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Tag Archives: wedding reception
After yesterday’s post, have you gotten your wedding cake shape and display ideas all jotted down for your cake baker? Great! Now here are some more things to consider when choosing the wedding cake of your dreams…
Just like with any outfit, picking the perfect way to accessorize your cake is what makes it POP! There are so many things a skilled baker can do with frosting and sugar paste to make your wedding cake uniquely suited to your celebration. Think about realistic flowers, lavish ribbons, damask or quilted textures, small figurines, elegant monograms, fun stripes and polka dots made from frosting or sugar paste to accent your cake. And think beyond classic white frosting and accents! A wedding cake can be as muted or as colorful as you want it to be.
Inner beauty is important too
Remember that your wedding cake should taste as wonderful as it looks! Basic white and chocolate cakes are always crowd-pleasers, but if you’re feeling adventurous and you know your guests like to try new things, consider including unique wedding cake flavors. Some flavors to try? How about blood orange, raspberry or key lime layers mixed in with basic white for variety? Or choose a different variety of chocolate cake for each layer. There’s also coconut, hazelnut, pistachio…and don’t forget about unique fillings for between the layers of those cake flavors!
Enjoy creating your perfect wedding cake!
During the ceremony, all eyes are on the bride. But as soon as your guests get to the reception, that gaze moves to the cake. How can you make sure your cake is worth all that attention? You have to think outside of the box — and find a very talented baker who is willing to work with you to make your wedding cake dreams come true! Here are my ideas on how you can get your cake to stand out and be noticed…
Don’t stop your creativity at just the color of the frosting! Think about how the cake should be constructed. Go with a towering, multi-layered cake, or provide several two-layer cakes of different flavors for guests to choose from. Also consider the shape of the layers — round, oval, square or a mixture of whimsical shapes stacked together to form a unique structure.
Give it a throne
If you have a really awesome cake, it deserves to be displayed in a spectacular way! Consider these ideas for setting that cake off right:
• place it on a rotating cake stand to show off the cake’s beauty from all angles
• use pillars and lighting between layers for an airy look
• display a variety of single-layer cakes on vintage cake plates
• find a big pedestal to add height and drama to a three- or four-layer cake
Enjoy the wedding cake inspiration – and stop back tomorrow for more ideas!
When you’re choosing flowers for your wedding centerpieces, remember to consider color, season and style, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post. But don’t be afraid to choose something unique, something bold, something surprising to add to those centerpieces to delight your guests and make your wedding reception décor memorable.
• Love calla lilies? Play up their height and sleek look by arranging them in clear glass cylinders. You’ll achieve a modern look with a classic flower!
• Experiment with textures within your centerpieces. Roses, zinnias, berries, geranium leaves and celosia (coxcomb) are a few ideas that will add visual appeal to your floral arrangements.
• Green roses? Why not! Add in unique flower colors and styles for a fresh look that will get guests talking.
• Break up a monochromatic flower arrangement with a splash of a contrasting color – like the green hydrangea does to these pink roses and tulips.
Now – gather your ideas and get ready to pick the perfect flowers for your floral wedding centerpieces!
What says the most about your wedding style, your theme, your colors and your season? Flowers, of course! The type of flowers you choose for your wedding centerpieces – or the combination of flowers – will set the tone for your celebration and create the perfect mood.
Where to begin when choosing flowers for wedding centerpieces? Go back to your wedding style and theme. Is your wedding all about all-white elegance? Go with shades of white for your flowers and accent with clear crystal vases. Is your wedding outdoors in a rustic setting? Choose bright flowers that stand out from the surroundings and add in natural elements like nuts or fruit to the arrangements.
Then think about the season of your wedding. Summer weddings will call for the brightest and the boldest of the blossoms in season – go wild with wildflowers or lush with roses and lilies. Set your fall wedding ablaze with warm and rich blossoms and berries and leaves. Spring weddings will blossom in soft colors and lots of delicate greens. And winter weddings get fragrant and beautiful with the addition of seasonal greenery.
When you choose the style of your centerpieces, don’t forget that they’ll be in the center of your reception tables. Make sure the flower arrangements are low enough to converse over or tall enough to talk around. Vary the heights of the centerpieces, alternating tall, low and no flowers (just have candles on some tables for a visual break) for interest.
Enjoy the wedding flower inspiration, and come back tomorrow for more ideas!
The beginning of Daylight Savings Time over the weekend has me thinking about the way light makes me feel – and more daylight hours certainly make me feel happier! But I’m also thinking about the way venues can be lit to create moods and set the scene at wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Creative lighting techniques can help you set an intimate tone in certain areas, create a focal point for the main area and make the entire space dazzling. Branches wrapped in white lights, candles massed together on tables, light strands hanging from the ceiling, low-lit chandeliers – all set a different tone and help you achieve the mood you’re going for at your celebration.
Check out these spectacular lighting ideas…
• Wrap tree trunks and tree branches in hundreds of white lights – you won’t need another lighting source at all with a look this dazzling!
