June 2018

A 12-Month Timeline for Planning Your Wedding
Developing a timeline for your wedding planning will help ensure that your special day matches your unique vision in regards to every last detail.

Developing a timeline for your wedding planning will help ensure that your special day matches your unique vision in regards to every last detail.

Your wedding will probably be the biggest social event of your life. You’re joining around 160,000 Canadian couples who will also tie the knot this year. Developing and following a planning timeline increases the chances that you’ll score the apparel, locations, and vendors you want. Use these guidelines to help ensure that your special day matches your unique vision.

A Year Before: Nail Down the Basics

Contrary to popular belief, choosing your theme and colors shouldn’t be the first step on your timeline that you take. Elizabeth Clayton explains at A Practical Wedding that you should start with building your guest list. You’ll use your numbers to select a suitable venue, help your caterer determine how much food you’ll need, and figure out how much wedding cake you must order. Besides establishing this number, The Knot also advises that you decide several other basic elements of your event at least 12 months prior to the date:

  • Your wedding budget
  • The exact date and time for your event
  • Your wedding party members

Once you’ve pinned down these essentials, your next step is to pick your venues and officiant. Booking as early as possible can save you time, money and hassle. Moreover, this is also an ideal time to select a wedding planner. The earlier this individual gets involved, the more smoothly your arrangements will go.

10 Months Prior: Fill In Major Details

Now that you’ve got your locations and officiant, you and your sweetie need to decide on the other major aspects of your special day. Start making these decisions on your timeline around eight to 10 months before you tie the knot. That includes both your attire selections, along with your entertainment choices, ceremony and reception décor elements, and gift registries. Once you have these ideas solidified, you need to start booking the appropriate vendors:

  • Disc jockey, musicians or bands
  • Photographer and videographer
  • Caterers
  • Florists

This is also a good time to contact rental companies for tents, chairs and other outdoor furnishings. Finally, you should think about booking hotel stays for any out-of-town attendees.

Four to Six Months Before: Pin Down More Minutiae

At four to six months before you say, “I do,” you’ll want to confirm even more choices for your event. Usually, you send out the save-the-date cards at this stage of your timeline. Meanwhile, you must also order formalwear for your attendants, select and purchase your invitations, buy your wedding rings and arrange your honeymoon. Not only that, you’ll go on the delicious errand of picking your wedding cake baker, flavors and the size of your dessert. These details require a little less time to finalize and can safely wait for this stage of your planning.

Three Months and After: Time Will Fly

The last three months before you walk down the aisle will likely blur together. Be sure to place the final order for your cake, select a calligrapher and hire wedding-day transportation at the three-month mark. Invitations should be mailed out two months before the big day, and don’t forget to book your beauty services at this point. Amidst the flurry of these events, make certain you sit down with your spouse-to-be and pen your vows. After this, you’ll attend final fittings, apply for your marriage license and craft your event program about a month before the event. Within the last month or so of your timeline, you should also review your RSVP list and confirm final details, including reservation times and guest numbers, with all your vendors and venues.

You’re going to have a lot on your plate over the next year or so. The common axiom, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” applies even to your nuptials. Start to make your arrangements around 12 months in advance, and follow a consistent timeline afterwards to put details in place and create the wedding you desire.

Wedding Toast Mistakes To Avoid
Here are a few pitfalls you are going to want to avoid in order to deliver a toast that keeps everyone happy and leaves a mark on the crowd.

Here are a few pitfalls you are going to want to avoid in order to deliver a toast that keeps everyone happy and leaves a mark on the crowd.

Toasts at a wedding can run the gamut. While not all speeches need to be memorable, the amazing ones and the terrible ones always stand out. If you’re tasked with toasting at the wedding of one of your closest friends or relatives, you might feel nervous. For one, talking in front of a large group of people might feel intimidating. Beyond this, there are many pitfalls you are going to want to avoid in order to deliver a toast that keeps everyone happy. Though there is no simple secret to a successful speech, there are bits of advice worth following. 

