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09/23/16
Autumnal Inspirations
Filed under: General, Weddings, Home Decor
Posted by: Richard @ 8:05 am

Autumnal Inspirations

Autumn is now upon us and this beautiful season of transition is synonymous with changing colors, pumpkin spiced flavored everything, brisk fall weather and warm & cozy outfits. Though spring and summer are oftentimes referred to as “wedding season”, the fall can be just as wonderful. Vibrant color schemes, the changing leaves and the cooler weather all contribute to this glorious season.

We have included some beautiful centerpiece ideas that could be used at any formal engagement or at your next holiday gathering. We hope that these pieces inspire you to go out and create your own masterpiece this season!

Autumnal Inspirations

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04/20/16
Key Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Cake Baker
Filed under: General, Weddings
Posted by: Richard @ 12:40 pm

When it comes to wedding cakes, the possibilities are endless, which also means the choices can become a little overwhelming. If you want to get the wedding cake of your dreams, it’s key that you speak with your cake baker and ask lots of questions. Use the list below as a reference to help you decide on the best cake designer to bring your vision to life.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Background Check and Logistics

1. Is the baker licensed and insured?

This may seem like a trivial question, but you should definitely confirm that you baker is licensed by the state health department. Also, many venues will require all involved vendors to provide proof of insurance coverage.

2. What do you do if the cake gets damaged on the way to my reception site? Will you personally deliver the cake?

If your cake will be delivered, ask if the baker or cake designer will be present to assemble or to touch up decorations at the venue.

3. Will you provide cake stands?

Most bakers offer cake stand options you can rent the day of your wedding. Request pictures beforehand to pick a stand that best matches your cake and décor.

4. How long before the wedding will the cake be baked?

Since many bakers have multiple clients and the process is labor intensive, your baker may create your cake 3-4 days before the wedding. Of course the closer to your wedding date, the better, but a few days before the wedding day shouldn’t affect the taste or look, and may be necessary if you want an intricate design that takes more than a day to accomplish.

Price and Payment

1. How are your wedding cakes priced? Do you have a minimum cake cost?

Most bakers charge a basic per-slice price—the price increases as you add on extra elements, like a more sophisticated design or more premium flavors and/or fillings.

2. Does the wedding cake price include the top tier?
Some couples like to freeze and preserve the top tier of the cake for their first wedding anniversary. Bakers may or may not include the top tier in the overall price, so find out their policy and whether a top tier will increase the overall price.

3. Will there be any additional rental fees? When will these items need to be returned?

Bakers may offer you a choice of cake-cutting knives, display plates, cake stands, toppers, platters, etc., which will likely require a deposit that you can get back when you return the items. Ask how much time you have to return them.

4. Is there an additional delivery fee?

Having your cake delivered to the reception venue is ideal. However, many bakers will charge a delivery fee, so find out beforehand and factor it into your cake budget.

5. Can I set up a cake-tasting appointment? Is there a fee?

Standard flavors will likely be available for a cake tasting, but probably not the specialty flavors. (Most bakers have the most requested flavors on hand.) For cake tastings, many bakers may charge a small fee that can be credited to your balance after booking your wedding with them.

6. How far in advance should I order my cake? What is your refund policy for cancellation? What if I’m not happy with the cake?
Ideally, you should place your cake order 6-8 months before the wedding. Keep in mind that smaller bakeries may limit the amount of wedding cakes they create every weekend, so they will likely book up very fast around the more popular wedding dates.

When it comes to cancellations, most bakers will also have a very specific policy that you should review prior to signing a contract. In some cases, you may be able to retrieve some or all of your deposit or receive a credit toward another future order.

If you’re not pleased with the final product, it’s your right as a consumer to ask for a refund. From the start, just be sure you have all the details about your cake in writing to use as a reference when speaking with your baker about any inconsistencies.

