Archive for the ‘Vendors’ Category

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Let them eat cake!

September 21, 2010

Randy and I had cake for lunch today.

Not just any cake, but sinfully delicious cake.

Yummmm!

Our first stop was Almost Heaven Desserts in Clarksburg. I sampled their carrot cake at Lakeview’s Fall Bridal Show last year and fell in love. For good measure, I tried it again at this year’s show.

Yep. Still in love. 😉

The bakery got bonus points for displaying an almost exact replica of what I want for our cake. Although I didn’t snap a picture, it was just like this (minus the flowers):

Armed with that picture and sensitive sweet taste buds, Randy and I drove 40 minutes down 1-79  to the bakery which, oddly enough, looked like it was in a converted basement of a house. I’m not sure what I was expecting – display cases full of cakes, cookies and pies, maybe? What I got was a small lobby with an empty display case and a view of their workspace.

We were greeted by Deeanna, who left us with basic paper work (name, address, wedding date, etc.) while she prepared our samples:

Clockwise from top right: White cake with buttercream icing, raspberry filling, carrot cake with buttercream icing, white cake with buttercream icing, chocolate cake with buttercream icing.

After Deeanna left us alone, we both went straight for the carrot cake. Somehow, though, I don’t think Randy was as impressed as I was.

Me: Mmm … Isn’t that awesome?

Randy: It’s good.

Haha!

Next, we tasted the white with a bit of raspberry filling. It was by far our least favorite of the three. The cake seemed dry and the raspberry filling didn’t complement it very well. I’ve never been a big fan of white cake, so I wasn’t surprised I didn’t like it.

The chocolate cake, however, was super moist and had great flavor! Although I was hesitant to pair it with the raspberry filling (the combo is pass/fail in my book), it was delish. In fact, I ate more of it than I did the carrot cake.

Randy is a laid back, non-froo-froo guy whose one wedding request was to have a plain (aka no special fruit or cream filling) wedding cake. Unfortunately, I’m the exact opposite. So I offered a compromise:

We’ll have carrot cake for our top tier (saved for our anniversary), chocolate cake with raspberry filling for the middle, and white cake with buttercream for the bottom. Something for everyone!

In agreement and with full bellies …

we talked business money with Deeanna.

The numbers weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated – $442 for a three-tiered cake (saving top tier for us), a 10-inch side cake, taxes and delivery – but still over the budget I’d set. Clearly I had no idea how much cake costs when I set my budget.

Not completely deflated but a little sad, we thanked her for her time and began the trek back to Motown. During the car ride Randy asked if there were other places I had in mind. I told him about Myers Creative Cakes (MCC) and mentioned Giant Eagle.

I called MCC and chatted with the owner about prices. For buttercream cakes, it’s $2.25 a slice. She also offers fondant for $3.25/slice, or a faux fondant cake for half the price. On the surface, that’s cheaper than Almost Heaven; however, I’m waiting on a contract to see about delivery fees, etc.

On a whim, we swung by Giant Eagle. I had a friend who used round cakes from Giant Eagle as her table centerpieces and raved about how good they were.

I asked the baker about wedding cakes and she immediately said, “We do wedding cakes, but we don’t deliver or set them up.”

I figured as much. Blah! Who’s going to be in charge of that on the day of the wedding? Not this girl.

Even though I was secretly writing it off in my brain, I continued to listen to the information.

“I’ll bake it ahead of time and freeze it. It’ll thaw out by the time you need it.”

Hmmm…

“We stack the tiers on top of each other.”

Great!

“They’ll be 14, 10 and 6-inch cakes,” as she points to the tiniest cake I’ve ever seen in the display case.

Although Randy swears it would be fine, I think the tiers would look out of proportion. I also worry our cake topper will overwhelm the top tier. Eek!

When the woman stopped to take a breath, I asked the all important question:

“Can you give me a price breakdown?”

She grabbed her calculator and punched in some numbers.

“$75.”

:-O

And it’s not like Giant Eagle has sucky cake. It’s great! The price alone is tempting, but I’m not completely sold on the idea. What if it doesn’t thaw out in time? What if it thaws out and the icing starts to sag? Who would be in charge of picking it up? What if the cake topper (it’s the focal point of the cake) is too big?

Decisions, decisions. Glad we started this process early!

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Dress Dilemma (Part Two)

September 12, 2010

Part One

With Bonny dresses and Checker’s Bridal out of the picture, I needed to find somewhere else to make an appointment.

