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Wedding Cake Vs. Wedding Cupcakes—Which Should You Choose?

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There is nothing sweeter than your wedding day, except maybe the dessert! Which little slice of heaven should you serve up? The top two dessert front runners at today’s weddings are the traditional wedding cake and the modern cupcake. Read on to learn which tasty treat will best complement the kind of celebration you are hosting.

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake is to be served if you are having a traditional wedding. A traditional wedding by definition means having a reception that is held during the late afternoon or early evening on a Saturday, in a formal venue. These traditional cakes are usually designed in a round or square shape and is arranged in layers. An average wedding cake serves 150 guests. If you are having a smaller wedding that is still deemed traditional, considering telling your baker to whip up a small sheet cake. Cakes also offer more space than cupcakes to add embellishments like flowers, berries, bows, and any other item that reflects your wedding theme if you choose one. Couples also like the traditional wedding cake because they are able to place a cake topper on top and freeze the entire top layer and enjoy it on their one year anniversary. A cake also allows a couple to slice the first piece together, hand over hand; in a cake cutting ceremony.

Cupcakes Take the Cake

Cupcakes are to be served if you are having a casual wedding. A casual wedding by definition means having a reception that is on a Saturday or Sunday around brunch time that is held in a non-formal venue. Beach weddings, garden parties, and barbecue receptions are fun but are a lot less formal than a traditional, sit down dinner. Cupcakes are fun and can capture a couple’s playful personality. Serving them shows that a couple is unafraid to conform to the “norm” and they can still be decorated and embellished to complement any wedding theme. Cupcakes are great to serve if the couple is on a budget and can even be made ahead of time by the bride to be (or another willing family member).

Whether you serve up a slice of cake or a cute cupcake; one thing’s for sure. Either will taste great to your guests. However, consider some of the facts above to help you decide which will best complement the wedding you are hosting and your wants and needs as a couple.

Compromise

And, if you still can’t decide, compromise is a beautiful way to begin a marriage.

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Affordable and Fun Gift Baskets to Give as a Wedding Gift

Affordable Wedding Basket Gift Ideas
Gift baskets are fun to put together and also fun to receive. Whether you are the giver or the recipient, read on to learn about some affordable and fun baskets you can put together and give as a wedding gift.

Lotsa Pasta

Who doesn’t love pasta? Put together an Italian themed basket. Include specialty noodles (which you can find in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store for a dollar or two extra than traditional ones), jar your own tomato sauce, toss in a few pertinent dried herb bottles (like basil, oregano, and garlic powder-many stores offer them at 3 for a dollar), add some olive oil, and even pick up some cooking tools like a slotted spoon, and mini strainer, and a cheese grater. You can also find some barely used cookbooks that are in excellent shape for a very low price on some online market places that you can place in it as well! Mangiare!

Wine a Little

Pick up several bottles of wine that are on sale at your local liquor store. Print out several labels on your computer that highlight the couple’s potential firsts-First House, First Baby, First Anniversary, First Fight, etc. Type up an explanation of the basket and place it in a dollar store frame. Explain to the couple that they are only to open each bottle of wine when a first moment has occurred! If you have some extra dollars to burn, place cork stoppers, a wine aerator, and even personalized wine glasses inside as well!

Movie Night

Write a little note that describes the intent of the basket-for cozy nights in on the couch. Add a blanket; some Oscar nominated flicks, bags of microwave popcorn, flavored popcorn mixes, milk duds, licorice, (or whatever candy is on sale at the store). It’s a sweet and thoughtful gesture, which is light on your budget and which the couple is sure to appreciate.

Picnic Basket

Picnic baskets can be very expensive. You can absolutely make your own, based on your budget. Pick up a basket that closely resembles one of these romantic, recreational baskets at your local dollar store or flea market. Add in some basic white plates, silverware, a thermos, a checkered cloth to sit on, and some wine glasses. All items can be purchased two for a dollar at most bargain stores, and you can even scan flea markets for cheap but beautiful lace napkins, placemats, etc.

Now that you have your basket all ready, deliver it with a lasting impression that counts. Starting at just $9.95, add a custom printed fun balloon as the center piece. Quality printers like Mimosa Digital can take any photo, from an old print to a digital photo, add words if requested, and print it on 11″ round or heart-shaped balloons. Best of all, you can order yours online.

