Broke-Ass Category: Caterers & Cake Vendors

1/9

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As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve planned to make my own wedding cake. I realize this is not an easy undertaking, and have been warned by multiple friends that this could add additional stress to my wedding day. DIYing is awesome, but making a cake is something you have to do basically the day before and can end in multiple disasters. However, I am a huge baking geek. I love coming up with new and exciting recipes. For me, baking is my “thing.” It’s my creative outlet. It relaxes me, so hopefully that will offset the additional stress. For me to make something beautiful and unique all on my own for my wedding day, something I can share with my husband and my closest loved ones … it’s just very meaningful.

While my self-taught cake decorating skills are still a work in progress, I feel like by then I might be able to make something pretty damn good. My freehand buttercream isn’t too bad, as seen below in last year’s Easter cake:

Holly's DIY easter cake

And my creativity and punniness is on point, as seen in Evan’s last birthday cake (if you can’t tell, it’s supposed to be shaped like a pint):

Holly's DIY birthday cake for her fiance

I know it’s not on par with something a professional would do … yet. So, I did what any grown-ass woman would do with a goal: I took a class!

Here’s the Disney-princess themed cupcakes I made after my first class (with fondant):

Holly's disney princess cupcakes

Not bad, right?

Since then, I’ve been practicing and watching online tutorials as well and have invested in some good quality tools and gear such as a cake turntable. My plan will be to bake the layers a few days before the wedding, freeze them and then do the assembling and baking on-site the day before. I won’t put pressure on myself to do anything too crazy extravagant, but something I can be proud of. Plus, my fiance has eaten every baking success and disaster that has happened so far in our relationship and no matter how badly I fail, he insists it still tastes good. So long we can still shove it in each other’s mouths, I’m happy.

  • 12/6

    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing? #no If Russel had ruined my very beautiful and very expensive makeup by smearing cake and icing all over my face, we would have been talking annulment. Okay, not really. But I would have been mad. Luckily, Russel likes to get things done with as little fanfare as possible, so smashing was never an issue. What I really wanted the cake for was the whole save-the-top-layer-and-eat-it-on-your-anniversary thing. What can I say? I am a sucker for certain traditions. It’s the same reason we went with traditional wedding vows. I digress.

    I probably procrastinated a little too long on the cake thing. I knew I was getting something small and simple, so I wasn’t very on top of it. Kind of a mistake. My first choice bakery didn’t have any openings. Boo. Luckily, my next choice had a cancellation, and I was all too happy to step right in. They are actually known for being a cupcake shop, which made our tasting pretty awesome. We got to pick out full size cupcakes and chow down. In the end, we decided that the whole cake would be Death By Chocolate. So, we sampled like 12 flavors, and that’s what we picked — lol. Boring. But also delicious. We got the smallest cake possible, which was two tiny little layers — one for the wedding, and one to save. I wanted one layer covered in colorful sprinkles, and one plain white. If I am honest, I never really stressed about my cake, but I was SO happy with how it turned out.

    cake

    Photo by Jenni Bella Photography

    The hot pink, glittery Best Day Ever was perfect, and my mom handmade the bunting topper at midnight on Friday because I couldn’t find the one I bought. She is a queen. To me, it all screamed fun carnival, and it was $150 total. Yay! One cake tip: line up your baker before I did. Like ASAP.

    Candy. Candy, candy, candy. Candy buffets are boring. Can we all agree on that? Don’t get me wrong … I love them. I love candy. It is delicious and I want to eat it all the time. But candy buffets are pretty common at weddings. When you’re going all out on a carnival theme, doing something so “normal” seems weird. But when we considered the fact that we had no wedding favors, the more we kept coming back to the candy idea. Favors are so hit or miss, IMO. I have been to weddings where they are awesome: little bottles of wine at the dinner table? Yes, please. A lavender colored coaster with your name and wedding date? Eh, not so much. So yeah. I wanted something people would enjoy and I wanted it to fit in with our theme. Candy and carnivals really do go hand in hand, so I eventually got over my hangup, and I am really glad I did. Our buffet was such a hit, and it was cleaned out by the end of the night. I was actually bummed, because I was hoping to have a bunch of leftovers to snack on for weeks. No dice.

    candy

    So …it looks a little like a baby shower. I realize this. But try finding aqua and pink candy. It’s not easy. But other than that, isn’t is cute? And it was yummy! My mom and I started stockpiling candy a few months out. It wasn’t super cheap, but it wasn’t that expensive either. There were a few things I knew I wanted, like Blue Razz Blow Pops (hello, ’90s flashback) and pink Starburst, so I ordered those online. We got a lot of the other stuff at party stores. Reese Cups, Hershey Kisses, Pixie Stix, rock candy, etc. My mom also made caramel apples the Thursday before the wedding, because she wasn’t busy enough. (J/k, she was busy.) Everyone loved them, and all of my friends have requested an apple or two from her annual Christmas batch. As far as containers, I don’t think we bought a single one. We just used stuff we had around our houses. Yes, I had four vintage candy jars at my home. I don’t know, either. But that definitely helped us save a bunch of money, which is the name of the game, right? In the end, we were glad we went the candy favor route. It fit our theme, it was easy, and people loved it. Can’t beat that.

    Did you find any easy, delicious additions to your big day? What did you do?

  • 12/5

    beer

    Well, BABs, we thought we had it all figured out. We found a venue that was cheap, and beautiful, and agreed to allow us to supply our own alcohol without adding corkage. We were pretty happy. The venue had just contracted a local Italian restaurant to provide catering. We contacted the manager to set up a time to meet, and she was lovely. We told…

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    11/30

    20161113_192759

    Aite y’all, so I finished painting about half of the centerpiece bases before I ran out of warm weather to work in. How dare spray paint not be able to dry in weather below 30 degrees right?! Taping off bases After the first coat of white dried, we taped off the tops and the edge above the flaps. I found entire sheets of painters tape…

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    11/22

    food

    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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  • 9/16

    Buffet line

    Credit: Lucky Photographer from Kate & Daniel's Real Wedding One of the decisions that can significantly impact your wedding budget is about how you'll serve your guests. This applies whether you're serving dinner, appetizers, cake and punch, breakfast-for-dinner or any other type of meal. So let's break down some of the options, shall we? Buffet Pros: This is typically a more cost effective option if you want to offer…

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    8/5

    Etsy bomobob ferris wheel carnival photograph

    One of the main requirements that Russel and I had when it came to choosing a venue was the ability to choose any caterer/food option we wanted. There were several reasons for this: 1) You can't have a carnival wedding without fun carnival food and I don't think most traditional caterers are down with all fried everything; 2) We knew that a lot of companies…

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    6/20

    Catering Your Own Wedding Do It on the Cheap with Sam's Club

    Original photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography So you've decided to tackle the wedding food on your own (or a very gracious friend with mad skillz has stepped up to the plate). Go you! It's a great way to save some money and add a very personalized touch ... but it can be a helluva task. Timing, preparation, serving and not to mention cost ... the biggest cost,…

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  • 4/5

    bridal_sash

    Something that we value is shopping local or independent retailers when we’re able. We love supporting the Milwaukee economy and I’ve sort of made it a personal wedding mission. Obviously, most people’s wedding photographers or florists are local, but I thought I’d share a rundown of how we’re supporting local or other independent vendors elsewhere. Dress: While Maggie Sottero is an international designer, I was…

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