I've been trying to think of vendors I can review for y'all without having to revisit them once I get our professional photos in, which has proven somewhat tricky. I do have a couple serviceable shots of the cakes I can use, so cakes it is today!
I wrote about Highland Bakery back in the fall when we finally settled on having them make our wedding cakes. (You can see all the various whimsical cakes Karen Portaleo has created for Poe family occasions in that post.) I don't think I ever posted about what flavors or cake designs we settled on, so this review should cover it all, if I didn't before.
First up, we have the main wedding cake. In the months leading up to the wedding, I would occasionally drop by Highland Bakery to pick up some cupcakes so Jon and I could re-taste as we considered flavors for our cakes. Each time I did this reinforced just how damn good Highland Bakery's red velvet cake is, so I decided to do away with the notion of different flavors on different layers and went red velvet all the way. OH MY LORD was it delicious! We definitely did not stop at just one bite apiece and fed each other the entire piece we cut (which was tiny, boo).
For the cake topper, I contacted Ashley Meaders of Dolci Odille -- the creative mastermind behind our awesome Smilebooth backdrop as well -- and scored a sweet wedding bells topper in colors to match our scheme.
While I can show you how pretty the cake was, I can't well show you how very delightful it was, so you'll just have to take my word for it (or get yourself to Highland Bakery, pronto).
The groom's cake was an homage to Jon's home state of Idaho, rendered in German chocolate cake with a dark chocolate ganache on top. I don't have any really good shots of the cake itself, but here we are cutting into it:
Honestly, the groom's cake could have been a little more awesome than it was... I found it somewhat underwhelming. The ganache had been messed up at some point in the transportation/setup process (I assume), so the top of it wasn't smooth and pretty, and the Idaho shape was blocky and imprecise. I think most people got what it was supposed to be, though. These things definitely didn't come close to putting a damper on the evening, so ultimately it wasn't a big deal. From everything I've heard, the guests found it to be quite tasty, which is the main function of cake anyway!
As far as working with Karen and Highland Bakery, it was a lot of fun, if a little disorganized. Karen contacted me the week of the wedding to ask what flavor the groom's cake should be, and I also ended up with a different dot pattern on the wedding cake than I had asked for (which wasn't really a problem since it was pretty close to what I wanted): both of these were things we had talked about at our last meeting in April, but I guess they were not clearly noted. It wasn't always easy to reach Karen or her colleague in the bakery via email (because, um, she's not at a computer all day like some of us), but phone calls and visits to the bakery usually got us whatever information we needed.
All things considered, I would definitely use Highland Bakery again if I had it to do over. The few issues that arose were minor ones, and the cakes were both super tasty and a great value. They were SO much cheaper than all of the other cake shops we checked with, and just as delectable, if not more so. I know we'll be using Karen and Highland Bakery in the future for more cakes!
*thanks to Dante and Aunt Retta for the cake pics!