DIY Weddings

Espresso Cup Mayhem

Fiancee and I are doing something very unique for our wedding "cake." And by unique, I mean it has all the potential for disaster in the world. So I'm looking for some advice and help.

Our wedding is writing themed. Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, we're making a "cake" out of espresso cups that each house small, individual cheesecakes (in liners). The cups will have various quotes written on them about love, life, marriage, etc. Happy wedding-y things. The cups will be doubling as favors, as well, and the guests can take them with them.

On to the questions:

- Our wedding venue is an hour and a half from where we live, and forty minutes from the nearest relative's house. We're going to be transporting about 85 espresso cups. Over some very bumpy roads. How can we do this without winding up in a pile of ceramic chaos?

- The espresso cups are ceramic. What can we use to write the quotes on them that won't wash off and is preferably dishwasher safe? In the very least, they need to be hand-washable without Shakespeare getting all over everything.

- How can we communicate to the guests that yes, dear god, please take your espresso cup home with you? As much as I love espresso, I really don't need eighty-five espresso cups... probably.

- And if you'd like some bonus points, our wedding is in a state park. Any idea how to transport eighty-five miniature cheesecakes to a state park in August without crying when you look at the end result? (We -do- have a way, but I'm looking for other options.)

Re: Espresso Cup Mayhem

  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I've seen things on Pinterest about writing on dishes. You would need to google a bit but I've heard of writing work sharpies then baking them. There are also types of paint meant for this. It might be worth considering several stencils of different quotes to make it go faster and neater.

    For packing, this may be overkill but perhaps packing the cups in a moving box with dividers meant for glasses. I'd also wrap each cup individually in bubble wrap as well.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • so are the cups going to be displayed as a wedding cake would, or will they be at each person's seat as a favor would?  I think that if they are set up like a cake people won't take them home.  If they are wrapped at each seat as a favor, people will.  Also, if people eat them there (are they the only dessert?) I don't think many of the cups will be going home with people.

    Also, cheesecake sitting in the sun sounds no bueno to me. . . . maybe keep them in a cooler and drop them into the cups at serving time?
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
     Do you already have the cups? Cause if I'm correct and on another post you said you had a shoestring budget, if you don't already have the cups, I'd nix them.

  • We have the cups, and they were dirt cheap. Much cheaper than a wedding cake to do things this way.

  • tojaitojai member
    10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary
    I think dry ice and a cooler for the cheesecakes and then you can put them into the cups.  Unfortunately if the ride is bumpy I can't think of a way to transport them with the cheesecakes inside, though that would save you on time.  What is your plan for doing it right now?

    I also agree that if the cups are out for each guest they will look more like favors.  However, many guests may not take them anyway.  Don't get me wrong, the idea sounds cute, I just don't really like extra clutter in my house and I don't ever see myself using an espresso cup that someone else put a quote they liked on.  Even if I knew it was a favor I wouldn't take it with me. 

  • There are specific inks for writing on porcelains and ceramics, and heat set by oven baking.  Ordinary sharpie  will wash off, despite 1000 Pinterest claims to the contrary. 
     Pebeo makes a good one, I've used it with excellent results. 
    Be prepared to sacrifice a few cups to practice. Writing or drawing on curved glass like surfaces is just slippery and awkward. 

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited April 2015
    1. I wouldn't want just a random espresso cup as my thank you gift.  I don't have an espresso maker.  I don't want a mismatched cup that matches nothing else I have.  And I don't want to have to transport it home.  Favors aren't required or if you really want them as your favor then don't tie it to your dessert if it's going to be logistically difficult to transport - your time and money are better spent elsewhere on important things that matter to your guests enjoyment of the wedding, like a place to sit.

    2. A half-sheet cake from Costco is $17.  Maybe regional costs vary, but it's definitely under $20.  By the time you factor in cost of the ingredients for these cheesecakes, the cost of the cups, the cost of the pen to write on the cups, your TIME making the cheesecakes, your time writing on the cups, the cost of whatever containers and cooling method you'll need to purchase to transport (ice or icepacks), the cost of your TIME again in setting it up when you get there - you cannot tell me that you'll be spending less than $17.  There are other similarly cheap options if you take time to explore them. 

    This really seems like vision taking precedence over practicality.

    (ETA:  Ditto on cheesecake sitting out on an August day not being my idea of a tasty dessert.)
  • my 2 cents: if you already purchased the cups and don't feel like/can't return them then you're committed to this and I think it can be cute! I'd say if you're giving the cups, definitely write on them if it's your theme. Whether or not people will love them, its cute and whatever haha you have them so at this point who cares. I would probably dissuade you from incorporating the dessert into them since it just seems like a headache and more stress than you need day-of. You can create a dessert table with the individual cheesecakes (or cookies or small desserts that can be made/bought cheaply) which may be more conducive for people to grab. To transport, I'd wrap them individually in paper and pack them in a box and take the cheesecakes in any large food container. I'd leave the espresso cups on the table with a little 'thank you' tag (something you can make for crazy cheap with any card stock) tied with a ribbon around the handle, that way people know to take them. Maybe you can find a really cute quote from a book that expressed thanks if that fits your theme better (love is brewing? something to espresso thanks? haha too cheesy??) I've been to weddings before where I was really confused if something was a favor or just a detail, so definitely make it obvious with a tag or something. Then hopefully you won't have 100 miscellaneous espresso cups afterwards!!
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'd put a paper towel or half or a quarter of one (I don't drink coffee, so I have no idea how big these things are, I assume small like for a shot of espresso?) in between each cup and then put them in a box with some newspaper or something around them all.  And drive slowly.

  • Honestly it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen; not just the tower o' cups but the cheesecakes in the sun. If it were me, I would:

    - Do the quotes on the cups as planned with the pen Annabelle suggested. FOLLOW MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS, NOT PINTEREST.

    - Put little bags of inexpensive candies/trail mix/whatever in each cup and set at each place, or tie a tag with each person's name on and let them function as escort cards. 

    - Get sheet cakes from Costco as your dessert.

  • Right now we're considering layered shelves in coolers, with cups and cheesecakes being transported from the place we (our helpful baker and friends :)) are assembling them with cold packs all around. I did a test run with some store-bought cheesecake and it survived (and would not have made guests faint in horror other than the fact that it was Wal-Mart cheesecake), so I know it works but I guess I'm paranoid about arriving and finding that something somewhere has gone horribly wrong.

    Pebeo! Thank you for the recommendation. Checking that out right now. :)

    I should specify that, while the reception is at a state park, the reception food and such (and most of the tables) are inside in an air-conditioned building.

  • Oh good, being inside makes a huge difference.

  • An alternate suggestion I have to writing *ON* the cups, would be write the quote on a flag attached to a toothpick or something, and stick it into the cheesecake. Then if people don't take them hold, and you don't want X number of espresso cups sitting in your cupboard or a box collecting dust, you can just sell them on craigslist or used(whatever city you live in) or kijiji afterwards. 

    You could put up a sign beside them with some goofy poem saying something like...

    Have some yummy cheesecake,
    The cup is yours to take!

    Or something... that's like 10 seconds of thought but you could come up with something if you wanted.

    As for transportation, transport the cups separate from the cheesecakes. You can wrap the cups in paper or bubble wrap or foam or something, then put them together at your reception. Have the cheesecakes kept cool until the last possible minute. Also are you having alcohol? The thought of cheesecake and booze makes me queasy just thinking about the stomach curdling... 
  • Erm, home* not hold, I don't know how to edit.
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