Too Delicious to Choose: Cupcakes or Cake

Sometimes, weddings can have a certain element of pressure. Kind of like peer-pressure. Everyone you know has a wedding cake and does the “typical cake cutting” cheesy photo op. What if you and your partner aren’t the biggest fans of cake? What do you do then? Do you suck it up and have a cake because everyone else did, OR do you do something different that really speaks to you and your fiancé? 
Cakes come in all shapes and sizes. There are two types of “average wedding cakes” these days. The first is the typical 3 tier vanilla frosting with some type of butter cream filling. The second is a single tier, much smaller cake simply used for the ceremonial cake cutting. Deciding on the decorations of the cake can become a sugary nightmare! Maybe you don’t like frosting and want to mix things up a bit. Be true to yourself and the rest will follow. 

 Photo By: Crane's Photography
Photo By: Crane’s Photography

We all know that cake is good, but there’s sometimes a stereotype of wedding cake being dry and covered in too much frosting or fondant. Instead of serving pieces of cake to your guests, let them serve themselves! Give them a variety of cupcakes that were picked out by you and your partner! This way your guests can have options.

 Photo Credit:  Cupcakes 101
Photo Credit: Cupcakes 101

When it comes to cupcakes the sky is the limit! You can mix and match flavors, get creative with the cupcake liners, and even choose a simple design for the top! Just like having signature drinks you could have signature cupcakes for your guests. Your partner may like red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting while you like chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.

 Photo Credit: Crane's Photography
Photo Credit: Crane’s Photography

Having a simple cake as well as cupcakes keeps the tradition of cutting the cake a part of the reception. This way you are allowing yourself and your partner the joy of still getting to cut the cake together. Always keep in mind, however, that cupcakes can be smashed in your face just like a piece of cake can!

 Venue: The Haight
Venue: The Haight

Supporting Your Spouse

This past week, Adrian and I celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary! I can not believe how fast time flies! The thing with getting married, is life keeps moving after the wedding day. A marriage is simply not one day, it is a lifetime of constantly choosing that person. Every day, we choose to make it work and we choose to laugh. We also choose to cry and support each other when times are not easy. Choice, that is the thing that makes it all work. 

 Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co
Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co

Today, in this next phase of life, I am choosing to celebrate with Adrian while he is in Dallas getting a promotion for work! He has worked many long years in aviation and he is finally getting a well deserved transfer to international flying at American Airlines! We have been very lucky and blessed in our lives. It is important to realize the good things that happen in life and being able to work through the tough parts. 

Supporting your spouse does not mean that you obsess over every move they make, every meal they eat and how much sleep they get. Sometimes supporting your spouse means trying not to smother them in their sleep when they are snoring loud enough to wake the dead (not that I have ever contemplated this)! Supporting, means allowing them to be their own person while working together on shared goals and passions. When two become one, you do not stop living your individual life. You now simply have a 24/7 cheerleader and support system. You do not have to face the world alone.  

 Seriously, I have to deal with this on a daily basis! Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography
Seriously, I have to deal with this on a daily basis! Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography
 Finally, a semi-decent photo of us! LOL Thanks @Beingjoyphotography!
Finally, a semi-decent photo of us! LOL Thanks @Beingjoyphotography!

Everyday, we try and be a better version of who we were yesterday. Some days we fall short and other days we thrive. Having the desire to make it work and stick it through NO MATTER WHAT has served us well these past 4 years. I can not wait to see what the next 70 years has in store. 

In what ways do you support your spouse? I would love to hear in the comments below! 


Vendor Spotlight in the Images Above:
Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Videography: NightOwls Media
Photography: Authentic Adventure Co
Hair & Makeup: Tamara Hair and Makeup Artistry


For the full feature of a Wedding Planner’s wedding, click HERE!

Party On, Folks!

Are you looking to provide your guests with a late night snack? This trendy food option provides your guests even more delicious (though, much more casual food) later in the evening. This food, helps soak up some of the alcohol and keep the dancing going full steam ahead! Here are 8 fun, creative and tried & true options!

Chicken & Waffles: A little bit savory, a little bit sweet. This is becoming quite the crowd favorite! If the idea of mixing chicken and waffles doesn’t make your mouth water, you could do a full size chicken tender with different dipping sauces. Think Ranch, BBQ, Honey, etc. 

 Credit and Original Recipe, click  HERE
Credit and Original Recipe, click HERE

Nacho and Salsa Bar: I think that Mexican is by far one of my all time favorites. Every time I get to eat nachos is a really good day. Having a build your own nacho bar at a wedding makes a fun, interactive activity for your guests to enjoy. Having a variety of toppings makes sure that everyone is a happy camper! Ole! 

 Photo Credit Click  HERE
Photo Credit Click HERE

Did I mention how much I love Mexican? Having food trucks can be a huge wow factor at your wedding. Logistically, it needs to be thought through. If you are getting married on the rooftop of the swankiest hotel, it might not make much sense to have a food truck sit on the street. Your guests will have to leave the venue, head down the elevator and hang out with locals on the street also indulging in your *free to them* tacos. If the venue can accommodate a food truck, I say go for it! 

