I worked with Ashley Claire's as one of two recommended vendors from my wedding venue. I have mixed feelings about the job that she did. The cake tasting went smoothly, I showed her pictures of cakes designs I likied, she brought great samples to try, and even threw out some possible custom flavor suggestions. This cake tasting occurred about 5 months before the wedding, and after that, I assumed I was done with the cake part of wedding planning. Unfortunately, about a week before the wedding, when I was stressed out beyond belief, I get a call from her asking me to go over what kind of cake I wanted! First of all, I hadn't thought about cakes in 5 months. She expected me to re-conjure up all the details that I had given to her before? And over the phone? Right that second? I don't know what happened to all the notes she took (or should have taken) way back when we did the food tasting! Then I gave her the final headcount of 100 people insteade of the 125 people I initally told her back at the food tasting, and she told me that she would only make a 2 layer wedding cake instead of 3 layers since the headcount dropped. Who wants a two layer wedding cake?? It just looks weird. And besides, the top layer is supposed to be saved for the bride and groom's 1 year anniversary. I called the wedding venue about this, and finally they made her give me a three layer cake. I'm sorry, but this is NOT the stress that a bride needs a week before her wedding. So I spent the next week before my wedding having nightmares about what my wedding cake is actually going to look like since it was pretty obvious she had no idea what I had gone over with her at the cake tasting. It turns out the cake was actually VERY pretty and nicely decorated. Unforunately, the inside of the cake was a disaster. My mother in law told me her cake was very dry and she didn't like it. (Not what a bride wants to hear from her guests). Then to top it off - the wedding cake had coconut on it. This signified that she took a complete guess as to what flavors to use on my cake - because I absoutely HATE coconut. She could not have guessed more incorrectly than coconut. I'm still mortified that I even served my guests coconut. That's how much a I hate it.
With that said, I did give her two start becuase she did make some very cute **and tasty** custom wedding favor cookies perfectly matching my colors and decorating with my monogram, wrapped it in a baggie and tied it with ribbon. I got a LOT of compliments on those. The bad part is that after I gave her a budget in the initial planning phase, I got the final bill and she had gone way over the budget I gave her. Which is fine now, but I think it would have been professional to have told me at some point before the cookies were already being made, that such-and-such a design and packaging was going to be above my budget.
The other thing is that she did make a great groomscake for me as well, in the shape of my husbands favorite beer, and his favorite cake flavor, red velvet. He loved that.
Overall, I think she just needs more experience. I'm very dissapointed that she guessed on my wedding cake (and guessed wrong). She did do a great job on the cookies and groom's cake though.
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