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Same-Sex Marriage Equality-Yes [Finally] Today; Wedding Toppers Tomorrow?

  • Posted on June 28, 2011 at 1:50 am

At Unity of New York, yesterday there was rejoicing in the aisles, in the congregation, and on stage as Rev. Paul Tenaglia’s moratorium was summarily dispensed with because the vote to allow same sex marriages came back in the affirmative. Rev. Tenaglia emphasized this by having various groups stand up and proclaim their sense of pride, accentuating that we all deserve and now all do have pride in choice of who we can marry. Equality is not equal if all cannot and do not experience the same things, including getting married. Just the night before the news spread like wild fire throughout the city, and probably the state, that the law had been voted on, and marriages could commence 30 days hence or starting on 25 July. Anyone wishing to get married can register as early as 5 July 2011. The vote in the affirmative could not have come at a more propitious time, the start of weekend of the Gay Pride March. I am sure it felt like it was a sign from the heavens, to march with renewed pride and celebration.

What does this mean for New Yorkers? It means that no longer does the Gay Community have to get married in one of the other states to the north of us and live in “sin” or as nonentities, without rights and benefits of being married here in New York. It means also that they will get to experience the same marriage or contractual agreement challenges that other married couples go through during the life of their marriages, now too. But even before that, other things may have to be taken into consideration. A friend of mine suggests this first year may be one of chaos, much like the new cars that come out onto the market (You know, the ones that have come from concept first into new car form). As every straight person who lives together before marriage, can tell anyone—living together and living married are two completely different things. In this first year, relationships that had been going along smoothly, even though there was no marriage available, may go through growing pains now that they can get married, or even break up because they can get married.

The other interesting thing is that I have heard that there is now a scarcity of wedding cake toppers, since the passage of the vote for same-sex marriage, (according to 1010 WINS-7/26/2011) you know those traditional and ‘so-called’ comical cake toppers that often go on top of the wedding cake for the show at the reception. Here’s what I hope will happen to those wedding cake toppers: I hope that whoever manufactures them, now gets real models for each group of people that are being depicted. Have you ever noticed that all of the wedding cake topper figurines only have one or two different faces? There is no real differentiation between a Caucasian, African Diaspora, Asian, or Hispanic figurine. That is other than skin tone and possibly thicker eyebrows for Hispanic and curlier hair for the people of African Diaspora descent. Otherwise all are based on Caucasoid features. In order to have real inclusiveness (within the wedding cake topper) more thought must put into the manufacturing process, as well. Possibly this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but when you look at your cake topper and it looks nothing like you, you begin to wonder who’s wedding is it anyway. Inclusiveness does not mean every one looks alike, acts alike, or even dresses like. It means we are all included at the party, no matter what our differences. That’s really what makes a party fun, don’t you think? I for one, believe that. Now that we’ve gotten the big stuff out of the way, let’s start on the wedding cake toppers.

 

With regard to the wedding cake toppers there are many ways to remedy that challenge. Some I can even tell you about in another blog entry. Some really fun DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects to make your wedding (cake topper) yours and fun.

 

Getting Ready.

  • Posted on June 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

As the day approaches for the event, I have started to do my own taste-testing.  Not from the wedding cake bakers in the running though, just random bakers.  What I found interesting though is that my stomach knows right away what is good and not to ever approach again.  I think I told you about the upcoming video in which I am tasting cake.  Well the props, (yes they were real) were from the fabulous Carrot Top.  Neither cake was a wedding cake, but oooooh, they were good.

The other day, I was in the mood for more cake, but not anywhere near Carrot Top, so I went to a random bakery nearby and had what I had hoped would be a chocolate cake.  Alas, it was possibly pound cake covered with chocolate frosting and topped with sprinkles.  It was good, not fabulous, but my stomach was not pleased in the least.  The moral of the story is, even though it’s cake and covered in chocolate, doesn’t mean that it will be good all the way through.

