Buying a House is Like Planning a Wedding.

As I look through the huge stack of papers related to buying our house – budgets, receipts, color swatches, contracts… and as I realize how EVERYTHING in our life has come to revolve around this move – it strikes me. Buying a house is an awful lot like planning a wedding. Actually, in a lot of cases, it’s a similar amount of money being spent. (I know, it’s gross.). Hear me out!

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Strapless Wedding Gowns: A Bit of Insight

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of buzz about pockets in wedding gowns being a “BIG NEW TREND”. Usually with several exclamation points involved.

All I can say is, well.. Duh. As a former gown designer who was putting hidden pockets into wedding gowns over 15 years ago, I’ve been amused by this recent revelation. To me, it was just common sense. No one wants to carry a purse on their wedding day!

Anyway, as I’ve been suffering a crappy bout of ADD recently – of course, as I’m supposed to be finishing up my 2nd book, “Evil Cake Overlord” – I had to take the opportunity to tweet about my amusement over the whole thing.

Immediately, I was asked “When do you think the strapless trend will end?”. Huh. I haven’t been asked my opinion of anything fashion-industry in.. Gosh, I can’t even recall how long it’s been. Might have something to do with being a dowdy, overweight baker type now 🙂 Easy to forget how much fashion history, aptitude, and knowledge a person has when they are wearing jeans and a ThinkGeek shirt, I suppose!

My response was “ Hrm, hard to say. Am starting to wonder if it’s been popular enough to transcend “trend””. It’s hard to boil a ton of information down to a single – or even a couple of tweets, and there’s a lot of information to be had, when it comes to fashion trending.

Since it’s been quite awhile since my last rumination on fashion design – oh wow, almost 1 year exactly! – I’m gonna run with it. I’m not a fan of entire decades of knowledge going to waste, so this is awesome. (more…)

Cutest Wedding Cake Ever – Bubble Bobble

As you may have guessed by now… I LOVES me a geeky bride!

Michelle, the bride who ordered the cake I’m posting about today, is pretty much a perfect representation of what kind of bride I love to work with: Identified geeky in the first email (which was also well written, polite, and had great grammar and spelling – FTW!), didn’t take anything too seriously – no bridezilla moments at all! -, gave me ultimate reign over the final design, and wanted her wedding cake themed around an old school NES / Taito game!

Oh yeah. She also held her real wedding in Vegas, getting married by an impersonator. Not any tired old Elvis impersonator (which, in my mind, would still be kind of awesome to do!).. no. She got married by a “Bishop” impersonator from the Princess Bride. Yes, her “mawwige” was “wut bwings us togedder”! Awesome!

Check out the cake: (more…)

Real Wedding Inspiration – Halloween Wedding

Now that it’s mid October, Twitter and the wedding blogs are lighting up with mentions of Halloween weddings. I’d like to take this opportunity to share my favorite Halloween wedding with you.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m being extremely selective about the projects I take on, and the people I’ll work with. Life’s just too short, you know? Aside from that, Halloween is the hardest weekend to get a booking with us, as we’re always booked to do an event in Chicago that weekend – they book us a year in advance. Ansley’s initial email to me was such a stand out, I couldn’t help but be intrigued – and bend over backward to make it work for her! Let me share:

Good afternoon,

My name is Ansley — I am getting married on October 30th of this year. After scouring the internet in the daunting task of researching wedding cakes, I fell in love with what you do. Everything else I’ve seen looks mundane and unimpressive in comparison to what I’ve viewed on your site. We are an “alternative” couple (I’ll swallow my pride a minute and admit that’s a somewhat politically correct way of calling us “goths”) and have concerns about how that effects our relations with vendors. Everyone we work with seems to assume that our Halloween wedding means skulls, plastic bats and ghosts.

Not so– we are classy and elegant, not campy. What I’ve seen on your website surely demonstrates not only your talent but that you understand that even “odd” is still art. I’d love to set up some sort of consultation with you, though I’m not sure how it is done as I’m new to this whole wedding thing and all of the chaos it entails!

Thank you for your time,

Ansley

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done. Polite, coherent, complimentary, eloquent, AND expressing a desire for something different? I was in love with this wedding – and clients! – before I met them!

The wedding was to be “Simple, elegant and most importantly, black”, taking the bulk of its visual inspiration from the Nine Inch Nails music video for “The Perfect Drug”. The wedding and reception were held at the The James J. Hill Reference Library in Downtown Saint Paul… an absolutely gorgeous, unique venue.

If this is starting to sound familiar at all, you may have seen our blog entry about the cake she ordered, “Glam Goth Wedding Cake“. If you haven’t – or want a refresher – be sure to click that link to view her cake photos!


James J. Hill reference Library, during setup.

Anyway, long story short, we juggled to make the logistics work out, and Ansley was a dream to work with. Absolutely one of my favorite brides ever! The cake was delivered, and I anxiously awaited photos of the event. I swear, nothing could have prepared me for the finished product! Ansley looked absolutely amazing in gorgeous black and blue gown, the black candelabra were a perfect compliment to the super high ceilings in the library… sigh. Must have been the perfect wedding to attend! Let me share the photos, courtesy of the bride, groom, their guests, and photographer – M. Doucet:

As always.. I LOVE when brides go their own way with their weddings. This was just amazing, and I’m sure her guests will be talking about the experience for years to come! Also, I’m sure her vendors will be, as well! Love it!

