Wedding Cake Trends for 2017
Modern cake trends seem to be shifting from what was considered "normal" to becoming something completely abnormal.

Common wedding cake trends seem to be drifting away from the traditional white cake and more towards making cakes more vibrant and fun with their colors.

The most common wedding cake trend seems to be moving more toward coordinating with the bride’s colors, even if there is no white on the cake. Here are some of the trends for cakes this year:

When most people think of a wedding cake, they automatically assume it should be white. There are a lot of reasons for this. White denotes purity, which became popular during the Victorian era. The white wedding cake is also a visual link between the bride and the cake. White cakes and frosting, at one time, symbolized affluence. It was difficult to get refined sugar before the Victorian age. The whiter the cake, the more wealth a family had to obtain those difficult ingredients.

Here are some of the cake trends for this year:

  • Metallic decorations – think edible glitter for sparkle, or gold- or silver-leaf sheets in cutout embroidery lace-like designs.
  • White on white – a traditional cake with only white decorations.
  • Ruffles – no, not fabric ruffles, but embellishments of sugar frills. Include fresh or sugar flowers to finish off the cake.
  • Naked cakes – show off the inside of a cake by not frosting it. Fill the layers with seasonal fruits or nuts to add texture and taste.
  • Marbleized decorations – hand-painted designs on the frosting, set off with a simple ribbon or flower border.
  • Stained-glass – these cakes are part of the hand-painted variety but include outlining the images in black.
  • Beads – cover your cake with edible beads for a unique look.
  • Greenery and botany – don’t limit your cake decorations to flowers, but use fruits and greenery or anything organic to make it your own.
  • Navy and black – most people don’t associate navy blue or black with a wedding, but more brides are choosing one of these elegant colors as part of their attire.
  • Whimsical cakes – more brides are forgoing the elegant white cake for a tiered cake that represents their personality.
  • Ombre effect – blend colors on the wedding cake from a dark, deep tone to the lightest tint.
  • A cake trio, or quartet – a table of cakes at your reception, giving your guests two to three flavors to choose from. Not only does this make for a spectacular display, but you won’t have to choose between your two favorite flavors.
  • Rainbow cake – the inside of the cake is done in the colors of the rainbow, while the outside of the cake is more traditional.
  • A “sweet” cake – cover your wedding cake in the candies or sweets you enjoy. Some brides are even creating cakes out of their favorite goodies, opting for a different type of dessert altogether.
  • Monograms – decorate with your initials in a repetitive pattern around the cake. From a distance, it will be a pretty pattern. You could also have a sugar-made plaque with your new monogram.
  • Buttercream cakes – instead of the smooth fondant layer on the cake, more brides are going with a simple buttercream frosting in a pattern that might not be perfect. It tastes much different than fondant and can feel more casual and relaxed.

Why Stacked Wedding Cakes?

In the Middle Ages, legend has it that cakes or buns would be stacked in a large pile before the newly wedded couple. The couple would then try to kiss each other over the stack, and if they could, it symbolized a lifetime of prosperity. Eventually, the layers of cake would be stacked together with frosting. Because modern refrigeration wasn’t available, the cakes would be covered with lard to keep them moist. The lard would be scraped off before serving, but invariably, a small amount of the lard could not be removed. Bakers began adding sugar to the lard to improve the taste, and thus, the modern wedding cake came into being.

Fascinating Traditions in Canadian Weddings
Catching the bouquet is one of the oldest marriage traditions.

One of the most common wedding traditions practiced to this day is the catching of the bride’s bouquet.

The idea of getting married is nothing new. In fact, weddings are some of the oldest ceremonies to have been documented across all civilizations. There are a lot of traditions that have persisted through the years even if the mentality behind a wedding has changed. In Canada, for example, there are plenty of unique ways of going about the process of marrying your partner.

Common Wedding Traditions

Planning for a wedding requires time and research. Here are a few wedding practices that appear often in Canadian rituals in the current day and age, as well as in other cultures across the world.

Catch the Bouquet

One common tradition found in many weddings is the tossing of the bouquet. Traditionally, this is an act by the bride, who tosses the flowers backwards over her shoulder toward a crowd of single friends and relatives. It is customary for this part of the ceremony to only include women, but shifting attitudes have shown that single men can also get in on the fun if the married couple so wishes. The history behind this act is a bit more interesting than might be first believed.

