Alternative To Cheap Plastic Columns? Uggh!!!

Decorating By Somethin-Sweet Updated 29 Sep 2009 , 5:43pm by chelleb1974

Somethin-Sweet Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 6:59pm
post #1 of 25

OK- so I met with this new bride to be. She brought a picture of a cake that she liked. Its a Wilton design with lots of small cakes all on different size columns- complete with a nasty fountain!!!....... This is the first time I have had a bride to request this look. Its going to break my heart to put my pretty fondant covered cakes on these horrible plastic colums!!!! I asked her what she liked about this particular design and she said all of the cakes being seperate- LOL! She also wants the fountain!! icon_cry.gif Please help me to come up with an alternative!!! Thanks in advance!!!!

24 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 7:00pm
post #2 of 25

Maybe crystal pillars? I feel your pain. Make sure to suggest Tidy Bowl dyed fountain water for that extra special touch! icon_wink.gif

icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

tastyart Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 7:10pm
post #3 of 25

Could you use pedastal cake plates that are different heights? Any way to change her mind on the fountain?

Somethin-Sweet Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 7:14pm
post #4 of 25

Ha Ha ____Jamie____!! I will do that!

I dunno......she is pretty set on having a "water feature" ...........I think she is stuck in the 80's..............UGH- I almost wanna turn it down cause I know its going to be so horrible! I suggested finding pretty pedestal candle holders instead of the columns, and she kinda liked that idea-

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 9:49pm
post #5 of 25

First you might check out this thread: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-652646.html

When you say plastic "pillars", do you mean the acrylic stands that stand separately like these http://www.weddingcakestands.com/homeacrylic.htm (and some of these can get pretty pricey, so I'd be careful about referring to them as "cheap". I borrowed a set once and the owner told me she paid $600 for them. )


or the styrofoam one piece stands that are disposable like this? http://www.bakingshop.com/weddingcakes/disposablecakestand.htm

Gosh, I hate to hear how some folks would make fun of a bride who wanted to wear her mother's wedding dress from the 80's .... like mine did. I am always confused on why wearing mom's dress is ok, but having a cake like mom's is "so pedestrian!"

tonedna Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:03pm
post #6 of 25

Ok..i am laughing so hard!...I have made those cake fountains. And to be quite honest, you will never see a picture
of one of my cake fountains in here!...
Last one I did was soooooo beautiful...the most gorgeous cake..Then add fountain and stairs...Thats the story of how to kill a beautiful cake is 30 seconds!
Ouch!... I have the pic of the cake without the stairs.. I will never say wich one it was..NEVER!.. icon_lol.gif
Edna icon_smile.gif

prterrell Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:07pm
post #7 of 25

Get used to it. Those cakes are coming back in style.

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:10pm
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

Get used to it. Those cakes are coming back in style.




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Texas_Rose Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:14pm
post #9 of 25

I always thought the idea of those cakes was to make you buy a lot of Wilton products for the assembly.

And I think the pillars and fountains and stairs are fine for a cake that goes with it...something pastel with a lot of piping...but it looks weird to put a fondant cake with a modern design together with the stairs and white pillars.

prterrell Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:25pm
post #10 of 25

Well, unfortunately, not everyone has taste. icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:35pm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I always thought the idea of those cakes was to make you buy a lot of Wilton products for the assembly.



Those cakes came into vogue in the late 70's. My best friend got married in '77 and she had the first fountain and stairs cake in our town. I started making cakes around '79 and make these cakes every single weekend for about a year.

Understand the history of the era. In the late '70s, no one had jobs, we had double digit inflation and unemployment, everything was in a depressed state. Brides were having the biggest and baddest for their wedding because they were TIRED of budgets, they were TIRED of cheap looking. They wanted that one day to be big and glamorous and elegant.

And as it continued to the 80's, I remind my brides, "The 80's .... the era of extravegance ... big houses, big cars, BIG HAIR, big cakes." People refer to it as the "Era of Greed" but having lived thru the 70's and 80's as a young adult, I remember the 80's being a time of "thank god we're getting lots of overtime so we can catch up from the months and years of unemployment we barely survived thru!" It had nothing to do with "greed". Joe Public didn't have to sweat it out on how to pay his light bill and feed his kids anymore. It was a celebration time.

Where are we now? In a depressed economic state and people have to cut back on everything. They've sold their big trucks for fuel efficient little cars (like in the 70's); people losing their jobs left and right (like in the 70's); No more steak cookouts ... it's beans and rice.

People are tired of economizing. I predicted this to friends of mine when they asked how the recession was going to affect my business. I said, "People will spend more on weddings when times are tough." And my average invoice is WAY up. People will happily cut back on the everyday stuff, but ini bad economic times, they tend to want their ONE BIG DAY to be big and glamorous.

The game, Monopoly, was born during the depression. People could forget their daily struggles and pretend to be millionaires for a day. The glitz and glamour movies of Hollywood were big during the depression, when people wanted to lose themselves in a dark movie theater and watch "the rich folks" on the big screen.

So that's how I see this big cakes. They represent an image and a moment of glamour and grandour, even if it's just for a few hours. It's the escape from the daily grind of saving and scrimping and being "plain".

And I'm sorry ... I know everyone gets an opinion on here so here's mine: It absolutely ticks me off when I see decorators demeaning a bride for her "tacky" taste, just because it doesn't jive with what the decorator likes. I hate (!) dots and scrolls and ribbon around the bottom cakes. To me, those are big no-talent cakes that anyone should be able to do in their sleep. But when a bride orders one, I compliment her selection and work out the details of what SHE wants. My personal opinion is that a TT cake with zebra stripes just doesn't belong on a wedding table .... but if a bride wants that on her day, then I'm making it for her with the best of my talents.

