Cake for Dessert

As part of the wedding celebration–rich in lore and tradition–the wedding cake is a strong and symbolic centerpiece. There are boundless opportunities to create a cake and cake cutting tradition that can be uniquely yours.

You can choose the traditional, tiered, all white wedding cake with a bride and groom gracing the top layer. You can order from a wide range of cake flavors–chocolate, banana, carrot, sponge, almond, or lemon, You can get creative with fillings and frostings–ganache, mousse, mascarpone, cream cheese, butter creme, or fondant. You can select from a variety of shapes. Squares, rectangles, pyramids, and ovals are replacing the standard 3-5 tier round wedding cake.

Some brides are choosing to have many smaller wedding cakes rather than one big one–usually placed as the center piece at each guest table.

Some couples on a budget are choosing a smaller display cake that they will cut for photos. Guests then dine on sheet cake cut in the kitchen and served to guests from the cake table, buffet, or passed out by servers.

You can select a groom’s cake to complement the wedding cake. It can be flavored or have special filling, or even be a special shape to reflect his interests.

Some couples have chosen to eliminate the wedding cake itself and offer their guest multiple dessert choices from a separate dessert buffet. Other couples are replacing the traditional wedding cake with frosted petit fours and/or cupcakes or cake pops.

Ice cream cakes are a favorite of some couples. While they may be a fun idea, cutting and serving these cakes requires patience and speed.

Cake tops are inventive and lovely. While the standard bride and groom are available, they are frequently replaced by fresh flower arrangements in colors to compliment the wedding theme, porcelain or glass flowers arrangements that will be kept for home display, figurines from personal collections, a tiara filled with fresh flowers to match the bridal design, or frosting flowers which reflect the fabric or design of the wedding gown itself.



With all the planning that must happen, and all the aspects of a wedding to consider, taking plans to keep the process flowing and your planning more joyful, experts advise brides to consider the following:

  1. Make realistic plans at the start.
    While you might dream of a celebrity style wedding, be real. “Design a day that allows you to reach your goal of marriage without undue stress and complications.” (Wedding Planner Jacqueline Smith) This is accomplished by looking at who you are as a couple, how much time you have to plan and how much money you will have for this wedding. Advice from a certified wedding planner can be a valuable up front investment.
  2. Be organized and disciplined. 
    With plans in place, stay focused on your objective and you will avoid wasting time, energy and resources. Pay attention to the details. Frequently it is the little things that get overlooked. Deal with them early and keep them from becoming major problems later on.
  3. Keep a positive outlook. 
    Brides who are positive and joyful at the prospect of their wedding day are pleasant to be around. They remember what this is really about and make this the true focus. All of the rest of the activity is to support this. Don’t let yourself get sidetracked by meaningless issues. Be thankful for and happy with the help others offer to give you. Remember that you are part of a couple. Share the joy and include the groom on plans and decisions.
  4. Make those decisions
    Know that this is a milestone event in your life and it requires a myriad of decisions to be made on a wide range of issues. Trust your instincts on many of those decisions, confer when necessary, seek advice on the most difficult, decide and move on to the next item on the list.
  5. Be flexible
    Remember Murphy? Uninvited Murphy, and his “law” usually attend most weddings. Just be prepared to make changes when needed. Don’t let problems throw you over the edge. Know that even the best plans have ways of coming unglued, so be prepared to deal with them as a creative challenge. Let yourself be flexible enough to adjust when faced with the obvious. This is much easier if you have a “Plan B” tucked away “just in case”.


One small way to make sure that guests remember how special your wedding was is to make sure there are special gifts for guests to take home with them. With today’s interest in personalized weddings, amke sure that whatever mementos you select carry your names and wedding date.

For a spring wedding consider packets of flower seeds in glassine envelopes with a message from you both that talks about growth and love.

Ordinary mints can be transformed into special packed when wrapped in tulle and tied with ribbons matching your color scheme. Attach a message of thanks to each packet. Keep the ribbon ends long and place bunches of packets in baskets for guests to take home with them as they leave the reception.

