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.