Go Naked! Nothing Takes the Cake Like Going Bare.

Naked Wedding Cake

Photo Credit: Keep Calm Weddings & Events

Reveal your & your groom’s own unique personality and style with a beautifully designed cake, stripped of the outside frosting so that the elements of the two of you are the focus. When it comes to decadence, it is what is on the inside that counts.

This is exactly what you get with the one of these latest trends in wedding cakes, “The Naked Cake”. With no (or minimal) frosting on the outside of the cake, tease your guests with generous amounts of your favorite filling sandwiched between the bare cake layers for a look that is absolutely scrumptious.

There is no way to go wrong to create the naked wedding cake. They easily transcend any style or theme of a wedding. Once you have decided on the texture and flavor, you can get creative. Garnish these cakes with your favorite toppings, berries, flowers, or other creative designs, and you have an edible work of art that is exclusively your own.

When discussing the style of wedding cake that you would prefer with your baker, be sure to take a look at the naked cake option. The fresh homemade, just-baked appeal that the Naked Cake offers is certain to make all your wedding guests feel welcome.

Wedding Cost Estimator

wedding-fund-piggy-bankAt first, planning a wedding may seem a little overwhelming. Not knowing what the average vendor charges for particular services can make the beginning of the wedding planning process feel uncertain. We are here to help.

Our experience in the wedding industry has enabled us to answer your questions professionally, and confidently.

To help get you started, we have provided a link to assist you with learning the average wedding costs that you can expect for wedding services and purchases in your Wedding Day area within the USA.

Use the wedding cost estimator to create a budget starting point or a wedding budget checklist.

This free online estimator works well for almost any event celebration. Simply add services & necessities you require, and omit the ones that you do not need.

How To Choose A wedding Venue

Shady Wagon Farm Bride

Photo Credit: J & J Photography

Choosing a wedding venue is a very important step in planning your wedding. Aside from having a location for your ceremony, so much of the wedding planning process relies on the venue that you have chosen. Here are some guidelines to help make the selection process easier.

First, plan your budget for your wedding. You can find some help with this at CostOfWedding.com. Next, decide on the geographical location of your ceremony. Make a list of venues in that area that reflect your wedding theme or style. Are you looking for a venue with a chapel, a rustic barn, an elegant estate house or hotel, a garden, or warm sandy beaches to dig your bare feet in the sand? Once you find the venues that fit your style, find out which ones have your wedding date available and can accommodate your guest count before scheduling a tour. Keep in mind that venues book dates well in advance, so it is good to flexible. Most weddings are booked on Saturdays. There are only 52-53 Saturdays in a year so venues get booked up, quickly. For this reason, it is also important that you wait until you have actually booked your venue before you send out your “Save the Dates”. If you find that a venue that your heart is really set on has already booked your desired day, it is possible that they have the day before or the day after available. Fridays & Sundays are also great days to have a wedding. An added benefit is these days are less expensive. This allows you to have more of your budget left for other things that are important to your wedding day. Also, look at the possibility of a venue having an opening on the weekend before and or the weekend after your initial choice. Be sure to inquire about pricing information beforehand to ensure that the venue fits your budget.

Venues offer different amenities and accommodations. Decide which ones are most important to you. Visit the venue websites for pictures and other information prior to scheduling a tour. If a venue does not yet have a website, do an online search using the name of the venue to locate and view potential online photographs of previous weddings there.



Shady Wagon Farm has recently decided to try our hand at this thing called blogging.  We plan to keep you updated with what’s new around the farm, visit some history in Doug & Cindy’s life, recap past events and weddings at the farm, and feature a recipe of the month.  But first, let’s begin with who’s who around the farm!

Doug is a native of the Moncure/Merry Oaks area and after residing in Cary for most of his adult life decided this is where he wanted to retire.  However, if you were to ask him today if he has in fact retired his answer would probably be no!  He works alongside his grandson, Paul, maintaining the beauty of the property.  On wedding days, Doug is usually the one shuttling guests from the parking area to the ceremony site and then back to the barn for the reception.

Cindy was on board with Doug’s desire to retire in his hometown and put her wedding cake business behind her.  Cindy was thrilled that the house plans she had held onto since 1988 were finally going to become her reality!  The Lord has blessed her and Doug beyond words!  Cindy is very much hands on here at the farm and enjoys giving tours to brides when they come to visit the property.  She is a woman with many talents and is able to put those to work here at the farm.

Paul joined his grandfather back in 2012 when the communications company he was working for fell under.  At first, he was just looking for temporary work and felt fortunate that his grandparents could use him out at the farm helping to maintain the grounds.  If you asked him now, he would say this is the best job he has ever had!  He is able to work side by side with his grandfather, and most days he enjoys his grandmother’s home cooking for breakfast and lunch!  He can’t take all the credit for what happens on the property though, he often says, “my grandfather’s brains, my back” when it comes to the work they do here.

Monica, Paul’s wife, joined the farm in March of this year as the Event’s Facilitator and Wedding Planner in training.  After a few months, there was an opportunity to also work in the office and help out administratively as well.  Since welcoming their first child in February, Monica feels incredibly blessed to be able to work not only with family but be a stay at home mom the majority of the time.  She has always enjoyed planning and putting details together and feels like God put her exactly where she needed to be here at the farm.

Of course we can’t forget our furry friends either.  They like to think they “work” out here also J Doug & Cindy have 2 collies, Duke and Georganna, BJ a rescue dog, and of course the reigning cats, Mr. Puddy and Doodlie. Oh, and a fish named Alfie!  Paul also brings his rescue dog, Charlie, to work almost every day!


RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Pasta al Pomodoro



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups diced fresh tomatoes (or diced canned)

Kosher salt

Large basil leaves-julienned

16 oz. angel hair

2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino


Pasta al Pomodoro


Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium-low heat.  Add minced onion and cook, stirring until soft, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring for 2-4 minutes.  Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more.  Increase heat to medium and add tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, stir in basil, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot.  Season with salt; add paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.  Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water.  Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook, stirring until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts.  Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.


And the finished product, doesn’t it look delicious?

Pasta al Pomodoro 2