Lego Cake Topper

4 Whimsical Cake Toppers

There are only two occasions where you can get away with putting little people on top of a cake: a child’s birthday party and a wedding. Wedding cake toppers have come a long way since the sanitized, ideal generic bride and groom from the 50’s. These days, you can make your toppers as unique and playful as you and your partner. There are plenty of fun ways to DIY, or you can let someone else do the work and buy from Etsy. Here are a few possibilities to spark your imagination and help you choose wedding toppers as unique as you and your partner.

Legos

Lego is enjoying something of a Renaissance right now. They’ve acquired the licenses to every cool, nerdy property imaginable, from comic book heroes to fantasy novels. If you and your partner like building with the tiny plastic bricks, a Lego cake topper is a fun way to celebrate your obsession. Lego sells a little cake topper wedding set, but we think it’s more fun — and more in the spirit of Lego–to build your own. Lego stores have big bins of mini-figure parts you can use to make your own mini-you, or you can visit a site like Bricklink for more options.

Action Figures

Unlike our parents, we’ve learned that becoming mature doesn’t mean you have to grow up. It’s perfectly acceptable to be a full-grown person and still play with toys (or at least collect them and display them). There are action figures of almost everyone imaginable, from the Ninja Turtles to Albert Einstein. Show off your pop culture obsession by using action figures as your stand-ins. Where else are your guests going to be able to see Iron Man getting hitched to Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Photo Cutouts

If the action figures and Lego mini-figures don’t look enough like you why not go the distance and put yourself on top of the cake? It’s a simple little project, but the end result looks great and adds a nice air of whimsy to your wedding. Simply take a picture of you and your partner (perhaps even your engagement photos), print it out, glue it to cardstock, and carefully cut around the two of you with a craft blade. Stick them in the icing and they’ll stand up, making it look like you and your partner are standing on a giant cake.

Esqueletos

If you’ve been to a Dia de los Muertos celebration, you’ve probably seen little carvings of skeletons, all fully-clothed and seemingly going about their business. There are skeleton doctors, musicians, bloggers–any profession or costume imaginable. These figurines are called esqueletos, and they make really cool cake toppers. To someone not in the know, it might seem a little morbid to have skeletons on your wedding cake, but Dia de los Muertos is about remembering the dead joyously, not mourning them. The skeletons represent ancestors partying in the afterlife. Who says you have to go with “‘til death do us part?”

When you’re choosing your cake toppers, try to find a shared passion with your partner that can lead to something really unique. After all, shouldn’t your cake toppers be just as cool as your fancy cake?

Five Wedding Cake Alternatives

Donut TowerNext to the ring and the vows, the wedding cake is one of the more ingrained wedding traditions in American culture. We’ve all seen the multi-tier white cake with the delicate sugar flowers, elegant and understated and incredibly expensive. An amazing cake can definitely be a conversation piece at your wedding, but there are plenty of options out there for an innovative couple. Here are five suggestions for wedding cake alternatives, in order from more traditional to most out-there:

Cupcakes

Instead of one huge layer cake, why not go for several different flavors of cupcake? You can experiment with small batches of different fillings and frosting rather than just one or two on a big cake. What’s more, they’re pre-portioned: no waiting for the caterer to cut the cake before your guests can serve themselves. Plus, there’s no need for plates or forks; cupcakes are portable and finger-food.

A Cake for Each Table

Wedding receptions can be a little awkward as social circles collide and friends and family meet each other for the first time. One way to encourage guests to mingle is to do away with the single big cake and put smaller cakes of different flavors on each table. Make an announcement at the beginning of the meal that guests are encouraged to seek out other flavors and trade with other tables and watch the fun begin! It’s much easier to make friends when you have a reason to interact with each other, and trading a slice of chocolate with raspberry ganache for a slice of lavender-vanilla is an excellent reason.

Pies Instead of Cakes

This possible alternative is really a question of personal taste. For a rustic wedding, a down-home wedding, or a wedding for a couple who just aren’t “cake people,” pie can be a wonderful way to go. Instead of a three-tiered cake, you can go with several different flavors of pie on a cake stand. Pie is the ultimate comfort food; for a more casual reception, you can’t go wrong with a slice of Dutch apple.

Mini Desserts

Mini desserts, or dessert shots, are a great way to let your guests sample a variety of desserts without overly taxing their waistbands which makes them a great option as a wedding cake alternative. Instead of a single piece of cake, let them choose a miniature tiramisu, a tiny crème brûlée, and a little flourless chocolate torte. No one will mind having dessert buffet style if you have four or five unique options for the guests to mix and match.

Donut Tower

If any kind of dessert is a little too conventional for you, and especially if you’re having a morning wedding and brunch-themed reception, a donut tower may be the perfect cake alternative. A multi-tiered display of stacked donuts, with several different brightly-colored frosting finishes, will definitely get your guests talking. Pair it with a coffee fountain for breakfast-themed nirvana.

If those suggestions are still a bit too conventional, you can make a playful reception centerpiece out of just about any foodstuff arranged into that classic three-tiered shape that most wedding cakes are displayed. We’ve seen wedding “cakes” made of stacked Oreos, Twinkies, even cheeseburgers (with ketchup for dipping). Whether it’s sweet or savory, conventional or extremely quirky; make sure your cake fits your personality as a couple, and your guests will love it.

