Brides and grooms may pour over every detail of their weddings, but few components of the festivities may be as fun, especially for foodies, as deciding what the wedding cake will look like. Couples who want to deliver show-stopping visuals often express some measure of their creativity and personalities through statement wedding cakes.
Many couples now eschew the classic three-tiered white cake in favor of a dessert that garners instant attention. Whether the cake is brightly colored or hand-painted, a towering architectural marvel or shimmering in metallics, couples are opting to make a statement with their confections. Apart from clever cake-toppers, here are ways to stand apart when dessert is served.
• According to the Perfect Wedding Guide, a rising trend in cakes is to cover a white or naked cake with translucent glaze tinted in the couple’s wedding colors. This artistic expression can be especially stunning in boho-chic weddings.
• Statement tiers also are popular. The cake may be traditional in nearly every way, but couples then set the cake apart by featuring an elaborate design or a different hue in one tier.
• Martha Stewart Weddings advises that more than just color can be used to make a statement. Lifelike sugar flowers can really set cakes apart. Guests may not be sure if they can consume all aspects of some cakes. But delicate sugar flowers taste as good as they look.
• Hand-painted tiles on a cake are another way to add panache. A bride and groom may be inspired by a European vacation or the stained-glass effects of religious windows and want to add that feel to the tiers of the cake.
• Sometimes a statement comes by way of texture. Even an all-white cake can be dressed up with interesting textural effects. Ruffles, lace, embossing, and 3-D rosettes are different textural components that can be incorporated in cake designs.
• Couples also may want to tell their unique stories with cake. Individual tiers designed to reflect various milestone moments from the couple’s relationship can be quite engaging.
• Capitalizing on the trend of edgier weddings, couples may opt for darker hues on their cakes — even a black tier — or nontraditional geometric shapes to the cake itself or its design elements.
Statement cakes can really say something about the couple getting married. Much like other wedding elements, cakes provide a window into the minds of happy couples.
Weddings may focus on the couples getting hitched, but weddings also are special thanks to the many family and friends couples involved in the festivities. Some of the more successful weddings are ones where couples honor their guests and let them know how much they appreciate. Couples can let their guests know how much they’re loved by incorporating these ideas into their wedding ceremonies and receptions.
• Arrange seats at the ceremony (if practical) in a circular pattern around you so that everyone can have a great view when you exchange vows.
• Create a bathroom convenience basket for both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. Stock items that might come in handy, like mouthwash, toothpaste, first aid items, spare pantyhose, hair spray, sanitary products, moisturizer, gum, and other niceties.
• Provide prearranged to-go boxes so that guests can take home tasty tidbits from the meal or dessert table.
• Offer transportation between the ceremony and reception.
• Customize “do not disturb” door tags for overnight guests so they can ensure they get enough shut-eye after partying into the wee hours of the morning.
• Make sure the photographer takes photos of everyone at every table and then share those photos on a wedding website or via social media. Create a hashtag unique to your wedding so that guests can easily find the photos.
• Provide inexpensive slippers or flip-flops so that avid dancers can rest their toes in between songs.
• If valet parking service is not included, ask for an add-on so that guests get door-to-door treatment.
• Always be considerate of special needs by seating guests in places where they’re most likely to be comfortable. Keep elderly guests away from speakers and near exits to facilitate trips to the bathroom.
• Be mindful of all food allergies or requirements and have accommodations set up in advance.
• Honor those people who could not be at the wedding in a special way, including deceased family and friends.
• Include information about how guests can request songs at the reception. Pass on the information to the band or DJ.
• Encourage guests to get up and dance by making it fun. Put song lyrics from different songs on each table. When that song is played, that table has to join you on the dance floor.
• Remember to thank everyone for coming and follow up those in person sentiments with handwritten, personalized thank-you notes after the wedding.
Weddings dot the social calendars of millions of people across the globe. Evenings are the most common time of the day to host a wedding, but that does not mean a daytime wedding cannot be a beautiful event and make for a party to remember.
Couples are increasingly customizing their weddings to be a reflection of their personal styles. One of the ways couples are customizing their festivities is by moving the wedding to various hours of the day that meet the couple’s needs. A wedding that takes place in the late morning or afternoon may be the perfect fit for some couples. Here’s how to navigate the specifics of a daytime wedding.
• Secure accommodations. An early wedding means guests may have to travel from afar the evening before to be able to attend the festivities. Daytime weddings can be complemented by working with a hotel or bed-and-breakfast to ensure guests will have a place to stay and get ready to arrive at the early wedding in time.
• Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices. You may find vendors are more amenable to price discounts or offering greater value for daytime weddings. That’s because demand for their services is reduced during the day. Similarly, venues may have more availability during the day than at night, and, as a result, they’re more flexible on prices, especially since brunch foods generally cost less than dinner entrees.
