Wedding Cup Cakes aka No Fuss No Mess Easy Morning After Breakfast :)

So I realized that I never really came back here and updated my site with pictures of my most searched item.

Yes, that’s right.

The top search that brings people to my most illustrious and totally awesome blog spot is….

Superman.

Just kidding.

Actually, Superman IS in the top search and has been since I wrote blog on a discussion Bear and I once had about Superman and Lois Lane, but that isn’t my top search.

Here are my top searches:  wedding cupcakes, superman, cupcake wedding cakes, clock, cupcake cakes.

Apparently, people REALLY wanted to know all about wedding cup cakes, ideas for wedding cup cakes and whether wedding cup cakes were an acceptable alternative to the tried and true wedding cake.

I’m here to tell you that they are.  TOTALLY.  🙂

Above you will see actual pictures of our wedding ‘cake’.  We decided to do it a little different though.  You see, I’m all about spoiling my husband in every way possible.  My husband is not easily spoilable when it comes to sweets as he’s not too keen on them.

Luckily, I was raised on Angel Food cake (and of course the triple fudge cake with fudge icing and chocolate chip lining) and I introduced Bear to said Angel Food cake along with some freshly cut and powdered sugar sprinkled fruits.  It was love at first ‘not too sweet’ bite.  From then on, Bear always asked me for Angel Food cake as a desert, to which I would reply “What about the CHOCOLATE darn it???”  🙂

So, instead of using a traditional Bride and Groom cake for the top, or even larger Cup Cakes as some sites suggested (to go with the whole Wedding Cup Cake theme), I decided on a Mango flavored Angel Food Cake topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream on the top and in the middle.  This went on top of our Cup Cake tray.  The tray itself was supposed to be covered with inexpensive metallic gold gift wrap to go with our cream, red and gold themed wedding.  However, last minute craziness being what it is that never happened so if you look real closely at our cup cake tray you’ll see the trademark look of the styrofoam.

Finally, the Cup Cakes themselves.  The flavors were Chocolate (hellllllllooooooo?  Like I’m not going to have chocolate somewhere in my wedding?) with a cream icing and a red rose on top and rich Vanilla with a red colored cream icing and creme colored rose on top.

Our bright yellow daisy’s, vibrant red roses and dark greenery complemented every table and traditional center piece.

Having our ‘Wedding Cake’ be actual Cup Cakes worked out well for everyone.  I didn’t have to pay for a cake cuter or a person to stand and cut the cake.  I didn’t have to pay for extra plates or wrap for people to take a piece of cake home.  The cup cakes were easy for everyone to carry home with them.  They were easy for the kids to eat.  The adults loved walking around, chit chatting and making fun of the icing on their friends noses and upper lips.  Plus, I got to eat my Mango flavored Angel Food Cake AND a chocolate cup cake!  Also, we had leftovers (cause I miscalculated how many people would actually show up) and in their compact size I had no guilt eating one (or two) cupcakes the morning after.  😉

Then I wizened up and took some to our neighbors before I ate them all!

All told, our Wedding Cake and Wedding Cup Cakes cost broke down like this:

1) Wedding Bride and Groom Cake: $16

2) Cup Cakes from Ralph’s Grocery Bakery section, special order for 60 cupcakes:  $50

3) Styrofoam Extra Large Cake/Cup Cake Stand: $10

When we checked on just a normal, average, every day Wedding Cake to serve 60, the absolute minimum price with no color coordination was $130.

So my advice on whether or not to do the whole Cup Cake thing for your wedding?  GO FOR IT!

A Wedding for Seven Lifetimes

Our Wedding Rings

Our Wedding Rings

August 9th, 2009.

A date I’ll never forget and I’m truly horrible with dates.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of a winter wedding with a big white princess dress and attendants in royal purple flowing chiffon dresses.  The guys would all look like Fred Astaire, Ray Milan and Gary Cooper.  I would dye my auburn hair to be even deeper and redder and I would have it styled just like Grace Kelly or Ginger Rogers.  And we would float across the dance floor after we were married.

My wedding was so much better than the dreamed up childhood one!

Instead I was a summer bride dressed all in red with gold and pearl stitching.  I was covered in jewelry from head to foot (literally).  My hands and feet were stained deep red instead of my hair and my Prince Charming was splendid in creamy white cotton with gold and red stitching to match my perfect wedding sari.  My attendants were dressed in gorgeous teals and pinks and earthy browns.  And we floated across the floor to welcome people and talk to them.

There were so many things that happened and so many wonderful memories that they are still all jumbled up in my brain and hard to fasten on any particular one.

