in lieu of cake

January 8, 2010

I’m not a big cake (or cupcake) person. With the exception of ice cream cake (ex: from the amazing Bi-Rite Creamery), most of the time cake is just… cake. (And to be completely honest, I think I mostly like ice cream cake for the ice cream.) It’s really strange because I am a HUGE sweets person–I love chocolate, all kinds of cookies, scones, brownies, etc… but cake just doesn’t do it for me.

Therefore, it would probably make me really sad if I *had* to buy a wedding cake. Although they can be beautiful and have a lot of tradition behind them, I think I’d prefer to opt for something different.

Thankfully, I’m not alone! Even aside from the huge cupcake phenomenon, there are tons of couples choosing nontraditional desserts & dessert-bars.

Some examples…

Dessert spreads/buffets by Amy Atlas (the most well-known in this area) are all over the place. She’s done dozens of dessert spreads for a wide variety of events and they’re always gorgeous. Unfortunately, because she’s such a huge name, I probably can’t afford her.

a birthday party featured on SMP

a very festive looking candy bar on Black Eiffel

The Sweet and Saucy Shop is another popular SoCal bakery and their spreads look pretty dang perfect!

From a wedding that Ashley Rose shot

A spread they did for a wedding posted on GWS

So, yes. There are tons of alternatives! If we end up having a summer wedding, the idea of busting out ice cream and/or fro-yo are also very, very exciting possibilities. Snippet & Ink posted a wedding a while back with mini-ice cream cones (squeal!) and Ritzy Bee recently posted about a sundae bar… both very cute, fun ideas. I imagine the sundae bar could get a little messy though.

Fro-yo, however, is more-or-less uncharted territory. I have no idea how hard it is to cart those frozen yogurt machines around, but I pretty much consumer tart yogurt with mochi at Yogurtland like it’s water and both my boyfriend & I have friends or family who own fro-yo franchises. Apparently, Pinkberry’s already on the ball and Caroline Tran shot a wedding in September where they had Pinkberry catering! I found out through the Inspired By This blog, which has a little more info.

Conclusion is, I don’t want to have cake at the wedding and apparently I don’t have to… and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one :)


One of my lovely friends from high school & college, Hanna, got married this past summer at Rancho Capistrano, a beautiful wedding venue/retreat-conference center near my home in So Cal. She’s been a fellow wedding photographer aficionado and I was psyched when she told me she decided to book Michael Chan,  one of the photographers over at the AH-MAAAAAZ-ING the image is found.

Today we found out that her wedding was featured on The Bride’s Cafe! Well, now, that’s exciting!

I didn’t get to help too much with the planning and preparations, but I got to run around and help coordinate some of the day-of logistics. Most venues (including Rancho Capistrano) have their own on-site coordinators, but I often recommend having someone you know more intimately and someone who knows about the details and logistics available to coordinate too. For a lot of my friends, that’s me!

In terms of their other vendors and who helped put everything together… I do know that Richard and Hanna’s friend Melody designed & printed all of the beautiful paper goods (which unfortunately aren’t featured!) and website. Kristen from The Treasured Petal brought in the beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets that survived the super heat of the summer.

An insider’s secret about the cake: Hanna told me that the bakery was going to drop off the cake with only the brown ribbon you see on the bottom of each tier and asked that I scrounge up flowers to make it look a little more acceptable. I grabbed a friend who’s a pro with flowers and she gave me a crash course in flower arranging. What do you think? Not too shabby, eh?

Hope you love!