We have a date set. We have the church. We have the reception location.
So what else have I been doing to throw together a quick, super-low-budget wedding?
Well, since this is a food blog, let’s start with the cake. I am going to make our own wedding cake. It won’t be a 5348-layer cake with pedestals and pillars; however, I knew that wedding cake needs special qualities.
1) The cake needs to be denser and less crumbly than normal to retain it’s shape and serve as a steady foundation for upper layers.
2) The cake should have less leavening to prevent the top from rising into a rounded dome shape, so that more layers can be stacked more easily, and so that you get a more elegant, crisp, straight edges.
I tried a white almond cake recipe and a lemon cake recipe. Both would work, but I preferred the white almond. I also froze a few cupcakes and thawed them 2 weeks later to see how they handled being frozen, since I will be making the layers ahead of time and freezing them. The almond flavour intensified in that time, and it was amazing!
I also wanted to play with icings. I was not going to be so overzealous as to attempt to mess with fondant (besides, who wants a frosting that doesn’t taste good?), so my first thought was buttercream. Sometimes buttercream is the best frosting ever…and sometimes…I think it tastes gross. But when a recipe adds too much powdered sugar, the frosting may look beautiful, but it tastes like powdered sugar. I’ve never had a problem with regular sugar, but I swear powdered sugar has a distinct (and horrible) taste.
Enter the “marshmallow-buttercream” idea. I wanted the creamy glossiness of the marshmallow creme, with only a hint of butter and powdered sugar to make the consistency more frosting-appropriate. I found a recipe for cherry marshmallow creme icing, and eagerly tried it.
Verdict? YUM. I also added a little more marshmallow creme than the recipe called for, and I got a BEAUTIFUL, smooth, shiny, thick, icing that proved to stay where it was put, without sliding or sagging. In other words, it was PERFECT for the outside of the wedding cake. I put this icing on white almond cupcakes. Perfect match.
Next, I wanted to try a peach buttercream icing on lemon cake. Well, when I went to the freezer to pull out the package of frozen peaches….I realized that the yellow shapes I had seen earlier in a quick glance in the freezer…were actually mango pieces, not peach slices. Oops. My brother suggested that I improvise and use some canned peaches. Neither one of us expected the icing to have a good consistency, but at least we could get a peach-flavour to see how it went with the lemon cake.
So, I decided to that I will just use my peach cupcake-peach buttercream icing that I have made twice before (once successfully, and once not-so-succesfully) for the wedding.
Here are the white-almond cupcakes (left) and lemon cupcakes (right) with vanilla marshmallow creme frosting:
I made these cupcake stands from plates, candlesticks, and goblets found at Goodwill. I love that the goblets are the perfect size and shape to hold a single cupcake on top. I will even attach a small toothpick sign, letting people know what flavour the cupcakes on that stand are. I had to paint one of the plates to cover up a dingy colour and ugly flowers. I used spray enamel paint, and it is AMAZING. The plate looks like a brand new, white ceramic plate. not like a plate that has been painted.
I will definitely be keeping and using these stands after the wedding. To try and be responsible with my money-spending, I am attempting to only buy things that I will be able to use in some way after the wedding. (For example, I bought some shoes that I will dress up a bit for the wedding-but I am doing it in such a way that I can remove my additions later, and use them as regular shoes after the wedding. I will post pics of that, when I get around to completing that project!) I’ve always wanted a cupcake stand, so now I have three! (Ok, so one or two may be donated, but that is fine with me.)
Coming up with or deciding on a centerpiece that is a) affordable b) not wasteful c) looks nice is proving to be rather difficult. Since the cupcake stands turned out so well, I am seriously considering making more stands, so that I have one for each table. Then, I can put a few cupcakes on each stand, and intersperse them with cloth flowers.
Cloth flowers? Why cloth flowers? Well, because I am making my own bouquet, of course!
This is only one type of flower, but it is my favourite. I now have plenty of flowers for my bouquet, but I also need to make smaller bridesmaids’ bouquets, and I want some extra, loose flowers to use as decoration. I have spent many, many hours cutting, singeing, and sewing flowers, but fortunately, I have had some help from one bridesmaid. (And she came up with a great idea for how to piece the bouquet together! I had been struggling with how things were actually going to come together.)
My brother has agreed to take a few pictures for us, and I bought a new lens for my camera that might be a little better for portraits. I figured, I could save a few hundred dollars, AND get a lens that I can use for years. (See? Again, saving money, and not being wasteful!) Although my brother seems to be a natural photographer from the little bit I have seen, I told my brother that I wanted him to practice a little bit before the wedding, so that he knows how to operate the camera. My brother seems eager for the chance to play around with my new camera, so it all works out well.
So much accomplished, and yet so much more to do!
And if anyone wants to sew more flowers for me….haha…ha….