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Take the Cake

Surprise your guests - and help your wallet - with some unique twists on a wedding cake

February 24, 2013
By KIM LOCCISANO - s ( , Times Leader

Wedding cake, what was originally called the Bride's Cake, is one detail of wedding planning that couples seem to either truly enjoy or feel just the opposite about, considering it more of a nuisance than part of the pleasures of the special day - and something to be worried about as the bridal traditions surrounding a wedding cake can get rather messy, not to mention costly.

A piece of wedding cake can easily cost between $3 and $8 a slice today - and more.

Wedding cake preparation has become almost a nationally celebrated art form, thanks to electronic media. But purchasing a custom made cake will almost certainly drive overall cost up - just adding to what is likely a building anxiety level.

Article Photos

Want something other than a standard cake? Try chocolate candy shaped bridal items. The chocolate wedding figures shown above are made by Sarris Candies in Canonsburg, Pa.

All aspects of the planning, preparing, baking, decorating and delivery, and even the cutting and plating of cakes, can have a part in reaching cake-related budget-busting costs. Sticking with the basic flavors and with standard icing recipes can help stay inside your allotted cake budget.

There is nothing popular about overspending on any special event, large or small, but when it comes to the cumulative damage to a bridal celebration budget that can be done by a bountiful array of bridal cakes, grooms cakes, the anniversary cake top, parents cakes and more, the devil can be in the details.

Consider asking a friend or relative to bake your wedding cake and decorate it or to prepare a selection of special cupcakes, or ask a friend or relative to prepare the groom's cake. Make sure to let them know they should not plan to purchase a separate gift for your wedding, as their willingness to prepare a cake, special cookies, or cupcakes you choose together will be gift enough.

Consider borrowing a cake topper from a friend or family member.

Keep your cake design simple - whether working with a friend or a commercial baker - avoiding a large layered design with numerous pillars and extensions will yield a good sized savings.

Then there is a completely different alternative: connect with a candy company that sells customized bridal party items made of chocolate.

Ohio Valley residents are generally acquainted with the year round and seasonal offerings by Sarris Candies, headquartered in Canonsburg, Pa. Sarris keeps just a few examples of their expansive bridal party favors and gifts made up.

The norm: expect the company to make fresh the items a couple orders for their wedding and reception - or the like. They can even help solve the argument over what drinks to serve or not serve.

Several years ago, Sarris Candies began taking orders for milk chocolate wine bottles and milk chocolate flat bottles. Yes, they can come complete with "cooler, ice, and even chocolates" scattered around the top of the container as it chills. Varieties include various sizes of bottles, and even champagne or Riunite stamped wine "bottles."

Then there can be the question of which cake made of chocolate will be chosen.

When it comes to table favors and things like these for showers and receptions, places like Sarris will likely also have special molds with a variety of figurines to choose from ,as they are made with your choice of chocolates.

Traditions have come and gone over the centuries, but one common thread has gone virtually unbroken during the passage of time: the fact that almost any bridal couple has creative and talented people surrounding them only too happy to be asked to play a special party in a day designated to mark the point where the married life of a couple officially began. Controlling costs of a celebration such as a wedding and any events does not have to signal the beginning of a period of doom and gloom.

Taking a little time to find out what alternative options might be realistically within your reach - financially and mileage wise as well - will be time well spent, and hopefully will result in less money going out while still realizing a top quality sweet treat for your bridal party and guests.

Today's bridal couples are finding increasingly original ways to make their festive events both reflective of their personal styles and a bit individual - all aimed at making family and friends able to enjoy the day and its many special treats.



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