Phyllis Nefler eats lots of cake, emotionally and otherwise. She's yet to meet her dream cake—which probably comes from B.C. and rhymes with "shmooberry sush"—but it's out there. NYT's Weddings & Celebrations, help us find it.
I went to a wedding earlier this summer where the bride was sort of running around flapping her arms and whining "Everyone eat the cake!" She was practically shooing people off the dance floor. "The cake has been served to your tables! Go sit and eat the cake!"
I went outside instead to have a cigarette and check Twitter, but later asked a friend: "Was the cake any good?" He winced, delicately but conspiratorially. "Ehh ... it was gross."
The wedding cake industry is such a trendy racket at the moment that there are by my count upwards of three different reality shows on television today that take place in cakeries. The shows are transfixing, but they also help to explain why wedding cakes are so uniformly terrible: you know that giant sheet-layer of icing (sometimes it takes four burly men just to hold it up) that they always lay over the cakes at the end that make them all smooth and hairless? That thing is called fondant and it is basically straight sugar-spackle and it has the mouthfeel (love that word) of glue, not that I ever ate glue, but still: it is cloying and sickly and a metaphor for the entire wedding industrial complex as it exists today.
Beyond being expensive and bad, the modern wedding cake brings with it a hidden danger: the disappointing cake topper. "My cake topper didn't reflect us at all," despaired one bride after her wedding had been ruined by a standard issue trinket. "It frustrated me." Honey, it's just a glimpse into how you'll feel about your children one day!
But anyway, there is a solution, and that solution is Etsy, where bored creatives Brooklyn-wide are waiting at the ready to fashion you a customized wedding topper that will capture your unique and carefree approach to matrimony, and also your dog for a small additional fee. Check out the slideshow here. (No word on whether you can commission a solo portrait if you're one of those "right hand ring" kinda girls.)
I guess it could make sense for some people. Frank Luciano III, formerly a professional lacrosse player for the "now-defunct New Jersey Pride" (the jokes write themselves) could be commemorated with a little laxer, clad in Hawaiian print board shorts, a mesh pinnie, a sideways visor, and a little mechanical voice that says "Yo brah, wanna have a toss?"
But if Elisabeth Madden and Wesley Mullen were to have customized toppers made, they would just be golden ampersands rendered in calligraphy. The announcement for those two namechecks all of the following: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Shearman & Sterling; Madden & Warwick; and Davis Polk & Wardwell. The word Harvard stands alone.
First of all, they were married at "their home", which means their home is much nicer than your home. The bride's background is nice — she has the requisite parents who are both emerit(a/us) professors and oh my god I just looked up what emeritus actually means and it basically is a fancy way of saying they are retired. Can I put emerita sailing instructor on my resume? — but it's the groom that takes the (heh heh, heh heh) cake here.
A former intern in the Clinton White House, our groom made the natural progression to basically being the real life version of Casey Novak on SVU. His mom is on the board of the Berkeley Repertory Theater (those board meetings must be fun) and his dad, "a nephew of Ira Gershwin by marriage, is the trustee and executor of Mr. Gershwins musical estate, for which he handles licensing." Whee! I'm sure the nephews of Ira Gershwin by actual blood appreciate all his help on that one!
Here's what you need to know in a nutshell about this week's featured couple, Sheryl Cardozo and Adi Diner. They met at a party in Denver for "Heeb, a Jewish magazine," but were separated by distance: he was from Australia. Still, an opportune blizzard blocked the roads "for days", they talked a lot on the phone, and then they went on a seven week road trip that culminated in both of them weeping in front of some candles at Burning Man, man. Their wedding featured an "Aboriginal patterned huppah". Oh yeah, and the proposal?
"Last October, when Mr. Diner slipped earphones onto Ms. Cardozo, and played a recording of himself singing "Just the Two of Us," the couple became engaged."
To whom it may concern: if you do that to me, I will say no.
Elsewhere this weekend, the 75 year old author of "The Tailgate Cookbook" married the 76 year old author of "Confessions of a Direct Mail Guy"; if they started a Tumblr they could probably get a deal from fellow bride Julia Cheiffetz of blog2book factory HarperStudio! The beautiful gay producer behind Eternal Sunshine married a beautiful gay surgeon in a beautiful gay wedding on a farm in Iowa; the whatever-wave feminist behind Take Your Whatever Gender Children to Your Soul Sucking Place of Employment Day married a New York Times editor; and we learn that journalism is not dead, it's just on assignment overseas.
Onto this week's matchup:
• The wedding took place "in a house owned by Dr. Brust's family that was build by the architect Eliot Noyes, who was the bridegroom's maternal grandfather": +1, and who the hell wrote that sentence?
• Both newlyweds are doctors, she an emergency medicine physician and he an infectious disease specialist: +5
• She graduated from Berkeley and got her medical degree (+1) at UVA: +1
• He graduated magna cum laude (+3) from Columbia (+3), "from which he also received his medical degree" (+4): +10
• Their parents both sound really smart: +2
• The bride is Asian and the groom I think is Jewish: +2
• The bride is of Greenwich and the groom of Naples, FL: +2
• Married by an Episcopal priest: +1
• The bride's father is a former Sotheby's real estate maven and a current trustee of the Greenwich Emergency Medical Service: +3
• The bride attended Columbia and is to attend "the diploma program of Le Cordon Bleu in London": +4, and good strategic move - the better to have dinner on the table!
• The groom graduated from Yale (+3), got an MBA from Harvard (+4), and served in the Navy for five years: +9
• The groom then worked as the COO at FEMA: -3
• The groom's mother is a trustee of one of the Smithsonian museums and the Naples Botanical Gardens, while his dad works for an investment firm based in New York but he chills in an office out of Naples: +4
• The innocent bride is but 23 tender years of age, her beloved is 34 and smarter than us all: +2 and high fives all around the golf club locker room.
TOTAL: 22. Hope Le Cordon Bleu offers advanced degrees in the confectionary arts. It seems to be all the rage.