Monday, October 20, 2008

Q & A: baker at my reception hall is unable to make the wedding cake I requested

Q. The baker at my reception hall is unable to make the wedding cake I requested, shouldn't I be compensated by my caterer if my original contract stated wedding cake included? And by how much?

A. This is not good - and this is not the way to approach the wedding - but let's look at some possible legal ramifications and what it might take to have a true understanding among and between two people - and - realizing that this is NOT, repeat NOT, legal advice and that Da Wedding Guy is NOT, repeat NOT, an attorney nor represents himself as someone qualified to give legal advice. So - having attempted to cover myself and attempting to make very sure you understand that this is NOT legal advice but only a personal opinion I, personally feel the following: (see how this can evolve into something bigger than it should be) If your contract stated "wedding cake included" and that's about it, you could have little or NO recourse because the exact details of the cake were not in the agreement. If the agreement went further and spoke of the cake in some detail (i.e. size, style of cake, # to feed, Kosher or non-Kosher if appropriate, flavor, type of icing, type of decorations, number of layers, type of pedestal layout and so on) THEN you have a contract that is specific enough in nature to require compliance or (in my opinion) restitution. If you were very specific as to what you wanted and the caterer said yes you could have it - or - by the lack of denial or through apparent complacency failed to indicate that your request could not be filled - AND - you had someone with you who could honestly attest to this type of an event -- then -- even a verbal agreement can be considered as legal and binding as a written contract, given the proper conditions are met and can be substantiated. Now - think about this - how big was the cake supposed to be - how much would it cost you to have it made somewhere else - and (perhaps most importantly) how much hassle do you want to have for how much money you will save??? Consider asking the caterer (ask again if you have already brought this up) to do some equitable and fair thing and (if perhaps the understanding of the details to what was expected in a cake was not exactly the same by both parties) - then perhaps, "sharing the cost" of getting the "right" cake - and/or perhaps include a groom's cake and you get the cake you want - so on, and so forth, and the beat goes on... If everything lends itself to "in good faith" you told him all things necessary to make your cake the way you wanted it - and - it is in writing or spoken with a friendly and viable witness present or simply admitted to by the caterer - AND - you were given no notice of, and/or cause to believe this would not be carried out as you had SPECIFICALLY thought was agreed to - then - if the cake is worth your time, and I mean REAL time, speak with an attorney. You might find that not referring the caterer and telling your story to others would do more good. The point is - this is your wedding - a very special and happy time (though few girls REALLY know just how hectic and frantic this can all be) - do what you have to do - BUT - don't get carried away - if it's messed up FIX IT - and worry about the rest later - don't you DARE miss "da big pictcha" and let this junk rule the day when you and your finance should be ruling it.

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