Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

A Little Wedding Cake Legal Advice?

Hello, I was wondering if anyone had some legal knowledge who could give me some wedding advice.
When I booked our wedding cake (pre-pandemic) the bakery (WI) said they cant pipe on gold decorations because they cant make gold buttercream frosting but they could pipe on the decorations & hand paint the details gold. They sketched out a rough draft & we agreed and put a down payment on the cake. Pandemic came and we rescheduled & they put us down for the new date (back in may 2020). A few weeks ago I emailed the bakery asking for a few extra details (it would be an added fee but I understand that) & during that conversation they said the decorations on my cake wouldn't be gold they would be "gold toned" & would have no metallic sheen (aka a brownish yellow cream piped on). I called them because I was confused what they meant "gold toned" when we agreed to gold details & he said the gold they have for buttercream is a powder and would take "hours of work to hand paint on" (I do believe he referenced a long period of time like all day or over 5 hours but I cant remember exactly) and explained what they will do is use a "gold toned" frosting instead. I told him I didnt want yellow/brown frosting & reminded him that out contract was for gold details to be hand paint on (its in the notes on the description) & that I paid extra for the hand painting (it was a small additional fee for the hand painting though) & he said he would uphold what we had in our original contract. About 2 days later I receive an email from them stating that they have updated their system & I need to sign a new contract. The new contract has a specific clause that says that they will try but do not have to reproduce a cake exactly as described, that there is "artistic interpretation" and they do not guarantee a cake looks like it was described. They have asked me to sign this updated contract just 3 weeks before my wedding! Do I have to sign this new contract to get my cake? I am afraid it is their way of getting out of painting on the gold details and just using their yellow frosting. Am I over reacting & will they likely paint the gold details on & should just sign it? 

Thanks

Re: A Little Wedding Cake Legal Advice?

  • Thanks, finding a new baker would be impossible because our wedding is 3 weeks away. I just dont know if I can tell them Im not willing to sign & still get my cake, which scares me. I want to tell him "We have an existing contract, and I do not want to supersede it" It seems logical since we had a contract already right? But he is refusing to accept our final installment on payment unless I sign a new contract
  • maine7mobmaine7mob member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I agree with @flantastic  Let go of the gold idea, don't accept the brownish yellow, ask for a refund on the extra hand painting charge (or negotiate a new contract without that, since this is what they want to do anyway.) Bring a picture of your new non-gold idea if possible. Sign the contract for that.

    Yeah, you got screwed, but at this point, you just have to make the best of it if you want a wedding cake. Alternatively, you could scramble to find a new baker. You may end up with cupcakes on a tier instead of a cake, but if you'd rather not deal with this baker anymore, that may be a viable option.
    short+sassy
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm going to agree with the other two.

    You're correct - gold metallic is not something you get in frosting.  Instead, what about talking to the baker one on one and change the vision?  

    I get it, you want things the way you want it.  But baked goods are kind of supposed to be about the opposite of stress.  We eat them as a stress relief!  So talk to the baker and ask what it is that they can do and that they're willing to do.  
    charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    End of the day, they do not want to and are not going to do your cake anymore as ordered because it's too much work for them that they realized after doing that for someone else takes more time than they charged you for, and/or they don't want to do it.  Personally (not legal advice) I wouldn't sign the (new) contract under grounds that you signed a contract with them and paid their fee with the agreement they make this cake for you at that price for the agreed upon new date as Covid cancellations happened. They do have the option to cancel your contract and refund the money to you, be ready to walk because they are not making your cake to the original design, I'd consider that scorched earth and find a new baker even if it means paying a premium.  You may be further ahead to just get your refund of your deposit on so many levels. 

    (I say that from experience in that I had a baker who didn't want to do the cake I ordered after we had finally agreed to a design because the others were "too hard for her to figure out"...  She flubbed the design so bad that she even got the flavor wrong..)