Take a look at these common toast mistakes to avoid. By reviewing these basic flubs, you’re giving yourself plenty of room to make better choices. 

No One Gets the Joke 

There are very good reasons why a wedding toast can be difficult to nail. You’re likely giving this speech because you are incredibly close with one or both of the people getting married. This means you also probably have infinite inside jokes you share together. While one or two clever jokes throughout the speech might be subtle enough to land in the right way, overstuffing your toast with super-specific references can be an easy way to bore the entire crowd in a matter of seconds. 

Your speech should be personal, of course, but it also needs to have a bit of generality to it. Talk more about why you love the couple rather than ramble on and on about specific experiences you have had together. Save that kind of information for your card or for the after-party. When you avoid inside jokes and other specific references, you’re allowing the entire group of people assembled the chance to actually engage with what you’re saying instead of daydream about what dinner will look like. 

Stay Sober

Here’s the thing: You really want to moderate your drinking before your toast. This can be really trying for some, as the idea of giving a speech might send them straight to the bar for a shot to calm the nerves. A drink or two might help, but an open bar at a wedding is an easy path to becoming inebriated far earlier than you would normally. Before you know it, you’re drunkenly going on and on in front of the whole wedding about an embarrassing story that no one wants to remember. 

Losing your inhibitions isn’t a good look before a speech, especially at a wedding. The beauty of staying on the sober side before the speech is that the toasts generally happen early in the night. You’ll still have plenty of time to hit the bar and drunkenly shake it to some tunes with all your friends. All you need to do is make sure you’re not slurring out your toast, and you’re in a better position than plenty of people who have had to do this task in the past. 

Keep It Short

You also need to make sure you keep your speech concise. Five minutes should be the maximum amount of time you hold the attention of the crowd. Longer than that and even the most patient people will start to feel restless. Keep the speech moving with humor and sweet remarks, and you can easily leave the crowd wanting more.

Giving a toast can take a lot out of you. While you don’t need to be perfect, you definitely want to do right by the happy couple. As long as you make it a point to stay sober, keep your speech as short as possible, and make the whole toast general enough for everyone to appreciate, you will be able to deliver a message that people talk about throughout the night for all the right reasons.

The Bouquet Toss: A Dying Tradition?
Many couples are eliminating the bouquet toss from their celebrations in favor of their own unique spin on this tradition.

Many couples are eliminating the bouquet toss from their celebrations in favor of their own unique spin on this tradition.

Ah, the bouquet toss. It’s been regarded as a time-honored tradition during which fate, luck, or perhaps an intervening deity revealed which single woman would be the next to walk down the aisle. As with many other nuptial customs, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many couples are eliminating the bouquet toss from their celebrations. If you’re curious about its origins and some possible alternative traditions you can choose for your special day, read on.

A Distraction for Rowdy Wedding Guests

It’s unclear where the bouquet toss tradition came from, but one commonly repeated origin story is that it’s a relic from medieval times. When the happy couple would depart from their wedding to consummate the marriage, so the tale goes, rowdy guests would chase them during their exit. To keep them distracted, the bride would fling her bouquet into the crowd while the groom tossed her garter.

Other versions of the narrative suggest that attendees attempted to rip off pieces of the bride’s dress, believing that even a tiny square of its fabric would bestow good fortune. Over time, women started lofting their bouquets at revelers to avoid the destruction of their lovely frocks. Soon, people began associating the airborne clusters of flowers with a chance for good luck and began waiting patiently for brides to toss them instead of pursuing her and the groom. 

Saying Goodbye to the Bouquet Toss

In an April 2017 Brides article, writer Jen Glantz gives three reasons why she thinks the bouquet toss is a custom best left in the past:

  • It’s awkward and embarrassing for single attendees.
  • If a guest catches it, single men may avoid her the rest of the night.
  • You can devise other fun ways to get rid of the bouquet. 

