...things don't quite go your way?
Tom and I have been pretty lucky with this planning process. We haven't had too many bad experience or unmet expectations. Until this week, when we had both!
We went recently to pick out our wedding rings. We found one that we both loved for Tom, but picking out my ring was a bit harder. I had an image in my mind of what I wanted, but we couldn't find a ring that matched up. Our jeweler decided he would build the ring that I wanted.
Unfortunately, when it came time to pick up the rings, what we had talked about and what I was holding in my hand wasn't even close. I actually hated the ring! So now we're in the process of figuring out what we can do to either fix the ring or design a different one and sell the one we have. I guess not all wedding details and decisions can be easy!
We mentioned earlier that we had done a cake tasting that was both fun and easy. When we went for our second tasting yesterday, we expected a similar experience.
Our first hint that something might be different here should have been when Tom tried to call Konditor Meister and schedule the tasting. He had a few questions he had wanted to ask, so he decided a phone call would be best. When he got someone on the phone, they refused to set up the tasting over the phone and referred him to the website. When he tried to ask a question about it, they repeated the instructions to go to the website and hung up on him. Instead of moving on then, we went forward with scheduling an appointment (on the website!)
When we showed up, it was clear that this was an assembly line type of operation. We could see at least 20 cakes being simultaneously made in the background. One person would stack the layers, another would frost, someone else would add decorations.. each cake was assembled within minutes. There's nothing wrong with that, but in comparison to the experience we had at Icing on the Cake where every cake seemed to be handmade with care and concentration, this felt very cold and different.
We were eventually ushered into a tasting room along with three other groups also doing their tasting. The room was crowded, loud, and distracting. We had a young high school/college girl running our tasting. In comparison, at Icing on the Cake we met with the owner in a private room and had her full attention.
We had done some research on Konditor Meister before we arrived, and noticed that they add alcohol to many of their cakes. Since neither Tom or I drink, and we don't want alcohol at our wedding, we informed the employee we had working with us that we didn't want to taste any of those flavors and would like to stick to the non alcoholic flavors. We were then informed that ALL of their cakes are brushed with alcohol automatically. "But don't worry, it's not that big of a deal - we give it to kids all the time. It won't get you drunk." Um thanks? It seems odd and presumptuous to me that you're making that decision for people, and not even telling your customers that ALL of your cakes have been coated in alcohol unless they ask? We honestly almost walked out right then, but Tom and I are too polite and couldn't bring ourselves to do it.
She ended up bringing us the carrot cake (which is the only cake they don't add alcohol to), a pastry that also didn't have alcohol but was the same flavor as a cake that did have alcohol, and a few other pieces that we didn't touch because they used alcohol as a main ingredient, and a few that didn't have it as an ingredient but was just coated with it (I mostly tried the frosting on these)
Our conclusion? The cakes we did try were dry, stale, flavorless, and just outright bad. Anyone could make cake out of a box and have it turn out better than this. Their butter cream frosting was just as bad. Think coolwhip with less flavor and a thicker, stickier consistency that gets stuck in your mouth. It wasn't good. The carrot cake was edible, but not good enough that I'd get excited about eating a piece of it.
Again, we should have just left, but we felt bad for the employee so we let her continue with her pitch. Whereas Icing on the Cake was super excited to try and design an unique cake for us based on what I had dreamed up in my head, Konditor Meister required us to pick a design based on one of their previous cakes which were exactly what you'd picture for a traditional wedding cake, and nothing that we want. We ended the appointment as quickly as we could, and as we were leaving we were handed a package of complimentary pastries - could this redeem the appointment? Sadly no. they were just as inedible as the cake. I almost spit out the cheesecake tart and didn't finish it. (Have you ever known me to not finish cheesecake!?)
We left the appointment and immediately contacted Icing on the Cake to not only confirm them for our wedding, but to let them know how much we appreciated the time and attention they had given us when we met with them, and how yummy their cake was! Sometimes you have to have a poor experience in order to realize how good the alternative is right?