The Inspired Room

Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™

Sweet Escape: Wedding Cupcakes Behind the Scenes August 22, 2008

Filed under: Domesticity,Holidays & Entertaining,Sweet Escape,Traditions & Memory Making — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am

So, you want to see some behind the scenes from the wedding?

Of course you do. Alrighty then. {Hey, I see 1,000 of you slinking quietly out the back door, that is OK. You can come back when this is over. I don’t blame you}. I was so overwhelmed by how to show you all the happenings and photos that I was almost paralyzed. What to show? Where and how to show it? Will you all be bored out of your minds? Will there be people un-subscribing right and left? Should I start a wedding blog (nah, I’m not worthy)?

But then I just decided to stop worrying and BREAK IT DOWN. And really, what better SWEET ESCAPE than to show you the CUPCAKES? And because we had a couple of sweet things about this wedding, how about two sweet escape posts in one weekend? Sure. Part Two will be Sweet Escape: The Candy Bar. Stay tuned.

When my daughter and I started wedding planning, we thought cupcakes would be the appropriate dessert choice for a youthful, fun beach town wedding. We weren’t super original with that idea, or the “candy bar” idea, but I can say they were both BIG HITS nonetheless. Thank you to all the wedding bloggers who shared ideas, we stole tons of them. Here are a few I enjoy, not only for wedding planning but for inspiration in other areas as well: Southern Weddings Magazine, A Classic Bride, Style Me Pretty.

So, in our quest for the cupcakes, we visited the local cupcake bakeries and sampled all the options. {Shut up, I know I gained a few pounds in sampling}.

But at over $3.00 a piece for the standard cupcakes, we started to wonder “how much trouble could it possibly be to make our own cupcakes?” (note: only in my family would we contemplate such things).

Yeah. No trouble at all. Maybe no trouble for an ordinary day at home. But on an over 100 degree day, baking 200 cupcakes was a bit hot. But even more than the baking, the transporting of the cupcakes was the biggest issue. We had to bake most of them at home in Portland, drive them to Gearhart to frost them and then transport them a little further down the coast to our beach house where the reception would be held. The logistics of a “destination wedding” made things interesting. Not to mention we had never used a pastry tool before.

The upside of baking our own was 1) the reasonable cost and 2) we could personalize them to the wedding colors and 3) my daughters & I now have great memories of frosting in our hair and flour on our faces. And honestly, our cupcakes were tastier than any we had sampled. We ended up with three varieties.

The chocolate brownie cupcakes, topped with chocolate curls and mint green bark were SO TASTY. THE CHOCOLATE MINTY GOODNESS was to die for. We decided to make things easier and use a Ghiradelli brownie mix. Yeah, we used a brownie mix. Shoot me. Have I disgraced the meaning of all things sacred & acceptable for weddings by not having a fancy schmancy bakery make these from scratch? Sigh. Probably. But I’m a Blissfully Domestic Diva and that means I can do whatever I want, including using boxed mixes even for a wedding. So there. I don’t get all bent out of shape over those sorts of things. Am I crazy?

In addition to the brownie ones, there were white ones with the pink frosting and white pearl candy top, as well as the white ones with the white frosting and the pink pearl candy top. My daughter had to learn how to use the frosting tube in order to make them. They may not have been perfect, but they sure turned out cute enough all together on trays at the wedding.

We made batches of the brownie cupcakes and frosted the white cupcakes at our friends’ beach house in Gearhart. She was generous to allow us use of her home for some of the wedding party’s accommodations. And we took full advantage of the kitchen the day before the wedding. Just in case you are wondering, here is what this house looks like from the outside.

While us girls were in the middle of making frosting and baking at the house, we heard a knock on the door. Hello, it was a real estate appraiser. Fancy that! He wanted to take PICTURES OF THE KITCHEN. It was so embarrassing, we really had a big mess, flour and junk everywhere — I am sure my friend is going to shoot me when she sees the appraiser’s pictures. Oops! Sorry. Probably cost her a few thousands dollars off the appraisal.

