kit I bring to every venue. I even carry wire cutters. The stems were so thick on the plastic flowers I could barely cut them. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever run into this situation and how they handled it. Thanks so much for the input.
I've lived and learned from situations, damaged cakes that need repair on the fly with no repair kit.You can do a lot with a plastic knife and by relocating flowers to cover up.
I would be cautious relying on the bride to provide final decor to be applied onsite unless I'm dealing with a caterer , brides have their own concerns. Its giving up control over the final quality to someone else.
 
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I've lived and learned from situations, damaged cakes that need repair on the fly with no repair kit.You can do a lot with a plastic knife and by relocating flowers to cover up.
I would be cautious relying on the bride to provide final decor to be applied onsite unless I'm dealing with a caterer , brides have their own concerns. Its giving up control over the final quality to someone else.

1. No professional delivers a wedding cake, or any event cake without a repair kit.

2. Couples contract and pay for the cake, not the caterer. Caterer have nothing contractually to do with cake including the decorations other than cut and serve it. And no caterer will take any responsibility for a cake that they were not contacted and paid to bake and supply for the couple.

3. Brides/couples provide their own special decorations for cakes all the time. Nothing new.

Every venue in this valley sells out for the wedding season. Including the venue I live on. There is a wedding here every week from April - October.
 
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1. No professional delivers a wedding cake, or any event cake without a repair kit.

2. Couples contract and pay for the cake, not the caterer. Caterer have nothing contractually to do with cake including the decorations other than cut and serve it. And no caterer will take any responsibility for a cake that they were not contacted and paid to bake and supply for the couple.

3. Brides/couples provide their own special decorations for cakes all the time. Nothing new.

Every venue in this valley sells out for the wedding season. Including the venue I live on. There is a wedding here every week from April - October.
thank you for your opinion.
 
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