mandag den 24. december 2018

6 Useful Tips To Cut Wedding Costs

Weddings are very nice occasions people want to attend to. 

But they can be time consuming and demand enormous attention on the part of the couple with lots of things to prepare for, in order for their wedding to be memorable. They can be very expensive, too. So how can you prepare for your wedding if you wan to save and are on a budget? Here are some tips.

1.Invitations. If you think that inviting people by giving them cards with fancy designs and made of expensive ink is still important to you, you may consider discarding that idea. You’re on a budget, right? Your main goal is to cut costs on things not that important to you. Besides, the people you’re inviting might just throw them away after reading it or when the wedding is over, so why bother? It could just waste your time and money. If you still insist on giving them invitations, then do it on a budget. You may go for DIY wedding cards instead. Or buy an inexpensive ink and cheap but lovely papers. You may also just send them an ecard, especially to people living out of the country. Or better yet, if you’re not thinking about formality, just call them.
2.Guests. The number of guests shouldn’t be too large if you want to cut wedding costs. Invite only your closest friends and family members. You’ll save on the food, too.
3.Photographer. No matter what the cost is, you’ll be able to find a professional wedding photographer. If you want your memories to last forever, then hire a professional who has the equipment and knows his craft. It’s a more preferable choice to a mere hobbyist who just might make mistakes. Remember, you’re paying for a service and you don’t want to risk on it. 
4.Cake. If you’re no the type who values the look of your wedding cake a lot, then don’t go for a tall, grand look that costs a lot. Have a small cakeshop do the job instead.
5.Musicians. Don’t go for a band if you can’t afford it. Hire a very talented small-time singer instead. Give her the piece or the songs she will sing in advance and make sure she’ll be able to carry them out really well.
6.Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. There are things that you want in your wedding that may not be within your budget. List those that are important to you in one group, then list those that are not in another. Learn to give value to those you believe will make your wedding memorable and discard the ones that are just frill to you, or go for a budget-friendly alternative. The key is to adjust with the budget you have.
A wedding is an important occasion to people who will spend their lives together, and it must be something that should be taken much time and preparation. Remember to save in advance if you want to have that special day a success to you both, and to people who will attend it.

Wedding Cake Design Through History

The design of the traditional wedding cake has varied greatly over time. 

Once a sign of fertility, the wedding cake of the Roman Empire was made of wheat or Barley. The small cake was then broken over the bride’s head, celebrating her fertility.
The design of the wedding cake changed and it became a tradition to pile several small cakes on top of each other. The bride and groom then tried kiss over the top of the cakes without knocking them down. A successful kiss was a good omen, bringing a lifetime of prosperity to the new couple.
The current traditional design of wedding cakes first appeared in the 1660’s. A French Chef visiting London attended a cake piling ceremony. He was shocked at the way the cakes were stacked on top of each other, and how often they fell over, so he created the tiered iced style of wedding cake we know today.
The wedding cake is more than just a desert at your reception. It is a symbol of good fortune and married bliss. Your guests always enjoy admiring the wedding cake and devouring the cake too. Even on a limited budget, you can present a beautiful wedding cake. Low cost options could include buying a stacked cake from your local bakery and dressing it up yourself. Ordering a cake from a pastry class at a culinary school could also be an option. There are also supermarkets and wholesale clubs that may offer bargain priced customized cakes.

More stories:

Wedding Cakes - Bakery Tips

Choosing wedding cake is not easy. 

Also, it is very important to know how to talk to the baker when ordering your cake.
That is why I decided to help you. 
Wedding cake bakeries will have a cake portfolio to look at and that will help you decide if they are able to make the cake you want. 
Have an idea of how many guests you will have at your reception, this will help determine the amount of wedding cake you will need or number of cupcake wedding cakes. The pastry chef/cake decorator may ask how many invitations are being sent to how many people and how many are from out of town or from more than a certain number of miles away. 
The pastry chef/cake decorator will use this information to calculate how many people will actually show up at the reception and how many of those will actually eat a piece or more of cake. 
By this time several people, such as the minister and caterer, will have asked for this information. They will have calculated and told you how many people they think will actually attend your wedding and reception. 
You will have been appalled at the low number they came up with. You know that everyone you invite is waiting breathlessly to attend your wedding and that only those who are ill or incapacitated or on Moon will pass up the chance to wish you well in person on your big day. When the baker comes up with a similar number, believe him because it’s true. 
Many people will simply forget and others can think of no way worse to spend a summer Saturday than at another wedding. That’s just the way it is. And you can believe it and save some money, or you can believe that everyone will come and then have to decide what to do with the leftover cake. 
Do whatever will do the most to put your mind at ease for the next six to eight months. Saving money by ordering only a sufficient amount of cake based on the years of experience of your baker is no good if you are going to fret over it and be nervous about it for more than half a year. 
Sleeping well, feeling good and setting your mind at ease before your big day is a lot more important than saving money and having no leftovers. You will have enough to go crazy with as your wedding approaches. 
When in wedding cake bakery, be clear about the date, time, and location of the wedding and receptions; set deadlines for changes to the cake design and size and for delivery; provide the address of and a map to the reception. 
Make sure that the cake can be delivered at a time convenient to you or whomever you will have to receive and inspect the cake. 
There should be a written contract with the wedding cake bakery to specify the size, shape, flavor, color, decorations, delivery day, delivery time, delivery place, and price of wedding cake. 
Such a contract, of course, does not need a special form or a lawyer to draw it up. It can be a simple list with this information. The list should be dated and signed by both the baker and you, and you should each have a copy. 
Many wedding cake bakeries have their own form for such orders because it is as important to them that you remember exactly what you asked for and don’t remember asking for something that you never mentioned as it is to you that they deliver what you did ask for. 
If they have their form, use it and add any items or information that you need to. Make sure you take a copy of their form. 
Bring swatches of material to match the cake to your wedding colors because colors in pictures are often slightly off and a picture’s colors can fade with time. (But again, don’t forget the picture of the wedding cake.) 
Below you will find list of questions you should ask the pastry chef, baker, or cake decorator at the wedding cake bakery. It is your special day you have every right to ask questions! 