Cakes, Cupcakes, & Frosting: Being Within A Trend

  • Posted on June 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

It’s seems I am within a trend.  That is when it comes to cakes, frosting, and even cupcakes.  Did you see the NY Times article “Viewers Still Drool For Frosting Fantasies“?  It is quite an interesting article about how many television show events/competitions there are on television now, pertaining to the cake.  When I say the cake, I mean the full size and the mini or cupcake.  Plus, evidently there are more bakery business openings these days than regular restaurants.  It seems the price point for start-up costs and success rate is much easier and greater with a bakery than with restaurants.  Too many moving parts to be handled in the restaurant than for a bakery.  Think of both of those this way:  The restaurant is like the general practice doctor  vs.  (baker) the specialist.  The bakery can then of course specialize further to either, just cookies or just cupcakes, or even just cakes (and possibly pies).  Wedding Cake Taste-Off At Riverside Church video.

Now you’re wondering why, do I think I am within a trend?  Right?  Well, because of the Wedding Cake Taste-Off, which is being held on Sunday, 10 July from 2 pm to 5:30 at The Riverside Church of New York, 91 Claremont Avenue.  What is that?  It’s a chance for brides to taste baker’s cakes while voting on the best, plus one bride has the chance to sit on the judges panel.  A few of the judges include, Gail Watson of A Simple Cake and Loren Brill of SweetLorens.  It’s going to be a lot of fun, but how could it not, when it involves cake?  Plus, I’ll be there with my new book and giving away selections from the book:  New York City Budget Weddings, Elegant and Affordable.

Besides the cakes, cupcakes, and frosting trends, there are also contests to figure out who and what the best bake good is in both look and taste.  So see I am in the midst of the trend.  We’ll have cake, frosting, judges, and a book.  Unlike a lot of the television programs, as stated in the article by Ms. Alexandra Stanley in The NY Times, the Wedding Cake Taste-Off will have great tasting cakes.  That’s the whole point after all.  Ms. Stanley goes on to say that most times the television cakes are sights to behold, but not good to eat.  The Wedding Cake Taste-Off will have both, since real people want both.

Behind the Scenes Scoop – Part 3

  • Posted on June 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

To say that I am excited is an understatement. There are still a number of things to get done in the next three weeks. One is to find a champagne sponsor/vendor. I am looking for a New York State champagne vendor first, but may open that up a bit, as long as the champagne tastes good and is within the bride’s budget.  fortunately I have a couple of people working on this with me.  I am confident by midweek that will be in place as well.  If given the opportunity I will probably enlist those same people to do the taste-test of the champagne, since I am definitely not a connoisseur. Or maybe I should use my tongue after all. Mmmh.  Maybe I could do a taste-test with one from one of the guest judges’ establishments, plus the champagne and make a decision. What do you think?

All in all, I am in the middle of the end and it is still fun. Much like when I was writing my book and dreaming (literally) about what would be written next, I am being awakened during the night or early morning to get up and write, I ‘ve started awakening knowing what I am supposed to do during the day in relation to the upcoming event. Whether it is to help the event along toward its success by securing both cake bakers/designers [In Process] and the judging panel [DONE] or making the aspect of the brides attendance fun and exciting [DONE]. That’s the hunt for me, a lot like the hunt of our wedding on a budget, the writing and finishing of my book. It is a fun excursion, that I do like. I hope you will reap some of the benefits of my hunt.

Things to look forward to in the next 3 weeks, a video about the event and the book-from yours truly, my book: New York City Budget Weddings: Elegant and Affordable‘s soft launch during the event at Riverside Church on Sunday, 10 July 2011 in the Assembly Hall. There will be lots of chances for brides to walk away with a copy of selections from the book. The name of the event is Wedding Cake Taste-Off and interested bakers can now go to the website: www.weddingcaketasteoff.com to get more information, rules.  Brides can sign up via email: cpearson@budgetweddingsnyc.com or calling to: 866 675 9994.   I hope you all can come. It is going to be a lot of fun for all of us all.

 

Day of Event Flyer

 

Wedding Cake Taste-Off Author’s Fitting

  • Posted on June 17, 2011 at 1:32 am

 

Today was all about me. Don’t you just want that sometime? To have a day when it’s about stuff you either have to or want to get done. Well, that was what today was all about.

