wedding planning

A Quick Crash Course on Wines for Your Wedding Reception
Serving wines is a must at most wedding receptions, but the endless varieties can be overwhelming. Read this quick primer to help you navigate your options.

Serving wines is a must at most wedding receptions, but the endless varieties can be overwhelming. Read this quick primer to help you navigate your options.

Wine is a staple at many wedding receptions, but it’s easy to find the endless varieties confusing. This is especially true if you aren’t familiar with wine varieties and their unique properties. If you can barely tell the difference between white and red wines, you’re going to need some assistance navigating your wine selection. Fortunately, a quick guide can help you begin to understand your options.

Wines 101: White, Red, and Sparkling

There’s more to red and white wines than just their hues, as Wine Folly explains. Red varieties are usually fermented with grapes’ skins and seeds, while white wines are not. Different oxidation methods are used, with red wines aging in oak barrels and white vintages aging inside stainless steel tanks. Oak barrels increase exposure to oxygen, resulting in darker wines’ rich, bold flavors. Conversely, stainless steel tanks reduce oxygen exposure to give white wines their bright, zesty and fruity taste.

Sparkling wines are so named for their carbonation, resulting from a second fermentation process. Vine Pair describes how this works. After the primary fermentation occurs, yeast in the wine is encouraged to activate and consume leftover sugars. The result is excess carbon dioxide, which produces the familiar bubbles. Champagne is eponymous thanks to the region in which it’s made, but it’s only one type of sparkler. Prosecco, Cava, and Lambrusco are other popular kinds, and sparkling vintages can come in white, red, or blush-pink rosé.

Choosing Your Wine Selections

How do you determine which wines to serve at your reception? A lot of factors can influence your decision, but you may benefit from some useful advise. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast cautions against offering too many choices, so keep your selection simple. One white and one red is the standard advice, but The Knot recommends adding one sparkling variety to your menu. Also, don’t worry about serving strictly seasonal vintages. Your guests will appreciate what you serve as long as it’s thoughtfully selected and complements your meal.

Decoding Food and Wine Pairings

Some tastemakers elevate food and wine pairing to an art form. For the rest of us, a few rules can guide our choices. Food & Wine provides some simple suggestions to help you get started:

  • A dry rosé works well with most hors d’oeuvres.
  • Unoaked white wines are ideal for most seafood, especially fish and shellfish that are complemented by citrus flavors.
  • Sweet or low-alcohol wines pair best with spicy foods.
  • Rich red meat benefits from bold red vintages.
  • For lighter meats, pair the wine to its type of sauce.
  • Earthy wines are perfect companions to earthy foods.
  • Lighter ones are excellent for dessert.

For couples serving vegetarian menus, Vegetarian Times offers more great tips. For instance, sweet vintages contrast well with the piquant heat in Indian, Thai, or other spicy cuisines.

After you’ve picked your drink menu, don’t forget a few serving hints to get the most out of your wines. Vine Pair suggests temperature ranges of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for sparkling wines, 50 to 60 degrees for white and rosé varieties, and 60 to 70 degrees for reds. For best results, keep pours consistently to 3 ounces per glass. To ensure that you have enough for your crowd, budget for one bottle per guest and add a few extras just in case.

Maximum Enjoyment for Your Guests

Wine is a vital part of the hospitality you extend to friends and family at your wedding. When catering to your crowd, a limited yet varied menu is best. For food and wine pairings, choose vintages that match your dishes’ flavor intensities. Wines should be served cold to best enhance their natural flavors and aromas.

Attending an Outdoor Wedding? Bring These Essentials Along!
Survive an outdoor wedding this summer with style and grace by remembering to bring along these essentials to protect yourself from the elements.

Survive an outdoor wedding this summer with style and grace by remembering to bring along these essentials to protect yourself from the elements.

The summer has arrived, which means more people will be spending time outdoors. It also means summer weddings are on the horizon. If you will be attending an outdoor reception in the coming months, you might need a little bit of help. While an outdoor wedding is very similar to a traditional indoor event, there are also a handful of considerations to take into account before the day arrives. This is especially true when it comes to what personal items you should bring along for your own comfort and enjoyment.

The outdoors can offer some unique challenges. Survive an outdoor wedding in style this season by remembering to bring along these essentials.

Sun Protection

The summer can get hot fast. When the sun is shining high in the sky, those down below need to take proper precautions to stay protected. Studies conducted over recent years have unearthed some alarming facts about the skin’s long-term exposure to sunlight. To keep your skin protected, you need to make sure you always put on a bit of sunscreen before you head outside. Medical professionals recommend you use products with an SPF of no less than 30 and that those with sensitive skin aim for a much higher SPF.

