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Wedding Cake Toppers

  • Posted on January 24, 2012 at 3:26 am

Are you feeling overwhelmed and out priced even before you really start the major parts of your wedding accessories gathering? Want to save money, but still have an elegant wedding topper that kicks butt in taste, elegance, AND within your budget?
What if you could find the perfect cake topper, but a cake topper that was different than the norm. Something that is not cookie cutter in look or design. Maybe one in which you can even save some real money on the things that during your wedding reception, EVERYone looks at, and still have a stunning display?
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, the 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.

After the recent passing of the bill to allow gay (Same-Sex) marriages into law, (here in New York state) I began to really look at what was out there for wedding cake toppers. Not much has changed even when I was getting married almost seven years ago, but shouldn’t it. Have you really looked? Do you feel stuck in the 1980’s? All the wedding toppers really are from the same mold, but with hair differentiation and of course coloring, but if you look at the human forms, they are all from the same mold. Now that’s personal, right? It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling of it being mass produced doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be completely fun to have exactly what you want? Make it special, make it fun and make it yours and your fiancé’s AND it not cost an arm and a leg? Most wedding cake toppers start at $99 and upwards, but they aren’t personable at all. There are a few companies out there that have much less expensive ones, but the features and figures do not change even from the more expensive ones. It’s your wedding reception, so make the wedding topper say who you are. Late last year I was going to have a wedding topper “how to” workshop, but with various things happening within my own life, I was not able to pull that off. Now my husband, the designer, wants in on the act and is starting to design some extraordinary wedding toppers for real world people. That’s not to say that you cannot make your own wedding cake topper, because of course you can. I still may have the Wedding Decor Workshop in conjunction with a “How To” hands-on exploration with working with flowers, in the near future. For now I want you think about what types of wedding toppers you might like to see. I want you to imagine making your personal wedding cake topper fresh and bopping just like you.

Marriage, especially with the inclusion of a reception is about community, but com’on. We don‘t want to feel like we are part of a communal clone society. At least not when we have gone to all the trouble to have our wedding be a bit different from other people’s and more like who we are as a couple. As a keepsake, the wedding topper should be a bit different, don’t you think?

Some History About the Wedding Topper

Prior to the 1950’s wedding cake toppers were either decorative sugar or natural flowers. During the 50’s the idea was born to show the couple’s life as it becomes just shortly after the marriage ceremony; a togetherness on top of the cake. Prior to a mold, I am sure there was added work for the pastry chef to create the couples on top of the cake, either standing in formal attire or sitting on the side of the cake in formal attire. Thus started the idea for mass production, I suppose.

How to Pick Your Wedding Invitations

  • Posted on January 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

 

Once you have your wedding and reception venues, even if they are different you are ready to start on your invitations, although not to send them out, but to decide how you will execute them with the wording, designs, and what’s inside the envelope. Some of it depends on the type or formality of your wedding; whether it is casual or formal. You could go with an email if it is a very casual event. If it is a more traditional or formal wedding then you’ll probably want to have engraved invitations or you could do them yourself or have some straight out of a box. You’ve heard of Bed-in-a-Bag right, well now at Michaels (craft store) they have something that looks like Bride-in-a-Box, although that is not what they call it. It’s really called the The Bride. I like my title better, but there might already be something else called that.

Whatever direction you choose, make sure you are aware of the price point surrounding your choice. Remember, however many guests you would like at the wedding the cost for postage will minimally be $0.44/invitation (until the price of stamps rises) and really if you are including two sets of envelopes (outer to them and an inner back to you) it might be as much as $0.80 – $1.50/invitation. Unless you are hand delivering each invitation, that is your bottom line.

 

Suggestion: Pick out the envelope size and shape, then assemble all of the parts of your invitation and take to your local post office to find out the price of each invitation before you make your final decision. You can take several different configurations, so you know exactly what each one’s price point is. Tip: A rectangle envelope is considered standard postage, whereas a square envelope is not and requires additional postage.

 

There are many styles of invitations, including the ones that you design yourself depending on your budget. Here are a few you might see:

 

The Pocket – Usually a 3-sectioned folded card stock, consisting of two folds. The fold closest to the bottom or to the right if horizontal rather than vertical, holds the invitation announcement. (Also known as the pocket fold enclosure.) Envelope is extra.

The Pochette – Square center with four rounded flaps. (If you think about it too hard and look at it objectively, it is reminiscent of a diaper with four rounded flaps rather than two.) Usually sealed with a cute sticker. Folds into itself so you can mail it out. For return RSVP, enclose a small self-addressed stamped card for guests return response.

Seal & Send – Usually four sections with a perforation for the return card. There are three folds with one as the perforated card that folds into itself and you seal it before sending it out to your guests. This saves you time and extra postage by eliminating the envelope.

Jacket Invitation – Usually invitation is made of card stock wrapped in a cutaway vellum (much like a tuxedo jacket) held in place with by ribbon.

Gate Fold – Similar to the Jacket invitation, except that the folded flaps meet in the middle. Can be held together with a seal, but commonly held together with ribbon. Envelope extra.

