For as long as I can remember, fellow cake decorators have asked me questions about using, writing, executing wedding cake contracts. And finally, after ages of planning to post it (because I'm a major slacker sometimes), today I'm sharing a Generic Blank Wedding Cake Contract and the policies I've used when using them.
First, I require a $100 "Save-the-Date" deposit to book a wedding cake. Generally, I get this deposit and then I write the contract. Mostly I do this because writing up the contract takes time and I don't like to invest that time unless I'm certain I've landed the client.
Having said that, on a rare few occasions, brides have requested a contract prior to paying a deposit and I have accommodated them. I figure if they're asking for everything in writing, there's a good chance I'll get the order. Only once has that backfired on me.
So, first I get the $100 deposit. I tell them that that deposit is non-refundable, no exceptions. If I'm going to save a date for them months in advance, then I'm probably going to turn down other orders for that date.
After that, if details aren't already settled, the next step is to nail down the details. Usually I already have an idea of the size and design of the cake, but before writing a contract, I need to have specifics.
Granted, I tell brides that changes can be made within a reasonable amount of time prior to the wedding. If they realize they're having more or less guests than originally planned or they suddenly see a different design or texture that they love, I'll make the changes if I can (and adjust the price accordingly).
With all details in hand, I write the contract. I use the generic contract that I'm publishing here and add the needed details, photos. Then I send it to the bride for her to fill in her blanks and sign it. Once I have it back in hand, (ideally) I put the due dates on my calendar so that I be sure to collect payment on time.
I said "ideally" because this is the one step I sometimes forget. I've had brides contact me and say, "Hey - I forgot to send that last payment and my wedding is this weekend... when do I pay you??" OOPS! In that case, the answer is, "NOW"... haha!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. On the contract, I require 50% of the balance due 6-8 weeks before the event and the balance is due 2 weeks prior to the event. I learned the hard way that chasing down money on someone's wedding day is a pain, so I refuse to do it anymore.
Why the window of 6-8 weeks? If they're booking the cake 8 weeks before the wedding, I usually get the $100 "save the date" immediately and make the first payment due in two weeks. If they're booking it months in advance, I usually set the 8 week due date. It varies a little and I'm okay with that. If it's being booked on shorter notice than 8 weeks (which is rare because I'm usually booked up that far in advance), I go ahead and require 50% immediately.
For the second payment, most brides remember to go ahead and get it paid (because of our contract - that lets them know it's serious). For the few times that 2 week deadline has been missed, I contact them and tell them they must pay the balance immediately through Paypal or bring me cash.
I always try to make it very clear in these situations that I will not start work on or deliver a wedding cake until I'm paid in full - no exceptions.
And that, my friends, is my policy and method when writing wedding cake contracts.
If you'd like to download the contract, you will find it here: Generic Blank Wedding Cake Contract. The document seems to be slightly distorted when opening in Google Docs so it will look better if you actually download the pdf.
OR I have the entire document embedded here (again, it's distorted in this format):
If you have any other questions about contracts, ask me in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer if I can! Happy Caking!
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