Our NOLA Nuptials: Time for Dessert

April 19, 2010

After the girls finished laughing about the outcome from the cake pull, we had quite a crowd gather around to watch us cut into our wedding cake. I love this picture of Mr. Ballet Flat…just a great smile there! I think it’s because he likes me or something. 😉

I really don’t like cutting into cakes. Maybe it’s because I decorate them for a hobby and can appreciate how much work goes into them. So, Mr. BF took the reins and made that first cut…poor cake!

I’m pretty sure I was grabbing at the small sliver, trying not to get my hands too sticky.

I was so nervous about this part. I asked Mr. BF, well, more like PLEADED with him, not to smash cake. Thankfully, he didn’t, but apparently, I forced a huge wedge in his mouth. Oops!

We’re trying to chew with our mouths closed here and preventing any droppage, which I am known to do (klutz again). Momma BF would have had a heart attack.

Afterwards, we had to wash it down. This was a fun thing to figure out…darn arm looping. People kept yelling at me to face the cameras, but I was pretty stuck there. I should have used my left hand here or something.

Check out how big Mr. BF is cheesin’!! Oh yeah, Mr. BF was excited about getting into that grooms cake. King cakes are out of season in May, by the way, so our guests were all sorts of happy about this little surprise!

Oh, and just for kicks, check out the paparazzi. Crazy wedding guests! 😛

It was time for our guests to dig in for dessert and of course, some more wedding fun! Stay tuned!

Images courtesy of Amanda Meyer Photography

Previous recaps:
Our NOLA Nuptials: The Bridals
Our NOLA Nuptials: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Our NOLA Nuptials: Practice Makes Perfect

Our NOLA Nuptials: It Was All a Blur
Our NOLA Nuptials: Poof, Spray and a Lie
Our NOLA Nuptials: The Finishing Touches
Our NOLA Nuptials: Walk it Out
Our NOLA Nuptials: Making it Official (Part 1)
Our NOLA Nuptials: Making it Official (Part 2)
Our NOLA Nuptials: Some Afterthoughts

Our NOLA Nuptials: At First Glance
Our NOLA Nuptials: Smiles All Around
Our NOLA Nuptials: Dancing Klutz
Our NOLA Nuptials: Just Dance
Our NOLA Nuptials: Charmed


Our NOLA Nuptials: Charmed

April 16, 2010

So after we got our dance on and mingled, our coordinator told us it was cake time. Uhm, no need to tell me twice. I walked as swiftly as I could to the table as the DJ announced the names of the single ladies who were going to do the cake pull. 🙂

Now for those of you who are like cake pull, what the heck? It’s a southern tradition that is widely used in New Orleans weddings, and of course, there were a few ways I wanted to bring New Orleans traditions to our wedding. Every wedding I’ve been to has the traditional cake pulls, so I thought it would be fun to do them as well! Of course, I had to Ballet Flat-ify them. I wasn’t going to buy a traditional kit somewhere locally. So, I bought fun New Orleans-y charms and made them myself! Easy peasiest DIY project evah!

The bakery actually called me after my MOH dropped the cake pulls off for me, and asked if they should use white ribbon instead. They thought it would be more traditional. Hrm..I guess they didn’t realize I made these myself for a reason! They matched the fleur de lis on the cakes fairly closely too, don’t you think?

So, after rounding up the ladies from their groovin’, it was time to cheese it for the camera and grab that ribbon….

…and pull!

My friends and family were pretty excited that these were Louisiana charms, and not the standard charms that you can buy pretty much anywhere.

After licking off the icing and cake, everyone anxiously awaited their charm’s meaning.

  • Steamboat – life of adventure and travel
  • Mardi Gras Mask – life of mystery and spontaneity
  • Fleur de Lis – prosperity and wealth
  • Party Girl in Glass – life of the party
  • Crawfish– red hot romance
  • Bride & Groom – next to wed
  • Saxophone – life of harmony
  • Tiger (think LSU, not New Orleans) – strength and triumph
  • Streetcar – desire and passion
  • Drunk Guy on a Light Pole – loves a fun night life

By the way, I totally did NOT buy an old maid charm. I mean, who the heck wants the news that they will be an old maid?! Keep it positive at a wedding, folks.

Now that the cake pull was done, our guests were staring us down for dessert!  It was time to cut that cake! Stay tuned!