I’m still amazed that I’m a WIFE!  A wife to a perfect Husband!  To my Bear!

There were so many times that I thought this day would never come, so many days that I sat and fretted about what would happen, if people would accept us, if everything would go smoothly.

And all that fretting was all for naught.  I’ve never felt more loved and accepted and happy!

All those things we read and hear about, all those little cares and worries we let take over our lives and stress out to the breaking point…once you get past them; they are like misty things that no longer touch our heart and minds.  I sit here today, wondering what all the fuss was about.  I did it!  I made it happen!  I had the perfect man to help me.  The perfect families to guide, love and support me.  The perfect friends to cheer me on and give me advice.  And yet I still sat and fretted and worried myself into migraines and upset stomachs!

And every Bride does to some extent.

I feel the worst for my family who, after flying in, had to run around to help me finish last minute things and when I say “last minute”, I mean it.  My brother and his lovely girlfriend were in charge of arranging the hall seating and table arrangements for us before the decorator got there.  Simple yes?  No, no, no, no.  The hall was filthy when they got there.  They had to scramble to find cleaning products and clean…the…entire….hall!  All by themselves!  But they did it and it turned out gorgeous.  More than I could have dreamed of, but then again, my brother is the most talented in the family.  Everyone else had it relatively easy except for our friends who had to pick up the cake and couldn’t find the store!  There was also a small fire over by the caterer’s section but they put it out fairly quickly and with only a few people noticing.  Most everyone else thought we were having BBQ!  😉  Indoors???  I ask you!

I’m still running around, busy with after marriage stuff.  Getting the license and contacting the Indian Embassy for help with my Visa selection…but things are starting to wind down, calm down a bit.

Once that happens, I will write a proper blog and fill you in on every step and every joy and every hard thing we had to face.

Till then, take care of yourself and keep checking back!!!

Preparing for the Seven Steps

Preparing for the Seven Steps

Let Them Eat cup CAKE!!!!

bridezilla2It’s official.  I’m becoming Bridezilla.

About 4 months ago I showed Bear that TV show.  Bridezilla.  I think it comes on Lifetime or something similar.  We laughed our asses off.  I told him quite seriously that I would NEVER, I repeat, NEVER be like that.  How totaaaaaally wrong I was.

I know  this weekend, my poor Bear was walking around in a haze of wonderment saying to himself  “Where did my sweety go?” while I stood before him in my fire breathing green skinned glory saying “We MUST have a guest book!!!!!”.

Poor Bear.

Ok, enough about Poor Bear and on to the Aurora Pity Party Show!!!  😛

Seriously, things here are starting to get under my skin.  I never knew doing things on my own would be so darn hard or stressful.  I even woke up with a migraine this morning and I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

So, let’s start the festivities shall we?

I haven’t found a cake yet.  Or rather, I FOUND the Bride and Groom cake and had almost decided on this scrumptious chocolate with fresh strawberries for the wedding cake …and then changed my mind.  Why you ask?  Because it’s $200 freaking dollars and I’m on a tight budget.  Also, I don’t have a wedding coordinator nor a real caterer (my favorite restaurant is providing the food and some service but not much else to help with my costs).  This means I don’t have someone officially to cut the cake.  And I don’t want anyone else to do it either because I mean WHAT PAIN IN THE BUTT.  People don’t go to a wedding to do work.  They go to have fun.  I already have to ask my family to help with setup and clean up; I don’t want to add to the list.  Plus, did I mention that darn cake was $200???  So, then we went to Michael’s Craft to see about a wedding cake holder/platter thingee for INCASE we get the cake because we can’t afford the cake and the snazzy cake holder from the cake maker.

And this is where the “Poor Bear” comes in.

We went in to look for the snazzy cake thingee and I headed straight for the flowers because I remembered that I still need to have a bouquet and why not have one of pretty fake flowers that I can keep forever?  But I couldn’t find any flowers I liked…after making two bouquets and dismissing them.  Bear just stood there with a puzzled look on his face saying “Put that was pretty…what you just did.”

Next was the wedding aisle.  Remember?  The snazzy cake thingee?  Yeah, well, I forgot all about that or at least put it on a side burner when I saw the cake toppers and remembered we needed that too.  Oh and the cake cutter.  Do we need stemware to drink out of?  Nah…no alcohol being served.  But wait, what about a guess book, look at these.  Oh and table favors?  Nah…favor enough to come to the wedding.  But look there!  They have fake rose petals for the flower girls to toss down and pretty little sparkly butterfly and dove shaped large confetti to be tossed instead of rice!  And oh yeah!  We need to get an album so we can make one with our pictures in there…and we need one for his family to have too.  Should we get one for my family or should we give them a picture that’s framed?  Should we check on the frame costs?  Nah, we can check that after the wedding and give it to them before we leave.  Have we found the snazzy cake thingee yet Bear?  Bear?  BEAR!  Oh, there you are, where were you?  Oh you found the thingee?  How much?  Show me.  MY GOD!  So expensive?  For something we are only going to use once and can’t keep because we’re moving to India?  This is ridiculous!  That will make our stupid cake worth about $300!!  No way man!  Now what are we going to do?????????

