Things That Go Wrong on Your Wedding Day Make the Best Memories
There’s nothing better than cake but more cake. — Harry S. Truman
Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding day. When she is planning every minute detail, she never anticipates that anything will go wrong. After all, this day, of all the days before or after, is supposed to be perfect, like a fairy tale.
What we forget in our dreamy haze is that a wedding day is just like life. Things that can go wrong, will. And just like life, it’s those things that make the most memorable stories.
When my husband and I married — both for the second time — we created a wedding that included all our family and friends in the planning and preparation. It was a celebration of our community as much as a celebration of our love.
Because it was a group effort, everyone wanted to contribute something. We decided to let our friends contribute cakes. If one cake is good, a bunch of cakes is better. My best friend wanted to gift us with a special wedding cake, so I requested a small, two tier cake with simple white frosting — chocolate cake with raspberry filling.
Other friends baked their specialties, and my daughter and I baked three cakes. If we didn’t have anything else, we were going to have cake!
The weekend of the wedding our best friends, and 13 family members, stayed with us at the venue which was located up a very curvy mountain road in Western North Carolina. My friend was bringing the official wedding cake in the back seat of her car.
As she wound her way around hairpin turns on the road to our venue, disaster struck. The cake fell over and the top layer slid off and smashed, scraping the frosting off the side of the bottom layer as it went. When she arrived, she was almost in tears. She was apologizing as she got out of her car and offering to go back down the mountain and buy another one.
I peeked over into the backseat and saw the cake in shambles. The bottom layer looked salvageable so I assured her it would be fine. Besides, there was going to be at least eight other cakes.
My sister-in-law got to work on the bottom of the cake, repairing the icing and sprinkling toasted coconut on the top to camouflage the tear where the top layer disembarked. Once the topper was placed on it, no one would be any the wiser. It was going to be fine.
The night before the wedding, we cut the smashed top layer and we all ate it. It was delicious.
The next day, the cakes began to arrive with the guests. The table was laden with cakes, all beautiful, all different, all delicious. The wedding cake was set out with a little figurine of an angel with birds on her arms and a pair of ceramic birds at her feet. The toasted coconut made the perfect ground for the arrangement. It was all just perfect.
Then, the early spring day that was supposed to be cool turned warm, and before long, the frosting on the cakes started melting in the sun. After my daughter and daughter-in-law tried, and failed, to rig a sun shade out of a tablecloth, the decision was made to take the cakes into the cottages and put them in the refrigerators.
I was busy with photographs and was ignorant of the drama that was unfolding. When we were finished, and we were ready to be announced to our guests at the reception, the cakes were all back in their place and all was well.
That is, until our photographer decided to get a picture of the cake table. As she swung around to get a different angle, the large lens flung over her shoulder knocked the topper off the wedding cake. The figurine broke and one of the birds shattered.
My photographer was horrified. My step-son was nearby and being the droll comic he is said, “You do know that was a family heirloom don’t you?”
The poor girl was almost in tears. My step-daughter assured her it was not true, and swooped around to one of the dining tables snagging another pair of birds and plopped them on the cake. I was busy in a receiving line and didn’t know any of this was happening.
When we made our way to the cake table to cut our cake, I looked at the cake and wondered where my topper was. I was quickly filled in on the debacle. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. It had been a perfect day and no amount of cake disaster was going to ruin it.
The next day, when we were packing up to leave the venue, one of the kids came out of their cottage with a cake in their hands. In the scramble to get all the cakes back on the table, one had been forgotten. We all laughed. When you have 9 cakes at your wedding, there is lots of room for disasters and you still have plenty of cake. In the end, it was just cake. And even smashed cake is delicious when you eat it with the ones you love the best.