Monday, 26 March 2012


It was such a bummer :(

I found out about a wedding fair called 'The Alternative Wedding Fair' which was coming to Manchester. I thought wow fantastic! A place to show other brides that they don't have to have a 3 tier white wedding cake with flowers on it....the 'cookie-cutter' wedding cake. It was my chance to make weird and wonderful designs and assure brides that they CAN have whatever they want, whether it be skulls, zombies, a favourite film, a circus theme or a rainbow coloured one. ANYTHING goes nowadays with weddings and I'm a firm believer in having things how YOU want them, there's nothing more beautiful than day that is personalized exactly for you, even if it does include skulls!

I jumped straight on the band wagon and was excited for it to be my first wedding fair as an exhibitor. Maybe even my ONLY fair as this was a place I could fit in and would be happy to do it year after year :)

So what is Alternative?
Its just that...
Something 'alternative' from the everyday wedding stuff. If you want vintage and beautiful...thats alternative Your a tattoo lover and want to show OFF your tattoos rather than cover them up....thats alternative
You LOVE video games and want to theme your wedding around it....thats alternative
Don't suit white or want a bright pink dress?...thats alternative

I could go on forever! There is nothing wrong with having the day you want, infact you will probably find your guests remember it much more than a 'cookie cutter' style wedding where nothing stands out and looks like every other wedding out there.

But in saying this, you don't have to go extreme! Just the odd detail here and there to highlight your personalities is good too! Personalisation (cant spell that, I dont even think its a word) is AWESOME!

So I set out to try and make a few cakes that would cater to most people.

Vintage is quite a strong trend this year and pink and green is tipped to be big too. Which inspired me to make this next cake with pearls, buttons and roses. And why are there hidden skulls on it?...because its alternative...and I like skulls :) lol

Its 4 tiers, all fondant decorated and hanpainted lettering.

So we've covered vintage, what else?
Film theme? but which one?
Nightmare Before Christmas of course! It covers film as well as those looking for something 'darker' with black and purple.

This was by far probably the most time consuming!

The topper was handmade straight onto the cake. You can buy NBC toppers (which I think are discontinued and very expensive!) but I made this one myself as I could put them in any pose I wanted, and I wanted to make them 'close' instead of just stood next to each other....they seem much more like a couple now :)
 The Halloween Town silhouettes and burton-esque spirals were handpainted on all the way round. The board depicted black cobbles, pumpkins and tombstones.

The second tier is based on Jack Skellingtons attire, and the top tier contains the most wedding-fitting quote which I thought was just too lovely NOT to put on the cake!
' For it is plain as anyone can see, We're simply meant to be.'

Next the tattooed brides! Ok so not everyone who has a tattoo will want to theme their entire wedding on it BUT for those who love them I included a two tier cake with swallow design, heart and scroll and a solid chocolate skull on the top.

I have to say out of all the cakes I made for the fair, the handpainted swallows were some of my favourite details I just loved how they came out.
As well as the tattoo theme, I added some very (VERY) small silver dragees to look like 'studs' and handplaced each one running from the top of the skull, through the swallows and down to the board.

So with 3 quite adventurous cakes under my belt I set about creating something for a couple who want to be a little bit different but not too much in your face.

I based this next cake on the 2012 wedding trend forest/woodland (which is supposed to originate from the film 'Hobbit') and of course the fond love of owls that is circulating at the moment! The colour scheme was taken from my own wedding but instead of orange, I added hot pink.
I have a cheesy tag line for this one too :)

'A love like ours doesnt grow on trees' :D

So 4 cakes down and there's something missing.
A cupcake tower!

Another trend which seems to have run into 2012 is 'Alice in Wonderland' it is still going strong so I thought I would offer that theme a little differently.
Anyone knows I love creating bright colourful fun cartoony cakes, which would lean towards the Disney version. And I also love the dark twisted stuff, which would lean towards the Tim Burton remake.
However as I mentioned, I wanted to offer something different so I went for the very old 'vintage' hand drawn Alice era!

