A couple years ago we were invited to be a part of Brides Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful Cakes. It was a great time as Mic and I flew our cake all the way to New York for the photo shoot and Virgin America helped us deliver the cake in near perfect condition. A few touch ups in the hotel room and yes, a subway ride and walk down to the studio and our cake was ready for the cameras! I'll have to post the full story of that trip someday, it was something else!
Right around the time we were filming season 3 of Amazing Wedding Cakes, Brides called us again to participate in a big cake feature that just came out in their March issue (seen left). We had such a good time before, that I knew I wanted to participate again. The way they work these is you have to provide some sketches first and they guide you towards the one they like and then you do a little square sample panel of what the final decorating will look like before they say to bring it on down.
I sent about 12 sketches and we narrowed it down to a lovely blue cake with tons and tons of gilded sugar flowers. A couple weeks into filming, I took the only day I had off to assemble the cake and get it ready to ship to New York. Mic and I were not going to be able to fly it out again this time, so we had to rely on Fed Ex to get it there. We know people who have done it before, and Brides has a stylist onsite to fix any damage, so we thought it'd be okay. The cake itself is styrofoam with only the decorations being what we would use on a real cake. And since our decorations didn't involve giant flowers or anything, we thought it'd be just fine. Oops!!
Here's the cake before we packed it for the trip:
Mic went and got a box to fit the base snuggly and lots of packing peanuts etc. We used foam to wrap around the garland and plastic wrap. The base got glued to the bottom of the box and lots of peanuts surrounded the cake, holding it in place. Here's some shots of the process...
We took every precaution and spent quite a few bucks to overnight this thing to NYC complete with special instructions and enough "Fragile" and "This Side Up" stickers to wallpaper a small condo. About 16 hours later, our baby was at the studio and panic was setting in. We got the call that the cake arrived heavily damaged. The Brides crew were working like E.R. doctors to get it fixed well enough for the magazine, but after a day of trying, they just didn't think they could get it right and time was called on our gilded delight. *sad face*
As you can see from the pix they sent back, the layers separated, leaving the cake with cracks and stretch fractures in the fondant. The flowers traveled well which is good to know, but the problem was the layers staying together. Since we've already flown cakes a couple times, MIc believes (and I agree) that the only reason this didn't survive was human error, as in, a Fed Ex guy dropped and/or flipped it on it's side/head during the shipping. And no, we didn't get the insurance on it because it was more than we wanted to spend at the time. Live and learn.
But even with insurance, it wouldn't have made up for not being in the magazine again. It was pretty heartbreaking, but thankfully we have some good pix and the memory of our short time together. I think it would've looked fantastic in the issue and hopefully we can work with the Brides crew again someday soon.
Although, I think I might offer to pay for a photographer on the west coast!!!
So, if you ever want a cake from us and you live far away, our new rule is we fly with it!!
Here's a couple more disaster shots:
As they say in Paris, c'est la vie!! I think I'm gonna make another one this Spring to have in the shop cause I really did love it. Au revoir friends!