Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Disturbing Wedding Advice #3

I am a fan of budget weddings. In all honesty, I would not own a house right now if our wedding cost much more than $2,000.

In addition to helping us save money, planning a budget shindig allowed us to reconnect with what really matters. We didn't obsess about aisle runners; we couldn't even begin to afford those. Instead, we focused on making the event memorable with sincerity rather than money.

And because it was only $2,000, we were able to cover the entire cost ourselves. Since our families weren't financial stake holders, we got to make all the decisions ourselves. We adore our families, but we wanted our wedding to represent us and not necessarily anyone else.

I am not a fan, however, of trying to save money by faking elements of a more expensive wedding. In this CNN article about budget weddings, for example, the author recommends faking the cake:

"Rent-a-Cake in Atlanta will rent you a tiered Styrofoam cake with icing on the outside, so it looks like the real thing. It'll cost you about $145 to rent the cake including set-up. There's a secret compartment in the back of the cake where you can hide a slice of angel food cake so guests think you're cutting into the real thing. Then you serve your guests a less expensive sheet cake that's hidden in the kitchen."

A wedding should be about authentic connection and love and support. Does deceiving your guests really create that? On the other hand, does paying $700 for a beautiful cake accomplish that either?

In both cases, the answer is no. When we start obsessing about cake aesthetics, we're missing the point of a wedding.

Matt and I decided to purchase several small cakes from Whole Foods because we couldn't afford a fancier cake. But we also wanted the cake to taste good. In my experience, fondant isn't as tasty as it is beautiful (Matt actually likes the stuff, but I contend he's unaverage).

I have to confess. There were moments in the planning process when I would come across someone's photos and covet their perfectly beautiful and coordinated cake. But now that it's all said and done, I can honestly say that it's not about the cake. And trying to live up to the Wedding Industrial Complex's cake standards takes energy away from creating a meaningful and sincere wedding.

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Ellen Mint said...

$145 to rent a cake? Hell ours is just costing $200 and people will get to, you know, eat it. That's just insane.

Unknown said...

Mine cost $85.

Anonymous said...

I have heard about renting fake cakes and I think it's super tacky in so many ways. Why not get a beautiful cake from a local grocery store? I got our wedding cake at my local grocery store and it was beautiful! Even one of the owners of the store bought his wedding cake from the bakery at the store. I paid $300 for a three tiered cake for a 118 guest. Everyone loved the cake so much! I wasn't going to pay anymore money than that for a cake. I sure wasn't going to do some tacky idea to save money on a cake either. Having a fake cake and then bringing out your guest sheet cakes is tacky. Fake cake... people will figure out it's fake when they see the cake up close. Come on? Who really cares what the cake should look like? I was so happy with our cake choice. The one person who really loved our cake bought her daughters wedding cake at a fancy bakery. Yet she spent way more money than I did.

-Jodi :)

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