First off - i'm sorry this post has taken me an age to get around to writing - it's been crazy busy at HQ with two gorgeous weddings and mini Jam Jar's 3rd Birthday since our last little ditty!
So here comes the next post in our DIY wedding series - and this one is all about CAKE!
Now, I've always loved baking, so it was on the cards from the get go that I was going to make my own cake for our big day.
Although there are some truly AMAZING cake makers out there (cakes by sian is totes our favourite), it can be pricey to have your cake made by a professional, and when we were working through our budget it just wasn't near enough the top of the priority list to spend too many of our pennies on so I got busy working out the best way to make one.
Most brides definitely wouldn't want the stress of baking a cake two days before their wedding, and most normal brides would shudder at the thought of decorating it THE MORNING OF their wedding...but hey - I'm not a normal bride! And that was exactly what I did for our naked cake.
I'm a big fan of an easy life when I'm busy (and my gosh, busy was an understatement for the two days before our wedding!) so I decided that "from scratch" wasn't an option this time. As such, I had a few practice goes over the summer with some pre-made cake mixes and the winner (by a country mile!) was the Wrights Madeira mix which just happens to be an absolute steal for £1.79 per bag in Aldi! You only need to add oil and water to it and it bakes lovely and moist so I didn't need to worry about it drying out. I played around with adding different flavours to it and the best one for us was to simply add the rind and juice of half a lemon to each mix to freshen it up a bit.
I used 6 bags of cake mix in total, 3 for the bottom teir, two for the middle and one for the top. I baked all of the cakes on the Thursday morning, wrapped them tightly in cling film (after they'd COMPLETELY cooled) and baking paper and stored them in tupperware boxes until I was ready to use them on the Saturday.
When it came to decorating it - I cheated again! I brought 2 pots of Betty Crocker Lemon Buttercream, (which were on offer in Asda for £1.50 each!) and piped the fillings between the cakes. To finish it all, I used a pastry brush to add icing sugar to the outside edges and top of the cake and then filled the gaps with gyp, roses and carnations to match the flowers we had created in the Hall. To get the gap for the flowers between the tiers I used cake pillars to balance the cake boards on. I found them in a charity shop a couple of years back but you can get them in all baking shops for less than a fiver!
So after a few hours work and less than £30 (all in with flowers) we had a lovely three teir cake for our big day. It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination - but we loved it! The only thing I can't tell you is how it tasted because in all the hustle and bustle of our glorious wedding - we FORGOT TO CUT IT! And when we got back to the hall to clear up on the Sunday an army of wasps were attacking it so sadly it ended up in the bin! It's true what they say - you actually can't have your cake and eat it too!
Thankfully (seeing as everyone was too polite to cut it!) - my cake wasn't the only cake on the menu for our guests. We had a little Bake Off competition and we had some truly awesome bakes from our nearest and dearest. If like us, you're on a budget but LOVE cake, a bake off is a lovely way to get a cracking dessert table if your pals are obliging. We added a little card to our invitations when we sent them with a little note about what we wanted to do and our crew responded in epic fashion. We left voting cards on the cake table and the winner got a little treat in the way of a Thorntons chocolate cup :) Well done again to Emma!
Will try not to leave it quite so long until my next post but after wedding-ing at Merriscourt today for the Watkin wedding and two weddings next week at Swallows Nest Barn and The Mill Barns, i'm thinking it might be October before I find my laptop again!
Thanks again to the lovely Amy Taylor for the lovely photos of our cakes from our big day. Can't wait to see the rest of them and share them with you all when she's finishing wed-iting!
See you all soon xxx
I've been a little bit naff at blogging since I started our little business (it's been a little on the busy front what with styling heaps of weddings, being a mom, running our etsy shop and of course planning our own big day!) But now we're hitched and the end of busy season is approaching for us as winter sets in I thought it was time to set it right!
As such, I'm going to write a little series of blog posts and tutorials to share my experience of planning, making and surviving our wedding at Rock Village Hall in August.
If there are elements of planning you'd like a little advice on that I haven't written - or just fancy being a nit nosey - I'd love to hear from you! Just drop us a line through the contact page and I'll get straight onto it!
First on the list...the venue.
The first thing we worked out was our venue. We knew we wanted to invite all of our nearest and dearest (which includes an army of little folks) and we didn't want to exclude any of our guests from the service either so we knew from the get go we wanted all of our guests there for the whole shabbang as opposed to inviting some people just for the evening. This had consequences on a few sides...it's more expensive as you have to feed and water folks for the day (it seems only fair to throw some lunch at people who have kindly travelled to see you get hitched!), and it's a long day to keep your guests entertained until the evening reception (there's always a couple of hours lull between speeches and the party starting which can sometimes result in a bit of an atmosphere dip).
So we set to work researching venues that would work for us...
We looked at hotels, a castle, barns and pubs and then one day whilst perusing pinterest, I can across a blog on a website of the epic lady who would become our photographer. Amy had captured a wedding at Rock Village Hall and as I scrolled the pictures I instantly fell in love with the idea of a diy wedding. Not only did it mean that we would save heaps of cash, it meant that I would have the freedom to create every little detail (and I do mean EVERY little detail!) for our special day. So I bundled Mr. Jam Jar into the car and off we went to see it.
All village halls are insainly cute for weddings - but Rock is really something else. Mr. J is an Architectural Designer by trade so when he saw this eco friendly beaut of a wooden building it didn't take much persuading to get him on board with my idea. It has all the charm of a village hall, with a bright, modern feel to the rooms and an enourmous village green to boot. For less than £1,000 we had the whole hall from 5pm on the Thursday evening to 3pm on the Sunday to set up, enjoy our day and then take it all down - including the use of a fabulous kitchen, a room for me and my girls to get ready in, another room we used a parenting room, the fabulous hall which seats over 100 people, the bar, a massive car park for our guests and of course the gorgeous decking area and grounds for us all to play in. BARGAIN.
On our visit to Rock, we also realised that less than a 5 minute walk away was the gorgeous St. Peter and St. Pauls Norman Church which, once we'd been in for a cheeky look around, solved our problem of what kind of ceremony to have. Although it wasn't our local church - you can marry in ANY Church of England Church if you are willing to make a connection with it by attending services for 6 months which was exactly what we did. The end result - we got hitched in a glorious church and then our guests pottered down the road behind us in our wedding car to our reception which saved anyone from driving around for hours during the day.
So after an official tour with Ann, the delightful lady who manages the hall, we sent off our deposit and booked the hall for our wedding....2 YEARS away! Fairly quickly after that we went to a lovely service at Rock to meet the parish vicar and church warden to arrange our connection making bits and bobs, and et voila, our wedding plans were officially on their way!
Up next (hopefully over the weekend if I have time between wedding-ing at the Granary Hotel for the Jarrett wedding and working through etsy orders) I'll be chatting all things guest list-ing and stationery.
See you all soon and have a fab weekend my lovelies xxx