Cake or Death: Part I


   I’ve only been engaged and wedding planning for 8 months, and yet I can’t tell you how many parental roadblocks I’ve encountered. Over really stupid shit like sash colors and fonts. Until now, I was never so aware of the degree to which Parents Just Don’t Understand . MY idea of classy and stylish is worlds removed from my parents’ ideas of class and style. Seriously, if it were up to my mom, I’d have sent my invitations out on postcards from Graceland and there would be nothing but pulled-pork barbeque at the reception. But at least she’s laid-back. If I had some uptight, Emily Post worshipping, Kennedy Dynasty type mom, then I’m sure I’d really have something to cry about.

  One place I didn’t count on a lot of static was from my fiance’s mom. This weekend we were casually discussing wedding stuff, and out of nowhere there was a very heated yet restrained pastry-related meltdown.

(after the jump!)


   Here’s the deal: I know how much wedding cakes cost. They cost a shit ton. And, in my very lengthy wedding experience, they hardly get eaten. Every wedding I’ve ever been to has been a veritable orgy of flowing booze, oily pasta and savory meats. After sitting in a church for ridiculous amounts of time, then commuting in a slow procession to the reception location, then waiting and waiting to be able to eat, most wedding guests hardly show any restraint once the wine is uncorked and the carving station is armed with razor-sharp knives and spicy mustard.

   So yeah, peeps are always too stuffed and too drunk to look twice at the cake. Not to mention that if anybody wants any damn cake they have to wait until the party’s almost over and all of the cake photos have been taken and then wait for the slices to be been cut & plated, and why go through all that when you can just have another Crown & Seven, after all, the tastebuds are pretty shot… Basically, the cake exists for a quick photo-op, and for guest to get all moony-eyed over fondant sculptures on their way to the martini luge. Oh, and neither I nor my fiance are big cake-eaters. We’re just not.

   Practical bitch that I am, I thought, “Why the hell have a cake at all? Why not just set a pile of money on fire, take a staged-ass picture with it and be done with it?” Except that I have no intention of burning any money. Instead I thought of substituting a cake with a little table of mini-deserts like petits fours, mini-cheesecakes, macaroons, eclairs and the like. I mean, that ought to make everyone happy, right? Everyone likes fucking eclairs, right? Well, everyone I’d care to have at my wedding likes eclairs. There’s gonna be a tall-ass, 320lb man with a walkie talkie at the door to my reception asking people if they like eclairs and if they say, “no,” he’s gonna rip the gift from their hands and send them packing, goddammit! But seriously, I think mini-desserts are a crowd-pleasing good time.

   If I do the minis, I’ll feel better knowing I’m not paying upward of $600 for some nasty tasting fondant that no one’s gonna eat. When there’s a tray of tiny things that guest can just pick up & nosh on, folks are more likely to partake in the pastry options.  Besides, not that I care about trends, but there are plenty of like-minded young couples forgoing the ubiquitous tower of cake for more practical options like cupcakes and mini pastries. 

   Sounds like no big deal, right? Neither I nor Mr. Panda wants a cake, so why should we have a cake? WELL, my future MIL kind of blew a gasket beneath her composed exterior. She’s like, “You can’t not have a wedding cake. You have to have a cake. My (relative) was a baker! You have to have a cake!” She sounded just a wee bit incredulous, but I could tell that bubbling under the surface there was river of white-hot flabbergasted control-freak magma. She then began suggesting a multitude of places here in town where I could procure the cake that I don’t want. She even suggested the local grocery store bakeries. Fucking, for serious? I’m not getting my cake from freaking Kroger. If I HAVE to have a cake, I’m gonna have a fucking rad cake. None of this shoestring, ghetto-ass, be-Crisco-frostinged, stale grocery store cake. Not gonna happen.

   Obviously, this cake issue  is a developing issue. Stay tuned for Cake or Death: Part II, a gallery of my fantasy wedding cakes in the event that I’m forced to have one. Boo. Hiss.

  And later, Cake or Death: Part III will plumb the depths of my MIL’s cakey-crazy with MORE ghetto-whack suggestions for a traditionally-outfitted wedding (at least in the eyes of the Pilsbury DoughBoy). 


Until next time, please compose sonnets to your love of elairs in the comments.


14 responses to “Cake or Death: Part I

  1. bewilderedhousewife

    Waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit a second. Are we living in parallel universes, only several months apart? This is eerie.


