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Wedding cake not good enough as a present?
Posted: 08 July 2010 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So, I’m a bit confused here, perhaps one of you can play Dear Abby for me.

An ex colleague and friend of mine is getting married, and I’ve offered to bake the wedding cake for her. It’ll be Chocolate Oblivion and Cordon Rose Cheesecake. In total, it’ll be about 6 times the Chocolate Oblivion original recipe, and about 2 times the cheesecake, plus biscuit layers to sandwich the cheesecake between, and about 6 times the White Ganache recipe as a frosting. Oh yes, I forgot that the cake will also have a white chocolate band around it. All in all a pretty big and elaborate affair, 5 tiers. I’m planning on spending 2 - 3 days prepping. Not counting the at least 3 tastings I already did with them. I didn’t do the math on pricing, but between the 50 eggs and the 7 lbs of chocolate, the ingredients alone will be well above $100….

So lately she’s been trying to give me the invite, but we never hooked up. Today I get an email where she said she attached the invite, and I open it, and it’s information on her gift registry. I was speechless. So I sent her an email with an off-handed comment about that she must have sent me the wrong image, and she probably wants me to bring the cake as a gift. Usually she’s lightening fast about emailing back - however, nothing came back.

Now I’m a bit confused. (I think I mentioned that before….) If you were getting married, would you expect the friend baking your wedding cake to also bring a gift?

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Posted: 08 July 2010 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I would assume it is probably what she sent to everyone, and it probably didn’t cross her mind to alter it before sending it.  Wedding cakes are so expensive and beyond what anyone would normally spend for a gift, I don’t see how anyone would expect you to purchase gift as well.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Silke - 08 July 2010 04:19 AM

So I sent her an email with an off-handed comment about that she must have sent me the wrong image, and she probably wants me to bring the cake as a gift. Usually she?s lightening fast about emailing back - however, nothing came back.

I would probably have just ignored the hint, rather than brought it to her attention.  To me, the whole enterprise is geared towards generating as much free merchandise as possible, and it’s they who should be embarrassed, not me.  Were it up to me, I would put on my wedding invitations “no gifts”, because I would be more interested in my friends attending a special day for me than I would be in getting a bunch of clutter for my house.

So I think you were entirely justified in being a bit offended.  It was a bit….gauche…on her part.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks guys… Charles has a point I think. I also got an invite to a shower, luckily I’m out of the country for that…

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Posted: 08 July 2010 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anytime I’m asked by a friend or even if I volunteer I’m always careful to specifically say that the cake is my wedding gift to the bride and groom. I’m sure, if she’s a good friend, you could have a little chat with her just to clear the air and make sure you are on the same page. I’m certain she’ll understand. And should she have a difference of opinion it will be best if she keeps it to herself. You have nothing to apologize for or be sorry for. I’ll bet she wouldn’t find anyone else to do it for free.  Good luck.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The cake is definitely your gift…and more than generous.  The attached registry of gifts was definitely sent to everyone, and your friend forgot to take it off.

Just have a simple conversation with your friend to clear the air…I’m sure it will all turn out fine

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Posted: 08 July 2010 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The cake is most certainly the gift. In addition to the expense, more thought, care and love go into the making of a wedding cake than it takes to scroll down and choose something from a gift registry.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Silke, your cake is a more thoughtful and honored gift because you are taking the time to make it.  And I’m sure the fair market replacement value would be much higher than what most would spend on a gift. 

Is she unknowledgable about wedding costs/arrangements?  Sometimes I think people mistakenly have a concept of a homemade wedding cake as something that is similar to any home baking project, not realizing the extra time and expense that a wedding cake demands.  And probably also not realizing that you would choose the best ingredients and that it would be in a different class than something from the supermarket bakery. 

I agree with the others, she probably sent out a blanket invite to everyone.  It would be nice if the “norms” for weddings weren’t so commercial.  And by the way, why is she sending an email invite, rather than a real one?  In my experience, wedding invites never include registry info, that is obtained by asking the bride’s parents or friends.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I agree with all of the above.  Although, honestly, unless people actually do some kind of serious craft themselves—baking, knitting, stained glass, whatever—they seldom have a real appreciation of what goes into a creative endeavor, which is kind of sad.  I’ve realized that unless I’m doing it 90% for my own personal amusement/enjoyment, I’m not going to do it, as you can’t expect the appreciation that is normally warranted.  I can only hope others have reason to disagree with me!  For example, if I had a friend who was making my wedding cake, there would be no tastings—even if they suggested it.  There would be only: You know what you are doing, and it will be wonderful, and I will love it!

