Eleanor and A.J. were married May 16th. The weather was rainy and fairly miserable but it did stop raining that evening in time for them to leave for their honeymoon, not under an umbrella. The weather for the next several days was simply dreadful so we wound up being grateful for the weather we had!
Eleanor wanted mostly potted hydrangeas to decorate with. She also preferred more vivid colors instead of pastels, and hates baby’s breath. I got very few photos once the last days hit because I was SO BUSY. I’m looking forward to seeing the formal photos!
I didn’t make any of the bouquets, corsages, or table arrangements. A friend and parishioner who knows what she is doing (clearly!) made all of those and I am SO GRATEFUL!!
Eleanor wore my wedding dress with some alterations (primarily sleeves). She did not wear my cathedral-length veil, but I can’t blame her a bit for that! She looked simply beautiful. (You can see more photos of her dress further down.)
The cake was a marvel of engineering, being constructed (by me) a few hours before the wedding from two half-sheet cakes from Costco. I had the round cake boards in the correct sizes ready to go (I did the geometry problem early on) but unfortunately the advertised size of 12”x16” was not reflected in reality, necessitating a recalculation and trimming of the boards. I was also thrown for a loop by the complete lack of freezer or fridge space which made quickly setting a crumb coat impossible. Did I mention I was doing this in the church hall? Oh, also there is no kitchen sink. [Note: at least it tasted fantastic.]
I had no problems decorating the cake with the flowers, but when it came time to put the toppers on we couldn’t find them. I knew I had brought them, having seen that particular bag the previous day. Finally I realized the bag had likely been thrown away. I ran out, apron and all, across the back field – in the rain – to the dumpster. I had already gone through one bag of garbage when Elizabeth joined me. We found it after searching three 55 gallon bags. I ran back and washed my hands and arms up to my elbows before opening the bag. Everything was still in the original wrapping and clean. Both are vintage, and the tiny one of the ring and dove was a replica (original sadly lost) of one on my parents’ wedding cake, 50 years ago this month. It had been shipped from England. So you see why I had to go dumpster diving.
By request we made Mississippi mud instead of a traditional chocolate cake. I set up tiers so it would at least have a nice presentation. For the first time ever I made it using parchment paper in the pans (hanging over the edges) the way I make baklava. Then we could just lift the whole thing out and cut it easily. It worked perfectly!
I decorated the candles a week or two before the wedding. Eleanor designed them and I tried to make it happen. The only problem was that someone had chosen to transport them to church in a bag, not a box, and both were discovered to have broken 20-30 minutes before the wedding. They were paraffin, not beeswax (their choice) so not easily mended. I worked some sort of miracle with permanent seam tape and white satin ribbon and while they were a touch wobbly, they made it through the wedding.
Catherine and Amelia were very excited to be flower girls. I ordered smocked bishop dresses for them and made their flower crowns and decorated their baskets. I used dried flowers (I dried them myself) so I could cut down on the number of items that used fresh flowers and therefore had to be made at the last minute.
The wedding went beautifully despite all of the hiccups beforehand. The little girls were lovely in their dresses and behaved impeccably. Amelia went to sleep at one point. I’ll let the photos mostly tell the story.
I’ve already mentioned the cake and the groom’s cake, but I’ll go over the reception in general. It was held in the hall, but the weather unfortunately prevented us from spilling out onto the church grounds. We had plenty of food (baked potato bar, pulled pork, sandwich roll-ups, fruit, etc. I think everyone had a good time. I made a special children’s table covered with white paper instead of a white tablecloth, and had lollipop and crayons centerpieces instead of flowers. We also had juice pouches on ice alongside the water bottles and canned drinks (although some preferred lemonade).
As I mentioned earlier the weather cleared so they could leave!
Many years to the newlyweds!!