 Photo Credit:  Salt & Pine  
Photo Credit: Salt & Pine  

Ice Cream Cart: Basically, everything is better with Ice Cream. I may be a little biased (my parents own an ice cream store) but nevertheless, ice cream is filled with happy memories. Why not bring those happy times to your wedding…an already SUPER HAPPY event! You could do ice cream sundaes, ice cream bars or have a cart ready to scoop out your favorite flavor. 

 One really great local option is  Cooks Ice Cream  in Elgin, Illinois 
One really great local option is Cooks Ice Cream in Elgin, Illinois 

S’mores Bar: Give me s’more love! Who doesn’t love a good, hot gooey s’more?!? No one I know! Create a fun, interactive childhood favorite for a late night snack at your next wedding or event! 

 Photo Credit and Original Story  HERE
Photo Credit and Original Story HERE

Bacon Bar: Some people believe BACON IS LIFE…and I would not disagree. This yummy breakfast staple is good any time of the day or night. Bacon dipped in peanut butter and chocolate takes the tasty treat to a whole new level. 

 Photo Credit:  Authentic Adventure Co
Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co

Pizza: Late Night Pizza…enough said. Gosh, I am getting hungry!

 Photo Credit and Original Story  HERE
Photo Credit and Original Story HERE

Donut Wall: This trend can stay around forEVAAA if you ask me. 

 Photo Credit and Original Source  HERE
Photo Credit and Original Source HERE

I’m not sure about you, but I am super hungry right now…I better go eat a salad from indulging in all of these delicious (but not so healthy) options! 😉 If you have a unique and creative late night snack idea, send it my way! 

Top 5 Wedding Speech Mistakes

We have all been to a wedding where the best man had one to many cocktails prior to giving his speech. While it is really awkward for the guests, it is even more uncomfortable for the bride and groom. Relinquishing the mic at a wedding is a big deal! You have no control over what anyone will say, do or even…sing when they have a mic in their hand. Having helped over 250 brides and grooms, I have witnessed just about every kind of speech imaginable.  Here are my top 5 things to NEVER do while giving a toast.

1. Don’t start with “For those of you who don’t know me, my name is…” No, there is a good chance that half of the room has no idea who you are, but by announcing that, it just makes an awkward and very overused opening line. Instead, simply begin by saying, “Good evening, my name is (Insert Name Here) and I am so happy to have been given the honor of saying a few words”. Then, say a few words. Keep it short!

2. Don’t tell inside jokes that only you and the Bride or Groom will find funny. These inside jokes are completely lost on all of the guests and looking back at it, it probably wasn’t even that funny of a joke. No one really cares about that one time you and the bride did something in your dorm room. Save those memories and stories for girls night. Instead, mention how incredibly brave or sweet the bride was during (insert situation) and how you know that she will treat her partner the same way in life.

3. Don’t talk about past relationships or lovers. It is really awkward and why would we talk about bad things at a happy event. The only reason I could POSSIBLE see to EVER mention an ex would be if the new bride or groom saved the life of the other party when they were still with the other person and that is how they met and fell in love. Even then,  it would still probably not be a good thing to mention. Don’t mention their name, simply express how happy you are the the happy couple found each other.

4. Don’t talk about how many people the bride or groom has slept with. No. Just no. I once had a mother of the bride get up and say how she is sure glad her daughter was hooking up with the groom instead of all of the other boys she hooked up with.

5. Don’t immediately start talking about wanting or making babies. We get it. Babies come from two people who engage in certain activities. We do not need graphic encouragement nor is it appropriate to discuss in front of a hundred people.

What can you talk about?

  1. How long you have known the bride or groom. How you are associated with them.

  2. Share a sweet story of the bride or groom as a child or of them as an adult.

  3. Wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and happiness, then pass the mic on to someone else!

Need a Bridesmaid Gift? Look No Further!

Are you struggling to find something to gift to your bridesmaids? If so, keep reading!

 Photo Credit: Dave Pavlina Hair and Makeup: Gold Plaited 
Photo Credit: Dave Pavlina Hair and Makeup: Gold Plaited 

If you have been a reader for a while, you might remember that a few weeks ago, I was sent a groomsmen gift to review. The gift was completely free and I was only responsible for providing my honest feedback. If you missed the review of gifts for guys, you can click here. After I wrote my review for the Bleacher Buddy, Joe asked if I wanted to test out some gifts for the ladies. Of course, I would be interested! Did I mention, I love getting free swag?!?  I reviewed the website Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique and selected my item to review. Below are my honest thoughts for purchasing gifts for your best girlfriends from Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique.

Here are my thoughts:
 

Website: Very easy to navigate, constantly making updates and adding additional products to their site. Their products range in price from $11 to $285. Personalization is key with this company as your can put a name, monogram or face on pretty much anything they sell. Their selection of gifts at this point is not vastly different from other companies, but make it easy to select gifts that can be personalized. In conjunction with Groovy Guy Gifts you can find something for just about everyone in your bridal party.

