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There is a lot to think about after the big engagement. When will the wedding be? How many guests will you invite? Are there more bridesmaids than groomsmen? Where will the reception be? What am I forgetting? And, don’t forget the most important question, when am I going to find time to do all of this?

Decide right now that you are going to take this one step at a time. Take it all in stride, even if that does mean that you are juggling a list of twenty things that have to be completed by tomorrow! First things first, decide whether your budget allows you to hire a wedding planner and/or other professionals. If you are going to hire a wedding planner, begin shopping around. Schedule appointments and consultations with some of the most recommended planners in your area. Talk to your friends and family members about it. Don’t be afraid to get their opinions. Oftentimes people who have been through this experience before will be able to tell you who you should hire, or better yet, who you should stay away from. Schedule your appointments as soon as possible so that you leave your planner enough time to get to know you and start organizing the affairs of your big day. If it’s not in your budget to hire a planner, I would suggest purchasing a good organizer and/or software program. There are many websites that will offer review of these types of products. This will help you find a system that works best for you and your needs.

Now that you have decided on your method of planning, it’s time to jump on in. Compile a checklist of items that need to be taken care of, along with a timeline of when each item needs to be completed. Most wedding planners will have a generic checklist of the appointments and events that need to be taken care of during the planning process. If you have one of these lists, sit down and cross off anything that may not apply to you. For instance, if you are choosing to have friends and family help with the catering of your event, you will be able to cross off anything that pertains to tasting, menu planning or meeting with the caterers. In exchange, you may need to add to your list. If you choose to have your family help with the catering you may have to make a list of who-brings-what to the event.

Going through a generic checklist will often trigger other ideas and items that you may want to add in order to customize your planning checklist. It’s a good idea to add those things as you think about them so that you don’t forget about it when you sit back down with your checklist tomorrow. This is also a good time to start working on a budget. Decide, along with your fiance and parents, what your budget is. When you start meeting with your vendors you will want to know exactly what you are willing to spend with them. That way you don’t go into a consultation with your cake decorator and look at cakes that are way over your budget. Or, you don’t go to the bridal shop and try on a $7500 gown, fall in love with it and then realize that it’s way more than you are willing to spend. Don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment…decide ahead of time! By using your budget and checklist together, you can now get a firm idea of what you are looking for and expecting for your big day. Use your customized checklist to start planning away. And, don’t forget to check back to our site often for tips, tricks and ideas to help you along the way!

Weddings favors are an item that are not on every bride and groom’s checklist, but they are a simple and elegant way of thanking those who came to your wedding and reception. In years past, wedding favors were cute little boxes with sugar cubes in them, because back in the day, sugar was an expensive commodity and denoted class. Over the years, it has become tradition to give sugar coated almonds instead of sugar cubes. But, today, wedding favors are not confined to almonds. In fact, they are most often there to make a statement on the couple’s interests and personalities. Here are some fun ideas for favors for your guests:

candles
CANDLES

Candles are making a huge comeback. They are integrated into decor and are seen in many types of centerpieces and miscellaneous decor pieces. Candles are becoming part of a take-a-part centerpiece where guests can take pieces of the table centerpieces as their favor from the wedding. This allows your centerpieces to do double duty and makes your budget go twice as far.

LITTLE TRINKETS

While little trinkets make pretty favors, they are often thrown to the trash, never to be seen again. Give your guests something useful – something that they will be able to use over and over or display in their homes.  Photo frames, coasters and note pads are some useful favor ideas. Resist the urge that you might have to engrave your name and wedding date on the item. Chances are your friends and family members will not display that in their homes if your names are plastered all over it.

Couples are now choosing to spread the message of a clean environment. From elegantly packed seed packets to little potted herbs, these green ideas are making waves in the wedding industry.

RUSTIC & VINTAGE

One of the most popular wedding themes this year as relied on rustic and vintage touches. Going along with this theme you could do mini lanterns, watering cans, or homemade soaps and jams.

Or... Skip It

Weddings favors are not a necessity. If you decide that it is not in the budget or you just can’t come up with an idea that you really like, your guests are not going to leave the wedding feeling slighted.

Favors can be displayed or left in many places throughout your reception. At a sit down dinner reception your favors will typically be left at each guest’s place setting. For a more informal reception, the favors may be displayed at the guest book table or at their own display table. Whatever your favor is and however you decide to display it is completely up to you. There is no set standard! Have fun with your favors and let the creative side of you out. Let the personality of you, as a couple, shine through and your guests will enjoy their favor that much more!

For your wedding you should be allowed to have your cake and eat it too, if that’s what you choose! Different styles, flavors, colors and displays all factor into the over appeal of your cake. Are you going to serve your cake at the wedding or reception or are you more keen to the idea of having your cake as part of your decor?

Serve It Up

In times passed, it used to be that every guest was served a piece of the wedding cake when they attended the wedding or reception. This tradition is something that is not seen as often today. It is becoming more and more common to see that the bride and groom are the only ones enjoying a piece of the wedding cake. The guests are able to enjoy a larger variety of foods, often provided by a caterer. But, don’t be afraid to serve your cake. If that’s what you want to do…I say do it! Afterall, have you ever heard anyone complain about being able to indulge themselves in a thick slice of yummy, moist wedding cake?

There are several ways to serve your wedding cake and in all reality, it’s up to you. You could have part of your catering staff be stationed at the wedding cake so that they may cut, plate and serve the cake. Another option is to save your cake until later on during the event and have your bridal party help serve it to the guests. The possibilities are endless!

The big question that often accompanies your choice to serve your cake is how much cake will I need? This is something that your cake decorator will be able to help you decide, but to give you an idea of what you will need, HERE are some helpful charts.

Decor Piece

You have hired an amazing caterer who will be providing your guests will some of the best food you can find. You still want a wedding cake but, because of the catering, you will not be serving it to your guests. So what do you do?

It’s not a well-known fact that wedding cakes don’t have to be made from “real” cake. There are many options to make your cake become a realistic looking decor piece. Cake decorators will often have their preferred method of doing this but, the most common is to use a styrofoam dummy cake. In this instance, a styrofoam round is used as a base to be covered in your choice of frosting. Because the styrofoam is covered with a buttercream, fondant or other frosting, you still maintain the look of a true wedding cake. This is when your cake becomes a decor piece at your event!

Decor cakes can also be topped with a layer of real cake that is exclusively made for the bride and groom. This still gives the couple the opportunity to cut and feed one another a piece of their wedding cake…and, you still have the remainder of that layer to save for the one year anniversary.

Another popular trend for decor pieces is the rental of a wedding cake. There are a few cake decorators who provide this service. If it’s something that you’re interested in you may have to talk with your decorator. The idea of this is that your decorator has a select number of decor cakes that are made up and available for minimal customization and rental. The cake may be a simple design where you can add your color of ribbon or artificial flowers to help add some customization for you. This is a much less expensive way to provide the bride and groom with a wedding cake. The trend seems to be growing…it may just be something that explodes over the next couple years! There are two cake vendors in our area that provide rental cakes, along with custom wedding cakes. Irresistible Weddings & Sweet Cakes…pick up your phone and call them!

Your cake is a big part of your wedding. Whether you decide to serve it up or use it as a decor piece is up to you. You can’t make a wrong decision. Enjoy it!

Photography by Travis Kaenel