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September 2012 Weddings

How to approach?

So our headcount ended up being far less than expected.  When we signed with our baker we estimated 120 guests for her.  Well, our final number is 87.  We are doing a small 2- tier cake for cutting and then the rest cupcakes.  When she saw our smaller number she suggested instead of doing 2 tiers of cake, doing 1 tier with a "dummy" styrofoam tier on top.  Since her cake is a little more expensive than cupcakes (50 cents) per serving I thought this was a good idea.  Well, today she sent me the final invoice, and on there was an additional $20 for an "artistic fee" for decorating the dummy tier, which she didn't mention when she suggested it.  It seems reasonable, but it changes the math on it.

She's been a super helpful vendor and I don't think of her as someone trying to pull one over on us.  But, with a real instead of dummy tier we would have an extra 10 servings of cake and 10 less cupcakes...which is a difference of only $5.  But this adds on $20 so actually by doing the dummy tier, the total is $15 more.  I don't want to be super cheap or ungrateful to her since she's ending up with less money than expected (but hey, it is an estimate, these things happen), but for the exact same amount of cake, why pay $15 more? 

How should I mention it to her without sounding like a pain? 

Re: How to approach?

  • I would just let her know that you didn't factor in money for decorating the dummy tier, and that you like the breakdown of a bigger cake and fewer cupcakes better.  Like you said, it's an estimate.  I guarantee you're not the first bride to change your mind.  She shouldn't care at all.

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    Josh and Renata's Wedding

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  • I agree with PP! I imagine that she's seen bride's change their mind in more drastic ways than this. :)
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  • Well you "changed your mind" in the first place for a practical reason (a significant drop in your headcount estimate), then her solution to address that change actually costs you more money in the end (did I read that right?), so I don't consider you going back to the original plan "changing your mind" or unreasonable.  Her solution doesn't make any practical sense, so once you politely mention this to her ("Now that I've seen the final numbers and your charges, it doesn't make economic sense to make that change after all- I'd like to stick to the original plan of a real top tier if it is still possible at this point.").  It shouldn't be a problem and she probably didn't realize it was going to actually cost you more money!
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  • Thanks ladies!  I tried to make it a win-win situation because she was going to decorate the top tier whether it is cake or styrofoam underneath.  If it is styrofoam though, she'd also have an additional 10 cupcakes to do.  So I tried saying it costs us more AND is more work for you.  She understood what I meant and came back with the cheaper option and then an even cheaper option of all tier cake (it has a smaller set-up fee and would be a slightly smaller quantity).  Have to discuss with FI though because I think he really loved the cupcakes and the difference is only $6 so whatever he wants at this point we'll go with.  All-in-all either options we are left with are cheaper than our original quote for sure and the other quote she gave us.  
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