The sunscreen you use should also contain protection from both UVA and UVB rays, as these are the two you need to be wary of when exposing your skin to the sun. Don’t let an overcast day fool you, either. Just because the sun is obscured by clouds doesn’t mean it isn’t doing damage. For added protection at an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider wearing an outfit that covers your arms and your legs. Hats with wide brims can also be helpful for keeping the sun off of your face throughout the event. 

Weather Challenges 

The trouble with an outdoor wedding is that it is at the mercy of the elements. When rain is in the forecast, the event cannot simply be rescheduled. A lot of time and energy has gone into putting the wedding together, which means a raincheck is not possible. Though the happy couple has probably made some alternative arrangements, guests who are planning on heading to outdoor weddings should also take a few precautions themselves. Bringing along the right accessories can help ensure you don’t fall prey to whatever the weather has in store.

An umbrella is a must when rain has been predicted for the day of the wedding. Even if you leave your home to blue skies, be sure to bring this along with you. The couple might plan on bringing people into an indoor space if it rains, but you still could get caught outside when the clouds open. A change of shoes can also be a wise choice, as some outdoor weddings are held on farms or grounds that can become muddy fast. An umbrella and extra pair of shoes can do wonders when an outdoor event gets wet.

Shades

Lastly, no guest at an outdoor wedding will feel complete without a pair of shades. Sunglasses can be a huge asset when you’re sitting outdoors for long periods of time in the summer. You don’t want to squint into the sunlight to watch the ceremony unfold, and sunglasses help to take a huge strain off your eyes. As with sunscreen, don’t let an overcast day fool you into thinking you’re safe. Sunglasses can prove just as invaluable when it is a bit cloudy out. Plus, everyone looks cooler in shades.

Attending an outdoor wedding can be a lot of fun. Be sure to bring along the right essentials to keep yourself comfortable while watching two people you care about tie the knot.

A Guide To Hosting a Bridal Shower
Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

When a close friend or relative decides to task you with the responsibility of putting together a bridal shower, it can be a big honor. You want to make sure you throw an event that will satisfy the happy couple without straying too far from their sensibilities. Of course, there are also a lot of tasks associated with this kind of event. If you’ve never had to throw a party like this before, you might not be sure how to get things going. Thankfully, a bridal shower is far from an impossible task to accomplish.

Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower. Learning these answers early can help you throw a fantastic event to celebrate the happy couple.

Inviting the Right People

One of the most difficult things you’ll have to figure out is who to invite to the shower. The couple most likely will be spending a ridiculous amount of time ironing out the details of the wedding guest list, which means you can’t just invite anyone to this party. The biggest rule to remember for invitations is that you should not be inviting anyone to the shower who will not be receiving an invitation to the wedding itself. The best way to avoid this mistake is by coordinating with the couple and figuring out exactly who they would like invited.

Depending on how close you are to the nearlyweds, you might be able to simply use your best judgment with the invitations. When you already know their friends and family members, you most likely will have a good idea of who should be receiving an invitation. When you aren’t sure, reach out and try to get some more information. Don’t guess when you aren’t positive, as you might wind up making an awkward error. It also is a good idea to try and keep the event small, as you are probably paying for it.

All in the Timing

You also may need a bit of information on when you should be planning this event. More often than not, the couple will ask you to throw the shower by a certain time. In specific cases, you might be told by the bride or groom exactly when he or she wishes the party held. When you aren’t given any set details to follow, you’ll need to select the date yourself. Generally, you want to have the shower no earlier than five months before the date of the wedding.

On the reverse side, you want the shower to be at least three weeks before the wedding. This large gap of time makes it easy to pick a date and have enough room to plan out all the details. Unless the event is very small, you are most likely going to need a little bit of help organizing everything. Try to not involve the couple too much. Instead, reach out to other close friends and see who might be able to offer some assistance. Involving a few other people can also keep the costs down, which is a huge help.

No Surprises

Finally, if you are a maid of honor or member of the wedding party, you need to respect the wishes of the nearlyweds. When you are told that they don’t want a shower, you should not take it upon yourself to throw one. It might seem like a fun idea, but you do not want to go against a specific request. Do what is asked of you, and you’ll be the biggest asset that the couple requires.

Putting together a wedding shower takes a bit of time. As long as you don’t rush into the responsibility, you should have no trouble throwing a lovely event.

