As you may have read in past posts, I feel like I’m really starting to check items off my wedding to-do list, so it continues to shrink [at least as much as it can with 6 months left to plan]. In the past couple of weeks we’ve knocked both our cake and food tastings off our list… they were both by far my two favorite pieces to planning this wedding. No explanation needed, right?
For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to have cupcakes at my wedding. I think the presentation is cute and the idea that you can choose your flavor is just perfect [this coming from a picky eater, so it should come as no surprise]. When I finally got engaged [because let’s face it – I totally started planning this wedding in my head long before that ring was put on my finger] I started researching cupcakes and realized they are EXPEHHHHENSIVE! Most of the local wedding bakeries around the Minneapolis area were looking for $3+ per cupcake. $3! Now I am never one to discredit someone’s work – but $3+ for a cupcake was a little outrageous – especially when you factor in a guest list of 300+ people. And because I also wanted a small 2-tier cake for my fiance and I to cut, all I was tasting was dirty money, not delicious cake [let me clarify, I wasn’t really tasting dirty money, but you know, metaphorically speaking]. Then the pastry gods shone down on me at the Unveiled Bridal Show I attended a few weeks back and introduced me to the Lund’s and Byerly’s bakery.
While I’ve obviously heard of Lund’s & Byerly’s, I never ONCE thought of them as the bakery that would make my wedding cake and cupcakes! So, why did I choose L&B’s over every other bakery in the metro area? For starters, the price – the normal size cupcakes are only $.79 and the jumbo’s $.99. Yes, you read that right – under $1 for a cupcake. I know what you’re all thinking, “but Cammi, how do they taste? Simply.Divine. My fiance and I chose to go with the normal size [what Byerly’s calls its “medium”] and order just a few extra more than our guest list. We figured having a few extra to take home was better than walking around and seeing half-eaten cupcakes sitting on tables [which would be like half-eaten dollar bills at that point]. And because we got such a great deal on our cupcakes, I don’t quite feel as guilty getting a bigger cake for cutting and sharing with our wedding party [you’re welcome guys and gals]. And don’t worry, Byerly’s has the whole ‘cake on your first anniversary’ tradition taken care of – they will send us a coupon on our anniversary for a fresh, new tasty cake instead of one that’s stale, old and hard so we can still indulge on the big one-year milestone. Thank you, Byerly’s.
So, are you wondering what our cake is going to look like? Let me first tell you what’s inside. The bottom tier is home to a yummy white cake with fresh strawberry filling and white buttercream frosting. The top tier holds a chocolate cake with whipped cream, chocolate ganache and caramel filling with a white buttercream frosting. Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine is. And without giving away too much, I’ll tell you that it’s going to be square, very sleek and modern and the perfect accent to our fun and modern wedding. Because I want to leave some element of surprise, I’ll give you a peak at some of the cakes I’ve found around the web that inspired the design we decided on with our pastry chef. I threw in a pretty awesome cake topper that I’m loving at the moment, and a dessert table that I’m inspired by for our wedding day – considering we’ll have a beautiful cake to display, as well as 300+ cupcakes for our guests to enjoy. So for now, you can eat up this eye candy [or cake] below… grab a napkin for any drool.
Although we squared everything away with the bakery, we still needed to taste the main course. So that’s exactly what we did. This past weekend our venue hosted a group tasting that included a variety of options from the catering menu, including the salad choices, vegetables, starch options and the most popular meat/seafood choices [as well as their vegetarian option]. They also had plated and passed hors d’oeuvres and a stocked bar so it felt like a grand event. In addition, they brought in some of preferred vendors so they could promote their services and products . The group tasting gave me a better idea of how many people the event center space can hold and, of course, how the food tasted totally. It was also a great opportunity to show my fiance and future in-laws the space [none of them had a chance to see it yet].
The four of us were all pleasantly surprised at how everything tasted. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the food would be terrible, but you just never know what you’re going to get at any venue – especially one you’ve never been to for any other event. The executive chef comes with tons of experience, which makes me confident our guests will be happy with their meals. I definitely have some decisions to make after tasting the various meal options. That must be just what they were hoping for since I was pretty sure I already knew what I wanted for our food prior to tasting it [you know, cost is always a driving factor for a wedding of our size].
So while I can check booking a bakery off my list, I still have to talk entree choices with my food and beverage manager. I have a general idea of what I want, luckily that decision doesn’t have to be made right now – this sometimes indecisive bride has a chance to sit on it for at least a little bit longer. It’ll also be an opportunity to see how my negotiating skills are. You’ll have to stay tuned for those results.