Don’t forget dessert! Although, who would, right?
Everyone knows a wedding cake is part of the process when you’re planning your big day. For some, the cake tasting is one of the things they look forward to the most. Wedding cakes are great, traditional, and an easy way to make sure everyone gets some dessert, especially if your venue cuts and serves it. But, what if you wanted to do something other than a traditional wedding cake and groom’s cake? Take a look below at 5 cute dessert ideas that can allow you to veer away from the norm and add even more originality to your wedding day!
- S’mores Bar: these are super fun and super cute, especially for outdoor weddings and the fall season! Sure, most venues have some restrictions on open flames but you don’t necessarily have to do it where your guests toast the marshmallows themselves. See if your caterer is able to offer a S’mores Bar and an attendant for it as well, that way you won’t have to worry about open flames and it’ll be much safer for your guests and your wedding overall!
- Cupcakes: this one is pretty obvious, you can do cupcakes instead of cake. The most fun part about this option is the freedom it gives you to give some personality to your dessert. If you do one big cake, it’s all the same design and most of time the same flavor. With cupcakes, you can do as many flavors as you want and decorate them to your liking! Or, have you ever thought of build your own cupcakes? I didn’t think so. Have the basic cupcakes there in different flavors and then have all the makings there for them as well! Your guests get to pick the flavor cupcake, different icing, whether or not they want sprinkles, if they want M&M’s or any other toppings, or even little mini cupcake toppers that go along with your wedding theme! This way, your guests have something to do, as well as, get to pick their own dessert. I’m sure they’d appreciate it as much as you would, and the effect it has on both your wallet or your sanity is another plus!
- Popcorn Bar: popcorn isn’t a very popular dessert item at weddings, so if you’re looking for something different but still delicious, try this one! There are tons of different flavors of popcorn you can offer to cover everyone’s preference and it’s something your guests don’t have to eat all in one sitting. This also gives you the freedom to use it as a part of your wedding decorations if you wanted. You can get all kinds of different vases to put the popcorn in and arrange it to your liking. I’m sure you could even get popcorn in your wedding colors! Check with your caterer to see if they can do it, chances are, they can!
- Milk & Cookies: this is always fun because everyone loves milk and cookies so you can’t go wrong! Once again, this is an option that allows you to offer a ton of different flavors and will allow you to please all of your guests no matter what their preference. If you wanted to decorate cookies with icing you can do different designs, but be sure to keep your wedding colors involved! The milk is a bit tricky, it is best to have an attendant at this station to assure the milk is kept cold and they can also pour for your guests, this will reduce spills and messes, as well as, your stress level! Another way to customize this option would be to include specialized cups for the milk which could double as a take home favor! Kill two birds with one stone which is always a plus when planning a wedding!
- Assortment of Desserts: this is great and can either relieve some stress or cause more depending on how extravagant you’re going with it. This is ideal for someone who wants to give their guests a lot of options for dessert and doesn’t mind going against tradition. With this, there are so many possibilities you are able to cater to exactly what your favorite types of desserts are. Brownies, mini pies, cake balls, truffle lollipops, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, anything your heart desires, throw it on the dessert table!
Your wedding dessert can be a wonderful way to get creative and be different while also getting your guests more involved, if that’s what you’re after. Wedding cakes are great and give you the opportunity to get that ever-so-memorable picture of you and your love cutting the cake together, so you don’t have to get rid of it completely. Do a cake in addition to other desserts if you still want to have those traditional moments and photos. Feel free to surround your wedding cake with cupcakes, brownies or cookies, or do a separate s’mores bar or dessert station as well, choose whatever you please as long as you are happy with it. Don’t fear creativity, not just when it comes to desserts but in all aspects of your wedding planning, originality often leads to the best memories!
Winter weddings are not nearly as popular as the spring and fall season. This makes them even more unique and with a few tips, very memorable.
