I’m all about the weddings that dare to be different, that break free from the usual traditions. Tradition is great and all, and there are certainly some aspects of the wedding that I will go all Tevye over, but for the most part, I just love to come up with ideas that will have guests expecting the unexpected.
One of my favorite parts of any wedding is the cake (surprise). I have seen some gorgeous cakes, practically sculptures made of fondant. Ever see that show Ace of Cakes? They do some stunning work. And while a decadent, extravagant wedding cake could be a lot of fun – and may still be the route we take, who knows? – it’s still fun to explore the other options out there.
My personal favorite alternative is a dessert bar. I love to bake, and I know lots of people who are the same way. Perhaps I could bribe some friends and family to provide a tasty dessert, which would mean there would be tons of variety of delectable treats without breaking the bank. The other upside to a dessert bar is that, even if you don’t bake/know people who do, you can purchase amazing pastries and desserts locally and probably still come out with your budget more intact than you would with a traditional wedding cake. Especially since your dessert bar could include candy, which can be purchased in bulk. Make the display look great and you’ve got a classy alternative!
Cupcakes are adorable, though they actually can be just as (if not more) expensive than a wedding cake! However, if you use cupcakes, you can have a variety of flavors, which can be helpful if you have guests with dietary restrictions like allergies. I spoke with a classmate who said she wished she had either had two smaller wedding cakes or had a variety of cupcakes instead, since they had a hazelnut filling in their wedding cake…and it turned out that no less than 20 of their 85 guests were allergic to nuts and couldn’t enjoy the cake! Whoops.
Chocolate fondue is another fun, albeit a bit messy, alternative. The same goes for a chocolate fountain. They are, of course, incredibly delicious options – who doesn’t love fresh fruit, pound cake, and marshmallows covered in warm, gooey chocolate? – but the risk of dripping chocolate onto your gorgeous gown might be a little scary. You could always have a fancy bridal apron made to protect your dress, but if you’re not into that idea, white chocolate is just as delicious and a little less risky.
Dessert martinis are best if you have a mostly or all-adult guest list. There are thousands of incredible cocktail recipes out there (try Webtender as a good place to start) that will look elegant and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. My personal favorite involves Kahlua and a little bit of chocolate milk, but explore to your heart’s content to find one or two that suit you!
Mousse is another incredibly delicious option, and it can be really simple (and cheap!) to make. I found a recipe that made mousse to die for using Jello pudding mix, condensed milk, water, and whipping cream. It took mere minutes to make and would have easily served six people. Whip up some mousse, pour it into chilled glasses, add some decoration, and you’re done! A few great combinations are: dark chocolate mousse with fresh berries, strawberry mousse with white chocolate shavings/chips, and lemon mousse with whipped cream. The same goes for puddings – they are simple to make and can be made to look really beautiful.
Like I said, I’m still not sure what we want to do with our cake. I know plenty of amazing bakers, but I also love all these ideas. We’ll have to see what’s in store!