Cake Rental??

February 28th, 2011
Is it a real cake or is it foam?  Only the bride knows!

Is it a real cake or is it foam? Only the bride knows!

Yes, you can rent a wedding cake.  Why would you want to rent a wedding cake?  It’s one way you can save money on your wedding without looking cheap.  Here’s how it works.

You rent a cake from one of the cake rental companies (see below for some ideas).  The “cake” itself is foam but is covered with fondant or frosting in your choice of designs.  Many of these cakes include a compartment for a piece of real cake so the bride and groom can cut a piece together.  The guests are then served pieces from a sheet cake that has been kept in the kitchen.

The advantages of renting a centerpiece fake cake are mostly financial.  Sheet cake is much less expensive than a tiered wedding cake, and cake rental costs a couple of hundred dollars, including shipping, depending on what company you use and whether you use one of their designs or one of your own.

But if you’re having an outdoor wedding or a wedding in a hot location, you might also want to consider renting a cake.  The foam cakes do not slip in the heat and can stand up to the hottest weather and still look beautiful.  I have personally coordinated two weddings where either the cake collapsed in the heat or it almost did.  A foam cake might be a very inexpensive insurance policy if you are concerned about keeping a tiered cake standing on a hot day.

Some of the cake companies even claim that a fake cake is more eco-friendly than a real one.  They claim that since their cakes do not need baking or refrigeration, they save energy.  I would have to counter that by saying that they use additional energy beyond what is used in the cake that is actually eaten, and they also use energy in shipping.  They say that the foam for the cakes is re-used or recycled, but most kinds of foam are not actually recyclable.  But even if this idea is not particularly green, it could still save you money if you’re on a budget.  And if you want it to be as green as possible, find a vendor as close to you as possible so the shipping distance is short.

I have found two companies that rent wedding cakes.  This is not an endorsement of either, as I have not worked with them.  Please use your best judgment and check their references.  Rent the Cake of Your Dreams is in East Aurora, New York.  Cake Rental is in Grandville, Michigan.  I’m sure there are more people providing this service, as well.  A little research will turn them up and then you can have a beautfiul wedding cake without breaking the bank.

Green Wedding Alliance Event

February 16th, 2011

The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance (of which I am a member) has announced its first planner’s workshop.  The team is busy lining up speakers to help wedding planners learn more about how to green their clients’ weddings.  It will be nice to have some company as a Green wedding planner!

The event is planned for Sunday, February 27, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the West Loop Studio, 17 N. Elizabeth St., #3.  Enjoy brunch, beverages, and be inspired by the expert panel on the art and sophistication of planning green.  Tickets are $75.  Click on the image to below buy tickets for the event.


Illinois Passes Civil Unions Law

February 7th, 2011

On Monday, January 31, the governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, signed into law a bill that allows couples to enter into civil unions.  What does this mean for you?

A blessing at the end of the marriage ceremony.  Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

A blessing at the end of the marriage ceremony. Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

The new law allows all couples (same sex and different sex) to enter into a legally recognized union in the state of Illinois.  According to Lambda Legal, the new law gives to couples who choose civil unions all the same rights and responsibilities that married couples have under Illinois law.  Being a state law, it can not, of course, confer the rights that are withheld from same sex couples by the federal government.  Some of the rights and responsibilities conferred by the new law include:

  • The duty to support your spouse financially;
  • The same rights of adoption as married couples;
  • Automatic right of hospital visitation;
  • The right to inherit in the absence of a will;
  • The right to file joint state income tax returns;
  • The right not to testify against a partner; and
  • The necessity to seek a legal divorce if the relationship ends.

One thing I find interesting is that, even though this law calls them “civil unions,” if you want to formalize your relationship under the law, it is possible to do so in a religious institution and with the assistance of clergy.  The only thing the law does not require is that all religious institutions participate.  Your church may still discriminate against you.

Other than that, though, starting on June 1 of this year, if you want an Illinois civil union, all you have to do is go to your county clerk’s office with the proper ID, pay the fee, fill out the form, and get a license.  There is a one day waiting period (as there is for a marriage license), and it expires in 60 days.  In that time, you have to have some kind of ceremony and have the officiant file the paperwork.

The other thing this law does is to recognize automatically civil unions and same sex marriages performed elsewhere.  If you got married in Iowa or Canada, or if you had a Vermont civil union in the 90s (or anything else), on June 1, your relationship will be automatically recognized in Illinois as a civil union.

I worked with a wonderful gay couple one time who got married at a synagogue on the North Shore.  The rabbi ended the ceremony by saying, “And now, under the future laws of the state of Illinois, I pronounce you married to each other.”  That was about 5 years ago, and at the time I thought it would be decades before that future law came into being.  The state of Illinois still does not actually permit same sex marriage, but we are a lot closer now than I ever would have thought possible.