• String big bulbs across your space for a fun outdoor atmosphere.
• Lucky enough to have a fountain at your venue? Talk to the facility about lighting it for dramatic results.
• Overhead lights on a dim setting can take a room from bright to cozy in an instant.
• When the only lighting is candles massed on tables, the scene becomes intimate.
• Tiny lights hanging from the ceiling in strands creates a unique, modern look.
Enjoy the lighter days AND the lighting ideas!
Image credit: Beautiful Day Photography, Robert Evans Studios
Having a wedding like none other is as simple as defining your personal style and developing your wedding theme. Your theme doesn’t have to be as complex as creating a full-on Hawaiian luau, complete with a roast pig, ukulele players, hula dancers and grass skirts, but it should pinpoint an element that can be used as a thread throughout your wedding day – a color, a flower or even a vintage brooch. Here are a few of my ideas for creating a one-of-a-kind celebration!
Locating the right spot to host your wedding and reflect your wedding theme will be your greatest challenge. Having the wedding in a hotel ballroom will lend a very different tone than having it in an old weathered barn on a local farm. Find a distinctive location: scout out old nightclubs, movie theaters, city roof gardens, hip restaurants, wooded parks, art galleries or historic mansions.
Let your décor speak
The vibe of every wedding is dictated by the décor. Find a common decorating thread to play through all the elements of your wedding, from the ceremony to your reception. It might be red roses in your bouquets and also in big arrangements on your dinner tables. Or it could be candlelight filling your ceremony site and your reception venue. Also consider your theme and choose an element that represents it – pennants, balloons, canning jars, damask patterns…the sky’s the limit!
Make it fun for your guests
Provide fun activities that match your theme for guests to enjoy at your reception, and they’ll be raving about your wedding for a long time! Hire a photo booth and have fun props for guests to use in the shots. Ask a local winery to do a wine tasting event for the cocktail hour. Provide a hand-rolled cigar station for the guys. And if your event is outdoors, set up lawn games like croquet, horseshoes and badminton for guests to play.
If your reception venue is very large, create intimate “lounge” spaces with groupings of comfortable furniture. Guests will love being able to take a break from the activity and relaxing in a small group.
White-on-white is never out of style. Talk to your florist about mixing shades of whites in the bouquets. Use all-white linens or linens that mix various shades of white – for example, ivory cloths with white overlays. Choose a white wedding cake with white rolled fondant frosting and accented with ivory sugar blossoms.
Consider setting up tables of different sizes and shapes (circular, square, rectangular) and use different textures or designs for the fabrics (pin-stripe fabrics on round tables and tiny polka-dot covers on square ones). Although your color palette will remain the same, each tabletop will render a distinct personality.
Talk to your caterer for clever ways to present many mini desserts, like chocolate-covered strawberries, tiny meringues and little fruit tarts. Arranged on trays and tiered serving stands, the desserts will become part of the décor – and show your love of sweets!
Enjoy the inspiration!
Need more ideas for creating an enjoyable and unforgettable wedding reception? You’re in luck! Here are five more tips for making your wedding reception stand out.
6. Change up the Activity
Every thirty minutes, you should provide your guests with another form of entertainment. This can be done through the basic elements such as speeches to opening up a dessert bar or after-party lounge. Keep up the momentum, and guests will linger at your party to see what happens next.
7. Provide Activities
I don’t mean silly party games! Plan other forms of entertainment for your guests like an interactive food station or guest book sign-in that requires them to play in a photo booth with props. If you want to stand out from even that crowd, then hire dance instructors, place outdoor games like croquet in the grass if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding or set up gambling stations during the cocktail hour. Nothing is off limits as long as your guests are entertained.
8. Personalize your Event
Invite your guests into your world by sharing with them your likes, passions and interests. This can be done through telling your love story on a screen set up by your videographer in advance, to naming your tables after your favorite films or places. Incorporate personal touches as much as possible and give your guests insight into who you are as a couple.
9. Don’t Save on Staff
Keeping your guests well fed, well served and quick to get a drink at the bar is key. The last thing you want is a long line for those signature martinis you spent so much time developing. Consider hiring extra staff to tray pass drinks to guests right as they walk in the door and to serve each person their meal at the tables in unison. The presentation will be remembered, the party will be lively, and your guests will appreciate your service.
No matter where you wed, if it’s too dark, too bright, or too disco, the mood and atmosphere of the event will be affected. Plan on spending a bit more time and money designing a lighting program that enhances those beautiful flowers, creates a mood you want, and still serves a purpose so guests can enjoy themselves and visit with old friends.
Now – enjoy planning your own unforgettable wedding reception!
Every couple wants their reception to stand out, to be the most memorable event of their lives. Making the reception memorable for your guests is just as important. With so much information and inspiration out there, the options are vast and the ideas endless. So in order to make your event that unforgettable, I’ve compiled the top areas and ideas to get you noticed!