The Knot contributor Maggie Seaver also points out that the seemingly innocuous practice can turn dangerous, especially with crowds of attendees who may have been consuming alcohol. Tipsy fumbling and stumbling aside, injuries may result when people dive for the flying flowers, especially while wearing high heels. They could crash into the wedding cake, smack their heads against a wall, or catch an elbow to the face. You’ll avoid mishaps, and perhaps potential litigation, by skipping this tradition entirely. 

Cool Alternatives for Your Bouquet

In her write-up for The Knot, Seaver points out that you really don’t have to replace the bouquet toss with anything else. However, there are plenty of alternatives if you still feel called to find a fun way to pass it on to one of your guests. Some common suggestions include the following:

  • An “anniversary dance” in which the couple who’s been together the longest gets the bouquet
  • Using a bouquet that breaks apart so you can gift sections to your loved ones
  • Holding a “dance move” competition and awarding it to the winner

Jezebel writer Jolie Kerr collected some readers’ stories of unusual ways they gave away their bouquets. One couple held a “cat toss,” launching a cat plushie into the crowd with the lucky catcher supposedly being the next to get a cat. Others threw glitter bombs on their guests, passed their bouquets on to friends who would be marrying soon, or saved them to leave on a loved one’s grave.

Choosing Between Traditions and Custom Details

Weddings are both events with personal meaning and social affairs that allow couples to commit to each other in front of their communities. With that said, you’ll probably end up balancing the traditions you wish to honor with unique details reflecting your personality and values. As the bouquet toss appears to be on its way out, there are many awesome alternatives you can adapt for your own special day.

Add Flavor to Your Wedding With These Amenities
There are both economical and extravagant amenities you can provide at your wedding to cultivate a more exciting and inviting atmosphere.

There are both economical and extravagant amenities you can provide at your wedding to cultivate a more exciting and inviting atmosphere.

Amenities are not immediately associated with weddings. The couple is usually providing food, drinks, and a chance to dance, which can be enough for most. Still, there are times when people tying the knot decide to shower some affection on their friends and family members in unique ways. Favors are always a good choice for this, as you can leave your guests with a little something special to remember your union. Beyond this, there are simple amenities you can use to cultivate a more exciting and inviting atmosphere at your event.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to add some simple amenities to your affair. Consider these ideas and see how you can work your own unique perks into your wedding.

Something Literally Sweet 

Have you ever gone to a wedding with an ice cream bar? If you have, then you know how absolutely amazing it feels for a guest to see this sight when the time for dessert arrives. This is the type of amenity that can do wonders for your event. Instead of offering cake as the only choice for sweets, consider what moves you can make to provide a wider range of options to your guests. A sundae bar with lots of topping options is a solid call, but not your only choice.

When it comes to sweets, there are many routes you can explore. Do you have a family member who loves baking? See if you can get this relative to whip up a bunch of cookies for your wedding. Of course, you also want to stay sensible. You don’t need your grandmother spending weeks baking cookies for hundreds of people. Still, a small gathering is an ideal setting for personalized treats like grandma’s baked goods. Figure out a plan that lets you give your guests something special without adding too much pressure to the decision.

Location Is Everything 

Booking your venue can be a complicated process. Plenty of couples have decided to ditch traditional venues in favor of more exciting alternatives. While it can be fun to get married somewhere less expected, it can also provide you with plenty of opportunities to offer your guests excitement. Want to get married at a museum? See if guests can explore exhibits during the event. Think a ranch would be the ideal setting for your wedding? Maybe hiring someone to do some fancy horse riding can help to increase the authenticity and excitement levels.

Of course, you don’t always have the option of getting married somewhere that lends itself to amenities. When your location doesn’t provide straightforward ideas for guest perks, try to take the time of year into consideration. If your event is in the thick of summer, then you can expect guests to be sweating. In this situation, a very appropriate amenity would be providing baskets of spray deodorants and other hygiene products that friends and family members can use to stay fresh in the humid weather.

