A Horseshoe Takes the Cake

In honor of our wedding anniversary this week, I decided to share a wedding story.
When I tell people about the custom-made wedding cake top we had, they have to follow me to the gun cabinet to see it because that’s where it stays now.
I wanted something western looking instead of the standard wedding bells or ceramic figurines of a bride and groom. It would’ve been too difficult to find a ceramic wedding couple cake top that looked like my husband and me anyway. I would’ve been looking for a dark-haired groom with a big mustache, wearing a Stetson cowboy hat and western tie, and a blonde bride wearing cowboy boots. I also wanted a wedding day keepsake that wouldn’t break so we could use it again at our 25th wedding anniversary.
I came up with the idea for our cake top and had my soon-to-be groom make it. In order to do so, he needed a pony-sized horseshoe (one that had never been used, of course). I explained what I wanted (think horseshoe on a stick) and before long he was showing me how our cake top turned out. He welded a metal rod onto a new horseshoe so it could be poked into the top of the cake. The horseshoe seemed appropriate for the occasion since it symbolizes luck and it fit in perfectly with our western ceremony.
After the wedding I stored it away with the guest book, extra programs and cake serving set; not expecting to see any of it for 25 years. Instead, I ended up digging it out after only a few years. My husband came in the house one day while working on a welding project to make our gun cabinet lockable. Our toddler son had become fixated with real guns and my husband and I decided it was time to lock the gun cabinet which meant he had to make it lockable. That’s when my husband asked me if I knew where our cake top was and if he could use it. I didn’t bother to ask questions because I learned early on that he often got his inspiration from the most unlikely sources and his project descriptions usually didn’t make sense to me until I saw the end result. After I dug out the cake top, he disappeared to the shop with it and didn’t return until he was ready to put the new lockable handles on the gun cabinet.
He was very proud of his work and wanted me to see how it turned out. When I saw the new handles, they didn’t look anything like what I envisioned so I asked him about the cake top and he said, “It’s right there.”
He pointed to one of the cabinet door handles and the color drained from my face. I didn’t recognize my cake top in its new form.
His idea needed four horseshoes and he knew the horseshoe on our cake top was the same size for two of the handles. Rather than waiting until he could get another one, he dismantled our wedding keepsake (gasp!) to use instead.
I could hardly complain about it since he made the gun cabinet lockable and put my mind at ease. I should have known though, that if I used a shoe on my cake it was bound to walk off.

column originally published June 7-13, 2009

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