Questions to ask at the bakery: 

(Suggestion: print these questions, you will certainly need them)! 
1. Can pastry chef/cake decorator create custom cake from your instructions and to look like your wedding-cake picture. 
2. What flavors of wedding cake and icing are available? Or if you already have an idea what you want, ask “Can you make a (type of cake) with (flavor of icing)?” 
3. Ask to sample some of the bakery’s cakes. If you don’t care for any of the cake samples offered by the bakery, ask for additional samples or as what other choices are available. 
Even if you have to order a small cake to try the baker’s version of what you want, it is a small price to pay for satisfaction. 
4. In case you want to use fresh flowers to decorate the wedding cake, ask if the bakery can provide them or if you or a florist must deliver them. 
5.Request to see pictures of wedding cakes from their photo gallery. Take a look at their album and see if you like the looks of the cakes. Ask how old the pictures are and if the person who baked and decorated these cakes is the same person who will create yours. 
6. Does the bakery, baker, pastry chef, or cake decorator has the required licenses and has passed health inspections. Licensing varies from state to state, but a bakery is probably required to be licensed as a retail food establishment or as a food preparer. 
The health department of the city, county, or state probably issues licenses. The baker, pastry chef, and decorator may also be required to be licensed or qualified as a food handler. 
You can go to most states’ web sites and find out just what licensing is required so that you know what to ask for. 
Most bakeries will gladly let you look at the kitchen to see where the cake will be mixed, baked, decorated, and stored; this is probably as satisfying as seeing the licenses. 
You should probably ask to take a peek at the kitchen after asking about the licenses. You can also ask to see the results of the latest health inspection. 
7. If you simply don’t like frozen food and don’t want it served at your wedding, ask if the wedding cake will be frozen. But understand that some people believe the taste of several cakes improves after freezing. 
8. Ask how long before the wedding date the cakes will be prepared and how they will be kept until time for delivery. If you think the time or the method of storage will result in the bridal cake not being as fresh as you want, express your feeling to the person you are talking with. 
He or she either will explain or demonstrate that this will not be a problem or will negotiate a shorter length of storage. She may let you sample some cake kept for that length of time. Some cakes keep well when frozen, and others do not. 
Pound cakes and some carrot cakes seem to improve with freezing. If you are not satisfied and cannot reach some agreement, you must use another bakery. 
9. To find how much time and attention will be spent on your cake, ask how many orders the bakery typically has for the weekend of your order and how many of those your pastry chef might be producing. 
A large volume can be an indication that not a lot of time and attention can be devoted to your cake. But a very busy bakery also indicates that many people like its products and trusts its work. Wedding cake bakery that no one likes will have plenty of time to dedicate to your cake, but that alone will not guarantee good results. 
Neither will a very busy bakery guarantee good results all the time. For one, you may need to check with them during the week of production to make sure that things are going well. 
For the other, you may want to check to make sure that your order has not somehow been overlooked among so many orders. In either case verify that your cake is in the process of being prepared. 
10. Ask if the decorator is experienced and good and if he or she decorated the cakes pictured in the bakery’s gallery. 
The point of such a question is to find out whether you will be getting the best the bakery has to offer and whether you will be served by the same personnel that did the work seen in the bakery’s photo album and for the references you will contact. 
You may be satisfied that all decoration is supervised by a master decorator with long experience and excellent references, even though the actual work may be done by one of several less experienced decorators. 
11. Ask to be introduced to each of the people who will bake, decorate, and deliver the cake. You may have questions you want to ask. If you do, ask them. 
For example, you might be concerned with the experience each one has. If so, you might ask how many cakes they have baked or decorated. I might be more concerned to simply ask whether they did the cakes in the bakery’s album of cakes. 
If you have no questions, ask to meet them anyway. Introduce yourself and try to make it easy for them to remember your name and your face. Show a great pleasure at meeting the people who have created the wonderful masterpieces that have come from this bakery and tell them that you look forward to having them create your wedding cake. 
What you are creating is a personal relationship with these artists at the wedding cake bakery. Like all workers and artists, these people like being appreciated and will do their best work for someone who has praised them and treats them as a master of their craft. 
This goes as well for the person taking your order, whether it is the owner, manager, or just the order taker. I suggest that you work to make as good an impression on them as you expect them to try to make on you. Dress well when you are shopping for a bakery. 
You don’t have to dress like you’re meeting the Queen or the First Lady, but don’t be dressing like you’re about to be hitting the bars with your friends on your bachelorette party–not unless you dress a lot better for that than most of the young women in my neighborhood. 
Please try to time your visits so that the bakery is not crowded with customers. This is particularly important in smaller bakeries. 
12.If you are concerned, ask whether the cake be made from scratch or from packaged mixes. Packaged mixes are so much more expensive that few busy bakeries would use them. And if they produce the wedding cake you want and it tastes good, do you care whether it’s from a mix or from scratch? 
13. Ask what the price will be. If the baker can give you an estimate but not the final cost, ask how much the final cost might vary from the estimate. 
If the baker says that they will charge by how long it takes because they charge by the hour, ask how many hours it will take and do the calculation yourself. 
Again, if it’s an estimate of hours, ask how far the hours might vary from that estimate. If you feel uncomfortable with the bakery’s commitment to giving you a number, maybe you should find another bakery. 
14. Ask for customer references so that you can talk to with them. Then actually contact them and ask about their experience with the bakery. 
While they were probably very pleased with the bakery (otherwise you’d think the bakery would not be giving them as a reference), they may give you some pointers about how best to deal with the bakery. 
15. Request a written proposal that includes the size of the cake, the flavor, the icing type and flavor, the description of the cake: Number of tiers or number of cupcakes or miniature cakes, decorations, the date and time the cake would be ready, whether it would be delivered and where and when, and the price. 
Some bakeries will put all of this in a proposal and some will commit to just the basic items. Press for commitment to everything that is important to you. 
I would suggest you to print this page and take it to the bakery!

