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Sugar For My Baby

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago Adam, Charlotte and I wrote this post about our favourite sweet treats.

It appears that you lot are quite partial to matters of the confectionery persuasion given the amount of discussion that followed the post…seventy-eight comments and counting folks!

It also gave us here at RMW towers an enlightening glimpse into what makes YOU tick.

For me personally though, it was Charlotte’s comment about the popularity of sweetie buffets and the perception held by some that they are ‘overdone’ or ‘so last year’ which really made me think.

As you already know, we fully endorse the ‘your day, your way’ mantra. It’s important that you really love your wedding given the amount that you have invested in it both emotionally AND financially.

So if you adore the idea of a dessert table, and hell who doesn’t given that they’ve taken the wedding world by storm, then ruddy well have one on your big day. This post not only intends to present you gorgeous lot with some creative alternatives to the traditional wedding cake but also to show you the huge number of ‘buffet’ options at your fingertips.

Shall we start with some hard candy then…

Sweet Love

A candy bar stuffed full of jelly beans, gummy sweets and tangy treats is the perfect late night snack for hungry guests. Opening essentially what is a free tuck shop is also a splendid opportunity for you to share your favourite childhood sweet choices as well as entertaining your friends and family too.

I have to confess though that the aspect that I really love about sweetie bars is not derived from their gastronomical delights but from the details and colours that they offer up as part of the overall wedding decor.

A successful sweet bar is one that has variety – both in the type of sweets that it offers to guests and in the vessels that said candy is contained within. Tall apothecary jars look fantastic when contrasted with smaller vintage dishes and prevents the table from looking too flat. Opting for containers made from different materials and textures adds interest too.

One other trick I use to help pull together a great table is by paying attention to the finishing touches. Designing ‘pic n’ mix’ bags with the wedding date inscribed on the front, adding miniature banners depicting confectionery names and adorning the table itself with bunting and glitter in the couple’s colour palette adds pizzazz and vibrant pops of colour to the overall decor.

Easy As Pie

Yes, you heard me.

There’s a new cake in town and it’s called Pie.

Like almost all of the most popular, modern, wedding trends, this craze has come from our cousins across the pond and demand for it is quickly growing.

Pies are the ultimate in comfort food and represent a refreshing alternative to the traditional wedding cake, not to mention they’re much kinder on the pocket too. Don’t they just remind you of going to your nan’s house when you were a wee one.

To this day, the smell of freshly baked apple pie instantly conjures up happy memories spent with my grandparents.

Choosing a pie-based dessert provides you with oodles of variety. The list of fillings is seemingly endless – cherries, berries, apples, pumpkins and pecans are just some of the options available to you – which means that there should be something to please even the fussiest of eaters.

Look for interesting cake stands to proudly display your pies on. Check out eBay, secondhand shops and even the unlikeliest of places…tin cans from the recycling box anyone? Try also to create depth within your pie table by using stands of different heights and/or styles.

I’m currently smitten with images of open dressers stacked to the rafters with pie and other knick-knacks. They look so good, it almost seems a shame to eat the crusty treats.

Don’t forget to label your pies either especially if any of your guests have food allergies. Flags, in the same style as the rest of the event stationery, popped into each pie is a cute way of getting the message across.

Lastly I love the idea of involving your nearest and dearest in your big day by asking them to cook a pie for your dessert table. Why not hold a baking competition with the winning pie claiming the coveted title of the ‘Official Pudding of the Bride and Groom’ to be consumed every year on your anniversary.

Raise The Bar

Not all buffet tables need to be food-based, in fact setting up an interactive drinks bar for your champagne reception can be the perfect tool for encouraging your guests to mingle.

If your event is taking place outside then I’d suggest setting up your bar on something other than a standard table covered with a tablecloth. This is a fantastic opportunity to be creative and reflect the wider wedding theme in some smaller key elements of your decor.

Perhaps you could spread some scaffolding planks across a couple of old barrels for a raw and rustic theme like the top image here or even have some pieces made for you which you can then use later in the home.

I particularly like the exposed wood trays on stilts here which would be perfect for displaying potted plants in the garden once your big day is over.

Lemonade stations are easily the most popular type of drink displays but expanding the theme to a tea pit-stop or a milk and cookies bar is just as effective. FYI – I am so having a milk and cookies zone at my wedding.

Imagine the photos with all those milk moustaches.