  2. Dude, BHW, I just peeked at one of your wedding blogs. Oh man, I’m gonna be reading ALLLLL yo shit as soon as I get time. The MIL stuff is fascinating! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. AmazonRedheadedUberVixen

    My brother and his now wife had homemade apple pie ala mode at their wedding. There was no cake cutting ceremony, the wait staff just brought out the pie, which was quite delicious. It was a casual wedding, though, which made it easier to forego the ceremonial and traditional wedding cake crap.

    It’s your wedding, so unless this is something the MIL will never get over, I say stick to your guns on dessert. And make sure Mr. Panda backs you up on it. As long as the dessert is delicious, most guests won’t care what form it takes, and those that do have their priorities in the wrong place.

  4. well, it was between cake or death, I guess I’d go for cake. But the “my ____ was a baker!” is a bullshit excuse on MIL’s part: do bakers not make eclairs? Or petit fours? ‘Cause I’ve been a baker, and we sure as hell were not bound by law to make cake only.

  5. I know!!! Total shenanigans. I was all, “Well, where the hell do cupcakes come from, blacksmiths?”

    I’m being manipulated & I don’t like it. *pout*

  6. LadySkittlehattington

    Cake please.
    Well we’re OUT OF CAKE! We only had three bits, and we didn’t expect such a rush.

    I think you should do whateeeeeever you want with this because, personally, I think that wedding cake is fucking disgusting. As with most cakes that are made to be pretty rather than edible, they taste kinda blah.

    I love the idea of mini-desserts. LOVE!
    1) transporting them isn’t the big, frightening affair that transporting a wedding cake is.
    2) you won’t hear any whining from people who don’t like certain kinds of cake/frosting/whatever.
    3. leftovers would be much easier to store or give away to people as they leave.


    not only are they super fucking adorable to look at but you can have a variety if you wanted – éclairs, petit fours, mini cheesecakes, whatever and i always thought they photographed beautifully. cake is a pain in the ass – too much cake and what the hell do you do with all that leftover? (it’s not as appetizing as one might think once the party is over) too little and, well, ’nuff said. also – expensive, needs to be transported, needs a cake stand, needs it’s own fucking time slot for a cutting ceremony and pictures – and sorry but frozen cake one year later is only fantastic when someone is smart enough to wrap it properly and NOT stick it in the freezer next to the annual pheasant slaughter (butter rum frosting with a tinge of buckshot = Hurl).

    not to mention that traipsing all over town for ‘cake tasting’ is not nearly as fun as it sounds. as for the MIL, shiiiiiiiiiiiit – pick yo’ battles, son. if you think this is one you can win/she’ll get over then do what you wanna do, get mr. panda to back you up and move on to the next battle. ha!, you didn’t think this little ‘freak out’ was an anomaly did you?!

  8. First of all, let your mom know she can plan my wedding anytime!

    Also, as a non-cake-eater who never stays long enough for dessert, anyway, I think your idea of mini-desserts is brilliant. BRILLIANT!

    Why do weddings always bring out the crazy?

  9. I agree with all the people saying the mini desserts are a brilliant plan. You could even do a mini wedding cake, like the one pictured with Barbie, and reserve it especially for your MIL.

  10. Wedding snacks story from a few years ago:
    we are seated at a large table with other friends from work, and there are bowls of lovely lemon-yellow fancy gumdrop sized thingies set out in a few places at the table. No eating has started, so I grab what I think is a yellow minty thing from one of those dishes and pop it in my mouth right away.
    I bit into it and then promptly spat it into a cocktail napkin and freaked, tossing it under the table and hoping that no one has just seen me eat a butter pat.
    Lesson: make sure your butter is recognizable as such, and cannot be confused for a buttercream minty candy.

  11. dorothyzbornak

    HAA! That sounds like something I’d do, nadarine!

    Anyway, I love the idea of mini desserts. I think wedding cakes are such a ripoff, especially if you get one of those really fancy ones. Cause those may look cool, but chances are they won’t taste so good. That’s because a fancy cake has to have heavy, dry cake and stiff icing in order to create the look. Moist cake and buttercream icing do not work for those.

  12. Nadarine, I once ate sugar cubes because I thought they were marshmallows. There was much booze involved.

    Panda, be careful about your butter!

  13. Pingback: The Ernie K. Doe Factor « The Not: a Wedding Blog From a Cussin’, Fussin’ Matrimonial Malcontent

  14. Pingback: Cake or Death: Part II « The Not: a Wedding Blog From a Cussin’, Fussin’ Matrimonial Malcontent

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