 

Maintaining a Healthy and Happy Relationship With Your Partner
Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

The decision to get married can be a very exciting one. You and your partner are in for a lifetime of adventure together once you have gotten engaged. Of course, you also need to make sure you focus on specific aspects of your relationship. Planning a wedding can put a lot of pressure on you both, and it is very common for most couples to get into a few spats throughout the process. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Taking time to appreciate your significant other is vital to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. To prepare for what’s in store and be ready for anything, look over these simple ways to keep yourselves sane and working as a unit.

Spend Time Together

This might not come as a huge surprise to anyone, but spending quality time with your significant other is a fantastic way to reinforce your relationship. Unfortunately, plenty of couples make the mistake of thinking any time together is good. While it might be nice to get together to plan for your future wedding, you also need to focus on other activities in order to keep your connection alive in more exciting ways. Only spending time together writing out invitations or communicating with vendors can easily become a bore.

The best way to be together is by making time for each other. Set a little bit of time each week aside to do fun couples activities. This can be anything from cozying up on the couch for binging a bit of Netflix, to cooking and enjoying a meal together, to taking a stroll through the neighborhood and having a leisurely conversation. No matter what you do, try and make sure you aren’t focused on wedding details. Leave that for another day and concentrate on the relationship that led to the engagement in the first place.

Spend Time Apart

It is true that spending quality time with your significant other is a great way to strengthen your connection, but there are instances when you are going to need to do the exact opposite. Spending too much time with your partner can easily have a negative impact. You don’t want to constantly be breathing down each other’s necks, so you may want to practice getting involved with people outside of the relationship.

According to experts, the happiest couples are those who have their own lives away from their partner. You and your partner both want to have your own friends, for example. These can be friends from childhood or people you have met along the way. Both you and your significant other should have trustworthy friends and confidants to turn to when you need to vent, decompress, or recharge.

Put In the Effort

It might be taxing to plan for a wedding, but you can’t let your exhaustion be an excuse for not putting in the effort in your relationship. No matter how tired you are or how many tasks you need to complete before the deadlines arrive, it is crucial for you to make time for your partner in the right ways. When you remember basic household tasks like making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, or even making the bed in the morning, it can do wonders to keep your love alive.

Though putting together your dream wedding might require a lot of effort, you still need to keep the home fires burning with your significant other. Learn how to make time for each other and put it to good use to keep your connection as strong as it has always been.

 

Holding an Interfaith Wedding
Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center (a U.S.-based nonpartisan fact tank), about 39 percent of couples who have married since 2010 have a spouse of another faith or religion. When falling in love, this may not be a big deal, but when it comes to planning a wedding, it can be a nightmare. Interfaith unions are the new normal. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help you navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith Bride and Groom Need to Be on the Same Page

Once you’ve set the date, before you bring in the family, the bride and groom need to talk about the ceremony. Determine what’s important to each of you. This discussion is going to set the stage for future issues. Someday, you may have children and have to decide which religion to celebrate with them.

Working together lets you present your ideas in unison to your parents, who are going to have their own ideas, and you can stand behind the decisions. Your family may have some culture shock, and you’re going to have to be assertive and firm. Decide which traditions of the ceremony and reception you want to include and which ones you can pass on. If there is one aspect of the day that your mom or spouse’s mom just can’t live without, ask for help in working it into your plans. Don’t alienate family, but don’t give in to all their demands. Think about it for a while before saying that it just isn’t you.

Explain the importance of a particular tradition to the family to help them move past the unknown. Give the family time to process information. Just because they are shocked doesn’t mean they won’t support you. It just means they need to understand and remember that you are an adult making a decision for your future.

Finding the Officiant

Finding someone to perform the interfaith ceremony may be the most difficult part of the planning. This is one area where weddings have not kept up with the norm. One of the most common things is to ask the pastor/leader from each tradition to work together to hold the ceremony. Some faiths will not acquiesce to this request. Another option is to hold two different ceremonies.

One option gaining in popularity would be to consider an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church. It could be a family member or friend who is willing to get ordained and perform an interfaith ceremony. It is extremely easy to do and would allow you to find the perfect fit for your wedding.

Just remember, this is your day. Be honest with your officiant. Don’t make promises about raising children in the faith or attending services if you don’t intend to follow through.

Holding the Ceremony

On the day of your wedding, you may want to include information about your ceremony in the program or have the officiant explain. Your guests may not be from your faith, and it helps them embrace your togetherness when they understand the reason behind doing something. Your guests may not know what to expect, but you want them to think that it was the best wedding ever. Give them a chance to appreciate your interfaith bond with your new spouse.

Remember Your Goal

What is it you want your wedding to say? Keep this in mind as you move forward. The goal is to bring two people together for life. This includes welding your religion and faith in a meaningful way. You have the right to choose your own meaningful traditions to remember your wedding. It’s going to take time to choose the elements that make your day special, but it will be worth it in the end. Working together to plan your interfaith ceremony is a way to build skills that will last you far into your marriage.

