All posts in Planning Guides

Guide 7 Revisited:
Make Your Own Streusel Coffee Wedding Cake

DIY Streusel Coffee Wedding Cake

There’s nothing I love more than weddings. Except for maybe breakfast food. Lucky for me, our latest free brunch wedding guide has them both. Welcome, raging wedding boner. With bright pops of color, a beautiful spread of fresh fruit and pastries, and pastel floral arrangements to die for, this free wedding guide will have you swooning down the isle.

Besides the gorgeous fruit and fizzy drinks, this brunch wedding features a fun (and oh so yummy) DIY streusel coffee wedding cake! Our three-tiered cake was large enough to serve 30-40 people with
1 inch(ish) slices.

If you’d rather not attempt to make your own wedding cake, no worries! Talk to your baker about making this delish dessert. Otherwise, scroll down for the how-to.

DIY Streusel Coffee Wedding Cake

DIY Streusel Coffee Wedding Cake

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake ingredients
  • 10 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch round cake pans
  • Wax paper
  • 3 cardboard cake rounds
  • Wooden skewers or cake dowels


1. For easy cake removal, cut 3 pieces of wax paper to line the bottom of each cake round.

2. Prepare your cake batter using the coffee cake recipe of your choice. We used a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, but any coffee cake recipe with a streusel topping will work! (This Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake recipe from Martha Stewart is also great!)

3. Divide cake batter evenly between the 10 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch round pans. Top with streusel. Bake according to recipe instructions. Since this cake doesn’t have frosting to hide imperfections, be very diligent to NOT over bake. Take the rounds out of the oven when the edges are a light golden brown.

4. Once rounds are completely cooled, loosen the edges of each tier with a sharp knife and turn out onto a flat surface. Gently remove the wax paper from the bottom each round.

5. It’s time to stack! Cut a cardboard cake round to fit the bottom of each tier. Cut skewers to fit the height of each tier. The skewers will act as supports so you don’t end up with a leaning (or sinking) tower of cake. Insert skewers around the center of each tier. Note: We didn’t insert a dowel through all tiers since our cake was on the small(ish) side, but make sure to add the dowel if you add any extra tiers.

Here is a great stacking diagram from Cake Fairy Tales:

How to stack a cake

6. Add beautiful, fresh flowers to the top tier. Flowers with a sturdy, thick stem will work best. Congratulations! You’re finished!


  • Need more cake? Add another 12″ round bottom tier (about 40 more servings). Use this site to help calculate servings based on tier size.
  • While I certainly don’t miss the frosting in this moist cake, a glaze would be a great way to add more dimension. Martha Stewart’s recipe uses a glaze of milk and confectioners sugar. For a little extra flavor experiment with adding a few drops of vanilla, lemon juice or orange zest. Add more confectioners sugar if your glaze becomes too runny.
  • We used a flower cake topper, but anything would do! Pinterest has some great cake topper ideas.

DIY Streusel Coffee Wedding Cake

Want to see how we managed to plan a 100-guest brunch wedding for only $8,000? Our free guide will show you how to plan your own brunch wedding from start to finish. Head on over to our Guide Downloads page and check it out for yourself! Since our guides are way more in-depth than our blog, they’re the best way to dig into budget wedding planning in a fun way. What are you waiting for?

Happy Planning!

Introducing Guide 7:
A Charming Brunch Wedding

A Charming Brunch Wedding

Our new guide is here, and ohmygaaawwwwd is it gorgeous! With bright pops of color, a beautiful spread of fresh fruit and pastries (there’s a three-tiered coffee cake!), and pastel floral arrangements to die for, this free wedding guide will have you swooning down the isle. 

A Charming Brunch Wedding

I am a BIG fan of brunch weddings. HUGE. I mean, think about it …

1. There’s LESS time in the day before the “I dos,” meaning there’s MORE time afterwards for you and your new hubby to appreciate such a special occasion AND still have energy at the end of the day (meaning you might actually get some on your wedding night … just sayin’).