Not only were we working on wedding cupcakes, but we were assembling breakfast for the next morning, and lunch for right before the wedding. Good thing there was a great big farm table for all of the food and care packages. I forgot to take a photo of the girls’ care packages. Super cute spring green Chinese take out boxes.

Once we got those pupcakes (as my niece called them) all pretty and frosted we suddenly realized we had to transport 200 of them perfectly INTACT (i.e. not STACKED) for another 1/2 hour ride to our beach house. Along with my girls’ 300 suitcases, a wedding dress, a karaoke machine and various other miscellaneous necessities crammed in my mini-van. It was a crazy day, but we managed to pull it off. Was it worth it? I will have those memories forever. Yeah, it was worth it.

Stay tuned for Sweet Escape part two, THE CANDY! The candy display was one of my favorite things we did to decorate! But will you get to see the wedding, the flowers, the dress and the red shoes? Oh yeah. All in good time. All in good time, my pretties.

Are you new here and want to read who this wedding was for? Welcome! Click here!
Want to see what our beach house (which we used for the reception) looked like just weeks before the wedding? Click here!


50 Responses to “Sweet Escape: Wedding Cupcakes Behind the Scenes”

  1. Liz Says:

    My hat off to you both – seriously that was some job you took on! But the cupcakes looked really good and it’s nice to have a personal touch to a wedding rather than just buying it all in. My god mother made my wedding cake and it meant so much more to my husband and I than a bakery one. Glad you had such a good time!

  2. anne Says:

    Looks fantastic, well done to you all.

    I love the kitchen, oh I wish!!

  3. Pat Says:

    Of course it was worth every bit of it Melissa! I was all teary eyed just reading this and seeing the images. What an incredibly wonderful adventure! As I said in the candy comment…I can’t wait to see more!

  4. You haven’t lost me as a reader! I love weddings and all the details. As a mother of two daughters, I have been filing away ideas for years! I see you have the same sickness I do, it’s called “but I could do that myself and so much cheaper” disease! Oh, I’ve gotten myself into some messes with that one! But it looks like you will have some beautiful memories and everything turned out great. Thanks for sharing this special day, I look forward to more:>)

  5. My Mélange Says:

    Well done!!! You will have those memories and they look like fun ones 😉

  6. You know what…..fancy storebought cupcakes would have come WITHOUT the memories. I’m very happy that you’re the kind of person that can relax and decide what’s important and what’s not. From scratch? Not important. Getting the job done with a minimum of stress? Important.

    I love the idea of packing lunches for everyone. So, so smart. My nephew fainted at the altar at his own wedding. Why? He hadn’t eaten all day!!!!

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  7. Deanna Says:

    What wonderful memories, Melissa!

    You guys made it special with the lunches etc, and yet made it reasonable for everyday folk who don’t want to spend a fortune on a wedding, but want a wonderful way to celebrate a marriage!

    Can’t wait to see more!

  8. Mrs. Jones Says:

    “How much trouble could it possibly be to …” always gets me into a big project! I know it makes Mr. Jones cringe to hear those words. 😉

    What a brilliant idea to use the brownie mix! I’m going to have to try that.


  9. Love it! I considered making my own wedding cake, despite limited cake experience, so you are not alone in that sort of wedding craziness. Fortunately, we have a caterer in the family and he took care of it. But I love your cupcakes, I think they’d be great for a shower too.


  10. Kristin Says:

    Oh! Everything looks so sweet! I love the cupcake idea, and if I had my wedding to do over again, that is what I would have done! Also, the cupcake making reminds me of me, my mom, her friend, and my sisters the day before my wedding – dipping strawberries in chocolate – ALL DAY!

  11. Janet Says:

    OOOOh, the mint and chocolate cupcakes. They look delish. You must publish the recipe.

  12. Jill Flory Says:

    Way to go, Melissa! That is so cool that you worked together to make the cupcakes for the wedding! You will have those memories forever! They look wonderful too. And I know they were better than boughten!
    Can’t wait to see more pics of the wedding! I want all the details! Dresses, tuxes, flowers, everything!!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! I hope my daughter elopes just the way I did. No, really, I hope that she does. LOL!

