Would I be unreasonable to say no to this wedding request, or should I grit my teeth and try?

(206 Posts)
babybearsmummy Mon 22-Jul-13 10:53:26

I'm a cake baker by trade, but since the end of my pregnancy I decided to cut my workload down and only bake for family and friends occasions.

My friend got engaged a year ago and one of the 1st things she did was call to ask me to make her wedding cake and I was very excited for her, especially when we'd get a few mins here and there to plan it.

2 weeks after asking me, she emailed me to say that she and her fiancée had decided to go with another cake maker as her fiancée's family had always used that company for their special occasions and her o.h had presumed they would just have that company. I was futted but thought it was their day so no point getting upset.

She messaged me yesterday in a state as the wedding is on Friday and her the company has pulled out of making their cake last week. I've called my suppliers this morning but they can't get everything I need sorted until Wednesday at the earliest, leaving me with just a few hours on weds evening and Thursday evening to make it. I don't have anyone to look after dd as my o.h is working til 7pm this week and his parents are not well and there's no one else close to have her. And I don't think I'd want her to be away all day for 2 days as it's not fair on her (if I'd even get it finished in 2 days as I'd originally planned 4-5 days to get it all done)

So would I be really horrible and unreasonably selfish to say no to her? Or should I just try to get something together for her in the space of those 2 evenings? WWYD?

CeliaFate Mon 22-Jul-13 10:55:38

I'd tell her you can't do it and say what the problems are with the suppliers and childcare. Yanbu.

JerseySpud Mon 22-Jul-13 10:55:54

It depends how good a friend she is

I would maybe say to her that you will do it but she will have to scale down what she wanted to something more basic, due to time constraints and would she come around and sit with your DD whilst you cook it as you are saving her bacon

jollygoose Mon 22-Jul-13 10:56:53

I would let her know that if she wants you to make her cake she must come to your home and look after dd for the day otherwise it cnt be done.

HipHopHooray Mon 22-Jul-13 10:57:02

She asked you then "unasked" you, then calls you when she's stuck? Sod her!!! If it was no problem for you and you had loads of time and you were a VERY nice person you could, but in your situation NO WAY. And also remember if you have to rush it and its not your best work his family will be smugly telling themselves they were right to "unask" you it he first place.....

I think I would tell her you can do a simple version rather than what was originally planned and factor in childcare costs I to your invoice. Then again if it will be a huge stress then just say no.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Mon 22-Jul-13 10:58:05

Hmmm, tricky one, this is.

For me, it would depend just how close a friend she was. E.g. if it was my best friend i've know since high school who has been there for me through thick and thin - I'd do it albeit reluctantly due to the short notice etc

However, if it was just a 'hello, how are you' friend that I don't see much, or who i know would never do the same favour for me - i'd say sorry, but no.

Don't put all this pressure on yourself unless you're sure she'd do the same for you.

And don't feel guilty with whatever you decide.

LIZS Mon 22-Jul-13 10:59:47

Agree , if you can offer an alternative style which you could do easily in the more limited time frame and she can help re. dd then fine, otherwise I think you'll have to say no . Do you have any other bakers you could suggest ?

StuntGirl Mon 22-Jul-13 11:00:57

It doesn't sound like it could actually feasibly be done anyway, so I'd just tell her "I'm really sorry friend, but it won't be possible due to childcare and time restrictions. I hope you can get another cake".

I was going to suggest telling her you can do a much more simplified cake instead (something that could easily be done in 2 days), but she will need to take your daughter while you work or something, but actually I think that probably has disaster written all over it.

LIZS Mon 22-Jul-13 11:02:38

If a normal customer came to you with this scenario what would you do ?

diddl Mon 22-Jul-13 11:03:33

No can do!

If her people pulled out last week, why did she only ask you yesterday?

