Story of a cake
Why don’t more people get married in January? To be fair, everyone’s skint and not drinking, but how fun to have a wedding to break up the relentless monotony of Netflix documentaries and frenzied housework because the low sun (sorry to sound ungrateful) makes everything look so bloody filthy. I really couldn't wait to get started on Fay and Rob’s wedding cake, after a break from caking for a couple of weeks; mainly because I knew exactly where I was going with it. And secondly because it was mainly vanilla Madeira. Touch.
I first met the couple over a coffee in Bluewater exactly a year ago. Fay’s a graphic designer and had created beautiful wedding invitations herself, based on a contemporary arrangement of cut-out roses and ferns against a dark green background, printed on beautifully soft thick card. This design was to inform the seating plan, venue signage and even the little round stickers the couple had fixed to hundreds of cake boxes so that guests could take a slice of cake home. I took a sample invitation away with me and did a little dance about the fact that the couple had chosen Amanda of Distinctly Floral as their wedding florist. The invitation was pretty much all I needed to design their cake, but Amanda is always super helpful and would be able to give me a full list of the flowers she was going to use closer to the date. To be fair most florists will send over a lost of the flowers they are using (apart from one who just replied ‘pink’), but they’re manic just before a big wedding.
Instead of sending over a sketch of how I imagined their cake to look, I sent Fay a photo of a tiny section of cake dummy that I’d quickly frosted in the colours of the invitation. “Too dark?” I asked “No love it.” she replied. And that was the sum of the consultation process, apart from a quick exchange of emails in which I repeatedly assured Fay that there was absolutely NO WAY ON THIS EARTH she’d ever find a log slice with a 16in diameter (she did of course, pretty much straight away).
I had a panic the night before delivery, that I’d overdone it with the ferns. They really dominate the design of the cake and I was worried that Amanda would simply use them as complementary foliage for the roses and anemones she was using. They work well on the cake: any element that travels diagonally between the tiers will bring a design together, and in this case their linear curve prevented the cake from looking ‘dotty’ with lots of mainly round blooms. But I always fixate on something and it’s always fine.
And ferns were everywhere! What a fabulous display. Amanda had absolutely transformed the venue (Cooling Castle Barn in Rochester) into an enchanted woodland space, as you can see here. I was over the moon. The cake was happy, and look at the magical smiles on Fay and Rob’s faces!!!
The couple had a fabulous day with their friends and family. All Fay’s attention to detail paid off beautifully. She had even asked me to make a dozen succulent cupcakes for guests who were flying home after the wedding and so couldn't take away the real little succulents that the couple had planted up in dinky little glasses as wedding favours. The children had matching cactus cookies and even the colouring books were on-brand. Very impressive, and very pretty.
What a joy to work with a couple who have a clear vision of their wedding. And who are super organised. And who have a good florist. And who appreciate really good quality card stock. I still get the invitation out from time to time and give it a little stroke.