Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Palette of Lavender and Two Turtle Doves

Lue Ellen was so excited about baking Kathleen's wedding cake. Since she had never baked and designed a wedding cake, she needed to do some research. Needless to say, the idea that the assignment had originally given to the master of all wedding cakes - Beŕnerd, Lue Ellen felt the bar was pretty high. She started with her copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. Seeing that there was not much dedicated to wedding cakes in the book, she turned to Amazon. There she found Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes. 'That was is my ticket', Lue Ellen said as she ordered the book and checked 'Priority Overnight' shipping.

Lavinia spent some time looking through floral idea books seeking inspiration for the flowers for Kathleen's wedding. Nothing thrilled her. She so wanted to please Kathleen and design something special for her wedding. Searching for any help, Lavinia found her copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. The book was old and dusty, but it could be her savior. 

Dixie was looking at her list for the wedding. Flowers - she had met with Elegant Flowers, the floral designer, in Mobile. After some discussion, they decided that the color scheme would be shades of violet and purple. As for the bride's bouquet, Dixie had to think about that. She knew that purple was not Kathleen's favorite color, but never mind that. Dixie was sure sitting Kathleen down and showing her how elegant shades of purple and violet made for a most exquisite showing at the event. She needed to keep in mine that purple was the color of royalty.

Her appointment with Beŕnerd was still a week or so away. Dixie had called several times to speak with his assistants, inquiring as to how the proposal for the wedding cake was coming along. 

"Good morning, this is Dixie Quinton from Gallagher. I know I spoke with you yesterday, but I have more information I need to pass on to Beŕnerd." The assistant said he would be happy to write down her information and share it with Beŕnerd later when he came in. "He's not there? I'm surprised, I just assumed that it would take him weeks to work on the design for my daughter's wedding cake." Dixie was sure Beŕnerd understood how much publicity he would get, given the elite of Mobile who would be at the wedding. The assistant assured her that he had made notes and would make sure they got to Beŕnerd. She rang off and the bakers were finally able to get back to work.

Dixie's calls to the La Petit Maison had become frequent, and obnoxious. Given they had caller ID, the assistants rotated answering her calls. There were times when no one had the time or the energy to speak with her. Those times they just let the call go to voice mail.

Meanwhile Kathleen was trying to find a wedding gown that she thought was 'perfect' for her. She wanted simple and elegant but not something that would break the bank. Reading an article in a bride's magazine, she got the great idea to 'rent' a gown. It made perfectly good sense to her, what would she do with a wedding gown after the wedding. She had no plans to reuse it. This also greatly increased the choices of gowns she would have.

Dreading lunch with her mother, she knew it was a command performance. In order to keep it peaceful, Kathleen had suggested they meet for lunch at the Tea Room. Dixie agreed.

Kathleen knew she was walking a tight rope. She needed to show enough interest in the circus to mollify her mother, while knowing all along she would not be at that wedding.

Dixie was all a twitter when she walked into the Tea Room. Kathleen had come early to reduce, as much as she could, the free time her mother would have to talk with everyone about her favorite subject - the wedding. Dixie had stopped at the door to speak with Caroline, no doubt talking about the wedding. Finally Caroline freed herself from Kathleen's mother and Dixie walked over to the table.

Kathleen stood up to give the expected hug and accept the kisses on either cheek from her mother. She had hardly sat down, when Dixie started,"Oh, I am so excited. Wait until you hear what I have gotten done for the wedding."

They both ordered chicken salad. Dixie continued,"I met with the florist in Mobile yesterday. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I engaged their services. Their plans are so much more elegant and fitting than any flowers you would find around here."

"Mama, that is not necessarily true and you don't want anyone to over hear you."

Dixie tilted her head as if that didn't matter and continued. "After much research and help from the florist, I have decided that the color scheme will be purple."

"Purple?" Kathleen exclaimed. But before she could say anymore Dixie was talking. "Now, now, I know purple would not be your first choice . . ."

Kathleen interrupted her, "Mama, you of all people, know I detest the color purple."

"Well, I knew you would have some reticence about it. Honey, it's not really purple per se. It is more a palette of shaded of purple and violet. The same hues, the Governor's daughter used for her wedding last summer." Kathleen sat back in her chair. This was worse than she imagined. Dixie continued,"You have to remember our station in society. This is not just a 'wedding' this THE wedding of the season. People will expect it to be done correctly. And, given the guest list  . . ."

Kathleen interrupted her. "Mama I am not going to have a 'purple' wedding. God knows you probably have planned to have Barney the Dinosaur entertain the children."

Dixie was taken aback, "Children? This is not a proper place for anyone to bring their children. I haven't invited any children and I dare say there is no guest on the list who would think of bringing a child. This is one more reason to have an appropriate guest list."

By this time Grice had brought both of them their luncheon plates and glasses of iced tea. Dixie took a small bite of her salad with a sip of tea. Kathleen took advantage of the break. "Mama, you didn't even tell me you were meeting with the florist. Don't you think that I would have wanted to be there?"

"Oh, that's just silly. You are so busy. And what's a mother for if she cannot plan her daughter's wedding." She put some chicken salad on her fork and looked up. "Also, I have great news from Beŕnerd. He is considering a design with Turtle Doves on the top of the cake."

"Turtle Doves? The last thing I want is plastic birds on top of my wedding cake." 

"Kathleen, now calm down. From your tone of voice, other's in this room may think we are squabbling. And, no, I would never have a plastic anything on top of your wedding cake. Beŕnerd was talking about a pair of live doves," She paused, then added,"in a gilded cage."

"I would expect no less." Replied Kathleen. 

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