Since I didn’t (completely) listen to my mom the first time around, I decided to heed her advice and make an appointment at David’s Bridal.

I hadn’t looked at the store’s dresses in a long time, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many I liked.

Style 9WG9984

The best part of this dress? It has freaking pockets! For an Italian who talks with her hands, you’d think I’d have no need for pockets. But, I do. And to incorporate them into a wedding dress is genius.

Style 9WG3153

Style 9V9665

These two are very similar in shape. The first one might be too plain, while the second might have too much detail. Although I’m not wowed by either, I still want to give them a try.

These last two are at the top of the “Love” list right now …

Style 9T3090

Words cannot describe how much I love this dress  from the bust down. I think the lace on top would be okay if it were cap sleeves, but the back looks like this:

It makes the dress very romantic, almost Victorian – and that doesn’t mesh well with the modern feel I have in mind for the wedding. The lace looks like it could be removed, but I’m anxious to see the dress in person to find out.

Style 9WG3045

Oh so simple with a bit of flower flare. I had the pleasure of seeing this dress on a bride yesterday afternoon while helping Becky pick out a dress for her wedding. It’s even more beautiful in person! 😀 I must have said, “I love that” at least 10 times.

I think I’ve found my dress shopping excitement again. T-minus 13 days. 🙂

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Dress Dilemma

September 10, 2010

I have had a dress dilemma – and I haven’t even been shopping.

Remember when I wrote about the beautiful Bonny gowns and the shop close to home that carries the line?

Well, it turns out the store doesn’t stock the line after all.

*sniff*

I called Checker’s Bridal last week to make an appointment and inquired about Bonny’s Unforgettable line. Lynn, who I’m assuming is the shop owner, told me she didn’t have any dresses in stock; however, I could Borrow a Bonny.

For a $75 fee (which covers shipping and insurance to and from the store), I can “borrow” a dress from the designer to try on. At Checker’s, the $75 then acts as a credit toward the purchase of my dress (not just the one I borrowed). The beauty of the borrow program is a lot of times you can get one in your size.

Knowing I needed to mull things over (aka. Ask mom for her opinion), I made an appointment but said I would call back if I wanted to borrow a dress. More specifically, this dress:

Bonny 1004

Mom was 100% against the idea. Her concern (and mine as well) was I wouldn’t like anything I tried on and then be out $75.

But I really wanted to see that dress on me. I called several other stores and they didn’t have the dress either.

Prompted by questions from Tania about prices and deposits for bridesmaids’ dresses, I called Lynn Wednesday and picked her brain.

She recognized my name immediately and said, ironically, another bride called not 10 minutes after me last week inquiring about the same dresses.

*Side note – Lynn is awesome. Although, as you’ll read, I didn’t like all of the answers to my questions, she never once made me feel like a PITA (that’s pain in the ass, if you didn’t know); she answered everything I asked, and was even understanding when I told her I was a overwhelmed. If I were a “regular” bride (whatever that is), I wouldn’t hesitate to at least visit her store. /side note*

Realizing it might be beneficial to have some of the dresses in the store, she talked about having a trunk show.

I got all kinds of excited when she said that.

Until she told me it wouldn’t be until November – and the dresses would only be size 16.

Ughhh! Seriously? Why? Why offer a plus-sized collection but only show the smallest size in the line? Do these designers think we (ie. plus-sized brides) don’t actually want to try them on? Why not pick a middle of the road size?

Completely overwhelmed, I went against my mother’s advice and told Lynn I wanted to borrow a dress.

After telling her what size I’d need, I asked how many dresses she had on-hand I could actually try on.

Three.

Well, ok, at least it’ll be a quick appointment. :-/

My final question was about the price range for bridesmaids’ dresses.

$169-229, but the average is $199.

Look, I know these dresses aren’t cheap. At the same time, I can’t ask my friends to spend $200 (not including alterations) on a dress they may wear once. If I can save them even $50, I’d rather do that.

I hung up the phone feeling deflated and realizing two things. One, I should have listened to my mom. Two, I won’t be buying my dress from that store. I should have called back right then to cancel the dress and appointment, but I got swept into a work-related function.

Several hours later, though, someone or something intervened on my behalf. 😉

Lynn called to say the designer didn’t have the dress I wanted in ivory. I could have ordered it in white but declined.

It just wasn’t meant to be. And that’s okay.

Where am I going now – and what new dresses do I have in mind? Stay tuned for Part Two.