It was only a matter of time. No, not a matter of time before the Evil Cake Genius caved, and started making wedding cupcakes. A matter of time before she blogged a raving manifesto against this plague on the American wedding scene. I could wax on for pages about my disdain for these soul-less, uncouth desserts. How the thought of formally dressed guests peeling a soggy cupcake liner off of their dessert and eating it with their bare hands makes every etiquette bone in my body shudder. How a platter of cupcakes can't tell a story, set a tone, or wow your guests. Those are all my less-than-humble opinions. Opinions not shared by the majority of my peers, but my opinion nonetheless.
I'm not entirely against cupcakes in general. In the proper setting of a Girl Scout Jamboree, a 4 year old's birthday party, even a casual baby shower, they can have their charm. But for a wedding, call me inflexible, even call me no fun, there must be a cake.
"Cupcakes are cute." I hear that all the time. So are flip-flops, but you don't see brides....Oh my God, I must be getting old! Okay, maybe if you decide to wear flip-flops to your wedding, you should have cupcakes. There, the exception that proves the rule.
Now, what on earth does this rant have to do with or dear Sarah, and her awesome Pumpkin wedding cake? Patience kiddies, patience.
Sarah was one of those rare instances of "repeat business" in the wedding industry. This was her first wedding...but her mom was now officially a repeat client. Sarah's sister, Rebecca was wed in 2004(oddly, around the same time that the Northwestern University Women's LaCrosse team shocked and dismayed me by wearing flip-flops in a formal photo with the President during a White House visit, it's all coming together) and we made a most delightful May Day wedding cake for her. Cuter than any cupcake ever to come out of an oven, this four tier cake was bright and cheery, with whimsical tulips and daffodils, and a top tier shaped like a May Basket. It was adorable, contained delicious layers of filling...and eaten with the proper utensils.
So, what would Sarah have in store for me? Typically, siblings are polar opposites when it comes to cakes. Her sister's cake was fun, a true introduction to the mood of the reception. Bright and cheery, it reflected the couple to a T. So, I was expecting a more formal, rigid, traditional style for Sarah's wedding. I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out, the only opposite we had going for us was the time of year. Rebecca's wedding was on May 1st, Sarah's would be Mid-October, but both events would have the same feel. Beautiful venue, formal attire, but awesome party! Both sisters understood the fundamental of wedding planning, it's all about being a good host.
With that in mind, we planned a wedding cake that would, again, set the tone for the reception. A fall-themed materpiece of pumpkins, fondant leaves, chocolate acorns, frosting pinecones and pumpkin blossoms. The wedding would be held at a rustic lodge in Nisswa. The feel, fall harvest. The couple and the guests were from the Twin Cities, so this made the wedding a mini-destination wedding, forcing everyone to take a perfectly timed drive through the glorious Minnesota fall colors. To reflect the destnation aspect of the wedding, we made the bottom tier of cake shaped like a produce crate. Complete with frosting twine handles, and a shipping postmark with the wedding date, location, and return address of "Sorenson Farms". Their new homestead written in the sweetest language on earth. Frosting.
By the time we were done sketching, we all knew that this was our cake. It was a cake that told a story. A cake that told the guests that they were at the right location before they even laid eyes on the couple. That's when Sarah turned to her mother and said "..to think, we almost did cupcakes." Amen.
If clinging to certain formalities makes me old, I'm old. I'm a casual girl. For God's sake, I wear yoga pants to work, and meet with people in jeans and a chef coat. But some things need to retain their formality. When going to a wedding, I begrudgingly dress the part. Not out of vanity, but out of respect for the couple. If they can commit to a lifetime together, I can commit to wearing a pair of uncomfortable shoes and girl-clothes for an evening. And in exchange, all I ask is for a dessert that requires some thought, a little creativity, and a fork.