Wedding orders - deposits vs balance due

Hi! I’m starting to book weddings and I was wondering how you professionals out there confirm the orders with your couples? Do you have a contract (might there be a template on line I can use)? How much deposit do you request and when do you require the balance to be due? Do you offer any refunds if the wedding is cancelled or postponed? Any insight on this would be most helpful as I’m trying to protect myself as well as make sure I do things right.
Thanks!
Maria

Maria @ http://www.facebook.com/rooneygirlbakeshop or http://www.rooneygirlbakeshop.com

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4 Replies

Valley Kool Cakes (well half of it~Tara) ...

I am just a small home baker, I do a few weddings a year, maybe 10. I personally ask for a deposit of half and it depends on what I need to do for the prep work/ordering supplies to how far in advance I ask for it. There is a wedding in Oct that I have to order dummy cakes for so I asked for the deposit in Aug. but if it is a cake that I source everything locally and it is a simple order I ask for a week or two in advance just so I can cover the cost of my supplies.

Depending on the time frame in which it is cancelled I would most likely give a refund, I have yet to have this happen. But if it was the day before or something I would be hesitant to refund the deposit unless it was something tragic like a death or something. But like I said I am no expert, just a beginner home baker =)
Good luck!

jchuck ...

There is all kind of software out there on the www where I am sure you could find templates for contacts. Check out CakeBoss software…..NOT the tv baker. I also am just a hobby baker. I ask for 50% down about 2-3 months before. Full payment one week before. As far as a refund…..very good question. Guessing it would have to be extraorinary circumstances. If wedding is cancelled, for sure you keep down payment. Beyond that……???? Each situation could warrant a different decision.
Another tip…write EVERYTHING down. Make sure your customer/bride understands what the final cake will look like. I had a customer give me a picture and wanted the cake EXACTLY like it. But the cake was pink bc, she wanted white fondant….etc., etc. That was a learning experience!!! I don’t like to “copy” exactly…a few changes to make it my own. I make note specifically what they want, colour. style, cake flavor, type…etc…and have them SIGN/INITIAL. This way there are no misunderstandings. You thought chocolate, they said mocha…..you get the picture.
Hope this helps. Best of luck
June ( jchuck ) Burlington, On., Canada

caymancake ...

I do a non-refundable deposit to reserve the date with payment in full due 2 weeks before the date. I have a really in depth terms and conditions on my website, feel free to check it out! I did a lot of research on it and like that it’s worded like a contract to protect myself. I provide an invoice and refer clients to that page on my website to familiarize themselves with it before they make a deposit. Http://caymancake.weebly.com

Hope that helps!

Karen MacFadyen ...

Make sure you price your cakes properly, including all the time spent shopping and cooking too. Ask for a deposit and prior to delivery of a wedding cake ensure that the balance is paid. You will struggle to find a person to pay you on the wedding day as everyone is so busy. So ensure that you have the balance of your money prior to big day. I would also get the customer to sign an order form saying they agreed to the order as well as getting some terms and conditions in place too. Hope that helps.