An advantage of a wedding during the cold months is more availability at venues. More availability usually translates to less expensive, especially if you are open to a wedding at the beginning of the New Year. Of course, you need to take the weather into consideration and book an indoor or heated venue. Winter weddings can also guarantee a great turn out as most people do their traveling during the summer months, and a winter celebration gives them something to look forward to and be excited about. Below are some ideas that make for a stunning and intimate wedding.
- Charming Hors d’oeuvres – These can be for a cocktail hour or late night snack, but offering something other than the actual dinner can add style to a wedding. Food as art is a trend we are starting to see. Hors d’oeuvres and displays need to look neat as well as appetizing. These are usually fairly inexpensive to add in the scheme of things and adds another element. Some winter examples are a shooter of tomato soup and grilled cheese bite, candy cane macaroons, bite size cookie with a bailey’s shooter, seasonal and artsy crostini, and bacon wrapped chestnuts.
- Lighting- With shorter days and darker nights, look for a venue with chandeliers to give a romantic glow. Or a venue that allows you to string café lights for a cozy, intimate ambiance. Otherwise, go crazy with candles, twinkle lights, or any special lighting to make for a romantic winter night.
- Main Dishes– You will want to feed your guests warm items in the winter. We have a tendency to order comfort food in the colder months. While bite-size appetizers or midnight snacks are great, you don’t want the main course to make them sluggish or sleepy. Opt for entrees high in protein like steak, chicken, and fish. Add veggies and stay away from fried foods or anything greasy. Soup and Salad are both great options for a first course when having a plated dinner.
- Hot Chocolate Bar– What better way to keep warm than a hot cocoa bar. It doesn’t need a lot of space and you can dress it up with DIY signs, fake snow, and cute mugs. Or keep is simple with your holiday or wedding colors and let the edible goodies speak for themselves. For a unique twist, add jumbo marshmallows with a text or graphic of your wedding date, names, or theme. Make it an adult hot chocolate station by offering Grand Mariner, Peppermint schnapps, Kahlua, Rum, Crème de Mint, Amaretto and last but not least Bailey’s Irish Cream. Adding a hot toddy station is also something you rarely see if going for a unique treat.
So, don’t be scared of a winter wedding! Your guests will be happy to get themselves out of the house to share your special day with you. Pushing back your wedding date a few months and waiting for the winter could not only save you a few bucks but could also help you land the venue of your dreams. If a month or two is all that stands between you and your top choice venue, wait it out and have the event you always imagined. Your day will be special and memorable no matter what the weather.
Choosing a caterer for your big day is one of the major decisions you will have to make. It is no secret that wedding costs add up quickly and with there being so many options within your catering decisions, this may seem like a good place to cut down on some of your budget. There is no harm in trying to trim some costs, but not everything you think is going to save you money will actually do so. I am here to explain some misconceptions when it comes to catering and ways to save. Get the most out of your caterer with these four tips, learn what will actually save you money and what only sounds like it will.
- Thinking an all vegetarian event will save you money
It makes sense when you initially get the idea, but when it comes time to crunch the numbers, you may be surprised. While steak can be pricey, it doesn’t mean that vegetarian options would save you much money. Instead of looking at meat vs no meat, consider the products. Mushroom ravioli with truffle oil can cost just as much, if not more, than some meat entrees. Take into consideration the products used with each dish when you are choosing your menu items. If something is imported or out of season, it may add a few extra bucks per person.
- Assuming action stations are cheaper
Actions stations are a great addition to a wedding! They engage your guests, allow them to pick how they want their food, and they can catch up with family and friends while they wait their turn. However, with each action station comes an additional attendant or two to help serve guests – and that means extra staffing cost for you. When considering action stations, don’t look at just the price per person for the station. Ask your caterer how many staff members are required to work each station you are interested in. If having solely actions stations breaks the wedding bank, choose one action station that is a must-have, and ask your caterer to help you find the right buffet to compliment it.