Here’s what my day’s plan was:

  1. Videotape invitation to Brides for Wedding Cake Taste-Off and talk about my book.
  2. Dress fitting with Ms. Rose Jeffries of Rose Loves Fashion
  3. Call my co-Sponsor; Ms. Angela Gregory, Weddings at Riverside
  4. Make some calls
  5. Home to write.

 

Did I get all of that done? Absolutely. Was it as quick as it took you to read it? Absolutely, not. First off, I forgot to turn my phone off last night and someone called and awakened me around one am. Not fun, especially since I then did not go right back to sleep. My time to awaken was scheduled for 7:20 am. I did, but also heard someone hit the bathroom, as I was about to and so lay down for a minute. Not wise, I reawakened an hour later. Called ahead to my fitting to let Ms. Jefferies know I’d meet her an hour later than prescribed. Met with the videographer, picked up some luscious cake and off we went to just in front of Riverside Cake, to shoot.

Aerial View

I think she (Videographer) got some awesome footage, plus it was not hard to eat the cake either. Yummy! When you see the footage, I am sure you will agree. Video tapings being what they are, we ran over by 45 minutes. So now I am an additional hour late for my fitting. Plus, I had to dash down to the Garment District to meet her.

At the fitting, ladies, unless you sew (which I don’t) and of course after you have already approved of the design, and interjected your opinion on draping or comments about the spots where you might be uncomfortable (which I did), shut up. I added my two cents and nearly torpedoed the top. I’d put my head into the wrong opening and thought I was correct, which meant all the measurements were wrong. Not! Rose and her team soon discovered my mistake and pinning commenced quite efficiently after that. As you may know designers do the first fitting in muslin, so pulling out the muslin, would have been a lot of wasted work in this case, but not horrifying. I see now why doing a gauge in needlecraft is SO important. (I crochet.) The fabric and the drape is going to be luscious. I cannot wait for you to see it. THANK you Rose for your patience and talent. It is going to be fabulous.

Designer to Author for Wedding Cake Taste-Off

I had to go shoe perusing for a hot minute (Didn’t find a thing I liked, but I was in Midtown, anyway.), and then bead perusing as well. Got some ideas on a potential fun, but elegant necklace. What I find, for me, is after a bit of creativeness in another genre, I am ready to come home and do some serious writing. It’s kind of like oiling the pump. [You’ll find I am not very good at cliches.] Oh, and I made my phone calls in Bryant Park. Very soothing and just what I needed to get more work done. I now have a night of writing ahead of me and I am raring to go. WooHoo!

 

A waste of time?

  • Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:44 am

Due to something I ate yesterday, my sometimes delicate stomach rose up in protest into the night/morning last evening, right after choir rehearsal.  Needless to say, the things I had prescribed to get done both last night and this morning in relation to the Wedding Cake Taste-Off event were not gotten to.  Spiritually, I suppose, one could say, I was forcing myself to rest.  Or at least to stay home and get a lot of reading done.  Theoretically, that is what happened.

I have so much to do, but today it was not to be done for the Wedding Cake Taste-Off event in July.  I am still in search of a champagne sponsor who will do the champagne service for the invited guests.  I did take a look again at my press release and tighten it a bit.

My editor came over yesterday and gave me marketing tips but not the final edits.  That’s frustrating, although the tips were quite wonderful, but I want to see the final edits so I can put them in and then send them off to the last person to read it BEfore the event.  Way before the event, I hope so that the book can go to print.  Of course, the cover design is not finished as yet either, so I shouldn’t fret anyway, right? The designer and I had a discussion about that and the eBook design, which is not to be done by the same person.  So . . .?  What about that flyer though for the event? [Pretty cool, I think.]  The designer captured exactly what I’d detailed.  That wonderful designer, is Fouzia Eldrissi’s (http://www.mybridalbudget.com/) website designer (http://www.jjkodesign.com/).  [Jjkodesign is having a contest for small businesses, you might want to check it out].  Ms. Eldrissi will be at the event on 10 July and she is interviewed in my new book.  She is a delight.

