Posted on 21 August 2006

Sarah's Wedding Cake

This is the cake that has been my passion for the last week. I gave it my best, and though not perfect and not quite what was requested, I am not displeased with the result. Many praised it before and after it was served. Thank the heavens.

My niece’s wedding on Saturday was one of the most exotic I have ever attended as she chose a man whose family is East Indian and so the festivities had a colourful Eastern twist. Unfortunately I missed the groom’s party on Friday night – as that is the only time, a la Martha Stewart, that a cake can be decorated for maximum freshness – when all the Westerners wore exotic Indian dress and the women danced with candles on their heads, and anyone who desired could have hands and arms painted with Mendhi patterns, and special rites of passage were performed.

The wedding took place in the Roundhouse in Yaletown. The room was decorated with orchids and candles, and larger-than-life, black and white photographs of the bride and groom, Sarah and Rene. Guests, as they entered, were serenaded with sitar and tabla music and then the ceremony – without reference to religion – took place. I listened to the words carefully, as I am prone to do, and I was impressed with their lovingness and sincerity.

My niece, looked like a Jane Austen heroine in a light taupe, strapless gown, with breasts pushed high – sexy and chaste at the same time – with pearls dropping out of her dark hair at the back. She cried and laughed throughout her vows, holding tight to Rene’s hands who was handsome too in his dark suit though his white shoes and pink stripped socks added a roguish edge.

I was surprised that my niece, a modern woman with a career, chose to take her love’s name though she told me that she will be addressed as Ms not Mrs.

The evening was a seamless blending of cultures with music and food to satisfy both tastes. At one point, one dark-skinned woman in an extraordnary silk pleated costume performed two dances and a little later, a troop of men with colourful headdresses and costumes danced with what looked like wooden daggers.

And then everyone danced – women with women, men with men, women in saris, women in western fancy, and men, for the most part, in suits and ties, some with creative touches – and so we spun and swayed and clapped to the music – both Indian and Western – until midnight. The wine and laughter flowed while little girls in fancy party dresses ran and played amid the dancers. Afterwards, we old folk took taxis home and the younger crowd went with Sarah and Rene to their hotel for drinks in the bar.

It has been a crazy week as Gill and I did not have time to catch our breath from travel before being thrown into a whirlwind of celebrations, but I did have moments to become reacquainted with my mother-in-law who was an easy guest and didn’t seem to mind my absorption with cake; and my niece from California, a dark haired beauty, also a writer, a journalist student like Gill, a vegetarian (who fell off the wagon and ate chicken at the wedding feast), who is full of spirit and life. She noted that it is strange to be thrown into a crowd and find many who share the same features, both physical and mental.

And so my niece Sarah is married. There were three other weddings around the Roundhouse Saturday. And I wonder how their marriages will differ from those of my generation. Or if they will differ…

And now, I must tend to practical matters as I will return to France sometime in September, via Toronto to see Gill settled, and then on to Greece for Rob’s sixtieth birthday. I love travel and adventure but still, I would like my world to slow down a little so I can gather my thoughts and dreams.

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