Wedding Entertainment - Selecting A Quality Dj

Wedding Entertainment - selecting a Quality DJ

Months in advance of your wedding ceremony, comes hours and hours of planning - how many people to invite, what food items to provide, drinks, wedding flowers, and more. Finding a good, dependable DJ is usually not the first thing on your mind. However the entertainment for you party needs to be one of the most important things you plan for, for many reasons. Some suggestions we have in terms of finding good dependable music entertainment are:

1. Plan to meet the DJ in advance.

If your disc jockey turns out to be late, unprofessional, or comes unequipped for your meeting, you’ll have time to search for another. Finding a DJ who looks motivated to help make your ceremony and reception a huge success can do wonders for stress levels for both bride and groom.

2. Inquire about music tracks

This sounds simple, but ensure that the DJ has a wide range of songs to play for the celebration - everything from oldies to waltzes for the bride and groom, and additionally, some up-tempo, newer type music. Good DJ’s can sense the mood of the crowd at your event and ‘elevate’ the mood when the guests feel like dancing and ‘tone it down’ when people feel a need to relax. In addition, a professional DJ knows what to play in terms of requests, what will come across well and also, what type of music that wouldn’t be appreciated .

3. Get it in writing

As in any business transaction, a legal contract is mandatory. Ensure that you have in writing what will be provided and for how long. Be sure to include actual playing times, equipment that will be provided, number of breaks and attire. Also, it’s usually a good idea to have an overrun clause stipulated, just in case the wedding goes on longer than planned. If this happens, the overrun clause should address the extra pay for the additional entertainment.

4. References

This has already been mentioned, but it is most important so I’ll touch on it again. Find out what other married couples experiences were. If your choice of entertainment cannot provide a number of verifiable references, you may be well served to look elsewhere.

5. Make sure you have a backup plan

Having some type of backup entertainment plan is not always possible, but it is worth considering. This again is a “what if” scenario that could mean disaster on your wedding day. “What if,” even after all your preparation, the entertainment did not show up? At the very minimum, it would be prudent to have some form of music available at your request to fill the void in the worst case scenario. Alternately, there are those couples that feel that they should ‘let the chips fall where they may’ and leave things at that. 

6. Most of all, be prepared, but have fun

Plan all the details well in advance and ensure that you confirm everything a few days before the actual event. Good planning will ensure your special day will be one of the most memorable of your life for you and your partner.

Having Your Beautiful Wedding–without “busting” Your Budget.

He’s popped the question. And you said “Yes!”

He’s popped the question. And you said “Yes!” Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, one of the most anticipated and important days of your entire life. You want it to be a one-of-kind, Cinderella-like, unforgettable and memorable occasion for both you and your guests. So now the planning begins. With literally a thousand things to arrange before the big day, this is going to take some real decision making. Where do you start in planning for the “perfect” wedding? As with everything else that involves marriage, it is vitally important that you discuss the event with your future spouse. Communication between partners is absolutely vital for a strong and enduring marriage. It is important to get your life as a married couple off to a good start and talking with your partner about the upcoming wedding is an excellent place to begin. 
No doubt, weddings can be expensive. The average cost of a wedding today is near $25,000 and the wedding industry makes $25.3 billion a year. But your wedding need not bankrupt you or your parents in order for it to be as unique and special as you want it to be. With a little guidance, a few tips and some recommendations we can fulfill your fantasy wedding dreams without starting married life in serious financial difficulty.
First, talk to your partner about expectations. How do you see the wedding? Do you want a formal wedding in a grand cathedral or something more casual? Will it be a large wedding or a small, intimate ceremony with family and a few friends? Indoor ceremony or outdoors? Next, begin to budget for the items the two of you have agreed upon.
Determining when you get married can actually affect your wedding budget. According to, June, August and September are the most popular months for marriages. The more popular your wedding month, the less choice you’ll have about the date, the site, cake makers, flowers, photographers, etc. The most popular day of the week is Saturday, so you can save money by having your nuptials on Friday night or a Sunday.
To save additional money, up to $500 in most cases, you can print the invitations yourself; simply Google “wedding invitation template” and locate scores of sites with downloadable invitation styles. With the newer technology (copiers and printers) your personally crafted invitations will be as stylish as they come. 
The reception is where the wedding costs can truly get out of hand. Statistics show that an average of 189 guests attend a wedding. A large number. To limit expenses, try to keep your guest list to a minimum. You don’t need to invite every person you have met since high school. Instead of a three course meal, why not choose a hot and cold buffet. Instead of using an expensive hotel suite for the reception, why not consider having it at someone’s home, private club or even book a restaurant. Keep an open bar to a minimum.
Weddings can be expensive if you want them to be. However, there are many cost-cutting ideas that would allow you keep some money aside for a romantic honeymoon or a down payment on your new house. With a little imagination and some help from family and friends, you can have a luxurious wedding for much less money.