Cake Designs, Filling Choices, and Frostings

1. Can I see pictures of cakes you’ve made recently? Do you customize wedding cakes or do I select from set designs?

You can show your baker a picture from a magazine or Pinterest, but seeing the types of cakes he/she makes most often will give you a better idea of his/her skills.

2. What cake and filling flavors do you offer?

Whether you’re looking for a fruity filling, like strawberry or raspberry, or a rich mocha or chocolate, the kind of ingredients used will profoundly effect the taste and cost.

3. Do you frost the cake with buttercream or fondant?

While bakers specialize in fondant, others prefer buttercream, and some offer both. If you have your mind made up on one type of frosting, verify that your baker can make it.

4. What if I’d like real flowers on the cake? Will you work with my florist?

If you want to adorn the cake with fresh flowers, find out if your baker will work directly with your florist (most will) and the best way to coordinate getting the flowers from your florist to the baker.

Often the florist will arrange the flowers for you. Just make sure the flowers are free of pesticides, and provide the baker with a sketch or a photo of the flowers as soon as possible so that she/he can incorporate them into the design.

5. What kinds of ingredients do you typically use? Do you offer organic, vegan, and gluten-free options?
If your cake designer is not able to bake a gluten-free, vegan, or organic cake, she/he may work with another local bakery that does.

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04/15/16
These super foods will help you look great for your wedding day
Filed under: General, Weddings
Posted by: Richard @ 3:10 pm

Planning a wedding is infamous for being a being a tad bit overwhelming and chaotic. There will be late nights optimizing your wedding to-do list, weekend appointments making decisions alongside vendors you’re paying a lot of money to, and of course, the occasional cry-fest because the pressure of throwing the party of your lifetime has caught up to you. It can be a very unhealthy time, filled with lack of sleep, quick bites to eat, and enough stress that you start to feel weak. But like they say, you are what you eat! So, in order to stay healthy during your wedding planning process, here are some super foods you should add to your diet. One of the best super meals you can have is a clean acai bowl or a fruit and vegetable packed smoothie. Also make sure to include your good proteins in order to help flatten your tummy! Also these super antioxidant packed foods are fantastic for your skin!

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

1. Berries

Throw them into a smoothie, your morning yogurt, or just eat them by the handful. They are a great source of fiber and antioxidants that help keep your mind

2. Eggs

Whether you like them sunny-side up or just scrambled, eggs are a great source of protein and something you can eat quickly, as a snack or part of a meal.

3. Oranges

Keep a bowl of these things close by. They are a great way to boost your immune system and something simple and easy you can snack on when drafting emails to vendors or your bridal party.

4. Sweet Potatoes

These funny-shaped things are known as the healthiest vegetable in the land. They are great for your immune system and a great swap for the traditional baked potato.

5. Broccoli

You remember as a kid always being told to eat your broccoli, well, now it’s time to hear it again. Broccoli is packed with vitamins C, A, and K. If you’re not a fan of the taste, add them to a stir-fry or even roast them in the oven.

6. Tea

Swap out the soda and coffee for a glass of tea. Freshly brewed tea has a lot of health benefits and is known to help strengthen bones, and you guessed it, reduce stress. With so many flavors to choose from, you can try a new tea flavor every day until your wedding.

7. Spinach

Spinach is known as the super food of all super foods. It has a ton of vitamins and calcium in it and will not only make you feel more energetic but will also help cleanse your body.

8. Salmon

Salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids to help your skin glow on your big wedding day. This is a perfect source of protein as well! If you are vegetarian I recommend that you incorporate flax seeds or hemp seeds. These are great alternatives for omega-3 source.

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04/01/16
Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding
Filed under: General, Weddings
Posted by: Richard @ 4:42 pm

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Think you can’t pull off your dream wedding on a budget? Think again. It’s easier than you think to stretch your budget without giving up the things you love. Want a delicious menu and the venue of your dreams? Or a designer dress and a five-tiered cake? It’s possible to make it happen - the key is compromise.

