Saturday, May 29, 2010

One-of-a-kind Weddings

How about a little something different?

We thought our readers might enjoy some tips from recent brides and brides-to-be on how they made their own weddings creative and unique. What we found were several brides who went above and beyond to find innovative ways to celebrate their big days, and it sounds like their families and friends won’t soon forget it! Check out their creative wedding ideas:

The Venue: For Laura Bretz, a unique location was key. After considering over 100 wedding and reception venues, she found the perfect fit in Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. “The zoo’s tram took [guests] around to the cocktail hour and guests loved getting to have cocktails with the animals… The balcony overlooking the zoo at the reception was great. We took [pictures] with the animals, inside exhibits, on the carousel and on the playground,” Bretz explained. What a fantastic idea, and talk about being able to save on d├ęcor! What better backdrop than live giraffes and gazelles roaming the savannah?

Guest Entertainment: Why not teach your guests something completely new? That is exactly what Melissa Miranda of Palo Alto, CA decided to do at her destination wedding in the Dominican Republic. Miranda arranged kiteboard lessons for guests (kiteboarding was a passion of the groom’s!) and twenty of their guests went home kiteboarders. This tropical bash sounds like a blast, and Miranda did an excellent job of arranging ways to keep her guests busy and entertained. No matter the location, teaching guests something new is a great idea! Family and friends will appreciate the opportunity to participate in more than just the traditional dancing (although you’ll want to include plenty of that too!)

The Ceremony: Desiree Modano of Quincy, MA is of Mexican descent on her mother’s side of the family. At her Newport, RI wedding, Modano wanted to include something special as a tribute to her Mexican relatives and had always wanted to have a mariachi band play a part in her wedding day. Her ceremony venue was a gothic cathedral that had organs tucked away up in its large balconies. Modano hid a mariachi band behind the organs before the start of the ceremony. Modano described the day: “We had typical piano music for the [procession.] When we were pronounced man and wife, we turned to the audience and the mariachis came out in front of the organs and began to play a celebratory song. Everyone was surprised… [My mother] started to cry and was absolutely thrilled!” Modano’s idea is great because it has that element of surprise, but it also pays tribute to a part of her life that is important, not only to her, but to many of her relatives as well.

Cake by Cake Rentals Confidential

The Cake: It is a tradition in Jane Davis’ family of NewYork, NY that her grandmother bakes the family wedding cakes. So it only made sense for Davis to ask her to make the wedding cake for her April 2010 celebration. But Davis' grandmother was worried that her cake decorating skills weren’t quite as good as they used to be, and was hesitant to make Davis’. After pricing several wedding cakes from NYC bakeries ($10 a slice!) Davis came across an alternative solution. Cakes Confidential is a company that rents fake wedding cakes (that look real) for a fraction of the cost of a real cake. Davis decided to rent a cake for display, but asked her grandmother to bake a sheet cake instead. “Once a cake is sliced it all looks the same,” Davis said. “Since my grandmother’s sheet cake was free, our total cost for 200 guests was just $250! The best part was that we took the $1,750 we saved and put it towards our honeymoon!” Talk about a creative and cost-effective alternative, and Davis’ guests never even knew the difference!

We received many other unique ideas which we will include in next week’s blog, so be sure to check back then for many other inventive and unusual wedding tips!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wedding Season Has Officially Begun!

Scott & Danielle's May 8th Wedding in Newcastle, NH

This week we thought it would be fun to share some behind-the-scenes images of the reception setup from our wedding this past weekend at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel. Scott and Danielle chose a beautiful color palette of navy and light blue with magenta and bright pink accents. In honor of her father, they personalized their table number cards with various images of antique cars that he used to own, and their flowers were a combination of tall and short arrangements of tropical and native flowers by Cymbidium Floral in Exeter, NH. The result was a unique and elegant dining area within the Wentworth's original ballroom, which was accented by the room's beautiful crystal chandeliers. Here are some shots we snapped from start to finish of the ballroom being set up:


Katie & Leslie hard at work

DS monogram

Personalized table markers

Escort cards.

Wedding cake by Jacques Pastries.

Ta daa!

The head table.

Congratulations Scott and Danielle, and thank you for allowing us to take part in your day!! Stay tuned next week for professional images of a lot more of Scott and Danielle's fabulous wedding!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Groom's Cake: A Wavering Tradition

Image Courtesy of Sweet Ideas by Wendy

Nowadays many couples serve a "groom's cake" at their wedding, often as a second flavor option or in the event that there is a short supply of wedding cake. But the history of the groom's cake is so much more intricate than this. It is an old tradition that has origins dating back to the Victorian era, and has evolved over time in many ways.

The groom's cake has always been a gift from the bride to the groom. In the 17th century, the groom's cake was a homemade fruitcake, which was soaked in liquor. Because of this adornment, the cakes became known for their extensive shelf life, and it became a tradition to eat the groom's cake at the one-year wedding anniversary, rather than the day of the wedding. Some couples still follow this tradition today.

At the end of the nineteenth century, southern brides began a new tradition. Their wedding cakes were served to guests at the reception, and the groom's cake was sliced and packaged as favors for guests to bring home in individual boxes or wrapping. Female guests were instructed to sleep with a piece of the cake under their pillow for sweet dreams about their future husband. This tradition is alive and well in the deep southern US today.

By the mid-twentieth century, the groom's cake tradition seemed to disappear from most weddings, and it wasn't until the late twentieth century that the groom's cake was rediscovered, even then being served only at the most elegant wedding receptions.

Image Courtesy of CraftZine

In recent years, the traditional fruitcake began to see some variation, as chocolate and devil's food cake became more popular flavors. Modern variations retain traditional simplicity, and are not meant to overshadow the wedding cake, so they are typically limited to one or two layers tall. Today the groom's cake is often tailored to express a personal interest of the groom's or a symbol of significance to the bridal couple. It can be any flavor, shape or color, and is often served as a second dessert at the wedding reception, or at the rehearsal dinner.

No matter your take on its complex origins, the groom's cake is a wonderful way to add some variation and personality to your wedding festivities! If nothing more, perhaps this little history lesson can convince each of your bridesmaids to sleep with chocolate cake in her bed for a night! Ooh, now this is getting to be too fun!

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