Saving on Your Wedding Catering

Wedding CateringOne of the most expensive parts of your wedding will be paying the caterer, and this is particularly true if you’re having a large wedding. Other than the cost of your reception venue, your next largest expense will be feeding all of your guests. For each wedding guest you invite, you’ll need to have appetizers, a main course, and usually an evening snack; not to mention a slice of wedding cake for each person. All of those expenses can add up really quickly, especially if you let your guests run wild with the amount that they eat. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to control the cost of your wedding catering and keep room in your budget for other items.

Cocktail Hour

Typically, most couples will offer some type of small appetizer during what is known as “cocktail hour”. This is the time between when guests arrive at the reception hall and when the main dinner is served. Usually the guests will mingle, sip on cocktails, and congratulate the happy couple. Additionally, there are appetizers going around curbing the appetite of hungry guests.

To save money during cocktail hour, it’s a good idea to have the appetizers passed around from person to person on a tray or to have a server carrying them around to each group of people. If you just leave them on a table for your guests to have free reign, you’ll notice that a small handful of your guests will devour the whole tray in record time. By avoiding this, you can save a ton of money on your wedding catering. Additionally, not having an open bar or only serving beer for free can help you save money during cocktail hour, but that really isn’t considered part of your catering expenses.

Dinner

One of the easiest ways to save money on dinner service at your wedding is to choose an inexpensive dish that is very filling for your guests. By far the best choice for this is pasta because it is usually the least expensive option, everyone will love it, and it will fill the guests up with a single serving. It’s a good idea to offer at least two pasta choices to your guests such as spaghetti and fettuccini so that everyone can have a choice that they enjoy.

Also, though it may seem cheaper to do a buffet style dinner to avoid the cost of servers, having a plated dinner is usually much less expensive in the long run. It’s cheaper to pay a server $25 to deliver plates to a table than it is to have Uncle Joe eat 12 plates of food from the buffet line, so take that into consideration when you are crunching the numbers for your catering budget.

Side Dishes

Side dishes can quickly add up at a wedding, so try to avoid them at all cost. For instance, if you’re having a pasta dish, try to limit your sides to only salad and bread. Every additional food item you offer to your wedding guests will add to your catering expenses, so just keep them to a minimum.

Evening Snack

The cheapest way to thwart the expense of an evening snack for your guests is to time your dinner out so you don’t need on at all. If you space out your dinner and your wedding cake service, you can easily get away without having an evening snack at all. Also, you can put some candy or cookies at each table as a wedding favor which will also alleviate the need for any type of late night munchies.

Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are so labor-intensive and decorative these days that they are usually one of the more expensive parts of your catering costs. To keep your budget in check, you should opt to buy a very small decorative wedding cake for the cake cutting ceremony and for your wedding party to eat. For the rest of the guests, you can slice up some sheet cakes that are just as delicious but much less expensive because they aren’t decorated like the actual wedding cake. This is particularly budget-friendly if you’re having a large wedding with a lot of guests.

“A Nightmare Before Christmas” Wedding Cakes

For those of us who feel in love with the cult classic film “A Nightmare Before Christmas”, it can be very tempting to model your wedding cake after such a timeless story. Though it is a little unorthodox in its delivery, the story tells the tale of true love hiding in the most obvious of places. However, since the way the movie was filmed was so dark, twisted, and gothic, reconciling that love story into something that works as a wedding cake can seem like a bit of a challenge. So, without further ado, I give you my favorite “A Nightmare Before Christmas” wedding cakes that will hopefully serve as inspiration for the creation that will be at your wedding.

1 – A Simple Design

“A Nightmare Before Christmas” Wedding Cake 1

I really like this wedding cake because the design is very traditional and simple. Aside from the dark color scheme and the cake topper featuring Jack Skellington and Sally, the layout of the cake is pretty much exactly what you’d expect at a wedding. I especially like the gnarly looking hill from the movie being included because it happens to be my favorite part.

2 – All the Favorite Characters

“A Nightmare Before Christmas” Wedding Cake 2

This wedding cake design is also fairly simple, but I really like how it takes things a step further and includes most of the characters from “A Nightmare Before Christmas”. It is a tad bit morbid for some people, I’m sure, with all the dead bodies hanging from the tree on the cake topper; but after all is “Halloween town”. I also like how Oogie Boogie was invited on the cake, and the 2 faced mayor is represented on the bottom rung.

3 – Abstract Construction

“A Nightmare Before Christmas” Wedding Cake 3

Last, but definitely not least, is my personal favorite “A Nightmare Before Christmas” wedding cake. I particularly like the way that this cake designer stacked different sized and shaped layers up to the top just as you would expect to see in “Halloween Town”. Also, I like how Jack and Sally’s faces are done in silhouettes on the side of the cake rather than as plastic wedding cake toppers, the Gnarly looking hill is represented on the bottom layer with Zero coming towards Jack. All and all, this “A Nightmare Before Christmas” wedding cake by far hits on all eight cylinders in my book.