The Australian mother-of-two had put months of planning into her wedding day in her home town. So when the bride realized the bespoke wedding cake she had ordered from a local firm wasn’t there her heart dropped. But two wedding guests weren’t about to let a little thing like that spoil the happy couple’s big day. And their solution was wonderfully resourceful and just right.
Jade Neil is a 27-year-old beauty salon owner from Townsville in Queensland, Australia, with a truly heart-warming story. It all started on her wedding day in October 2016, when disaster struck. No, she wasn’t jilted at the altar; her husband-to-be was present and correct – but something else was definitely missing.
The ceremony was scheduled for 1:00 p.m., so the bride-to-be had time to do a quick pass of the reception venue beforehand. But when Neil did her quick walk around to check that everything was in place and as perfect as it could be, there was something in particular that caught her eye. Or rather, it was something that didn’t catch her eye.
Neil noticed that the only thing that wasn’t in place was the wedding cake, but at the time she thought nothing of it. She had bigger things to worry about such a short time before taking her wedding vows. She dismissed the abscence, thinking she had ordered from a reputable firm so the cake must have been on its way.
Then it was showtime, and Neil married her fiancé, Rohan, in a lovely “rustic country-themed” ceremony. After all the formalities were over it was time for the celebration party. The newlyweds sent all their guests on ahead to the reception venue, while they had their all-important wedding photographs taken.
It was only when the newlyweds arrived at the reception venue at 6.30 p.m. that they were given the bad news. The wedding cake had not made it to the party. And the worst part is that when venue staff had called the cake company to enquire, the business claimed to have no record of Neil’s order ever having been placed.
The brand-new Mrs. Neil just could not understand how this had happened. She had called the cakemakers just a few weeks before the wedding to clarify some final touches. In addition, she had parted with AUS$500 for the order. For a three-tiered cake that never even turned up for her special day.
Not only was Neil furious at the no-show, but she was also incredibly disappointed. She was really looking forward to the indulgence of some cake on her wedding day, knowing she wouldn’t be able to drink any champagne. Neil had received the happy news that she was pregnant with her second child just a few weeks beforehand.
? The bride was forced to forget about the absent cake and try and enjoy the celebration as best she could. This despite the wedding cake being a hugely symbolic element. Now she had nothing to cut with Rohan; they had nothing to share out among their guests. But those close to Neil could tell how disappointed she was, and two of them cooked up a plan to save the day.
With Neil in the dark Rohan’s sister, Candice, along with a close friend of the family, Aunty May, had made a sneaky escape from the wedding party earlier on in the day. As soon as the two of them heard that the wedding cake hadn’t arrived, the pair of them hotfooted it to the local Woolworths supermarket in Townsville.
Once they were there, Candice and May quickly got their creative-thinking caps on. The pair then raced around the supermarket aisles, buying all the elements they needed to give the bride the cake she deserved. The two women bought three ready-made “mud” cakes for AUS$6 each, some icing, fresh flowers and a board to display their finished creation on.
With the shopping expedition a success they raced back to the wedding party, where the bride was still none the wiser. When the starters arrived for the wedding meal, the crafty Candice and May ate their food up double-quick before slopping off to assemble their makeshift centerpiece.
They began by stacking the three cakes of top of one another to form the traditional three tiers. Next they smothered the cakes in icing, before placing a hessian cutlery holder around their creation as a finishing touch. It looked amazing for a last-minute replacement, and the hessian detail meant that it fit in perfectly with the wedding’s rustic theme.
When Candice and May’s impromptu wedding cake was finally revealed to the assembled wedding party, Neil was stunned. “They did amazing,” she told BuzzFeed in July 2017 about her two friends and their thoughtful gesture. “I love Woolies mud cake, but what Aussie doesn’t?” she joked.
Certainly all her wedding guests seemed to share this sentiment. “There were hardly any leftovers,” Neil later recalled to U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail when it picked up on the story after Neil posted it to social media on July 12, 2017. One guest in particular loved it perhaps a bit too much. “I believe one bridesmaid actually had three or four slices it was that good,” Neil explained.
Neil took to the internet – more specifically the Woolies Facebook page – to tell the world what had happened at her wedding some nine months before. She shared a photograph of her gorgeous cake and encouraged anyone planning a cost-effective wedding to take inspiration from it. The internet loved the post.
The Facebook entry – which Woolworths headed “Wedding cake goals!” – garnered more than 19,000 likes and almost 500 shares in a very short space of time. People all over the world were very impressed with the cake, and some people even commented that they would plan on doing the same thing for their own weddings.
Many people online expressed admiration for Candice and May’s alternative wedding cake, while others shared photographs of their own DIY masterpieces. It appears plenty of other creatives have tried their hand at sprucing up Woolies cakes for all sorts of occasions.
Neil had originally planned on saving the top tier of her wedding cake for her and Rohan’s first anniversary, but sadly it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, she is determined to see the silver lining in even this cloud. “On the plus side, I can get a fresh anniversary cake every year from Woolworths,” she laughed to BuzzFeed.
What about the original cake? Well the local firm rightfully offered Neil an apology and a refund for the non-existent item. And when Woolies heard the story it offered her another cake as a small, belated wedding gift. So perhaps this story goes to show that no matter how well you plan, you can never control everything. And that sometimes tiers can make you happy.