Cupcake Wedding Cakes ~sigh~

Cupcake wedding cakes aren’t exactly new. Here is the picture that started the whole trend back in the mid nineties. It was from a real wedding layout in Westchester Weddings. I bet I did some variation on that set up at least a dozen times.

Cupcake Wedding Cake

Cupcake Wedding Cake

Since then every baker worth their sugar has started doing cupcake weddings. They can be kitsch or elegant, fun or restrained but always delicious.

They can also be a budget friendly DIY option if you dress them out yourself and build your own stand.

Just order plain cupcakes in wonderful flavors from a local bakery to pick up the day before your wedding. You can top them with candies or fruit or edible flowers like pansies. If you are feeing industrious, simple sugar flowers can be made in advance to top them. Be sure to allow enough time for set-up on the day of your wedding. The best idea is to have a friend set it up for you just before the ceremony. Give them a picture of what you want it to look like and all they will have to do is set the little goodies on the stand.

Poppy Cupcake, Cherry Cupcake, Beach Cupcake

Escort Card Alternatives

Sometimes I get tired of seeing the same old set-up for escort cards: lovely cards surrounding elaborate floral centerpiece. Why not do something a little different with either the display or the ‘card’ itself.

The first three are cards but displayed in an interesting way.

The next three are unique items used as escort cards and the last three are full on favors. I just think that idea is wicked cool.

All of them are very DIYable. OK, so maybe not that last one is a little trickier than the rest. I promise you it is doable, I did about 100 for a bride once. They were time consuming and tedious, but doable none the less.

Wedding DIY Bonanza

If like me you are a fan of gorgeous wedding DIY, then this is the week for you. Abby over at Style Me Pretty is posting wonderful DIY projects submitted by her reader all week. It’s only Tuesday and there are already several that I love, love love.

My favorite so far is the apothecary jar table numbers.

Apothocary Jar Table Numbers
Apothecary Jar Table Numbers

Here is a tip, see if you can rent the jars before you go out and buy them all. It will save you money and you won’t have to worry about what to do with them when the wedding is over.

Do checkout Abby’s blog and if you are a crafty bride looking for some great DIY projects. Be sure to check out her DIY archives.

Fruit Centerpieces for Flower Friday

I love the way fruit adds to centerpieces. In the fall it gives a feeling of bountiful harvests and in spring a touch of joyous exuberance.
A couple of these are pretty elaborate, and some are simple enough to do it yourself.
Fruit and Candle Centerpiece

Fruit and Candle Centerpiece

Autumn Centerpiece with FruitI

Autumn Centerpiece with Fruit

Spring Centerpiece with Asparagus and Artichokes
Centerpiece with KumQuats and Dahlias

Centerpiece with KumQuats and Dahlias

In all honesty, not much is easier than a footed bowl filled with a variety of seasonal fruit with a few blooms and a couple of leaves tucked in to hide any hole. Sometimes nature at its simplest is all you need.

Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers

Yes you can do your own wedding flowers. Really. That is assuming you are a bit creative, a bit calm and have some helping hands around.

Orange, yellow and red. Gerber daisies, gladiolas and queen anne's lace

Orange, yellow and red. Gerber daisies, gladiolas and queen anne

I am seeing more and more local florists offer crash courses on the “How To” of doing your own wedding flowers. I’m not saying they will teach you enough to be a florist, but they will show you the skills to put together simple bouquets and centerpieces.

The classes are not too terribly expensive if you look at it in light of what you will save on your wedding floral budget. As an added bonus you do get to spent a few hours in the company of other creative brides surrounded by lovely flowers. That can’t be a bad thing.

There are also books available and videos on YouTube and UBloom if you can’t find a class near you. Nothing however can compete with the hands on training you will get from a seasoned floral professional. Add to that, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the florist. This will help out a lot when it comes time to tackle your own wedding.

Why? Well because many of them will also sell you the flowers. Will they be as low cost as the local price club or the internet? No, but, they have access to flowers you will never find at Costco and they will be there to make sure you receive fresh flowers in good shape for you big day. That in itself is well worth the small price difference.