1. Give a Grand Entrance
Make your grand entrance more than a formality. Take dance lessons and go right into a choreographed first dance. Or, upon your entrance, play the theme song to his favorite movie or sports team and get the crowd fired up. When each bridal party member is announced ask the MC to tell a funny fact about them, personalize it, give your guests something they didn’t expect and make them laugh. It’s about creating high energy right from the start, so make these moments stand out!
2. Alternative Desserts
Host a dessert bar or tray pass alternative desserts (either in lieu of the cake or in addition to). Candy and bakery bars are popular, but think a bit more outside the box and serve mini donuts from a cart at valet or host a gourmet popcorn station with a variety of flavors. If your groom loves donuts or his mom’s famous maple bars, surprise him and your guests by passing trays of them around the dance floor at the end of the night.
Whether you opt for a band, a DJ or both – music can make or break your event. Plan a play list that your guests will enjoy and that keeps the tempo of the evening up. Work with your entertainers to select slow songs at the right time and place so not to break up the party. Most importantly, give your entertainers the freedom to go off-script. If your line up calls for a slow song but the party is really rocking, let them keep the pace and fit your slow song in somewhere else.
4. It’s in the Details
From little touches in the napkin treatments, to creatively placed place cards – be sure the little details stand out and don’t save them until the last minute. Rather then setting your place cards on a table, hang them from ribbon or write seat assignments on a chalkboard. Be creative and the little things will make a big impression.
5. The Meal
Of course, the menu is an integral part of any reception. Work with your caterer to plan a fabulous meal fitting of your location, your audience, your tastes, and your time of year. You can even make it personal. Provide the chef with grandma’s secret lasagna recipe and make note of the family favorite on the menu. Almost as important as the food itself is the time it takes to get through the meal. Try to keep your dinner to about an hour so guests don’t have the chance to get bored or tired. You want to keep their interest so serve each course quickly, but be sure to walk the fine line between on time and too fast.
Come back tomorrow for 5 more great tips to make your wedding reception unforgettable!
Yesterday we discussed several tips for finding a wedding favor that will be a favorite of your guests. Here’s a few more thoughts to consider before you make this all-important purchase.
DON’T…forget out-of-town travelers. Not everything is TSA-friendly, so try to ensure your favors meet FAA security regulations (no pocket knives or liquids over 3 ounces please!). If they don’t pass the test, offer to ship them at your own expense so your guests can enjoy them once the return home. (After all, it’s a small price to pay considering someone spent a considerable amount of money just to see you walk down the aisle!)
DO…make it a point to have someone put your favors out right after you cut the cake. If your wedding is in the evening, assume that older guests and those with small children will be leaving early to make their bedtimes or avoid heavy traffic.
DON’T…place food into containers without a liner. Edible favors require clean (and possibly grease-absorbing) packaging to keep that pretty container or package you’ve chosen looking good. If you choose an edible treat, be sure to line your favor bag or box with parchment or wax paper.
DO…try before you buy. Purchase a few samples to see how they hold up if shipped from your vendor. Sample any candies or cakes to be sure they taste as good as they look. Colors look different in person versus a computer screen; samples will show their true colors once you see them in-person. And, if your chosen favor has printing on it, be sure to proof a sample prior to printing. You want to be sure your names and wedding date are correct. Some vendors offer free samples, so it’s worth asking to see if they will comp you on a couple of items.
Keep these tips in mind as you explore all your wedding favor options and measure them against your budget AND your own personal bridal inspirations. Not only will your guests be smiling, but you’ll be happy too!
Yes it’s your day in every way – but taking the extra steps to ensure your guests leave your wedding with a smile will be totally worth it.
Your wedding is an expression of you and your groom. From the colors to the theme, it’s all about showing the world why you rock as a couple…or is it? Sure, you want every aspect to feel cohesive, but when it comes to wedding favors it should be all about your guests and less about what YOU like.
DON’T…overthink it. Even if you’re having a Zen-inspired wedding, that doesn’t mean tea should be your first choice (unless of course all your guests drink it). Go with something simple or straightforward like cupcakes, a cool bottle opener, or even a chic candle that clearly shows you understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to guests likes or dislikes.
DO…stay within budget. Over and over again, we hear from brides about favors being left behind, lost or straight up trashed by the time the reception is over. If you want to gift everyone, that’s great — just set your MAX budget at $10-$15 per person and don’t waiver from that figure.
DON’T…assume everyone wants something with your name or photo plastered all over it. Monogram stickers, ribbon, favor bags, and the like are all fine or good, but leave it at that. A favor should be able to stand on its own and be used daily or for special occasions. You wouldn’t put your face on a birthday or anniversary present you bought for someone else, so why should this gift be any different?
DO…take into consideration any small children who may be attending. If you’re going the mature route (like a mini bottle of wine or liquor-infused dessert) consider having special bags made for your little guests so they feel included in the festivities.
Stop back tomorrow for the rest of our wedding favor tips that will keep your guests smiling!