Sunday, October 2, 2011

Carte Rouge

I'm a control freak. A serioiusly, over the top, mind-numbing control freak. Ultimately, this works out favorably for my clients. After all, it's a good thing to have a cake lady that won't let your caterers pick up a stacked four tier cake and move it just because they thought it would look better in the far corner of the room. Well, I can tell you for sure, that while it may look better over there, it wouldn't look better smashed into the carpet, which is likely to be its actual destination if they try to move a 120 pound cake after it has been stacked for over an hour. Let's just say that flexibility is not my strong suit.
That's why I am in total awe when I meet clients like Jahaira and Adam. They came in with their coordinator, Sarah from Lasting Impressions, and pretty much gave me Carte Blanche to do what I wanted to do for their invitations and cake. Well, actually not Carte Blanche. More like Carte see, the only thing they really wanted was that the invitations, the cake, the decor, etc. be wonderful and glamourous, and...not white. They'd seen it all before...white linens, white draping, white invitations, white, white, white. So, other than Jahaira's wedding dress, they wanted to shake things up a bit, and do the rest of the wedding in Red and Black. How this would be accomplished, would be up to myself and Miss Trotter to figure out.

I love it when people do this. Hire people that you trust, and let them run with it. While, I couldn't do this for all the Xanax on the planet, I really do appreciate those who can. Jahaira and Adam have great taste, a fabulous sense of style, and most important the wisdom to let the people around them do their jobs without interference.

What's funny, is that you'd think this would be easy for the vendors involved, but it's not. I see a lot of weddings, so when you ask me to do something I haven't seen before, that says a lot. We needed something to set the invitations apart. I had seen rhinestones on invitations, ribbon, and even feathers, so we started looking, not in our invitation catalogues, but everywhere else. There had to be something new out there. And we found it. A pulled ribbon rosette. Beautiful...but not for sale. Merely a suggestion. You know, like a serving suggestion. Like on the box of frozen waffles, how the picture on the front has a beautifully toasted waffle, topped with melted butter, maple syrup poured from a silver basin, and fresh berries picked at the peak of perfection....all served on fine china with a single rose along side the plate. Look closely at the bottom right corner of that photo, you'll see the words "serving suggestion" printed there. As though we all expected that box of frozen waffles to contain all the necessary ingredients for that lavish breakfast, and we may just sue the waffle company when we open our weary morning eyes to a burnt waffle on missmatched stoneware, topped with "syrup" from a god-only-knows-how-old bottle of Log Cabin that we dug out of the back of the cupboard, then had to run under hot water for ten minutes to get the top to open. Garnished with...oh hell, who garnishes a toaster waffle? But I digress. Not unlike the serving suggestion, the beautiful ribbon rosette would take time, and lots of it. So, given Carte Blanche, we don't need to even show this to Jahaira... but we do. Come on, have you never read this blog before? ...of course we do, we thrive on this stuff!

Needless to say, they loved our ribbon rosette idea. They loved the invitation design, with not a shred of white on it, even the envelopes were black. Upon Sarah's suggestion, we added Menu cards with the heading "Eat", little printed flags mounted on swizzle sticks for the bar that said "Drink", and monogrammed napkins that said "Be Merry". Thanks to Bjorn Messner
for the shots of the menu cards and our beautiful couple.

After that, the cake was a gimme. We copied the invitation colors, motif, monogram, and even the rosettes, this time made out of gum paste. We made it big, we made it sparkle, we made it NOT WHITE!

Jahaira was so excited about the cake design, that she commissioned a surprise groom's cake for Adam. We incorporated his favorite things, cigars, good Tequila, and the Godfather movies. Best part, the top tier isn't a cake, it is a molded chocolate bowl, filled with rice crispie treats, and topped with royal icing "popcorn". Even the Godfather DVD is chocolate. But my favorite part is the Tequila worm making its way up the frosting bottle wearing his top hat and bow tie. Damn I love this job.

So, they ate, they drank, and they were married. A lesson in letting go? It worked out for these two, maybe I should...ahh, get real, I can't even eat a toaster waffle without breaking out the fine china.


Unknown said...

Thanks Robin.. you are amazing!! Thanks for making it so easy for me and my clients!!

SweetThingsTO said...

wow - both cakes are absolutely amazing!

Sharon W. said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog, your writing and your style! Love it! Please keep writing, even if no one is commenting, others are reading!