Shipping: They have the standard 8-12 business day shipping but also provide expedited shipping (5 business days) for those couples who forgot that they need to get something sooner. These types of purchases can slip by without even thinking about it! Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique is currently running a sale for FREE personalization and FREE shipping on orders over $75. If you have a medium to large party, this will not be difficult as items can add up quickly. I love taking advantage of sales whenever possible!

Product: I selected the Timeless Collection Floral Kimono! The site offers several types of floral robes, but something about the navy option really spoke to me. I also know that robes are STILL a very popular bridesmaid gift. For me personally, when I get gifts like these at weddings, I am not a *huge* fan of personalization…some of your friends might be single or in the process of changing their name. A lot of people love doing this, so just take my opinion as that, opinion. You can also of course order the gift without personalization. I wanted to get the full experience, so I got my first name embroidered. 

 

When I ordered the item, I requested a navy robe with a navy inscription of my first name. I received a navy robe with my name embroidered in pink. I reached out to the company and they noted the error. They are in the process of shipping me out a corrected robe. I understand mistakes happen and we are all human. Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique gets bonus points for owning the error and immediately setting into motion the solution. *Another reason to not wait when you are getting gifts personalized.

Packaging: The box came very quickly! I was quite surprised. It was wrapped up in a nice gift bag. I rank the packaging a 10!
 

Review of Product: The Timeless Collection Floral Kimono in Navy is in general a good quality robe. The colors are vibrant and the garment is professionally sewn. Despite the embroidery color issue, they embroidered my name nicely and is of  good size. The robe fits well and states that it will fit most people. Even if you can not tie the robe, keeping it open will still be a nice option.

Overall Ranking out of 10: I rank this item and the website an 8.5 out of 10. Overall, great packaging, great design and excellent customer service from Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique. I did remove 1 star because of the unfortunate error in the color of my name. I am also removing a half star due to the common items on their site. I have been surprised at the improvements to the site since I last visited and look forward to seeing a wider selection of unique bridesmaid gifts. It is a brand new site, so in time, they will have as a unique selection as the Groovy Guy Gifts. I will add one star back once the corrected robe gets delivered! In general, a good way to buy gifts for anyone in your bridal party. I look forward to seeing where they take gift giving in the future.

If you know of other great gift ideas for the ladies in your life, send me a message and I will get the item and write a review of it for you! 

 

Finger Lickin’ Good Wedding Dessert Trends

Gone are the days of traditional weddings! One of the wedding traditions that I have seen begin to change in Chicago are wedding desserts. People are no longer looking to spend thousands of dollars on multi-tier vanilla wedding cakes to feed the masses.  People are getting much more intune with their personality, their tastes, budget and vision. Let’s cheers to these new and yummy dessert trends! I claim that these are “finger lickin’ good!”

TOP 7 WEDDING/EVENT DESSERT TRENDS: (in no particular order)  S’mores Bar, Bacon Bar, Build your own Cupcakes, Donut Wall, Pie Bar, Ice Cream Bar & Naked Cake. I am sensing a trend…just put “bar” after it and it becomes a wedding dessert trend! 

 This was my wedding cake back in 2014...while it is still personally my favorite (insert bias here) people are trending away from this look. Photo cred: Jazi Photo 
This was my wedding cake back in 2014…while it is still personally my favorite (insert bias here) people are trending away from this look. Photo cred: Jazi Photo 
 Private Residence: S'mores Bar 
Private Residence: S’mores Bar 
 Bacon Bar: who doesn't LOVE B.A.C.O.N and all of the warm, ooey, gooey toppings to put on it! Photo Cred: Jazi Photo
Bacon Bar: who doesn’t LOVE B.A.C.O.N and all of the warm, ooey, gooey toppings to put on it! Photo Cred: Jazi Photo
 I met Courtney from  A Dash of Joy  almost a year ago. She came up with a very unique custom dessert bar concept that has taken over Chicagoland! Check her out! 
I met Courtney from A Dash of Joy almost a year ago. She came up with a very unique custom dessert bar concept that has taken over Chicagoland! Check her out! 
 Walls like this can easily be created, but this is from  Johnny Doughnuts
Walls like this can easily be created, but this is from Johnny Doughnuts
 How cute is this mini pie display? Credit  here
How cute is this mini pie display? Credit here
 Cook's Ice Cream
Cook’s Ice Cream” Cart & Concessions is a mobile event company providing premium hard-scooped ice cream, floats, and other treats for private events. Click HERE for more info
 Naked cakes have been around for awhile now, but this is a huge departure! Get creative with your naked cake!  I LOVE turtle anything...but this cake!  Photo Cred:  Stephen Kent Johnson
Naked cakes have been around for awhile now, but this is a huge departure! Get creative with your naked cake!  I LOVE turtle anything…but this cake!  Photo Cred: Stephen Kent Johnson

Thanks for following along with my top wedding dessert trends. Don’t mind me while I run to the nearest bakery and order one of everything!