Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They're BIG and They're FAKE!

Wedding styles and trends come and go, and are always evolving. Something that has surely changed is the WEDDING CAKE. Brides have said "goodbye" to the traditional white butter cream frosted cake and "hello" to something BIG and FABULOUS. Wedding cakes are now becoming more of a focal point of the "big day". The bigger, the better!

With bigger and better cakes, comes a bigger price tag. Many brides want the towering cake that probably feeds 500 people, when in fact their guest count is only 180. In reality, who would want to spend an extra thousand dollars for cake that no one will eat? Not me! That's why bakeries and brides alike have gotten creative and have designed a great trick to get the look of the cake you want without breaking the bank! GO FAKE!

Many bakeries now offer "dummy layers" for your wedding cake. For example, say you want a 6 tier cake and your guest count is 150. Obviously, you will not need 6 layers for 150 people, so the baker will offer to incorporate fake layers into your cake to give you the height and look that you want. The fake layers usually consist of Styrofoam and are decorated exactly like the rest of the cake. I guarantee, your guests will not know the difference!

Another option is to go completely fake. I'm currently working with a bride who is on a tight budget. She would LOVE to have the towering decorative fondant cake, but it's just not an option. We have opted to create a tall, luxurious, fake wedding cake! The bottom layer will be real so that she will be able to cut the cake with her husband and as for the guests, we will have multiple sheet cakes that the kitchen staff will cut and serve to guests.

There are many sites that sell or rent fake wedding cakes, or kits that you can make them yourself. If you decide to contract a bakery to make your fake wedding cake, you will more than likely have to purchase your sheet cakes from them in return. Be sure to check with them before signing a contract.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Recently I had a talk with some of my favorite girls about wedding traditions they are happy to see go and ones they hope never leave. Many are happy to see that the once traditional "bridal party table" is now becoming a thing of the past, and I couldn't agree more. We opted for the sweetheart table, that way my hubby and I had our own personal time together and our bridal party could sit with their family or date for the evening. Another option is for the bride and groom to sit at a table with their parents and close relatives (I suggest this only if you get along with the in-laws).

Another tradition mentioned was the good old bouquet and garter toss. We all know that the person who catches the bouquet or garter will be the next to marry, but why do we really do it? TRADITION! I think years ago people actually believed in the tradition, also it was viewed as a way to get guests involved and also created great photo/video memories, and now it's become a staple in almost every wedding, almost like an obligation. Over the past few years I've noticed the lack of enthusiasm by the single guests to participate in the garter/bouquet toss. I recently attended a wedding where it took the DJ a good 10 minutes to get people on the dance floor for this "fun" tradition. I'm not saying that it's an outdated tradition that must be banned, but don't feel like you have to do it... I really don't think your guests will mind

I personally love (and my girls agree with me) the special dance that the bride and groom have with the significant person in their life. I had to be such an attention whore and have two dances, one with my father, and the other with my twin brother. It's not only the intimate dance that you get to have with that special person, but the thought you get to put behind the song that you choose. I chose the traditional "daddy's little girl" for my dance with my father, and "Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong) for my dance with my brother.

We agreed unanimously that the tradition of "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" should absolutely stay! We really had no reason as to why, we just loved the saying. Check out my post about the "blue tradition" and what brides are doing to make the tradition their own!

(Photos Courtesey of Faith West Photography: My Wedding 11/18/2006)

Jennifer & Lance's Budget Conscious Wedding (Part 1)

"When we started talking about our wedding, we kicked around a lot of ideas. We discussed wedding size, location, colors, etc. First and foremost were the finances. We wanted to find a venue that would allow us to have a ceremony onsite along with taking care of the setting up. We were also looking for something cost effective because we were going to pay for the wedding ourselves. I did a lot of research online and found a few venues that seemed reasonable. We also just walked into several places and started asking questions about their wedding packages. When we walked into the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, we both knew that we'd found THE place. Since it is a public facility, anyone can drive onto the grounds so we did. We found our wedding location immediately and sealed it with a kiss under the trees.

We went into the Inn and asked to talk to someone about their wedding packages. We met with the first Catering Sales Manager and worked well with her. She told us about the standard packages and showed us several rooms. She asked us for the size of the wedding and showed us the Delaware Room when we said we were having a smaller wedding. As the conversation developed, we worked out a brunch reception with a 12:30 ceremony time. We also discussed alternates to the traditional champagne toast and came up with mimosas. It fit the brunch theme. The cake came along with the package and she gave us the name of the place that did their cakes: Brodheadville Shop Rite. We selected the date at that time too. Best of all, she gave us the standard brunch price per person if we could guarantee 35 people so we paid approximately 21.95/person."

