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{Our wedding date cake!}

This weekend, Tony and I were finally able to use the gift certificate he got me for Valentine’s Day to decorate a cake at Duff’s Cakemix. My sweet fiancé knows the way to my heart is through frosting and pretty things, so this gift was a home run on all fronts. (Plus, he knows that when I’m feeling intense emotions of either happiness or despair, he can find me in line at this place for a large cake-in-a-jar.)

{Me, on my birthday this year.}

I wrote last week about creative off-registry wedding gift ideas and included this on the list because it’s a perfect way to spend time together and play around with wedding cake decoration styles. (You will also gain a new appreciation for your baker. Did you see my handwriting skills in the pic above? It’s harder than it looks!) If you want to get hardcore, you can even sign up for a professionally-geared decorating class next door at Duff’s Charm City Cakes and learn how to do your own wedding cake – I signed up for one with my friend Christie in October!

{Legit wedding cakes, next door.}

They do not mess around at Charm City. This was the cake we had in our peripheral vision as we decorated at Cakemix:

{I’ll probably be able to do this left-handed in my sleep after my class next month.}

Even at Duff’s Cakemix, however, the bar was set high. Here were a few of the “samples” they had displayed to inspire you:

{Cakes people with skills and artistic talent made.}

I will never understand how people given the same tools Tony and I received came up with cakes like that. As mere pedestrian, non-fondant wizards, Tony and I had a hard enough time (but so much fun) creating our cake, even if it doesn’t look like it was designed by a professional. (Or, more accurately, it looks like it was done by a professional who had several bottles of wine prior to decorating it.) Here’s how our day date went down:

{The entrance to happiness.}

Upon our arrival, we had a series of decisions to make. Did we want to decorate cake or cupcakes? Which flavor? With fondant or frosting? Which color for the frosting accents? And candy decorations? Did we want to splurge on edible glitter? Or the assistance of a staff member?

{Our “before” pic.}

Tony and I went for cake, waffled between the Flavor of the Month (chocolate peanut butter, my favorite) or chocolate-vanilla swirl (the cake-in-a-jar flavor we always get), and ultimately decided to go for the ol’ standby. We chose frosting over fondant because we figured that is what would taste better while shoveling forkfuls of it into our faces in the dark while we watched a HOMELAND marathon, and chose frosting, candy, and fondant decorations in shades of blue, yellow and white, so we could do a “Blue Moon”-themed cake in honor of our wedding date, which falls on a blue moon weekend. Of course we splurged on edible glitter (because who wouldn’t?!) And we seriously over-estimated our cake-decorating skills in declining to pay extra for the artistic advisement of a Cakemix pro.

{Ready for action.}

I don’t want to get melodramatic here, but I quickly learned that we wouldn’t just be taking home a cake, we’d be taking home some life lessons. Duff’s challenges you to trust your gut and make on-your-feet decisions (when there’s a long line behind you, you don’t have time to ponder the pros and cons of frosting vs. fondant! You just have to pick!) You’ll be inspired to think about whether or not you want children, as you dodge kids on your way to the decorating station and snag a star-shaped cookie cutter before any of them can get their grubby little paws on it. You’ll briefly daydream about your bachelorette party, as you observe the pack of women decorating cakes together. (Taking a cake decorating class prior to going out and celebrating? Genius. Each girl has her own entire cake to eat at 3am!) And you’ll be forced to work on your communication skills with your partner and confront trust issues as you tackle the marital challenge of decorating a cake. Together.

{The Cavalero Glitter Technique.}

Tony and I were on the same page that the glitter should go on first, but that turned into our first marital cake-hurdle when he decided I was being too heavy-handed with my glitter sprinkling. He took over the task and invented what I like to call The Cavalero Glitter Technique, which is basically just dipping your finger in edible glitter and blowing gently so it sprays evenly and delicately.

{My uber masculine man.}

Like in any good marriage, we compromised and Tony allowed me to attempt hands-on decorating again. We both acknowledged my frosting-writing skills were still sub-par, however, after I scrawled out our wedding date over a fondant moon and the letting “Once in a blue moon,” and Tony took over once again while I handled the more idiot-proof task of rolling out the fondant and cutting star shapes with cookie cutters.

{A birthday cake I once made for Tony. He was right to take the frosting tube away from me.}

We learned that I’m good at the creative vision and task-delegation (i.e. I am the bossy one), and Tony is good at executing it (i.e. he humors me and has the motor skills to write with frosting). Our day date at Duff’s further proved what we already knew: We make a good team.

{The “after” pic.}

With Tony’s military school background, he’s also really good at cleaning up:

{Waste not, want not.}

Then, they boxed our cake up and we were on our way!

Since I still need to work on my decision-making skills, it took a lot longer to decorate than we anticipated and Tony had to go straight from Duff’s to perform in his Groundlings show. I dropped him off, and then my Maid of Honor Katierose came over and we did what I do best: Eat.

{Katierose took this picture right before we annihilated that thing.}

Tony is amazing at coming up with fun dates that mix up the usual dinner-and-a-movie standby, and we had the best time. Only once in a blue moon do you find someone as perfect for you as Tony is for me, and I’m so excited for our blue moon wedding next August 1, 2015!


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