That said, I think it was an oversight on your friend’s part sending the invitation with the registry.  I’d shoot her a really-friendly email way with some made-up question about the cake as a pretence (since there seems to be a little tension going on), and then I’d add something like, “Hey, I just wanted to make sure that everything is cool gift-wise.  Naturally, give my rathers, I’d buy you a beach house on the Riveria, but as it is, I’m giving you 50 eggs and a 4 pounds of chocolate.  Unusual, I admit, but I hope quite tasty!  And don’t give me a hard time about it or the top layer will be your 1st anniversary gift, too!!!” And add about 3 lbs. of smileys. 

It’s a really hot summer, you’re in a baking frenzy, she’s in a bride frenzy—and if you’re friends enough to make a WEDDING cake for her, it should be easy to straighten everything out with—OMG, we are so stressed, I can’t believe we are being tense about this!!!

Good luck!! And remember, no matter how it works out, you are grooving on this huge project full of creative pleasure!!

—ak

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Posted: 08 July 2010 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks, all of you.

The email I got from her was just for me, we were talking about the cake, which is where she attached the registry info. And I just got an email from her that she “remembered” that I had told her that the cake was the gift. Duh! Oh well. I’ll cheerily put the cake together, after all we all like baking and that’s why I’m doing it. 7 pounds of chocolate - my house will smell like a chocolate factory!

And yes, many people don’t know how much time and thought and love goes into a project like this, although I’m a lot calmer than with the first one I made!

Charles has a great point, it’s about the couple and sharing with friends - we got married in the smallest non-city hall ceremony ever, 6 people including the judge around the judge’s hot tub, no gifts, no big celebration, it was about us wanting to be together and not to support the marriage industrial complex. It’s almost 14 years later and we’re still happy and together. And last year my hubby’s best friend got married, and they made a point to tell anybody that they didn’t want gifts (we still gave them special gifts, hubby officiated and I made the cake). And I don’t even want to know how much the wedding cost them, it was in a beautiful venue on the ocean….

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Posted: 08 July 2010 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yay, Silke!!!  Me, too!  Just the hub and self driving to Gaffney.  No gifts, doo-dah, etc.  16 great years!!!

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Posted: 08 July 2010 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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To me, it sounds as though that email was sent to you in error.  I can’t imagine a more special gift than a home made wedding cake.

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Posted: 08 July 2010 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Silke - 08 July 2010 02:46 PM

Th
Charles has a great point, it’s about the couple and sharing with friends - we got married in the smallest non-city hall ceremony ever, 6 people including the judge around the judge’s hot tub, no gifts, no big celebration, it was about us wanting to be together and not to support the marriage industrial complex. It’s almost 14 years later and we’re still happy and together. And last year my hubby’s best friend got married, and they made a point to tell anybody that they didn’t want gifts (we still gave them special gifts, hubby officiated and I made the cake). And I don’t even want to know how much the wedding cost them, it was in a beautiful venue on the ocean….

Me too…we crossed the WA border into Idaho. My sister in law and brother in law attended and then we went to lunch.

We believe in small wedding-big marriage

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Posted: 08 July 2010 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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small wedding-big marriage

Very pleasantly stated!

Note to all of you who had large weddings, yet were able to maintain continuous civility through the actual event—maybe even warmth—and received lots of thoughful gifts from people you love and love you:  KUDOS TO YOU, TOO!!!!!

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Posted: 08 July 2010 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Anne in NC - 08 July 2010 08:28 PM

small wedding-big marriage

Very pleasantly stated!

Note to all of you who had large weddings, yet were able to maintain continuous civility through the actual event—maybe even warmth—and received lots of thoughful gifts from people you love and love you:  KUDOS TO YOU, TOO!!!!!

Oh definitely! My son had a huge wedding with 200 guests and all went well. They could afford to pull it off.

I guess it depends on the people and the circumstances.

I hate to see people going into debt even before they start their lives together. I know a fe people like that too confused

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Posted: 09 July 2010 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I think you sum it up nicely - do what you can afford. The wedding I mentioned at the ocean, beautiful venue - they very easily afforded it, and it was their payback to a lot of their friends because they never entertain. But yes, starting married life with a loan because you had to pay for the wedding? Hm.

Btw, everything is ironed out with the bride. I threatened to give her 50 eggs and 7 pounds of chocolate grin

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