We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

Strangest thing: I’m busier since I retired than when I worked! However, I have never had a day busier than the day of my second daughter’s wedding.

She was in law school, and while she had a lovely wedding with lots of family and some close friends, she and her husband didn’t want to go overboard since they had no money, and my daughter didn’t want us (the people paying for her education) to spend too much.

One of the things we did to cut costs was to make the wedding cake ourselves. Warning: find someone professional to make a wedding cake. It need not be over-the-top expensive, but worth every penny.

First I bought cake pans in various sizes to make the tiered layers, the largest being perhaps 18″ across. That takes about 4 times one cake recipe to fill that size, and cooking time is crucial. It’s hard to get those large layers out in once piece, too. Suffice it to say, by the time we’d made enough cake to make five perfect layers, we had made twice that many — we ate a lot of cake before the wedding. We did start making the layers a couple of weeks before the date, and froze them; good thing we started early. On the morning of the wedding, we started putting the cake together. But the layers wouldn’t stay aligned on each other — they kept slipping!


The little cake in the front is chocolate, the ones on the stand are chocolate chip, and the little cake is the keeper for the first anniversary.

I ran out to Michael’s (does everyone have a Michael’s nearby?) and got a cake holder that held the layers separately on three levels. I’ve iced hundreds of cake, but there was no way to get it perfectly smooth, so we iced it the old-fashioned way. (I keep saying we, because my sister was my patient partner in this fiasco.) We added some of the silk violets for decoration, and it ended up looking pretty good — but homemade. Mind you, the cake recipe was delicious, so at least it tasted better than many wedding cakes.

We also did all the table decorations with a purple and red theme. We are fortunate that our church has a lovely, nicely decorated function room attached, so everything looked lovely. Fortunately the caterer we hired was very good, so it all actually went smoothly.

The flowers came from Costco, and made the bouquets and altar arrangements ourselves. They have beautiful flowers! (I bet their wedding cakes are pretty good, too.)

I guess because it was my first wedding, and my tension level was so high, I hardly remember the actual ceremony at all. I do remember that my daughter was one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen and her husband handsome, both glowing.