We have been featured in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!!

We have been blessed, again, to have been featured in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Groom’s Cake

This wedding tradition is still alive and well.

Contributing Writer
buffalo check axe log cake

Photography by: Sugar Geek Show

If you’re like most people, you might only be familiar with one wedding cake—that is, the one the bride and groom cut into on their wedding night and feed to each other as a significance of their shared love. But wedding traditions from other cultures incorporate more than just one cake. The groom’s cake, which originated in Victorian England, is one such example. “As tradition has it, there were typically three cakes served during a Victorian wedding,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “There was the wedding cake that was served to the guests, the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids, and the groom’s cake, served to the groomsmen.” Eventually, Southern brides and grooms in the United States adopted this tradition, making it their own. (Who could forget the armadillo-shaped groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias?)

 

While the tradition has changed over time, the groom’s cake is still alive and well. In fact, it may be becoming more popular than ever. Couples across the United States and abroad—even Prince William had one at his wedding to Kate Middleton!—are serving a second confection tailored to the groom’s specific tastes. Thinking adding another cake to your party in honor of new husband? Here are some interesting facts to know about the groom’s cake.

 

RELATED: UNIQUE IDEAS FOR THE GROOM’S CAKE

 

The earliest groom’s cakes were actually fruitcakes.

Fruitcakes are a dark, rich cake filled with candied fruits and nuts that tend to keep well, especially with all of the liqueur used in their creation, explains Lehman. This is also why they are so popular to give as gifts during the holiday season! “Today, groom’s cakes are usually made with dark chocolate and may be filled with fruits and liqueurs, however, the groom’s favorite cake flavors and fillings should definitely take priority in this luscious dessert,” she says.

 

The groom’s cake is not always served at the wedding reception.

These days, especially for the less traditional couples, the groom’s cake is served at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. “This is always a nice touch because it spreads the fun across your wedding weekend,” says Catherine George, owner of Catherine George Cakes in Washington, D.C. She suggests leaving the cake out on display for a while before it’s served.

 

Although designated for the groom, couples are designing the groom’s cake together.

Though the cake design you select for your wedding reception will likely be fairly traditional in terms of color and decoration, the groom’s cake can be a bit more lighthearted and fun. Choose the look together as a fun detail you can both have some say in. If you like a classic look, though, feel free to go for it. The groom’s cake doesn’t have to show off his hobbies or interests. “As couples are veering away from a traditional cake (in the last few months we have seen a cookie truck, donuts, cobbler or pie, and ice cream for dessert instead) the need for a groom cake as an expression of the groom’s personality is becoming unnecessary,” says Isadora Martin-Dye, a wedding planner and owner of owner of Rixey Manor.

 

In terms of flavor and design, there really are no limits.

“Although the Southern tradition is to make a red velvet cake, I don’t believe wedding cakes in general need to have limits on flavors,” says Liz Berman, Boston-based baker and owner of The Sleepy Baker in Natick, Massachusetts. The same goes for its overall look. “I had a groom joke around about how he wanted a wedding cake that was a pegasus with him riding on the back. The bride refused to allow that and ordered a traditional tiered cake, but then secretly hired me to make a groom’s cake. The wedding cake was displayed next to a sculpted pegasus cake with an image of the groom riding on the back!”

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We have been mentioned on the WeddingDay Magazine Blog!

We have been blessed to have been mentioned in a feature on the WeddingDay Magazine website!!  In February of 2018, on Valentine’s Day, a group of very talented vendors, models and photographers came together for a styled bridal photo shoot, in New Albany, Ohio, as part of the Styled Shoots Across America 2018 Tour.  As the only Ohio stop on the tour, we were very excited to assist with the details for this photo shoot.  Our friends Lauren and Brandon were our models.  They are also a real life couple, who will be married later this year, and we have the honor of planning their wedding!  Please enjoy the gorgeous photos.  Cheers!

