Anyone who's been in to design a cake at Gateaux, knows that it is a rambling unorganized mess of a process. And that's just the way I like it. I rarely know much about my clients before they come in to meet with me, shy of the basics...wedding location, color scheme, etc. So the design session is the ultimate cake show and tell.
Every once in a while, I'll pull a photo out of my overstuffed file of "cake ideas" before a meeting, if there is something that strikes me as particularly suited to a couple based on my limited knowledge of their event, but usually by the third or fourth minute of the appointment, my ideas have shifted so dramatically, that it never even sees the light of day.
Not the case with Nicole and Jim. They walked in with a photo in their hand of their dream cake. To which, I laughed, and pulled out my torn out magazine page of the exact same design. Easy enough. Or is it? Ask my husband (or my beloved doggie Speck) if I've ever been known to let sleeping dogs lie. NOT LIKELY.
Just because we all thought of the same cake, doesn't make it the right cake. Yep, it had the right color combination of pale yellow and white, and an incredibly sophisticated interlocked ring pattern on it, which suited the graphic nature of the couples style, with the minimalist design of the reception site (the Walker Art Center). But, the problem was, that it wasn't Nicole and Jim's cake, it was Martha Stewart's.
So, we dug through the rest of their idea file, looked through my portfolio of cakes, and before we knew it, we had four alternative designs. Several of them kept the ring pattern, but oh, what incredible depth it added to make the back row of rings charcoal grey (their accent color) and what about changing the tiers to square? If we stack the tiers asymmetrically, maybe the pattern shouldn't wrap all the way around the cakes? When they left the appointment, that original "perfect" design had transformed into THEIR cake.
But that wasn't all. They wanted to go all out with a dessert table. Still on a design high, we sketched up desserts decorated with clean graphic patterns to compliment the cake design. Nicole had a collection of fabulous cake stands and trays, and we had our own "Magic Phil" make us two tiered square plateaus to wrap with groovy paper provided by the ever-talented Mimi Designs. On Nicole's suggestion, we added pink and blue to the dessert color scheme to make it more inviting and fun.
And she was right, I had a hard time keeping myself from digging into that table during the set up. Okay, truth be told, they may have been shorted a yellow malt ball or two. Or three.