I set out making the cupcake toppers, gold keys and keyholes, little blue bows, 'eat me' signs, teacup cupcakes etc.
And I decided the topper would be a shaped cake but NOT the Madhatters hat, as its used so often!
I went with a teapot instead to signify the Madhatters Tea Party.

Done in pastel colours of blue, pink and green with a hint of gold this was going to be my base colour scheme for the cupcakes too. And the quote 'we're all mad here' I thought was perfect for quirky couples!

So where are the cupcakes I hear you cry. Well that's were it all came crashing down!

I only had the toppers to finish and I was pretty much ready. I had spent lots of money and time decorating and designing the dummy cakes for the fair. I had signs made, double sided business cards made, competition flyers, and even an entirely different sister company set up called 'Black Cherry Cake Company' to guide these 'alternative' brides in finding a cake that was more for 'them'. I bought my tablecloth, some cherries to go on it and was 'almost' set to go...nervous but excited about my very first fair.

Then an e-mail landed in my inbox which knocked me for six.
The Alternative Wedding Fair' has had to be cancelled.

I just sat at the computer with my jaw nearly on the table.
It wasn't being re-scheduled or anything, it was just flat dead cancelled.

The fantastic lady behind the fair had ran one previously in London which had been a huge success, but unfortunately Manchester didn't have a big enough interest. Despite her amazing efforts it probably just wasn't the right time and keeping all the exhibitors best interests at heart she had to cancel saying it was not fair on the businesses, customers or the venue. Which I totally understand, but its gutting non the less :(
BUT what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and if it was ever to return to Manchester I will help in anyway that I can, as its such a fabulous opportunity for alternative brides to come along and find all the 'right' vendors rather than attending so many normal wedding fayres and having white frilly things pushed under their noses.

Sooo...making the cupcake toppers ceased. I walk around the house finding boxes with cake dummies in all over! I have chocolate skulls sitting on shelves, 4 tier wedding cakes sat on my bedroom drawers and  giant wooden signs leaning on my kitchen cupboard doors.

So what do I do with them all?
Answer: Pluck up the courage to enter a 'normal' wedding fair where I will stick out like a sore thumb amongst the pretty white, delicate flowers, elegant stationary and poshly dressed vendors.

I'm going to stroll in with my head held high, cherry dress on, black military boots with all the laces hanging out and one of these babies under my arm:

and show them being different can kick ass!

Be alternative....and be proud!

P.S...wish me luck LMAO


  1. Wow! That was a really great story, I'm sorry the alternative fair got cancelled :(

    Your cakes are absolutely amazing, I'm sure even brides who are looking for traditional cakes will be impressed and hopefully even insipired by your cakes- I'd defnitely chose you over a more run-of-the-mill cake maker as you clearly have bags of talent and understand what personalisation truely means.
    I hope the "normal" wedding show is a huge sucess for you!

    Perhaps you could talk to the organisers about having an "alternative" section- seeing as they already have everything arranged for a wedding show it'd just be a chance for them to sell more stalls and make more money- plus they could entice back the customers who were planning on going to the alternative fair before it got cancelled!

  2. Thank-you!

    I really hope it does inspire, and maybe open peoples eyes to what else is out there!
    Such a lovely compliment, thank-you :)

    And thats a good idea! a mix of normal with alternative would be really good for that bride who wants something 'pretty' but something a little bit original too!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment xxx :D

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  4. Suzie Thomas, what the hell are you on about?? Dratted spambots...

    Tracey, best of luck for the wedding fair; I think it'd be fantastic to rock up among all the white lace and tulle with a skull cake!! As crafterbaker says, a lot of people who like flowers and pretty things (eg: me) love a bit of quirkiness and personalisation; you'll go down a storm!



  5. lmao spambot!!!! LOL

    awww thank-you so much Fiona! I hope so :) Thanks for the well wishes! I'll be back to tell everyone how it goes :) lol