A new dear friend got married this past year and as many of you know, it is an expensive gig! It doesn’t matter how well you save, plan and budget, there are so many things that happen (especially at the last minute) which no one can foresee and that usually involves extra money. One of the things I love about being able to bake and decorate cakes is that I see it as a gift to be shared with others. Perhaps in my wildest dreams, I think about owning a bakery, or being a store front cake designer (and one day maybe that will be feasible) but overall it is something I do for fun and as a blessing to others. As mentioned in an earlier post, my mother and aunt were talented birthday cake extraordinaires and our lavish birthday cakes were the highlight of the party. I think it’s wonderful if someone can afford to go to a cake designer and have the wedding cake of their dreams, or order that perfect immortalized comic book character cake for their family member’s birthday. But, that’s not where many people are at, especially in this economy. My family didn’t have a great deal of expendable cash every month, Mum often went without much needed new clothing items for months so my brother and I could have what we required for school etc. I value these memories of her, and I especially appreciated that she used her artistic talents to make our birthdays (and others’) so very special despite the difficult times. This inspires me especially when making wedding cakes, (and in fact all cakes). I still have much to learn in the world of cake decorating but what I do know, I want to use to replicate that same experience we had as kids for others.
So, my new friend was getting married and my gift was the time devoted to baking and decorating her wedding cake. We figured out a minimum budget for cost and had so much fun looking through hundreds of pictures for ideas. Finally, the pencil scrawling on a piece of paper shaped its way onto a humble cake board and into the design you see below.
She and her (now) husband have always been incredible people who give so much of themselves to others so it was not surprising when all their friends and family wanted to rally round to make their special day everything they deserved. I made this cake during an extremely busy work week and was so grateful for the three friends who came over to help shape pearls out of fondant and give me an extra pair of hands with the assembly – without them I would have been up for several nights and exhausted for work the next day.
This continual community effort throughout the wedding celebrations symbolized not just the beauty of marriage and the coming together of two people in perfect union, but also the important part played by the community in supporting that couple in their successful lives. The cake was a microcosm of this spirit and it was truly a blessing to have been part of something that, on closer reflection, revealed great truths about marriage, love and friendship.