31 December, 2008

Down the Yellow Brick Road Part III: Setting up

Previously:
Part I : The night before.
Part II : Salon, Supermarket & Judy Garland

So after we arrived at The Moon & Sixpence and dumped our stuff in the honeymoon suite, it was time to go and see what my parents were up to in the reception hall. You may remember that I'd given them all the reception details to set up - the Oscar favours, the damask table runners, the guest book, table names, etc. My friend Henni's sister had her florist partner, Daisy (not his real name, but I've never found out what it actually is!) set up the table flowers and make the bouquets and boutonieres in the morning, so when we arrived we saw this in progress:


Mom and Dad Ruby Slippers hadn't been there long, but they were doing a great job so far with the setup. Look at my mom with her to-do list (which I made for her). And isn't it sickening how skinny my sister is, with her bareback little top?

This was the point when I spotted the only thing that I really wasn't happy with on my wedding day. If you look on the far right of the photo above, you can see it. The Cake.

If you remember, this is what I wanted, with only two layers, and sans flowers on top:


THIS is what the bakery thought passed for that:


I think my face says it all. Ugh, I mean, seriously. I was so miffed. Thank goodness, however, for awesome cake toppers:


Which sister and BFF Ruby Slippers placed on the cake for me:
And, you know what? I got over it, really quickly. It was my wedding day, for pete's sake. So the cake was hideous. Who ever even remembers what cakes look like at weddings? There were sooooo many things I cared so much more about, so I just shrugged and went, "Oh well, if that's the worst that happens, I'm lucky."

It's also lucky that the cake was something I didn't care much about to begin with.

I don't have the pro pics of the decor yet, so I don't want to give it all away, but I loved how the main table turned out. That's Daisy walking away:


My Aunt had flown up from Durban the day before, and because she was there she got roped into helping fill the confetti cones:

...along with sister and BFF RS, who did a great job. Henni's sister had provided a ton more petals than I expected, which was fantastic.
And here's my family, looking absolutely awful. I post this so you can see the contrast later when we're all beautified:
Ugh. Thank goodness for makeup, is all I can say.

While the cone-filling was happening, I went outside the hall to hang the table listings. This was the one job I really wanted to do myself, and I proved it by cutting my finger on the damn thatch not once, but twice.

I really want to leave the final look of the hall until I get the pro pics (I promise I'll do a whole detail blog!) so at this point we slipped on down to the chapel:
Where Sister RS did a great job lining the aisle with the ton of petals we had:


And I hung up the parent signs:
(this one's a pro pic, as is the next)

And laid out tissues on their chairs (I know how much my mom and sister cry!):
At this point I had to rush off to get my makeup done (I know that this was the moment when I started realising that we were running a bit late) but everyone kept asking me how I wanted everything. I know they just wanted things to be perfect, the way I wanted them, but in the end I just had to say, "Guys, it's going to look beautiful. Now I don't mind if the ribbons go under or over the chairs when they tie, or if the flower pot is centred on the table, or even if the candles stand up in their holders or not.* Just do it, and it will be wonderful."

And I took a deep breathe, and ran. And I have photographic evidence that my mom and aunt did, at least, get to relax with a cup of coffee (albeit from a flask and on the lawn):

Breathe, just breathe.

*They wouldn't. One of the venue guys had to stuff the holders with paper to keep the candles upright.

77 comments:

  1. from a flask on the lawn... lol I'm glad someone could relax a little! :) I Can't wait to hear more!

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  2. Oh my mom loves doing that...she takes her own coffee with her in a flask if they go for a walk!

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  3. I love your venue! It looks so pretty. I am really enjoying hearing about your day and, as always am eager to hear more.

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  4. Wow, the cake topper really made a huge difference for you! That was NOT the same cake bakery. I never understand why bakers think it's okay to change the design completely and if they think the brides won't notice or something?

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  5. I know!! If I had the strength I would have complained, but I really don't feel like bothering now.

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  6. Came over from Cake Wrecks - your facial expression is hilarious on the "seeing the cake" photo! I'm glad you were able to shrug off the disappointment - it looks like you had some amazing family and friends helping you out for your wedding. Love the cake toppper, by the way. Congratulations on your marriage!

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  7. I came over from CakeWrecks, I love your attitude about the whole thing! I love your decorations and can't wait to see more!