2. It’s waaaaay cheaper. This 100-guest wedding only runs $8,000. Did you know that booking a restaurant or banquet room can save you big bucks on food, drinks AND rentals? Plus, you only have to coordinate with one vendor instead of three.

3. It’s socially-acceptable to get drunk at brunch.

Do you really need any more convincing? Our free guide will show you how to plan your own brunch wedding from start to finish. Head on over to our Guide Downloads page and check it out for yourself!

A Charming Brunch Wedding

Since our guides are way more in-depth than our blog, they’re the best way to dig into budget wedding planning in a fun way. What are you waiting for?

Guide 6 Revisited:
Wedding gift bag ideas

wedding gift bag ideas

I’m so excited to be writing about our Intimate Beach Wedding guide again because I’m going to my first beach wedding next month. The idea of mixing a wedding with a fun weekend by the seashore is probably the best idea ever.

What I loved most about this guide was the sweet welcome baskets for the guests. Who doesn’t love a nice surprise when you arrive at your hotel room after a long trip? In this guide, our guest welcome gift basket featured local wine, a beach towel, flip flops, salt water taffy and a map of the city.

The ideas are endless in making your wedding welcome gift bag or basket personalized and special.

And here’s just a few of them:

  • Couple’s favorites: Is there a wine that you and your beloved shared on the first date? Or a certain album that you both fell in love with? Fill the basket with your mutual favorites from cookies to books. Bonus: Including a note that tells the significance behind each item will be sure to make everyone swoon.
  • Seasonal: Winter wedding? Put in coffee mugs, hot chocolate mix and a nice fleece blanket. Springtime? Put in an umbrella, flower seed packets and tea bags.
  • Snack packs: Instead of making your guests raid the expensive minibar for snacks and drinks, welcome them with candy bars, chips, nuts, sodas and mini bottles of liquor.
  • And don’t forget about the kids… Buy coloring and activity books, games and bubbles to keep the kids occupied while their parents have fun.

Want more ideas? Download our FREE Intimate Beach Wedding guide now. You’ll not only learn how to plan a beach wedding for under $10k, but also how to put together a to die for s’mores buffet and much more.

Also, we’ve made our downloads so much easier. Just fill in your email address on our download page and you’ve got access to six beautiful budget guides to plan your wedding. Now you really have no excuse!

Have a happy beach day!

Introducing Guide 6:
The Intimate Beach Wedding

An Intimate Beach Wedding

MarryThis! planning guides

MarryThis! planning guides

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means a brand-new guide from MarryThis! This time, we tackle a timeless idea, a destination wedding at the beach. It’s simple, elegant and lots of fun.

MarryThis! planning guides

MarryThis! planning guides

MarryThis! planning guides

In addition to the launch of this newest guide (our sixth!) we have a brand-new guide download page which makes downloading all our guides an absolute snap. So if you’ve held off in the past from downloading guides due to the long registration process, come over to the new downloads page and grab them all. We promise, it’s seriously easy.

MarryThis! planning guides

Guest post: My, Your Wedding Reception is Delicious…
Even if I Can’t Eat Cheese

Today, we have our first-ever MarryThis! guest blogger. Brides, meet Marisa Voorhees aka The Food-Sensitive Foodie. Marisa is a Chicago-based health and cooking coach specializing in food allergies and helps individuals and families navigate the challenges of learning to live with food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances.

MarryThis! Planning Guide

I am loving this month’s MarryThis! Wine and Cheese Wedding. A reception like this is beautiful, delicious and affordable. Who doesn’t love those adjectives to describe their wedding? You get to nibble, nosh, sip and schmooze without having to stress about when to sit down or if that main dish is ever going to get on the table because you’ve got to get dancing.

Even this Food-Sensitive Foodie (who couldn’t get a lifetime commitment from gluten or dairy) can appreciate the delicate and delicious simplicity of a wine and cheese reception. I mean, it’s just so beautiful and practically effortless – especially when you’ve got a gorgeous spread on the table with the bread slices fanned around the edges of the silver platter, huge wedges of Brie and Manchego, bunches of grapes begging to be picked, and trails of nuts running through all of these delicious treats. Pretty, right?

