Teri is NOT fussing about the cake. In fact, Teri really hasn’t stressed or fussed over much when it comes to this wedding stuff, except maybe the financial piece. I, however, have made lists and notes and spreadsheets—not to mention visited numerous web sites to compare colors, prices, elements, etc. I have accumulated so much information that I am overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of all the choices and THAT is why I am fussing about the cake.
Okay, that is not entirely true. That might be why I am fussing in general, but the cake fuss is probably a unique sort of fuss. See, I MOSTLY want to make, bake and decorate the cake myself (alright, Teri can help but no one else.) After all, I am a pretty decent baker and I groove on the idea that I “CAN” conceivably create a fabulous, homey and yummy wedding cake in our very own kitchen. There is a tiny part of me that would like to write a multi-thousand-dollar check and let some place fantastic and far more talented than me make our wedding cake but that is NOT going to happen.
I learned recently that the origin of the wedding cake tradition was that the ancient Roman groom would break the barley loaf over his ancient Roman bride’s head and that would symbolize the breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the ultimate dominance of the groom. Why, on earth, then, am I so determined to have the perfect wedding cake and display complete mastery over the process?!
Then, in the 17th century, it became popular to bake something called a Bride’s Pie (I had naughty lesbian visions of what that might actually be, but I was wrong) and it was a sort-of mince pie with a glass ring baked into it. The gal who found the ring would be the next to get married (I think that overall, a broken tooth would not decrease a lady’s chances of getting married in the 17th century.)
Somewhere around the 19th century, the more modern version of wedding cake became popular and it became common tradition that it should 1. Have white frosting to symbolize purity and 2. The bride and groom should cut it together symbolizing their first jointly completed task. With all this hetero and patriarchal symbolism, why in the name of Sappho, am I clinging to visions of the ultimate wedding cake?!
So, for our celebration of a bride and a bride (or a bride and “broom” as I like to call myself)—I have been thinking about what the wedding cake symbolizes to us. First of all, we ARE planning to have pies (Teri is a fantastic pie baker) and cupcakes (because who doesn’t love a handful of cupcake?) too, but it is ME who really wants a wedding cake (“I” who really wants a wedding cake?). I want a delicious confection that comes from our kitchen, baked by us, and overflowing with simple abundance. I want fluffy butter cream frosting and a tumbling cascade of fresh flowers. I want thick rounds of flour and sugar arranged on glistening cake pedestals and I think I want them because what is a real wedding without a cake? I want the negotiations of Teri and I choosing our favorite flavors, collaborating on a look and design that we both love, and having everyone ooh and ahh over how beautiful and delicious it is. Our cake, like our home, our wedding, our family is a symbol of all that is beautiful, delicious and abundant about us!