    And Haiku Joy is right- your facial expression is priceless!!!

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  8. Thanks! I was somewhat stunned, but I love Cake Wrecks and I can laugh about it now too!

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  9. I'm so glad you were able to shrug off the cake wreck you had. You're right, there are so many more important things going on and you can definitely look back at this one and laugh!

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  10. I think it is great that your cake was hideous! You now have an everlasting monument to it on Cake Wrecks (not to mention a whole bunch of new people - like me - reading your blog).

    Even though I don't know you, I'm looking forward to future posts...I love wedding pictures!

    Sharon

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  11. Saw it on Cake Wrecks, I am so happy that you didn't let your cake get you down. MY florist forgot my maid of honors bouquet for my wedding, so we had to improvise and she carried my throw away bouquet...and then we rigged the thrown away so she caught it.

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  12. Got here through Cake Wrecks. So sorry to hear about your cake on your most special of days. Your attitude was top notch though. Congratulations on your marriage!

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  13. You did have a great attitude and I love that green dress you're wearing. Very cute. The cake, not so much, but hey, it's all good. Yes, I too came here from Cake Wrecks. Can't wait to see the rest of the wedding pics.

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  14. I came from Cake Wrecks too! Hows that for turning your least favorite thing into something pretty cool: being featured on CW! You've got a great attitude about it all! I spent hundreds on my cake and no one even remembers it. *shrug* Congrats!

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  15. Came from Cake Wrecks. You had one hell of a positive attitude! After all the weddings I've been in I wish that more brides were like you rather than exploding and treating everyone like crap!

    Congrats on your marriage - everything looks beautiful!!

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  16. Also from cake wrecks... Cant wait to see the end result... Would like to know one thing though, how much did you pay for you master piece of a cake? (hope that doesn't seem like a rude question?)

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  17. I also came from Cake Wrecks. I love the title of your blog, as Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie!

    I think your attitude about the cake is great. After all, more people spend time staring at you in your dress than the cake. They see the cake briefly (if that) and then it's cut up and they focus more on eating it!

    Congratulations!

    Now if I could just figure out what the table listings are that you were hanging. . .

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  18. Also here from Cake Wrecks. So glad to hear that you were okay about the cake. (Wondering if you PAID for that thing.)

    I think everybody remembers what the cake at my wedding looked like, but that's because the one and only toddler present knocked it over... Cake maker for some reason decided to stick plastic columns between the layers (unasked) and they were incredibly wobbly, so we all were kind of expecting something like that anyway. We laughed :)

    I went through more of your posts. You were sooo gorgeous, and what a dress. Those photos with the parasols were awesome. I did a lot of smiling reading the happy things you wrote.

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  19. Another CW reader here. Sorry 'bout the cake, but so glad you were able to shrug it off and can laugh about it now.

    I can't wait to read more about the wedding!

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  20. Saw your cake on Cake Wrecks. I'm glad you had a good attitude about it...after all, a wedding is about way more important things than a cake! Plus, everthing else looks like it turned out well!

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  21. Here from Cake Wrecks - you are such a good sport! Congratulations!

    We didn't want a special wedding cake at all, though we had a sweet table with several cakes on it. Our photographer insisted on a 'cutting the cake' pic, so we have one, holding a knife and laughing over our cherry cheese 'wedding' cake.

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  22. You've got a lucky husband--he married someone who can take it all in stride. Well done! (The cake, not so much.)

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  23. Came from cake wrecks also - thought I'd say hi! Funny post - very interested to see the pro pics...

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  24. TOTALLY worth it to be featured on Cake Wrecks, no?

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  25. I'm also surfing over from Cake Wrecks, and I'm glad you had a healthy attitude about that sorry excuse for a cake ;)

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  26. Who knew one picture on Cake Wrecks and bingo bango you're famous!?! I was also wondering about table listings?

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  27. Wow, I am famous! How odd :-)
    For those of you asking about the table listings, click on over to my details post at http://rubyslippersbride.blogspot.com/2009/03/down-yellow-brick-road-part-xvii.html where you can see them in detail.

    I just realised I never finished my reception recaps. Oy.

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  28. Alright I know that you don't want to focus on the or it didn't upset you. But what I just need to understand is how can the bakery delivery something so radically different than what was asked for. I don't get. I mean I understand that the bakery messed up and might not have a talented baker. But shouldn't they then have said no way, we can not make that cake.