A few dollars here and there doesn’t seem like a lot when you’re shelling out thousands total. But a few hundred bucks will make a major difference. Find a few places where you can trim half a grand from your budget, and suddenly that gorgeous destination wedding venue you’ve been obsessing over will seem a lot less out of reach.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Opt for Digital Invites

Love the look of hand-painted invite but not the steep price point? Have a graphic artist create a digital design that you can print at home instead. The final result will look just as pretty but cost half as much.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

RSVP Smarter

Have guests RSVP on your wedding website or app instead of on a reply card. You’ll save tons on paper and postage, and you’re more likely to get responses from the majority of your guests. Be sure to include your phone number or home address for elderly guests who may not be as tech-savy.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Think Customizable, Not Custom

Instead of ordering completely custom invitations, order a DIY printable from wedding websites. You’re able to customize certain aspects of the invite while still keeping costs low.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Think Big for Programs

Posting one large program at the entrance of your ceremony site is way less expensive than printing one for each person. Trendy options like calligraphic chalkboards or mirrors are budget-friendly and totally chic!

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

DIY Photo Booth

Forget the photo booth and buy a Polaroid camera instead. Set up a photo station with a elegant backdrop and ask your guests to leave you a snap with a note. This can double as your guestbook or a favor for friends and family to take home.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Don’t Overdo Favors

Instead of shelling out big for a favor for each guest, give one to every couple. Just make sure it’s something sharable, like a bottle or another treat! Guests will appreciate the late-night booze or snack.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Select a Family-Style Meal

Consider a tasty family-style dinner, like a gourmet pasta bar, in place of a three-course plated meal. Select several choices guests will love, including meat and vegetarian options, for a substantial and crowd-pleasing dinner.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Select Double-Duty Flowers

Have your florist create arrangements that work for both the ceremony and the reception. Enlist a trustworthy friend or family member to make sure the blooms get safely from place to place.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Repurpose Bridesmaids’ Bouquets

After the vows, combine bridesmaids’ bouquets to make one large centerpiece. They’re great for the bar or escort table. It’s also a way better use of the blooms since your ‘maids will likely ditch their bouquets once it comes time to dance.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Go for Alternating Centerpieces

Have your florist provide a mix or short and tall table arrangements. Smaller centerpieces are more cost-effective, but a few towering displays will help fill in any gaps. Bonus: The pretty mixes are super trendy since they’ll lend your party an eclectic vibe. WGV International’s Trumpet Vase, as displayed above, is one of the most popular styles for center pieces.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

DIY Wisely

Invest in a florist for the most-photographed flowers (your bouquet, the head-table arrangements), and DIY the rest. Consider taking a class or lesson on floral arrangements and practice your centerpieces in advance. Make sure to pick a display that won’t be too time consuming and enlist family or friends to help.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Don’t Be Afraid of Carnations

Carnations have gotten a bad rep as being cheap and overused. But mixed with other blooms, they create the same lush, fluffy texture as peonies, which are four to five times more expensive. Use them to bulk up your centerpieces and bouquets for that romantic look you love without breaking the bank.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Get Your Gown for Less

Wedding dresses are a huge expense, especially if you have your heart set on a designer gown. Look around for sample sales, where you’ll be able to purchase your dream designer dress at a steep discount. Or consider an off-the-rack option, which can be tailored to look custom-made without spending a fortune.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Hire Another Type of Pro

Have you always dreamed of a violinist or harpist playing as you walk down the aisle? A professional musician can be quite costly. Luckily, local music schools have teachers — who can play quite well — that will happily perform at weddings for a fraction of the cost. Sit in on a lesson to make sure they know their stuff.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Don’t Pay a Flat Rate for Alcohol

If your guests aren’t big drinkers, ask your caterer if you can pay for alcohol à la carte. That way, you’re only charged for what guests drink instead of their flat rate, which covers enough alcohol for the entire reception.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Think Small for Cakes

