Monday, September 20, 2010

Wedding Cake Inspiration from the Southern Mountains

It's no secret. I love me some mountains. I've lived in them all of my life and studied mountain tourism at the graduate level. They're in my soul. So when I see wedding trends related to mountain traditions I want to leap for joy and do cartwheels in the living room. Woohoo! Lately I've noticed rustic brides and foodies alike opting for a stack cake look for wedding cakes, including cake-buffet cakes.

Stack cakes are a tradition in the southern mountains, and are generally made of six (or so) thin layers of apple spice cake stacked up like a big plate of pancakes. Dried apples are tucked between each layer, and some variations include using apple butter in between layers.

There are two stories I've seen floating around regarding the origins of the Appalachian stack cake. One is a play on impoverished hillbilly stereotypes. The story goes that Appalachian people were too poor to afford an entire wedding cake and each guest bring a single layer. Another is that the James Harrod brought the cake back from Kentucky via the Wilderness Road in 1774.

Whatever it's origins, modern brides and bakers are offering their own twist on this Appalachian classic, and I've loving every bit of it.

~Hindsight Bride

Image from The Kitchn 

 Left Image from OnceWed; Right Image from Catherine O'Brien via Love and Lavender 


Image from The Kitchn

Image from Smitten Kitchen

Image from Project Wedding

Image from The Kitchn

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wiggles,Giggles,Crys & Laughs:A Guide to Children & Your Big Day

Organizing a wedding party can sometimes be like organizing a heard of cattle! Jobs, family responsibilities, travel and simply life’s little bumps can all affect the schedules of the people in your party which, in turn, can ultimately affect the outcome of your rehearsal and even ceremony. Along with the wedding party, wedding guests are up against a myriad of challenges which can cause them to miss your Big Day or be forced to only attend the ceremony and not the reception or vice versa. Often times, a conflict which exists before the wedding, such as childcare issues, does not simply disappear before the Big Day. Perhaps your maid of honor just had a beautiful baby girl or your piano player has two rambunctious boys that must accompany her to your event. Children can be a welcome source of entertainment in any situation but can also be an unwelcome distraction in more serious moments. That beautiful baby girl just may decide it is time to eat during your vows and those boys will certainly not make it through all of Ava Maria in the church pew. Also, do not forget that your may have a precious flower girl or ring bearer of your own that may make it down the aisle but need something to look forward to at the reception. Let’s take a look at a few ways to accommodate both wedding party members and guests with children…

First, understand that children are a natural part of life! Although you may not have any of your own yet, remember that your family and friends may have been handling situations with their children for a while. Even though they may be accustomed to making arrangements for them during special events, nothing would make life easier than having a plan supplied for their family’s needs.

Have childcare on standby. Local drop-in childcare facilities, nanny organizations and even churches typically have plans in place for special event childcare. Arrange a special rate with the manager of a local center and be sure to mention it in an insert in your invitation, on your wedding website and by word of mouth. Parents can enjoy the event while knowing their children are safe and happy while paying a reduced rate.

Be prepared with a “quiet room” at your ceremony. Even the best behaved child can have an off day! Hiring a babysitter to be available at your ceremony can save you and parents from loads of stress. List the option in your ceremony program in such a way that parents feel this is a benefit to them (rather than a forced option) and be sure choose your sitter wisely so that parents and children feel secure.

Have fun options for children at your event. Why should only the adults have a great time? Choose an area of your reception and dub it the “Kid Zone” complete with smaller tables and chairs, coloring projects and a few toys. To make the area more cohesive with your event, color coordinate the children’s choices with your colors and theme. Just because the area is dedicated to children does not mean primary colors are a must! If there is available outdoor space consider renting a bounce house or a small petting zoo; white rabbits would be a wonderful addition to the scene and a fun distraction for the kids. Use your imagination to create options that are both fun for the little ones and appropriate for your event.

Have “child friendly” food available. Although your boss’ wife may swoon at the idea of Oysters Rockefeller, a child will more than like squish up their face and say, “Ew!” Ask your caterer to provide a few options for children such as chicken of some kind, fruit and cheese. One sure fire way to keep a child happy is to keep their bellies full so make preparations ahead of time to make this a non issue.

