Someone should bring me this cake and be like, “I have a gift for you!” And I’ll say, “Oooh, what is it?” and the lovely cake giver will say, “A cake that is shaped like a present! Get it?” And I will say nothing because I will be really busy eating my cake. That is shaped like a present. And topped with a peony.
(That is, if you had childhood wedding fantasies.)
In the best of circumstances, preparing a seating chart is really easy because everyone gets along. I hope those are the circumstances you are dealing with, but if that’s not the case, keep reading.
I am from a broken home. My parents separated when I was 22. It was not one of those fuzzy, hug filled, respectful-parting-of-ways divorces. It dragged on and on and on for nearly five years. My extended family, despite knowing each other for 35+ years, occasionally got nasty with one another. A few people didn’t manage to keep any of their opinions to themselves. Needless to say, any occasion that called for everyone to be in the same room could be interesting.
Of course, my three siblings all got married during that time. This involved my divorcing parents and extended family being in the same room together for long periods of time. Each of my siblings had a different approach to the seating chart.
The Oldest Child, Colleen
Colleen was married first and at this point, my parents had been separated for three years. Colleen really took some bullets for her other engaged siblings. The first was telling our mom that our dad’s girlfriend would be attending the wedding. That conversation didn’t go well. So when the time came to arrange the seating chart, Colleen put each side of the family on opposite sides of the dance floor, with their tables arranged to make staring more difficult. This proved an effective method and I can highly recommend it.
The Only Son, Tom
Tom was married second. Mom and dad had been separated for three and a half years when his wedding rolled around. Tom married into a very large, traditional Italian family. He had a much more laissez-faire approach to figuring out seating. His wedding was very large, with roughly one million guests, which made it pretty easy to keep my parents away from one another. If your parents don’t get along, I would not recommend such a relaxed approach unless you are having a very large wedding, in a very crowded room, with very many guests.
The Youngest Child, Kelly
The baby of the family, Kelly got married when our parents were rolling into their fourth year of separation. At this point, I think everyone in my family had some divorce-fatigue (I had a lot) and were tired the farcical non-divorce. Kelly’s approach was to put each side of the family right next to the dance floor, on opposite sides. This worked out fine, but I wouldn’t recommend for any family who is dealing with fresh divorce wounds.
What are your seating chart issues? Have you dealt with requests or demands from family about who they do or do not want to be seated with?
I have been to a wedding at Cafe Brauer. It was beautiful. It was spacious. It was elegant. It was amazing. The main ballroom has this incredibly high, arched ceiling with exposed steel beams. A skylight at the top let’s in light until the sun goes down and then chandeliers take over. The ballroom has verandahs on either side which are perfect for a cocktail hour.
One of the best things about Cafe Brauer is the views. It’s located in Lincoln Park Zoo and looks south over Chicago’s skyline. Couples can go out into the park and take photos on the bridges or in the gardens. The day my cousin got married it rained and, no joke, two rainbows formed over the city. Her pictures are pretty amazing.
As an added bonus, 40% of the rental fee is tax-deductible, as it is considered a donation to the Lincoln Park Zoological Society. A tax deductible wedding is pretty amazing, no?
You can learn more about Cafe Brauer here.
This lovely light green cake from La Joconde Cakes in Portland, Oregon has a lot going for it. It’s five tiers are decorated with scrollwork and ribbons and the different shades of green and white provide a lot of visual interest. But my favorite part of this cake, is that second tier. Do you see the multiple cakes that make it up?! It’s cakes within cake!
Lots of couples choose to alternate flavors in each level of their wedding cake, but having multiple cakes as one tier? That is so brilliant. I am so sad I never thought of it. You could have so many flavors? You could fit in chocolate cake and frosting fillings, lemon cakes with fruit fillings, white cakes with whipped cream fillings, almond filling inside a dark chocolate cake. The number of combinations running through my mind right now is intense.
Find out more about La Jaconde Cakes and see more of their creative pastries here.
Do you see this adorable cake? It’s all sweet and adorable, with three white wrapped tiers, fluffy pink flowers, and an adorable cake topper sitting on the edge. But then! You look around the back, towards the bottom, and you find Spiderman! Just crawling out of the bottom layer, probably getting ready to go shoot some webs and fight some crime. I kind of want to high five him, but also eat him because I bet he is made of frosting.
This little touch of whimsy is so fun and perfect for the bride, groom, or couple who love their comic books!
This super fun cake is from Studio Cake in Menlo Park, California. So if you’re in the area and looking for a custom cake be sure to put them on your shortlist! http://www.studiocake.com/