Consider putting together one of these fun and affordable gift baskets for your next upcoming wedding!

Choosing a Special Wedding Gift for Your New Spouse

blog-gifts-for-spouseEveryone knows that a marriage itself is a gift; however, many couples still choose to exchange a present after exchanging vows. Read on to learn how you can choose a special wedding gift for your new spouse that they will cherish nearly as much as you!

First, consider signing up for a boudoir session with your local photographer. This has certainly become one hot trend with newly married couples! The pictures are provocative, romantic, but remain completely classy. Not only are they fun to shoot, but they will be fun to pull out and view for years to come. Plus, these pictures make a statement. They silently declare that you are full of passion and want your partner to remain full of passion as well! If a professional shoot is out of your budget, all you need are some tasteful undergarments and a faithful and fabulous friend to play photographer! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not extend the preview the surprise with a teaser custom photo card and then present him with a beautifully designed flush mounted album with the collection of photos. Or, consider other photo gifts.

Next, many couples are huge fans of exchanging matching time pieces. These watches are worn every day and they are also symbolic of the commitment you both entered into for all “time.” Whether you want to pick up a designer pair or opt for something simple and standard; it is a gift that you will get years of use out of and will help make the hours pass by as you glance at it when you are away from one another.

Finally, consider what your spouse is into. No one knows you both best like one another. Sporting event or concert tickets are gifts that you can both utilize. You can also plan a weekend getaway or sign up for a couple’s massage to unwind after the big day. Many newly married couples are discouraging one another from purchasing separate gifts and are totally into gifting each other a shared experience.

Consider these three simple and totally doable ideas if you want to impress your mate with a meaningful, post-wedding “I do” gift.

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Chow Down or Chuck It? What to do with the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake TraditionsHave you been told by your mother, wedding planner, and friends that you simply must save the top layer of your wedding cake, store it in your freezer, and eat it one year later on your anniversary? This tradition has been around for decades-but how did it begin? And, what are modern brides really doing with their decadent dessert a year from their “I do” day? Read on to help you decide if you should chow down on the cake, or chuck it!

Saving the top layer of your wedding cake originated back in the 19th century. Long ago, the bottom layer of a three tier cake was for the reception, the middle layer was to give out to guests, and the top layer was used one year later at the christening of the couple’s first baby (“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” Ring a bell?). These two traditions have long since parted ways and a modern wedding ceremony tradition has emerged. Couples now choose to share the cake with each other or with the ones they love to remind them of their first happy day as husband and wife. And, it doesn’t hurt to hope, wish or believe that this tradition will also bring you prosperity and a long future! The modern take on the old tradition is worth considering.

blog-cake-tradition2If you believe in the fate of the cake, you will also have a beautiful reminiscence on your first anniversary. There is something ultra-romantic about savoring a slice of something that was cut for you on that most significant day in your life. Ask your caterer or reception venue to properly wrap it up (they do it on a weekly basis) the right way to ensure your dessert tastes nothing less than a little slice of heaven.

Some couples don’t think twice about saving the top layer at all! They will chuck the wedding cake leftovers after the ceremony, stating it’s unimportant, they’re not superstitious or they just aren’t keen on the idea of snacking on a bite of freezer burn. If you aren’t superstitious or don’t like to conform to tradition, pass on saving the cake and don’t think twice. If the idea of eating a thawed piece of cake which may no longer resemble the stunning centerpiece it once was leaves you feeling a bit nauseous, there is another option. Many top quality bakeries will offer to take a picture of your completed wedding cake in all its original glory and will then recreate it exactly – one year later at no charge. Ask your bakery if they offer this service. Your last piece of wedding cake should taste as fresh and fabulous as you remembered it.

Whether you decide to chow down or chuck it, you probably won’t cast good luck or bad luck! But, one thing is for certain – your first year of marriage is certainly something to celebrate… so, eat your heart out!

What’s the Standard? Do You Get the Leftover Food From the Cocktail and Wedding Reception?