Images courtesy of Amanda Meyer Photography

Previous recaps:
Our NOLA Nuptials: The Bridals
Our NOLA Nuptials: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Our NOLA Nuptials: Practice Makes Perfect

Our NOLA Nuptials: It Was All a Blur
Our NOLA Nuptials: Poof, Spray and a Lie
Our NOLA Nuptials: The Finishing Touches
Our NOLA Nuptials: Walk it Out
Our NOLA Nuptials: Making it Official (Part 1)
Our NOLA Nuptials: Making it Official (Part 2)
Our NOLA Nuptials: Some Afterthoughts

Our NOLA Nuptials: At First Glance
Our NOLA Nuptials: Smiles All Around
Our NOLA Nuptials: Dancing Klutz
Our NOLA Nuptials: Just Dance


A new hobby for the budget conscious brides!

August 3, 2009

While I didn’t do this for our wedding since I was already DIY-ing a lot for our wedding and the cake was included with the reception venue, I know quite a few brides have considered the idea of a DIY wedding cake. It does take a lot of work and preparation, but in the end, you can save major moo-lah and STILL have a beautiful cake for the big day!

Over the past year, I’ve taken all four Wilton courses. Wilton offers these classes at franchise craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. Usually they are 40-50% off the going rate of $35, which isn’t bad at all if you spread it out over a few months to a year like I did.

Here’s how they divide the classes up and you have to take course 1 first. After that, you are free to take any other class in any order you want!

Course 1: Discovering Cake Decorating
Course 2: Flowers and Borders
Course 3: Fondant & Tiered Cakes
Fondant & Gumpaste

The course descriptions are here if you want specifics.

If you are considering a DIY cake but are apprehensive, let me tell you, with these courses and a good bit of practice, you will REALLY improve and become a pretty good decorator in no time! In fact, you might even catch yourself critiquing bakery decorating after taking some courses (hey, even bakeries aren’t perfect! 🙂 )!

Here’s some proof…while I’m not perfect at all, I think I improved vastly!

Here’s my last pre-Wilton cake that I made for my mom last year…and yes, I used canned frosting (gasp!).

first cake

Here are some of my favorites that I’ve made throughout the Wilton courses with the course #s to give you a feel for what you learn:

course 1

course 1-1

Course 1 cakes (ignore my impatience on the crumbs in the last cake. Remember to let your cake FULLY cool before icing!)

course 2

course 2-2

Course 2 cake and flowers (from top to bottom: apple blossom, primrose, pansy, daffodil)

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fondantgp2
Fondant and Gumpaste class (daisy and fantasy flower)

course 3

course 3-2

course 3-1
Course 3 cakes/flowers: From top, present cake (ignore the kleenex..it holds the bow’s shape as the fondant dries), easter lily, and my final tiered cake for the class! (Geaux Tigers!)

As you can see, while not perfect, it can look pretty close to professional. A lot of the flowers can be made 1-2 weeks in advance, so it’s not too overwhelming!

For you fondant lovers, who don’t want to spend a lot of $$ on the boxed stuff, here’s a no-fail recipe that I have used for most of the cakes pictured!

Marshmallow fondant (Source: Wilton forums)
16 oz. bag of marshmallows
2 tbsp water
0.5 tbsp vanilla or almond extract (or mix of both!)
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
Crisco

Grease a microwave safe bowl with crisco. Place marshmallows in the bowl and add the water and extract(s). Put in the microwave for 1 minute or in 30 second intervals until the marhsmallows soften and puff up. Take out and stir with a greased spoon/spatula until it is combined well. At this point it looks kind of soupy. Then add the sugar in 1 cup intervals and mix and fold until all is incorporated and it is no longer sticky. After adding 3 cups of sugar, add at 1/4 cup intervals, because you do not want to add too much sugar to where the fondant is too dry and starts to crack. I like to take it out of the bowl when it gets to the point where most of the sugar is incorporated and I knead it in my hands. If your hands get sticky, add some Crisco to the fondant and continue kneading. This takes roughly about 5-7 minutes. Take a greased fondant roller or a regular rolling pin and roll out just as you would any fondant. You can get this fondant almost paper thin and it also repairs well.

(You can do this in a stand mixer with a well greased dough hook, but you still want to knead it by hand after it’s done mixing.)

Also, if you are stuck on anything and worried your cake will become a Cake Wreck, I definitely recommend checking out YouTube for cake tutorials, the Wilton Forums and also Cake Central for inspiration/help! Those three have helped me immensely!

Have any of you brides considered or are making your own cake(s) for your big day?


Making it Naturally N’awlins!

May 6, 2009

When I first started blogging on Weddingbee, I mentioned a few New Orleans traditions that I wanted to bring to the wedding. Well, I kept to my word! These are a couple of last minute DIY projects that I think will add some fun to the party!

