My sister is in the wedding business. She specializes in troths plighted short and sweetly in out-of-the-way spots, without the usual rigmarole. She asked that I think about some off-beat, unexpected wedding treats that she could suggest to couples. I always like thinking about treats – that’s easy – but I try not to think about weddings.
Not to sound like a grouch, but weddings are tedious, the homilies drag on and don’t show me a man taking a woman’s garter off unless it’s in a French film. Undersized lads in tuxes? Insufferable. My own ceremony was a small, outdoor affair; still, there are several things I would do differently. Our officiant was mildly demented, mispronounced our names, and ended up neglecting to file our paper work (a detail I unearthed a couple years after the blissful day when I thought I had been legally married). Hey, I wanted a courthouse quickie, but you know men, they have to have their special day. We would have had better luck with someone specializing in mini-weddings.
Thank heavens the two most crucial decisions, (choice of dress and spouse) have stood the test of time. My slip dress was a home run, though I might rework the midcalf hemline. But bias cut silk is timeless, clinging lovingly to most figures. It hangs in my closet still, slightly faded, in a state of too-obvious metaphor. Similarly, I don’t cringe at the photos of the man beside me, who is also still hanging around, perhaps slightly wearied and wiser after 16 years with me, but still, a classic choice.
The cake though? The cake I would hop in a time machine to redo. I don’t regret the appearance of the individual cakelets I chose; I have a penchant for miniatures. But I rue that in choosing that size, I got the very same chokingly dry cake impersonator everyone gets at their weddings, just preportioned.
Someone told me the flavor/texture of the cake isn’t the point. I think they meant it’s the ritual, the communal nature, of the act that matters. I appreciate the symbolism, but in that case, let’s all play volleyball! Or let’s team-build on a ropes course to show the nuptialed that we are there to support them in good times and lousy! Then let’s eat a dessert together that actually tastes good!
Pudding is controversial, but I recently decided that black rice pudding with salty coconut topping would be a chic and surprising choice for a wedding dessert. Picture it in tiny, clear votive candle size glasses with Lilliputian spoonlets and toasted coconut flakes atop. I like the salty sweet combo (like the perennial Jordan almond, representing the bitter and sweet of married life). It’s a study in contrasts that, oddly, work well together. You see where this is going? Visually and metaphorically, I think it works. I just don’t know if anyone but me would eat it.
So until then, I am going with macarons. They require no plates or cutlery and they are easy to stash away in even the smallest sequined clutch bag. Best of all, they are two halves, bound together by God only knows what filling, but who cares, as long as it sticks?