The Salon du Mariage gave me this uneasy feeling that I was walking into the realm of that horrible reality TV show Bridzillas. It is a venue that perhaps useful to some, I found to be an atrocious institution of grotesque commercialization of what should be one of the most special days of your life : your wedding. It seems to merely be a manifestation that the wedding day focus no longer lies upon the union of matrimony or the love between two people, the attention is on every single minute detail that can be primmed, purchased, packed and posted to you, from the toenails of the bride to the napkins on the table to the way you dance with your new spouse. As Kasia Dietz put it, « I found a lot of things that I don’t want at my wedding, there. » And I saw a spectacle that made me swear to never ever make myself or my sweetheart go through that kind of wedding planning torture.
The Salon was full of “bling-bling” and “tappe-à-l’oeil,” ruffles and pink and sparkley things, for each of the stands and products and services.With each one trying to sell you the “best” thing for your wedding that’s better than the rest. You could have blackjack table at your reception…Ooo how cool, or you could have more flower arrangements than you ever thought you needed, you could even get married, sleep in and hold the party at a real château that may cost a year’s salary, or you get personally printed M&M’s (okay well I like this idea)… In fact all of these ideas and products and services ARE wonderful individually and would make a splendid ceremony and celebration. What I felt I was choking on was overload, the checklist of things that one apparently needs in order to have a good wedding, it’s the sheer abundance of it all, and the way vendors would pounce on attendees like vultures, in order to sell them something, ANYTHING! And every vendor’s booth promised the wedding of your dreams. Yuck! It was like choking a piece of candy that I thought I was going to get a lot of pleasure out of but it ended up being waaaay too sweet. And all this without even mentioning the gowns. There were maybe two in the entire salon that I would ever consider wearing, the rest would make any woman look like a pile of Chantilly cream. What is wrong with society these days? There is so much attention on the table settings and bride’s maids dresses and party favors that it seems like people are forgetting what this is all about! It’s about spending a life together. Who is going to really care in ten years if the napkins had your initials embroidered on them, or if you had roses or petunias at your wedding?!? Who!?!?!
But, there was an oasis of authenticity. At their first ever Salon de Mariage, the Sugarpum Cake Shop was THE cake reference of Paris. They hosted a small subdued stand, with simple black walls and a table laden with cake confections and photos of their previous creations. No frou-frous, no ostentatious overdone over-the-top extravagant display… just cake. Just a lady, a schedule and her cake. And she filled up her schedule with brides-to-be for tastings and design sessions, where the bride gets to decide what her cake will be like, because in spite of what everyone is trying to sell women, what they really want is simply a cake, a white dress and a husband who loves her.
Sugarplum does not only make wedding cakes, they make cakes for all occasions in any shape or design. If you have an idea they can make it edible (and delicious). I personally am addicted to their chocolate cake.
The only other stand that I was impressed by was the event planner Jean-Luc Blais stand. It was literally a decorative pièce montée all on its ow. And he of course, commissioned the Sugarplum fairies to make him a cake. So we like him!
If you go this weekend (it ends the 17th of Oct 2010), make sure you stop over to say bonjour to the ladies with the cake… and watch my video posted here to see the progress of their work on the cakes.