At some point on your wedding day, time will start to pass more quickly; suddenly things begin to happen at warp-speed. For me, this occurred right after the speeches. In my hazy, overwhelmed bride-brain, the night seemed to end approximately 10 minutes after the speeches were over. In reality, there were probably about two hours dwelling in there somewhere. For the life of me, I can’t seem to find them now. I wish I could blame it on a bubbly champagne buzz, alas I was hardly drinking.
All photographs are by Christopher Helm Photography
Teary eyed while listening to my dad’s speech.
My dad dislikes being at the center of attention. When I asked him if he would give a speech at the wedding, he reluctantly agreed. I thought it was important since he and my stepmother graciously funded a large portion of our wedding. Plus, I selfishly wanted to hear my dad give a really sweet speech that I would always remember.
I will never forget my dad standing there awkwardly, microphone and several pages of notes in hand. He had handwritten his speech on several pieces of paper, some of which looked suspiciously like napkins and hotel notepad paper. He fumbled nervously and endearingly with his papers as he worked his way through the speech. I wish I could transcribe it, but something tells me he has likely tossed it out by now. He spoke about how dear I was to him, and how he was so glad I met such an amazing man to be my husband. He also thanked all of our guests for traveling to be there from across the country, including my 87 year old grandmother. He reflected on the passing of my grandfather, but said he knew that Granddaddy Doug was watching us from a better place.
Of course, it had me in tears, but they were happy tears and I was so proud of my dad in that moment. Several of my coworkers and friends who had never met my father remarked on what a great person he is. I couldn’t agree more.
Next up was Mr. C’s brother-in-law and best man. He gave a heartwarming and humorous speech and might have mentioned that he knew that Mr. C had found “the one” the first time he saw our photos from the Atlanta sci-fi/fantasy convention DragonCon.
Then my oldest friend and Matron of Honor, K, gave a hilarious speech that had the guests (and me) practically in tears. She spared no expense in embarrassing me. I guess that’s the downside to knowing someone since you were five years old—they know all of your secrets, embarrassing stories, and exploitable vices. Well played, K, well played. But it was all in good fun and it was a great way to lift the mood after my father’s emotional speech. Oh, and can I just saw how freaking beautiful she is? She has such a natural, effortless beauty. She looked amazing at the wedding!
Luckily she didn’t delve into too many personal details, but I think all of my coworkers now know a little too much about my childhood antics.
Last but not least, Mr. C and I formally thanked my dad and stepmother for hosting such a fantastic evening and also Mr. C’s father for hosting the rehearsal dinner. Ah, formalities. Thank yous for everyone!
And then it was that sacred moment that no one openly admits they are waiting for—CAKE. It’s time for some freaking cake, but people had already been snacking on the plethora of French macarons we had displayed throughout the house and on the dessert table inside. Our wedding cake was moved outside for the official cake cutting.
I never really told you guys about our wedding cake. This is partially because for a long time I was set on ordering two cakes from the Cheesecake Factory. Now, before you judge me, you must know that the Cheesecake Factory actually makes what I believe to be the BEST chocolate cake in the entire world. It’s called Linda’s Fudge Cake and it’s six layers of pure chocolate heaven. It is so rich and moist that it is nigh on impossible to eat an entire slice in one sitting. Sometimes I will order a slice and keep it in the fridge for days, taking little indulgent bites every so often. I also love their key lime cheesecake, but if you haven’t tried a massive slice of Linda’s Fudge Cake yet, do yourself a favor and give it a chance next time!
When it came time to choose our cake, I tried to imagine what type of cake we would want to eat on one of the most important days of our lives. Admittedly, I’m not a very big cake fan to begin with, so your typical white cake with vanilla frosting isn’t something I would indulge in when my sweet tooth is calling. I often refuse slices of birthday cake for the same reason. But Linda’s Fudge Cake is a different story entirely, and that is what I immediately envisioned as I imagined my dream wedding cake. I spoke to Mr. C about it and he was absolutely on board. We’d order some cakes from the Cheesecake Factory, set up a dessert table with French macarons and call it a day. No crazy designs, no unappetizing fondant (though it makes for beautiful cakes), and no cake tastings (sad).
But a few weeks before the wedding I started to second guess my choice. Two giant chocolate cakes didn’t really fit with our light and airy decor or wedding “theme” and I didn’t think they would look very cute in our cake cutting photos. I realize this is pretty superficial, but it’s crap you think about when you are planning a wedding. Athens has a somewhat locally famous bakery, Cecilia’s Cakes, and after a quick phone call I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they have very affordable wedding cakes. As a bonus, we were able to have the traditional cake tasting and in the end, went with one of their most popular choices: lemon cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I asked for a very simple, rustic look. I think it cost us less than $80, including delivery and the silver cake stand rental.
We ended up having both the traditional white wedding cake AND the Linda’s Fudge Cake (can you guess which one I told the caterer I wanted?). Sadly, I barely got to eat any of my own wedding cake. We were given the top to freeze, but it just sat in the fridge until we tossed it out. Cecilia’s offers brides a small, free cake on their anniversary anyway—so no need to force down some dry, freezer burned monstrosity for tradition’s sake.
After the cake cutting, the dance floor exploded in a frenzy of movement. My brother (our DJ) played some awesome music that got everyone out on the dance floor. Up next—getting down and getting out!
Previously on The Camel Wedding Recaps:
5) The Reading
6) The Vows
10) Food & Dances