Monday, June 21, 2010

The Tale of Two Tents...


Last Saturday I had two cake deliveries...both receptions were held in outdoor event tents. Since I was delivering two cakes that were at the opposite ends of the city, I had to carefully arrange delivery times. Since the first cake was to be delivered to the bride's mother's home, she said I could deliver it any time, so I scheduled the delivery time for around 12 noon. This was the Italian Cream cake that I had experimented with earlier. The entire cake was filled and frosted with cream cheese icing and then covered in coconut. Of course, the cake was kept in the refrigerator until delivery time because of the cream cheese. Big problem...the bride failed to tell me that the cake was to be set up outside, and failed to tell me that the reception was not starting until 5 pm. Needless to say, I was little concerned about the cream cheese icing surviving that long. The cake was chilled and was covered with coconut, and since it was set up in the tent, at least it wasn't in direct sun. Hopefully it survived. The family didn't seem too worried. I could have delivered the cake a couple hours later had I known.


The next cake I delivered was also to be set up outside in a tent, which I knew from the beginning. Because I knew that the cake was to be set up outside, we decided I would deliver it as late as possible prior to the reception, so it would not get too warm, even though this cake was decorated in buttercream and would withstand the heat a little better than the previous cake. I was due to deliver the cake at 5 pm and the reception was to start at 6 pm. So, the venue was the Colorado Country Club. I had never been there before so was unfamiliar with the location. Big problem #2...when we got there, I had no idea where to deliver the cake, so when I saw an area that was set up for a wedding,  we pulled over and asked someone where the Allyson Shaffer wedding was. I think this might have been a photographer (I do not have good luck with photographers). Whoever she was, she told me that she was there for another wedding and told me that I might want to check another country club over by the Broadmoor to see if my wedding was there. So off we went to check at another location, even though I was sure that we had gone to the right place. When we didn't find a wedding there either, I was beginning to panic. By this time, it was approaching 5:30 pm. Heading back the opposite direction, we passed the Broadmoor fire station and I saw a fireman outside, so I told Bruce to pull over so I could ask for some help since we were apparently lost. The two firemen that helped me were lifesavers. They found phone numbers for both country clubs, called both to find out where the Shaffer wedding was being held, and showed us on the map where we needed to go. Of course, it was back at the original location  where we had been. So off we went. By the time we got back to the Colorado Country Club, it was approaching 5:45 pm. Remember, the reception was supposed to start at 6 pm. I still didn't know exactly where I was supposed to deliver the cake...yikes! By this time, I was really panicking. I finally walked around until I found a guy with a list and a walkie talkie that looked like he knew what was going on. His list had 5 weddings on it! No wonder I was confused...there were five weddings going on at the same time at the same country club. He made a quick call on his walkie talkie and found out that we were almost at the right location. It was now 5:53 pm. Bruce parked the van and quickly brought in the cake, and I set it up. Luckily, it was an easy set up and I had the cake done in record time... 12 1/2 minutes to be exact. I just knew the bridal party would be there any moment and I would still be setting up the cake...a decorator's worst nightmare. Luckily I was done and gone before anyone arrived. I found out, after the fact, that the bridal party and guests were late getting there because the photographer (another photographer), took much longer than expected, so didn't start the reception until over an hour later. So...I was saved, the cake was a success, and everyone was happy, even though it took me awhile to calm down. After I got home, I called the fire station and found out that the nice firemen that helped me were Fred and Noel, so I plan on taking them a cake on Thursday, when they have their next shift, to thank them for their kindness. It will be the subject of my next blog post.


A side note: Please remember that your cake pictures will only be as nice as the table and background you have for your cake. Just because the reception is in a tent, doesn't mean you can't still have something in back of the cake table to make a nicer background than the side of the tent or a tent pole. Also, something other than a white tablecloth (like an overlay of some sort) is always nicer in a picture, so that it brings out some of the wedding colors, and the cake does not look washed out. Last of all, one of my pet peeves is having the plates, eating utensils, or napkins on the cake table prior to taking pictures of the cake. Please, just wait until after the bride and groom have cut the cake, and then you can bring out those things. 
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