I have often said that having a wedding is really your opportunity to play the ultimate party host or hostess! Having options for guests of all ages is a great way to help insure a happy time for everyone. Remember, however, that even your best laid plans my not “go as planned” when it comes down to the wire. Babies may cry, little boys may wiggle and parents may not choose to utilize the options you have put in place. In those instances just take a deep breath, walk down that aisle and say to yourself, “Well, at least MY children will never act that way!”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Delayed or Post Reception

Post wedding receptions are becoming more and more common in our busy hectic world. There are many good reasons why a couple may want to get married now and celebrate later. From deployment, financial worries, illness, weather or simply a spontaneous elopement. Whatever the reason, the wording on your invitation is important in order to inform your guests that they will NOT be attending the actual ceremony and that can sometimes be tricky!

What you’re really doing here is announcing that you’re already married and you are now hosting a party. The first task, introduce yourselves as a married couple, then add the details of your celebration. To make it more personal you may want to incorporate your own verses. If you would like to hav eyour guests witness your vows consider a reaffirmation of your vows. You can do that at any time after your wedding. There is no need to hire a magistrate or clergy to do this as you are already officially married. Anyone can read your vows for you.

As far as timing, it is best to have your party or reception as soon after your wedding vows as possible but if for some reason it is long delayed you may want to consider hosting a 1st anniversary party. Such a party may be slightly more casual but could still include your reaffirmation as well.

Below are some examples we have compiled to get you thinking about how to compose your invitation. To get even more ideas talk to the stationer who will create your invitation. If you have an event planner assisting you he or she will no doubt also have lots of ideas on how to word your invitation and add creative elements to make it all your own!


We’ve Tied the Knot! 

Scott Casey and Angie Lawrence were married

Saturday, December 9, 2009.
Please join us as we celebrate on Friday, February 2nd 2010
At The Lake Delta Inn, 123 Karlen Rd
Anytown, Anywhere
At five o’clock in the evening


On Dec 9th at University Presbytarian Church
Scott and Angie became one heart.
Their love filled the house of worship like no others could.

Please join in celebrating their new start
By attending a dinner in their honor
At The Lake Delta Inn,
123 Karlen Rd Anytown, Anywhere
At five o’clock in the evening


Through the love that is in our hearts we,

Angie and Scott

will restate our wedding vows


Saturday, the 2nd of February

two-thousand and ten

at five-thirty in the afternoon

at the Lake Delta Inn

123 Karlen Rd

Anytown, Anywhere


They got their feet wet and played in the sand

And oh yes, they joined their hands!

Scott and Angie were wed Dec 9th on St.John’s Island.

In celebration of their marriage

On February 2nd at noon

Please attend a backyard barbeque at

The Lake Delta Inn, 123 Karlen Rd Anywtown, Anywhere


With a turn of the key and flip of their hair,

Angie and Scott threw caution in the air!

Join them in celebrating their December 9th elopement

By attending a brunch in their honor on

February 2nd at 10:00 in the morning

At The Lake Delta Inn, 123 Karlen Rd Anywtown, Anywhere


You are cordially invited to

the 1st anniversary celebration


Angie and Scott Casey February 2nd at 10:00 in the morning

At The Lake Delta Inn, 123 Karlen Rd Anywtown, Anywhere

If you’ve decided NOT to have a reception or party to celebrate your new beginning a simple "At Home" card will do, which simply announces that the two of you are married and, as the name suggests, that you're home. If you choose to send an “At Home” card, don’t forget to include your new names and address. Some couples also choose to add a personal note explaining why they eloped.

There is no reason why a delayed or post reception should be any different from a reception that immediately follows a wedding ceremony. The purpose is the same, to celebrate the union of a couple and the beginning of their new life together. Do you need the 3 + tiered cake or the big formal gown and tuxedo? No. As a matter of fact we would recommend general party attire and a less formal cake but it’s your party and your decision, the etiquette police will not come and take you way!

Finally, as far as who pays for what, it again, is no different than a traditional reception immediately following a ceremony. Today’s wedding receptions are hosted by the bride and groom themselves, their parents or any combination. It can be as small or as grand, as traditional or contemporary as the couple themselves. Embrace the moment that is yours with your closest friends and family and the new road ahead whatever it may bring.