Skip a big tiered cake, which can run in the thousands, and serve simple single-tiered cakes instead. You can have your caterer provide single layers for each table or create a cake buffet where your guests can sample different flavors. You’ll still be able to have a cake-cutting moment without the huge cost.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Go for a Dessert Buffet

Dessert buffets are quickly becoming a wedding staple and can easily be created on a budget. Challenge competitive relatives to a bake-off and serve the delicious results. Think cupcakes, cookies, and other mini treats that guests can sample.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Swap Your Sweets

Replace your dessert table with a sweet candy buffet on WGV International’s popular apothecary jars. You can buy treats in bulk at a wholesale warehouse store like Costco and provide pretty bags or containers for guests to fill. Plus, these goodies bag can double as a favor.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Don’t Waste Desserts

Leftover wedding desserts often go to waste. Plan to pack extra sweets in cute boxes and give them to guests. Instafavors! Or ask your caterer to send any remaining treats back to your wedding suite for a late-night snack.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Choose Beer and Wine

Give up the hard stuff after cocktail hour and serve only beer and wine through the rest of your reception. They pair better with dinner anyway and are half the price of a full bar. Worried your guests won’t be happy with the selection? Offer one or two signature cocktails they can choose from for the rest of the evening.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Rethink Welcome Bags

Don’t feel compelled to create over-the-top welcome bags for your guests. A handwritten note and a bottle of wine (which you can buy it in bulk for major savings) is more appreciated than a bag stuffed with knickknacks your friends and family will likely never use.

Many ways to save $500 for your Wedding

Create a Video Save-the-Date

Instead of mailing paper save-the-dates, email guests a fun video you and your future husband made yourselves. You’ll save on printing and postage, plus it’s a great opportunity to show your personalities!

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03/25/16
5 People who can help with Wedding Planning
Filed under: General, Weddings
Posted by: Richard @ 4:10 pm

5 People who can help with Wedding Planning

A wedding is a celebration, a union, a commitment made in front of all your most cherished loved ones. But it can also be pretty stressful. There will be times when you hit a few bumps in the road while planning your big day, so you’re going to need someone to turn to during those times in need. And luckily, there are quite a few people who will totally have your back when you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on or someone to browse wedding inspiration with you. We’ve come up with a list of our top 5 Wedding All-Stars, to help you get down the aisle with a smile on your face.


Your Best Friend

She’s been by your side through thick and thin and she’s not about to back out now. On those days when you just can’t handle another seating arrangement, dress fitting or passive-aggressive email from your mom — call in your bestie for reinforcement. She’ll put things into perspective, and take immediately action, just like she always has.


Your seamstress

You’ve found the perfect gown, and they’re the one to help you feel like a million bucks in it. Painstakingly measuring, cutting, hemming, and sewing, her ultimate commitment is to you looking and feeling absolutely perfect. Who else has such attention to detail?

5 People who can help with Wedding Planning


Your venue coordinator

He or she is the one you call with every last minute major, or minor question. They know the location inside and out and can help you with maps, directions, seating arrangements, questions of temperature, and whether or not you can fit that last minute couple into the room. Think of the wedding coordinator as the concierge of your celebration — contact them with almost any need, and they’ll have you covered.


Your dear mother

Because she’s your mom! She knows you and what you need before you even figure it out. With just one look at her, it’s understood. She’s there to help get you what you need, and also there to tell you when you’re being a little bit too picky. Remember that this day is as important to her as it is to you; this is the woman you can rely on to make the day turn out flawlessly.


Your partner!

You’re marrying this person for a reason: they’re the MVP of your team, your other half, your support system. Through thick and thin, cake tastings, and disastrous (but fun) dance lessons, your partner is there for you and on your side. When the going gets tough, you tackle every challenge together. Live up to your power couple status and give yourselves the highest of fives at the end of the whole wedding planning process — you did this together! After all you guys are getting married :)

5 People who can help with Wedding Planning

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