For your consideration: of-the-moment dessert alternatives to traditional wedding cake.
Skip the cutting cake, and get Voodoo Doughnut’s custom bride and groom (pictured at top) instead. Send in a photo of yourselves, and they’ll frost your doughnuts to match. Ring: Mandrel Studio 18K white gold and pear-shaped white rustic diamond solitaire ($10,360 at Twist)
TASTE THE RAINBOW
To say that the always irreverent, often colorful sweets at Voodoo Doughnut have put a spell on our town is a serious understatement. A table laden with Voodoo’s rings, rounds, and bars will give your festivities a playful sense of place. Even more hyperlocal? Have their bubblegum-pink Voodoo Van roll up and dazzle guests with the Oreo-crusted Pot Hole, blunt-shaped Maple Blazer, mini-M&M’s-topped Marshall Mathers, peanut-buttery Old Dirty Bastard, and oh, so much more.
Bacon Maple Bar
Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon—so legendary, we had to show it twice.
Raised yeast doughnut filled with mango jelly and topped with vanilla frosting and Tang crystals.
Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Fruit Loops cereal.
Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting, grape dust, and lavender sprinkles.
You may love the unconventional wedding-dessert trend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cake! Instead of the classic fondant-cloaked tower, consider a collection of single tiers from your favorite neighborhood bakery. Whether alone or surrounded by an array of other yummy treats like pies, cookies, and mini tarts, we think the pleasing presentation is reason enough. (P.S. It can also be a more affordable route.) “Creative, nontraditional desserts speak volumes about a couple’s personality,” says Jenni Welliver, owner of Little Red’s Bakeshop & Café. “Your wedding is such a magical time, so why not have sweets that reflect that?”
We guarantee guests will line up for Welliver’s wares (from top): Champagne cake filled with raspberry buttercream and finished with lemon buttercream and nonpareil pearls; white cake layered with lemon curd and vanilla bean buttercream; and s’mores-inspired graham cake filled with chocolate buttercream and covered in toasted marshmallow meringue and edible gold leaf.
Top it Off
Swing by the English Dept to try on gowns and check out their sweet vintage cake toppers, like this #adorbs ’50s piece ($48). Bonus: toppers make a great memento to display long after the wedding dress has been put away.
Peter’s Chocolate Mint
This decadent delight by Pearl District bakery Cupcake Jones tops mint ganache–filled devil’s food cake with fudge icing, chocolate mint sauce, and a candied mint leaf. We love the idea of incorporating pedestals of CJ’s minis in your centerpieces—or serving their filled jumbos at each seat! Favorite flavors: PB & J, Lemoncello, Bananas Foster, and the vegan and gluten-free Velvet Painting (red velvet).
The peanut-butter-and-bacon Elvis Lives and überrich Johnny Cash (cocoa nib cake with whiskey buttercream and a chocolate-covered espresso bean) won Montavilla bakery Hungry Heart top prize ($10K!) on the Cooking Channel’s “Sugar Showdown.” More winners in our book: the spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate, unexpected Cheese Plate (frosting is creamed brie!), and Nutella Banana. Hire HH’s charming purple truck to serve—it rolls with Cascade Glacier ice cream and Stumptown brew, too.
Toasted Coconut Cream
Buttery vanilla-and-toffee-bit cake piled high with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut, this handsome handful by downtown bakery Saint Cupcake is a fan favorite. Other beloved flavors: the Salty Captain, Fat Elvis, Big Top, and Carrot Cake. (They also do custom cupcakes.) Go regular-size or all “dots”—either way, consider adding SC’s Melty Goods ice cream to sweeten the pot.
We’d say nothing feels like summer more than a Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwich, but the truth is we happily devour them year-round. Available in large, mini, and “bite” sizes, you can get them for your fête in flavor combos like brown sugar cookies with Oregon strawberry ice cream, lemon cookies with honey lavender, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with butterscotch. (Ask about their vegan and gluten-free options!) Serve them from a silver cooler emblazoned with the RJ logo or the shop’s darling cart. You can also have the standard cups and cones, or go for a lavish sundae bar with toppings like salted caramel sauce, chocolate shell, pound cake croutons, and honey-roasted walnuts.
THE BIG CHILL
Impress out-of-towners by dishing (or coning) up the famed cold stuff that makes locals line up around the block. Exclusively catered by ChefStable, Salt & Straw ice cream is known for exotic, über-Portland flavors like strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper, pear and blue cheese, and Arbequina olive oil. Enlist their space-saving wooden kiosk or sleek silver cart to dole out these and other favorites, such as Petunia’s vegan coconut mint chip whoopie pie, sea salt with caramel ribbons, and Freckled Woodblock chocolate. Add a few simply perfect toppings (seasonal fruit compote, sprinkles, crispy bacon), and your guests will wish you’d get married every week.
All that Glitters
Each one of these Mark Davis vintage bakelite and fine-gem bangles pictured above ($1,280–$5,050) is a wearable work of art. Explore Davis’s colorful collection at Nob Hill boutique Twist, where you’ll also find this Mandrel Studio 18K rose gold and rustic diamond double-band halo solitaire ($15,076) and other one-of-a-kind artisan bling, including a wide range of wedding bands.
CND Shellac polish manicures are a busy bride’s lifesaver: they dry immediately with a lustrous shine, last for two-plus weeks sans chipping, and come off in five minutes without damaging your nails like other gel polishes can. Elizabeth Van of Dosha Salon Spa painted this whimsical-chic mani. Book yours now, and while you’re at it check out Dosha’s top-notch bridal hair and makeup services—you can visit one of their six locations or have their Bridal Elite team come to you. Shellac mani is $35. Nail art is an additional $15 for all nails, or $5 for only one or two.
Whether served late to fuel the dancing or as the main dessert event, Nineteen27 S’mores’s gloriously gooey creations will make for a memorable night. Note: these are not the slightly scorched and crumbling campfire sandwiches from your Girl Scout days. Working from their cute cart, husband-and-wife team James and Elise Kelly will roast and build your gourmet s’more to order. Big, pillowy marshmallows are made from scratch and can come in unique flavors (coffee, chai, chamomile!) and custom hues, such as pastel green (see our stack pictured above), pink, and blue. Offer them with homemade grahams (honey, cocoa, cinnamon) and tantalizing spreads: fudge, salted caramel, lemon curd, and whipped cream cheese. Want more? The Kellys also make a mean Rice Crispie treat as well as cupcakes and chocolate dipped fruit.
Adding refreshingly tart fruit like kiwi or berries balances the s’more sweetness. It’s like mini meringue pie!
BY THE NUMBERS
150 Marshmallows Nineteen27 S’mores serves at an average wedding
51 Flavors at Voodoo Doughnut, not counting vegan and specialty varieties!
215,000 Ice cream sandwiches Ruby Jewel sold in 2015