In older cultures, it was common for single women to tear away a piece of the bride’s dress. This was meant as a gesture of good luck for the women holding the strip of garment. As wedding dresses became more expensive, brides found that it was a bit much to have their families and friends tearing away at their beautiful gowns. The bouquet toss was a custom introduced to ward away women who wanted a piece of luck and provide them with a competitive chance for their wishes.

Eternal Love

Some traditions are so ingrained in the cultural sphere that it’s hard to imagine another way of going about the process. Rings, for example, are the cornerstone of an engagement and subsequent wedding. There have been many different approaches to the exchanging of rings over the years. Essentially, experts have traced the tradition of the ring back to Egypt in its earliest days of civilization.

The Egyptians would trade rings as a sign of eternal love and commitment. Eventually, due to the conquests of the Greeks and Romans, the tradition was adopted. As civilization expanded through Europe, the custom became more widespread until it reached the height that it exists at now. The custom of wearing a wedding ring on a specific finger can also be traced back to the Egyptians. They believed that the third finger on the left hand was the one most closely connected to the human heart.

White Wedding

A common practice in the modern age is for a woman to wear white on her wedding day. This is actually not as old of a tradition as many might believe. In Western culture, the custom of wearing white began as a way of symbolizing the purity of the bride. This started during the Victorian Era in England and has persisted to the modern day in many countries. What’s more fascinating is that brides across the world wore a multitude of colors on their wedding day before this practice began.

White was a rare color to be seen during a ceremony in earlier traditions. It has lively and vibrant colors being more closely associated with the passion and beauty of shared love. Though it seems that most brides wear white in the current age, the trend is being pushed against. More women are wearing dresses that match their personal tastes rather than taking part in a tradition that holds no meaning for them.

As you plan your wedding, consider the meaning behind current customs. You may want to break from tradition or go with the flow – the choice is yours.

Stop Smoking This Year
2017 is the year to stop smoking

It is many people’s New Years Resolution to stop smoking in 2017.

The third week of January is designated National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control coordinates the efforts. The agency asks everyone to have a Weedless Wednesday by giving up all smoking on this day. The entire week is dedicated to the conversation about smoking and its impact on your health.

Common Concerns When Trying to Stop Smoking

You know the reasons to quit smoking: It’s better for your health, the air and the people around you. However, it’s not easy to stop smoking after years of relying on cigarettes. Too, there are many fears about how you will adapt to life without smoking. Many people are concerned about weight gain and withdrawal. However, by working with cessation experts, you can minimize your concerns and prevent weight gain. There has been a lot of research dedicated to the cessation of smoking and its impacts on your life. One key finding is that stopping smoking is better for your overall health than gaining a few pounds or going through withdrawal.

Benefits of Quitting

It takes two hours for your blood pressure and heart rate to return to normal after smoking a cigarette. Blood circulation also improves in this time frame. Imagine if you gave up half of the cigarettes you smoked each day. Your body would have more normal vitals that much longer. After 12 hours without a smoke, the carbon monoxide in your blood decreases to normal levels and the amount of oxygen in your blood to increases to normal levels.

In just one day without a cigarette, your risk of having a heart attack or developing coronary artery disease declines. You still have to watch your health, but you’re taking major steps toward increasing your lifespan. In two days, your ability to taste and smell improves because nerve endings are able to regenerate. It takes three days for the nicotine to be out of your system. This is when the biggest onset of withdrawal symptoms occurs. You’ve saved money for the past three days by not smoking, so do something for yourself. Get a massage, go out to the range or buy something nice for yourself as a reward.

In the next two to three weeks, you’ll be feeling much better and able to get back to exercise and do physical things without getting winded. The withdrawal symptoms should begin to subside by this time. You’ll be able to breathe easier and enjoy more of life’s fun. After four weeks, the cilia in your lungs are repaired to the point of being able to help you fight off lung infections and respiratory issues. This helps your lungs repair. The longer you go without smoking, the less withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience. After one year without smoking, your risk of heart disease is reduced by half of what it was when you were smoking.

Set Goals

Once you’ve decided to stop smoking, set goals. Make sure these goals are manageable and measurable. Instead of trying to give up smoking for one year, take it one week at a time. Just for seven days you’re going to stop or at least reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Use the intervention programs that are available to you. Through the Council for Tobacco Control, you have access to helplines, telephone counseling, therapy and community-based programs. Your healthcare provider can even provide interventions to assist you through the withdrawal symptoms. It’s up to you to ask for help. Gain the support of your family. Talk about your fears and expectations. Make a commitment to your health by giving up cigarettes. Take up a new hobby to replace the time you spent smoking. Do it for yourself and your loved ones who want you around for years to come.