Sunday, November 20, 2011

Erin's Wedding, and the two Kays

I did a 60th birthday cake for a brilliant woman (Hi Maria) a couple of years ago. She is a professor at Mankato, and was leaving for Africa right after the party to finish her latest paper. The subject, I'm sure I will over-simplify...but it intrigued me to the core...the dual personalities of women. Not that freaky Cybil-type stuff, but something that every woman is familiar with in her daily life, just maybe she's not aware of it. Maria is studying how women change their outward persona depending on the situational demands they face during any given day. Business woman, vs. Mother, vs. Wife...all incredibly different. She simplified it for me by pointing out that to listen to me on a phone call with a client is very different from hearing me talk to one of my friends. Women tend to take on different behavior, speech patterns, etc. depending on the situation.

Fast forward to six months ago. I find an appointment on the books for a bride named Erin..(with Jenna's Mom, Kay). Those of you who have worked with us know Jenna. She is my right-hand woman...the organized, hard worker who actually gets work done despite my constant distractions.

Erin is Kay's best friend. I've met Kay several times. She is the consummate Mom. I call her Mrs. Weasley because of her fabulous red-hair, and penchant for worrying about her six kids (she sends out mass texts when severe weather enters the area). Not sometimes....ALWAYS.

I met with Erin and Kay, and Erin's son Alex, on a Monday. Jenna's day off. I was ready for a nice little chat and some cake sketching with Mrs. Weasley. What I got, however, was a sociological experience, that my college-professor client Maria would be proud of. You see, Mrs. Weasley, when with her friends, is a riot. I've never laughed so hard at a cake appointment in my life. Those two women had me laughing, blushing, practically crying. Poor Alex, just rolled his eyes from time to time, as though this were par for the course when these two joined forces.

By the time they left, we had three completely different cake sketches, and an appointment for them to come back to discuss invitations. Not necessarily because I had some amazing ideas for her invitations, but more like I just wanted to hang out with them again.

By the time they returned for the invitation meeting, now with Erin's sister in tow (more fuel for the revelry) Erin had decided to do the skyline cake that we designed. Her reception would be at the top of the IDS building, so we decided that we could use the view as our inspiration. We decided to carry that theme over to the invitations, adding a silhouette of the church where the reception was to be held to the Minneapolis skyline. Any other significant landmarks? Alex had an answer for that. Turns out they were holding out on me. Erin's family owns the Rollergardens. Yep, you know it, the St. Louis Park Landmark Roller Rink, with...a giant dinosaur on its roof! Well, turns out they had to move the dino inside, after years of it being stolen as a SLP High Homecoming prank, but nonetheless, DINOSAUR.

I set Alex out to do some recon. He is an incredibly talented photographer. He got me photos of the church, the Rollergardens, and yes, the Dinosaur. We got the photos to my husband/graphic design consultant, the Goo, who created a landscape logo for the invitations. The Rollergarden silhouette featured on the RSVP card, where the options to attend were either "All skate" or "Wipeout".

Best thing about the invitations, was finding one in my mailbox. My husband and I decided to "All Skate" and had a fabulous time. We got to enjoy seeing the guests react to our light-up skyline cake, and even had a slice ourselves.

Alex took a skyline photo of Minneapolis, that they enlarged to poster size, cut into place card size pieces, and put back together on a large board. Coolest place card I've ever seen. The Goo and I got to sit at a table with Jenna and the other Weasley kids, and I got to see Jenna's mom play the role of Jenna's mom again. With a few moments of Erin's friend peppered in for good measure. Both are lovely women.

Monday, November 7, 2011

His Dress: the Groomscake demystified.

What exactly is this "Groom's Cake" thing anyway? I get that question all the time. My antiquated southern tradition, that thanks to Martha Stewart and a whole lot of cake-related television shows, has regained popularity and even spread to good-old Yankee territory (not the baseball team, the great frozen north in general). You see, the groom's cake was originally a counter to the main wedding cake, which was meant to be white (inside and out) in reference to the Bride's purity. No kidding.

So, the fact that the groom's cake is traditionally chocolate begs the question...What's he been up to? That, is a whole other topic. One best left to someone other than the cake lady.

Move forward, into this millennium, and you'll find that the Groom's Cake has taken on an entirely new role in the wedding. It is no longer a sad little pile of chocolate cake dwarfed by the majestic beauty of the wedding cake. It has actually become an opportunity for the Groom to have his moment in the proverbial Cake-Sun.

Let's face it, weddings are one of the last bastians of Matriarchy left in the world. I know a lot of Grooms (my own included) enjoy the process of planning a wedding, but let's face it girls, this is our world. Anyone that argues otherwise can explain to me why the Bride's dress (my own included) makes up a nice chunk of the wedding budget, while quite often, the Groom is outfitted for FREE, with the rental of the groomsmen's tuxes. I, myself, donned a handmade dupioni silk dress custom designed to my frame by a lovely Austrian seamstress (Hello, Irene), while my Groom wore RENTED clothes. That still seems pretty odd to me,'s our world, ladies.

It wasn't until I was setting up a cake a few weeks ago, when the groom's sister came to me and told me how excited he was for the cake. She referred to it as "his dress". We'll get to that lovely couple in a few posts, but that really stuck with me. Fine, he can wear rented clothes and shoes that are one step above a good pair of bowling shoes, but, let's get him one hell of a cake!

And that's just what lot's of my clients have done. Honestly, most of these little numbers are surprises. The Bride will sneak in and design a cake that is purely representative of her Groom. No fluff, no frills, all man! All, car-loving, tech-buying, hunting, fishing, golfing, cigar smoking, man! Hallelujah! And here are a few of our favorites:

Matt's Apple store groom's cake with all the toys he loves. The Ipad, solid chocolate, the Ipod, fondant, the bag is the actual cake.
We loved coming up with wedding "apps".
And, a little Sinatra on the iPod...
As Promised, Photos of Adam's Groom's Cake, also a surprise. This one celebrated his Eagle Scout status, as well as his love of frisbee, legos, and of course, Gatsby.
Couldn't forget his kitties though, that's one of their tails, and the other's paw clawing out of the back pack. *No frosting cats were harmed in the making of this cake.
Don't forget Tristen, the die-hard Twin's fan!
Or this Groom's first love, his Porche...
If he could have, this Groom would have made his life-sized R2D2 cake (complete with sound chip in his arm) his best man:

And, one of my all-time favorites...Andrew's Lobster pot cake. Because, lobsters mate for life.

So, here's to our boys, god love 'em. For all we put them through, it's nice to show them a little appreciation, especially when it takes the form of Cakey Goodness.