Layer Invitation – Usually the top card* has the information or wording on it. The card is another color which frames the invitation itself. Trivia: Often the top layer of the card’s color is a representation of the bride and the color of the bottom card layer is representative of the groom. Sometimes the ink is the same color as the bottom card’s color which integrates the two people coming together in marriage.

There are of course many other various types of invitations. I am sure I have only scratched the surface and I believe some of these names will change from company to company. For our invitation papers, I went to Paper Presentation on West 18th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenues. I used all of my invitation layers from their paper collection. *(I used special paper rather than card stock, which kept the postage down.) My invitations were a combination of gate and layered, so there is some creativity available, no matter the formality of your wedding.

They also have a wedding engraving section on the second floor and if you know what you want when you go in you can have your invitation back within a day or two of ordering. You may of course want to go with a department store or even online. All-in-all, your choices are varied. All you have to do is decide what you really like, whether it expresses the feel of your nuptials and if it is within your budget.

 

 

 

Wedding Flowers

  • Posted on December 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thinking about flowers for your wedding?  Having trouble deciding on which flower means that special something to you?  Perhaps you already know exactly what you want.  Everything is easy smeasy, right?

You’ve been told , perhaps by your local florist, that you can get your flower or anything you want or need, at any time you want it.  The flower doesn’t necessarily have to be in season in your area you’ve been told, but it is in season somewhere and you can order that flower and have it at your wedding anytime you want it, right?  A flower that is not grown here in New York or even the northeast, can of course be gotten from the southwest, or even further south, South America including one of the Americas in the southern hemisphere. That is all very true of course, but what you are not being told is that there can be quite a hefty price attached to receive that very special flower you want.  Yes, of course you can have any flower.

Another reason, the florist may say that everything is in season and can be in season all the time, is that flowers now rather than 60 or so years ago, have been cross pollinated to present a varied flower, more resilient, an even more exotic flower in look and scent.  http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/pollination.html A flower that can be grown almost anywhere. Just because this is the case, is that specific bloom going to be within your budget, whether it is merely a victim or cross pollination or has been flown in from the southern regions of the world? Whether it is science or imported, is the price tag too great for your budget.

When my husband and I were getting married, I’d found a beautiful purple and exotic flower within the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Found the name, looked it up online, and found that it would be in season during the summer time, however I hadn’t look to see where it was natively grown, and if it were here in the northeast. Alas, it was not in season in New York City during that time frame and I had chosen a flower that was so exotic, that it was not even in season in the United States. Getting it from the southern hemisphere was prohibitive to our budget.

When picking out your flowers be mindful of what is in season and exactly where it is in season, if you go the route of a florist. The florist can get you anything you want at any time of the year, but be smart and do some research on your own as well.

While compiling the budget for you wedding, you of course can always give yourself breathing room around your segments, so if you run into something like a pesky out-of-season bloom, perhaps you can splurge. If you feel it is a bloom you will not be able to live without, then and only then, if you have the money figured into your budget to use for this specific instance, by all means do it. Tell yourself ‘you deserve the splurge’ and do it, but if you have not worked it in, then don’t blow the seams off your budget by getting this one item. If you do it for this bloom, you will undoubtedly do it for almost anything else in your wedding purchases. If done repeatedly, you won’t be able to call your budget a real budget and will start to spend future money on your wedding, which I do not condone.

 

Here’s some tips to keep your cost within budget or lower:

 

  1. Do further research, there may be another bloom that mimics your exact flower that is in season within your area.
  2. Look at your wedding attire, see if there is something in or on it that represents a bloom and go with that one, if it is in season. (That’s what happened to me. I revisited my dress’ appliqués, which were hydrangeas. Perfect they were in season during June, and in purple*.)
  3. Do you have a theme to your wedding, maybe there is a flower that works perfectly with your theme. (It’s probably not the exotic flower you initially had in mind, but it will lend itself to something more reasonably within your budget.)
  4. Hey! Here’s a novel idea; confer with your fiance’. Maybe there is something that could be highlighted that you both like. Maybe you won’t even go the flower route. Mmmh!
  5. Purchase your bouquets from an emerging florist, rather than a big named flower company. (They might be able to not only drop them off, but supervise the handling of the blooms for decorations and handing or pinning them to or on your wedding party.) See www.BlissfulBlooms.com

    Handheld or table setting blooms

  6. Purchase your bouquets from your local florist shop.
  7. Purchase your blooms from a local deli. (Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  8. Purchase your blooms from one of the web or phone floral companies. They’ll deliver to your door. (Probably the day before your wedding.)
  9. Purchase from a warehouse or giant florist out in the outer boroughs. (It’s great to live in New York City for many reasons and this is one of them.) (If it’s from the warehouse: Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  10. (Perish the thought) Silk or flowers made of cotton/polyester. They may not smell like real flowers, but if gotten at the right place, you can have your beautiful blooms forever. (Why not spritz the scent of your choice on your flowers?)

 

All in all, wedding flowers even though they can expand into ten or more segments within your wedding, they do not have to completely obliterate your budget. With some planning and ingenuity you can stay within your budget and have a beautiful wedding with beautiful wedding flowers. Just think outside the wedding flower box, and win.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2011/may/04/niche-market–silk-flowers/

Doesn’t it look like she is in a greenhouse?   No, she is standing in the midst of silk blooms.  Can you tell the difference?

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