Get Creative With Amenities

Adding a special amenity to your wedding can be as grand or as simple as you’d prefer. When you get creative with your planning, you can discover some unique ways to shower your guests with affection. Instead of a DJ, think about hiring a live band that can do covers of songs guests will want to dance to. Live music has a way of electrifying an experience, and your guests will have a blast getting down to actual musicians playing their hearts out.

You don’t have to include any sort of extra perks at your event. Still, you also might feel like you want to do a little something special for your friends and family members. Think about your options and see if you can create a more enjoyable vibe at your event with a few simple additions.

Shopping for Vintage Wedding Apparel: What You Need To Know
Take a look at these tips if you are considering vintage apparel for your upcoming wedding.

Take a look at these tips if you are considering vintage apparel for your upcoming wedding.

Whether it’s an appreciation for retro formalwear, a desire to save money, or both, vintage wedding apparel can be a great option for your upcoming nuptials. At the same time, tracking down fabulous finds requires knowing what you want and observing smart shopping practices. Before you go on the hunt, take a look at these savvy tips.

Top Reasons for Buying Vintage

New designer threads hit the racks every season, but what keeps us coming back to old-school formalwear? In a 2017 Fashionista piece, Fawnia Soo Hoo mentions sustainability as one reason, noting that older garments find new uses rather than being discarded and going to waste. Others are lured by the thrill of donning unique, one-of-a-kind finds and standing out from the pack, particularly in pictures shared on social media. With other soon-to-be-wed folks, vintage attire fits in with larger retro event themes.

Defining Your Era

Keep in mind that words such as “retro” or “vintage” carry subjective meanings and can encompass clothing from almost any decade from the past. Martha Stewart Weddings points out that even 1980s or early 1990s fashions might fall under these categories, so you’re going to need to pin down exactly what type of vintage wear you want. Also, deciding on your affair’s intended look and feel is important, since it can serve as a style guide when you go shopping. Finally, don’t overlook the “revival” trends that have recurred throughout history, such as the comebacks of some 1960s fashions in the early 1990s and a few late 1980s styles working their way back into current trends.

Where To Start

With the wide range of vintage apparel options on the market, it may be hard to decide where to start. You can typically find your garment of choice in several different types of venues:

  • Consignment shops
  • Online retailers
  • Private sellers
  • Thrift stores

However, purchasing a secondhand garment can come with one risk: your inability to return the item if you’re not satisfied. To avoid any major snags or losing money on an item you can’t wear, shopping locally is probably your best option. Also, remember to try all garments on, and inspect each find under good lighting to look for rips, tears, stains or other blemishes. Finally, you might consider modern reinterpretations of your desired style, since these garments can be more easily altered and come with the usual policies and guarantees of buying new apparel.

If your idea of formalwear includes suits, you may have a bit more leeway in tracking down a great find. Writing for Offbeat Bride, Seyta Selter reveals that suit styles haven’t changed much over the last century or two. Even if you purchase an ensemble with a more modern cut, you can add old-school details such as vests, hats, or suspenders. Selter cautions wearers to pay attention to other specifics such as the type of dress shirts you select, hair or beard styling, cufflinks, and shoes, as these extras can make or break your total look.

A Few Words for Plus-Sized Shoppers

Bustle contributor Gina Tonic explains that secondhand shopping can be tricky for people with larger bodies. Since size numbers for the same clothing measurements may fluctuate widely, Tonic advises readers to make sure they know their measurements, try on garments in-store, and avoid sticking strictly to size labels. Some items can be altered, especially if they fit loosely on you and don’t have heavy detailing such as intricate beadwork.

Vintage attire can be an excellent choice for your nuptials, but you need to do some homework and shop around to locate top-quality items. Also, it’s vital to know what you want, remain flexible, and stay open to retro-styled new clothing as possible options. By following this advice, you’re a few steps closer to scoring your dream attire.