Your glasses needn’t conform to the norm either. Old jam jars accompanied by a jaunty straw and labelled with your guests’ names mean that drinking vessels won’t get mixed up as well as doubling up as a small memento of the day once it’s over.

I Want S’more

And frankly who doesn’t…

This part of the post is all about the weird and wonderful variations on the dessert table theme and boy have we got some things to show you. For those of you enticed by the dessert table concept but who want to do something a little bit different – this is for you.

Think velvety madeleines, elaborate croquembouches, decadent s’mores, customised cookies, perfectly popped popcorn and melt-in-your-mouth macaroons.

Yummy!

This is all about elevating the dessert table from a three-tiered cakey affair to an art form.

Perhaps you’re having a rustic, outdoorsy do where a toasted s’more will go down a treat or maybe you and your beloved are movie buffs so setting up a popcorn bar is the only way to go. Whatever your interests or wedding themes are, there’s just so much you can play with so I encourage all of you to really embrace it.

Remember it’s your day, your way.

My favourite dessert table ‘variation’ is the self-serve ice-cream parlour and I particularly love the vintage setup at the bottom of this board complete with all the necessary trimmings for the most amazing iced treat.

Opting for a slightly different dessert concept doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Toppings, cones and ice-cream can be purchased from your local supermarket and dishes and containers for the set-up can be found at Ikea for bargain prices.

Remember that presentation is paramount to making this set-up, look and feel amazing – don’t put too much out at the same time otherwise it can appear sloppy. Equally make sure that someone is nominated to keep an eye on spills and to top things up if necessary.

All that there remains for me to say is, sweet toothed connoisseurs – eat your heart out!

Let Them Eat Cake

Lots of it. Lots and lots of it!

At RMW HQ we’ve noticed more and more brides are opting for an opulent dessert table instead of the wedding cake and the more conventional pudding.

Frankly why wouldn’t you – you can have your cake (and then some more) and eat it.

For me, dessert tables have two stages to them.

Obviously there’s the actual sampling of the culinary delights but it is the visual impression of the delicious display that comes first. Long story short – if it looks good then you can guarantee it will be a success.

Opting for a cakey buffet is the perfect opportunity to continue your wedding theme. Try to bring together the design of your table, your florals and your wedding stationery to produce a single cohesive look that packs a punch.

Lavishing attention on the backdrop of the table, the colour scheme and the dessert menus are all surefire ways of giving your table pizzazz.

And if you really want to flex your creative muscle then why not take your table to the next level. Upturn bowls and place cloches on top to give height to your displays. Collect antique dishes for a vintage feel, or encase your cupcakes in gold for a dose of luxe.

If you’re confused about the number of portions a dessert table should provide for your guests then I’d follow this rule of thumb. If you’re choosing to skip cake and will just provide mini puddings instead, then I’d recommend approx 3 desserts per person.

Something else to consider is the number of different types of treats that you’ll display on your table. Too many and you risk overwhelming your guests, too few and the aesthetic impact of the display will be limited.

Aim for about 4-5 different choices for a happy medium.

So is anyone else hungry now?

All that talk about foodstuffs of the cakey variety has left me in need of a major sugar fix. I’m not fussy – right now I’ll eat just about anything…but I do like chocolate.

So have you thought about incorporating a delicious dessert table into your big day?

Perhaps the idea of organising one more thing is just too much to bear?

We want to hear what you have to say guys and gals….

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Rustic Revolution…….Part 2

Right then.

I don’t even know where to start folks.

Laura and Dave’s rustic wedding reception at “The Old Barn” in Brandgore is so unbelievably personal and inspirational, with so many unique and clever idea’s that I can’t begin to point out everything that I love about it. The escort card plan, the giant cake, the original and abundant guest entertainment, the sweetie bar…..oh my goodness the sweetie bar, by far the loveliest I have ever seen in the whole of weddingville.

Just the kind of joyous Big Day that I would give my right arm to be invited to….

Unusual Blooms

The centrepieces were designed to reflect the rustic theme and to fit into the silver birch wrap vases that my husband and I had made. They had similar blooms.

I came across an unusual flower that I had never heard of before called ‘Craspedia’ or Billy Buttons and was so taken by them, that I decided I had to have them! I chose to use them mainly for the buttonholes, as they are not overtly blousy or feminine and I thought they would go with the boy’s outfits.