Visit back for PART 2 of Jennifer and Lance's Budget Conscious Wedding

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waisted paper

When it comes to my home and event planning, I like to consider myself a perfectionist. I like everything just so. I love the look of an organized escort card table, I love the feel of crisp table linens ready to be set, and I love the packaging of a beautiful invitation. So when visiting my in-laws you can imagine my surprise (disgust) when they showed me the invitation to a certain family members wedding (We are not invited... long story). The couple is having a beach wedding followed by a buffet at a local restaurant. The invitation was typed on a piece of computer paper, with multiple typos, and a request to RSVP via e-mail.

I'm all for cost-saving ideas, and budgeting yourself, but knowing that this couple makes twice as much as my husband and I, they own two beach front properties, and drive expensive cars, I couldn't believe that they would send this misspelled, bland, waste of paper!

Another thing that bothered me was the fact that she felt the need to list every item that would be served at the buffet, and I mean everything, down to the butter and rolls. I've never known to mention the menu if you are having a buffet unless your family has rare and extreme food allergies or specific dietary needs.

Ladies, if you do decide to make your own invitations using computer paper, can you at least use the spell-check feature... it's there for a reason. Also, try to remember that your invitation is your guests first impression of your event, so make sure it reflects your theme, style, and/or personality!

Monday, July 14, 2008

An evening with Martha

Last night was the kind of night that I didn't want to end. My hubby was working late so I had the house all to myself, and I did what any woman would do when she has a house to herself... I spent a quiet evening with Martha Stewart (I bet you thought I was going to say "walk around the house naked"...lol) I spent the evening catching up with the latest trends, styles, decor, etc. with Martha Stewart Weddings (Collectors Edition), Real Simple Weddings, and I started reading my new book "Chasing Harry Winston" (chick lit).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jessica & Tom's Island Wedding in Maine

"My wedding style started off as a mishmash of ideas really. Just picking random things from magazines and the Internet. I told my bridesmaids that they could pick among themselves the color and style of the bridesmaids dress they wanted because I really didn't care what my colors were, I just wanted the dresses to be the same. I had originally had red in mind because it would look nice on everyone, and they ended up picking the red anyway.

As far as my flowers I knew I wanted roses, and I really didn't want all red, and I really didn't want white either because my dress was ivory. I wanted some nice complimentary colors and some bright summer colors mixed in. I wanted reds, pinks, chartreuse, and more. My florist was fantastic when I went to him with these ideas. I didn't even know how the colors I had in my head were going to turn out, but they made all of the colors I loved work together.

We made the table numbers ourselves. They were candle plates from Wal-mart. We printed the numbers off the computer, cut them out and decoupaged them on. My only tip is to let the plates dry as long as possible, and put wax paper between them before stacking them to transport them. The decoupage remained somewhat tacky for a long time. We got the black easels from a craft store.

We combined our table assignments with our favors, as well as each guest's food choice. We had issues with the reception hall because I wanted to have more food choices than they wanted my guests to have. They agreed that if we could come up with a way to make it organized so that the servers would be able to tell who had what, and so the guest wouldn't have to remember what they had ordered on the invite, that we could do it.

Our favors were glass coasters that you could put photos in. We tied the coasters together with ribbon. Each ribbon color was a different meal choice. The front coaster had the guests' name along with their table number. The ribbon on their coaster was their meal choice. We had small clear plastic easels in front of each place setting for the coasters to set in so the servers could see them and serve the proper meal. The people at the venue were very happy with our solution.

We hired the trolleys out of necessity because of a lack of parking at the ceremony site. It was a lot of fun, and the whole wedding party rode the trolley from the ceremony back to the reception. The invitations were the pocket fold kind and one of the cards inside included a small blurb about the trolley service, where to wait for it etc. The invites had a box to check if you wanted to ride the trolley or not so we would know how many trolleys we would need and the trolley service would know how many runs they needed to make. The signs on the front were made up at a local print shop.

