Dec 22, 2010

18. think outside the "cake"

Ah the dessert. Whether you are a sugar queen or not - most would say the cake is an important food detail few overlook. And these days, you in no way have to do the traditional 3 or 4 tiered cake (I mean you can if you want to, they are still awesome looking) but you definitely get super creative with the cake...or forgo it all together and do something alternative.

Personally, I really wanted a Carvel Ice Cream Wedding Cake....but when reality set in of how much extra it would probably cost us...I opted to stay with cake option that was included in our package. A beautiful 3-tiered cake from Clay's Creative Corner Bakery...

Photos by: Lewis Rinaman

The truth is, it was beautiful! The people were super easy to work with and we loved going to our cake tasting. BUT...I'm a bad bride...I cannot recall for my life what the inside flavor was because the only piece I actually ate...was across my face. So perhaps a super fancy over-the-top cake would have been lost on me...but I would have definitely eaten my ice cream cake.

Okay, back to topic.

If you are not one to stick to the norm, there are so many alternatives (or additions, why not?) for dessert for the reception that all guests - and yourself - will definitely include.

But before I go all into that, I must interject one little opinion. Even if you opt to have one of the alternatives in lieu of cake, I think you should still have a little tiny cake (hey, your mother could make it) for you and your finance to do the "cutting of the cake" and then feeding the cake to each other...or smash it. Okay brides before you freak out let me explain. I was hardcore against the smashing cake in the face thing up until about 3 days before the wedding and had a change of heart and was like "what the hell...we might as well" and it turned out to be hysterical. My husband was very careful to not get it in my hair or on my dress and the photos were hilarious. I am definitely glad I changed my mind. Okay done ranting. On to the alternatives...

When deciding what you would like to do, you should consider the following...
  • Season of year the wedding takes place
    • With summer you can do lots of fruit and in the fall you can do lots of things with cranberries and apples ( can even go apple picking...with your mouth)
  • Region of venue
  • Each of your cultural heritages 
    • If you are Italian, you can do a full table of cream-filled cannolis, biscottis and Amaretto cheesecake (mmm that sounds divine)
  • History together as a couple
    • Say your fiance proposed while on vacation at Hershey could do a Hershey Chocolate theme ending with big bars as the favor!

If you are having a summer wedding, there will be plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at your disposal. Found on an Austin Wedding can do a very colorful and refreshing table of fruit and veggies for your guests to munch down on. You can get super creative with the actual choices and make it look very modern in it's design.

If you are interested in doing a candy table, well, there are some fabulous ways to do this as well. If you don't know who Amy Atlas is, you need to go to her site and droll over her amazing designs. Had I found her during my planning I would have easily tossed whatever money she wanted at her to design amazing candy tables like this...

warning: no matter how delicious this looks, do not lick the computer screen

Okay, how awesome is this??

Let's come back down to reality. Do you want to make this happen, but are in a pinch? There are plenty of ways to make an amazing dessert table within a reasonable price. Ask your venue if they have any of the materials you will need to hold and showcase the candy. If not, you have a few options. Figure out the style you want and then go from could be as simple as checking your cabinet to going to your local Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up the plates. Check out these web sites to get all sorts of goodies for your table.

Cupcake stands. Okay so you can't devote a lot of time for the candy tables and cannot hire Amy Atlas (sigh) you have the fabulously creative option of doing a stand with tiers for different cupcakes. There are many benefits from doing name one, say you and fiance wanted 3 different flavors - that would be so expensive if you wanted the 3-tiers of your cake all different. You can do multiple stands - of different sizes and shapes and as many - or as little as you need.

By having some many different options and well, cupcakes to use - you can let loose the creative side via dessert....

With the freedom of the cupcakes, you could really bake them all yourself (if you are that freaking brave) or you can have a specialty cupcake bakery doing them. An average size cupcake runs $3-5/per cupcake and mini-cupcakes can be$1.50-3/per cupcake. So say you wanted to purchase 200 cupcakes at $3 a piece you are looking at around $600 - which isn't completely ridiculous.

Before deciding on anything like this be sure to discuss with your venue or caterer and see what your options are for dessert. You may even be able to change out (at an additional fee) the cake for a cupcake tree.

If you would like to do something like this on your own - first be sure to test out that you can make 200+ cupcakes successfully on your own without killing a bridesmaids! You will also need plenty of time to do this - most recipes on the web (hey, I do wedding planning advice I'm not Martha) recommend a week before because I don't think you're that brave to do it the day prior. You can get the tier stands a lot of places online at reasonable prices...simply "Google" search and you can find tons of web sites selling these; however, I thought I'd breakdown some of the better places to check out. provides a great tips & warnings list for us if you plan to make it yourself...

1 comment:

  1. What does the "M" stand for??? Married???

    Such a stounod. Lol