How To Have A Dream Wedding On A Budget

a wedding

No one wants to pay more than they have to for anything, especially something as costly as a wedding. And if you’re like me, and you had to foot your own bill, then you certainly want to keep costs down. I was afraid it couldn’t be done, especially since my husband and I live in one of the most expensive regions of the country. But my wedding is proof that it can be done, and here’s how:

Reception Venue

Look for non-profit organizations that host wedding receptions, since their rental fees are extremely reasonable. And many of them - the American Legion is one example - have gorgeous, well-maintained facilities. If you prefer an outdoor wedding, then skip the country club and go to a state or national park, where you can get beautiful landscapes at a fraction of the cost.


Many rental halls offer full-service catering, which includes linens and tableware, wait staff, all food prep and cleanup, etc. But unless you’re at a non-profit (which hopefully you are, if you followed step #1), then this can be extremely expensive. Try to find a smaller catering company that typically does at-home meal service, since they know how to do things on a budget. And they are sure to give you excellent customer service.


You must, must, must buy your own alcohol. If you purchase it through your rental hall at retail price, you will be paying through the nose. If you have followed step #1, then you have most likely found a place that will allow you to bring your own alcohol, or will give it to you at a non-profit price. This is the only way to go.

Flowers & Decorations

Eliminate additional expense by keeping everything simple. There really is no need to have little party favors at each table, since hardly anyone remembers or appreciates those items anyway. And go easy on the flowers - having a few simple arrangements strategically placed can be very sophisticated and elegant.


With the abundance of music available for (legal) download via the internet, it’s easier than ever to create your own CDs to play at the wedding. It’s great to have creative control over the music and it gives you and your future spouse a project you can work on together. A lot of rental halls will have equipment available for you to play your CDs, but you can also rent this equipment fairly inexpensively.


Save on invitations by only ordering paper invitations for family members. Everyone else, including your friends and extended family, can be invited via email. You may think it’s tacky, but it’s really the best way to get an accurate headcount. It’s much easier for people to respond to an email than to have to mail back a response via snail mail. But still use the paper invitations for your family, since this is the more traditional route. You can get very inexpensive invitations these days through various printing websites.
In addition to the recommendations I have listed above, there are many other little ways you can save. For example, going to discount bridal stores for your dress, getting a friend to make the wedding cake, etc. - but I have found that trying to micro-manage every little item on your checklist will make you crazy. So just keep it simple with the big items that I listed above, and you will have the ultimate dream wedding - a beautiful venue, excellent food, plenty of beverages, your favorite music, all on a budget!

How To Have A Fairytale Wedding On A Sensible Budget

get married

Congratulations! So now that you both have agreed to take the big step and get married - the excitement of a long and happy life together lays ahead for you both.
So now comes the fun of planning the wedding, the big day, the main event! The most important part of the planning is setting the wedding budget. Did you know the average wedding costs $19,000? So you need to set your budget carefully and stuck to it. If you overrun, even a little, it could cost you thousands of dollars. 
Set your budget very carefully - nobody wants to spend every last nickel they have on their wedding yet every couple dreams of the perfect wedding. Gone are the days of parents footing the bill for the wedding, in fact 4 out of 5 couples today pay for their own weddings. So that probably means you are
Fortunately there are many things you can do to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. But be prepared for the hard sell! Every vendor out there just loves it when a newly engaged girl walks into their store - they start seeing the dollar signs! Make sure you shop around and get at least 3 quotes for each service - you will be surprised how much they vary. 
Also do not be afraid to negotiate with the vendors. If you find a florist you just love but they are $1000 more expensive - then talk them. Maybe tell them you just adore their work but they are a little too expensive - ask them what they could do to make the price fit within your budget. 
Additionally be very careful when telling any vendor the budget you have for their service. Somehow all the photographers will quote you $1500 when you tell them your budget is $1500! Ask them their price first. If they try to tell you they have many packages ask them what their most popular price point is. It also doesn’t hurt to let it slip that you will be visiting some of their competitors as well!
Finally don’t forget this is supposed to be FUN! Your wedding day WILL be wonderful, sure there will be some hiccups, but trust me, in the end it will go off wonderfully if you just apply a little planning and commonsense.

Choose Your Wedding Cake To Suit Your Personality

The job of choosing the right wedding cake style is the responsibility of both the future bride and groom

The job of choosing the right wedding cake style is the responsibility of both the future bride and groom. The style of cake you’ll choose will largely depend on the wedding theme and the size of the wedding. You’ll want to be sure your cake is large enough for all attending guests to receive a piece. If you’re having a super large wedding you can always have two cakes. In fact, a new trend is for there to be a bride cake and a grooms cake. 
It can actually be quite a fun event where you can let a little bit of creativity flow. The solution to a “no stress” cake selection is simply knowing what you need and doing your research before hand. The information below will assist you in making sure you’ve got your icing covered!The wedding cake is usually cut into small slices, packaged and tied with a ribbon for your guests to take home. You can also serve your cake for dessert. A cake large enough to serve all your guests may cost more but by the same token you eliminate the cost of dessert from your catering budget. 

