A tasty way to make every penny work double-time!

Posted by Azure on March 16th, 2009
Special Feature from Forever Photography by Kylene

This post is from my personal experience as a bride, as opposed to being a photographer. But I really think it’s a valuable tip and wanted to share!

My husband and I had a 16-month engagement. This was for a lot of reasons, one of them being that we wanted a long stretch of time to come up with ideas, secure the right vendors, and have the money to pay for everything. One of the smartest things we did was to have our centerpieces do triple duty. Instead of floral arrangements that were pricey and would die within a few days, we had a two-tiered cake on everyone’s table!

At first, we thought it would be really expensive because a lot of bakers still wanted to charge us the traditional $1.50 or so per slice, regardless of the fact that we wanted triple the amount of cake as we had guests. But after some research we found a baker that just charged us a birthday cake price (we paid a bit extra for the main cake that we cut into since that was decorated by a more experienced baker).

So in the end, our cakes served as our centerpieces, dessert, and favors. After we cut the main cake, we had the longest-married couple at each table cut into their cake. The caterers cut up the slices and everyone walked around trying the different flavors. All that was left was put into small cake boxes that we had pre-assembled and labeled with our names and wedding date. Can any of you say that you spent $600 for your cake, centerpieces, and favors? I doubt it!

There are a few other tips you should know before jumping into this endeavor. It took me months to collect seven matching pedestals for the cakes to sit on. They couldn’t be super-expensive because then that would turn my budget-friendly cakes into a pricey ordeal. So I checked at stores like TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods for quite a while until I found 7 pedestals at $12.99 each! They weren’t even all at the same store, but they carry a lot of the same products so I managed to find them.

I also worked the cake flavors into my seating chart. We “named” each table after the cake flavor and put a little sign next to each cake to indicate what that flavor was. At the entrance to our reception we had 2 large chalkboards with the seating chart written out. Each guest was seated by flavor. We made the chalkboards from scratch with plywood, scrolly wooden borders, chalkboard paint, and spray paint to make the borders pink. (I have since passed off the chalkboards and they’ve been used at three other weddings! They just repaint the borders!) One major benefit to the chalkboards was that if we had a last-minute seating issue we could just wipe it off and fix it. No need to print out a new place card!

Another tip is that we had six-foot round table for our guests to sit at instead of a traditional five-foot table. We did this so we could fit 12 people at each table and have fewer tables to put centerpieces on. This worked out fine despite me being worried that a six-foot table would be too big. Our venue didn’t carry this size so we had to order them along with our linens from a specialty vendor.

We also bought some odds and ends from our florist to put on top of each cake. It would have been pricey to have her make toppers for each cake, so she just put together a bucket of cool stuff that was leftover from our bouquets. I think it cost $25 and was really easy to just put a couple roses on the tops or sides of each cake.

We didn’t have a cake on the kids’ table because I was worried they’d destroy it! So instead I made a special centerpiece out of lollipops and coffee beans. My stepdaughter got to “hold court” at her own table and we name it “Rylie’s Lollipop Land” on the chalkboards. All the kids old enough to eat on their own got to sit there. We also had brown paper on the table and crayons tied with ribbon at each kids seat.

I went to bridal websites to get cake inspiration, and chose eight different designs that my baker just translated into our pink and brown color scheme. It was so fun not having to choose just one design and one flavor! We got them all! OneWed is a great source of information to get inspiration and pictures for any detail of your wedding, so start looking!

There is one priceless picture from our wedding incorporating our cakes. If I had known I would have such a great picture I would have gladly paid double for our little cakes.

Labels purchased at: http://www.onlinelabels.com

Cake boxes purchased along with invitations at: http://www.myjeanm.com

Posted in Cakes Food

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