Practice Makes Perfect!

When it comes to cooking and baking, I’m kind of an all or nothing girl. Dinner is either a serious affair where I cook many dishes and turn my kitchen into a complete disaster…or it’s a microwavable meal straight from the freezer. I love a great meal, but after a long day at work most of the time I just don’t have the energy.

One of things I keep going back and forth with when it comes to the reception is whether we should do a “bar” of some type. I’m not talking about an alcohol bar, silly bees…that is a non-negotiable, people! I’m talking about the cute dessert/pie/cupcake/s’more/etc. bars that are showing up at so many receptions.

They are absolutely adorable, but I am having concerns about committing that kind of time to baking the week before the wedding. I have secretly been perusing bakery websites to see what kind of deal I could get (we all know sometimes swiping the card is just easier), but then I quickly realized this girl was not shelling out $500 bucks for a candy bar!

But then my planning worlds collided…

A close coworker (and friend) is expecting a baby girl in a few months, and I wanted to throw her a shower at work. While I love a good theme, other people at work were helping with the planning so I kept things simple with a pink theme. Wah wah…

Feeling unsatisfied, I had to think of a way to spice up the baby shower. It slammed me in the face: I could practice having a dessert bar!!

We all practice our hair and makeup, so why not practice a dessert bar? I knew the ladies at work would LOVE it and it would give me a better sense of the time commitment and cost so I could decide if we should have one for the wedding. Also, I could figure out if it was going to look totally amateur. :)

And here’s what I came up with:

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I made:

  • Cake pops
  • Raspberry cheesecake shooters
  • Cupcakes with flags (Yay! Addison!)
  • Brownie bites
  • Marshmallow pops

Cake Pop Disclaimer: My sister is practically a professional cake pop maker. Practically. Her balls are perfectly smooth and beautiful. She can make cute little shapes and everything. My mom says I am talented in other areas. These pops are lumpy and odd looking, but they were delicious!!

Disclaimer Two: Don’t put a cake-pop maker on your registry. I feel very strongly about this. Those little machines just make a ball out of cake that you can frost. A true, authentic cake pop involves crumbling a full cake and mixing it with frosting. Then, you HAND SCULPT little balls and dip them in chocolate. Now you know.

My phone pics really stink, but I made a cute sparkle sign to help fill up the ugly white space we have in our conference room.

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For those of you who looked closely, check out my dollar-store cake stands (plate/platter hot glued to a candlestick holder or glass). Easy peasy! If I didn’t have to lug everything to my office, I would have had a lot more fun with different levels.

For the cake and marshmallow pops, I just got a few Styrofoam blocks and wrapped tissue paper around them so they looked like candy.

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Bottom line: it was a lot of fun to plan, and I only spent the night before actually making the desserts. But…this baby shower was for 13 people, while our wedding will have around 120. Definitely doable, but a pretty major undertaking for the week of the wedding. Keep in mind, 100% of the guest list is from out of town. Yay or nah, bees?

All photos personal

BLOGGER

Mrs. Squirrel

Location:
Tampa, FL
Wedding Date:
May 2013

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comments

  1. Member
    mspiggy14 39 posts, Newbee @ 3:14 pm

    I think this is a great idea. I love how you made your own stands from Dollar Tree finds. I think I’m going to steal your idea ;) with those stands for X-mas.

  2. Member
    bat 285 posts, Helper bee @ 3:22 pm

    I think your dessert bar looks absolutely great! I’m not sure if I could handle the extra stress the week before our wedding, but if you can, go for it: I’m sure your guests will appreciate the sweet personal touch that you made them yourself.

  3. Member
    MsMagtoMrsK 52 posts, Worker bee @ 3:24 pm

    You cakepops can be smoother if you add a few drops of vegetable oil and then keep the chocolate coating warm. If it starts to cool pop it bak in the microwve or 10 or 15 seconds. Great idea to practice a dessert bar. Everything looks yummy.

  4. Member
    MsMagtoMrsK 52 posts, Worker bee @ 3:25 pm

    Wow sorry about the spelling…my iPad hates me :)

  5. Member
    licoricetea3 86 posts, Worker bee @ 4:08 pm

    Wow, nice job! And great idea to practice! I would love to do something like this, but we are already doing DIY flowers, centerpieces, and general decor, so I think adding a dessert bar would put me over my happy-stress-level edge. That said, if you’re not already going to be knee-deep in other DIY projects that week, go for it! Get some of your girls or family who are in town earlier that week to help — make a whole party out of it. Good luck!

  6. Member
    auggiefrog 3035 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:02 pm

    I made a diy dessert bar for my wedding. I started making stuff a few weeks before and kept it refrigerated or frozen and had very little to make the week of the wedding. It was a huge hit and totally worth it. Good Luck, everything looks yummy!

