Wedding nostalgia

Are you a traditionalist when it comes to wedding cake?

image from

He who Cooks and I were married in the 80’s, and we had traditional fruit cake (and big 80’s sleeves).

You are wondering where I am going with this aren’t you? What’s the sewing point? That will come later. But sewing is not really the point (did I really write that?!)

Our wedding cake’s top tier was kept in my mother-in-laws china cabinet. We didn’t cut it on our first anniversary, and then it sort of got forgotten about.

Until now.

26 years on.

Do you think it might still be edible? 26 year old fruit cake??

We thought we’d find out on Friday night. 26 years and two days after the first time we sliced into the bottom tier of this cake.

Do you think we could even cut it?!

(sorry, blurry iPhone photo. It was dark. Apart from some highly amusing video, similarly blurry, and I’ll spare you that, this is our only evidence of these historic moments. Despite the quality, we are very grateful to Ken for capturing the moments)

The icing was very hard. Someone might even have said concrete-like.

It took several attempts, and calls for an axe, but we did finally manage to cut a slice.

And, yes, it was indeed edible. A touch dry, and with a definite aged character, and a rancid note in the pieces close to the marzipan under the royal icing, but edible.

Isn’t the icing bouquet exquisite?


And the sewing part to this story?

I made my wedding dress, and my bridesmaids.

They were simple tea length dresses, but, looking back, I’m impressed with my confidence to attempt this. I did not have much sewing experience.

I knew what I wanted my dress to look like. A block was drafted for the fitted bodice. From hand written notes my friend took when she went to a pattern drafting course. What was I thinking? That this was easy or something??

I used silk taffeta and corded lace: the most expensive fabric I’d ever purchased. They were both delightful to work with.

lace sleeve cuff detail

The crazy eighties sleeves came from Butterick, morphed into leg-o-mutton territory with tulle sleeve headings.

I knew nothing about fit, but to my now more experienced eye, it looks okay, even through the back in this action shot.

And if silk taffeta and coded lace and drafting patterns was not enough for my inexperienced younger self, I also made a camisole and french knickers from silk charmeuse using Simplicity 5549.

The culotte slip (3) could be useful again, now culottes are back in fashion.. 

Our wedding cake was amazingly longlasting.

The marriage is going very well too!

26 thoughts on “Wedding nostalgia

  1. great story, Liz. I married in the 90’s and definitely did not contemplate making my dress (nor did my mother, another sewist). Our first tier was cut at my son’s baptism 4 years later and was still good, that’s impressive your cake (and marriage ) are still going strong!

    1. You were wise, about the dress making and cutting the cake a reasonable time later. I probably would think more than twice now about making a wedding dress. Ignorance was bliss and I was lucky!

  2. You look so beautiful. Congratulations on the success of not only the dress, but your lovely marriage.

  3. What a lovely story. A great marriage and dress. I think sometimes no knowing you can’t do it, gives you the liberty to do it. (If that makes sense… something like Donald Rumsfeld’s known unknowns). I made my sister’s wedding dress in 1988.. knew nothing but had a go and it worked out fine. Your fit looks pretty good! Amazing the cake lasted!

  4. I can’t believe that cake was still edible! What does that say for a good fruitcake recipe? How incredible that you wouldn’t sew your dress now, but, hey, ignorance can be confidence, and your dress was beautifully done. Congratulations all ’round!

    1. Yes, good fruitcake recipe and ideal dry storage conditions ( Adelaide is dry and the room it was stored in has a wood fire for heating in winter, so dry conditions all the time). What would stop me sewing it now would be all the couture techniques I would think I should use. Back then, the back zip just went in like a normal lapped zip, not even an invisible zip, and what was hand picking? Or a row a pearl buttons and loops??

  5. You haven’t changed a bit! Are these the original patterns and you’ve kept them all this time?
    I hope Mrs Mole sees this, she’ll be well impressed, as am I. Lovely story and here’s to next 26 years

  6. I am so impressed with your intrepid sewing and happy marriage. There’s an upside to getting married so young. Working backwards 26 years from today, you must have been a child bride. 😉

  7. I married 25 years ago and recently found half of top tier of my wedding cake in the pantry. It was still edible but didn’t go there. I remember cutting it on my daughters first birthday.

  8. What an absolutely wonderful story – such a heartwarming read. Personally, I think your elegant dress has stood the test of time and looks gorgeous today. Well done you! The highlight has got to be your husband’s face in all the photos though – he certainly looks like the cat that’s got the cream, which is so sweet. Here’s to many more years of happiness for you both.
    (p.s. we had carrot cake for ours (my husband’s favourite). I imagine that would be rank now, 5 years in, let alone 26!)

    1. Thank you. He still acts like the cat with the cream. I am truly blessed.
      I love carrot cake. And I do think that cakes you can eat as dessert are an excellent idea for weddings.

  9. Congrats on 26 years of marriage and wishing you many more. You were a beautiful bride. Amazing dress and when you mentioned the silk undies, I thought what a clever idea.

  10. I love your story. Our wedding cake was stored in my mother in law’s house too, and was enjoyed by an ant colony, much to her dismay. Fortunately the marriage does not seem to have been affected by the lack of longevity of our cake 😉
    Your wedding dress is lovely. Maybe we all work too hard on the fiddly bits of sewing.

  11. Congratulations on all counts – the cake, the dress, and the marriage!! Here’s to more cakes, more made-by-yoy dresses and many more happy years of marriage!

  12. i was married in 1988 and made my own dress and looking back amazed at my tenacity… my DH had a mo at the wedding too. 🙂 My bridesmaid made her own dress as I did when I was bridesmaid at her wedding. Maybe it was simpler times back then.

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