For our second line dance, I decided to save a little money and glam up our umbrellas myself. They are pretty pricey for someone else to do them, and it’s amazing what some hot glue and a little bit of feathers can do! I’m pretty sure I’m leaving them as is, but who knows, I might add some sparkle and more flair to them later!

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I found these white and black umbrellas at Accent Annex, which is a pretty popular Mardi Gras throws store in the New Orleans area. They were a steal for $4 vs. the $30+ completed umbrellas at local bridal shops! I also purchased white and black boas to glue to the edge of the umbrellas with hot glue. At the most, this project took me 15 minutes. Easy peasy!

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Mr. Ballet Flat had a problem with the boa on his at first, but I mentioned that this was just for 3-4 minutes and it’s New Orleans…just let it happen! 😀

Doesn’t this make you want to dance? 🙂

Another New Orleans tradition is the cake pulls. Of course, I could have just bought a set, but why not make it even MORE New Orleans. So, I went uptown on Magazine Street (a popular shopping district in New Orleans) and bought New Orleans charms at the Bead Shop (they do not have a website to order from, sorry!)

Check out my stash!

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Since my charms were unique, that would mean there were NO meanings for them whatsoever. So, I improvised with meanings I found on the internet. (Who really knows what the charms are supposed to mean anyway?)

Steamboat – life of adventure and travel
Mardi Gras Mask – life of mystery and spontaneity
Fleur de Lis – prosperity and wealth
Party Girl in Glass
– life of the party
Crawfish– red hot romance
Bride & Groom – next to wed
Saxophone – life of harmony
Tiger (think LSU, not New Orleans) – strength and triumph
Streetcar – desire and passion
Drunk Guy on a Light Pole – loves a fun night life

I basically took these charms and put a jump ring on them myself. Then, I strung some satin thin ribbon on them. The total cost for 10 cake pulls? About $15. Not too shabby, right?

How are you incorporating your hometown traditions in your wedding?


Hobby Lobby is my new friend!

March 20, 2009

I have been constantly thinking about the ring bearer’s pillow for the ceremony. They are so pricey in my opinion at stores and also on Etsy. I was starting to lose hope, and was thinking the impossible: DIY. I say impossible, because I haven’t sewn a day in my life on a machine. I love DIY but I wasn’t about to take on a brand new craft two months before the wedding!!

Last night, I went to Hobby Lobby to get another scrapbooking marker for our DIY invites, which will be sent out MONDAY! Really excited about that! I was walking towards the scrapbooking and saw a HUGE 50% off ALL bridal items. So, of course, being the thrifty girl I am (remember me loving clearances?) I checked it out.

By the way, this looks to be a nation-wide Hobby Lobby sale until Saturday, as seen in the ad here. Also, here’s a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon if you wanted to get something extra for the crafty person in you!

Anyway, after looking around the two aisles, I found a ring bearer pillow! It looks very similar to this, except the ribbon is satin!

ringbearerpillow

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The price? $19.99 $9.99!!!!

Also, I’ve been wanting to DIY an LSU colored wire beaded cake server set, like this one here.

server-set
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I found one in a local cooking store, but the set was $80. I thought that I could totally DIY that for less, and of course, Hobby Lobby had a plain server set for $9.99 $5! I can’t wait to figure this little craft out! 🙂

Have you found any great sales lately for your wedding?


Fleur delish!

October 9, 2008

The fleur de lis is slowly becoming a motif for our wedding. The funny thing is, I used to despise the fleur de lis. See, as a football fan and being from New Orleans, I’m “supposed” to like the New Orleans Saints. However, I don’t. It’s nothing against the team, because, well,  they have good players and solid coaching now. However, it wasn’t like that before, and I remember always being let down as a kid watching the Saints games (when I did). The fleur de lis is the main part of the graphic for the New Orleans Saints, and ever since I was a kid with my dislike for the Saints, I haven’t liked the fleur de lis. I’m ridiculous, I know. For the curious, I have an NFL team that I do like. I cheer for the Indianapolis Colts though, and I can get away with some sort of local cheering: Peyton Manning (from New Orleans) and Joseph Addai (from LSU).


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Sorry hive. I love football. I could go on and on. (but I won’t since this is a wedding blog after all…)

Since being engaged though, I’ve slowly grown to love this little symbol. I see it EVERYWHERE, so it seems.

The first thing Mr. Ballet Flat and I fell in love with was our cake. How beautiful is this cake?

