63 responses

  1. Krissy @ Shiawase Life
    May 31, 2012

    We had a Publix cake! It was delicious and super affordable :) I miss Publix!!
    Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Fun in Philly, Day 1: All the way from Cville.

  2. Cheryl
    May 31, 2012

    One of my best friends (who has an insane sweet tooth) had a “dessert bar” at her wedding — potluck-style, guests made and brought their favorite cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, whateva — in lieu of a fancy tiered wedding cake. It was a huge success!

  3. Claire
    May 31, 2012

    We did the cake & dessert table route. We had a (beautiful) tiered cake that was chocolate, vanilla almond and strawberry (each layer was different) that fed about 200 people, which was half our expected turn-out. Then, we had an older lady from church make six of her famous pies and cakes (2 of each): 7 UP Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Coconut Cake, Chocolate, Coconut and Pecan pies. We had cake left over, but those homemade desserts were GONE before I could even get a piece of one! People raved about how cool it was, and loved the variety. I think whatever says “you” is what you should do – and I live for dessert. So I knew that is where I wanted to focus!

  4. Grace @ Grace Dishes
    May 31, 2012

    I love that idea!!! I think it adds a personal touch and I value taste over looks too :)

    Nothing worse than a beautiful cake that tastes terrible. What a let down.
    Grace @ Grace Dishes recently posted..Love the rain!

  5. Sandy
    May 31, 2012

    Looks like you are having a good time planning your wedding!! All of the cakes look like great choices.

  6. Leah
    May 31, 2012

    Great idea Meghann! I love the idea of a homemade cake that means something more to you! I had my cake made by an independant baker and not a high scale place. I wanted someone to make it who was self employed and would put care into their work, and it would taste good. And boy did it ever. Even a year later when we celebrated our first anniversary! The lady who made mine replicated my wedding dress.

    See it here!
    http://simplyfabulousnow.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/were-married/

    I loved that it had a more personal feel to it. I looked at my cake and saw my dress!

    Dress pics here: http://simplyfabulousnow.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/our-wedding-day/

    I hope you love your cake as much as I love mine. A personal touch is one that will be remembered :)
    Leah recently posted..the first time

    • Meghann
      May 31, 2012

      Your cake was gorgeous! As was your dress, she did a great job!

  7. Kimra
    May 31, 2012

    I’m from Western Pennsylvania, where there’s a “cookie table” tradition: the family bakes a bazillion cookies from family recipes. I hadn’t been to many cookie table weddings, and it wasn’t on my list when we started planning, but for some reason, two weeks before the wedding, I asked my mom if she’d help me do a cookie table. My husband and dad thought we were insane, but the week of the wedding, we baked at least 12 dozen cookies from family recipes on both sides. We displayed them on trays and cake stands from World Market and set out baggies for people to take a few home. We also had cupcakes as our “official” dessert, but the cookie table was by far one of our favorite things about the wedding.
    Kimra recently posted..Random Friday Facts

    • Lindsey
      June 1, 2012

      I was hoping someone would talk about the wonders of the cookie table! My mom’s family is from Western Pa and we always got really excited for any cousin’s wedding. I went to IUP and ended up working at a wedding/banquet hall where I spent many an hour putting hundreds, thousands of cookies out. I credit all my college weight gain on the cookie tables. The brides would always leave out bags for the guests (and secretly, the servers, and there were rarely any leftovers. They’re out for the whole reception usually so many guests would choose cookies over hor’ dourves. It’s a glorious glorious thing.