- Ordering less hors d’oeuvres than your anticipated head count
It may sound crazy, but it happens more often than you’d think. If you have 200 guests attending, and only have the budget to feed hors d’oeuvres to 60 of them, it’s time to come up with a new plan. Think of it from the guest’s perspective – if you attended a wedding and heard people rave about an hors d’oeuvre, you’d want to try it, wouldn’t you? To avoid this, choose lesser priced hors d’oeuvres that you can order more of, or ask your caterer about their display selection. You want to make sure whatever is available to guests is available to all guests.
- Paying for an open bar for half of your guests
This is not a reality. Even if his side doesn’t drink at all, how will the bartender know if they are part of the groom’s side? And how will they regulate it? If you have 250 guests and think only 100 will drink, look into other bar options. Venues and caterers offer a variety of options. If you don’t like the idea of a cash bar, consider drink tickets or a consumption bar. Both are paid by you, but they can be more affordable alternatives in this case. With drink tickets, there are different tiers of pricing depending on the type of bar available. You can purchase as many drink tickets as you wish, and then distribute them amongst the guests you know will drink. An easy way to do this is including it with their place card. Once their tickets run out, they can have the option of purchasing drinks. A consumption bar means every drink has a set price (which also depends on which tier bar you have available) each drink ordered gets tallied throughout the event. You will then get billed after the event for those drinks served. You can set limits to this as well. If your bar budget caps at $2,500, the bar can turn into a cash bar at that point. Most caterers and venues are great about allowing you to extend the cap as the night goes on as well.
It is easy to see why Brides and Grooms may see some of the above options as smart money saving ideas before they are really looked into. It is important to make sure you evaluate and compare your options before actually making a decision. Don’t cheat your guests out of something delicious by thinking you are saving a few bucks when in reality, you may not be. Don’t stress, caterers are well aware that there is always a budget to aim within when planning a wedding. A good caterer will work with you and be able to make suggestions so that you will be happy with your food choices and your spending!
There are so many elements to planning a wedding, and at times, it can feel like you’re writing a check or checklist every day for something new. When an opportunity presents itself to save you some time or money, think it through! This applies to your dress, food, DJ and of course, PHOTOS. Whether you are a photo aficionado or completely clueless on the topic, you could accidentally make one of these seemingly harmless mistakes:
- Having a Friend or Family Member Be Your Photographer
Unless they take photos professionally, having a friend or family member double as your wedding photographer is definitely not your best option. So many times, couples have that friend from college who always liked taking photos, or that uncle with a nice Nikon, and trust them enough to capture their big day. They feel it is a great way to include someone special in the wedding while also saving a few bucks. Unfortunately, you will later realize there is a noticeable difference between the amateur and trained eye. If you are looking to save on your budget, look elsewhere. These photos will be displayed in your home (and probably a few others!) for years to come. You want your wedding photos to be beautiful, timeless, candid, and all the other things that you could have hoped for. Let your friends and family be guests at your wedding. Their awesome camera can come too, but leave the big stuff to the pros.
- Choosing Photographer B Over Photographer A Because they are $1,000 Cheaper
Before you cut loose photographer A, look at what their price includes. Keep in mind – you get what you pay for. If Photographer B is $1,000 less while offering the exact same package as Photographer A, and you like both of their work equally, you found yourself a steal! However, if there is a $1,000 difference, and you are not as big a fan of the more affordable portfolio, it’s time to renegotiate with the photographer whose style you LOVE. Going back to that point about looking at these photos for many years to come, it may be worth it to spring for the platinum package if it means you will get photos you love to post, print and frame.
- Not Making a ‘Must-Have’ Photo List
Some photographers are great about requesting this and as tedious as it sounds to sit down and make a list of every photo you’d want at your wedding, it is so worth it! Your wedding day will be a whirlwind, and over in the blink of an eye. You won’t notice until you get the proofs that you didn’t take one photo with your Grandma the entire day. Make sure to take the time to outline all the photos you want to take with family and friends, don’t assume you will catch them at the reception.
I hope these tips have helped and will be remembered when it comes to your wedding photographer decision making. While there are many important decisions to be made when planning your wedding, the photos are one of the few things that will last longer than just that night! Be smart when choosing your photographer and make sure you don’t miss out on capturing any of the memories made during your special day.