And Poor Bear just stood there staring at me wondering what the heck had happened to me.  Then he pulled me aside and tried desperately to make me focus.  He said…

“Sweety, I don’t know what all you need, you haven’t told me…so why don’t we just focus on the cake and resolve that and then we can make a list and resolve those one at a time?”

NO NO NO NO NO!!!  That is stupid boy logic!  Does NOT compute in female brain!  We have a code red!  Battlestations!  Female mind is about to explode!!!!

Ok, so obviously my brain didn’t explode and obviously I did see the logic in what he was saying…but not at first.  At first, I was so frazzled and hopeless that I just wanted to wallow somewhere dark and safe where there were no wedding plans happening.

But then Bear hugged me and smiled and plucked my chin up and said “Sweety, take a deep breath, we’ve made it this far…we’ll finish it.  Don’t worry.”

Have I mentioned lately how very much I love this man?

So, we left and decided to stop at Ralph’s to see if THEY do wedding cakes.  And while we were there, I told the girl about my concern over not having a cake cutter person and having 60 some people to feed cake to.  She suggested cupcakes.  She said, why not do a Bride and Groom Cake and then do cupcakes to match that?  We can even do it in your wedding colors and everything would only cost about $80 including the cupcake platter thingee.

Did I mention that I love that bakery lady at Ralph’s?

So, let them eat cupcake is my new slogan.

However, Bear’s is now “I’m marrying a new age Bridezilla.”

😛

Wisdom of the Day:  Hire a wedding planner no matter what your budget.  Even if it’s just a friend, pay her to help you otherwise you are going to go completely insane.

Below see the Idea for the Wedding Cupcake.

cupcake-wedding-cakes02

PS: After reading this blog, Bear asked me to add this one thing “Bear is wondering where his hairs are going”.  Personally I don’t see any bald spots.  Ok ok, so maybe a few but he’s young, it’ll grow back.  LOL  🙂

Bhabhi does it again…

A quick update to my earlier post….

Bhabhi understood my stress and tension about the name change and has been thinking over the weekend about what could be done.

And she came up with the best answer and one I should have seen for myself.  She said that my first letter to them impressed them greatly.  They were happy to see how well I expressed my own opinions while being respectful of theirs.  They liked my values.  They liked me better after reading that first email.  So Bhabhi’s solution was for me to write another one to them explaining everything that I explained to you all in this blog.

And I did.  And I sent it about an hour and a half ago.

Forty minutes ago, Bear got an email from his father (addressed to both of us and using the name “Aurora”) wishing us great joy and warmest blessings on our marriage.  Baba (Marathi for father) went on to say how they wished they could attend our marriage but as they could not be here physically, they were here for us in spirit.  They sent their love and all the family’s approval and signed off.

OH JOY!

Can you say Incandescantly Happy boys and girls????????  I knew you could!  🙂

The Name Game…

hello-my-name-isWonderful news!  His parents have accepted our marriage!

But wait!  There’s more!

Apparently, his mother will only accept it if I follow family tradition and change my first name upon marrying Bear!  😦

Apparently, some families in Maharashtra follow this tradition/custom.  Bear’s family is one of those.

Bear and I had discussed this possibility a long time back when I first heard of it from another source and asked him if his family also follow this tradition.  He had said yes, but that it wasn’t compulsory for me to do so.

Nevertheless, I contemplated it.

The name he had chosen for me should I accept the change was a beautiful one and somewhat sounded like my real name (or my American one).

But my father, of whom I am deeply attached, gave me my name.  He had argued with my mother for days in order to win this particular battle…and he got his wish.  I was given the name he had chosen for me long before he even knew there was a me to name.

My father has been my saving grace over the years.  The one I went to for advice on all things (boys, makeup, and math).  I felt closer to my father than I ever did my mother.  My father was my knight in shining armor.  Always there to fight my battles when I couldn’t do it for myself.  My champion of light.  My father is truly one of the best men in my eyes…and I just couldn’t give up the name he had given to me.  It would destroy him.

