Wedding cakes are absurdly expensive, and often times don’t end up being worth the price, neither visually nor taste-wise. I was inspired to seek creative wedding cake alternatives in reaction to a cake tasting appointment during which my mother and I were presented with a platter of an array of chocolate options. This, you should know, was after I had indicated that I do not like chocolate. I walked away from that ridiculous experience knowing immediately that the traditional wedding cake, stacked high in it’s stilted glory, was not for me.
After exploring the options, we decided that we would instead serve pie.
Pie, that old friend, is closer to my heart anyway.
Pie, to me, embodies southern hospitality.
The price of pie doesn’t lead one to hope that it’ll arrive slathered in gold.
The decision to go with pie was the easy part, how to display them was the real challenge. I saw this as yet another way to step out of the industry’s icing-covered box. I prepared a simple drawing and set out to my parents’ farm to make it happen.
After studying my schematic, my father cut an array of large-diameter cross-sections from the skeleton of a large Oak tree that my grandfather had put down and hauled to their land. These were to be the serving surfaces. With a saw in tow we then marched out into the woods to find the perfect forked tree to serve as the weight-bearing portion.
After some manual labor and experimental carpentry, the pie stand was born.
This adventure was an all-day project, the idea of which my father thought was nothing less than a folly, but was pleased with in the end.
To add a weathered touch to the rustic piece, I stained the freshly cut surfaces with brewed black coffee (my mother’s idea), which I brushed on like paint. In fact, like a maniac, I did a final coat the morning of the wedding in full hair and makeup.
The pie stand’s post-wedding home is in our front yard’s flower bed. Nestled in a patch of ivy, it has a toadstool-esque appearance. While it once served our version of wedding cake, it now serves as whimsical garden decor.
It’ll disintegrate eventually, albeit years from now, but most good things do come to an end.