Choose a cake that you both enjoy. The size of the cake is directly related to the size of your wedding and your budget.

If your budget for your wedding is low or you just do not wish to pay very much for your cake. If your budget is small, check around with friends and family - there may be someone who has the expertise to do your wedding cake for a fraction of the cost. Friends, family, magazines, your local bakery, and the internet are all great places to get ideas about the types of cakes available. Or go crazy and get the cake you’ve always dreamed of having. 
Types of Wedding CakesThere are many types of wedding cakes you can choose for your wedding depending on your budget and size of your wedding. Here are just a choices Small or large round cake Small or large sheet cake Single level wedding cake Multi level wedding cake Themed wedding cake - for example for a beach wedding you might tie seashells into your cake, or have a sandy textured icing. Fresh flowers on your wedding cake  Icing flowers on your wedding cake Silk flowers on your wedding cake Match your cake with the colors of your wedding theme - the colors of the flowers or the color of your bridesmaid dresses are popular choices Traditional wedding cake is fruit cake with white icing 
 More traditional choices are chocolate or orange cake, sponge cake or carrot cake. To be able to keep the top layer of the cake it must be a fruit cake.Order your wedding cake 6 months to a year in advance. The month you are getting married in is important because the type of cake you choose may not work well with the season. For example, mouse in wedding cakes does not work well during the hot month of August. Winter wedding cakes have fewer restrictions.

Questions to ask your Bakery and or Baker

1) Are samples available to try before you buy? Just because a cake looks good doesn’t mean it will taste good, or not be as hard as a rock. Best to taste test so you’re not disappointed..
2) When is the last day I can make changes? By finding out when the last day you can make changes is, you will most likely be getting the answer as to when they will be starting your cake..
3) Do you deliver? Cakes do not ship well, so unless you’ve made arrangements for someone to pick your cake up and bring it to the reception, it is best if the bakery can deliver it.
4) How do you ship your wedding cakes? 80% of wedding cake damage occurs during shipping. Shipping is also your friend picking it up in their car. The cake needs to be packed properly to ensure it arrives at the reception intact.
5) Should something go wrong what is your back up plan? Many will say that they either have no plans or that nothing will go wrong. Not a good enough answer. When it’s the day before your wedding and something goes wrong it’s too late to come up with a backup plan.
6) How much would it be for regular cakes the same size as the wedding cake? This will determine if you are being gouged or not.As with all elements of your wedding planning and preparation are important. Decide the type of cake, get pricing, and order early. Then you can place another nice big fat checkmark on your “to do list”.

Lighting The Way When Two Become One

Whether you want to add a little extra romance

Whether you want to add a little extra romance to an evening reception or a little glow to your house of worship, candles are a natural, effortless addition to your wedding theme. You’ll have no trouble finding a role for candles at the wedding ceremony, at the reception, and even as part of the floral displays.

Unity Candles

Join the growing number of couples who include a unity candle as part of the wedding ceremony. Perhaps you think that unity candles are steeped in a rich history of religious tradition, or perhaps you think that unity candles are the invention of the candle makers to sell an extra candle or 10,000. Neither is the case. The exact evolution of the unity candle is uncertain, but since it began 30-40 years ago, it seems that we have that ever-lively 60s generation to thank for yet another custom that has wormed its way into modern life.
I’d like to propose my own idea of the unity candle’s origin-an unlikely science experiment. You can perform this experiment yourself. Light two tapered candles, or use whatever candles you have handy. Note the height and brilliance of each flame. Now, join the two flames together and look at the single flame. The united flame is taller, stronger and brighter than the sum of the two individual flames. Isn’t that what marriage is supposed to be-a single unit stronger than the sum of its parts?
The most traditional of the variations on the theme is the tall, thick white candle in the center of a candleholder surrounded on each side by a white taper. During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom light the center unity candle with the two tapers, creating the stronger flame as a symbol of the stronger unity gained through marriage.
Beyond the traditional unity ceremony, today’s weddings provide the opportunity for many variations, particularly second weddings that include children. If each partner has children, the children may light the unity candles. Sometimes, parents from each family light the unity candle. You’ll want to preserve the moment in a picture, because it’s unlikely you’ll find this level of cooperation again.
If you carry a hand-tied bouquet, incorporate a white taper into the bouquet, and carry the taper up the aisle. The groom can hold his taper until you reach the altar, when you each place your taper into the unity candleholder to accentuate the unity theme.
If your house of worship doesn’t allow unity ceremonies, conduct the ceremony at the reception right before the toast.

Candles for Your Wedding Decor

Consider candles an integral part of your floral displays to add warmth to a sterile reception hall environment. Select your candles first, and then select flowers to complement the candles. If you maintain the candle as the focal point, you’ll spend a lot less money on bridal flowers.
Place a single sculptured candle by the guest book, for example. Incorporate candles into your table displays at the reception. You can actually use candle displays in place of floral displays. Consider the idea of floating candle displays at the center of each table. They’re low enough to allow conversation without talking through flowers.
You’re not limited to white candles. Work the candles into your color scheme: silver and gold for holiday weddings. Nor do you have to limit yourself to unadorned candles. Ribbons add a nice accent to simple candles. Select elegant candles for a formal wedding and less formal sculpted, marbled, or otherwise embellished candles for less formal weddings.

Candles as Wedding Favors

Candles always make nice gifts, and you can capitalize on this by selecting a candle for your wedding favor. A small, beautifully wrapped candle makes a wedding favor that your guests will appreciate and display at home-something to remember your special day.
However you choose to add candles to your wedding, their warm flame will add to the ambiance of an already glowing moment.