Gifts of Love: Little Ways To Make Your Significant Other Feel Special
Get into the habit of making your significant other feel special whenever you have the opportunity by giving small gifts, gestures, and tokens of love.

Get into the habit of making your significant other feel special whenever you have the opportunity by giving small gifts, gestures, and tokens of love.

It is no secret that marriage takes a lot of work. What many people don’t seem to realize is how the seeds need to be planted early in the relationship in order for love to continuously bloom. Flowery metaphors aside, you want to get into the habit of making your significant other feel special whenever you have the opportunity. There are little tokens of affection, gestures, and gifts of love you can work into your interactions with your partner that are sure to keep the fire burning between you throughout your engagement and long into your marriage.

Whether you are currently planning for your wedding or you haven’t begun to discuss the engagement yet, it can be useful to explore different ways to brighten your significant other’s day. Check out these suggestions and see which ideas might help you in your quest.

Daily Routine

Living with your partner before marriage is a great way to put your relationship to the test. Whether you have had dozens of roommates in the past or your significant other is the first person you’ve cohabitated with, the experience can push you to the edge. Of course, once the growing pains have worn off, you will be able to figure out how to work in synchronicity. If you want to make your partner feel special, be sure to take note of his or her daily routine.

Is coffee the first thing your significant other needs upon waking? Help start the day off right by getting up a little bit earlier and making a gift of fresh coffee. Does your partner hate doing laundry? Offer to do it after a long day and watch a scowl turn into a smile. These gestures are small, but they can go a long way to keep a relationship alive. Domestic life tends to be boring and repetitive, so look at ways you can infuse how much you love your partner into these tasks.

Literal Gifts

Relationships are often built around gifts. Culturally speaking, the act of giving a partner a gift has been practiced for countless centuries. These days, some people tend to ask for more than others when it comes to receiving presents. Showering your partner with all sorts of lavish gifts is probably not the best idea, nor is it a financially sensible move for most people to make. Still, little things here and there can go a long way to show you were thinking about your partner.

These gifts can be something like a specific item your significant other has been eyeing or some small surprise you grab at the store on your way home from work. A candy bar might not cost much, but you can definitely turn someone’s day around by showing up with one at the right moment. Presents are common early in a relationship and during birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Surprise your partner by giving him a present when he least expects it, and he’s likely to feel loved. 

Whisper Words of Wisdom 

Finally, words can go a long way. There are going to come times in your relationship when you and your partner are not going to see a lot of each other. Demanding work schedules and obligations can make it so you only get a few hours together a week. When this happens, you want to keep your communication open. Send a text every now and then to check in or share something sweet or funny. Try to avoid only contacting your partner when you need something, and it will do wonders to show how much you care.

Practicing little rituals and exchanging various kinds of gifts with your significant other can help both of you to feel loved and supported throughout your relationship. When you get into these habits early enough, it will be much easier for you to approach married life with confidence.

Avoid These Wedding Dates at All Costs
Take a look at these wedding dates to avoid, and you might be able to figure out a more practical plan for selecting a calendar option for your own wedding.

Take a look at these wedding dates to avoid, and you might be able to figure out a more practical plan for selecting a calendar option for your own wedding.

Selecting the perfect date for your wedding can be something of a hassle. There are 365 days in a non-leap year, which suggests there are 365 different options for you and your partner to tie the knot. From a statistical standpoint, this isn’t exactly the case. Workday obligations force most couples to aim for weekend dates, limiting the number of options to roughly 52 different weekends per year. When you start taking into account all of the other people attempting to choose their own wedding dates in the same year, it can make for a tense selection process.

You don’t need to be excellent with mathematics to figure out a sensible time to book your wedding. In fact, you really only need a little bit of general guidance to help steer you clear of some major obstacles and dates of importance. Take a look at these wedding dates to avoid, and you might be able to figure out a more practical plan for selecting a calendar option for your own event.

The First Round

Before getting into the dates that almost everyone is going to want to avoid, you should take a moment to consider your personal lives. You definitely do not want to book your wedding date for a weekend where friends or family members have something important planned. Failing to look through your planners, calendars, and reminders for big parties and celebrations can lead to double-booking a date that’s important within your circle of friends or family. Since you don’t want to split your guests between events, you need to think ahead.

Scouring your notebooks and text messages for information about important future events is an absolute must in order to book a safe date for your wedding. Should someone decide to book an event on the day you have picked after you have already secured the date with the venue, then it is no longer your issue to deal with. Just make sure you get your invitations and other mailings out as soon as you select your day to avoid any complications with people who are eyeing the same day for birthday events, anniversary plans, or even other weddings.

Major Dates 

After getting through personal obligations and upcoming events, you want to start looking at important holiday weekends during which people might not want to attend a wedding. Some of these dates are fixed in the calendar and are easy to predict. For example, you know Christmas is going to fall on December 25th each year and are going to want to avoid selecting this date or any of the days around it. Competing with Christmas or any other major holiday for your wedding is going to lead to seriously low turnout.

Even long weekends should be avoided. At first, you might not feel like you have much to worry about when it comes to booking a wedding during Memorial Day weekend. The events surrounding this holiday are usually not ones that all people attend. Still, this is the first official weekend where people go out and enjoy the start of the summer. People book vacations during this time in advance, and you want to try and avoid any holiday weekend where friends and family might be traveling to far-off locations.

Acceptance

It is also important to remember you aren’t going to please everyone. There are going to be many guests you would like to have in attendance who have other engagements or plans and have to decline your invitation.

Take your time when doing your research on wedding dates. Though you might not be able to pick a perfect date for all, putting in the effort will help to deliver the best possible results.

Open Doors, Open Arms: LGBTQ-Affirming Christian Churches in Canada
If you're an LGBTQ Christian, finding a church to welcome you may be tough, but fortunately there are many churches in Canada that embrace this community.

If you’re an LGBTQ Christian, finding a church to welcome you may be tough, but fortunately there are many churches in Canada that embrace this community.

For queer and transgender Canadians who embrace Christianity, it can sometimes be difficult to find an accepting or affirming community of faith. While fundamentalist evangelical culture has greater widespread impacts south of the border, those in other denominations occasionally struggle with religious authorities and doctrines that brand their existences as contrary to divine will. Fortunately, several Christian organizations openly welcome and affirm LGBTQ individuals, with many local and national branches and congregations located throughout Canada.

Metropolitan Community Churches

Based in the United States, the original Metropolitan Community Church was specifically founded by and for LGBTQ Christians. The MCC traces its genesis back to 1968 when Reverend Elder Troy Perry, a former Pentecostal priest defrocked for being gay, placed an advertisement in The Advocate announcing the beginning of LGBTQ-welcoming worship services. The MCC’s website explains that after his depression and attempted suicide, Perry was convinced he’d never lead a congregation again. Nevertheless, a friend changed his mind when she insisted God had plans for his future that centered around a new Christian ministry.

The first services were held with 12 attendees in Perry’s living room at his Huntington Park home, but the organization has grown to encompass 300 congregations and more than 43,000 members worldwide. Three of them are in Ontario, with one church each in London, Toronto, and Windsor. The Canadian organization’s legacy includes helping to transform marriage laws. When the Toronto congregation’s pastor started issuing bans of marriage for same-sex couples, these acts eventually led to the favorable marriage equality outcome of Halpern v. Canada in 2003.

United Church of Canada

Near the forefront of Christian groups actively working towards inclusion, the United Church of Canada is known for its more liberal stances on many topics. A denomination in the Reformed Protestant tradition, it was founded in 1925 as the result of several smaller sects merging. Basing its theologies on an interpretation that Jesus welcomed all, its positions on issues such as marriage, inclusion, faith and social justice are decidedly progressive, as documented on the organization’s website.

