When Shannon met Noah he wasn't a "dog person". This phenonenon is not entirely foreign to the Evil Cake Genius...my own father-in-law/master cake stand maker "Magic Phil" is also not a "dog person". It always cracked me up that in a room full of relatives, most of which had dogs of their own, my beloved Speckster would ignore all of them, in favor of climbing up onto the back of the couch to lay there licking Magic Phil's ears. Clearly, Speckster doesn't understand the concept of "not a dog person" any more than her owner.
Shannon was definitely one to have her reservations about a non-dog person as she is, in the truest form, a dog lover. Shannon has her own pup, Sadie, but she also fosters dogs until they can find proper homes. An action that only the truest of animal lovers can take...to care for a pup in their time of need, accepting all of their challenges and flaws, making them one of the family, until they are ready to move on to their forever home. When asked by one truly impressed cake lady how she can let them go to their new homes, she admitted that it is incredibly hard, but it's what's best for the dog, so you do it. I can't tell you how much I respect and admire this woman.
Now onto the fun...
Everyone who knows Shannon, knows her love for dogs. So it was a natural fit for her to be interested in our "People Treats" favours. "People Treats" are molded chocolates in the shape of dog biscuits. Shannon had a great idea. Rather than boxing them as favours, we would attach them to everyone's place card. The heading on the place card would read "Sit", so that when the guest's sat, they got a treat. I like the way this is going. Classic conditioning for wedding guests!
"Why not have the invitations say "Come"?" I joked. And by the time Shannon's appointment was over, we had designed the most charming invitations I can remember. The invitations would say "Come", the reply card "Speak", and the accommodations card "Settle".
By the time they got to the reception, a placecard commanding them to "Sit" and a menu card asking them to "Stay" for a family style meal, would complete the theme. Many of you non-dog people might find it offensive to "treat your guests like dogs" but I assure you, I would gladly trade places with Shannon's Sadie, or my Speckster for a week's vacation. Other than he obvious issues I may have with doing my business outside, I'll take the treats, the naps, the occasional tummy rubs and a nice leisurely walk each day, thank you very much.
When it came to cake design, Shannon's dress was the focus. I couldn't help myself. This dress was the quintessential party dress. Full of ruffles and fabric rosettes, I wanted to wear it, but I would settle for letting it inspire an awesome cake. We changed the rosettes to the beautiful eggplant color from the invitations, and of course, added a frosting Sadie as the topper. Knowing that the price of Sadie would be donated to the ASPCA solidified this decision for our dog-loving bride.
Flash forward to three months before the wedding. At a meeting with Shannon, she brings up a design change to the cake. Noooooo. I love her cake. No changes. Bad girl. Bad! (Sorry, getting a little into our theme here.) Turns out it was more of an addition to the cake than a change, and the story goes like this.
Shannon and Noah had been fostering a St. Bernard pup. By pup, I mean 140 pounds(he's still growing) of untrained, drooling, shedding, awesomeness. They found him a home, and placed him with a woman who adored him...for two weeks...until she discovered that she was horribly allergic to him, and it wasn't getting any better. Shannon and Noah took Winston back into their home until they could find another family for him. With a wedding coming up, two careers, and the fact that they were living, not in a house, but an apartment, they were hoping to find Winston a new family as soon as possible. It wasn't until the morning of Shannon's bridal shower that they got the call to bring Winston to his new home. Noah loaded him in the car as Shannon was getting ready for her shower, and all would be back to normal. They weren't gone for five minutes, when she heard Noah come back into the apartment. Assuming he forgot something, she came out of the bedroom, only to find him standing in the livingroom with Winston. And it was at that moment, that Noah became a dog-person.
So, their family got a little bigger, and we had to add a frosting St. Bernard to the cake. Which, I most gladly did.
On a sidenote, I must divulge that faced with a wife who wanted a dog, our very own "Magic Phil" reluctantly agreed to adopt a rescued Corgi named Cela last year. Now, he'd be the first to admit that it isn't he who is the owner, but she owns him. He walks her twice a day, and even when he stops in the shop without her (usually she's tucked under his arm) he has a pocket full of treats. Proof again, that if given the chance, we're all dog-people.
Many thanks to Camera Love Photography for these beautiful photos...and for cropping out the Evil Cake Genius's double chin.