How To Lower A Wedding Cake Price

Have you wondered why wedding cakes costs hit the roof?

Have you wondered why wedding cakes costs hit the roof? Why do they cost so much? You will be amazed to know that the prices could touch $15 per person or more? 
I recall how Mrs. Ingridman taught me invaluable lessons on how to lower a wedding cake price while still going for the classiest of cakes. After her successful wedding, she told me how she managed to treat her guests with a mouthwatering cake which was bought at reasonable price. 
She told me the reasons why most wedding cakes turn out to be expensive are because the cake pans used to bake them are expensive. I will list some of the ways by which you can lower a wedding cake price and choose the best cake for your wedding
1. Before you agree to give an order to the baker, make sure that the decoration and design is the right kind to suit your taste. Go through referrals and see what prices are being quoted. Look through the samples first before deciding on your cake. A supermarket could offer a wide range of cakes at a lesser cost than your bakery. 
2. Decide on how you want to decorate your wedding cake…whether you want to keep it simple and cute or splendid and rich. Avoid over decorating the cake. It is not necessary to have a five tiered cake. You can have your cake stacked if you want. 
3. Bakers who are not specially into wedding cakes could still bake the best cakes and cost less. Home bakers too do not charge much and could make lovely cakes. 
4. You can borrow the pillars. There are disposable pillars available with your local baker or rental companies which are a better alternative than those crystal pillars if you want to cut down on the cost of the pillars. Let the baker or your local rental company helps you with the disposable pillars instead of the crystal ones. 
5. Another great idea would be to find prices at a cake making or culinary school near your place. Students have baking and decorating cakes as part of their curriculum. You can be assured that you will get gorgeous cake and have your wedding cake made at a very low price. 
6. Investigate prices at a culinary school near you. If students are baking and decorating wedding cakes as part of their curriculum, the per person charge may be greatly reduced. 
7. You can even save on your wedding cake topper prices. In Mrs.Ingridman’s case her uncle asked her what she would like to have as a wedding present. Her quick answer was a wedding cake topper. Often relatives and well wishers would ask you to ask what you need as a gift. 
8. Another good thing which Miss. Ingridman did, which you may want to do, is that if you buy a multi-tiered cake, see that you decorate it yourself or have the florist do it for you. If you want flowers on your cake but the cost of the artificial flowers isn’t fitting in your budget, let your florist put real flowers on the cake. Just make sure that they are non toxic. Check the price of the organic
edible flowers. 
As Mrs. Ingridman put it, before you meet with any baker, look around for the best samples. 
Expect to pay per slice of the cake as the cake cost depends more on style than flavors. 
Before sign up with your baker, shop around or decide what is the topper you would like, what style you would want for you cake, what flavor is the taste of the season for you and how tiered it should be…but the most important see that your mouthwatering wedding cake comes at mouthwatering price. 
What is important to get what you want, at a price which does not tug at your purse strings.

A Beach Wedding Cake

Looking for a beach theme wedding cake? 

When it comes to wedding cakes, long gone are the days of
following tradition. Since you are considering a beach theme
wedding cake, you are obviously not a slave to those traditions.
So…let’s stray from the “norm” and be adventurous! 
One thing to remember…there are no rules! If there are…well,
rules are made to be broken. Your beach theme wedding cake can
be anything you want it to be! 

What Size? 

How many guests are you planning to have? If you have your cake made
professionally it can range in price anywhere from $2.00 to $15.00
per slice. A “slice” is normally considered to be 2 ounces or,
approximately 4″ x 2″. The range in price will depend on how much
intricate detail you want on it. If the cake you choose is very
labor intensive, you can expect higher prices. If you are on a
tight budget, keep it simple! 

What Shape? 

A beach theme wedding cake can be any size, shape or description.
Be creative. If you have an idea for your cake, sketch it out on
paper and take it to that talented friend, relative or your chosen
bakery. If you can imagine it, someone can make it! 
Do not limit your thinking to a two or three tier cake. It can be
round, square, a sheet cake, a sculpted cake, individual mini cakes,
cupcakes or even cookies! Some brides even choose a one or two layer,
individual wedding cake on each guest table rather than the traditional
large cake at the head table. This is a nice idea because it also serves
as the table centerpiece. This eliminates the added expense associated
with having a wedding centerpiece at each table! 

A couple of things to keep in mind though… 

* Since your reception may be on the beach, consider the sun! If you
are having a dawn or dusk ceremony, heat from the sun will probably
not be a major factor. However, if you are having your wedding midday,
consider an “ornamental” cake. By that I mean, not edible with the
exception of perhaps the bottom layer if you and the groom plan to cut
it. You don’t want your creation to melt! 
* Consider draping your cake in a decorative manner with tulle to keep
the bugs and sand out of it. It would be beautiful yet practical. 
* Purchase decorative, individual cake boxes. Fill them and perhaps tie
your wedding program or thank you to them with ribbon. Keep them in a
cooler until time to pass them out to your guests. They will serve as
your wedding favor, killing two birds with one stone! 
* Make your own beach theme wedding cake! Look inside the next “Duncan
Hines” cake mix you buy. The instruction for making baking tiered cakes
are printed on the inside of the box! You can do it. If you can’t,
I’ll bet you know a friend who could! In EVERY town there is a friend
or a “friend of a friend” who makes beautiful wedding cakes. It’s a
hobby for them. They love doing it! Of course they still want to be
paid, but not the ridiculous prices that a professional will charge
you. So…go… find that friend!