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Saying “I do” is actually the easiest part when tying the knot. What’s complicated are all the technicalities of wedding etiquette and the tedious (and sometimes stressful) planning process from start to finish. One area brides-to-be should really focus on is the food. Not only do you want to feed your guests, you want to ensure they don’t leave your reception hungry and disgruntled. Read on to learn about what’s standard when it comes to leftover food from your cocktail hour and your wedding reception; helping you make sure that every guest has enough and you get full use of your funds!

Cocktail hours vary. Some couples who are on a budget opt to serve strictly cheese and crackers, or they will host a room full of buffet style snacks. Others, sparing no expense will have 25 butlers serving dainty hors d’oeuvres with white gloves. The bottom line is all food should be passed out for guests to enjoy. Don’t try to hoard the extras! The cocktail hour truly makes the first impression of your event, so don’t hold back. If you are worried you and your partner won’t get to enjoy the food, be sure to ask your wedding coordinator to have the help serve you first, or set aside a large plate that you can enjoy when you are ready.

leftover-memeWhen it comes to leftover food from your reception, you have one of two choices that are socially (and financially) acceptable. You can opt to send servers back out after everyone is served and stop by each table, offering seconds. You can even direct the staff to cut entrées into smaller portions when offering seconds to help you be sure you have enough for everyone who may want more. Or, you can simply package the left overs and take them home to freeze or eat with friends and family for a post-wedding dinner. Either way, you have paid a lot of money for your food and should never allow it to go to waste. Wedding venues always prepare extra food as a courtesy and there are always a few guests who RSVP and do not show up, so be sure to take their food home or pass out their share! Both options are classy and everyone will appreciate your good taste.

It’s good to know wedding food etiquette prior to your big day, so guests can be fed and full and you can maximize your expense! What do you think? Do tell!

Thank You Folded Card vs. Post Card

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It is pertinent that you show your friends and family a lot of love for not only attending your big day, but also showering you with generous gifts. When it comes to styles of thank you cards, which should you send? Read on to learn whether you should send a traditional folded card or a casual thank you post card!

Folded thank you cards are a definite choice to send if you hosted a formal or very traditional ceremony and reception. An event that also called for black tie attire also deserves a folded thank you card. Also, many brides love the fact that folded thank you cards often are able to reflect or complement their theme or stationery that was sent out for their engagement party and their wedding invite. Plus, most stationery vendors include folded thank you cards as part of a package and allow you to send your sincerest thanks as you showcase one of your wedding pics.

Post cards are a fun approach when it comes to thanking guests. They may be acceptable to send if you hosted a more casual and less formal affair, or if you have used a theme, or opted for a destination wedding. They are easy to hang on refrigerators or place inside a scrapbook as a keepsake. However, many mature family members do not view the post cards as a suitable thank you card that matches the gravitas of the wedding celebration. Hence, if you have traditionalists in your circle of family and friends, it is generally best to stick with folded thank you cards to avoid the risk of offending any loved one who feel that a post card as a thank you card is overly-casual as proper recognition of their gifts to you.

Be sure to take into consideration the kind of wedding you are hosting, your personality and your budget before choosing a thank you card. Your guests will be pleased with your manners and thoughtfulness as you quickly thank them after your special day has come to an end!

How to Make Your Wedding Fun Yet Elegant and Memorable

blog-wedding-fun-yet-elegantYour wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life. It is a day that marks a turning point in your life, and should be fun yet elegant and memorable. If you’re currently going through the planning process, consider how you can make each portion of your party stand out. Here are several suggestions in order to make your special day unforgettable!

1. Pick a Theme

Couples will find that their creative juices begin to flow once they have selected a wedding theme. Some of the most popular themes are vintage, country, fall, winter wonderland, garden party, and sunflowers. Once the theme is chosen, it becomes easier to plan the rest of the wedding. Planning your wedding will not only be fun, but will also offer you limitless possibilities with your décor, color scheme, cake selection, and even your wedding ensemble. Guests can also get in on the action once you inform them about your theme, indicated by the save-the-date card and wedding invitation you send them.