We made the invites ourselves. We ordered the envelopes and the actual pocket fold, as well as the background colored paper from My Gatsby. My mom, dad and I made the rest of the invitations on the computer, got together, drank a bunch of wine, cut and glued the invitations together. It was a nice time to spend with my parents." (Nestie: MaineWifey)

Jennifer & Travis's Lakeside Wedding

"My family has been on Diamond Lake (on the Washington-Idaho border) for 3 generations. When Travis and I were looking at a place to get married, we knew we wanted a "non-traditional" wedding. Neither of us are the "large church wedding" and "princess-style reception" type people. I knew I wanted to be married outside and on a beach. After looking at the cost of a beach wedding in Hawaii, we decided not to spend that much money. The best venue was right under our noses: my parent's lake house. So, the planning began.

We went with a "tropical" theme with the colors of black and white accented with bright tropical accents. I think the DIY accent I'm most proud of is my table decorations. After living in Hawaii for a while, I have many bright sarongs with tropical prints, and those became my table runners. I then took various sizes of hurricane vases (from the dollar store) and put about 3 inches of sand in each one (from the beach). I then sprinkled shells around a pillar candle. Just about everything was DIY, but I have some very talented friends and family.

The flowers were mixed-color 2-dozen bunches from Costco. A friend of the family put them together to be bouquets. I made the programs that doubled-duty as fans, we rented tables and beach chairs which came with the table cloths.

We had a wonderful day, and our total cost, including my dress and Travis's tux rental was about $5800. Our big expense was the photography, followed by the catering (Texas-style Barbecue) and rental of the Bed and Breakfast across the lake. Of course, Travis and I put a lot of "sweat-equity" into the grounds and maintenance to help my parents out and to make it beautiful for the big day." (Nestie DocJen)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wedding Wire Giveaway (PA, NJ, DE Brides)

Simply Chic Event Planning is giving away a certificate for 50% off our "day of" package. To enter, click here or submit your entries to Nicole@simplychicep.com Be sure to include the following information:



PHONE NUMBER (optional):


Entries must be received by September 5, 2008. The winner will be selected September 8, 2008

Good Luck!

Featured Brides

I've decided to make my blog a little more personal and have you hear from some brides about their wedding planning experience, their DIY projects, cost-saving tips, what they would or wouldn't have done differently and details about their special day.

I think this would be a great way for brides-to-be to see various types of weddings, from the over the top to the budget conscious and everything in between.

If you are married and would like to be a featured bride and share your wedding adventure with others, contact me via the Email link on the left side of the page.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

~Something Blue~

Wedding styles and trends are forever changing, and many traditions are fading away but something that hasn't fell from the spotlight is the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe. Many brides have said "goodbye" to the traditional blue garter or handkerchief and have embraced different ways to wear their "something blue"
(Blue wedding shoes)
(Dyed blue crinoline slip)

(Blue initials on bottom of wedding shoes)

(Embroidered initials under wedding dress)

(Wedding Anklet)

I love how some wedding traditions still keep the original sentimental meaning, but reinvents itself for the sake of style and the times.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh So Delovely Designs

Delovely Designs is a custom stationary and invitation design company. Charlotte, the owner of Delovely Designs, is a creative genius. She has a true gift for recognizing the style and personality of all her clients and reflecting it into her custom stationary, invitation and monogram creations.

Over the past year or so, I had the opportunity to watch Charlotte expand her business, and services. Her services are very popular throughout THE KNOT community and its wonderful to continue to see her business bloom. Charlotte created my first company logo and I have the pleasure of working with her again for the revamping of my company.

If you are in need of custom creative services, please contact Delovely Designs .

Don't Sweat the Seating Charts

Figuring out seating arrangements can be a huge pain the butt, and not mention having to deal with every ones suggestions as to who sits where, and don't bother drawing pictures of tables with every ones name on the table, I guarantee by the time you are done you will have scribbled out so many names that your seating chart now looks like a Picasso painting!

I have a tip that can save you time. Here's what you do: purchase mini post-its and write each guests name on an individual post-it, then gather as many paper plates as there are tables for your event. Number the plates as you would the tables at your event and begin sticking each guest (post-it) to their corresponding table. If you need to move someone, just move the post-it, it's that simple. No scribbled mess and they stack nicely out of the way when you are not using them.


With this blog I plan to share my knowledge of the event planning world, whether its style trends, etiquette, or cost saving tips, I will cover it all. I also want to open the lines of communication with other professionals, soon-to-be brides or anyone else interested in what I have to say.

If you have a question about an upcoming event, need some advice or recommendations, please feel free to email me and I will respond to your request with a blog entry, unless you would prefer to have your question addressed privately.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts, ideas and suggestions with all of you. I hope you enjoy reading the "Event Planner's Diary".