A wedding cake DISASTER

I’ve been doing wedding cakes, both at a bakery and on my own for over ten years now.  In fact, I’ve even made this particular cake three different times already. Fortunately, I’ve never had anything dreadful happen…until yesterday.

I was making this cake for my brother-in-law’s wedding in which my husband was a groomsman, and my little boy was the ring bearer.  The wedding was over an hour away from my home, and I had about an hour window in which to set up the cake before I had to take my little boy in for pictures (my husband had to be there earlier).

On the way there, the highway we were traveling on was unexpectedly closed.  Unfortunately, the detour took us on some very twisty, very bumpy country roads.  This was the result:

And a close up of the carnage:

I didn’t find out what had happened until we arrived at my sister-in-law’s house.  She was going to babysit my little boy while I went to set up the cake.  At that point, I was starting to panic.  From that far away, there was no way to make another cake or even more icing (I had brought my standard bag full of icing to fix minor issues).  My sister-in-law has a small mixer not capable of making icing, and no cake pans the right size, and all of this occurred in Indianapolis, with heavy traffic, which meant that buying supplies would take literally hours.  In short, there was no way to replace the very damaged cake.

I kept calm for the most part and tried to assess the damage.  The tier that did a face plant was salvageable, thank goodness.  The chocolate one, on the other hand, was not so lucky.  I wanted to try to find a styrofoam dummy cake and decorate it, but I didn’t have enough icing or supplies for a cake that big.  My mother-in-law was the one who came up with the solution:  put it up on pillars.  I needed more height since it was the back tower.  I’m not sure she even understood the mechanics of it all, but nonetheless, once she mentioned pillars, the somewhat obvious solution just worked itself out in my head.  I ran with the idea, and this is how it ended up:

If you didn’t know there had been a problem, you’d probably never be able to tell something went wrong.  The chocolate cake was supposed to be in the very back, and the back cake up on pillars should have been stacked directly on that chocolate cake. 

The bride doesn’t yet know (her groom does, but I swore him to secrecy at least until after the wedding), but I’m still hopeful that she won’t find out for a while.  Of all weddings for this to happen on, this was one of the most difficult.  First, I was much further away from home than I usually am.  If it had been in my city, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place because the transport time wouldn’t have been as long, and even if it had, I would have been able to bake and decorate a new one in time for the wedding.  My little boy as a ring bearer also complicated things. 

Still, everything worked out in the end, and hopefully this will be the last of my bad cake luck for a while!  To end on a good note, here are some ring bearer pictures.  He was pretty grumpy by the time we drove another hour to get to the picture site:

Although, once the snacks came out, he was a happy camper. 

Snacks make everything better, don’t they?  We were so rushed between the cake issues and pictures that neither my husband nor I ate all day long.  Around 5:00, I sent my husband out to the van for something, and he came back in licking his fingers and told me the cake was good.  He had grabbed a snack off the van floor– ick!  Talk about desperation.

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