You see, when I was younger I hated my first name.  It’s very old fashioned, especially during my youth.  I got picked on A LOT for it.  So I once asked him if I could change it.  He became very serious, his eyes misted up a little bit and he told me how much he loved my name and asked me if I knew it’s meaning.  I said no.  “Worthy of Love”….was his reply.  He told me how he had wanted that name for as long as he could remember and how much my name fitted me.  He said that someday, I would see how beautiful it really was and how true its meaning could be.  And he was right.  That day did come and I loved my name as much as he did.  Even if it took me growing up to see it.

And when I told him that I would be moving to India to be with my soon to be husband, he again became emotional and with tears in his voice, he said “I want you to be happy with all my heart, but I’m so afraid we will only see each other a few times before I die if you move so far away”.  I knew, without him saying anything else, how much my decision to live in India with Bear was hurting my father.  How scared he was.  And I saw how much he was giving up to let me go.  To let me go and live the life he helped give.

It’s because of these things that I know without asking, how very much my giving up my name would hurt my father.

And so I told Bear that I couldn’t do this.  That I thought about it and the reasons why I felt I couldn’t change my name once we were married.  Even though I liked the name he chose for me very much.  I explained that I would be “Aurora” in my heart forever.

And Bear agreed.  He said he had fallen in love with “Aurora” and wouldn’t want that to change if I did not wish it to.

And now this.

JUST when you think you’ve won the war, a new little skirmish comes up to kick you in the pants!

Except this was a big skirmish and I know it’s important to his family for me to do this “one thing” for them.  The only thing that they are asking for.  And they have been very sure to point that out.  That’s it’s the only thing that are asking for from me.

Can we say Guilt Trip boys and girls?  I knew you could.

But you know what?  No matter what, I know what is right.  I know what my value’s are.  And I know I made the right decision.  So I stand by it.  I will not change my name legally.  So I told them that they could all call me by this new name that Bear has chosen, that they can even introduce me to THEIR friends by this new name, but legally and to my friends and family I will remain “Aurora”.

Mom and Dad were NOT pleased with this.  And they relayed this information through Bear and Bhau (means brother in Hindi – in this case it’s Bear’s brother).

So I told all of my feelings to Bhau and to Bhabhi.  And they understand and agreed that this is fair, my wanting to keep it legally and allowing family to call me by the new name.  So they are once again stepping in for me and speaking to the parents to try to make them understand that I am not disrespecting the family by refusing, I am showing my respect for my family while still trying to respect his.

Let’s all pray that they can understand this and agree.

The other good news is that now Bhau will be coming to the wedding.  Bhabhi cannot because she just had a child.  This makes me sad.  I want to meet the woman who made things so much better for us all.  I want her to be there for this.  But we will have Bhau and through him….Bhabhi.

The countdown is on now people.  Let’s see just how sane I can remain!

You’re in the midst of a war…

Milgrain design wedding band

Milgrain design wedding band

I finally get a few moments to write another quick blog to update you all on the progress of the Wedding.

You’re in the midst of a war: a battle between the limits of a crowd seeking the surrender of your dreams, and the power of your true vision to create and contribute. It is a fight between those who will tell you what you cannot do, and that part of you that knows / and has always known / that we are more than our environment; and that a dream, backed by an unrelenting will to attain it, is truly a reality with an imminent arrival.”   Anthony Robbins quotes

Ok, so I’m not much for the self helper types but this quote by Anthony Robbins perfectly fits with my present situation.

So does…

“All hands on deck!  Battle stations!  Mr. Chekov, all power to front deflector fields!”

Eh…I’m a techie nerd.

So, here’s the skinny.

Sunday, Bear and I finally got a chance to go and get our wedding rings.  We found the perfect set at Robbins Brothers.  I can’t post a picture of them here as they are still at the store being sized and engraved.  We chose yellow gold comfort fit bands.  Mine is plain and his has the milgrain design on the top and bottom of the ring (I liked the milgrain design but it didn’t look nice on my hand while it looked perfect on his).  The rings are wide enough to allow us to insert diamonds later, which we will do on our first year anniversary.  It made me so happy to complete that stage of our wedding journey!

After that, we went to Mandir (which is a Hindu Temple in Irvine) and offered our wedding invitation to Lord Ganesha (he is the Hindu God with the Elephant head, read more about him at the link).  Ganesha is the God who is known best as the Remover of all Obstacles and in the Hindu religion he is the one prayed to before starting any important ceremony.  We also spoke with the Pundit there about the issue of our marriage occurring during what is generally to be considered an inauspicious time frame.  Hindu’s do not generally marry during the months of July, August and September.  The Pundit checked and found that between the hours of 9am and 12pm on August 9th (the day of our wedding, and the exact time no less) it was an auspicious time and that if the Jai Mala (the exchange of garlands) was performed before 10:30am it was even better.