What I find "tasteless" is a decorator who tries to feel superior to a bride's choice of cake by implying no bride has the same wonderful sense of "taste" that the decorator does.

Sorry so long, but I got on a roll! icon_rolleyes.gif

Somethin-Sweet Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:40pm
post #12 of 25

indydebi, no I mean the 'el cheap-O Wilton column looking setup........WITH the fountain- icon_cry.gif

Texas_Rose that is EXACTLY what I was thinking! On an all buttercream cake it does not look AS bad.............but putting it with a fondant cake makes it look so cheap- IMHO. I have told her that is she wants to use these items on her cake, that she is responsible for paying for them....because I dont keep them and will NEVER use them again.

And yes- this is definately one that will NOT be in my portfolio...... icon_wink.gif ..........and IF they are indeed coming back in style,- well, I guess I wont be in style! You will not find one on display in my shop! LOL!

Somethin-Sweet Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:46pm
post #13 of 25

BTW- I'm not knocking her for wanting the "look"..........just the cheap Wilton columns..........maybe I need to reinvent the look with a more modern look- with something BESIDES plastic..................Same thing with the fountain- they just "cheapen" the setup- like I said- IMHO............

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:48pm
post #14 of 25

That would absolutely be bad taste to tell a bride her design stunk. Thankfully, we can do it in here without naming individuals, showing their pictures, etc., and instead commisserate together on a particular style of decorating that some of us find horrid. I sure don't feel superior or above a bride because they would pick something like that. But I'll continue to politely decline to make them if I don't feel like it, or take pics before the fountain is set up. icon_smile.gif

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 11:44pm
post #15 of 25

My niece asked me to make her wedding cake. (Out of state, 7+ hours away.) She picked out a Wilton design with 6-7 separate cakes, a fountain, stairs, etc. One of the most important things to her was having the fountain. I was unfortunately unable to do the cake for her (circumstances were WAY beyond my control); but I'd have done it because it's what she wanted for her special day.

I looked at your web site, Somethin-Sweet, and your work is absolutely stunning! So I am sure that if you do this project it, too, will be beautiful! icon_smile.gif (I understand your feelings, though! icon_wink.gif )

Somethin-Sweet Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 1:02am
post #16 of 25

Thanks SugarLover3! My goal is to give the setup she likes a little update- with something other than the plastic.............and possibly another option for her "water feature"............those exact things are not what she likes- just the setup...........I'm sure if I think about it a little longer, I will be able to come up with something! Just dont know when I will be able to do that! LOL! Thanks for everyone's suggestions. icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 6:49pm
post #17 of 25

Indydebi - Sorry if my post offended. It was meant to be humorous.

SugarFiend Posted 24 Sep 2009 , 12:27am
post #18 of 25

Why not wrap the ugly columns in tulle or something? Would that help?

Somethin-Sweet Posted 24 Sep 2009 , 2:17am
post #19 of 25

I thought about doing that, or maybe even draping them with some fabric? There has got to be some way to update this look!

GottaLuvCake Posted 24 Sep 2009 , 2:33am
post #20 of 25

I am wondering if the cake you are talking about is similar to one that i was asked to do? I love the tulle idea as they make it sparkly, and if its what the bride wants why not? My cake is on the photographers website you have to go to the galleries and then go to wedding, if you scroll through I believe the cake you are describing is like the one i did. I think it looked nice and now i wish i would have thought of tulle myself. It was 125* in the shade and i had to transport that baby 2 hours away, thank goodness for dry ice!
http://www.capturedinamoment.com/

auntmamie Posted 24 Sep 2009 , 2:53am
post #21 of 25

I have to agree with those of you who have said "it's the bride's day". It is HER day, and if we don't like the cake choice, then we can either turn it down and lose money, or accept it, and realize how many bad decisions we have made in our own pasts that might haunt us (parachute pants come to mind).

BTW - I would totally choose this cake! http:[email protected]/2726464242/ My 3 favorite things - pillars, fountain and no fondant.

MissyTex Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 2:59pm
post #22 of 25

You could make your own. In âCakes By Designâ by Scott Clark Woolley he shows how to make your own. If I remember correctly, you use wooden dowels and cover them with fondant/gum paste and attach them to wooden boards. It might not be in her budget to pay you to make this, but itâs a suggestion. Iâve never made them, but I thought they looked nice. See picâ¦
LL

GottaLuvCake Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 3:08pm
post #23 of 25

Well ok maybe not, she must have updated her website with new pics. I will try and upload a pic on here ?




Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaLuvCake

I am wondering if the cake you are talking about is similar to one that i was asked to do? I love the tulle idea as they make it sparkly, and if its what the bride wants why not? My cake is on the photographers website you have to go to the galleries and then go to wedding, if you scroll through I believe the cake you are describing is like the one i did. I think it looked nice and now i wish i would have thought of tulle myself. It was 125* in the shade and i had to transport that baby 2 hours away, thank goodness for dry ice!
http://www.capturedinamoment.com/


[img][/img]
LL

MrsL Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 5:48pm
post #24 of 25

I too hate this look. But then again I really am into the more modern designs. I think it would look better if you a few nice cake stands in different heights and set it up that way-it would still be "seperate" which is what she likes if I'm understanding it correctly. I'm still trying to think of a way to modern-ize the fountain lol.

honestly, if you do find a way to modern-ize the look, she might like it even more and be thankful you accomadated her wishes but updated it a little. and if not, at least you tried.

chelleb1974 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:43pm
post #25 of 25

I guess I am in the minority.......I actually like the look of the fountain. I would, however, figure out a way to hide the base of it, cause that part of it is less than pretty, IMO. And I think colored water to go with the cake would be cool.

~Chelle

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