But in this day of food allergy awareness, you might be thinking, “Oh. But Sally can’t eat gluten. And Missy is lactose intolerant. And isn’t Jenny dating that really whiny vegan? Ugh. I could never pull this off.” Turns out, with two simple food preparation steps, that Wine and Cheese Wedding that made your heart leap a little is still totally accessible. Here’s how:

food allergies

Create separation. If you combine on one platter for aesthetics (which is a-ok), then put additional servings on a separate platter. A platter of assorted fruits is just as pretty as those grapes that are hanging out with the bread and cheese gang on the other platter. And separate bowls of nuts and baskets of bread mean that people can fill their plates with safe foods.

Double up. This adds an additional layer to the first rule. Now that you’ve got the individual platters, along with those aesthetically pleasing combined platters, make sure you have separate utensils. I can’t use a cheese-y knife to cut fruit and guests allergic to nuts won’t be able to scoop up safe foods with the nut spoons. Have double sets of utensils so that it cuts down on food contamination. It will keep your guests and their tummies happy.

A little note on dips and dressings: We all have that uncle who loves to double dip, stick his fingers in the hummus, or soak his bread in the juices to get all of the flavor. That’s all fine and dandy when it’s on his plate. If there are shared bowls of dips and dressings on the table, keep one to the side for your food-sensitive guests so that they can stick their clean spoon in a non-contaminated bowl of delicious and not have to worry if someone already dragged bread through it, leaving a trail of tummy-churning crumbs.

In the end, it’s your wedding day. You don’t need to accommodate everyone and the truth is, those of your loving friends, who already know how to manage their food allergies, should take it upon themselves to have some back-up snacks (I never leave home without a small pack of almonds or an energy bar). But these little steps will make it more delicious for everyone. Oh, and if you have a guest with severe allergies, share the menu with them ahead of time, and gently encourage them to bring their EpiPen. That nifty little lifesaver fits perfectly in any wedding-worthy clutch.

Have more questions about planning a food allergy-friendly wedding? Feel free to email me at Happy planning!

Want more of Marisa’s great tips (and yummy recipes)? Follow her journey of living a life with food allergies at

MarryThis! Planning Guide

Introducing Guide 05:
Wine & Cheese Wedding

MarryThis! Planning Guide

MarryThis! Planning Guide

MarryThis! Planning Guide

Get ready for a totally new MarryThis! guide, where the party is all about perfect pairings: Brie and Merlot, Fontina and Shiraz, you and the love of your life. You’ll be surrounded by tasty cheese and wine, celebrating the beginning of your new life together in a sophisticated way.

MarryThis! Planning Guide

MarryThis! Planning Guide

We’re super excited about the guide, which shows you how to put together this cosmopolitan celebration from start to finish.

MarryThis! Planning Guide

Since our guides are way more in-depth than our blog, they’re the best way to dig into budget wedding planning in a fun way. What are you waiting for?

MarryThis! Planning Guide

Guide 4 Revisited:
A bonus bridesmaid
and DIY Milk Glass

In our weddings, we often focus on our bride and groom, but this 1940s Americana shoot had a special bonus you didn’t get to see in our guide – a bridesmaid.

americana bridemaid

Our bridesmaid’s halter-style cocktail dress is from Love, June on Etsy who also provided the bride’s gown. I love this dress because it’s really one of those bridesmaid dresses that you could wear again (think New Year’s Eve party!) and its champagne color adds a modern twist to the overall look. If you feel uncomfortable about buying a dress online, our free Americana guide talks about how to work with online vendors successfully for your big day.

white milk glass

Another touch I loved about this vintage wedding was the beautiful faux milk glass vases that pop against the blue tablecloth. Real milk glass can cost anywhere from $10-$100 per vase, but we were easily able to replicate the look at just a few dollars per piece. In our guide, we talk about how to make your own milk glass with white spray paint. An alternative to this idea is “inside painted” milk glass with latex paint.

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