Helltotheno Mon 22-Jul-13 11:03:35

Say no. You clearly weren't good enough for her to start with (are we really believing her excuse fobbing everything off on her DH and the company his family uses for 'special occasions'? Please....).
Say you would have loved to help but can't on this occasion.

middleagefrumptynumpty Mon 22-Jul-13 11:04:12

She asked you, her friend, to make a cake then dumped you for a company that her DP's family use? Now they can't do it and they are stuck. I suggest her DP's family find an alternative. It's too late in the day and too much of a rush. Just decline and say sorry you have rung around suppliers and can't do it. Also, her DP's cake company don't sound very professional to be backing out of a wedding cake at such short notice.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Mon 22-Jul-13 11:07:28

What's the issue re your suppliers, exactly? Is it the cake ingredients, or the icing, the decorations? Can't you cobble together something...?

I can sort of understand how the pulling out of you making it came about. But likewise, she is now asking a massive favour of you, at very short notice.

But. Surely you can whip down to the supermarket and get the cake ingredients, and pull together what you need to decorate it? Obviously it won't be an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza of a cake, but I hardly think she will be expecting that, at such short notice.

diddl Mon 22-Jul-13 11:07:53

Yup-she wasn't that bothered about you making her cake, was she?

Wbdn28 Mon 22-Jul-13 11:09:00

The company that pulled out should make alternative arrangements for a cake.

diddl Mon 22-Jul-13 11:09:07

But if you do go ahead, OP-the least she can do it get the ingredients herself!

Aspiemum2 Mon 22-Jul-13 11:09:56

Weddings can bring about some strange behaviour and its never wise to judge someone on decisions made during prewedding stress.
Ignoring the asking/unasking situation - your friend is getting married and is stressing over something you are able to help with.
If I were you I would simplify it but still provide a cake. I know it's a hassle you could do without but it will mean the world to her.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 22-Jul-13 11:09:58

I'd offer a scaled-down version but make it clear that you have to charge an emergency rate.

MaryPoppinsBag Mon 22-Jul-13 11:11:00

I make cakes also mainly for friends and family.

I would say no to a full on wedding cake at such short notice. But if I still wanted to help out I'd offer simple cupcakes (I find these easier to do, more enjoyable and less pressure).

and I'd add £50 onto my usual price for her cheek

But you are within your rights to tell her to do one. I'm sure people don't appreciate how stressful wedding cakes are. I've only made two.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZingWidge Mon 22-Jul-13 11:12:07

sorry, I don't understand.

they pulled out of making a cake last week for a wedding this weekend? why has it not been made before?
if I'm correct traditional fruitcake based wedding cakes (in the UK, if that's where you live) are made weeks in advance.

so it depends on type of ok. what kind of cake are we talking about?

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 22-Jul-13 11:12:18

If she is a good friend then I would help her out - I know you were gutted when she pulled out but it wasn't just her decision to make as to who should make the cake and she had to consider her husband to be's opinion to.

As DonDrapers said, why not get the things you need from the supermarket or cooking shop. She might have to accept a much simpler version of cake than she originally wanted as you just don't have enough time before the wedding. What about a three tier simple iced cake and then ask the florist to decorate it with fresh flowers? That way, you have helped to save the day, can feel good that you have helped a friend out but without putting yourself under undue stress.

babybearsmummy Mon 22-Jul-13 11:12:24

Hmm I think I will have to be a bit strict with her then :/ it would be a bit of a pain in the bum to get it done, even a simplified version, so she'll have to choose someone who can put in the time. I wouldn't want her big day spoilt because she couldn't have what she wanted as she is a very good friend.

Also I don't think I could handle her hanging over me checking how far I am with it as I think I'd be stressed enough. Thanks for the advice and making me feel less selfish. There's lots of reputable bakers she could use and who could make what she wants so I'll pass her along!

freddiefrog Mon 22-Jul-13 11:12:49

I used to make wedding cakes for a living, and to be honest, I wouldn't even attempt to make one from scratch in less than 2 days.

In this weather, even if you started today, drying decorations out would be hardwork.

Although it depends on what she wants on it.

To dig a friend out of a hole, I'd offer a plain, iced, 2 or 3 tier sponge cake, with a ribbon round each tier and suggest she ask her florist made up a little posy pick to pop in the top tier.

Anything more extravagant than that, no way jose

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