I'll start out with the prep work that I was responsible for. Ryan & his awesome friend, Chris, built a photo booth from scratch! Coral asked me to make some silly props for it. It took a while to get the method down, so I started on the simplest pieces, the lips.
Here's the first batch, on our trippy green couch:
The felt wasn't stiff enough to hold up on it's own, so I ended up painting them with diluted wood glue & letting them dry. Then I hot glued them to sticks. Some shapes were easier to cut with scissors, while others (especially the glasses) were easier with the Exact-o knife. For the glasses, I actually painted entire sheets of felt with the watered down glue, then let it dry before cutting them out. I'm not exactly sure of the method the people who sell them on Etsy use, but you couldn't pay me to sell these things, ha ha!
I was also asked to cut a couple dozen burlap table runners. Good thing we have a big basement crafty area now! It's not easy to find 10 ft. of blank space for cutting fabric. :)
Ready to be delivered to Coral:
My biggest contribution to the wedding was in the form of baked goods. Coral wanted 125 or so cupcakes, half carrot cake w/orange cream cheese frosting, & half traditional butter cake w/chocolate frosting. She also wanted 150 lemon bars, but they only needed to be a square inch, so that wasn't too bad.
The recipe I used for the lemon bars is available here. I've used it before. I really like the texture of the bars & they aren't as "wet" as traditional ones, so they won't get weepy & soggy.
What got me was the last-minute cutting & frosting! I baked the lemon bars & carrot cupcakes the day before, & also prepped the frosting, but wanted to wait till the day of the wedding to bake the butter cupcakes. Rose Levy Beranbaum, goddess of baking, recommends serving them on the day you bake them, so I wanted them to be as fresh as possible.
Here's the first dozen, fresh from the oven.
The recipe I used was for Downy Yellow Butter Cake from the Cake Bible. I used 3 tablespoons of batter & baked them @ 350*F for about 28 minutes. Even though I'm a baker, I don't really love cake that much. I'd much rather have some chocolate or a cookie, but this recipe is so amazing. It's light & fluffy, with such a deliciously sweet buttery flavor. I'd even prefer it plain, or with some macerated fruit on top. Mmmmm...
Here's some of the frosted lovelies:
The carrot cake recipe was an original that I've tweaked over the years at work. I added raisins & walnuts to these, but coconut &/or pineapple would also work. Yes, the recipe is eggless! It's also great with soy milk in place of dairy, for a vegan version.
Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk with 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice added (or buttermilk)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1/2 an orange
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper cups & set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & ginger; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, carrots, raisins & walnuts.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones & mix until combined. Scoop 3 tablespoons of batter into each paper cup. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
There will be enough extra for another cupcake or two, or a baby cake for the baker!
Cool completely, before frosting generously. To make the frosting, whip all the ingredients together. Try not to eat it by the spoonful!
And here are some pictures of the payoff of so much hard work by so many incredible people! I would have taken more pictures, but I was helping to set up, then had to get bedecked in my bridesmaid attire.
First of all, here is the beautiful bride. Did I mention that she made her entire dress herself?! One of her sweet neighbors happens to be a retired professional seamstress & she was a godsend! Coral also sewed the two flower girls' dresses, & all the bridesmaids' dresses. There is nothing she can't do!
Coral & Smels:
Smels literally teared up at Coral's beauty! :')
Here's a shot from under the tent. Look at the beautiful place settings! And I spy my old frenemy, Mr. Burlap! See the little jars of light & dark honey that we got as wedding favors?
And now for the dessert table, which was breathtakingly beautiful, thanks to Coral's thoughtful planning. I was honored to have my baked goods be a part of something so stunning. One of her friends from work, who does some catering, baked chocolate chip cookies too!
At this point, we were in the process of setting the cupcakes out at the last possible minute, since it was so hot out. The poor babies already had a long trip in the hot trunk of my (no air conditioning) car, so they were nervous to be displayed! We set 2 or 3 on each antique, floral saucer.
This sort of shows the left side of the table:
And this shows the right side:
I almost forgot to mention the cake! Coral wanted something tiny & rustic, so her & Ryan would have something to cut & shove into one another's face (lovingly, of course!). You can see the frosting was getting that glossy, I-want-to-melt-but-I-won't look to it. Thankfully, it held up for the whole evening! Whew!
Smels & Ethan show wear from too much good food & booze:
I'll end with a couple of photo booth pictures. Outside the booth, there was a table set up with a scrapbook, markers, glue sticks & scissors, so guests could leave a cute picture & note for the newlyweds.
Ethan & I:
Smels & I:
We love you, Coral & Ryan! Congratulations on your new life together!