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Wedding Reception Music – The Real “Do Not Play” list!

Yesterday, I had a good laugh when The Today Show played a bit of “American Woman” by The Guess Who, as a lead up to a segment on makeovers.

You see, I’ve always had a bit of a pet peeve / fascination with music that’s being used in an inappropriate way. Sometimes it irks me, sometimes it makes me laugh. In the case of American Woman.. it’s not really about a woman, and it’s NOT pro-America. The amount of times I’ve seen it played in the context of being a pro-America patriot song is… well, staggering. Sometimes I have to wonder how many people actually listen to lyrics when choosing songs in that way… much like how “Born in the USA” is also used as pro-America patriotic. You know.. not so much.

A snarky tweet about it ended up snowballing into a discussion on wedding reception music. Anyone planning a wedding has seen many “do not play” song suggestions, usually involving the Chicken Dance. Basically, either annoying music, music that will have annoying consequences (see “Chicken Dance” for both!), or music that the couple just doesn’t like. Well, what about purely inappropriate music? Not necessarily music with colorful language, but songs that have a message that shouldn’t be used at such an event?

I polled my twitter and Facebook friends, and… man, there have been some doozies used! Click though to our compiled list of the Worst Songs to play at a Wedding. (more…)

High End Wedding Cakes and Fresh Floral Design CAN go Hand in Hand!

Last summer, Celebration Generation teamed up with local floral designer Jean Cowles, of Violet’s Flowers to create a series of high end fondant wedding cakes that incorporated fresh florals in the design. The following article and photos were developed into an 8 page article for a floral industry magazine, Flowers &. The article, while written for the benefit of floral designers specifically, could easily be of benefit to brides, floral designers, and cake designers alike.

I realized that I haven’t blogged about wedding stuff in awhile, seemed like a good time to dig this out of the ol’ archives to post 🙂

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This can’t even be real… a groom’s surprise!

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a groom with creativity, a sense of humor, and an insane ability to pull people together, if this video is legit. It’s almost TOO good to believe… given that he’s a Tony-nominated composer and lyricist.. I’ll squash my doubt for now!

I do so love watching the expressions on everyone’s faces, and the delight that the bride, Vanessa, was taking in it!

I love, love. LOVE it when couples really make their wedding personal!

Coolest wedding rings ever!

So I was perusing twitter the other day, and one of my tweeps posted a link to an Etsy seller called “jewelrybyjohan, who – as it turns out – is fairly local! He’s over in Wisconsin!

This gorgeous ring is inlaid with actual meteorite!

Click here to see the full listing of this amazing ring! Just gorgeous.. and unique!

Click here to see more of Johan’s unique wedding ring creations!!

Completely Epic Engagement Photography

When you’ve been in the wedding industry as long as I have, it’s easy to start suffering from “been there, done that”. “Been there, SEEN that” is also a frequent occurrence!

My photographer friends are gonna kill me for saying this, but wedding photography is an area that can really suffer from that sentiment. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when wedding photography started leaning towards the photojournalistic, and away from the stiff, posed, and painfully staged-looking photography that was so popular when I first entered the wedding business. I loved to see photographers and couples relaxing a bit, having fun with it, and taking more chances!

Engagement sessions, however, seem to have a bit of a hard time breaking out of the mold. While I’ve seen some great, warm, personal sessions, I still think that the vast majority of engagement sessions look more like senior portraits, or Sears/Walmart style family pictures. Very formulaic, take the couple to a park, kiss, hold hands, lay in the grass, whatever.

I have photographer friends. My husband did wedding photography before really settling into his niche of food & product photography, so I know how it is. I know that many brides feel that getting that style of photos is what they’re “supposed” to do in this grand ritual of getting married… and sometimes it can be hard to coax a couple out of that thinking. (The same applies to white cake, inside and out.. and cake toppers! LOL!)

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Cake Toppers: They don’t have to be as horrible as you think!

This blog entry is going to be a unique one for me – a positive blog entry about something I normally hate!

Yes, I am vehemently, rabidly anti-cake toppers. 99% of the time, I find toppers to look cheesy, cheap, and TOTALLY out of place on a cake. Most of the readily-available toppers in stores all look the same as they did 20 years ago, and they all sort of look the same. Yawn. They go completely against my belief that a wedding should be personalized, and truly reflect the couple.

Aside from the stand-alone cheese factor, the other thing that gets me is that they’re very rarely used in a way that complements the design of the cake. I’ve got almost 20 years of old school design experience, so things like jarring breaks in form, line, color.. it just gets to me.

I prefer toppers to be an extension of the cake design itself, usually made from the same materials. Sugar flowers that are also used throughout the cake design, not just plunked on top, for instance. An unbroken, balanced continuation of the design, seamlessly executed. If such a continuation isn’t possible – for whatever reason – I much prefer to have NO topper, whatsoever.

It IS, however, possible to incorporate a topper into the cake without it being cheesy OR jarring! It takes a little creativity, planning, and a talented cake designer.. but it can definitely work. Here are the two key points to remember:

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