      The cookie table tradition started– as I was told–because during the Depression and even before, coal-mining families couldn’t afford gifts for newlyweds but they could get flour and baking ingrediants from company stores. Who needs another tea towel when you can have 12 dozen Lady Fingers?
      Lindsey recently posted..Training for a Marathon v. Training for Triathlon

  8. Laura @ My Pink Thumb
    May 31, 2012

    That’s a great idea having your grandma make your favourite cake! :)

    I was married down in Jamaica so we had a small cake from the resort which was part of our free wedding package. It was chocolate and was fantastic!! We did however have a little reception once we got home for which I toyed with the idea of ordering a cake. Instead, I decided to save the money and go the cupcake route! My mom baked the cupcakes and I made the icing/frosted them in our wedding colours – turquoise and white. :) They were a hit!
    Laura @ My Pink Thumb recently posted..Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breast

  9. Lindsey
    May 31, 2012

    We had a small topper cake that we used to cut the cake, then we had a cupcake tree with 3 kinds of cupcakes, and a huge fruit platter. We decided against any more dessert since then people might not eat the cupcakes. I think we did 200 cupcakes for our 140 person wedding and still had tons left over!
    Lindsey recently posted..Link Love

  10. erica
    May 31, 2012

    we got married at a hotel so dessert was covered in the buffet spread. and our hotel threw in freebies depending on how much you spent on your event…so one of our freebies was the cake. of course you could choose to bring your own in, or change the flavor or “upgrade” the design for a fee…but i honestly didn’t really care. i figured, it’s free, i’ll take it! it turned out really pretty and the flavor was actually quite yummy!
    erica recently posted..dear to my heart

  11. Maura @ My Healthy ‘Ohana
    May 31, 2012

    I always look forward to the wedding cake!! I love the idea of having homemade treats that you and Derek both love, how special for both you and your guests.

    We got married in Hawaii and had a simple vanilla cake that my aunt decorated with fresh flowers, and a dessert buffet with mini pastries :)
    Maura @ My Healthy ‘Ohana recently posted..Cinnamon Sugar Pancake Muffins

  12. Angela
    May 31, 2012

    Somebody I work with went to a wedding where instead of cake they had cheese! It was various sized round slabs on stands in the wedding cake shape with fruit for decoration. Sounds a bit weird to me but apparently it was lovely. Personally I’d want the cake.

  13. Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane
    May 31, 2012

    I think the home made cake idea is great. It’s something both of you love already and it will surely be a hit with the rest of the party. Love the approach because it just seems more personal.
    Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane recently posted..Marathon Training Plan & Birthday Deal

  14. Belinda
    May 31, 2012

    My favorite desert is my Grandma’s strawberry pie. We got married in 2008 and at that point I hadn’t been to a wedding where there wasn’t cake. So I was scared, but we did it anyway. My husband and I are both not huge cake people (weird I know), but we gave our catererer my grandma’s strawberry pie recipe and she made those and mini buttermilk pies. It was delicious, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Although I know some of my best friends always look forward to cake at weddings :) Too bad, it reflected me and my hubby and was perfect for our wedding.

  15. Poptartyogini
    May 31, 2012

    I love chocolate so I had a brown cake with white piping. I really liked it and the chocolate frosting was a little different. I also had a sweet table, ice cream (cherries jubilee) and gave truffles as my giveaway. I have a sweet tooth and I’m ok with that

  16. Beth @ 990 Square
    May 31, 2012

    We had a cake that was actually made by a (now) famous baker–Chef Duff from Ace of Cakes. Our wedding was before the show and my husband had a connection, so we got a really good price.

    Now I actually make wedding cakes for friends and family, and I know a cake made with love is so much more meaningful than something from a random bakery!
    Beth @ 990 Square recently posted..Masser 5 Miler and Kicking Off Another Summer Season

  17. Annette @FitnessPerks
    May 31, 2012

    I love those ideas! We had a 4-tiered cake that I LOVED (gorgeously decorated) and each tier was a different flavor. My favorite was the caramel one…sooo good. But the carrot cake was also amazing.

    Our cake master was a friend of my mom’s and did all my siblings’ cakes, and he came out of retirement to do mine. It was incredibly sweet ;)
    Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Heart Pumpin’ Workout

  18. meghan
    May 31, 2012

    I love that your grandmother will be making your cake – that is so special! We had a small 3 tiered cake with 4 different flavors of cupcakes.
    meghan recently posted..The First Cut is the Deepest

  19. Sarah
    May 31, 2012

    Great idea! I cannot tell you how many weddings I have been to that serve terrible cake. I would be SO happy as a guest to see so many options!