How To Plan A Cheap Wedding

There’s no doubt about it, weddings can be expensive

There’s no doubt about it, weddings can be expensive. The average cost of a wedding today is $20,000 - $25,000, and weddings are estimated to be a $25.3 billion industry. But don’t worry if your budget cannot stretch for the most expensive custom-made gown, elegant invitation cards, or the top photographer, it doesn’t mean that your wedding will be any less unique or special than anyone else’s. 
You just need a bit of guidance and a few tips to help you achieve the dream of your big day. Here are a few suggestions with tips on how to save on some of the more expensive aspects of a wedding.

Wedding Gowns 

Do you really need a hand-made wedding dress with beads and diamantes? This is where the big cost is and there are several options in cutting the cost. Why not opt for a second-hand wedding dress? It’s probably only been worn once anyway and you can get a once expensive dress for half the price. Consider buying an evening gown/cocktail dress from a department store or look into renting your wedding dress for the day. 

The Reception 

This is where the cost of a wedding can get out of hand. The wedding reception is normally the biggest expense, but one of the easiest to cut down on costs. Statistics show that an average of 189 guests attend a wedding, this is a lot. Try and keep your guest list to a minimum, do you really need to invite family members who you have never seen for years? Instead of a three-course meal why not opt for a hot and cold buffet (even cater for yourself)? Instead of holding the reception in an expensive hotel suite or wedding reception, why not consider having it at someone’s home or a club, or even book a restaurant. Keep an open bar to a minimal and only serve beer, wine and soft drinks. 


The obvious choice is to shop around for the best rates, but consider hiring a photographer for the ceremony only and ask a family member or friend to take snap photos of the reception. Or you could go one step further and ask them to take the photographs for the whole day and not bother with the expense of a photographer at all. 

Invitations / Stationery 

If you’re on a budget and looking for cheaper wedding stationery items, then you might like to consider print-at-home There are many online stationer’s that will offer this service free of charge. You pay for the paper and envelopes, then use their software to print directly from your own PC. With sophisticated customization tools you’ll be able to enter your own text and preview it before you print so as not to make any costly mistakes. Alternatively, you can buy software and do-it-yourself from your PC. 


Flowers can be another great expense, but also an unnecessary one. Why not buy wholesale flowers, or pick flowers from your garden (or a friends or relatives). Buy plain gold or white gold wedding bands as these are the cheapest. Get a friend to make your wedding cake for you and opt for a smaller tier cake and it doesn’t have to be a fruit cake - try a sponge, chocolate or carrot cake! Make your favors and center-peices yourself. Accessories for these can be found at little outlet stores or online. Lastly, instead of a limousine why not rent a car or borrow a luxury car from a friend or relative? 


Weddings are expensive if you want them to be. But if you want to keep money aside for a deposit on a house or a honeymoon to remember, then there are many cost cutting ideas. All you need is a little imagination, and some help from friends and family and you too can have a luxury wedding with all the trimmings.

Magic Details Distinguish A Designer’s Wedding

Planning a wedding is all about details

It all started when I took a job that would move me to Chicago. I was about to embark on a new adventure with a new position. I did not know that this would lead me to a new romance, foreign lands I never traveled to before and into a life filled with challenges, laughter, love and, yes, more wallpaper. I was nicknamed the Queen of Wallpaper by my peers. By now you have probably guessed I am a designer, a designer of wallpaper and fabrics. 
Planning a wedding is all about details. I wanted to create surroundings that would make our wedding distinctly ours and rich with references that we and family and friends would recall with fondness for the rest of our lives. 
Who knew that my passion for wallpaper would become a focal point in planning my own wedding? Pattern became my magic ingredient. Probably because of my English heritage, I selected a beautiful rose floral wallpaper and matching fabric I designed to be the central theme. 
It became very important to me to include color and pattern on my dress. I had the rose pattern custom-replicated in beading on my waistband and train to make it truly unique. 
With the rose pattern as a central focus, here are some of the unique decorative elements I tied together around this theme: 
* The invitations were custom designed with the rose floral, mixed with vellum and satin ribbons, tucked beautifully inside sage translucent envelopes that allowed the pattern to show through. 
* Upon arrival, guests were greeted with custom tote bags, made of the rose fabric and lined with a lattice fabric from Sarong, a Jaima Brown Home signature collection. A string of beads embellished each bag, and all of them contained a sample of local goodies along with literature about features of interest in beautiful Door County. A vase of barely opening fresh roses was also set in each guest room along with our note thanking friends for coming to help us celebrate. For children, there was a special candy bag made of clear cellophane lined with wallpaper that coordinated with the rose. We mixed shredded wallpaper in with the candies. 
* For an evening dinner cruise the night before the wedding, we banded straw bowler hats with the companion rose wallpaper border. It set just the right tone for an evening of fun and dancing to a local Dixieland band. 
* Rice is outdated, and bubbles are messy. As our guests left the church, each was given a cone, made of the now-familiar coordinating mini rose wallpaper with a sheer ribbon bow, filled with pink and white rose petals, which they showered on us with joyful abandon. 
* For the reception, a once-ordinary white tent was transformed into a profusion of pattern and color. Abundant swags of a lattice design fabric, the same one that lined the custom tote bags, covered and disguised each tent pole. It is from Sarong, the newest of my signature Jaima Brown Home collection. Long folds of the floral rose fabric stretched overhead, from the edges of the tent into the center. The edge itself was surrounded in the coordinating rose wallpaper border. These finishing details created a beautifully decorated environment to rival any hotel ballroom. 
* To create a distinctive twist for showing guests where they’d be seated, we covered an ordinary room screen with a coordinating subtle damask wallpaper pattern. Sheer sage ribbon was stretched horizontally across the screen which held the custom rose place cards. To the surprise and delight of many guests, we attached informal snapshots interspersed with the name cards. These snapshots turned out to be great conversation starters. 
* A custom scrapbook was created from scraps of all the wallpapers and ribbons we used throughout. It doubled as a guest book –a great keepsake of memories and good times shared. 
* The tables themselves were layered in custom rose fabric tablecloths topped with a coordinating wide-checked fabric. Two lengths of the die-cut rose border ran back to back along the center of the table. At each place setting was a small, wallpaper-wrapped package containing a CD of our favorite songs. Naturally, the original CD cover was replaced with a square of the rose floral, printed with our names and the date. 
We re-used the tablecloths the following day on the deck of our country house where everyone gathered for a long, leisurely brunch. Later, we gave the tablecloths to bridesmaids, ushers and other special guests — another thank you to them and a remembrance of the occasion we all shared. It was our way of lavishing them with the same good wishes 
A wedding is the world’s most joyous celebration of romance. It is, at the same time, public and intimate. Therefore, all the decorative objects that surround such an occasion should reflect both the bride’s and groom’s own taste and style. Be inspired. Browse through S.A. Maxwell’s wallpaper and fabric collections to create your own signature wedding.

