Monday, July 28, 2008

Having Cake and Eating It Too

When the Mister and I began planning the wedding, we decided we wanted to have a responsible, adult wedding. (No, this does not mean an x-rated wedding with contraceptive favors. It means that we would set a reasonable budget that is not the GNP of a small nation, and we would stick to it.) We have very generous parents, and we combined their contributions, and plugged the budget into a wedding calculator thingy, which promptly told us the exact dollar amount we should spend on every item from the petals tossed by the flower girl to the last drop of alcohol consumed at the reception. In the planning, we picked our must-haves. Every time we happened upon a line item that was over budget (e.g., the reception’s monopoly of a caterer), we started to look for another that we could whittle down a bit (the cake).

Oh, the cake! We wanted to have cake. But we weren’t so worried about its provenance or, for lack of a better word, height. But some people feel that the cake is that one thing that makes a wedding. My little sister, for example, nearly fainted when I said that we were going to have sheet cakes from Costco as our wedding cake. (She tried to hide her horror, but I recognized it! She’s my little sis, after all.) First, let me say that Costco cake is really, really yummy. And cheap! A white cake with white frosting with a ton of cheesecake filling that feeds 50 people costs $18. I lugged some into work, and everyone who tried it could not believe it was from Costco. Tasty! Cheap! But not so pretty.

Other people who heard about the Costco Cake Plan (or the CCP, as I will now call it) hated it for other reasons. My future inlaws, Momma Mac and Mac Daddy, were dead set against it, because: (1) Someone will have to pick the danged cakes up from a superstore on the day of the wedding, and drive them to the reception. I think the Macs had a vision of me with the train of my wedding dress hanging out the driver’s side door of a car, dragging along the highway with the cakes spilling out the trunk. And they’re not far off – that’s something I would totally do.
(2) When I said that we prioritized elements other than the cake, they heard that I would not have the wedding cake of my dreams. And that would not do, no sir! They are loving and wonderful, and they wanted me to not have a single regret on my wedding day. Not if they could help it! Down with the CCP!

So, they offered to buy the cake. And we picked one out this weekend! Apparently, the cake was a bit more of a priority to us than we had thought. The Mister got excited about the flavors of each tier. He was surprisingly involved in the decoration decisions. He debated the number of layers and their proportionality. He picked out a groom’s cake. He was in absolute heaven. (It may have just been a sugar high, but it was so much fun to see.)

And even though I had resigned myself to a tasty-but-not-pretty cake for the sake of responsible frugality, I caught the sugar wave and ended up loving every sweet decision we made. But how can I enjoy a cake that doesn’t fit into our fiscally responsible budget, you ask? Will I be calculating the cost of each mouthful? Will I have the uneaten slices bronzed to justify the expense?

Nope. The baker blacked out the price on my copy of the contract. So I get to have my cake and actually enjoy eating it too. Thank you Momma Mac.

1 comment:

Meg said...

See, we feel the same way! But I wanted a stacked up cake because we are cutting it with my grandfathers marine corps sword, just like my parents did, and I wanted a similar picture. But all the cakes we found were $800! Wha?? So finally, we found someone who would so a simple chocolate cake for us, for 125 people for $250. And that seems just fine to me. It's not $18, sure, but it's a ok price for a big cake.