MCL is holding a contest to give away a free wedding reception. That got me thinking about my own wedding. Fresh out of culinary school, I thought it would be a great idea to help cater my own reception (chefs are suckers for stress). This included baking and decorating the wedding cake, of which I had no experience. I used a basic white cake recipe and filled it with raspberry jam. Then I covered it with a butter cream icing. Fresh strawberries were used as a garnish. I had to freeze the un-iced cake in New Jersey (where I lived at the time) and then drive it to West Virginia (where the wedding was being held) to be assembled and decorated the day before I got married.
I don’t know what most guys do the morning of their weddings, but mine was spent with my groomsmen making appetizers in assembly line fashion. Thankfully, there were no mishaps. The cake was transported across state lines and displayed in the venue without toppling over. The food didn’t run out and it tasted the way I had intended. And, surprisingly enough, the pressure of putting out a great dinner didn’t prevent me from enjoying my day.
It seems like a lot of work (and it was at the time) but we saved a ton of money doing it ourselves. In addition to making my own cake, we used a friend’s house for the reception venue and my wife, Meredith, even had her wedding dress made by someone from her church. Best of all, I’m still happily married and we have a beautiful daughter together, proving that the wedding doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy in order to start your marriage off on the right foot.