Saturday, April 21, 2012

Love Story vs. Cake Wreck

Question: on a scale of one to ten, what is more captivating--a love story, or a cake wreck?

Luckily I have tales of both. I'll start with the love story.

Last week we celebrated a joyous occasion--the marriage of Austin's little sister to her high school sweetheart. We were all excited for them to finally tie the knot, although now that they are married, we are sadly deprived of the drama that goes along with two people dating for 5 or 6 years. That whole story would take like 50 blog posts. Anyway, the bride and groom's final challenge was them both getting sick the week of the wedding: puking, fever, the works. Actually, pretty much everyone at my house except for me and Cici got sick. If you had walked in (which I would have strongly cautioned you against) you would have seen a bunch of slightly-drugged relatives laying about in the dark in various states of dishabille, with wet washcloths over their faces to complete the look. We were temporarily the House of Pestilence. Thankfully, amor vincit omnia, and everyone pulled it together in time for the wedding. The bride and groom looked great, it didn't rain for pictures, and the reception turned out to be a lot of fun.

Did I tell you I was in charge? I never realized how many loose ends are involved in a reception. However, I had my great party planner friend Bridget to lean on, (see her blog for a taste of the wedding!) and many relatives in town to make it work.

table, one of the few pics that turned out

The only downside to the evening was the Cake Wreck. Austin's sister wanted a fun, whimsical, topsy-turvy cake in their wedding colors. She found this picture as the inspiration for her cake:

After calling around, I recommended that they order their cake from Harmons, a fancy-schmancy grocery store close to us, full of local produce and handmade soaps and gourmet sausages. I went to their bakery with my father-in-law a month before the wedding and they assured me they could make this cake and that they had done topsy-turvy cakes before. We ended up going with just a two-layer cake for our small reception, so I figured it wouldn't be a problem for them...

Austin's mom and dad picked up the cake right before the reception, and sadly informed Austin and I that the colors, stripes, and polka dots were right on the cake, but instead of being topsy-turvy, it just looked like two lopsided cakes on top of each other. I was a little upset, especially since I had left the bakery ladies a 3 page color document specifying everything from the size of polka dots to the angle of the tilt, but I had one hour in which to set up and decorate for a wedding reception, so I put it out of my mind. They could live with a lopsy-lurvy rather than a topsy-turvy cake, right?

Austin, his younger brother, and I were rather curious about what his sister's non-traditional cake looked like though, so the three of us took a moment as we were setting up to gather around and open the cake box. I wish you could have seen our faces. It was like in Napolean Dynamite when the farmer shoots the cow. GAAAASP***

Bottom layer of cake

Top layer of cake

The top layer had slid off the bottom layer, leaving unfixable 150 dollar Cake Wreck. I know, because multiple people tried to patch it back together. It was horrible. I was running around, flinging orders left and right--Mix that lemonade! Set out the plates! Move that table a little to the right! --while trying to come up with a viable solution for the cake disaster. I ended up ditching my supervisor duties, jumping in the car, and speeding down the hill to Smith's, where I picked up a chocolate cake so the bride and groom could have something to cut into to. (Austin offered to go, but at that point I didn't trust anyone when it came to the cake.)

Since we were already doing a dessert bar for the reception, I don't think anyone noticed anything out of place with the cake,
Bad picture, but you can see chocolate cake in center

but I was so mad at Harmons and embarrassed because I had recommended them, and I felt quite a bit responsible for the whole fiasco.

The reception was Saturday night, so first thing Monday morning I marched into Harmons, found the store director, and sat him down so I could wave photos of the Cake Wreck around. The problem was the construction: the top layer was not attached to the bottom layer in any way. Since the bottom layer was slanted, the top layer was like a little sled perched on top of the bottom layer and predictably and promptly slid off. He was very nice about it, gave me back all my father-in-law's money, and kept apologizing profusely, which got to be a little awkward after a while. My father-in-law said to give the money to the newlyweds, and hopefully with their hands full of cash they found it in their hearts to forgive my part in the whole miserable affair.


The Mom! said...

Ooh anona!!! What a memory we made that week!!!! You were awesome. And you know Ayris she had to be "in love" cuz it didn't even phase her the wreck of a cake!!!! What bride doesn't freak when she doesn't have her cake.... A happily married one!!!!! And Tyler got to say I told you to just buy a Costco cake ...

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