Because we are marrying with Arya Samaj and their belief was that every day was a good day because God created every day…they were more than happy to work with whatever we needed.  So, Sunday evening we went for temple with Arya Samaj and after services we spoke with the elders and the Pundit of Arya Samaj and planned the wedding with them.  They were able to help us decide where best to set up everything and which ceremony should be performed and who in the family could help perform it.  I’ll write on the actual ceremony and the services we will be doing in another blog.

And then Sunday night, on our way home, Bear got an email on his Blackberry….from his father….addressed to us both.  Finally I was being recognized by the family!!

Upon reaching home, I found that he had also cc’ed me at my personal email address.  So I set down to read it.  And read it.  And read it.  It was quite long.  It also said all the same things that they’ve been saying all along.  He listed all the reasons why I should not go through with marrying their son.  Except this time he was more specific.  And it was because of his specifics that I realized that they truly do not know anything about who I am as a person or what I know of their culture.  Even though in the early days Bear told them all of the things they questioned.  I know he did because I was there for nearly every conversation and we would discuss it before hand and afterwards.  What to say and not say that sort of thing.  And yet still I find that they were not listening.  Which, to be quite honest, is perfectly normal.  If you are listening to something that you don’t want to hear, you do not absorb it.  That is human nature.

So I took a full day to consider how I wanted to respond to them.  This was my opportunity to let them know who their future daughter in law was.  The problem was how to do it.  Do I write an email the way I normally would write to anyone older to me in the US?  Or do I tone it down?  Or do I write the way I would write to my Grandparents generation?  What to do?  I’m generally a very open and decided person when I write.  I speak the truth, I sometimes deflect it a bit, soften it if you will, by giving examples but the truth is still there and still powerful.  Could I do that with them?  Could I write something that essentially would be pointing to them the truth while still being respectful?

I found that I could and did.

I wrote what amounted to a five page email.  I answered all their questions.  I explained pieces of who I am as a person.  What I know of the Indian Culture.  What I know I will have to face in the future.  What I intend to do about problems or issues that may arise due to our differences and life living in India.  I told the truth.  Never once did I point a finger at them, or accuse them, or tell them “Hey, this wouldn’t be such a huge issue if you had listened a little more carefully previously or been a little more open”.

But I wanted to write that sentence.  Ohhhhhh how I wanted to write some version of that sentence.  Because that is also the truth.  But I feel that in some small way, I did point that out by expressing myself the way that I did.  Here is an excerpt from that letter….

When his father questioned me on my decision to marry Bear, I answered that it was a joint decision not mine alone.  When he further questioned me on people accepting me, I answered with this….

” My father once told me that I must be responsible for every action or non action I take in life.  It was because of his guidance and that of the elders in my family and our community that I learned that my decisions will affect more than just myself.  I was also taught that one can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.  The great difficulty is knowing when and where to draw the line.”

Thank you Abraham Lincoln.  😉

They also requested me, again, to end this relationship.  That they were concerned for my future as well as Bear’s.  That they were willing to speak to my parents on my behalf to explain to them the issues I would face so that everyone would understand why we were no longer marrying.

And I responded with this…

“I wish I could tell you that I will make all your fears and pains go away by not marrying “Bear”, but I cannot do that.  I made a promise to your son and a promise to God to be with him always.  I never break my promises and because of this I never give them lightly.  I hope that you can understand and respect that.”

I further went on to ask them one favor, to please give me a chance.  To get to know me, the person that I am and see if having me as a daughter would be as bad as what they believed.  I asked them to trust that their son’s decision to give me as a daughter to them was a good one.  I asked them to open their hearts to me and let me show them how much I could love, care for and protect them.

And once I had read my letter to Bear and he also felt that I had said nothing disrespectful or hurtful to his family (because I wanted his opinion on that), I sent that email off.

And so now I wait.  To see if they respond again or if they contact Bear.  I don’t know what the future holds.  I know that the percentages say that they will eventually come around…after the marriage.  It’s a shame…I wish they could be a part of this day.  I know that Bear wants it with all of his heart and this is hurting him, his family’s distrust of his values, morals and intellect.

But I’m doing everything I can to protect him too.  I keep reminding him that it’s not truly that they distrust him, it’s that they distrust the situation.

Hopefully someday very soon, they no longer will be sad and hurt to have me as their daughter.  Hopefully someday very soon, I can call myself lucky to have such a large family by including his into it.

Until that day comes, I wait.

Now I’m off to address wedding invitations.  YAY for me!