Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Wedding Cake Chronicles- Part 1

This post is part 1 of a who-knows-yet-how-many part series.

The Decision

Last September, I got engaged.  We were in Hawaii, and the abbreviated version is he asked, and I said yes.  That was the easy decision.

Then came the real decision.

Our friends would say, 'Congratulations!!  Do you know yet when the big day is?'  (That also was not that hard of a decision.)

Then, to me, 'Are you going to make your own cake?'

Ay, there's the rub.  The million dollar question.  

At first I emphatically said, 'No!  That would be crazy! The timeline is just not compatible with being the bride.'  To which friends often replied, 'That totally makes sense, but...'  Fill in that ellipsis with one of the following statements: 

A. 'But, Roxanne cake is so good!'
B. 'But who IS going to do it? I'd hate to have that job.'
C. 'But maybe you should just not even have a cake then?'
D. 'But do what makes you happy.'

For the record, none of these statements make the decision any easier (no offense, friends.) ;)

There was no good answer to this question for me, or for them.  And even though I started off by emphatically answering 'no,' I was already waffling on the inside.  For a few months the answer was 'I just don't know yet.  I'm thinking about it.'  

Honestly, it was probably a foregone conclusion by the time I booked the venue and catering-- I had already negotiated my cake cutting fee in case I decided I wanted to do the cake myself.  But I at least pretended to waffle for a bit longer.

Sometime during the 'maybe' stage my parents offered the suggestion of designing it myself and/or making my own flowers but having someone else do the actual cake.  I thought hard about this suggestion and then realized this was actually the worst of all possible worlds, not the best.  

DaVinci: Hey Pablo! I've got a lot going on these days but I have this vision of a woman maybe smiling and maybe not smiling-- can you paint it for me? K thks bye.

Picasso: No probs, D-Vinc. I got you.


And that's definitely how they would communicate with each other in 2014.

Now, not that I'm comparing myself to DaVinci or anyone else in that artistic echelon, but I think you get the idea about why this would not be good for anyone involved.  I realized that I either had to do my own cake, start to finish, or completely let someone else do it.  It had to be my art or their art, not some uncomfortable melange of the two.

At the end of my probationary waffling period I changed my answer to the question (which was by far the most asked, by the way).  "Are you going to make your own cake?"

I'd sigh and say 'Yes, I'm planning on it.'

I'll be honest, the new list of responses wasn't much more helpful.

A. I think you're crazy.
B. Are you really sure you want to do that?
C. Well, I guess if anyone can pull it off it's you.
D. How is that even possible?
E. No one will care what cake you serve-- make it easy on yourself.

I questioned my decision up till the very end.  I started telling people 'It's a decision I will live to regret either way, so at least I might as well have good cake.'

Well, it was stressful all the way until the day of, but interestingly, I'm glad I did it.    

In my next post I'll talk about the planning process for the cake and how I made it fit into a seemingly impossible time frame.

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home.  I would not recommend making your own wedding cake in 99.99% of cases. Remember, I even counseled myself not to.