Wedding show takes the cake

Vendors exhibit wares at event; gowns will be on sale

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter



If you go

• What: Marry Me! Wedding Event and Designer Gown Show.

• Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

• When: Noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27.

• Cost: $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Tickets available online through the website. Ticket proceeds benefit The Pongo Fund, which helps families struggling financially keep and feed their pets, and Panda Paws Rescue which provides rescue, rehabilitation and hospice for special-needs canines.

• Information:

Cakes are on the rise at this weekend’s Marry Me! wedding show in Vancouver.

The show, in its fourth year, will include exhibits with wedding themes and suggestions, booths from a host of vendors and a gown sale.

But it’s the cakes that really put the icing on the event, said organizer Misty Damico.

“It’s the first time we’ve had this many cakes,” Damico said. “Last year we had 30, this year we have 70, and my goal is to have 100 cakes by next year.”

Damico owns Luxe Event Productions, the Portland company that runs the show.

Perusing 70 different cakes on a leisurely Sunday afternoon might sound like a tasty endeavour, but visitors probably won’t want to sample the displays.

“They’re dummy cakes, with cardboard,” Damico said. “They go with 70 inspirational boards, with photo collages.”

Three vendors will create the fake cakes and be available to discuss them at the show, including one Vancouver company, Simply Sweets.

That company plans to build somewhere between 25 and 30 cakes for the event, said owner Jen Allpress.

“It’s a great way to showcase our work and meet brides,” Allpress said. “We’re a custom bakery, so we can pretty much do any design people want, budget permitting. If you want something like a dragon, or a car, we can do that.”

The dummy cakes will have real fondant frosting on them, but if you want to try some actual cake — you’ll need to head to the vendor booths.

“For the real cakes, we have close to 50 different flavor combinations,” Allpress said. “We’ll have samples in our booth of some of our best sellers. And personally I think you should eat as much free cake as possible when you’re getting ready to get married.”

The show will also include two free do-it-yourself wedding planning seminars.

“We have 60 exhibitors from caterers to wedding planners to floral designers,” Damico said. “And we have vendors for couples that want to produce their own weddings.”

The seminars will help couples break down the costs associated with organizing a wedding, and will go over services and items needed.

Also at the show will be a sale of more than 1,000 wedding gowns, with proceeds going to a charity that fights breast cancer.

Ticket sale proceeds will go to two charities that help feed and rehabilitate animals: The Pongo Fund and Panda Paws Rescue.

Grooms are also welcome at the show. Damico said she’s noticed in recent years that grooms are becoming more involved in the decision-making processes of weddings.

“We don’t believe in separating the men,” she said. “A lot of times their friends will come with them to help them pick items or get ideas.”

She also hopes that LGBT couples will attend, she said.

“Our industry is very, very open,” Damico said. “All our vendors support that.”

Allpress said she really enjoys making cakes for LGBT couples, and it’s a growing part of her business.

“I have the double male and double female (cake top figures) in stock, but it seems to me that gay couples like to pick cakes that are more creative,” Allpress said. “I had one couple that did a haunted house theme. And of course we do rainbow cakes and swirls and all sorts of other things.”

Cakes are usually the centerpiece of a wedding, and an important part of the overall theme. Allpress said it’s important to pick a cake maker that suits your style, even if it isn’t her company.

“I tell my brides to ask a lot of questions, that’s what we’re there for,” Allpress said. “And pick your designer based on the chemistry you have with them. Cake is really art. If you like their style, you’ll probably love your cake.”

Sue Vorenberg: 360-735-4457;;