No matter how unique we consider ourselves to be the simple fact is most of us at some point in our lives still want to have the wedding day that we always dreamed of. The alternative wedding market has boomed in recent years with modern brides and grooms wanting their own personalized themed days instead of the traditional white wedding. No one has noticed this more than Jenni Porter, founder of ‘Little Ruby Red’ makers of personalized wedding cake toppers for your special day. Whether it’s a miniature version of the bride and groom themselves, or a topper to compliment a particular theme, Jenni has provided everything from Batman and Catwoman to a zombie bride and groom to a mini Rocky and Dr Frank N Furter, all to top the cakes for non-traditional ceremonies. The Black Flag caught up with her to give us a guide to alternative weddings.
BF: So how did you start out?
JP: I started making by just geeky memorabilia to sell online, little models of characters and so on, and was asked by a friend to make some toppers for her wedding cake. It was then that I noticed that there was a huge gap in the market. Lots of people still want the traditional white wedding which is fine, but lots more are branching out and making their day their own by expressing themselves, through their dresses, their cakes, their vows, and having personalized toppers for their cake is one of the many ways in which they can make the day their own.
BF: You’ve been to a couple of alternative wedding shows in the last year, what were they like?
JP: They were amazing! There was some which were more vintage and cute, but the best one, which was alternative through and through, was the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza. I was there last year and I’ll be going back again in March. They basically decided to bring together all of the alternative wedding providers in the UK together under one roof so you really got the best of everything. All of the shows had amazing catwalk shows with the most amazing dresses, there tend to be a lot of cake stands at wedding events but at the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza you could see everything from my Steampunk cake toppers to an Alien Vs Predator cake, it was awesome!
BF: What sort of themes have you provided toppers for?
JP: Zombies are always popular, as well as Alice in Wonderland. I also make wedding favours in the form of little cupcake toppers and made some Alice ones for recent wedding. One girl I spoke to was organizing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wedding.
JP: Well she was doing it quite subtly. The bridesmaids were going to have sashes around their dresses in the different turtle’s colours, and she joked that they were probably going to nickname the best man ‘Shredder’ throughout the day. Just by having a theme you don’t need to go all out about it, you can still do it in a really subtle way so you can keep the traditionalists in your or your partners family happy. Then again, the people at your wedding should know and love you enough to accept your wedding the way you want it. It’s your day after all.
BF: I guess the toppers can be one thing people can be really extreme about though?
JP: Exactly! Plus you can keep the topper afterwards as a keepsake of your day, so if there’s one thing you can be really personal and expressive about, it’s this.
BF: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been asked for?
JP: (Goes quiet for a few seconds). I guess the girl who asked for life-sized toppers of themselves…
BF: To go on a cake?!
JP: That’s what I asked her, and she said ‘maybe?’ who knows? I charge by the materials I use and the time it takes to make, so I told her that if she was willing to pay I’d be willing to make them.
BF:Has there been anything you’ve been asked for that you thought ‘That’s a bit much!’
JP: No! (laughs) no I think the weirder, the stranger, the more creative the better, bring it on!
BF: Finally let’s talk venues, obviously people may want to marry in different places now.
JP: Venues can be a bit of a tricky one. There’s a law in the UK that says you have to get married under a roof that’s part of a permanent structure to make it legal, hence people having the ceremony under a covering of some kind for outdoor weddings. There was a fantastic Alice in Wonderland themed wedding recently where they found a venue to accommodate an outdoor ceremony, so it shows you that the venue doesn’t have to get in the way. You just have to do your research, but this is why wedding shows like Eclectic can be a God send!
BF: Do you see the alternative wedding market continue to grow, or is it a bit of a fad?
JP: It’ll keep on growing definitely. It’s becoming more and more acceptable for people to express themselves. Ten years ago if you had piercings or tattoos it would’ve been hard to get a job. It’s now perfectly normal to see someone serving you with a sleeve or a piercing on their face. Having an untraditional wedding is the last of these taboos to be broken. As people feel more comfortable being themselves the more they’ll want to express that on their wedding day.
**LITTLE RUBY RED IS OFFERING 10% OFF THEIR BESPOKE WEDDING TOPPERS AND FAVOURS TO ALL BLACK FLAG READERS WHEN YOU QUOTE ‘BLACK FLAG’. CONTACT JENNI AT JEN@LITTLERUBYRED.COM OR VISIT WWW.LITTLERUBYRED.COM FOR DETAILS**
The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza takes place on 24th March at Fazely Studios, Birmingham visit www.allaboutewe.co.uk for details.