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Thankfully, our reception venue includes the cake. We paid a little extra for the decorations that will be on the cake, but that’s ok 🙂 . It will look exactly like this one, except we will have the fleur de lis (molded sugar cubes) painted in a bronze color and tier buttercream “beads” in a teal color. The cake will have buttercream instead of fondant, and the reasons I went for this is cost and taste. I’ve made good tasting fondant before (I cake decorate for a hobby), but it’s kind of engrained in people’s heads to peel this stuff off anyway, so why pay extra for it? Bakeries can make buttercream INCREDIBLY smooth too with a little bit of parchment and patience. 🙂

I’m sure you all want to know the flavors too! This was the most exciting part: cake tasting! The whole cake will be a 4 tiered almond-flavored white wedding cake with different fillings for each tier.

The bottom tier is going to be what Mr. Ballet Flat drools over…..pineapple.


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It’s a standard wedding cake flavor, at least for the weddings I’ve attended, so it’s pretty safe to say that most people will go for that one.

The second to bottom tier is what I drool over….strawberry.


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It’s been on most of my birthday cakes as a child, and when I tasted it at the bakery, I just had to have it!

Then, the second to top tier will be a chocolate buttercream.


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When I tasted the mild chocolate flavor, I knew this was something that we HAD to do. It’s a little different, but I think it will go over well with our guests. Surprisingly, Mr. Ballet Flat despises chocolate. Yes, he really does. However, he knows how many people like it, and so, he said yes to chocolate! (YAY!)

Our top tier will be saved for our one year anniversary as a couple. Mr. Ballet Flat and I went back and forth on this…pineapple.strawberry.pineapple.strawberry. In the end, Mr. Ballet Flat and I agreed on strawberry filling for our top tier. I may make pineapple filling for him to dip his cake in though (shh…it’ll be our little secret, k?). 

Ok, so I have myself drooling over here. I don’t know if I can wait over 7 more months!! 😉

Are you looking forward to tasting your wedding cake?


Everything is BUDGET! (Part 1 of 5)

July 21, 2008

I’m trying a 5-part daily series this week, as a challenge to myself to blog more on here. 🙂 The sole reason? To help me sort over my budget…

As many brides are, I’m on a strict budget. Before Joey proposed to me, I knew that we would be paying for the majority of this wedding. In my head, being a Disney nerd, I always imagined the perfect princess wedding in Cinderella’s castle with fireworks, beautiful cake, my guests having a wonderful time, etc.

Being rational, however, I knew that being from New Orleans, there was NO WAY a destination wedding, much less a Disney wedding would happen on our paychecks. Joey and I make great salaries for our age, but we are avid savers and don’t want to break the bank for our big day.

Needless to say, being from New Orleans, there is a lot of character in the city that we could incorporate into our wedding. I decided, based on my yearly wages and spending, that I was able to easily save $800/month. The budget would be strict, and my days at Target were numbered. Given that I had 13 months to save for this (since most places require the money a month before the day started), I had $10,400 to potentially work with. I made it an even $10,000 for the sole reason that I could have wiggle room in my savings to go towards furniture, house stuff, etc.

The first thing I did was book my church, the church I grew up in. Being a parishioner, we booked this place for a cool $250. The church is beautiful…long aisle, tons of seating and it’s not modern by any means (I wanted an old fashioned, woodsy, beautiful stained glass windows church), so it just adds some great character to the wedding. Not many churches look like this anymore! I’d post interior pics but they aren’t online…I don’t blame the church…churches aren’t meant to be advertised…

With my potential $10,000, I then purchased my first wedding planner binder off Amazon. I love this little planner, but after a month of being engaged, the binder was too small, so I went to Office Depot with empty ink cartridges from work (to get $3 off coupons). Yes, I’m THAT frugal. I bought a 2″ binder for 72 cents total and transferred everything to it. My planning binder is now a nice arm weight. It’s great but HEAVY and full of every magazine clipping, DIY inspiration, budget tips, etc. that I could FIND. It also holds the contracts and the not-so-fun reminders of the cost of our wedding.

After getting a planner, I went to various websites on how to divide the money best. Most places said the reception venue should be 40-50% of the budget. Easy enough…I have $5000 at the most to work with. This was scary…New Orleans area weddings were proving to be on average $35pp and up (plus tax and grat, which would be another $1500). So essentially we could invite 100 people. What a SQUEEZE that would be…both of our sides of the IMMEDIATE family (talking parent’s siblings and their kids) would be all we could invite, if even that. It was a sad reality. My mom (thank GOD!) mentioned her old reception hall the morning we were supposed to see 3 halls. We had an impromptu appointment, and their prices were $29pp INCLUDING grat and tax! (and cake, dj, duty officer…extras that weren’t included in other halls) We had to book…and we are so glad we did. We can invite 150 guests (kids under 10 counting really as 1/2 guest) for $4800 TOTAL. Beautiful!

We had the biggest chunk of our day figured out…the PLACE(s)!!

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow