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TBT: Kids Gotta Love Em ~ Ideas For Children At Your Wedding

Since we have embraced the childlikeness of Dr. Seuss this week and explored pictures and the topic of children at weddings on the blog today, I thought our Throwback Thursday should go along with it too!  This is a great post, written not so long ago on 6/4/2014 but gives some GREAT tips and ideas on how to help kiddos have more fun at a wedding and get through a long wedding day!

Photo By Swensen Photography

Ahhh Kids.  Gotta love em.  Their innocence, their fiery personalities, their spirit for life and their patience of, well for lack of a better word, a child.  Kids are a lot of fun, however at weddings they can be your worst nightmare.  Believe me when I say, I have been to hundreds if not thousands of weddings and while for the most part kids are great there are those who have had enough.  A wedding is a long day, It is a tiring day and for kids it can be a very boring day.

We did a little research and found some fun ideas to help kids have more fun at wedding which allows for parents to feel less stressed.  And when kids are having fun and parents are less stressed the whole day goes better for the bride and groom.

1.  Delegate someone to supervise young wedding guests during the entire event.
If children are sitting with their parents, this will be a simple role involving distribution of activity bags or books to kids upon arrival and handling any unexpected kid emergencies.  Have a small first aid kit available.  If you are able to provide a private “Kids Only” room, this position expands into a much greater role involving some pre-planning with activities limited only to your imagination.  Fill a pinata with wedding treats, play musical chairs to wedding themed music, have a special cinema corner set up with comfy pillows, or play bingo.  Let children express their artistic ability by covering a table in butcher paper for a gigantic drawing canvas.  Supply sleeping mats or blankets for the exhausted child who has fallen asleep during the evening.

2.  In search of qualified, reputable babysitting services?
Ask family members or friends for names of trusted sitters.  Hire a nanny or use the country club or hotel’s on site babysitting service.  Ask your church for an experienced nursery staff attendants or responsible teens from the youth group.  Check out nearby universities for college students studying teaching and looking to earn some extra money.  Inquire at local day care facilities to see if there are teachers available for hire during your event.  Be certain to check references, referrals, and CPR certification before employing any child-care worker.

3.  Prepare for the possibility of crying and secure a nursery during the ceremony.
A nursery representative can be present as guests arrive to inform parents that there is a cry room available if needed.

4.  If space allows, arrange a small game tables for older children.
Puzzles, playing cards, and board games will be popular with pre-teens and teen-agers.

5.  For a more controlled environment and less disruptions, seat children at their parent’s table.
Kids are usually more behaved and less rambunctious when seated next to mom and dad rather than other children.  This will also eliminate children from running between their own seats and their parents table throughout the event.  The wedding activity bag will keep children quietly entertained and in their seats rather than racing around the reception hall.

6.  Add a juice box, fruit bar, or crackers to each kid’s activity bag or place in them in the center of the kid’s table.
Children can become cranky when hungry or thirsty and often do not have the patience to wait until the meal is ready to be served.  Parents will appreciate your thoughtfulness at providing snacks to hold them over.

Photo Provided By Apple Beer

7.  Ask for Kid Friendly meal options.
Most caterers are willing to provide a separate meal plan for children.  It will be less expensive for you and the kids will be happier with food they love.  Some popular ideas include chicken nuggets, mini-pizza’s, pasta, fish sticks, hamburger sliders, macaroni and cheese, and Jello.  Request cups with lids and straws to avoid messy spills.

8.  Invest in fun by hiring a face painting artist, magician, or balloon artist.
The performer can mingle among the tables entertaining guests of all ages. Or children can go off to a separate location where they can be entertained.

9.  Encourage the band or DJ to play songs that children will recognize and enjoy.
Ask The Master of Ceremonies to announce a “kids only” dance.  Have a dance off contest, a Dad and Daughter dance, or an opportunity to dance with just the bride and groom.  These are great moments for the photographer to capture.  When it comes time to write thank you notes, add a copy of these photos as a small gift to the parents.

10.  For an outdoor wedding, organize a nature walk around the grounds.

Kids will love the opportunity to run and stretch their legs.  If your venue allows, bring seed to feed the birds.  Or provide each child with a bottle of bubbles.  Another great photo opportunity.

11. Send children on a photo scavenger hunt with this game of i-spy!

They have to spot a variety of typical wedding day occurrences / outfits and tick them off on their list. This works really well for older children 7-11 who will be able to do this independently but younger children will need adult help or help from older siblings.

If you wanted to, you could provide a little incentive such as a small bag of sweets or a pound shop toy for the first child to find all the things on the list or simply give the treats to the children’s parents for them to hand out as they see fit.

Staying focused on this task will be tricky for some children ~ especially younger children so parent’s could reward them when they feel they’ve tried their best.

12.Consider Kid Friendly Gifts and Treats

Rather than mints or matches, consider giving candy favors as an alternative. Among today’s delicious options are personalized M&Ms or chocolates molded into the shape of wedding bells or hearts. Some brides create candy shop favor tables, where guests can fill up bags or boxes with selections from jars filled with favorites — everything from jelly beans and sour worms to peanut butter cups and lollipops. It goes without saying that this new tradition is popular with grown-ups and kids.

But not every favor has to be edible. You can hit up the dollar store for small toy favors that kids can enjoy during the party. These extra treats don’t have to be over-the-top. A princess crown or some plastic cars are often all it takes to occupy tiny hands and minds for hours on end — or at least until the wedding cake is cut!

13. Give Them Responsibilities

Some kids are energetic by nature, while others get restless only when they’re bored.

Keep the wiggles at bay by giving children of all ages some responsibility during your ceremony and reception. Obvious role choices for children you’re close to include serving as a flower girl, junior bridesmaid or ring bearer. Other kids who might be hurt they’re not included in the festivities, or who just like to help out, can take on other tasks. Kids of all ages can roam the reception taking photos with disposable cameras. Older children can pass out wedding programs, party favors or cake on nonbreakable plates.

Whatever the role, dishing out a little bit of light responsibility on such an important occasion often leaves a child feeling appreciated and respected.

14. Consider The Time

Even the sweetest kid can morph from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde as bedtime approaches!

If you want to have young children at your wedding, it’s best to hold the event well before bedtime. But if only nighttime nuptials will do, appease parents of infants and older nappers by offering up a quiet room at the ceremony or reception site where kids can retreat for their regular siesta.

The event coordinators at these venues can arrange for the use of an extra room ahead of time, and you can stock it with a couple of playpens borrowed from the on-site nursery or from friends and family. Sometimes, a short snooze is all it takes to re-energize a baby or toddler and turn him into the life of the party.

Photo By Rachael Tyler Photography

15. If It is Too Much, Don’t Have Them

If you want to have kids at your wedding, be aware of the risks that are involved, and make an effort not to sweat the small stuff. Opt instead to see how sweet and unique their presence is at your ceremony and reception (dollar dance with the flower girl, anyone?).

If the idea of child-related disruptions is too much for you to handle, you should probably make your soiree an adults-only affair. Just be sure to communicate this in a polite way, so that parents can make other arrangements for their little ones. According to basic wedding etiquette, make this clear by addressing the inner envelope of the invitation with just the parents’ names. Should parents RSVP for four instead of two, a simple phone call can clear up the misunderstanding.

It’s not the bride’s responsibility to provide childcare for young guests, so don’t feel obligated to do so. One courtesy you can offer is to put guests with young children in touch with one another so parents can go in together on the cost of a babysitter.

Sources – TLC Weddings, The Knot.com, Bridal Musings.com, Yahoo.com, Kidfriendlyweddings.com, Weddinggamesideas.com, squidoo.com,

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Children & Weddings ~ ADORABLE Pics

Just one more post this week to continue on with celebrating Dr. Seuss a little.  (I am a mom to 3 kiddos 7 and under!  I can’t help it!)  Remember “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

So in this post I just wanted to celebrate kids at weddings.  Kids are great. They are innocent, energetic, and have such a positive, optimistic, and carefree approach to life.  We all could stand to learn a little from children, that’s for sure!  Now children at weddings can go two ways:  First, kids are so darling filling roles like ring bearers and flower girls. They bring a beauty and innocence. They also can become the life of the party! They love to eat sugar and cake, love music, and love to unashamedly get out on the dance floor and shake their groove thing!

Dancing Kids

Photo by Andrea Hanks Photography

On the other hand they do not enjoy the “slower” portions of a wedding like the ceremony and although they may perform duties of ring bearer or flower girl well and bring a little spark to the nuptials, their patience wears thin when they are forced to be still or quiet for too long.  Click here to read another blog on how to keep children entertained at your wedding (or check it out on Thursday for our TBT post later this week!)

Grumpy Kids

Photo by Brody Dezember Photography

Either way, happy or sad, cooperative or not, awake or sleepy, photographers can’t seem to resist capturing the cuteness, the innocence, and the silliness of kids at weddings. So enjoy some of these pics showing kids at weddings!   

Kids on a sugar high!

Photo by Claire Marika Photography

Sleepy Kids

Photo by Braxton Bruce Photography

Adorable flower girls

Photo Courtesy of Claire Marika Photography

Photo by Michael Lloyd Photography

BABIES

Photo Courtesy of Kate Benson Photography

Photo by Shanda Lynn Call Photography

Handsome little men/Ring Bearers

Photo Courtesy of Jon Woodbury Photography

Photo Courtesy of Amber Shaw Photography

Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

Photo Courtesy of Pink Daffodil Photography

Kids are awesome. Yes they can make a wedding tough, but they also can make it better, cuter, sweeter, and more fun too!

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Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss !~ A Wedding Reading

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday!  Dr Seuss was an amazing author and cartoonist, writing numerous beloved children’s books, and he was born on this day 111 years ago. You may be asking, what does Dr. Seuss have to do with love, weddings, or marriage?  Not a ton, but today in honor of his birthday and a great man with great advice on life, we suggest a great possibility for a wedding reading:  ”Oh the Places You’ll Go” by none other than Dr. Seuss.

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” is a book that is often read or given as a gift at various momentous occasions in life such as graduations, but why not read it at a wedding as well!  It gives not only great advice on life, but seems to navigate and describe a marriage pretty well too! (But thankfully in a marriage you are not always alone on your journey!)  The book is both simple, but profound.  It is both weird, but wonderful!

Some excerpts from “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the {COUPLE} who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

A couple last thought from Dr. Seuss:

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Oh and if you want to read some funny and pretty amazing Dr. Seuss like wedding vows, click HERE!

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Show Love ~ Tips & Ideas

It is the last day of February, the month of Valentine’s Day, the month of LOVE!  February is a special month – it is National Wedding month and just a a special month where love is celebrated more than any other time.  For those that have found love (and we all have it in one form or another) well that love should be celebrated every day of our lives. We should let the ones we love know how much we love them and even more importantly we should SHOW our love to them. So today’s blog offers some tips and ideas for showing love to your loved ones!

I am sure you all have heard of the 5 Love Languages. If you haven’t heard of them, here is a recap, and you should probably learn more about them.  The philosophy behind them makes a lot of sense and can lead to more love shown and felt within a relationship:

1) Words of Affirmation – Use words to affirm and pledge/pronounce your love.

2) Acts of Service – Actions speak louder than words.

3) Receiving Gifts – Getting stuff makes them feel loved

4) Quality Time – This one is all about giving your undivided attention.

5) Physical Touch – Connecting through appropriate, affectionate physical touch.

It is important to understand your loved one’s love language, and also to understand what your love language is. Speak to that language and voice how most makes you feel loved as well. That communication is so important in finding satisfaction and joy within your relationship.  Whether it be saying “I love you” every chance you can, doing the dishes without being asked, buying flowers, putting down your phone for an evening, or holding hands – figure out what makes your loved one feel loved, and show it!

Here are a few more ideas for ways to show your love, be romantic, and to make the one you love feel special, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year and throughout your life together.

1. Be Creative: When planning time together, a date night, or a special gift, be creative. Don’t do typical things that everyone else may be doing.  Find something that is unique to you two, your relationship, your interests, your goals, etc.  Do something that makes your partner feel special or do something that one of you or both of you have always wanted to try. Just be creative and think out of the box a bit.

2. Be thoughtful: Being thoughtful does not have to be expensive or extravagant. A significant other just appreciates thoughtfulness and knowing that you are thinking about them. Surprises keep things exciting.  A little love note or other kind gesture can go along way in showing you care.

3. Be Romantic: Everything doesn’t always have to be romantic, but a little romance every now and then is great for a relationship.  Candles, chocolates, romantic movies – all of those can be romantic and inexpensive. Romantic surprises can really show you care and keep the magic of your love strong!

Love truly is an action. Life can be crazy with school, work, kids, chores, obligations, media, etc.  We all typically have the best intentions to put our loved one first, to make sure they feel loved, but unfortunately often times it is the one we love most that is a casualty of everything else we commit to. Our love and relationships get taken for granted  Love is a constant, daily emotion that takes actions, thought, and effort to maintain it and strengthen it. And everything you put into love is worth it.  Here is a few more tidbits of advice:

  • Never forget to kiss each other good night. When you kiss good night, it allows you to connect and express your love.  It softens any hard feelings, if only a little bit. It also makes it harder to go to bed angry at each other, which you should try not to do.
  • Do the little things.  Nourish your love and relationship with little thoughtful, meaningful acts of love. It is the small things that keep love in your life, builds your intimacy, and keeps you close.
  • Say thank you.  Be grateful for the efforts your loved one makes.  Show your gratitude. Thank you is a very important word in every relationship and marriage. It ranks right up there with “I’m sorry.”
  • Write random loves notes or send random love texts.  Leave notes or goodies for your partner in various places.  Little surprises can make someone’s day and make them feel special and loved.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let little insignificant, unimportant things take your mind away from the love you feel. Little things that don’t really matter, don’t need to be brought up.  Even though we may be annoyed or unhappy about some little thing about our loved one, keep in mind that we all have weaknesses and they too might have things about you too! Work together and ignore the little things that don’t matter in the eternal scheme of things!
  • Nevers stop dating each other!
  • Communication is key!
  • Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.  ~Barnett R. Brickner

Such great advice and great reminders (to me included) that love is an action, a two way street between two people that takes daily commitment, work, and actions!  Hopefully we all can remember not to take the ones we love for granted, but instead, figure out their love language and how we can make them feel special, and feel their love in return, then bask in that shared love every day of our lives.

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TBT: 25 Interesting Wedding Facts

For our Throwback Thursday, and in keeping with celebrating National Wedding Month, we thought we would share some more wedding facts….But these aren’t your typical wedding facts.  These are some very interesting, kind of weird, but pretty fascinating facts about weddings from around the world, different cultures, etc.  So enjoy this Throwabck to January 16, 2014 and learn more random, but interesting facts about weddings!

25 Interesting Wedding Facts

Ahhh Weddings.  Never is there a time where people come together as much or as often to celebrate love.  What a great way to start of your life together with your new best friend.  Weddings really can be a lot of fun and can create some amazing memories for the couple, family and friends.

We love learning about traditions, customs, interesting tidbits etc about weddings.  Here are 25 interesting wedding facts we discovered that we thought would be fun to share with you.

Photo By Swensen Photography

In the United States, there is no law or religious dictate that says the bride must take the groom’s last name. However, approximately 70% of Americans agree that a bride should change her last name.

The Fijians believe that the god Nangganangga, who watches over married couples, will not let a bachelor enter Fijian paradise and will turn him to ash if he dies before he is married.

The Penan nomads who live on the island Borneo (southwest of the Philippines) maintain that women do not have a soul until their wedding day.

In States where no blood tests or physical exams are required, failing to tell your prospective spouse that you have a venereal disease or a physical impairment (such as impotence or infertility) can void the marriage.

Early Roman brides carried a bunch of herbs, such as garlic and rosemary, under their veils to symbolize fidelity and fertility and to ward off evil. These herbs served as a precursor to the modern bridal bouquet.

The phrase “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe” symbolizes continuity, optimism for the future, borrowed happiness, fidelity, and wealth or good luck, respectively.

A Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe

Because white is the color of mourning in Eastern cultures, white wedding dresses are uncommon.

Las Vegas is the top wedding destination with over 100,000 weddings a year, followed by Hawaii at 25,000 weddings a year.

Over 100,000 Thousand Weddings Per Year In Las Vegas

Wedding rings are often placed on the third finger of the left hand because ancient Egyptians believed the vein in that hand (which the Romans called the “vein of love”) ran directly to the heart.

The bride’s veil traditionally symbolized her youth and virginity. Veils also hid the bride from jealous spirits or the Evil Eye. In the past, veils could be red, blue or yellow (the color of Hymen, the Greek god of marriage). The modern white veil became popular during the Victorian era as a symbol of purity and modesty. A white veil also connoted that a bride was wealthy enough to wear white.

The Brides Veil – Photo By Swensen Photography

In many cultures, the groom historically often kidnapped the bride, and the groom’s friends would help him, leading to the modern-day groomsmen. At the alter, the groom always stood on the bride’s right side so his right hand—or his sword hand—would be free to fight/defend a jealous rival.

The Groomsmen – More Than Just The Grooms Friends – Photo By Melissa Kelsey Photography

Flower girls traditionally threw flower petals in the bride’s path to lead her to a sweet, plentiful future.

Nearly all cultures have showered the wedding couple with symbolic food. For example, the French throw wheat, Sicilians throw wheat bread and salt, and the English throw pieces of cake. Early Romans or Greeks threw nuts, dates, and seed-bearing plants. Bulgarians have thrown figs.

Throwing rice at weddings symbolizes fertility, prosperity, and bounty. In some countries, the bride might even carry or wear sheaves of grain. However, many modern churches and wedding locations discourage rice throwing because rice can be fatal for birds who eat it.

Guests in ancient times would tear off part of the bride’s gown as tokens of good luck, leading to the tradition of the bride throwing both her garter and her bouquet.

The Bouquet Toss – Photo By Opie Foto

A wedding cake is traditionally a symbol of good luck and fertility and has been a part of wedding celebrations since Roman times, when a small bun, symbolizing fertility, was broken above the bride’s head at the close of the ceremony. During the Middle Ages, custom required the bride and groom to kiss over small cakes.

The phrase “tying the knot” initially came from an ancient Babylonian custom in which threads from the clothes of both the bride and bridegroom were tied in a knot to symbolize the couple’s union. Literally tying some type of ceremonial knot at a wedding ceremony can be found across cultures.

Tying The Knot

In some African ceremonies, it was a sentiment of well wishing to greet the new bride with the words: “May you bear 12 children with him.”

A bride is traditionally carried over the threshold either to symbolize her reluctance to leave her father’s home or because evil spirits hovered over the threshold of a house—so she was lifted over the entrance to protect her from the spirits.

During Biblical times, shoes were seen as a badge of authority because they lifted a person off the ground, differentiating them from barefoot slaves and serfs. They were used to seal a bargain and fathers would give his son-in-law a pair on the wedding day as symbol of transferring authority.

In Great Britain, it was considered good luck for the bride to kiss a chimney sweep on her wedding day. He supposedly had special powers, and when he cleans the chimney, he also sweeps away evil spirits.

A morganatic marriage is a union of a person of royal blood with one of inferior rank. Such a marriage is called a “left-hand marriage” because at the wedding ceremony, the husband holds the bride’s hand with his right hand with his left hand. Though these marriages are recognized by the church, the father cannot confer on their children his rank or property.

In Afghanistan, a man who wanted to marry a woman would cut off a lock of her hair or throw a sheet over her and proclaim her his bride.

The Ozark people located in central America believed placing the dried tongue of a turtle dove in a loved one’s house would persuade him or her to marry.

Source – facts.randomhistory.com

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Wedding Cake Flavors

Wedding cake. Yum. Thinking about and writing this post is giving me a serious craving for some cake! Winter gives you the opportunity to pick a cake flavor that is a little more rich and heavy. Winter is about comfort foods and what is more comforting than a rich piece of cake! There are so many fun, rich, delicious flavors or flavor combinations to choose from for you wedding cake.  How many of you have already got to experience cake tasting as part of your wedding planning steps!? You have to think of the flavor, the draping or frosting, the filling, and how the cake looks! Picking your wedding can be a process that is both fun and delicious, but overwhelming and a hard decision to make. There is a lot to consider! Hopefully today’s post gives you some inspiration on picking your wedding cake flavors!

I found this website that gave some amazingly delicious sounding “winning combinations” for wedding cakes:

Winning Combinations

  • VERY BERRY – Chocolate Cake with Raspberry, Strawberry and Marionberry Mousse Filling
  • FRENCH CONNECTION – Chocolate Cake with Cognac Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • PRINCESS – Vanilla Cake with Lingonberry Jam and Bavarian Cream Filling
  • MINT COOL – Chocolate Cake with Creme de Menthe Chocolate Mousse Filling
  • TROPICAL DREAM – Banana Cake with Chocolate and Banana Cream Filling

I think I personally would choose the French Connection or Mint Cool. Which would you choose?

I don’t think you could go wrong with amy of these “Emerging Favorites” options either!  (See why I am having a serious inkling for cake now!?)

  • Chocolate or Vanilla Cake with Sea-salted Caramel & Candied Pecan Filling
  • Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Kahlua Mousse Filling
  • Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Filling
  • Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • Champagne or Vanilla Cake with Meyer Lemon Mousse Filling
  • Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • Vanilla Cake with Wild Strawberry Champagne Filling (Best-selling Bridal & Baby Shower Cake)

Want something a little more exotic? Think about trying Banana Cake with Jamaican Rum Chocolate Ganache Filling or Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Mouse or Prickly Pear “Cactus Blossom” Mousse Filling

As if that didn’t give you enough to think about, here are a few more unique ideas, that would be especially good for a Winter wedding, to consider when deciding on your wedding cake flavors, fillings, etc.

1. Caramelized Vanilla

This just sounds amazing! Think caramelized vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream and whipped dark chocolate ganache.  Doesn’t that sound perfect on a cold winter day?  Like, right now!

2. Flavored Liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages to flavor cakes
Flavored liqueurs are very common for adding flavor to wedding cakes and the filling, but various cognacs, bourbons, brandy, tequila, etc can also add a whole different taste and dimension to simple cake flavors and can lend to a warm Winter feel.

3. Coffee flavors such as Hazelnut-Almond
You can have your whole cake flavored like a coffee creamer!  One cake maker said,  ”For winter weddings, I would recommend a rich flavorful cake like a hazelnut-almond cake filled with dark chocolate ganache, mocha buttercream, and raspberry preserves.”

4. Ginger Spice
For couples that think spice is nice for a winter wedding, a ginger spice cake is a great idea.  Maple frosting or vanilla bean icing pair beautifully with this Winter flavor favorite. It also goes great with a cup of hot chocolate!

5. Mocha truffle

For all of you fellow chocolate lovers out there, how about a mocha truffle wedding cake? A dark chocolate or white chocolate frosting would be an excellent companion to the mocha or even better, add a pinch of cinnamon to the chocolate icing! Serve with hot chocolate or coffee to really play up the mocha flavor.

The cake is probably one of the top 5 most important parts of you wedding, ranking right up there with the dress, the venue, the flowers, and the decor!  Your cake can truly become your own personal work of art. Pick your flavor, fillings, and icing and make your wedding cake taste and look exactly how you envisioned. Make sure to find a great bakery, with people who are willing to work with you to give you the wedding cake of your dreams! Click here to see some of the ones in Utah that we would recommend to start with!

Sources:

http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2014/12/winter-wedding-cake-flavor-ideas.html

http://weddings.krumbscakes.com/cake-flavors

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Guest Blogger ~ 6 Easy Tips to Pick the Best Wedding Bouquet Style

Please enjoy today’s Guest Post giving tips about choosing a wedding bouquet that meets your style and fits your budget!

6 Easy Tips to Pick the Best Wedding Bouquet Style

Wedding days hold special significance in any individual’s life and the wedding bouquet tends to symbolize the happy bride, reflecting the emotions she may be feeling through her wedding occasion. Therefore, it is very important to pay special attention, care and planning at the time of selecting a wedding bouquet.

Cheap blooms for decoration of wedding venue:

Planning is the real key to obtaining cheap blooms for your wedding occasion in advance. If possible, avoid buying seasonal blooms as this will simply increase your expenditure. If you are selecting any particular flower for your wedding event, they try to make sure that it is in season. Don’t order for wedding blooms during peak season as it may prove an expensive affair for you.

For decorating your wedding venue, you can stick to a few big flower decorations. Consider the image you want to create and how much you are willing to spend for flower decorations and/or arrangement.

For several people, budget is often an issue and this is what pushes them in the direction of going with whatever is suitable or available for the day. To get the best blooms for your wedding, don’t compromise with your budget limit at any cost.

There are several reputed sites such as www.dealslands.co.uk which offers an exclusive collection of various money-saving discount coupons and voucher codes. With these coupons and voucher codes, buyers can make huge savings on their online purchase of flowers, flower bouquets or baskets.

Listed below are some simple tips that will prove helpful to you in selecting the best bouquet for your big day:

  1. Select blooms which are available in the current season as this will save you much time and money. If you opt for flowers which are not in season, then you might have a tough time placing an order for them.
  2. You can make use of silk flowers if your choice of flower is not available in the current season. The best part of silk flowers is that these blooms are suitable for formal occasions and on the contrary fresh blooms may not prove suitable for a formal reception.
  3. Make sure that the wedding bouquet selected by you does not cover your entire body structure. If you have a slim body structure, then opt for a light weight bouquet. The reason behind this is that if you opt for a heavy floral bouquet, then it might affect your posture and the way you carry yourself throughout the wedding ceremony. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you opt for a wedding bouquet which doesn’t cover your wedding dress.
  4. The type of bouquet you select must remain fresh throughout your wedding day. It is important to check beforehand whether your bouquet will hold up and remain fresh till the end of the ceremony or not.
  5. If possible, opt for flowers which have a special significance attached to them. This might seem a little bit difficult task as different types of flowers have a specific meaning. Tulips symbolize love and perfection, stephanotis symbolizes happy marriage, and roses signify true relationship and love.
  6. Lastly, one of the most important things to remember at the time of selecting a flower bouquet is its style. Opt for floral bouquet that blends well with your personality and style statement.

Thus, when it comes to selecting wedding bouquets make sure that you opt for the most beautiful one.

Author Bio: Daniel Clark is a professional blogger and a florist too, and he likes to give some suggestions about how to find the latest wedding blooms trends. He has organized many successful and memorable events with flowers and impressive flower decorations.

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February is National Wedding Month ~ Fun Facts

February – the month of romance, of course – Valentines Day, but did you know that February is also Nation al Wedding Month, according to the Association of Bridal Consultants. There are more couples who get engaged during this time of year, and often a high number of bridal shows as well.  So while it may not be the most popular time to actually tie the knot, it is definitely a time of lots of wedding planning! Many of you are right smack in the middle of planning a wedding. So whether you are getting married soon in a beautiful Winter wedding, putting the finishing touches on a bright Spring Wedding, or trying to plan out your perfect Summer Wedding, enjoy some fun wedding facts as you prepare to become one of the many to be happily married this year in (hopefully) the wedding of your dreams!

Photo by Amber Shaw Photography

  • The average American engagement lasts 14-16 months.
  • The average wedding cost is $29,858 (excluding Honeymoon)
  • The most expensive place to get married is Manhattan and the least expensive is Idaho.
  • The average engagement ring costs $4,411
  • The average spent on a wedding dress
  • The most popular months for weddings are (in order): June, August, September, October and May.
  • Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the US.

Photo By Shanda Lynn Call Photography

  • 80% of weddings are performed in churches or synagogues.
  • 175 guests are invited to an average wedding.
  • The top wedding destinations are Las Vegas (100,000 weddings/year) and Hawaii (25,000 weddings/year).
  • The average age for a first-time bride is 27; for a groom it’s 29.
  • The average wedding has 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen.
  • The average amount spent on a bridal gown is between $800 and $1,200
  • David’s Bridal accounts for 20% of all bridal-gown sales.

Photo by Amber Shaw Photography

  • 99% of newlyweds take a honeymoon.
  • The average honeymoon vacation lasts one week.
  • 69% of engaged couples have known each other longer than 3 years.
  • 64% of couples live together before marriage.
  • There is a 43% chance of a marriage ending in divorce.
  • 60% of brides change their surnames.
  • 67% of women continue to wear the same fragrance they wore on their wedding day.

Photo by Shanda Lynn Photography

  • The Average cost of wedding in Utah in 2013 was $26,408
  • The Average number of guests at weddings in Utah was 160-170.

Fact of the Month:
These days, the average cost of an American wedding is roughly $26,000. In perspective, that’s $6,500 for each word in the “I do” spoken by both the bride and groom.  (The average Japanese wedding costs $93,750!)

Sources:

http://tidbitfun.com/02/01/wedding-trivia/

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/theknotcom-releases-2013-wedding-statistics-252681701.html

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TBT: Famous Quotes/Tips & Advice on Successful Marriages

I know Valentine’s Day is over, but it is still National Wedding Month – February, so we will keep sharing fun facts, quotes, and thoughts about love and marriage for the rest of the month!  I really liked this post written back on February 5, 2014.  It gives some really great advice on having successful marriages.  As someone who has been married almost 10 years, a lot of these rang loud and clear and true to me! Enjoy!

Famous Quotes/Tips & Advice on Successful Marriages

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.- Robert Sexton

Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

We scoured the internet for some fun quotes / tips and advice that people have made about marriage.

We think you will get a kick out of some of these and who knows maybe some of them will resonate with you as you prepare for your big day.  For those who are already married, we think you will read many of these and say, ohh yeah.

Enjoy.

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

-Ogden Nash

Photo Courtesy of Soup Films Photography

My single best piece of marriage advice is to buy a comforter/duvet one size larger than the bed. So for a queen bed, get a king-sized comforter. It solves probably 25% of marital arguments right off the bat.  – Unknown

Learn to ignore the small stuff. Every marriage faces challenges, some big and some small. Remind yourself that life is precious and short. Therefore, focus on the larger battles, working through them as a team while letting go of the incidentals that in the big scheme of things does not matter. – marriage.families.com

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.  ~Simone Signoret

Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

“From the perspective of close to a 27-year marriage, all I can say is don’t sweat the small stuff.  If something can go wrong, it probably will. But it’s really the marriage that’s important, not the wedding, which is over in just hours. You want the marriage to last a lot longer than that!”—Susan Radlauer, research director – from Forbes.com

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.  ~Barnett R. Brickner

Photo Courtesy of Paramount Photography

“You can never be prepared for marriage. You are marrying a completely different person than yourself, and you cannot know how you will grow and change or how they will grow and change. Just remember why you’re together–because you really love each other.”—Priscilla Goudreau-Santos – from Forbes.com article

Never Stop Dating – “7 Secrets to a Long and Happy Marriage” The Today Show

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Photo Courtesy of Opie Foto

Instead of trying to change something, he or she does – change you! Far too often, people get married with the belief they can simply change the person they married, molding him or her into the “perfect” mate. Instead, you need to accept your mate for the person he/she is. If a behavior needs to be changed, then provide support and encouragement. For example, if your husband complains about not having clean clothes, rather than nag at him, show him how to launder his shirts, jeans, or whatever it is he needs. – marriage.families.com

Forgiveness is a well known ingredient for any successful relationship, but it is much much harder than it looks. Forgiveness doesn’t just mean letting go of a fight or letting your partner be correct for the sake of ending an argument. Forgiveness is the real deal. When something big goes wrong in your marriage, and you decide to work through it with your partner, and you decide over time that you are able to forgive them, you have to stick with that. Forgiving someone doesn’t come with a clause that allows you to throw it back at them during any given argument or time you are feeling angry or insecure. When you decide to forgive your partner you need to mean it, and as hard as it may be you have to move on from the problem. – hubpages.com

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Kelsey Photography

Communication is a key ingredient to any successful marriage. That means talking through situations rather than bottling up or yelling. By showing respect, you can work together as a couple should. With this, the two of you can talk to understand the other person’s side better.  – marriage.families.com

Two words that can go a long way: “Thank you.” In 2007, researchers from Arizona State Universityasked married partners and student roommates whether they appreciated the chores done by the other person. While most said they felt gratitude, many hadn’t relayed these feelings to their partners, assuming “he or she just knows.” Results also showed individuals who felt appreciated by their partners had less resentment over any imbalance in labor and more satisfaction with their relationships than other study participants did.  Another simple word that can boost partner pleasure: “we.”  A study published in the September 2009 issue of the journal Psychology and Aging found that spouses who used couple-focused words such as “we,” “our” and “us” when talking about a conflict also showed more affection, fewer negative behaviors such as anger, and lower physiological stress levels during the disagreement. Using words that expressed separateness, such as “I,” “you,” and “me,” during the discussion was associated with marital dissatisfaction. – Livescience.com

Photo Courtesy of Robert Wood Photography

Whether or not you feel like telling your spouse you love them daily, do it anyway. Every time we say goodbye we tell each other we love them. Everytime we say hello we say “I love you.” My husband took some time to get used to this, but now I swear he says it more than I do. Just that little gesture makes a difference in the way you interact with each other. – Hubpages.com

Photo Courtesy of Tiny Comet Photography

Romantic love can stand the test of time if you apply elbow grease. In a study published in 2009 in the journal Review of General Psychology, researchers analyzed surveys of more than 6,000 people, including new relationships and marriages that had lasted at least 20 years. A surprisingly high number of people were still very much in love with their long-term partners, though the researchers drew a distinction between romantic love, which can endure, and passionate or obsessive love, which often fades after the beginning of a relationship.  The key to keeping that romance alive: hard work. Research has suggested these couples spend time and really care about the relationship; they seem to be able to resolve conflicts relatively smoothly, said Bianca Acevedo, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who authored the study while she was a graduate student at Stony Brook University. Studies have also shown novel experiences can stimulate the production of the neurochemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which show up in the brain in the early, blissful stages of a relationship. – Livescience.com

Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths.  No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.  ~Mark Twain

To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.
~Francois Mauriac

Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

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More Winter…so let’s talk winter weddings: Invitations

So in case you didn’t hear, a couple of weeks ago Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his little burrow and saw his shadow.  That means a prediction of six more weeks of Winter. Some of you may be sad about that, while others are cheering, but either way,instead of looking too far into the future (Spring and Summer) let’s just embrace Winter wedding season for a little longer (at least 6 more weeks!) So today let’s take a look at some fun tips and ideas for Winter wedding invitations.

Winter Wedding Invitations

The rustic inspiration that is dominating practically every wedding trent in 2015 is extending to invitations as well.

Photo found here

The font you pick is extremely important for setting the tone of not only the invitation but your whole wedding theme as well.  An elegant font in metallic colors denotes a more formal affair, where a more playful font lends to a more laid back, fun atmosphere for your wedding. Who would have thought a font could say so much?  The font becomes the focal point of the the whole design.

Photo found here

Silver lettering is especially popular for a winter wedding, as well as watercolors and pastel hues, especially as we creep closer to Spring.

Photo found here

The invitations in unexpected shapes (cutout or pop ups for example) and poster style are other ideas to consider if you’re looking to create a very unique wedding invitation.

Cut out Invitation

Pop Up Invitation

Invitations truly set the tone for your wedding.  They can be as simple and basic as you want, or as fancy and intricate as you desire.  It is all about the details: the font, the embellishments, the stamps, the embossed details, etc.  Here are a couple more with fun Winter details:

Photo found here

Photo found here

What fun ideas for invitations! There are so many unique ideas, fonts, shapes, and details to choose from. You truly can make your invitation completely your own and match it perfectly with the theme and feel that you want for your wedding!

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