This Spring and Summer I had the honor and challenge of baking two wedding cakes for the same Bride and Groom a few months apart. Why, you might ask? Covid 19!
When Victoria and John got engaged over a year ago, they began to plan their perfect wedding in perfect detail. They chose a date, a reception venue, bridesmaids and groomsmen. They chose invitations, Tuxedos and Bridesmaids gowns. Victoria and her Mom shopped for the perfect “Princess” gown. Guest lists were written and Victoria’s “Storybook” cake was chosen.
Victoria always wanted her wedding cake to come from the same bakery as her Mom’s and her Aunt’s wedding cakes. After all it was a family tradition and Victoria loved Traditions! Their cakes came from the famous New Orleans wedding cake specialists, Swiss Confectionary Bakery. Victoria chose a tall cake with several tiers that were separated by Grecian columns and decorated with old fashioned Buttercream flowers and swirls. The cake was chosen and all was well with the world.
The relatives (Aunt, Uncle, Cousins) who lived in Italy, made their plans to attend and participate in the ceremony. And then IT happened. Covid 19 entered the world and all plans were put on hold! With no end in sight, the wedding was postponed until July 18th. Surely things would have calmed down and back to normal by then, right? The Venue was alerted, the florist was called all the guests were contacted with the changes. BUT….
The bride and groom were so disappointed. All the work had been done; invitations printed and delivered; their first home rented and furnished and now they had to wait for another three months. So after consulting the Pastor of our church, he got permission to go ahead with a tiny wedding service that would be limited to the Bride and Groom, their parents, the Best Man, Maid of honor and a photographer. It would be live-streamed so that family members could watch on line. And so it went.
I was contacted by Victoria’s Mom, Eve. “Would you be able to make a small wedding cake that we could pass out after the little wedding to our immediate family who will be watching on their phones outside in the parking lot? One that would serve about 20 people?”
The cake pictured at the beginning of this post was the cake I made for their tiny wedding. When I arrived at the little Coffee Room inside the church to deliver the cake, nothing was in place as far as a designated “cake table”, no tablecloth or decorations, and no sign that anything special was taking place that day!
The Pastor’s wife helped me find a tablecloth and I had some extra flowers and Baby”s Breath so at least we could decorate the table…..but that was just too plain. So I got my scissors from my “tool” box and went outside to find some greenery. Walked the entire block around the church and couldn’t find a thing!!! As I walked, I prayed and asked the good Lord to please help me find something!! As I turned to go back to the church, I looked across the street and spotted what looked like a little bit of ivy clinging to an old oak tree in an empty lot! PERFECT!! Got what I could and hurried back to the church. What a difference a little greenery makes! Now I was happy! And so was the Princess Bride!
The Cake Table ended up being the spot where a lot of pictures were taken to remember the day. All’s well that ends well……….or was it???
A few weeks after the ” little ” wedding I got a call from the sweet bride. “Ms. Chiqui, this is Victoria, I just wanted you to know how much everyone enjoyed your cake. Many said it was better than Swiss Bakery! And speaking of Swiss Bakery, they have just informed us that they will be closed for vacation the week of our big wedding. Is there any way that you would be able to make our cake?”
WOW it had been years since I hade made a big cake with the columns and all icing roses. All the modern brides wanted just fresh flowers on their cakes!! But I was willing to give it a try. Unfortunately, I had given away all of my cake separators and columns and she would have to provide those if I had to use them. But that was not going to be a problem because one of her Grandmothers had some! And so it began……it was a full week of baking countless layers of cake, making Royal Icing Flowers, Fleur de Lis, Leaves, Swags and Roses, and gallons of New Orleans Style Almond/Vanilla Buttercream Icing and Pineapple filling.
It all looks great in the final pictures but on the way to the venue, driving in the pouring rain and heat, little did I know that the icing and the piping around the two bottom layers was slowly sliding down the sides of the cake! By the time I got to the reception venue I had 45 minutes to repair it so there was no time for tears!! I put the finishing touches on the repair with 10 minutes to spare before the first guests arrived!
I got the sweetest message from the Princess Bride the day after the wedding saying “Thank you for making the Wedding Cake of My Dreams!”
The Reception Venue was only allowed to accommodate 75 people and the cake was enough for 200! I made a suggestion to Victoria that we could save the smaller bottom layer to freeze for when the Italian relatives finally make the trip back home and they could at least share that much of the wedding with them. The top of her “first” wedding cake could be used to celebtate the anniversary that will count as their actual date to celebrate. And the top of this second wedding cake could be saved for their Baby’s first Birthday! You see, Victoria and John announced at the second wedding ceremony that they were expecting their first special blessing from HEAVEN!! I can finally say with much happiness that “ALL IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL!! PRAISE THE LORD“
Bon Appetit……..until next time