• Hire the right photographer. Be sure to contract with a photographer who is a pro at handling photos in daylight and natural light. While many photographers are skilled in any light, many are used to shooting in churches and venues with low lighting. Be sure to see picture samples taken during the daytime to gauge a photographer’s daytime experience and skill level.
• Employ color to add dimension. During evening weddings, lighting or candles help set the mood. Those same elements will be ineffective in daylight. Choose bright colors for your decor and flowers to brighten up spaces.
• Choose alternative entertainment. Chances are guests are not going to feel as comfortable dancing during daylight hours. Consider other entertainment, such as lawn games, karaoke or a comedian. A guitarist or pianist may be a nice musical touch.
• Plan food accordingly. Just because the wedding is early does not mean the food should be. Guests still will need to eat. If you are only opting for light appetizers and cocktails, be sure to mention this on the invitation so guests can plan ahead and won’t go hungry.
Daytime weddings can be successful with a little tweaking of traditional evening wedding planning.
Wedding favors have changed — and in many cases for the better. Favors have evolved from the inexpensive trinkets purchased in bulk into more personalized mementos that guests can cherish.
Today’s couples are interested in customizing their weddings and offering guests something meaningful, or at the very least, edible, so that favors don’t immediately get relegated to the trash can. Favors have moved from “goodie bags” toward items that are experimental and fun. Here are some wedding favor trends that couples may want to incorporate into their own celebrations.
Instead of a candle or a monogrammed cake server, think of experiences to offer guests. A coupon for free drinks at a nearby brewery, a tour of a local attraction while guests are in town or a group excursion for guests attending a destination wedding can be fun and will help guests create lasting memories.
Rather than take-home bags, welcome bags have replaced the traditional favor trinket at some weddings. Many weddings have become multiday events that ask guests traveling from out of town to attend a wedding weekend. To help greet them and make their experience memorable, couples may fill a gift bag with items guests can use or enjoy during their stay — like a bottle of locally produced wine or some handmade soaps from a nearby shopkeeper.
Some couples feel that favors are wasteful and would rather set aside a portion of their wedding budgets toward giving back. In such situations, a donation to charity in guests’ names can be the way to go. Guests can vote on two favorite charities advertised on a special table at the wedding reception. The one with the most votes will get the proceeds.
After a night of celebrating, some guests may want the festivities to continue, but may need some extra sustenance to make it through a few more hours. Some couples are eschewing traditional favors in lieu of making room for extra food or beverage expenses that can include after-party treats. These may run the gamut from wood-fired pizzas to food truck vendors to extra desserts. A tasty take-home option also may be given, such as fresh zeppolis or beignets, or even a personalized bottle of wine. Even if the food and drink is not consumed right away, there’s a good chance it will hit the spot when guests return to their hotel rooms.
Wedding favors are changing to keep up with the times and keep guests feeling extra special.
Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer
Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is essential to getting the perfect
photos. Here are a few tips for choosing the right wedding photographer:
1. Research your options: Take the time to research different wedding photographers and find one who is the perfect fit for your vision. Look at the photographer's portfolio and make sure their style matches what you are looking for.
2. Set a budget: Have an idea of your budget before you start looking for a photographer. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure you get the best deal.
3. Ask questions: Ask the photographer about their experience, style, and packages. Make sure you have a good understanding of what is included before you commit to anything.
4. Meet in person: If possible, meet with the photographer to get a better idea of their personality and style. This will help you decide if they are the right fit for your wedding.
5. Read reviews: Read reviews of the photographer online to get an idea of their reputation. Make sure to read a variety of reviews, both good and bad, to get an accurate picture.
Creative Ideas for Getting the Most Out of Your Wedding Photos
From traditional portraits to candid shots and creative ideas, wedding photography is about capturing the love and joy of the occasion. The best wedding photographers will be able to capture the day's emotions, ensuring that each image tells the story of the couple's experience.
In order to get the most out of your wedding photos, it's important to plan ahead and to work with a professional photographer who understands your vision. In addition to choosing the right photographer, here are some tips for planning your wedding day photography and making sure you get the perfect pictures.
About the author: Crystal Vandegrift is the owner of Crystal Image Photography based in Central Virginia she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. NC and Maryland.
Pictures were one of my top priorities for my wedding. I spent a lot of time reading through photographers and even contacting some. I was also pretty nervous, I had never been professionally photographed before. Crystal and her team were SO easy to work with and immediately took away the nerves. I trusted her completely and I am so happy I did. Cannot recommend enough! Ellen - Yorktown VA
If you're looking for an amazing photographer who is relaxed, has experience, and knowledge look no further. Crystal took our engagement and wedding photos. Not only were her photos amazing, but she is extremely responsive to messages and will even help you when planning your big day. It was important to us to work with a photographer who has experience with same sex couples, and Crystal and Casey did a great job capturing everything for my wife and I. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. - Emily - Nellysford, VA
Read more reviews here.