Want to have your cake and eat it too? 5 thoughts on wedding cakes & dessert

Wedding cakes & dessert ideas

Wedding cakes & dessert ideas

Weddings are full of traditions, and “cutting the cake” is certainly one that continues to be time-honored. However, when working through your wedding budget worksheet (and timeline of the reception), you may look for new, creative ways to satisfy the sweet tooth of you and your guests and maybe even “cutting” cost.

1. Do you and your fiancé even like cake?

I’ve heard this one SO many times- “we just aren’t really cake people”. Well, guess what? Chances are, more than 50% of your guests are on the fence about it, too. And wedding cakes aren’t cheap- you will quickly see that average cake prices range from $3/slice to more than $50/slice. There are a TON of other ways to satisfy a post-dinner sweet tooth that are much more reasonable, and probably much tastier.

2. Do you want a “cake cutting” ceremony?

The ceremony of cutting the cake is starting to become more and more antiquated. So, where did this tradition even come from? Almost 2000 years ago, early Roman “grooms” would eat a loaf of barley bread and then break the rest over the head of their bride, which signifies prosperity of fertility for the couple. Over time, this tradition developed and people eventually realized that sugary dough tasted better than barley. Voila! You have the inspiration behind the modern cake cutting ceremony that we are all so familiar with. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a few other ways to show my love for my fiancé than honoring a 2000 year-old tradition. Plus- there is always a chance for a rogue, cake-frosting-smeared-across-the-face experience, and your make-up took way too long to take that gamble.

3. Have a favorite, unique dessert? Share it with your wedding guests!

We all love a sweet bite after our meal, so if you are omitting cake, show your personality with dessert! Do you love ice cream cookie sandwiches? How about an obsession with mini bundt cakes? Or maybe you are a Thanksgiving junkie and pumpkin pie is your thing. If you and your fiancé have a unique sweet tooth, how fun would it be to get creative and really show your personalities through your dessert? If you are lucky and have an awesome baker or two in the family, see if they would help out by whipping up some fresh baked goods for the occasion. EVERYONE loves a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

4. How much time do you have during your reception?

If you are working with a tight timeline, consider how the time dedicated to cake cutting might interfere with your day. Additionally, it can really alter the mood and flow of the reception to interrupt the DJ blasting out the dance hits to announce the “cutting of the cake”.

5. Have you decided on a wedding favor yet?

Another perk of foregoing the cake for a more unique sweet is subbing the traditional wedding favor for your dessert! One of my favorite weddings to date had homemade doughnuts sitting in a customized box at the top of each place setting during dinner. Not only are doughnuts DELICIOUS, but I had the ability to eat my dessert whenever I wanted (sorry Mom, sometimes you just need a sweet bite before dinner). I could also bring back a little “something” from the reception to my hotel room for a much-needed midnight snack. I’m hard-pressed to remember my wedding favor at the end of reception, but remembering a box of doughnuts? Yeah, I got that.

As always, the goal of creating a wedding budget document is to keep an organized eye on all potential expenses, and something as seemingly as small as a cake can cause unnecessary stress. If you are open to something less traditional, have some fun with your guests and your sweet selections.

You’re engaged! Now what? The first 3 things to think about…

The first 3 things to think about after you get engaged

The first 3 things to think about after you get engaged

Congrats!  You’re engaged!  Now what?

After the celebration and much deserved glass of champagne, the reality likely starts setting in- you have a wedding to plan! This may seem like a daunting task (and it can be!), but first focus on three steps to take before you even start to think about an open bar…

1.  Let’s talk money.

While this certainly isn’t the most glamorous or exciting topic, you really cannot even consider any other aspect of wedding planning without knowing your budget. While it isn’t crucial that you have narrowed it down to an exact dollar amount, finding your ideal “range” will help guide every other decision you make. From venue shopping to catering meetings, cost will be the first topic discussed with each vendor.

2.  Who is invited?

Creating a guest list doesn’t need to be a stressful task, but it is crucial to decide quickly if you are having a large, medium or small wedding so you can work on step 3 (below). Having a rough estimate of guest count also helps tighten up the cost of a caterer, rental company, and other ancillary expenses (does your venue only have 2 bathrooms, but you are having 120 guests? Time to start looking at portable restrooms!). And while it is nearly impossible to get an exact headcount until RSVPs are received, you can get a pretty close estimate using the WedSheet Guest List Planner tab and the unique “ranking” feature.

3.  Time to get in the car and go exploring- it’s venue shopping day!

This is one of the most fun tasks in all of wedding planning. Choosing the venue where you get to celebrate one of the most meaningful and exciting days of your life is no easy feat, but it helps to provide a vision and framework for the rest of your decisions. Since you now have a working budget and a rough guest count, you can start searching and narrowing down the locations. Additionally, each venue can provide you with their availability, which will help you select the big date. Have fun with this process! Take a couple of weekends and go exploring. If you are checking out wineries as a possible venue- book a private tour! They will often offer complimentary tastings. Many hotels will also provide discounts to prospective couples as you tour their facilities.

Complete these three steps and you are on the way to planning the wedding of your dreams! Comment below with any other helpful “hints” you have found along your planning process.