If tulle isn’t your thing, pack sugared almonds, mints, or chocolates into small boxes. Personalize each box with a foil sticker bearing your names and wedding date including a thank you note.

More and more couples are creating CDs of their favorite music and providing them for guests to take as they leave the reception.

If you are planning to have a photo booth at the reception, provide a small frame for each guest to use to take their photo home.

Some couples prefer a dessert station to a formal wedding cake and instead provide each guest with a small individual cake–boxed and ready for each of them to take home.

If yours is a destination wedding, an appropriate favor might be a luggage tag. An outdoor wedding may call for a small potted pine tree or a succulent plant depending on your location.

Whatever you choose, take this opportunity to share your joy and thanks with those friends and relatives who have come together to help you celebrate your new life together.

Guest Dilemmas

In spite of all the media attention on weddings big and small, there are still awkward “I’m not sure how to handle this” moments  for guests. There are many variations in the “new” wedding traditions. They vary by region, by ethnicity, and by what TV show the bride is watching. The “rules” that applied to earlier weddings have been relaxed and while it is good news for the brides and grooms, it can be tougher on guests. Stop and see us for answers to the simplest conundrum and advice on the most complicated social question.

The driving force for this is the desire to “be the best possible guest” at the wedding to which you have been invited. The “rules” used to be simpler and clearer. Today;s touch individuality, which enables the couple to have the wedding of their dreams-unique as it could be- some times leaves guests in a nether word of “what does this mean”?

  1. How do I know if my “partner” or “significant other” is included in the invitation that is addressed to me?   If you are close friends with the bride or the couple, expect the invitation to be addressed to you on the outer envelope, and on the inner envelope expect to see your name + guest (or your partner’s name). If it is a contemporary invitation that has no inner envelope, you’ll need to check the reply card for clues. If the invitation is addressed to you only and the reply card says “I will attend or I won’t attend” no guest is included. If the reply card has room for a guest, it will have a line that says “# attending ________”. You send back the reply with a #2 on the line and you have just experienced the now famous “plus one” rule
  2. If i am a friend of the bride and guests at her wedding, to whom do I address the check? I don’t have time to search out the various wedding registries and live by the adage that “when in doubt, send cash?”  You will find “experts” who tell you that you should make the check out to the groom. You will find “experts” who tell you to make the check out to the couple. We advise to make the check out to the bride using both her maiden and new name (depending on her decision about her new last names). After all, you are wishing her well in her new life.
  3. I received an invitation to the wedding of a college friend. I can’t attend but want to send a gidt even though the “rules” of etiquette sat this is not necessary. Should I send it before the wedding to the bride (my friend) or after the wedding to the couple? If the bride is your friend, send the gift with a personal note explaining why you can’t attend but including your very best wishes for a long and happy married life. If the groom is your friend, send the gift to the couple via the bride’s house address. Again, explain why you can’t be there in person, but assuring each of your good wishes and congratulations. Depending on your relationship to the groom, a personal call to him may be in order.
  4. I am not sure of how much to give if my gift choice is a check. How do I know what is appropriate? If you have time and know where the bride is registered, go look at the selection list to get a sense of how much is the average  gift choice. Send that in lieu of the actual gift. If you are planning to attend the wedding and reception the unwritten rule is that you will pay for the cost of your dinner plus a gift as well. Guests at what the dinner will cost per person as toss in something extra. Please know that this “rule” is ignored by many consultants who tell you to “go with your heart”. That advice may work for some, but others require a more constant guideline. We think the cost of one dinner plus extra is a good one.
  5. The invitation did not specify the degree of formality of this wedding. What should I wear? Very formal weddings often specify “black tie required” or “black tie preferred” on the invitation. Absent this indicator, you are “free” to dress appropriately for this event. One assumes good taste (minimum nudity or skin showing), and color choice. Once black and/or white were considered in poor taste. Now, one only needs to be concerned with one issue– if you wear white–don’t in any way be seen as competing with the bride.  In other words,  you can wear white–just don’t look like a bridal competitor. You can wear black–just so you are not seen as a jilted lover morning her loss.

In these situations and others, call our experienced consultants about the right way to be the perfect guest.