Six Ways To Decorate Your Wedding Arch

Sometimes a wedding arch is a no-brainer

Sometimes a wedding arch is a no-brainer way to spruce up your ceremony site. No-brainer, at least, until you actually have one in your hands and ready to decorate. Then it gets a little more complicated.
Thinking back to prom, you might recall something vaguely gauzy, but that doesn’t give you much to go on when you have that bare-looking eight foot metal structure in your living room. Plus, maybe you want an arch that doesn’t look like prom at all — and personalization is what’s going to make your wedding tick. Here are some ways to give that arch a touch of your wedding’s unique flavor.
The Balloon Arch: Don’t forget this dramatic, pearly alternative to the wood or metal arch. A determined bride (or family member) can definitely do this herself; helium isn’t even required if you use PVC or can suspend microfilament from the ceiling. Just keep in mind it’s best to build the arch the day of the wedding, and essential to build it within hours of the ceremony if you use helium-filled balloons.
The Classic Arch: Soften the hard bones of your arch by draping it in gauzy base material (tulle, organza) and silk garlands of ivy (or real grape vines).
Now accent with a large silk bow, a pomander ball or “kissing ball” — which you can make yourself if you’re willing to use silk roses — or a traditional grouping of flowers at the top.
Or for a little more oomph, use the rule of three: one flower arrangement for the top, and at least one at each base. DIY-ers are probably best off sticking to silk, or at least using potted flowers at the base.
The Gothic Arch: Use a simple black arch that rises to a dramatic point and leave the lines clean and unadorned — or attach dried curly willow for a downright spooky touch. Hang an enormous floral kissing ball from the apex.
The All-Floral Arch: Dripping from top to toe in greenery and roses, the all-floral arch is the kind of formal living sculpture seen in cavernous churches. The greens and blooms in this arch seem to float on air, with the flowers appearing immensely heavy (they are) and the arch insubstantial. The all-floral arch is definitely a job for the pro — grand and expensive.
The Woodsy Arch: Add some unexpected texture by strapping young apple or willow branches to the sides of your arch. Or instead of a fabric or ivy base, attach garlands of ferns.
The Tropical Palm Arch: Dressed entirely in palm tree fronds, the tropical arch creates a sharp, dramatic and slightly masculine silhouette. This simple but striking approach is perfect for the handy DIYer.

How To Significantly Lower Your Wedding Flower Costs

When planning a wedding

When planning a wedding, it is vital to keep in mind that approximately 5-10% of the budget may be consumed by floral costs. Whether your budget is $5000 or $15,000, this percentage is a significant amount considering all of the other things that are battling over your hard earned dollars (or, your parents’ hard earned dollars!) Although the thought of spending so much on an element of your wedding that may not last past the day itself may depress you, flowers add the power of elegance and richness to your event. 
“So, what do I do?” is a question that I have been asked. The answer is quite simple; you must find ways to cuts costs and maintain the same desired effect. What most do not find simple is discovering ways to cut the costs. Well, here are a few tried and true ways that will allow you to incorporate one of nature’s most glorious creations without breaking the bank. 
1) One word…SILK! Silk flowers today appear to be so life-like, that I have actually had to touch and smell a bouquet just to be sure! They come is huge variations of blooms and colors. You are most certain to find silk flowers in exactly the same bloom and color you desire for actual flowers at a fraction of the costs. 
2) Purchase flowers that are in season at the time of your wedding. The prices and choices available may vary across the country, but, the guide below is general and may apply in most states. 

Summer Blooms

Straw Flowers

Winter Blooms


Fall Blooms

Orange Blossoms

Spring/Summer Blooms

Calla Lilies
Lily of the Valley

Annual Blooms

Baby’s Breath
Gerbera Daisies

Spring Blooms

3) Use decorations that do not require flowers. With a little bit of creativity and compromising, you can create gorgeous centerpieces that are not floral at all. Candles have made some of the best centerpieces I have seen yet. One idea is to place pillar candles in hurricane lamps of varying sizes and place tulle and glitter/confetti around the setting. Candles can create a romantic ambience and will cast a warm, peachy glow on the smiling faces of your guests!