5 Things to Consider When Selecting your Bridal Party

5 Things to Consider When Selecting Your Bridal Party

5 Things to Consider When Selecting Your Bridal Party

One of the best parts of getting married is celebrating your love with your closest family and friends. However, it can be a little stressful when deciding which of those special people will be part of your bridal party. Here are 5 questions to keep in mind before asking your BFFs to “stand by your side” on your special day.

What is this person’s influence on your temperament?

For the months leading up to your wedding, you will inevitably encounter stressful moments. For this reason, it is SO important to be sure that you are surrounded by people who can keep you calm and focused on what is really important. Your bridesmaids shouldn’t just be your favorite drinking partners (totally awesome if they are though!), they should also be a rationale sounding-board, and available to help problem-solve.

Are you asking them because they asked you?

If you are like most brides-to-be, by the time you are planning your own nuptials, you’ve likely been a part of several weddings. And just because you were a bridesmaid in your sorority sister’s wedding 9 years prior doesn’t mean you need to repay the favor. People and circumstances change, and you may need to consider siblings over friends, for example. Don’t forget- it’s awesome to simply be a guest at a wedding. You are buying them dinner and drinks, after all!

Is this person a “forever friend”?

No one can predict the future, and unfortunately sometimes people do fall out of friendship. But you will cherish your wedding memories, pictures, and videos for your lifetime. Therefore, it’s also important to see a long-term future with those people you chose to be standing next to on your special day. If you are having reservations about including a particular person in your bridal party, consider listening to your gut.

Can they afford it?

This is a tough topic, but worth thinking about right away. By the time our late-20’s and early-30’s rolls around, we’ve likely been a bridesmaid a time or two ourselves. And let’s be honest- it ain’t cheap! From the dress the bride promises “you will wear again”, to the hair and makeup appointments, the wedding costs can reach well into the $500-$800 range- and that’s just the “day of” cost. This doesn’t include shower gifts, the bachelorette party, and the cost of travel for your special ladies. Let’s face it- agreeing to be a bridesmaid is more than just an emotional commitment, it’s also a financial one. Be honest with yourself and be a conscientious friend- if one of your ladies is struggling financially, maybe they can be included in another way in your ceremony, or they can simply be a guest and have a kick-ass time without going into debt.

Do they have time for it?

Just like the previous point, being part of a wedding can be a serious commitment with your time as well. The people you select to be part of your bridal party are obviously important to you, and you want them to understand the importance of their role throughout the process. Therefore, have an honest conversation with them about which events you are hoping they will attend and participate in. If that person is super noncommittal about most things, that may be a sign that they are better off as a guest.

At the end of the day, follow your heart and your intuition, and you can’t go wrong. Oh- and also be sure to buy matching “get ready” outfits and plenty of champagne to drink out of those pretty, long-stemmed flutes. You will be guaranteed to have the CUTEST pics.


7 Tips for Creating Your Wedding Guest List

Compiling your initial wedding guest list is the first thing to do when planning your wedding.  This allows you to get a general idea of how many guests you can expect, which is important to know when searching for wedding venues.

So what can you do to make an effective guest list? Here are 7 tips that will help you get started.

Decide on Your Ideal “Number”

The first thing you should do is try to come to an understanding of what your ideal guest count would be, and work backwards from there.  Do you want a small, intimate wedding?  Do you want a destination wedding?  Do you want kids at your wedding?  Envision what you want and come up with your ideal guest count.

Keep A General Budget In Mind

Putting together your wedding guest list typically comes before you get into budget, but you should also discuss this with your fiancé.  Come to a general number.  If you agree that you only have $2,000 for your wedding, inviting 500 people might be out of the question.

Share The Load

In the interest of time, create separate lists for you, your fiancé, your parents, and any other family you want to consult.  Ask them to create their own lists, and combine them into one big list, then remove the duplicates.   It’s common courtesy in many situations to ask your family who they want invited, particularly your parents.

Start Big

Think of everyone, I mean EVERYONE, that you would even consider inviting.  Factor in +1s.  Add everyone to your initial list…you can always remove them later!

Prioritize Your List

Once you’ve compiled your full list, create a rating scale in terms of how likely a guest is to come.  You can use a number scale (1-3, 1-5, or whatever works for you), or simply label each guest as High, Medium, or Low.  This will give you a more realistic feel for how many people will likely be guests at your wedding.  Use your High+Medium likelihood as a conservative guest count going forward.

Categorize Your List

You’ll be revisiting your guest list throughout your wedding planning, so categorizing your list will help going forward.  If you’re using a wedding planning spreadsheet like WedSheet, add a column where you see fit for Relationship (column L on our Guest List tab).  Here are some sample categories you can use on your list:

  • Bride’s Family
  • Bride’s Friends
  • Groom’s Family
  • Groom’s Friends
  • Bride’s Family Friends
  • Groom’s Family Friends
  • Bride’s Co-Workers
  • Groom’s Co-Workers
  • Mutual Friends

Stay Organized

As we mentioned before, you will be consulting your guest list throughout the wedding planning process, so make sure you have a shared document or way for you and your fiancé to keep your guest list organized.  You will continue to build on this list with addresses, special notes, and accommodations.  You can always keep it simple by using WedSheet’s Wedding Guest List template, found in our All-In-One product!