THE Sweetie Bar

I loved the idea of a candy buffet but wanted something different, preferably that would excite our guests. Again, I spent hours researching, but couldn’t find anything that was right, so we decided to make our own unit. The result- a huge dresser with 21 drawers, glass jars and lots and lots of colour co-ordinated sweets! We even padlocked a drawer with a special prize and gave everyone an old iron key (part of our escort card board).

It was fun seeing all ages trying their keys in the padlock then shovelling sweets into yellow stripy bags to take away with them! We loved the whole thing so much that we are now starting our own business! www.onesweetday.co.uk

A Fruity Number

I designed a lemonade stand to compliment the rustic theme. It had a glass dispenser full of cloudy lemonade and pretty bottles of pink lemonade that guests were able to help themselves to all night! The kids loved it!

A BIG Treat

We decided that we were going to ‘go large’ on the cake! Because we didn’t want to cut the cake, we chose to have a 5 tier, alternate depth ‘dummy’, stacked on a huge chunk of wood with twigs, a birds nest and fabric birds!

My mum was responsible for the creation (although it took 4 of us to lift and place the icing on the huge bottom tier!) My mum made delicious kitchen cakes of vanilla, chocolate, carrot, toffee and fruit! Her friends ‘the dog walkers’ also contributed lots of lovely delights for the dessert table!

Aside from the lovely cakes, we had ice cream for dessert courtesy of www.brockice.co.uk 5 yummy flavours and a really nice prop for photographs. Lovely couple who run it too!

D.I.Y Decor – To the MAX

We dressed everything ourselves, with lots of help from our fantastic wedding party! Bunting, gingham table covers, dessert tables laid up with Hessian fabric, chunks of wood topped with cakes, brown labels and old iron keys, personalised teabag place-settings, cowboy hats on hooks and a guestbook area with an old typewriter, patterned paper and a battered leather suitcase that was my granddad’s.

The Piece de resistance- yellow and white paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling.

We had bales of straw for extra seating in the barn, covered in gorgeous knitted and crocheted blankets lovingly made by my mum and the dog walkers! My mum even had personalised labels made with our names and wedding date to sew onto them! We are going to sew them together to make a keepsake throw for our bed!

The guestbook area had a section for photographs taken before the wedding by our guests. Our ‘save the dates’ were actual dates in matchboxes that I designed and sent to our friends and families, requesting they take photographs of the dates for our competition! The dates went all over the world!

A matching convertible beetle and camper van trussed up with yellow ribbons to complete the look!. They were so amenable and lovely, giving me tictacs and tissues on the way!

Accidental Excitement

We accidentally came across the most wonderful photographers, Teri and David at Murakami Photography. From start to finish they have been so fantastic; friendly, creative, hard-working and professional. We chose them after we described a mad idea we had of having some wedding photographs in a pumpkin field!

Other photographers just smiled and moved on but Teri and David were as excited as we were, spouting ideas and possibilities about the shoot! They have recently won awards for one of the photographs they took in that pumpkin field! (You can access information about this on their facebook page).

All Day Entertainment

We had the brilliant ‘Switch’ a saxophone quartet to welcome our guests, which really added to the ambiance of the day. ‘Mr Wiseguy’, an amazing live cover band was our choice for the evening entertainment. We had seen them at a couple of local venues and were so impressed we had to book them! They got everyone up dancing (and even called a couple of ‘victims’ my lovely bridesmaid Cookie and our usher Dave O, to sing Mustang Sally with the band!)

Brilliant entertainment!

Wise Words

Have everything you want and make what you can’t find! It took tremendous commitment to source and make everything but we took great satisfaction in seeing little details throughout the day and so did our guests who were entertained all day by them!

Reception Venue – The Old Barn

Sweetie Bar – One Sweet Day

String Quartet – Switch

Live Band – Mr Wiseguy

Ice Cream Dessert – Brockice

Car Hire – The Wedding Bug

I want to know exactly how many of you are going to steal the following from this W-day:

A huge gigantic cake on a tree stump

A sweetie DRESSER ( marshmallows in a draw?! – I die!)

An old iron key escort card plan ( so stylish, so clever)

A help-yourself lemonade table

A “snogging at sunset” shot ( NB: can I say snogging? it just seemed appropriate….)

Let me tell you, if it was my turn I would STEAL.THEM.ALL.

With huge thanks to Dave, Laura and Murakami Photography for choosing our lovely readers to showcase this little piece of delicious to.

Big do you think a permanent sweetie dresser in my house would be OTT? Love

Charlotte xxx

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