    Everything else is just beautiful.

    Will be back for more.

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  29. Bridget : I have No idea! After the wedding I was so over planning and stress, and so excited by my honeymoon and being married, that I just could not be bothered to go and yell at the bakery over something that was over and couldn't be fixed anyway. I mean, I might have got my money back, but I doubt it, and it just wasn't worth the extra stress to me.

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  30. Another from Cake Wrecks. I'm glad you didn't let the cake ruin your day, but I really hope you didn't pay for it!

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  31. Just in from Cake Wrecks. Glad you didn't let the cake ruin your day.

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  32. What a great outlook you have!

    I LOVE your dress, where did you find it?

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  33. Anonymous - I got my dress from Bride & Co in Johannesburg, but this won't really help you if you're not in South Africa :-)

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  34. Saw your cake on wrecks. So glad you just rolled with it! What a great attitude you have. Your cake may end up on Cake Wrecks, but you will never be on Bridezilla! :) Wishing you the best! - mary the food librarian

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  35. you paid for it anyway???? OMG I wouldn't have. You are a much stronger woman than me! I would have freaked out on the baker!
    Makes a nice cake wreck though!

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  36. Also from cake wrecks. :)

    You have such a great attitude about the cake...others would not have been so chill about it and would have griped until that end of time about it. Kudos to you! Looks like a fabulous day!!! Congratulations!!!!!!

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  37. Another CakeWrecks visitor. You're totally bookmarked now, though! Great writing and great attitude.

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  38. over from CW as well. Yes, the cake was down right ugly (so sorry and loved your attitude!) but I'm curious: did it at least have good flavor?!

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  39. also here from Cake Wrecks...gorgeous cake idea, at least! haha...I'm totally with you...I'm normally a type A, high-strung gal, but when it came to my wedding, I realized the reason WHY i was getting married and it wasn't tied to a cake, a dress or a bouquet :) by the way, I love your table decor...beautiful

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  40. another cake wreck visitor stopping by.
    congratulations on your wedding, everything (aside from the cake) is just gorgeous. i'm so glad you didn't let the cake ruin your special day.

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  41. another Cake Wreck visitor stopping by.
    congratulations on your wedding.
    everything looks gorgeous (aside from the cake) and must have taken so much time to organise. i'm so glad you didn't let the cake ruin your special day.
    i just wanted to ask if the cake tasted better than it looked?

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  42. Hi all,

    Yes, it did taste good - great, actually!
    And my parents picked it up at the bakery, and they didn't know what to do, so they just paid for it. Can't blame them.

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  43. I am not sorry to hear about you cake -- because I saw it on Cake Wrecks too! If it hadn't been a wreck, we wouldn't have been able to read your blog about your wedding.

    Congratulations, and here's hoping we all experience more cake wrecks in the future!

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  44. Also from Cake Wrecks. I just wanted to say that, with all those embarassing Bridezilla shows and stupid Bride Wars movies that make all women look like crazed idiots, it's nice to see someone who handled a wedding snafu with grace and a sense of humor. You clearly realize that, as long as your family and friends are there, it's just a day. Okay, an important one, but no where near as important as having a happy life together. No one will remember the cake, but everyone will remember you're a classy lass!

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  45. Hey! Scooted over from Cake Wrecks as well.

    Totally loved the cake you wanted; unfortunate it didn't quite pan out. However, any way to incorporate chocolate into anything is all good in my books...doesn't really matter what it looks like!

    Great attitude, BTW. Most people woulda freaked.

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  46. Visiting from Cake Wrecks.

    Just a little warning for ya, I've been married for 9 years and I still remember the moment that they came up to me and told me my cake was falling over. I too took it in stride, but I will never forget that moment. Just goes to show what I really remember from my wedding huh?

    Congrats and best wishes for a long happy life together, a little belated!

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  47. I'm here from Cake Wrecks too. My wedding cake looked like it was made by a drunken chipmunk. The baker looked hungover and claimed a migraine. It didn't matter. I married the guy I love and still love 15 years later. I say a cruddy cake is good luck.

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  48. You are the opposite of a Bridezilla. A Bride Bambi?

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  49. A Bride Bambi! That's maybe the best compliment of my life. :-)

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  50. Another Cake Wrecks visitor and just wanted to say...wow, that is one special cake. But pretty awesome that you had such a great attitude. And on the bright side: you have a great disaster wedding cake story now. : ) Congrats & best wishes!

