Monday, May 30, 2011

A plea for help and understanding

If you've driven around downtown on a Saturday afternoon lately, you've noticed that it is definitely wedding season. We are lucky enough to be a part of these couples' special day and we appreciate the honor. That being said, we are a business and therefore we have certain rules or policies. We have never wanted to write our policies based on the few people who might take advantage of us. We've never liked it when a company treats us that way, so we didn't want to do it to our customers.

One of the policies that we have encountered trouble with lately is our stand rental policy. Many of our clients want to use a cake stand (or cake plateau) to enhance their wedding cake display. We have a variety of stands and are more than happy to allow our clients to use them. While we don't charge a rental fee (as many other places do), we do ask for a security deposit as an incentive to return the stand. We also ask for the stands to be returned by Tuesday after the wedding as many times those same stands are going to be used for the following weekend. When the stand is returned on time, the entire security deposit is returned. Imagine if a stand weren't returned on long do you think it would take to get a new one in time for a Saturday wedding?

While the vast majority of our clients are wonderful and return the stands on time (or call us to let us know if there are extenuating circumstances), what we have encountered over the past few weeks are folks who were entrusted with the responsibility of returning the stand for the lovely couple, who is undoubtedly on their honeymoon, who don't return the stand on time. When a stand is not returned on time, the deposit is forfeit. These folks have told us, sometimes quite angrily, that they think the deposit should be returned, despite these terms being clearly explained both verbally and in the written contract.

When a stand doesn't make it back on time, we have to spend time researching who was supposed to return the stand, whether or not that stand is needed for the following weekend, and take the time to contact the responsible party to try to locate our stand. Many times, we have to also research our options for replacement as we wait for a return phone call. Additionally, some of our stands are discontinued and are no longer available. All of this work costs more than the amount of the deposit.

All we are asking for is a little understanding from the folks who are entrusted by the bride and groom to return the cake stands to us. If, for some reason, you aren't able to make it to our shop on Tuesday, just give us a call (the number is listed on the bottom of the stand)and keep us updated. We understand that it can be difficult to get all of the post-wedding items taken care of. We simply want to know that our stand is coming back to us. If, for some reason, you don't get us the stand back on time and don't take the time to contact us, please understand that the deposit is forfeit. If the stand never makes it back to us, we do have to charge the bridal couple the full replacement cost of the stand and we'd hate to have to do that.

We definitely don't want to have to change what we consider to be a generous policy, given that the industry standard is to charge a rental fee (which is not returned) as well as a security deposit that might be returned. Please help us keep a policy that has worked well for so many by adhering to the timeframes we've provided. Thank you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wow, it has been a while!

With wedding season in full swing, it has been hard enough to get everything finished, let alone fit in a blog post, so I apologize. There really has been so much going on here, that it is hard to keep up some days.

With so many weddings going on, I thought I'd take a moment and share a few of the quick tips that we share with some of our brides.

  • If there are going to be small kids in/at the wedding, give them dispoable cameras for the ceremony. This will keep them busy and quiet while giving you a very unique look at your ceremony.

  • If you are having pictures taken outdoors, invest in a few small handheld fans for you and your bridal party.

  • Have your maid of honor wrap up a plate of food and a few pieces of cake for you and your new spouse. Chances are that by the end of the evening you will be very hungry and will not have had more than a bite or two of anything.