    I wouldn’t rule out some Costco bakery items maybe to fill in your table and make it super overflowing with luscious goodies. Their stuff is really tasty and might ease some of the burden/worry over having enough to go around and home with folks.

  20. Rae
    May 31, 2012

    We did our cake from Tops (local grocery store) and had a sheet cake in the back to supplement…cost about $175 for 150 people, not bad. I love your idea, but you might want to check that the venue is okay with homemade treats…we needed an official letter that the baker was licensed to make food for public or something, which is why my Aunt couldnt make the cake. Bummer.
    Rae recently posted..Him Training Week 11 ( enty billion): That’s not even a number! (yet)

    • Meghann
      May 31, 2012

      That’s actually one of the reasons we picked our venue because they do allow homemade treats. :)

  21. Samantha
    May 31, 2012

    That’s exactly what I want to do! I have some FABULOUS dessert makers in my family and would love to have their personal touches added to our special day. YUM!
    Samantha recently posted..Happy Memorial Day!

  22. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
    May 31, 2012

    I love the dessert bar idea, but i’m ALL about the cake! It was always my favorite!
    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Thursday Thoughts

  23. Margo
    May 31, 2012

    I love the idea of a homemade cake! For health code reasons, our venue didn’t allow non-professional food items to be brought in. Luckily a cake was included in our catering package. We had the florist decorate with flowers and it looked great! Unfortunately, I only had a bite when we cut the cake! I was too busy chatting and celebrating during the reception and totally missed my own cake!

  24. VanessaG
    May 31, 2012

    10 times better than a 500$ cake with yucky fondant! I love the cute gift boxes too. Its crazy how much people will pay for a cake!

  25. Emily
    May 31, 2012

    We had pie instead of cake. I love cake, but if there’s pie, I’ll always choose it instead. It was extra-special because we ordered it from the diner where my husband worked the summer we got engaged.
    Emily recently posted..Well, hello

  26. Hillary
    May 31, 2012

    I love love LOVE this idea. My boyfriend and I have talked about doing something similar, particularly the “desserts to go” one. What a great (delicious!) personal touch to your day.
    Hillary recently posted..A Blogiversary Treat

  27. Sarah
    May 31, 2012

    We did a traditional tiered cake – which was one of the best tasting wedding cakes I’ve had – not that I’m biased! It was chocolate cake with raspberries and an amazing french buttercream frosting – it was amazing!

    We also did a ” make your own” sundae bar that was a lot of fun. Many people went back for seconds and thirds!

    Doing homemade cakes sounds fun and very creative!

  28. Elisabeth
    May 31, 2012

    My best friend had a fall wedding (in Michigan) a couple of years ago & they did all pies from a famous pie place (Achatz) up there. They had double crust apple (best apple pie I’ve EVER had!), Michigan 4 berry, pumpkin and french silk – they were all DELICOUS! I love the idea of non-traditional desserts or homemade cakes, especially because I often find the traditional, ‘pretty’ wedding cakes to not taste that great ;)

  29. caitlinhtp
    May 31, 2012

    funny story: kristien and i went to a cake bakery with absolutely no idea what a cake could cost and we designed this amazing, banging cake that looked like the beach with sugar shells on it etc etc etc. We priced it out and it was like $2000. I think we both nearly shat ourselves in the bakery.

    In the end, my aunt baked my cake like your grandma will do, and it was delicious and perfect.

  30. Madeline
    May 31, 2012

    We are doing pies! Neither of us are big cake fans, but we sure do love pie and ice cream! The chef at our venue is amazing and makes some seriously good pies with local ingredients and the ice cream is going to be from a dairy farm right next to the ranch we are getting hitched at! I can’t wait. I’m drooling just thinking about it…

  31. Stephanie Clement
    May 31, 2012

    My brilliant mum came up with our cake idea! We actually hired an up-and-coming baker! she was only 16!! BUT she was good and really really enthusiastic that a wedding wanted to hire her. SO! What we did was have her make a smallish 3 tier cake (I only cared about tiers for the anniversary traditions). Anyways, we had the “pretty, cutting” cake and thennnnn: COSTCO! We got two costco sheet cakes (which are sooo delicious! anyone agrees) and served that :) Nobody knew and everyone was happy!