    I know that you created a lot of fun memories and I am certain that the wedding guests appreciated the delights both tasty and visual.

    You did great work, gals!

  14. Mari-Nanci Says:

    Yummmmmmmmmm, they look to die for!

    And yes, you made memories. Oooodles of memories. And you can’t buy those, in a fancy bakery!

    But you also were sooooo brave. 🙂

    Miss Mari-Nanci

  15. Karen B Says:

    That looks like fun. I especially love the white frosted ones. They’re beautiful. Very special memories and in a beautiful place. Your friends home looks very cute. I’m curious if you used Ghiradelli double chocolate brownies? They’re the absolute best! I’m looking forward to more pictures!
    Karen B.

  16. aswewalk Says:

    What precious, “sweet” memories for a lifetime. God bless you with a clear mind forever this side of heaven.

  17. Maven Says:

    I just love your blog. The wedding posts have been FABULOUS! Thankyou for sharing them. What great memories – and the cupcakes, I’m impressed! I loved the idea of the gift bags in lunch bags – may I steal that idea? 😉

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. Becky K. Says:

    Love the cupcakes and that you did them yourselves!

    I made my own cake…and transported it (put together) to the church…it settled/tilted/fell….I had engineers,(groomsmen), putting my cake back together on the spot… hours before the ceremony.


    But my cake tasted GREAT! Everyone said so…lol!

    Becky K.

  19. Lisa & Alfie Says:

    I love what you accomplished in the cupcake factory. Something very personalized and another special memory in the process. Sounds like you had exactly the kind of wedding you were both hoping for! Congrats1
    LIsa & Alfie

  20. Mrs. Q Says:

    What an awesome and frugal idea instead of cake! I just wanted to bite into those chocolate…chocolate and mint…yummy!!! The white ones with the simple pink pearl were adorable. You guys are amazing!

    Thanks for sharing the photos and memories 🙂

  21. Wow, thanks so much for the blog love Melissa! Everything looks so yummy and amazing!! How exciting!

  22. Irene Says:

    Oh Melissa! Promise me we’ll organise my daughters’ weddings together!

  23. Irene Says:


  24. Oh I love the story of the cupcakes and how you managed to spin so many plates in the air at once and pull off a fabulous, memorable day! Looking forward to seeing photos of the happy couple and the happy mother-of-the bride! xo

  25. Nay-K Says:

    mmh! yummie! i am so hungry right now!!! 😉

  26. Kirstin Says:

    How yummy! Who cares if they came from a box…sometimes those are the best!! I’m drooling over the kitchen!

    THanks for sharing. I would do it for the memories too!

  27. Beck Says:

    You’re inspiring me as I read and look! When it’s my turn to get married, I think you guys should pop on over and whip up my cupcakes! 😉 It looks wonderful, and i’m sure the guests will remember the cakes for a long time. Well done!

  28. Lisa Says:

    Fabulous! What a wonderful effort. Everything looks great and you two look like you worked soooo hard.

    Fun post and fantastic photos.

  29. Michelle Says:

    Everything turned out beautifully! I can’t imagine making 200 cupcakes and I’m known as the cupcake queen in our family, LOL! I love the candy bar and the little framed sign. I hope that your daughter & her new husband have a wonderful life together.

    Take Care

  30. I am loving that you took on Project Cupcake!! I think that’s amazing, and as you said the memories (and the taste!) will be better than anything store bought. I love the house…it is so super cute (again, I’m amazed at how Cape Cod the area is) and I appreciate the Red Bull…since I’m doing a project for them right now. 🙂

  31. I love hearing all the wedding stories and seeing the pics!!

    Thanks for linking up the cupcake post – perfect chocolatey goodness! Those cupcakes turned out so beautiful! They are making me drool! And 200? You are amazing.

    Great job and great memories! Too funny about the appraiser – the timing!