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  51. Yet another cakewrecks visitor. I had a similar experience, only with flowers. gave them a picutre, specific flowers and color requests, they changed it all, AND added GLITTER!!! ahhhhh! lol...still, same attitude, what's the point in getting all bent out of shape about it right? It's one day, one item...at least you got to eat yours!! lol!

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  52. A visitor from Cake Wrecks - who now simply must wait around for the beautified version of absolutely EVERYTHING! And I wanted to say I am so uber-excited - because I have never, ever, never seen chairs lined the way you have them and I absolutely love that and am storing the data away for "when I get married."

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  53. Phoenix Rising- you mean the chairs in the chapel? I wish I could take credit for that, but they were set up like that the first time we viewed the venue, and I took photos and said, "THAT'S how I want them!" I don't know if I would have thought of that by myself...

    Anon- GLITTER? Oh dear. There should be a FLOWER WRECKS site!

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  54. I'm a cke wreck's visiter lol

    i think i love this.
    thank god your so chillll

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  55. Saw your cake on cakewrecks, congrats on your marriage. I'm a professional pastry chef, and I'm glad you had a good attitude about the cake. Most folks don't realize how difficult making a wedding cake can be. And with all those magazine pictures out there showing glossy, very high priced cakes, it can be daunting when a bride comes in with those magazine cutouts. Just like model pics in a magazine, they do touch those cake photos up too! Glad you gave the bakers a break and remembered that the day is all about getting married and being in love and not just about the reception. Cheers!!

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  56. Yet ANOTHER visitor from Cake Wrecks. I just have to thank you for sharing cause I have been laughing hysterically about your cake for the last few minutes. Sorry the laugh had to be on you, but thank you, thank you. Congratulations on your wedding.

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  57. Came over from CW---
    Have to commend you for your wonderful attitude. I've been in lots of weddings where Bridezilla's bad attitude spoils the wedding for EVERYONE. Way to exhibit grace under pressure.
    (And I know I'm in the minority, but the cake wasn't THAT bad, especially if you didn't see the exemplar.)

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  58. Hey, I already left a comment on the Cake Wrecks entry (I tried to do the same design, and got lucky with the bakery), but I wanted to say I'm really sorry about everyone talking smack about your choice of having a Corpse Bride cake topper. Screw them! It's an awesome idea!

    You should also submit your wedding to offbeatbride.com.

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  59. Hibryd - Thanks! Everyone loved my corpse bride toppers, and I even had a friend with a VERY conservative Portuguese wedding buy an identical pair for her cake after she saw mine! So people can go suck it if they didn't like them :-)

    I didn't think my wedding was offbeat enough for them! I had a few "youches" but most was pretty traditional!

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  60. Came over from CakeWrecks to say hullo.

    Awesome attitude and I love the theme of your wedding! Gorgeous!

    That photo of you staring at the cake is priceless!

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  61. You have got the VERY best attitude towards your cake! Our florist closed up shop 2 weeks before our wedding...no notice or anything. I discovered the locked door when I went by to pay a bill! Instant freak! AND we went to church with these people & had seen them 2 days before at church! And it is very hard to find a florist on that short notice. I still need to have a few pics photoshopped to take out the plastic (so the candles didn't drip on the carpet!) Yeah, not good. If I had known then....we'd have done them ourselves. It wasn't that elaborate.

    Here via Cakewrecks and congratulations.

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  62. Came from Cake Wrecks too. 1 question...How did the cake taste?? I'm dying to know!
    P.S. You are AWESOME!!

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  63. Hi there! I just found your blog from Cake Wrecks. What a hoot!
    Everything looks absolutely gorgeous, so I'm off to see the actual wedding pics if I can find them here...
    You had such a great attitude about it all too, good for you!

    BTW, since you're *obviously* an OZ fan, you might in enjoy my posts from our WOO 70th Anniversary trip to KS. Just scroll down on my page that is up now... I have more to post yet.

    And I must add, you are JUST as svelte as your sister!

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  64. Hi

    I love your cake topper!My best friend is getting married on august 1st. She looked everywhere on the net for a cake topper like that. Where did yo get it? the really sad thing is that I'm from Denmark and we don't have funny stuf like that in the stores so I hope I can get in on the net. Or better yet - are you interessted in selling yours maybe?