  32. Kathleen
    May 31, 2012

    My husband and I made our own wedding cake and it was a huge success!

    We did some testing prior to the real one to ensure it was possible. We had a small wedding(75 guests) but we ended up doing too much cakes and we shared the remaining cake with our families after the reception.

    We did 2 big cakes during the week of the wedding than frozen them until the day before the wedding, we decorated it the day before the wedding at our venue who kindly allowed us to use their kitchen facilites. We also had the opportunity to meet every all the staff that were on duty the day of our wedding. It helped to create a friendly atmosphere :)

    We had so much fun doing it together, it was a real stress reliever prior to the big day!

  33. Erin
    May 31, 2012

    We want to do the same thing! I love the idea of a dessert table where people can choose their favorites – since we’re doing sort of a local theme, we’re going to get pies/cookies/cakes/treats from all of our favorite local bakeries. It will be way less than having one of them make a wedding cake and it will be more personal so people can try all of the unbelievably amazing treats that we love here in Rhode Island! I am now currently freaking out/OCD about the logistics of how to set it up, hah!

  34. Kalee
    May 31, 2012

    I love your idea of a homemade cake bar! I completely agree it should taste good, and fondant is overrated. I also like the idea of making the gift a cupcake. My boyfriend and I always want something sweet after a wedding (more me than him…sometimes sharing a piece of cake doesn’t cut it!) The cupcakes are so cute and perfect!
    Kalee recently posted..Foodie Pen Pals & The Top Fitness & Diet Posts for May

  35. Beka
    May 31, 2012

    I love the idea of having multiple types of desserts, and the take home boxes for gifts. Cake pops/balls are #2 on my list behind a frozen chocolate bar. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
    Beka recently posted..Sweat Fest and Commitment

  36. Natalie
    May 31, 2012

    I had a two tiered vanilla with raspberry filling public cake and a mini desserts bar from matt&doms catering, they’re a company in Bradenton, FL…very affordable…pic of my cake:)
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=103495816423171&set=a.103466573092762.3875.100002882593620&type=3

  37. Jenn
    May 31, 2012

    Love the idea of a homemade cake by your grandmother – how special! I agree with others about filling the rest of the “dessert bar” with treats from Costco, grocery stores, etc. I think asking family or friends to bake little treats for your wedding is a lot of pressure. If someone asked me to do that, I would feel so much pressure to get everything perfectly for their special day that I would be up all night worrying. Probably better to have your guests relaxed and ready to party. It could also be an awkward situation if someone comments that they don’t like something, etc. and the baker is there!

  38. Sarah
    May 31, 2012

    Cake is my favorite part of the wedding! I feel bad now that I know how expensive it is!! I always eat at least three slices.. I wish I was lying. I binge eat when it comes to cake.
    Sarah recently posted..Cinnamon Rolls and Kale Salad

  39. BroccoliHut
    May 31, 2012

    Aw, I love the idea of having a family member make the cake–that makes it so much more meaningful!
    We’ll have a pretty traditional tiered cake, but I was very adamant about NO fondant. I don’t like cake much…but I love frosting! So my cake will have plenty :)
    Seth is planning on having a crazy chocolate-PB Ninja Turtle-themed groom’s cake. I’m pretty psyched for that too!

  40. Jaimie
    June 1, 2012

    What a sweet idea! I just got married a few weeks ago and ran into the same sticker shock that you did when cake searching! I was able to do a DELICIOUS cake from a bakery for 150 people for $350. My secrets were not using fondant– I did a textured buttercream icing (similar to that in your birdsong picture) AND a false bottom tier- it was just foam covered in icing :) I made up the rest of the servings in a sheet cake, which is way cheaper.

