We now continue the ongoing saga of planning my daughter Casey’s wedding, which will be at the Norwalk Aquarium in October. I will also be answering the question on everyone’s mind at this moment: why is there a photo of Mike Tyson in a post about my daughter’s wedding?
One thing you quickly notice when planning an event like this is that everything is more complicated–and more expensive–than it should be.
For instance, take the cake.
We really hadn’t given it much thought. We figured it would be pretty standard, a few tiers, some frills, a couple of otters in formal attire on the top. This last, courtesy of Casey’s friend Mary, a fellow Rhode Island School of Design grad. It comes in handy sometimes to have artistic friends. (On the other hand, Casey’s college roommate Beth does photorealistic nature paintings and Casey is worried that she’ll spend the entire wedding sketching the inhabitants of the aquarium.)
THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH HAS THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.
Anyway, in mid-January, my wife Barbara, Casey and her fiancé Alex went to one of those bridal expos, just for the fun of it, not to mention the free food. These shows are where any business that could remotely be associated with a wedding gets to show off its wares including, in one case, a dentist (maybe in case you’ve invited Mike Tyson).
There, are you happy now?
Of course, there was a cake vendor at this bridal extravaganza, and the cake lady asked Casey when the wedding was. When Casey said October, the woman almost fainted in her frosting. “October! You better get moving!”
As I’ve mentioned, we knew we were on a condensed schedule, but we didn’t think the cake was a priority. I mean, how long does it take to bake a friggin’ cake? You watch those shows on The Food Network, and they make cakes that look like Disneyland, complete with a moving roller coaster, in about three hours! All we wanted was a simple cake on top of a slightly larger simple cake on top of a slightly larger simple cake. They need 10 months notice for that?
Well, no. It’s not the cake that’s the problem, it’s the construction workers. According to this cake lady, you need a large, highly-trained crew to get the cake to the venue and assemble it on site, so they can really only do one cake per date and you have to book it way in advance, or else you’re stuck trying to put the thing together yourself. If I wanted to do that, I’d get the cake at IKEA.
And here’s something else: They don’t charge by the cake, they charge by the slice. So if you have 150 guests, they charge you for 150 slices at around $5 or more each. How the hell does that make any sense? It’s a ginormous cake, not a pizza. It’s not like the cake would be any different if you had 175 guests; you’d just make smaller slices.
Maybe this is where the saying “can’t have your cake and eat it, too” comes from. You can afford to have the cake; you just can’t afford to have them slice it so you can eat it. Perhaps that’s the solution: no slices. Just have them set up the cake, which is apparently free, and let your guests stick their faces in it.
Barb keeps saying that, particularly given our venue, a Fudgie the Whale cake from Carvel might be the way to go. I think that may be a bit too small. But, hell, we’ll get two! We can even stack them on top of each other!
And then what’s the deal with the groom’s cake? Yes, that’s right. Tradition holds that the bride should give the groom a separate cake as a present, thus showing her undying love with the eternal gift of dessert. This cake is supposed to be specially designed to reflect the groom’s hobbies or interests, so you get cakes that look like golf courses, or footballs, or poker tables, or, in one case I found, a Storm Trooper from Star Wars. If Alex was going to have a groom’s cake, it would likely be in the shape of a Dogecoin-mining computer, which would be fine if we could find someone to accept Dogecoins as payment for it.*
Often it is the groom’s cake that is served for dessert at the wedding. That’s because, by the time you get through all the wedding cake traditions, there’s nothing left to eat. First you have the ceremonial first slice. Then the newlyweds take an entire tier of the wedding cake home to put in the freezer until their first anniversary when they’ll throw it out because who the hell wants to eat year-old cake. And finally, in what is undoubtedly the ickiest wedding tradition I’ve come across, all the unmarried women are supposed to take a slice of wedding cake home so they can sleep with it under their pillows.
And then the Cake Fairy leaves them a quarter.
No, I made up that part. But not the cake-under-the-pillow part. Sleeping with a piece of wedding cake, you see, is supposed to make you have a dream about your future husband. In this way, you have time to try to alter fate if the man you see in your dream is the guy with the Storm Trooper groom’s cake.
And in case you think no one would actually sleep on cake, keep in mind that women tend to get really stupid around weddings. I offer as evidence this actual question (just as it was written) posted to Yahoo Answers:
“Is it true, if you put Wedding cake Under pillow you Dream?”
Wait, that’s not even the dumb part. That’s just the English as a Second Language part. The dumb part is that other women actually answered. For instance, one reply began like this: “You don’t use the whole slice of cake!” Whew! That almost sounds like it came from a sane person. Ah, but then it continues (the following is completely unedited)
Its an old superstition: Take a small piece of wedding-cake, pass it three times through a wedding-ring and then lay the cake under your pillow. In your dreams that night your future husband will appear to you. Also/or place a small piece of wedding-cake under your pillow and put a borrowed wedding ring on the third finger of your left hand. Before you retire to bed arrange the shoes, which you have worn that day in the shape of a T. Then, it is said, your future husband will appear to you in your dreams.
But maybe that answerer was kidding. That all can’t be part of the actual custom, right? Besides, it totally excludes the poem. Yes, a poem! According to another reply, you have to say:
Cakie under pillow
Cakie in my ear
Cakie cakie cakie
My true love is so dear
So, let us imagine our young unmarried wedding guest entering her boudoir with her $5 slice of cake in a doggy bag which she crassly requested at the reception. She is also carrying her shoes, because who the heck can dance in those heels, and she’s kinda tipsy, because the signature drink at the wedding was some concoction where you didn’t even taste the liquor. She is too tired to even remove her streaked mascara, so she puts the shoes in a T-formation (why a T? she has no clue), pushes the slice of cake three times through a ring she bought on QVC (because if she had a wedding ring, she wouldn’t have to go through all this silliness), places the remaining cake under her pillow, slurs the poem, and passes out with buttercream oozing in her hair like that wonderful scene in There’s Something About Mary.
And, lo and behold, she does, in fact, see her true love.
Too bad he had to see her in that condition.
See you soon.
*They’re like Bitcoins; don’t get me started.