 

A ROMANTIC, SPRING-INSPIRED STYLE SHOOT

PHOTOS BY RAKOTEET PHOTOGRAPHY

Carri Fras's picture
WRITTEN BY

CARRI FRAS

DATE:  April 26, 2018

If you live in the Midwest, you are well aware that spring weather isn’t always necessarily cooperative. And although this shoot took place on Valentine’s Day, and therefore needed to take place indoors, it certainly proves that spring-inspired hues can really make for a light and airy wedding whether there’s rain, snow or shine! We are all heart eyes for this romantic, red and pink spring-inspired style shoot, beautifully captured by Michelle Rakotomalala of Rakoteet Photography.

Businesses Involved
PHOTOGRAPHY
COORDINATION ASSISTANT
STATIONERY
BRIDE’S SHOES
RIBBON

The brand new venue where the shoot took place offered many great elements for the team. Michelle says, “We loved all of the windows and skylights in the venue allowing for lots of natural light. They also have a beautiful ballroom.”

The bride’s gorgeous gown, soft curls and a neutral makeup were perfect for the romantic, spring vibes the team was trying to achieve. An ombre pink cake, bouquets and centerpieces filled will pink roses and picture-perfect rentals completed the overall look. The rentals included a vintage furniture set up, a vanity for the cake and desserts, tablescape rentals and a heart-shaped backdrop for the sweetheart table.

Our Vibrant Country Villa shoot is featured on the Southern Celebrations Blog!!

In December of 2017, Southern Celebrations Magazine announced a Creative Challenge.  Those interested were to design a styled photo shoot, featuring one or more of Pantone’s Spring 2018 Top Twelve Colors.  The photo shoot had to feature several styled vignettes, including a tablescape, cake/dessert table, and fashion.  The winners of the Challenge would be featured on the blog and in the upcoming Volume 7 of the magazine. We answered the Challenge!  

On Sunday, February 4th, 2018, my team of very talented vendors and models gathered at the Sunset Vista Ranch, LLC.  The results of our Vibrant Country Villa styled bridal photo shoot were absolutely amazing!  Our team’s collaboration was one of the top 3, chosen from over 70 entries!  We are very excited to share the blog post from Southern Celebrations with you!  Enjoy!

We have been mentioned on Martha Stewart Weddings!

We have been blessed again, to have been mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

 

Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?

A vacation and a wedding all wrapped in one sure sounds great—at least at first.

Contributing Writer
getaway car

Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

One of the first big decisions you’ll have to make after putting that shiny new ringon your finger is choosing where you want to have your wedding. For many couples, the choice is simple, but for others it can involve a long, drawn-out decision-making process that can months. If you’re not tying the knot in your hometown, your partner’s hometown, or the city you both call home, you’re likely having a destination wedding. Although they’re not for everyone, a destination wedding can provide a sense of excitement (it’s basically a vacation where all of your favorite people are invited) and relief (your second cousins once removed likely won’t make it to Aruba).

 

To help you decide if you’re the type of couple who should tie the knot away from home, wedding planners took us through the questions they ask clients who are considering a far-flung celebraiton.

 

EXPERT TIPS FOR PLANNING A DESTINATION WEDDING

 

Do you want to get married far from?

Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out that, by definition, a destination wedding is one that takes place at least 100 miles away from where you currently live. That’s about the distance between New York City and Hartford, Connecticut. You don’t have to feel any pressure to have your nuptials in a tourist attraction, though they are popular choices for couples planning destination weddings. “You could get married at a somewhat local bed and breakfast or a charming winery,” adds Lehman. “The most important thing is to consider a destination that appeals to your personalities, dreams, and interests.”

 

Who do you want to be there?

Destination weddings are usually smaller than a hometown wedding would be, as guests have to travel farther for the event. If you’re okay with this, great! If you’re in a situation where you feel obligated to invite several relatives or family friends but don’t really care if they show up, then even better. But it is important to remember that some of your close relatives and friends might not be able to physically travel or afford a plane ticket and hotel stay. Before you book anything, make a list of guests you want by your side, and then see if that core group of people can make it.

 

Can you afford a wedding planner?

Having a wedding planner is extremely helpful in ensuring your destination eventgoes smoothly. “Hiring someone that has the expertise and experience will greatly help when making decisions on quality and trusted vendors,” says Cristen Faherty, wedding and event planner at Cristen & Co Event Coordination & Design in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “This person could either be a destination planner in your area or a local planner in your destination. Which ever you choose, you have to be willing to give up a little control and trust their recommendations.” Remember, you likely won’t have the luxury of meeting face-to-face with the majority of your vendors, so an on-site planner can represent you from afar.