  32. sarah Says:

    Oh!!! I am loving every detail! I adore what you did with the candy bar … it’s perfect! I will have to link over to you … too fab not to share! (and thank you for mentioning me! you’re too sweet!) … hope you share more — I can’t imagine how beautiful the ceremony must have been! So happy for your family and congratulations to your daughter and new son-in-law! ;o)

  33. Villa Anna Says:

    Melissa you are a legend! So are your daughters. I am so impressed by your superb efforts. The cupcakes looked scrummy!! Totally professional. I’ve never heard of a family going to THAT much trouble for a wedding. What memories…Bravo!

    I also LOVE the candy bar concept. I’ll be filing that idea for the future.

    Anna 🙂

  34. The cakes look bee-yut-iful.

    A tip I have found for transporting iced cupcakes is to freeze them and then transport them in a cooler. Buttercream frosting freezes rock hard and is much easier to transport that way, so long as they stay cold. On the pther hand, I have never transported so many at the same time.


  35. Kristen Says:

    Wow! These are amazing. You are so brave…I got married two months ago and though we did just about everything ourselves, the cake/dessert part of the reception scared us! There was no way I was going to touch it! Congratulations on a job beautifully done!

  36. Suzette Says:

    My daughter chose a destination wedding, too. Only, we didn’t have a handy friend nearby. We had to do everything in our motel rooms. And we were forced by finances to do most of everything for ourselves. Since I’m a cake decorator, of COURSE I had to do the cake. Now THAT was interesting. I know how challenging this was for you. You done good!!!!

    Your take on the candy bar is the best I’ve seen. Sooooo pretty!

    Show us more…flowers…dresses…favors…

  37. annechovie Says:

    You are amazing, Melissa. I am impressed and don’t know how you pulled all of it off, but you did and it looked great! I hope you can get a little rest now!

  38. Wow, oh my gosh, those cup cakes look just to die for!

    Thank you for sharing these precious moments…

    Mademoiselle M.

  39. Julia Dellar Says:

    ooh beautiful Melissa! More pictures PLEASE!!! every detail looks amazing and I do hope you share more. Congratulations to your wonderful family.
    love julia

  40. pam Says:

    I do hope you took some time off, how wonderful you are, your a great Mom and loved the brownie cupcakes and I think it was fine that you used a mix, no one there would know and you made them look wonderful and we all need to save some time. You did a great job and so well put together, gee lunches and all.

  41. Oh, my!!! Those chocolate mint cupcakes look absolutely amazing!!! I am enjoying your site! Thanks for visiting mine! Patti

  42. Barbara Says:

    I can’t believe you undertook all that right before the wedding! Impressive! Looks like you had fun and that’s the important part. It makes the memories you’ll never forget.

  43. Yeah, we realized it was not for the faint of heart! 🙂

  44. Sweet Cottage Dreams Says:

    I LOVE ittttttt!!! I feel as if I was there – knee, or let’s say elbow, deep in frosting and flour!! What GREAT fun and such wonderful memories!!! Your daughters will remember this forever! Oh, are there any minty cupcakes left? I am kinda hungry right about now…..they’d be great with an icey cold glass of milk for an evening snackie!

    Love you oodles and noodles,

  45. Alison Gibbs Says:

    You and the girls did a fabulous job while creating some fun memories

  46. Catherine Says:

    That looks like so much fun! The cupcakes are so sweet!

  47. Tammy Says:

    You and your girls did a great job with the cupcakes, and nevermind that you used a mix. I would have. I probably will when the day comes for my own DD. My sister’s DS got married in May and we frosted 300 mini cupcakes the morning of the service. She had to bring them from five hours away, so they were made a few days before and frozen. Worked great.

  48. janet Says:


    Great job on the cupcakes and is it my imagination or does your daughter, the Bride, look just like you!?! Your friends’ house is amazing; I love the kitchen, but OMG the lavender out front is simply to die for!!


  49. Mrs. B Says:

    I bet those will be wonderful memories to treasure! The cupcakes sound delicious, although it does sound like an awful lot of work. I’m feeling so terrible that I haven’t been by here enough and wasn’t able to wish you luck with the wedding. I truly hope it was all fabulous and only a little bit bitter sweet.

  50. I have to admit this looks like a lot of fun. Those kinds of memories are priceless, too! Good for you guys making your own cupcakes. I love it!

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