Saturday, June 07, 2008

COMMENTS ON A (MY) WEDDING - WHAT I LEARNED, AND HOW I LEARNED IT (PART I)

Thank so much for your sweet, thoughtful comments. I really appreciate it!

One comment from Mom2lo is a perfect segway into my first substantive post about my experiences:

"My goodness! That cake looks gorgeous and delicious! And are those cupcakes I see? Yum!!!"

Ahhh, the cupcakes. This was a game-time decision, and leads me to the first rule of thumb, which is comprised of three little words I think every bride needs to remember:

TRUST YOUR GUT.

The second three words? DON'T FREAK OUT.

Wedding favors were never high on my priority list. While it's a cute concept, I searched far and wide for months, and couldn't find anything that wasn't (a) cheesy or (b) ridicuously expensive. To me, spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on favors was not important (or realistic)- I'd rather put that $$ into my budget for the flowers, or the music, or the bridesmaids' dresses. Just a personal decision, but one that I felt strongly about.

We decided we would get our favors through a family friend in the restaurant business, who could put together a sampling of mini cookies, brownies, etc. in little bags. TallGuy and I ordered bags in bulk from a catalog we were given, and we thought we were on our way. TallGuy and I had designed a sticker label to put on the bags, and while at first I was against using a cheesy saying, I thought "Sweet Dreams" was to-the-point, and not too sappy.

A few days before the wedding, I thought everything was all set, but then there were complications with the bags that were ordered, and the alternatives (that we could buy in bulk) were not appealing. (Choosing favor bags may not seem like a big deal, but there are no crafts stores like Michaels in Manhattan, and our time/options was limited). Based on what the bags looked like, I rather would have had no favors at all than what was available. The mini cookies/brownies concept as well wasn't quite working out the way I thought it would.

Thursday night rolled around (the night before the rehearsal dinner), we were basically without favors, and time was running out. I kept thinking about creative, "quick fixes", and all I could think about was one word:

CUPCAKES.

There's a Crumbs bakery (which has some of Manhattan's best cupcakes, in my opinion) right down the street from my apartment. I love cupcakes and I go in there basically every week for a vanilla flavored with vanilla icing and rainbow sprinkles. Yum.

I almost did a cupcake wedding cake, but the place I had my wedding included the wedding cake, so I figured I'd go the traditional route without an extra cost for changing it up.

In any case, I turned to TallGuy and asked him, "So ...cupcake favors?" I then called some of the yummiest cupcake places in Manhattan (Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery, etc.) to find out prices and whether or not it were (a) affordable and most importantly (in my desperate state, I was willing to pay a bit more for peace of mind at this point) (b) doable 2 days before the wedding.

I was able to get through to Buttercup Bakery, and their price was the best of the bunch. They could do a large order at $1.25 per cupcake, so I ordered cupcakes in all pastel colors to match my decor, and made sure that some of them had rainbow sprinkles (my preference) and some without (TallGuy's preference). Although $1.25 was more than I wanted to spend per favor, I was willing to sacrifice price at that point - I figured that it was a good enough idea that, in the long run, I'd kick myself for the few extra dollars if I ended up with favors that guests didn't like or enjoy. Plus, I knew that not everyone at the wedding would have a cupcake, so I ordered fewer than the number of guests that were attending. It was a good call, because there were definitely a few left over.

While Buttercup couldn't deliver the cupcakes, my parents were awesome and volunteered to pick them up the morning of the wedding and bring them to the location. I was worried a bit about them staying fresh throughout the day/evening, but when they were put out on trays at 12 AM for people, they tasted delicious, and were a hit. In fact, our event location saved the few that were left from the wedding, and put them out for the brunch - they still tasted good then!

TallGuy didn't think we'd need the "doggie bags", but that turned out to be the best part, since most people ended up taking theirs to go --both at the wedding and the brunch -- the sticker label, which had the "Sweet Dreams" phrase and featured a cartoon-y bride and groom -- added to the whimsy, and I thought the whole thing ended up working out better than I could have anticipated.

The moral of this story? (a) Do what you think is best, and run with it. (b) Don't freak out in the process, because it's going to get you NOWHERE. Was I a bit panicked that I was favor-less 2 days (actually less) before the wedding? Were there some tears? Absolutely (but only in front of TallGuy!). But I knew that if I had to stick to my plan-B gameplan and just figure it out. I was proud that I was able to put something to the table (literally) that guests seemed to enjoy, and no one was none the wiser for this last-minute decision.

To sum it up, there will ALWAYS be gaffes, snags, complications, and surprises during the planning process -- even up to the very last minute. But if you remember that every "problem" has a solution, and that the wedding will still be fantastic and amazing regardless, it will all work out. Go with what you think and what you know, and don't look back. Your guests will thank you for it (and maybe have some cupcakes too!)

Stay tuned!

4 comments:

mom2lo said...

What an incredible story about one of my favorite topics--cupcakes! This is a very good lesson to share with brides-to-be. And kudos to you for hanging in there and coming up with a Plan B rather than throwing your arms up in frustration. Now, if only I could get one of those delicious delicacies shipped to me... ;)

Nice work!

http://mom2lo.blogspot.com

Anneliese Kelly said...

I wonder if you live near me. I'm about 5 blocks away from a Crumbs. And Buttercup Bakery is my s-i-l's favorite place for cupcakes. My husband and I actually drove about 5 jumbo boxes of them out to New Jersey for my niece's babynaming a few months ago. Good choice! (Though my favorite in Manhattan is Sugar Sweet Sunshine down on the LES).

Anyway, excellent improving. I had chocolate-covered pretzels as the favor at my wedding last summer. People always like edible treats to take home.

Dataceptionist said...

I wish I'd had that mantra for my wedding day "don't freak out". Its one of my lasting memories 18 months later, that for 75% of my day I was freaking out-completely unneccessarily, including almost hyperventilating before my walk down the aisle.

Hilariously, we did a rehearsal of the ceremony a few days earlier (In australia, we don't have the big "rehearsal dinner" that you guys do, its usually just a quick walk through the ceremony with the bridal party, and we shouted Pizza Hut, which we ate at the church)
Anyway we had a rehearsal and I was trying to get the timing of the walk correct with my dad, obviously having no faith in him. Fast forward to moments before I have to walk, and my dad's standing there beside me saying "breathe in-and-out" "one foot in front of the other" because I was so spaced and he was ljust like "left-right-left-right". Its hilarious in hindsight.

Keep your stories coming :)

The Wedding Fairy said...

Thanks Mom2Lo - so sweet of you to say! If you are ever in New York (if you aren't from the area), you'll have to try Buttercup - they're really fantastic little bites of goodness :-)

Anneliese - chocolate covered pretzels sound fantastic!!! Those are one of my favorite snacks - I'm sure your guests were so happy to take those home!

Dataceptionist - thanks for sharing your own stories and recollections from your wedding. It's fascinating to learn the differences between weddings here in the states and those abroad -- I'm sure you were a beautiful bride - and I'm sure you got the walk down just right despite the nervousness!