 

How flexible are you when it comes to dress code?

Enforcing a black-tie dress code—a tux for men and a formal gown for women—is tough when you’re asking loved ones to pack their wedding attire in a suitcase and travel to what might be a totally different climate. That’s not to say it’s not allowed, but you should be comfortable with the fact that some of your guests might not follow suit (literally). If you’re okay with bare feet and flip flops on the dance floor (or sand), then go for it.

 

Are you willing to host more than one event?

When all of your wedding guests are traveling far and wide to be there for your big day, they expect that you’ll be hosting more than the ceremony and reception. Many destinations include welcome parties and daytime activities, like scuba diving or horseback riding, for their guests to enjoy more face time with the bride and groom.

Sharing a bit of Family History!

In August of 2017, I had the pleasure of coordinating the wedding of Betsey and AJ.  They were such a lovely couple to work with!  They held their wedding reception at Michauds Event Center in Strongsville, Ohio.  One of the fun things about Betsey and AJ, is their love of history, especially US Presidents, and visiting libraries and museums.  They incorporated this passion into their table decorations at their reception.  Each table was named after a specific US President, including the eights Presidents that came from Ohio.  In my family tree, I am a direct descendant of the Nineteenth President of the United States, President Rutherford B. Hayes.  He was one of the eight presidents from Ohio, hailing from the Fremont area, in Northwestern Ohio.  President Hayes is one of Great-Grandfathers, a few generations back, on my mother’s side of the family.  It’s pretty cool having this relation in my family.  You can visit President Hayes’s estate and library, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont.  You can also hold weddings and events there. I highly encourage you to check it out!

Many thanks to Betsey and AJ, for sharing their photographer’s fun shot of me!

Betsey and AJ wedding with RBH

We were mentioned on WeddingWire.com!

We have been blessed to have been mentioned in an article on WeddingWire.com!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich, for your great work!

(https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-etiquette-dos-most-people-forget)

9 Wedding Etiquette Must-Dos Most People Forget

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Anna Simonak Photography

The concept that there’s a right way to do something (and a wrong way), a.k.a. etiquette, has been around since the dawn of time. But, in today’s day and age, especially when it comes to weddings, much of the old-school protocol has gone out the window. Sure, it may have to do with changing times, or type of wedding you’re attending—i.e. a ceremony in a church with hundreds of people will likely hold you to a higher standard than a beach wedding with a handful of the bride and groom’s close friends—but that doesn’t mean etiquette in its entirety no longer exists (at least we hope not). “Etiquette was created so people would know how to act and be accepted by the rest of society, which, when you get right down to it, is no different than trying to get a ton of likes or hearts on your social media posts,” says Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.

So what rules should you remember at your own wedding—or as a guest? We talked to top wedding and event planners to get the inside scoop on which elements of wedding etiquette still matter today.

If you’re getting married…

Treat your guests like guests.

“Since you’re inviting people to celebrate your passage into wedded bliss, it’s your responsibility to make sure they are taken care of and made comfortable,” says Banting. “That means having enough seating for the ceremony so people aren’t left standing, having fans or cold drinks available if it’s hot, and having sufficient food and drink for all.” Of course, this is why you hire a wedding planner—to make sure you can sit back enjoy on your big day while ensuring your guests are taken care of. “It may be your day but once you’ve included other people along for the ride, you need to worry about their comfort too,” Banting adds.

Don’t keep people waiting.

You’re going to be pulled in a million and one different directions on your big day, which is why it’s crucial that you create a realistic timeline that you can stick to — and one that won’t keep guests waiting. “Hair and makeup is usually the area that can send the best-laid plans off the rails, so pad in an extra hour to ensure you’re ready on time,” suggests Banting. “If you have a long photo session between the ceremony and reception, offer guests a cocktail hour to keep them occupied—and, if you’re planning on having touchups done or changing into another outfit before or during the reception, just be aware of the time.”

Play music that will appeal to all guests.

