Last spring I received a phone call from a future bride who was living out of state. I often get calls from from people who will be returning to this area to marry where their families live. Long distance planning can be challenging as well as lots of fun.This bride had already chosen a lovely indoor/outdoor location for the ceremony and the reception. She went on to tell me that her brother and her father who were expert gardeners had offered to grow all of the flowers for the wedding. The couple loved flowers and were very appreciative of this generous and loving gesture. I continued to communicate with the bride as plans took shape. I also met her personally while she was visiting the area to oversee details. At that time she shared some personal information that I thought could be reflected in the festivities. As a college level English Literature instructor the future bride demonstrated her love of the written word by designing wedding invitations that featured a quote from a much loved poem:
By James Wright
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
*Suddenly I realize
that if I stepped out of my body I would break
© 2006 The Poetry Foundation and The National Endowment of the Arts *The lines between the * is the section of the poem that the bride chose to use on the invitation and on the cake.
I thought that this was a lovely and fitting choice to incorporate in the wedding design. Now it was time to discuss the cake. Of course, the flowers that her family were contributing were central in the design of the three tiered stacked cake. As we talked it became clear that the same verse would be wonderful as icing calligraphy on the wedding cake itself. I wasn't sure just how the cake would actually look when it was finished, but once I saw the spectacular Casablanca lilies raised by the future bride's brother, I knew that there wouldn't be any other flowers that could rival their beauty. They were big blooms, but still well proportioned to the size of the cake. This meant that the calligraphy would have to be sized proportionately too...in other words...the final cake would be dramatic and at the same time simple, with the lilies taking center stage. Take a look at the cake that graced the table that day. The only elements that I felt comfortable adding to such a presentation were a garland of gingko leaves and one well placed Monarch butterfly to set off those elegant blooms .
The bride was delighted with the results of her careful planning, BUT that's not the end of the story. Some weeks after the wedding I received a lovely note from the couple thanking me again for the contribution that I had made to their wedding. Some things are just meant to be, I think. There was this photograph on the front of the note card as well as an explanation... As the couple traveled on their honeymoon they happened upon a lush pasture. There at the fence stood a pair of horses. They were instantly reminded of the lovely poem that was woven through the fabric of their special day. The bride's new husband got out of the car and immediately completed the lovely scene. This photograph is certainly worth more than the usual 1000 words.
I was thrilled to be a part of this wedding story. The couple will be celebrating their first anniversary at the end of this summer with an appropriately decorated bride's cake that was put safely into the freezer once the wedding cake had been devoured.
|Click on the cake slice to the left to read the next Cake Story.
Top of Page