Nobody has more reason to enjoy a wedding than Sylvia Weinstock, at 84 still personally delivering cakes that cost thousands, even tens of thousands. Among her clients have been Michael Douglas, Mariah Carey, the Saudi royal family and Donald Trump, whose loyalty card surely has enough punches to qualify him for a freebie. A recent article in The New York Times about the return of luxurious wedding cakes reveals that Ron Ben-Israel, another baker who doesn't skimp, has prepared a $30,000 cake more than once and delivered a 5-foot-high cake (for 550 people) from New York to Palm Beach in a refrigerated truck.
Throwing elaborate weddings has become competitive enough to qualify as an Olympics event. Instead of a "save the date" card, two San Francisco attorneys had a production company rent a helicopter and create a music video with them as flying hip-hop stars. It ended with, "formal invite to follow." Anything short of Taylor Swift showing up at the door to sing the invitation would surely seem chintzy.
For me the highlight of any wedding is the pigs in blankets, which explains the mustard stains on all my dressy clothes. But what makes a wedding memorable is experiencing the love and values of the couple, trusting them, their union, their social consciousness. I am impressed by them and not that the bartender was flown in from Paris. I would be yet more disdainful of those who choose to throw away exorbitant amounts of money on a party except the money might otherwise go to another party: the Republican one.
There are wedding planners, invitation consultants, specialists you can hire for just about everything, but missing from this group are "get real" therapists to point out that the wedding should be about you. That sentiment extends to my choice of gifts, which is why I'm excited each time someone commissions me to design a uniquely personal wedding gift, a vase, picture frame or kitchen caddy with photos of the couple and snippets from their invitation embedded in pique assiette mosaic. We collaborate to honor the newlyweds and commemorate their day. These and others can be seen on my site, www.sybilsage.com.
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