    Since you mentioned WI, if you post which part (NE, NW, Madison, Milwaukee, Central Sands, etc. - does NOT need to be specific) I may know of a baker that either myself or someone in the family has used that could pull off the cake you originally described...  That said, you WILL have a cake for your wedding no matter what happens, 3 weeks out is cutting it close, but when you contact someone new, explain the situation of what's going on that it wasn't YOU backing out, but your baker!
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    knottie040b1c4312ad2d13
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    One possible negotiation point with the original baker may be shrinking the size of your main cake to something they can manage in the original design and having a kitchen cake (same layers/filling/portion size but not the extra decorations) to finish out the remaining servings...  
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  • Thanks. we are still working things out but he seems willing to talk now that I have been firm on the contract to make a compromise. I think at this point even though we discussed things I am so disappointed that this would even need to be a thing to stress over weeks before my wedding. 
    MesmrEwe
  • Thanks. we are still working things out but he seems willing to talk now that I have been firm on the contract to make a compromise. I think at this point even though we discussed things I am so disappointed that this would even need to be a thing to stress over weeks before my wedding. 
    It can be disappointing but would you rather know you're not going to get what you want now or on your wedding day? 

    Instead keep talking to them.  And remember this is one of the things from the wedding day that while photographed, the taste is going to be more important than the look.    If it'll be that bad then consider doing things like looking for gold accessories that will contrast.  




  • Actually banana468 I didnt ask for the frosting to be gold metallic (though I have seen that as well, it can be done) I asked for the decorative accents to be gold (what I referred to as 'details' in my original post).  But here are LOTS of bakeries that make gold frosting (shiny looking) or gold details on cakes, sometimes those details are made out of fondant or something similar, sometimes they are piped on, it depends on the cake and dusted over. If there is no shine or shimmer to gold its not really gold anymore. When I was interviewing places I didnt have a preference which manner it was done just so I could have gold accents, and I brought very specific pictures and he said 'we can do this, this is how we are going to accomplish it '(& he actually drew out a picture of my cake on the contract & labeled the areas gold). They make a lot of cakes, there is no reason he can't do it, he just probably found himself busy this year; he overbooked clients cause everyone rescheduled to this year, and now doesnt want to put in the time for what we contracted for which is despicable. 

    All of these gold cakes are right from various bakers own websites, gold accents are very common. 

    https://circospastryshop.com/products/modern-gold-and-white-wedding-cake-w004

    https://bonniebrunt.com/media/widgetkit/IMG_5711-714eb64f794a9ce3d6d3758e969ed1cd.jpg

    https://pic.cakesdecor.com/l/vesfp7xzt3d7en0lj4nf.jpg

    https://bonniebrunt.com/media/widgetkit/IMG_5347-30e43fc9f2402c2c02ccc48508cf1f78.jpg
  • Actually banana468 I didnt ask for the frosting to be gold metallic (though I have seen that as well, it can be done) I asked for the decorative accents to be gold (what I referred to as 'details' in my original post).  But here are LOTS of bakeries that make gold frosting (shiny looking) or gold details on cakes, sometimes those details are made out of fondant or something similar, sometimes they are piped on, it depends on the cake and dusted over. If there is no shine or shimmer to gold its not really gold anymore. When I was interviewing places I didnt have a preference which manner it was done just so I could have gold accents, and I brought very specific pictures and he said 'we can do this, this is how we are going to accomplish it '(& he actually drew out a picture of my cake on the contract & labeled the areas gold). They make a lot of cakes, there is no reason he can't do it, he just probably found himself busy this year; he overbooked clients cause everyone rescheduled to this year, and now doesnt want to put in the time for what we contracted for which is despicable. 

    All of these gold cakes are right from various bakers own websites, gold accents are very common. 

    https://circospastryshop.com/products/modern-gold-and-white-wedding-cake-w004

    https://bonniebrunt.com/media/widgetkit/IMG_5711-714eb64f794a9ce3d6d3758e969ed1cd.jpg

    https://pic.cakesdecor.com/l/vesfp7xzt3d7en0lj4nf.jpg

    https://bonniebrunt.com/media/widgetkit/IMG_5347-30e43fc9f2402c2c02ccc48508cf1f78.jpg
    Those are lovely!  They're not gold frosting but they are lovely. 

    Gold and any metallics are tricky.  I work in printing as a different medium and anytime customer look for a metallic they need to know the costs that are involved.  

    The point here though is that while it may be bait and switch it doesn't matter the reason - the baker is now telling you what he can't do.  So work with what he can do because he's already stating that he's not going to deliver on what you wanted.  You have every right to be frustrated but also need to manage expectations. 
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