Cake Fit for a Garden Wedding


19 Jul Cake Fit for a Garden Wedding

To quote Eddie Izzard, “Cake or Death? That’s a pretty easy question. Anyone can answer that.” Well, far be it from me to argue with Mr. Izzard, but there was a point late last week where I would have accused him of posing a trick question.

The minute my sister Allison announced her wedding back in February, Mom and I volunteered to make the wedding cake. When Allison said she didn’t want icing flowers, impossibly smooth royal icing or fancy piping, I thought we were getting off easy. A bit of ribbon, an armload of  flowers from the garden, and voila! Wedding cake. To avoid decorating the cake at the last minute and provide my sister with the “fairy-like not wedding-y” look she wanted,  I decided to candy the flowers. How hard could that be? After all, the pansies I candied in April only took a morning and are still going strong.

But April wasn’t humid. And all my July attempts resulted in a soggy, sticky mess. And I’m not just talking about the flowers.

After the relentless humidity ruined not one but two batches of sugar-coated petals, I got a small truck load of silica gel I tried drying the blooms. But the delicate crisp petals that emerged from the gel rehydrated within a half hour. And so, admitting defeat, Mom and I braced ourselves to decorate the tower of buttercream on The Big Day. Immediately upon returning from the hair stylist’s, we raided our gardens and the neighbours for the best blooms. Then Mom, cousin Donna and I worked like billy-o to affix the flowers before the icing melted in the summer heat. See how blurred their hands are? When I said we worked quickly, we worked quickly.

And within 45 minutes, the cake was done.

We then stuffed it in my fridge and dashed off to dress for the pre-ceremony photo shoot.

Not wanting to tempt fate yet again, I asked the caterers to escort the cake to the cutting table after dinner. Having left the last-minute details to the pros, the cake arrived on time and in tact.

Half an hour later… Cake or death?

Seems everyone opted for cake.

For those who are curious. Here is a short slideshow of the wedding. Most of the photos are courtesy of Allison’s friend Carmen who flitted about the event snapping photos like benevolent paparazzi. Thanks, Carmen. Hope you got some of the cake.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Related Post

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 11:01h, 19 July Reply

    Definitely fairy like! Great job ladies.
    PS You sister’s dress is awesome! (I bet you looked just as good.)
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..No line-ups =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:09h, 19 July Reply

      @Cheryl Arkison, thanks! My sister loved the cake and it was easier than I’d imagined.

      And her dress? I talked her into it :-) However, she’d look fabulous in a paper bag, so it was easy to find a stellar dress for her.

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 11:05h, 19 July Reply

    Oh, hurrah!!!! I think I remember Carmen from long ago! What great photos and Allison was (no surprise) a stunning bride. The backyard looked gorgeous – how lush. A paradise. Hugs to you all. Was thinking of you on Saturday. Think the cake was gorgeous, especially next to the Coors Light. Love you!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:11h, 19 July Reply

      @Kathleen, it was a great day — similar to a garden wedding we went to 13 years ago in New Hampshire…

      Love you lots, cousin Kathleen. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I’ll make sure Allison sees it.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 11:25h, 19 July Reply

    How wonderful! You and your sister look very much alike, even though I haven’t personally met either one of you. Just beautiful, all of it. Congratulations to everyone involved!
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Caprese =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:13h, 19 July Reply

      @Cheryl, yes, we look a like. More so in photos than in person.

      It was a gorgeous day and Carmen captured the event wonderfully. My parents put 2 months worth of gardening into the event and dozens of friends donated their time decorating the marquis. I got off easy with the cake.

  • Wizzythestick
    Posted at 12:50h, 19 July Reply

    Oh wow- The cake looks fabulous. I love the look of the fresh flowers.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:14h, 19 July Reply

      @Wizzythestick, thanks. I was worried the fresh flowers would wilt, but the butter cream seemed to seal the stems. Plus we kept the cake refrigerated until the last minute. I was NOT about to take any more chances with heat and humidity.

  • Debbie Spadafore
    Posted at 13:13h, 19 July Reply

    Beautiful wedding! I was thinking about you guys all day. The cake is just gorgeous! Alison looks just like you! Looking forward to more pics of your family.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:16h, 19 July Reply

      @Debbie Spadafore, thanks! And I love it when people tell me I look like Allison. Quite a compliment.

      I’ll post photos on Facebook soon, so you can see all the family. I’m still waiting for shots from various members — and the professional photographer, too.

  • Monica Bhide
    Posted at 16:01h, 19 July Reply


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:17h, 19 July Reply

      @Monica Bhide, thanks. And I gotta say, that one word sums up all aspects of the day.

  • Joy
    Posted at 16:02h, 19 July Reply

    They still looked wonderful. Good job on the cake.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:18h, 19 July Reply

      @Joy, I swear, butter cream icing and a refrigerator are the way to go. I was relieved the flowers lasted more than 8 hours, but it did the trick!

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 17:10h, 19 July Reply

    Gorgeous. The cake, the bride, you, the gardens…absolutely pastoral and gorgeous!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:19h, 19 July Reply

      @Lisa MacColl, thanks. I’m so relieved the rain held off. We had a scare as guests arrived ( a 2 minute downpour) but then the skies cleared and everything fell into place.

  • Misao
    Posted at 18:22h, 19 July Reply

    Charmian, Great job. Beautiful bride and beautiful cake and the all pictures! I really wish I could be there.. But well, thanks for sharing the slide show, I felt like I was there. You look beautiful too!!

  • Lori
    Posted at 21:06h, 19 July Reply

    Beautiful! I love the dishcloths on the clothsline! were they there during the wedding ! was thinking of you and family all day! Love to everyone!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:47h, 20 July Reply

      Thanks, Lori. That shot with the clothes on the line was taken a few days before the wedding — just before the chairs were set up. We made sure the laundry line was free of clothes before the ceremony. But with the amount of use that line gets, it wouldn’t be out of the question to have a pair of socks or dish towel fluttering away during the nuptials.

  • Ann Flower
    Posted at 06:45h, 20 July Reply

    Wow…this cake looks awesome. That’s exactly what I want for my Birthday.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:08h, 25 March Reply

      Wow. Must have missed all these comments in the hectic aftermath of the wedding.

      Thanks, Ann. We were lucky to have so many fresh flowers at hand. I can’t imagine doing it again soon, but it was so worth it for my sister’s wedding.

  • Rhonda Flaherty
    Posted at 10:43h, 21 July Reply

    Wow – all three Christie girls looked gorgeous! The cake looked yummy. Best wishes to Allison & her husband.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:15h, 21 July Reply

    Gosh, what a beautiful, magical wedding! Congrats to your sister and her husband! :)

    Looks and sounds like the perfect day and the cake turned out beautifully! While I’m sorry the sugared flowers didn’t work-out, the fresh flowers look divine. And, clearly, the cake was delicious by the looks of the after photo! LOL

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful pics of your family. I’m smiling ear to ear. :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:10h, 25 March Reply

      I gotta say, when I saw how people dug into the cake, I had to laugh. All that work for something we were just going to eat.

      While I’m filing this under Never Again, it was definitely worth it!

  • shalymere
    Posted at 23:02h, 23 March Reply

    Beautiful cake for a lovely couple.

Post A Reply to Charmian Christie Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!