Tuesday, 12 August 2014

My second wedding gig!

I really enjoy weddings.

Not so much the spending an entire week getting ready part (ensuring enough sleep is had, leg hair is properly attended to, clothes are ready, and children are all accounted for). But more the rare opportunity to get dressed up, put some make-up on, see familiar faces again, celebrate the uniting of two people, and generally have a good time. That part I enjoy.

My own wedding was never a formal function. After the ceremony (which Husband will not ever let me forget that I was apparently 45 minutes late to) there was an afternoon tea in our church's hall.

We made our own wedding invitations, asked friends and family to fill in the various rolls for photographer, videographer, etc. I picked out flowers at the flower markets, and the bouquets were made at home. Make-up was applied by my cousin, and my sister braided my hair. Dresses were from a Harts warehouse store containing discontinued items at a cheaper rate, and my aunty made our wedding cake as a gift.

Not many things matched, I suppose. Well, not in the way I'd have absolutely everything matching if I were to get married again, for example. But it was still a delightful day, and I enjoyed myself. I didn't even notice that the afternoon tea continued until 10pm, and I was oblivious to the fact that it was midnight when we checked into our hotel, and we needed to get up at 5am the next morning to get to the airport to catch our flight.

Wedding receptions often include fancy tables, matching chair covers, intricate decorations, five course meals, three different wine glasses for each person, and bonbonnierres for everyone, as a gift to thank them for coming to their wedding.

I asked around what people have given/received as a bonbonniere from a wedding, and the answers ranged from cupcakes, miniature toys, CDs, shot glasses, jelly beans, chocolates, and little bottles of alcohol; to what I have made for a friend's wedding a couple of months ago: shortbread biscuits.

My first wedding gig involved making cupcakes as part of the cake tower display, which also doubled as bonbonnieres. The second one (this one), was making heart shaped shortbread biscuits as the bonbonnierres. To prepare (i.e. to make sure that I could actually replicate the same thing a few <cough-dozen-cough> times), I made these biscuits for Valentine's Day.

When I was both planning and making these biscuits, I'd laid out a step-by-step guide to what I needed to do to complete them. Some parts may or may not have been added in the process.

Stage 1 - "The biscuit part"

1.1  Make the shortbread dough.

This is the recipe I use.

1.2  Roll out and cut out shapes.
1.3  Bake.
1.4  Repeat and continue until there's 140 of them.

Stage 2 - "The fondant part"

2.1  Colour the fondant.

While discussing the biscuits with the bride to be, the original plan was to have the biscuits matching the four bridesmaids dresses. I was sent a photo of the dress colours, and tried my best to match them in fondant.

With further discussions on the day of the baking, it was decided that perhaps just two colours would be better, which were chosen to be these:

As a trial for how the colours look together on biscuits, I made a sample of each and sought approval from the bride-to-be before continuing on the next 100+ of them:

2.2  Roll it out, and cut the shapes.

2.3  Glue them onto the biscuits.

2.4  Repeat with the next colour, until all the biscuits are covered.
2.5  Take a picture of all the biscuits, that now take up your entire bench top.

2.6  Go to bed.

Stage 3 - "The decorating part"

3.1  Make royal icing.
3.2  Trace around the edge of each biscuit with the icing.

3.3  Write the letters D & K on each biscuit, as per the bride's request and original plan organised.

By about the 100th biscuit, I felt like I finally had the hang of it... All was going smoothly, until I was writing the letters on the 138th biscuit, and this happened:

It was perfect! The letters were (accidentally) smaller than the previous 137, but this one... this one looked so much better!

Having a minor panic attack, with the bride coming to collect them later that morning, I desperately called Husband, since he's had 11 years training to calm me down when things like this happen... Basically, I couldn't change the others. So, after I was breathing normally again, I continued to decorate the final few biscuits, and hoped that no-one would notice the one perfect biscuit amongst the rest of them when it came time to place them on the tables at the reception.

Stage 4 - "The wrapping part"

4.1  Carefully place biscuits into cellophane bags.
4.2  Tie them all with ribbon.

4.3  Re-count them five times because you kept panicking that you didn't make enough, even though you were counting them all day the day before, and all morning as you were icing, and knew that there was exactly the right amount.

4.4  Run out of time to take a photo of the 140 wrapped biscuits together (because you were  too busy panicking in the previous step), and hand them over to the bride-to-be.

Stage 5 - "The waiting part"

5.1  Wait until photos go up on Facebook.

5.2  Congratulate the happy couple on their wedding day.

Congratulations Danny & Kobie!!

Thank you for asking me to be a part of your wedding day.
Wishing you both love and contentment in your married life together :) xx

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