Amidst some internal strife, the United Church of Canada applied these philosophies to its views on gender and romantic orientation. According to its Gender and Orientation page, the church follows these guidelines:

  • Opposes discrimination
  • Believes that all are made in God’s image
  • Welcomes anyone of any gender or orientation into membership and ministry

Additionally, it hosts several networks and groups specifically for LGBTQ church members and allies, ranging from ones that offer support to those focused on education and advocacy.

Other Christian Denominations

Although some standard Protestant sects have experienced division over the acceptance and affirmation of LGBTQ people in their flocks, they continue to move in more progressive directions. A shortlist of Canadian denominations with nondiscriminatory policies include the following:

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • The Anglican Church
  • Unitarian Universalism
  • Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Several independent Catholic religious communities — those that do not recognize the Vatican as their authority — also welcome LGBTQ members. While many of these are in the United States, some local parishes can be found throughout Canada. The GALIP Foundation, a United States nonprofit Christian outreach for queer and transgender individuals, keeps an updated list of affirming congregations. You can use its search feature and drop-down menus to return results by state or province.

Connect With Affirming Houses of Worship 

If you’re a queer or transgender Christian, connecting with a congregation where you feel welcome can be challenging. However, resources are available that can help you find what you seek. From LGBTQ-focused religious organizations to mainstream and independent denominations opening their doors to affirm all members regardless of gender or orientation, communities exist where you can enjoy fellowship, find support, and pursue the meaning of your faith in both an individual and collective context.

Cake Traditions to Sweeten Your Wedding
There are a wealth of strange traditions surrounding the cake that you might be interested in including at your wedding reception.

There are a wealth of strange traditions surrounding the cake that you might be interested in including at your wedding reception.

The world has seen its fair share of bizarre wedding customs over the centuries. While some practices are going to appear odd to those who are not part of a specific culture, there are certain rituals even long-standing members of a group find weird. Interestingly, many of these acts have to do with the cake. While you might already be familiar with one or two of these customs, there are a wealth of strange traditions surrounding the cake that might take you by surprise.

Learning about some of these fascinating rituals can help you to determine whether or not you want to include any of them in your reception. Take a look at these cake-related customs, and discover the lengths people will go in the name of tradition.

Smash It Up

To kick things off, it can be fun to start with a more well-known custom: the smashing of the cake. At modern weddings, guests can often get a kick out of watching a couple cut the cake and then waiting in anticipation to see if the cake will get smashed in someone’s face. Some couples love this tradition and happily grab handfuls of cake to rub on their partner’s cheeks. Still, other couples are happier keeping their clothes free of sugar and frosting. Interestingly, the custom itself seems to have developed from another weird one.

According to certain European wedding traditions, it was common for a groom to take a few bites off of a loaf of bread baked specifically for the event. Upon biting off a tiny edge of the bread, the groom would then hold the loaf above the head of the bride and shower her with crumbs. After all the bread was crumbled above her, the guests of the wedding would be invited to come and collect crumbs from the ground. The crumbs collected symbolized good luck, and when cakes replaced bread as the preferred nuptial treat, smashing the cake became lucky.

Two-Cake Town

One cake at your reception might be a delicious idea, so why not make it two? Recent years have seen a shift in the number of cakes at weddings. The main reason behind this seems to be to allow both partners the chance to have a bit of creative freedom. Compromise is often the key to a happy relationship, but there are certain happy mediums that might be difficult to find. For example, you’re never going to win when you’re fighting against a partner who wants a chocolate cake. It just won’t happen.

Instead of fighting a losing battle, you can find a lot more joy in having two cakes. The beauty of this option is that you do not need to get two lavish options. You can get two wonderful cakes that are smaller in size and allow guests the option of trying whatever option appeals to them. This is a more modern practice, so there really aren’t any fascinating facts surrounding it. Still, you may find the choice of bringing a second cake into the picture to be too sweet to pass up.

Purity or Price?

