Cut to a couple weeks ago, and now im a bit more stressed. O shit I have to make a fricken wedding cake thoughts set in, and now I have to formulate a plan-- and do a tasting for these wonderful people whom I have never met, and have paid me quite a lot to make them a 4 tier cake and a 2 tier rehearsal dinner cake; and they've never even tasted so much as a brownie ive made. So I bake little 6" minis of the cakes so they can sample my goodies, and brought it to their house last week. Easy. And it turns out, they are even more delightful in person than I imagined. Cute, southern, warm, homey, impeccable taste. These are my people, I am at home. I want to marry this family. They've graciously and unexpectedly invited me to both the rehearsal dinner and wedding- where i was seated at the reserved family/bridesmaid/groomsman table. Needless to say, I didn't want to let them down.
The bride- adorable, twenty-three, sweet, marrying an engineer she's dated for 5 years. I notice her ring. I don't mean I just notice it because its beautiful. I mean I recognize it. Emerald cut, 2.5+ carat-ish, perfect clarity, platinum. Its the same ring I tried on a couple years ago and fell in love with.. back when my life made sense. (crazy & shitty, but at least the crazy shit made sense) I cock my head to the side, peer deeply into it like its a person, and for a moment, the earth stood still. This is my fucking ring.. We'll call this trigger #1.
A few days later Im looking online for dresses to wear to the rehearsal dinner and come across this maxi dress from one of my favorite stores.. Perfect.
I ended up not having enough time to shop for anything but flour, sugar & the like-- Thank God. Because as it turns out, bride-to-be and I have more in common than excellent taste in engagement rings. We also have the same taste in cute dresses. This is what she wore to the rehearsal dinner. We'll call this trigger #2. Trigger #3 comes that same night when all her bridesmaids (who by the way are about 19-22) get up and are supposed to regale us with hilarious stories about the bride, but instead give us all a bunch of 19-22 year old fluff, all in size 0, with cute little south carolina accents. My new pal, tablemate, and ancient by comparison friend ashley and I (her birthday is 2 days before mine) snicker as she downs her bud light and I finish my pino grigio. Oh yeah, this blog is supposed to be about cake... The cake was good y'all. One down, one to go.
That night I barely slept. Which isn't good because the night before that I couldn't sleep either. We're talkin' about 5 hours of sleep in 48 hours people. I get going at about 5am to finish the wedding cake- which by the way, in the name of wanting the freshest ingredients possible, I have left nearly everything for the day of to make. Let me just say, lesson learned. Oy vey. Never again.
Things are going smoothly, almost too smoothly, and Im ahead of schedule. Im having a private gloat moment- I have actually gotten away with it! I can actually do this! I have convinced these fine people that I am an awesome cake decorator! Go me.
Then my springform pan leaks batter all over the bottom of the oven and I have to jerry rig it, re-do it, and clean up the mess in the oven. Minor set back. I didn't make enough cream cheese icing. Minor set back #2. Now it's almost noon and I haven't started decorating yet... I get on that. I then discover that all the fondant I made is ruined and I don't have time to re do it. Oh. Dear. Jesus. Help. Me. HUGE problem. I nearly kill 7 people and a dog driving like a maniac to to the store to get more fondant; covered in sugar & icing, no make up, hair a mess. I can only imagine what the people at the craft store thought when I barreled in there running up & down the isles, crazed, in a fondant frenzy. I get back to the house, now in a full panic attack and realize I DONT HAVE MY FUCKING ROLLING PIN- I left it at my apartment back in tampa (a necessary item needed to roll out the fondant to cover the cake). My mom doesn't have one, the neighbors don't have one either, and now Im running down the street, sweating, knocking on doors, nearly in tears begging strangers for a rolling pin. What kind of cake decorator forgets their rolling pin?!? Me.
I finally acquire said item, nearly kissing the man who gave it to me.. Although Im fairly certain he thought I just escaped from a mental institution and I was "baking a wedding cake" for my imaginary friends back at the asylum. A kiss from me was probably the last thing he wanted. I get back to the house and my mom offers me 1/2 of a xanax. I accept. I get the cake all done, separated into each tier and get it ready to travel the 30 minutes to the resort. It now hurts to stand and I can barely keep my eyes open. My mom has a scared look on her face.. The one that says Ive known you for 25 years, you came out of me, but I have never seen you like this- You're scaring me. I just need a goddamn redbull, I tell her.
She drives, Im holding on to the cakes, yelling at her for making turns over 1 mph and taking breaths too deep, and we make it there.. We get it all set up, decorated, and I am finally taking a much needed sigh of relief, feeling pretty proud of what Ive accomplished and admiring my hard work. A waiter comes by, cocks his head with a pained look on his face and says to me, "You know that cake is off center from this angle". I say nothing. My mom nearly needed to be restrained from punching this prick in the balls. He might have fallen into the cake, so she refrains.
I scurry off to the changing room at the resort to get dressed & presentable.. The resort is so amazing that the "changing room" is complete with a 60" flat screen, chaise lounge, kitchen, Pellegrino, granite counter tops & every toiletry you would need... And I have it all to myself & partake in all of it. ahhhhhh. I get ready & relaxed, now able to take in the gorgeous resort, flowers & decor. Everyone Ooohs & ahhhs over the cake, I have a glass of wine & all is well.
This post is already getting ridiculously long, so I will just say that the last trigger- the big one- was the father of the bride. A sweet, fun loving, strong & silent type man, crying and unable able to get out his entire speech during his toast to the bride and groom. It was a sweet, beautiful moment. Over the course of the past few weeks and months, Ive gotten to know these people. I felt at home, always welcome, and a part of this. I held their hands as the prayers were said over the meals. I am incredibly blessed to have had my first wedding be with these kind of people at such an amazing event. I looked around the room at that moment, feeling totally at home, yet completely out of place. My family will never be like this- this normal. My father will never walk me down the isle. He will never cry at my wedding. He will never be filled with joy and sadness as he gives me away. And it will not be to the man I thought it would be to. Who knows where that person is. I feel I am so very far away from this mystery man; 10,000 miles and 20 years apart.
I don't know what my wedding day will look like, when it will happen, or who it will be to- and that's ok. But i do know this- the cake will be fucking fabulous.
So here's what you've been waiting for..
the rehearsal cake
the wedding cake