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$50,000 cake wows PV wedding guests


PARADISE VALLEY - Pro golfer Billy Mayfair and his bride, former ASU golfer Tami Proctor, weren't the only couple getting guests' attention at their weekend wedding.

While the 300 guests were scrambling Saturday to snap pictures of the newlyweds, they also couldn't get enough of "Homer Simpson" and his $50,000 date.

Guests were awed by Mayfair and Proctor's elaborately produced dramatic tango performance in sparkling custom outfits, the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa's five-course meal with a tableside choice of gourmet entrees and that other pair in attendance, wedding cakes.

One was a white, ornately British, 10-tier cake with white royal icing decor. It took two months to "bake." The culinary creation was elegantly decorated with imported crystal globes custom made to match the chandeliers hanging in the Montelucia ballroom.

The other, was a 100-pound chocolate delight of more than 40 layers in the likeness of Homer Simpson, one of Mayfair's favorite characters. Not even Homer, or wedding planner Karen Doan of Karen Doan Events is saying how much the second cake, or the entire wedding cost.

Tami, like many brides, wanted her cake to reflect the joy of their union. And for Mayfair, the fancy affair was symbolic of sorts also to celebrate his surviving testicular cancer after his surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea in 2006.

"This guy saved my life," he shouted as he embraced Dr. Gil Brito just before the much anticipated cutting of the cake.

After the bride and groom carefully cut the ceremonial first piece, a pastry chef team, using a 12-foot ladder, dismantled the sweet piece of art.

Julia Baker of Julia Baker Confections is still nursing the blisters on her hand from cutting the cake.

"We didn't begin with a budget of $50,000 for the cake," the confectionary artist said. "It just grew after we sketched several designs and redesigned the Styrofoam models."

Baker says much of the cost is because of the labor and the hours she and a crew of five spent on the smallest of details.

Edible sugar flowers with more than a thousand leaves and petals were painstakingly hand-crafted. Several specialists, including electricians, were hired to light up the crystal globes on the cake with LED lights.

Baker also designed the 55-by-55-inch wooden baseboard with experts from Home Depot. A huge hole in the middle accommodated electrical cords running to the cake lights. Steel legs withstood the cake's weight, which was never exactly determined. The cake magnetlike drew guests with cameras all night. And golfing well-knowns such as John Solheim and family (chairman and CEO of Ping) agreed the entire wedding was more than up to par.


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