2. Incorporate Your Personality into the Ceremony

Many couples feel the cookie-cutter ceremony does not suit their style. While most feel it’s just easier to stick with tradition, the ceremony may not exactly suit who you are as a couple. Know that you can infuse your personality and style into your ceremony by customizing your vows. If you are a couple who loves wine, you can ditch the unity candle and drink from the same cup. You can even pass around some pre-filled glasses to guests to join you. Include some of your favorite quotes into your vows, or even invite some friends of family members to say a few inspirational (or even funny) words about your relationship during the ceremony. It’s a great way to do something out of the norm that is fun yet classy and acceptable, but memorable (most of all!).

3. Start the Party Right

If you search YouTube for ceremony entrance or exit songs, you’ll notice that a lot of couples get the party started immediately! They put together dance routines or arrange for their wedding party members to enter and exit to specific songs that suit their personalities. Once guests hear upbeat, celebratory tunes, they are sure to start clapping, smiling, and dancing their way out of the ceremony into the cocktail hour or reception.

These suggestions are simple, fun, and completely memorable for everyone. Consider them if you are in the wedding planning process and are looking for unique ideas that are a huge hit with the guests!

Chicken Dance or None of That Ilk?

Let’s face it. There is nothing funnier than watching those you love the most (grandma?) bust a move on the dance floor in honor of your sacred and celebratory union. You want to make sure you get the entire crowd up and moving to kick off your reception with a bang. The Chicken Dance has been a classic group dance that has been popularly (and annoyingly) played at weddings since the 80’s. Should you have your band or DJ play this notoriousblog-chicken-dance tune? Or, are you going to pass on tradition? Here are some pros and cons of the infamous dance to help you decide if you want your guests to flap, clap, and waddle!

Pros:

  • The dance is enticing and catchy. You can’t help but smile when you hear the accordion’s playfully quick beat.
  • The song complements informal, outdoor, or retro themed weddings.
  • Elder members in your family are familiar with the song and they will be more inclined to dance to “oldies but goodies.”
  • You are sure to chuckle when you see the video of your wedding party dance to this tune after cocktail hour and the champagne toast (plus it makes an awesome blackmail).

Cons:

  • The chicken dance has been associated with lacking prestige, so if you want a very formal affair, pass on playing it.
  • Chances are if you play this song, you’ll be egged on to dance to the song as well, and your photographer is certain to catch this unflattering, cringe-worthy moment on film!
  • Your band or DJ plays for a limited time. This song is long and will take the place of other tunes you genuinely want to hear.

Do the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa? Be sure to think about the type of event you are putting on and the demeanor and age of your attendees before you flap, clap, and waddle!

Should I Have the Best Man and Maid of Honor Provide Advance Speeches?

best man speechIt’s a situation you’ve run over and over in your head – your best man or maid of honor standing up to address your loved ones with an amazing speech.

You prepare yourself for the inevitable waterworks as your best man or maid of honor smiles lovingly at you, opens his or her mouth…

And then proceeds to tell that wildly embarrassing story from college when you got stuck in a dorm window…for three whole hours.

It’s not exactly a standout moment for your wedding, especially if you’re going for an elegant affair.  And with more best men and maids of honor pressured to provide funny speeches, it’s no surprise they’re crossing the line between funny and just plain cringe-worthy.

Which leaves you to mull over the inevitable question:  Should I have the best man and maid of honor provide their speeches in advance?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of this urgent issue:

  • The benefits of having these crucial members of your wedding party provide their speeches to you in advance are tenfold.  The most obvious reason, of course, is your ability to veto any stories that might embarrass or upset you on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life.  If you see that your maid of honor is gearing up to reveal your not-so-flattering childhood nickname or your best man wants to tell a story that’s not fit for Grandma’s ears, gently remind them that while you think the speech is great, it’ll need to be edited due to elderly members of the audience.  It’s a great way to get the edits to stick without hurting his or her feelings.
  • While you may be mulling over the benefit listed above, the drawback to knowing what your best man or maid of honor is going to say at your reception is…well, knowing exactly what they’re going to say!  Best man and maid of honor speeches are meant to be touching tributes – and if you start editing the content, you may be undermining the sentiments expressed in the speeches.

So how do you decide between these very valid arguments?  Simple: consider your audience.  If you have a large number of conservative family members attending your wedding, let your best man or maid of honor know that the speeches need to be PG rated.

Other than that, it’s all fair game…so good luck