  7. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 6:05 pm

    Holy crap, you did awesome!! This would look so great at your wedding, but do you want the added stress of doing this the day before?!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    april, Guest @ 6:07 pm

    The pink circles on the wall resemble boobs =/

  9. Member
    madtowngirl 1787 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:25 pm

    Wow, I definitely say go with it! It looks great, and as long as you enlist the help of a few friends/fam (like your sis) to take on some tasks (and don’t add toooooooo many desserts! ;) ), I think you and your guests will love it!

    Also, as a Dollar Tree bride myself, I did notice your cake stands and thought “yes!” ;)

  10. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:30 pm

    Wow, it looks great! I think if you keep your desserts to a minimum (maybe include some candy to fill it out) and have people to help you it could be totally doable. I made three desserts for ours and it took more time than I really had to give the day before our wedding and made me unnecessarily stressed.

  11. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:36 pm

    They look delicious. I’m getting hungry. I personally think I would go insane trying to make a whole dessert buffet a week before the wedding. But I think if you can space it out well, I don’t think it’ll be that bad. Just fyi, cake pops freeze amazingly well (and taste delicious right out of the freezer….)

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    rebecca, Guest @ 9:21 pm

    @april: kind of died laughing when I read the comment…but then looked back at the picture and no, they really don’t….even after seeing the comment first

  13. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 9:38 pm

    I absolutely fell in love with the idea of a candy or dessert bar and knew that I HAD to have it. I realized though that I could not deal with all the baking the week before and I am having 4 different types of cake (each layer in a different type) on top of a separate dessert included in my catering package that comes after dinner but before the cake cutting (probably going to be different varieties of cheesecake). I decided to go with the candy bar because I knew people would be full from dinner and have enough dessert from the dessert and cake and while you can provide boxes for people to take the goodies home, they are simply not as easy to store (or last as long as candy). I was worried about the cost of the candy bar, but I think it’s going to end up costing less than $250. I purchased jar/scoop set from another bride 8 jars and 3 scoops for $60 and one big fancy apothecary jar from TJ maxx for $10. My MIL is buying me the “LOVE” candy dishes you often see on candy bars for Christmas. The chinese take out boxes I am using were $27 including shipping for 150. The labels and ribbon to decorate the boxes were $12. I plan on buying candy after Christmas and valentines day (only hard candy after Christmas and chocolate after valentines day) when it gets marked down. I did a candy bar for a friends wedding (my wedding gift to her) and stocked up like this last year (my practice at it.. her wedding was the same month as mine one year earlier) and I only spent $110 on candy for her 200 person event. SO if you decide to do a candy bar, you CAN do them cheaper (especially with May wedding you can buy after valentines OR Easter). I do really like dessert bars though just a LOT of extra work to put on yourself the week you get married.

  14. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 9:40 pm

    Oh and FYI, I am not color coordinating my candy buffet because that is just not in the budget.

  15. Member
    WoodenShoes 389 posts, Helper bee @ 2:41 am

    I second the freezing first idea! And also maybe bribe your sister and ask her to come visit sometime before the wedding for a baking weekend, or just a few days before the wedding so she can help you knock out some of those cake pops. I think it all looks awesome!

  16. Member
    bnsp09 208 posts, Helper bee @ 5:14 am

    I say do it!!! My guest list is 100% from out of town as well & I think I’m going to go the easier route of getting cookies & things from the bakery at stores but only because we are traveling the day before & I will have no where to put the stuff until the day of the wedding that I won’t see it & have to eat some LOL

  17. Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 5:57 am

    @MsMagtoMrsK: Awesome, thanks for the tip! I will definitely try this next time!
    @Brooklyn55: I am starting to think the same thing! A candy bar would be a lot less work the week of the wedding. I’d love to see pic of how yours turned out!
    @auggiefrog: Hmm…I never really considered freezing. This is very intriguing to me :)

  18. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:09 am

    This looks great, but I think it would be a ton of work and stress the week of the wedding. I also love to bake, and have a tendency to take on large projects like this… I’m working on being more realistic and recognizing that sometimes it is just not logical to do this. So…. I would say either pay someone to do it, or skip it, and take the pressure off yourself!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    September29, Guest @ 6:29 am

    @april: hahaha i was going to comment and say the same things! it made me think of big preggo nipples hahah. does that make me a bad person?

    but the dessert bar turned out beautifully! and now i’m hungry :)

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Kendall Leigh, Guest @ 8:20 pm

    hmmm if only you had a ridiculously huge bridal party to help with the manual labor, including said professional cake pop maker… :( if only!

  21. Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 8:53 am

    I’ve been wondering how I could decorate the styrofoam blocks for my candy buffet! This solved my problem. Thanks!

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