    Sincwerely Linda Byskov
    Lindabyskov@ofir.dk

    i look forward to hear from you

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  65. Hi Linda,

    I bought mine online from an anime & comic shop that sold figurines and so on. It was at least in the same country as me, but in a city right at the other end. I found it by googling "corpse bride figurine" and similar searches. There must be somewhere in Europe, at least, that has a good anime store that could ship to you! I wouldn't sell mine - sorry! I love them to death. They live on our tv now. They were actually the very first wedding purchase we made (aside from booking the venue).

    Good luck!

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  66. I just came over from cake wrecks... Your wedding reception hall is amazing! I was blown away by all the pictures, very nice! I'm super sorry about the cake, thought you got over it, as a cake decorator I have to say that I'd have been humiliated if I'd presented that to you on your wedding day! Everything should be perfect. But you handled it so well! The cake topper saved the cake. Lovely.

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  67. Came from cake wrecks, like some of the others. I just wanted to say -- your wedding looks absolutely beautiful. I just got married in January, and it's so nice to see someone else going for a small venue, and making it look so classy, elegant and beautiful.

    By the way -- my cake topper was too heavy for my cake, and the decorator put mountains of silk flowers on it ... it looked really bad. :P Kudos on the great attitude, and truly, your wedding looks beautiful.

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  68. I sure hope that cake was free. i do wedding cakes and that makes me mad that anyone would deliver a cake that UGLY. I'm so sorry

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  69. I came along with the many other people who came from Cake Wrecks haha. Anyway, I'm so sorry your cake turned out like that. I actually do cakes professionally and it's one of my biggest pet peeves when so called "professional" cake decorators promise their customers a beautiful cake and come out with "that" - ie. your wedding cake - but I agree with the other posters that your topper really made the cake look better. It's awesome! Cake aside, your venue was set up beautifully and I hope your wedding day as a whole reflected that.

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  70. I'm surprised you didn't go to the baker's to throw the cake in his/her face!! What a horrible blob! Great cake topper though :)
    Nice to read you had fun on your wedding day inspite of this uglyness.
    In holland we have a saying that rain on your wedding day brings you good luck, maybe the same can be said about a cake-mistake. Wish you all the best together!

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  71. I'd have been pissed and stayed pissed all day if my cake looked like that. It would help a bit that at least a WTF-is-that cake would be something to laugh about later, after demanding (and getting) a refund. If the baker can't do a certain cake, the baker needs to be honest.

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  72. You know, if I'd stayed pissed all day it would just have ruined my day and everyone else's. I'm not that sort of person. And then all I would have remembered from my wedding day is me being pissed and everyone tiptoeing around me. And anyway, I was too HAPPY to be pissed. I was getting married! Looking back now, over a year later, the cake is nothing, but damn do I remember the awesome feeling of being pelted with rose petals by everyone I love.

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  73. Hi!! I saw your blog linked on cakewrecks. I can't believe that cake! You're awesome for being so level-headed about that.

    So... I'm a maid of honor for my friend's wedding, and she has a damasque theme going on. I was wondering if you could tell me where you got the black and white damasque table runners? My email is goldilockz1@gmail.com. I would be sooooo appreciative!

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  74. Hi,

    I just saw, that you had the corpse-bride pair as a wedding cake topper. I'm desperatly looking for that one for my brother's wedding cake and can't get my hands on it. Though it's probably a long shot: would you be willing to sell it? Please contact me if you do (mariabenner@freenet.de)

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  75. Hi Maria, I'm sorry, I love them too much! They live on our tv now and make me smile. I can't believe you can't find them! They are figurines like you buy at comic/anime shops. I googled "corpse bride figurines" and found them at a shop in Cape Town and had Mr RS buy them when he visited, but they would have posted them! Good luck!

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  76. I only just saw your photo on cake wreck. That is not right. I have been a cake decorator for over 25 years and my first cakes never looked that bad. I can't believe they would allow that out the door. I have to say you chose one of the easier cakes in my mind. I'd hate to see what else goes out the door. Good luck on future anniversary cakes.

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  77. Love the reception. Hate the cake. Love the "WTF??" face you were making in the cake pic. Since this is over a year ago, I bet the "WTF??" face has turned into an "LOL!!" face!

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