If I re-cap my week, actually it has been quite fulfilling really and it might even seem as if I deserved to rest.  I had a meeting with Angela Gregory the wedding coordinator of The Riverside Church, which is the (sponsoring venue) this week with regards to the planning and how things are shaping up.  I’ve spoken, (texted actually) the fabulous Rose Jeffries [http://www.facebook.com/rose.jeffries] who is designing my outfit for the event.  Researched and acquired the bags that the goodies will go in, researched both California and upstate New York vintners, set-up both the http://weddingcaketasteoff.com website, it’s content, prize structure, bakers rules and added content to http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-City-Weddings-Elegant-and-Affordable/208669362484628 Like Page . . . actually it goes on and on.  Really, I did deserve to rest and I guess my body must have known that I wasn’t really planning to so voluntarily until Friday (today) afternoon, when I would walk the Highline.  Walking, although meditative, and somewhat recuperative is not resting, so all in all it was not a waste of time after all.  No, it was a great day to reflect on all that has been gotten done.  Forced though it was, it was still a great day, in the end.

Wedding Cake Taste-Off; Behind the Scenes – Part 2

  • Posted on June 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

  • What’s the idea behind the Taste-Off besides publicizing my book? Well, there are two other ideas, that dovetail into the book and the brides.
  • What is one of the bigger subsegments of the reception that money can be thrown? The booze? Sure, if you don’t go with a cash bar.
  • The flowers, yes, maybe if you haven’t spent all your budget during the ceremony.
  • The cake? Yes, that’s it!

I knew you’d come up with it. The cake can get extravagant, plus if you don’t have or know of a baker, where do you go?

  • Do you go with word of mouth or do you go to someone you’ve seen on television, or in magazine or do you go to a wedding expo?
  • Or do you go to several bakers and taste-test their wares or a flavor you think might be what you want for your wedding? That can be both time consuming and expensive. It could also be frustrating.
  • What if your spouse to be can’t go at the same time you are doing your research, what then?
  • Do you buy a slice of what you like?
  • What if your spouse doesn’t like it or once you get it home, you realize you don’t even like it, then what?

The beauty of the Taste-Off is that the brides, grooms, and or wedding couples can come together on a Sunday and taste to their heart’s content, the baker’s best cake. Even look at their portfolio, check out their presentation, style and their price. But it is not just a bridal party bonanza, it is also an opportunity to showcase cake bakers/designers who have been in business for less than 10 years and who may have graduated through and from the WIBO process.

Coming up with the why, who, and where were easy. All of the whats and the how were the tricky parts, but as the time ticks down those seem to be taking care of themselves, too. I hope and it is my plan that it continues that way, too. I needed to come up with an idea for my logo, which initially I saw as an action type of logo, but then I realized that really could be just the background on a flyer. I decided to take it to a professional, but it still wasn’t resonating with me. The logo like the title of my book was posing a challenge, but finally I realized, I had to relax and it would come to me, what the logo could be, just like the book’s title did. After a strange weekend of our new Time Warner modem failing and being thrown off the Internet for 2 ½ days, I was able to come up with a usable logo. Mmmh. I like it. Meanwhile I was talking to other amazing women who were helping me make a successful start on through to and after the finish of event.

  • Rose Jeffries, a designer has signed on to design my gown for the event and offer an hour of her services as a giveaway to one lucky bride.
  • Additionally, Fouzia Eldrissi, one of the people I interviewed for my book is a wedding planner and she also will have a table set up and is giving away time for a winning bride, from one of the giveaways as well.
  • There will be additional giveaways for the brides, but I don’t want spill all the surprises here.
  • Plus, of course a special chapter specific to the event, that I believe each bride or wedding couple will appreciate.

The bakers and cake designer’s for the event will be able to showcase their best cakes for the taste-off, which will be judged for their taste, (blind taste-test) design and table presentation. They are allowed to bring their portfolios and I hope possibly get bookings while they are set up for the event. There will be two baker winners. too. I think they will be delighted to realize that the winning baker’s businesses will be publicized in local media outlets. Yesterday I finished the first drafts of my letters/emails to the various celebrity judges from around the tristate area. I can not divulge as yet who they are, but I have already received two verbal affirmatives. WooHoo!