You and your crew might be into Beyonce’s latest single, or those 90s throwbacks that you mentioned to your band or DJ in your pre-wedding meeting, but remember that you’ve likely invited guests of all ages. Consider what some of the older crowd (your grandparents, uncles, aunts) might want to listen to as well. “Select a wide range of music to be played so everyone has a chance to get up on the dance floor and have some fun,” says Banting. “Save the hip hop for later in the night once the older crowd has cleared out.”

Be thankful for your toasts.

As the focus of all the wedding toasts, the couple shouldn’t toast to themselves, says Banting. “Proper etiquette is to remain seated, smile and not raise your glass, then thank the person who made the toast.” Although it’s not required, she points out that it’s a nice gesture to finish the toast session with a small speech from you and your bride or groom. “Make sure to thank your guests for coming, your parents for their support and then say something gracious about your newly betrothed before raising a glass to all and taking a sip.”

Send thank-you notes.

Even if you had the chance to thank someone verbally for attending your wedding or giving you a gift, handwritten thank-you cards are still definite dos. “Guests spend considerable amounts of time and money in choosing a gift, selecting attire to wear, finding child care, and traveling to and from all of the wedding-related events,” Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out. “A heartfelt message, written to the giver of the gift, is much appreciated—just a few lines stating how nice it was to see them and spend time together at the shower or wedding, and how much the gift is appreciated and may be used is fine.”

If it’s not your wedding…

Give a gift at each event you’re invited to.

Traditionally, as a guest, if you are invited to the shower and the wedding, then yes, you should bring a gift, says Lehman, though the bachelorette party is usually more informal so a gift is not necessarily required. “If you are a member of the wedding party, you are expected to contribute financially to the shower and bachelorette party, as well paying for your attire, accessories and/or grooming for the wedding,” she adds. Of course, this can be a bit overwhelming for some, especially when you’re still in school, but Lehman points out that it’s your choice to say yes or no to being a part of the wedding party. “Another solution is to have the wedding party contribute one large gift, for example the stand mixer the bride has had her eye on for months.”

Don’t assume you can bring a plus-one.

“Many guests don’t realize that when they are invited to a wedding, the couple and families are paying for each individual person to attend, to eat and drink and be entertained, rather than one blanket fee,” explains Lehman. “This is why accurate head counts are so crucial to keeping the budget under control.” In other words, if the invitation sent reads “Mr. Jim Smith and guest”, then yes, bring said person, but if the invitation is addressed only to “Mr. Jim Smith,” only Mr. Smith himself is invited to attend.

Always RSVP by the deadline.

There’s a good reason invitations, especially ones to weddings, have a deadline for when you can RSVP by. Head counts are important people! Whomever is planning (and paying for) the wedding seriously needs to know how many people to expect far before the one-month countdown. “If you happen to see the bride before the wedding and end up telling her your RSVP in person, don’t think that got you out of sending your response in,” says Jessica Janik of The Invisible Bridesmaid in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “As soon as you know you will or will not be able to make it, be courteous and send back the RSVP card if that’s what is requested.”

Don’t get in the way of the photographer or videographer.

You might consider yourself the master photographer, thanks to your skills on Instagram, but the couple hired professionals for a reason. “Don’t stand in front of the hired personnel so you can get the perfect shot of the bride and groom on their big day,” warns Janik. “And, if you did happen to take that perfect shot, wait until the ceremony starts to post a photo—you don’t want to beat the bride and groom and post before they have a chance to.”

We have been blogged! With Joseph Testa Films

We have been blogged!  This time, with one of our videography partners, Joseph Testa Films.  We first met Joe on Facebook, chatting on several occasions in different wedding planning and industry-related groups.  When the opportunity came up to plan a destination wedding for one of our couples, Azia and Hondo, on relatively short notice, Joe and his wife Peggy happily agreed to assist us with videography for the wedding.  They did a fantastic job!  We highly recommend Joe for all of your video needs!

Since then, we have collaborated at several bridal shows, and often promote special deals with each other, in order to maximize value, while not sacrificing quality of service, for our clients.  We also co-administer several wedding message groups together on Facebook, providing planning advice and resources for brides and vendors.

Recently, Joe sent us a short questionnaire, using the answers to create a feature about our business.  Below is the link to the post on Joe’s blog.  Enjoy!

http://josephtestafilms.com/love-laughter-and-elegance/

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