Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baby Shower Cake Saga

I love planning parties. I never knew how much until I had kids. It seems to gather all of my strengths into one thing. I love coming up with themes, figuring out a cake, making invitations. I just love it all. Yesterday though really tested my patience with the whole party planning thing. And it was something that was so out of my control.

I was helping plan a surprise baby shower for a very good friend of mine. I designed the invitation through This was the final product:

The poem reads:

There once was a time
when we all heard her say
I'm done, that's it...
four kids, call it a day
But now that expression
"I'm done" is in the past
There's gonna be another (last name) baby,
will this be the last?

I worked very hard on creating the invites. They came out great. Everything was falling into place nicely. Balloons had been purchased in the pink and brown scheme. I brought the invitation to the bake shop where Joe works to have them put the picture on the cake and to give them an idea of the colors I was looking for on the cake. I was going to make the cake myself, but we were thinking 60 people and I had all this other food to make so I decided I'll delegate the cake making to someone else. Then I can get one nice big sheet cake and don't have to worry about making two cakes and filling them and stuff.

So I had this picture in my mind of this beautiful sleek cake to go along with the invitations. What I got instead was the ugliest cake in the world. I did not take pictures of that cake. I really should have. So I will try to explain what they did. First let me explain that the person I spoke to who said she'd be there Saturday and make the cake called out that day. So granted this person was trying to recreate something off of what notes were written on a piece of paper by someone else, but who would have thought anyone would be stupid enough to do this? They created an edible image of the invitation. Of the entire invitation. Of the RSVP date and phone number. Of the address of the venue. The whole thing. Who would want that on a cake? But it wasn't written on the paper that I did not want the whole invitation. I know I mentioned it numerous times to the person I ordered it from and even told her she could cut the invitation. But seriously, if it wasn't written and you saw it was an invitation you would think someone would have called just to confirm what the customer wanted just to be on the safe side if you had any doubts. I got no phone calls though.

There were no flowers on the cake like we had spoke of. The border was in brown and pink. Two piped lines, one brown and one pink. I did ask for the border to be brown to pull the whole color scheme into it. I didn't want a lot of brown because brown on a cake can be unappealing. The words Welcome baby Jazmyn were written in brown too. They were kind of squeezed in on the top. And right in the center of the cake was this invitation with this pink piping going all the way around it. And because there was nothing else on the cake but that your attention was really focused right there. It was not the sleek design that I was looking for at all.

So after much argument over what was written on the paper and whether or not they actually recreated what I had ordered they ended up making me a new one. I left to go get the stuff to the hall and then was going to go back to pick up my beautifully designed cake. Well, turns out this was just the beginning of my trouble for the shower. Turns out the guest of honor found out about the surprise. How I wasn't clear on, but the who was her brothers. Moving right along though we had to pull this off. We arrive at the hall and it's locked. We were half an hour late, but the doors definitely should have been open. So we checked all the doors. Nothing. We called the church. Nothing. We called the pastor. Nothing. People were arriving. It was raining. A cold rain. The guest of honor arrived. We still had not gotten inside nor decorated. Someone went around and checked the doors again and found one open. A door that was checked originally was now unlocked. Was it on a timer? Did someone sneak over and unlock a door and we miss it? There were a lot of comings and goings in the parking lot. Ugh, it was a huge mess.

While we were trying to figure out the whole ordeal someone offered to go pick up the 2nd try at the cake for me. She came back and told me it's not perfect, but it is still very pretty. Oh geez what am I going to do now? So I looked at the cake and all I could say is well it's better than the original, but I saw lots of fault with it. Here's the redo of the cake:

Now, I pointed out some of the things I found very ugly right on the picture. Where's the brown border? There was some light almost like a chocolate brown around the bottom of the cake where it touches the cake board, but that was it for brown on the cake. The border was very sloppy. I found the writing to be very sloppy. I don't know what was up with those flowers in the upper left corner of the cake. And my friend looks like she's in a window with that thick piped border going around the picture of her. And unfortunately you cannot see it in the picture, but there was a line going through her face on the picture. It wasn't on the invitation. I'm not sure if the edible image broke and they just pieced it together instead of making a new one or what.

Now if it where me, I would have put a few flowers in the corner of the picture. Made maybe a vine like look going around it if it needed it. The border I probably would have done with a star tip in the three colors. Dark pink, brown, light pink, dark pink, brown, light pink, etc. I suppose they were crunched for time and of course I can't expect them to do exactly what I thought, but this just wasn't even close.

I guess the moral of this story is if you want it done right do it yourself.

Other than these catastrophic events the shower was a huge success. I will share the good of the shower later.