If you think this is a DIY you would like to tackle, graze through the websites of your local floral designers or call the local floral wholesaler to see if they know who is teaching in your area.

DIY Madness

Every now and then I run across a DIY project that makes me nuts. This is one of them. It is a ring bearer’s pillow made of stephanotis. Yes it is beautiful. Yes it will smell fabulous. Yes you CAN do it yourself. Should you? Well let’s take a little look at what they don’t tell you.

First off the let’s look at the flowers themselves. Stephanotis is beautiful alright but they are one of the most fragile flowers out there. They must be handled much differently from other flowers. As cited in the article there are special cotton tipped stems that must be used to keep them fresh. First you remove the natural stems and insert the moistened cotton tipped wires which you then wrap in floral tape. That is not as easy for a novice as it sounds since steph’s will discolor from the slightest touch. A florist knows to only touch them on the back side of the bloom. It’s also very time consuming.

The article calls for 150 to 175 blooms. I checked yesterday and the current wholesale price is $1 per bloom. Unless you have an inside connection to the floral wholesalers they aren’t going to sell to you. That means you will be paying retail, more like $2 per bloom. I’m betting that you aren’t going to find these bad boys at Costco either; so be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.

The second glaring inconsistence in the article is the use of floral foam. Makes sense on the surface but falls apart in reality. Literally. A 6” x 6” x 1” block of floral foam, once soaked will snap in half from its own weight. So now your little 5 year old nephew is carrying a very fragile, heavy, drippy thing that turns brown where ever he touches it. Good times.

Not only have you got a mess on your hands but it’s a mess you didn’t need in the first place. Remember all the work you did to remove the stems and replace them with the cotton tipped wires? Think about this for a minute; if the blooms have no stems how are they possibly going to soak up water from the foam? Besides, wasn’t the whole point of replacing the stems to give each bloom its own water source?

There are a lot of wonderful DIY projects out there; this my friends, isn’t one of them. Save your money and your sanity and find one that you can do in advance. In fact, this one might just be do-able out of silks. Now I’ll bet that is something you never thought you’d hear your Wedding Diva say. I did kind of shudder as I typed it.

The article is in the Aug Sept 2008 issue of Modern Bride, page 178. Sorry guys, but you know I call them as I see them.

DIY Cake Stands

A pet peeve of mine is seeing a beautiful wedding cake sitting on an ugly cake base. Oh come on, you’ve seen it: a board covered in aluminum foil that some poor florist has had to try to hide with greenery. Yuck Oh!

Well not any more! Martha has come to the rescue with a fast easy solution that you can do yourself and just take to your cake designer to use on your cake. You can find all the details here. I do have one caveat: add an additional foot in the canter of the stand. Wedding cakes are very heavy and if that board bows at all it can destroy your cake. Been there done that—been scrambling to find something to support the center of a sterling silver cake stand. Thank God for chefs that love me!

You have just got to love the people at MS Weddings; they come up with the best ideas

Rose Petal Monogram

If you follow the Dish then you know I have had my share of stories about rose petals; good, bad and hysterically funny. Whether it’s keeping my head down while the planner and the church lady argued over their very existence or traipsing through the pouring rain and lightning to collect them off the grass, they seem to be ever present. For some reason when I stage with my friend Vicki I always end up on rose petal detail.

The newest trend I have seen emerging is the rose petal monogram. We always place it at the end of the aisle right in front of where the couple stands to take their vows. With so many couples incorporating a monogram in their décor this is the perfect way to carry the theme into the ceremony site. Make sure it is allowed by your church, temple or synagogue first; see aforementioned church lady; then just go for it. Provide your floral décor team with a copy of your monogram and you should be good to go.

If you are going to DIY this, lay out your monogram in sidewalk chalk (concrete or stone), ribbon (carpet) or corsage pins (grass) first then just start adding petals until your design suits you.

The above monogram was done by Branching Out Event Florists at Gaylord Opryland Hotel.