    I know grocery stores will do simple 3-tiers for 150 for around $200, if you have a decorative friend that wanted to finish it off :)

  41. Raffi Darrow
    June 1, 2012

    When my friend got married to a pilot, she went cheap & family made with the cake but splurged on a hand-blown glass cake topper of a bride and groom in a bi-plane. Very cool!
    I did not have the cake of my dreams, but when I came home from work on the night of my first anniversary, Brian had created it for me! He bought cake pans and mixes and frosting – made tiers, and found the Mickey and Minnie porcelain cake topper that was missing from our reception. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
    I guess my point is, people will eat anything that is yummy, and your cake topper should make you smile :)

    In the 2nd-to-last photo of this post I really like the background! Looks like those needlepoint rings filled with basic lace. Great, inexpensive idea for decor.
    Raffi Darrow recently posted..A reason for running

    • Meghann
      June 1, 2012

      awww… that’s too sweet. :) I still have no idea what to do for a cake topper! I’m sure I’ll have a cake topper themed post at some point. Those things do get pricey! Yikes!

      • Kathleen
        June 1, 2012

        We used lego minifigures as one of our cake toppers: original, funny… and not very expensive! My husband was a big lego fan when he was young :)

  42. Brigid
    June 1, 2012

    I baked my own! We had a tiny wedding of 14 people, so it was no biggie. I made a one-layer chocolate chai cake and a two-layer raspberry-vanilla-pomegranate cake. That was one of my favorite parts of the whole experience.

    (Oh, and hi from a new reader!)
    Brigid recently posted..Meal Planning for May 29-June 1

    • Meghann
      June 1, 2012

      Hi! :)

  43. Jessica
    June 1, 2012

    We went to one of the best cake bakers in Orlando without even realizing it. We wound up doing a tasting with her and it was amazing, of course… so we were like eh, let’s do it! Our cake was fortunately, under $500 for 130 people. We did do a small sheet cake in back to help cut some costs. We loved our cake though and got lots of compliments. So all-in-all we were happy.
    Jessica recently posted..Our Wedding Ceremony

  44. Sarah
    June 1, 2012

    I did the same thing with my wedding cake that you are considering. I asked my neighbor (who had been making our childhood birthday cakes for years!) and she agreed to do it. The cake was wonderful and it was beautiful. Plus it felt that much more special.

    I also did a take home dessert table as favors…because who wants a candle with my name and wedding date on it, right? It was a wodnerful end to a great party. I think the guests really appreciated it.

  45. Bri
    June 1, 2012

    It’s a lovely idea to have your grandma’s recipe featured as your wedding cake! Red velvet–yummm.

    Have you considered asking her for the recipe and giving it to a bakery so that they can perform the heavy lifting? The first thing I thought when I read your post was, ‘How nice to save money on the cake, but poor Grandma!’ That’s a lot to ask of a grandmother, in my opinion. Of course, I may be totally off-base (and it’s none of my business–I’m just responding to your post). If Grandma seems thrilled about (as opposed to ‘a little more keen’ on) helping, that’s fabulous–you’re very fortunate to have such a generous grandmother and uncle!

  46. allison @ thesundayflog
    June 1, 2012

    my mom did an entire italian cookie dessert bar for my sister’s wedding, and i want a dessert table as well, but unfortunately my venue requries that we purchase all of the treats through them, which is far too expensive. so needless to say, we wont be doing it. we WILL, however, have one at our rehearsal dinner, which is at my parents’ house :)
    allison @ thesundayflog recently posted..Life Update and Chobani Winners!

  47. Ct cupcake
    June 1, 2012

    Isn’t your wedding outside? Buttercream might melt quite quickly. As much as I love the idea of homemade treats, I’d find it so stressful that it might not turn out well or that I’d be leaning on my family and friends too much.

    • Kelly
      June 1, 2012

      I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I love the idea of homemade treats but executing it, especially the cake would make me nervous. I think that’s a lot of responsibility for someone who didn’t volunteer and I assume, doesn’t have catering experience. I know from my own experience that some recipes don’t exactly double or triple very well. It just seems like one of those experiences where you’d have to be prepared for the fact that it might not look or taste exactly like how you envisioned it. Not to mention it might be good to have a backup plan if things don’t go exactly as you expect.

      Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think I’d feel comfortable asking my family and friends to help with a dessert table. I think it’s every bride and groom’s business what there wedding budget is and where they choose to splurge and spend, but I think expecting people to chip in essentially could rub some people the wrong way. Because of that I kind of like the idea mentioned above of passing the recipes off to a caterer. It still gives you a more personal feel but without expecting too much of people. Not to mention if the recipes are from home cooks you could probably find a small or hobby caterer who would be willing to do it for an affordable price. And with less stress since you’d get more of a guarantee of what the final product will be like.

      If you do ask people I’d just make it clear that no one is obligated, especially if they have already given you a shower gift and will give you a wedding gift. I’d also be prepared to give them a small gift of appreciation because I do fee like it is a bit of effort on their parts and if it were me, I’d want them to know that I appreciated the work.
      Kelly recently posted..Secret Recipe Club: Bacon, Date and Goat Cheese Filo Rolls

      • Jenn
        June 5, 2012

        100% agree with this.

  48. katherine
    June 1, 2012

    I like the idea of a homemade cake and the idea of a dessert table. I don’t know that I would want to ask a family member to make it though. It would add to their stress on and around the wedding day and might detract from their enjoyment of the event. I liked what one person said about about getting an up and coming baker (who would charge less than a bakery) to do the work for you. Then you could do a sampling of family desserts, use the family recipes and then family members won’t feel obligated to work in the days before your wedding and on your wedding day.

  49. Angel
    June 2, 2012

    @Kelly: My father “uncle Bill” is more than excited to make the cake for Meghann’s wedding. He is not an experienced caterer but when you have a family as large as ours it comes with the territory. I think it is more of a risk to have someone else attempt a family recipe than to have the actual loving family members make the cake themselves. I know this wouldn’t work for every bride, but this cake will be a beautiful sign of love for the newlywed couple.

    • Jennie
      June 2, 2012

      I don’t think handing a professional a recipe is a “risk” but to each their own.

      As long as the bride/groom pay for the ingredients, and the family member his honestly willing to contribute, the idea seems fine. However, it also seems fraught with stress and possible ramifications after the fact. How can you get angry with a family member if the cake doesn’t turn out? etc.

    • Aleyta
      August 27, 2012

      I LOVE LOVE your idea of a family recipe as a cake (and I 100% agree with your opinion of fondant) My mom made cupcakes for our wedding. In fact every thing in my wedding was handmade by a family member. My aunt did my veil, my other aunt did the flowers and centerpieces, my uncle sang as I walked down the aisle, my grandma did the favors (local honey!) etc…We are a tight family and it made the wedding a special memory and was fun to have everyone involved :)
      Aleyta recently posted..Photography Idol

  50. Heather
    June 3, 2012

    I had a traditional 4 tiered cake. My reception place came with a cake and grooms cake as part of the package deal, so all I has to do was pick my colors/design which I came up with myself. To this day it’s one of my favorite things about my wedding!
    Heather recently posted..Weekly Recap: May week 5

  51. Katie @ running4cupcakes
    June 3, 2012

    We love cake too. So we had a small 2 tiered display cake and killed 2 birds with one stone and used round cakes for our table centerpieces as well as the majority of our dessert. Each cake was a different flavor too!
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted..Birthday present

  52. Mollie
    June 13, 2012

    That’s so cool that your cake will be made by your Grandma!
    I plan on doing the candy/dessert bar idea formy favors at the reception, too!
    Mollie recently posted..Nice Little Saturday

  53. Laura
    October 16, 2012

    I am also from Western PA and the cookie table was a must! My grandmother made dozens upon dozens of all my favorites and we too had little to-go containers for our guests. Needless to say, they all went! We ended up doing individual gourmet filled cupcakes instead of a cake and I have no regrets. My cousin recently got married (also in Western PA) and this venue was simply amazing.. thought I’d share with the rest of you who also may not have known about it http://www.corinthian-event.com/wedding.htm I was so impressed!

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