The tradition of having a white cake at a wedding is also one with interesting roots. Though white is usually used at ceremonies to symbolize purity, the real reason cakes are white is because of cost. The purer the sugar used in the frosting, the whiter the results. White became the norm as people over the decades raced to see who could boast the whitest confection of the season.

Though there are many interesting traditions surrounding the cake, it is hard to imagine a wedding without one. Discover what customs are the most appealing for your own event by exploring the other fascinating stories out there.

Beyond Pinterest: Getting Hitched With High-Tech Tools
Couples have moved beyond basic wedding websites and into high-tech tools to help mind the details, hire help, and pay for their special day.

Couples have moved beyond basic wedding websites and into high-tech tools to help mind the details, hire help, and pay for their special day.

Technology is an inseparable part of our lives. We often think of ways we can use it to simplify work, home life and leisure, so it’s no surprise that engaged couples harness technology for all aspects of wedding planning. Couples have moved beyond basic wedding websites and using Yelp! to scope out potential vendors, and Pinterest is already a top planning resource. Meanwhile, other high-tech tools are taking center stage to help mind the details, hire help, and pay for that special day.

Mobilize With Organization Tools 

Let’s face it: Planning your wedding is a project. That’s why some couples purposely turn to management, collaboration and information-collecting high-tech applications to organize their nuptials. For example, Evernote allows users to create individual “notebooks,” write notes, create task lists, clip photos and articles from the web, archive information and even set reminders. Meanwhile, others turn to nuptial-specific tools such as Wedding Wire Canada, described by CBC writer Katrina Clarke as a free service that helps couples locate vendors, discover décor and style ideas, plan a budget, and create to-do lists. You’ll want to make sure that your desired planning app supports Canadian users, but you should also evaluate several other factors:

  • Functionality and ease of use
  • Support for multiple media types such as text, photos and video
  • Available storage space for saves and uploads
  • Ability to share access with other users
  • Cost for usage and pricing plans

Wedding Websites That Help You Plan 

Couple-created wedding websites originated in the late 1990s. Some designed their own homegrown versions and published them on free hosting providers and independent ISP accounts. Meanwhile, TheKnot and other purveyors of nuptial planning advice debuted their own free website services alongside gift registries, budgeting utilities and online planners.

Personal wedding websites have come a long way in the last two decades. Besides supplying information about your event and allowing you to show off cutesy engagement photos, modern high-tech versions offer standard planning tools and advanced features such as online invitations, RSVP tracking, guest management and social media integration. Many, such as Zola and Joy, also provide visual matching between your website and your invitations so that the two share the same look and feel. Writing for Woman Getting Married, Lindsey Goldberg Jones lists and describes key features of the most popular services available.

Money Matters: Budgeting With Apps

If your favorite high-tech app doesn’t involve budget capabilities and expense tracking, it might be wise to add one to your arsenal. In a 2017 Brides article, contributor Molly E. McHugh revealed that money-management utilities such as Mint can be used to budget your event. Although it’s not wedding-specific, Mint permits Canadian users to detail spending plans, log expenses and submit payments to vendors.

High-tech Apps for Hiring Helping Hands

You and your partner can only do so much, so you might benefit from outsourcing services for all those extra wedding-related tasks. In a 2016 write-up, Medium contributor Sarah Schacht discloses her go-to tools. For instance, FancyHands is a United States subscription service that provides English-speaking assistants to perform tasks such as reservations, quotes, appointment scheduling or basic information gathering. AskforTask is a Canadian service that allows you to delegate small jobs such as decoration and setup for your event.

If you’re getting married, you might feel swamped by all the details involved. Couples used pen and paper in the past to keep track of essentials and minutiae, but both newbies and the tech-savvy can take advantage of new and emerging wedding planning apps. At the same time, popular productivity favorites can also be repurposed in new ways. Either way, you’ve got many high-tech possibilities right at your fingertips to help you pull your wedding together.