|See the table they're using for their drinks? That's the cake table.|
Now truth be told, no, we're not responsible. But if we think that something might happen to the cake, most bakers I know would kind of stick around to assess the danger and try to avert disaster. I've hung around longer than I needed to in the past to protect my cakes from things like crazy florists, wobbly tables, and marauding children. It's just the responsible thing to do, and if delivery time allows, we will protect our creations from ruin.
(I once told a little kid who was getting too close to the cake table that if she touched the cake the bride would be really mad, and they'd have to call the police to test everyone's fingerprints to see who did it. She scuttered away pretty fast, so I think that was effective.)
Always check with the bride to see if there's anything weird about the reception setup that you should know for the delivery. I recently took a cake to a winery that's open to the public, and the bride told me that it wouldn't be closing until 6:00. The ceremony started at 6:15, so that was cutting it close. She told me to deliver the cake at 5:45 or 6 to make sure that people wouldn't mess with the cake.
I planned my deliveries that day so that I could be there last and would have time to hang around to protect the cake if need be. It's a good thing that I did, because I got there and the winery staff told me that the cake table was the cafe table that was right in front of the bar. It was in the main room and people were all over the place. There was no way that I could set up a wedding cake in the middle of all that, so I sat down to wait until it cleared out a little. It just got busier, though, because as the winery visitors left, the wedding guests started to arrive.
I waited until the last minute and finally set it up at 6:00, but if I'd needed to get in and out in a 5 minute period I would have been in trouble. Or the cake would have. I would have been not responsible for damage that the cake sustained after I left, according to the contract. At the same time, I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure that the cake survives.
What's the strangest thing that you've ever had to do to monitor the "health" of a cake? Would you ever just drop a cake off and leave if you weren't 100% sure that things were okay?
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com