 

Consider These Easily Forgotten Wedding Concerns
Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.

Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.

No one ever said planning a wedding would be easy. In fact, even the simplest and most intimate of gatherings can require a lot of work on your end. Though you’ve spent countless hours looking over all the details of your big day, there could very well be potential issues that you’ve not yet considered. Luckily, now is a great time to think about last-minute concerns and potential solutions.

From broke bridesmaids to disappearing guests, there are lots of issues you could be facing with your wedding. Explore these suggestions and find solutions that can help you keep your sanity, knowing all your effort will pay off in the form of a beautiful and seamless event.

Bridesmaids Who Don’t Budget

The members of your wedding party take on a lot of responsibilities for your big day. You’re likely asking them to help plan your wedding, run errands, throw small events like showers, and take on a million little duties that you can’t handle yourself. Unfortunately, your friends and relatives also have their own lives and can’t always rise to the occasion. This is especially true when it comes to bridesmaids or groomsmen who are dealing with money problems. Broke wedding party members can easily cause concerns or even derail all of your carefully laid plans.

You might not be able to pay for everything, but you can definitely prepare in advance for a bridesmaid who can’t foot the bill. Your best option in this scenario is to show compassion and be as considerate as possible. Don’t forget, you’re the one putting these demands on your friends. If your solution to a bridesmaid or groomsman who can’t pay is to cut them from the wedding, then you might need to do damage control on your friendships when all is said and done.

RSVP Delays

Among other concerns is the issue of RSVPs. Though you likely have given guests ample time to reply to your invitations, you’re still going to deal with people who forgot to respond or lost their RSVP cards and all sorts of other issues. In almost all cases, someone who replied “yes” to your invitation is definitely going to show on your big day. Unfortunately, you also are probably going to deal with guests who show up but never even bothered to respond to your RSVP.

The worst thing you can do is assume that anyone who didn’t respond by the RSVP deadline is not coming to the event. Give yourself extra time after the RSVPs are due, and you’ll notice how many late responses start flooding in. Since you might still have to deal with people who show up without responding to the invitations, the best way to handle this is by planning for more guests than responded. Account for a few extra chairs and meals, and you should have no problem fitting everyone into the venue without having to turn people away.

Feed Your Vendors

Finally, many couples forget to show proper thanks when it concerns the hard-working men and women who cater their weddings. While you might already be planning on tipping your vendors, you also should give these individuals a set time where they can sit and eat.  You can even mention this to the caterers early so that they can prepare additional meals for the DJ, photographers, and anyone else working your event who will need to stop and recharge at some point. Typically, allowing the vendors to eat at the same time as the guests can keep the night flowing without any frustrating delays.

Try as you might to cover all your bases, there are always going to be unforeseen concerns that you didn’t anticipate. The best you can do to keep your wedding free from mistakes is to take the right precautionary steps and try to plan for whatever you think could be an issue.

 

Is Your Engagement Ring Worth More Debt?
Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

How much do Canadian couples spend on engagement rings? According to a March 2016 Global News article, the average cost for each one is around $4,700. After including the typical event and honeymoon costs, the total price tag for a wedding can reach almost $40,000. Cutting expenses can be challenging for couples who want to tie the knot. That’s why it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Behind the Engagement Ring “Rules”

You may have heard of the supposed “rules” for buying engagement rings. Depending on who you ask, the ring should cost either two or three times one’s monthly salary. Statistics Canada’s 2017 figures revealed that the average weekly salary is around $986. That means the typical Canadian earns almost $4,000 per month before deductions. With these figures, following the oft-repeated rule on rings results in a price tag between $8,000 and $12,000.

How did these modern engagement ring purchasing practices develop? Money Under 30’s David Weliver divulges that they originated with a shrewd marketing campaign launched by the London-based diamond company De Beers. He also contends that they aren’t practical for younger couples because of typical debt burdens and lower salaries. To lower costs, he suggests a few alternatives:

  • Pay for the ring with cash.
  • Select a family heirloom piece.
  • Choose gemstones that are less expensive than diamonds.

Pros and Cons of Financing Your Ring

If there’s no room in your budget to purchase an engagement ring in full, you may be tempted to finance it. Your credit history will determine the types of offers you receive along with spending limits and interest rates. Individuals with favorable credit can choose from many options:

  • Personal loans
  • Vendor’s credit cards or revolving credit lines
  • Major credit cards issued by financial institutions

At the same time, you’ll need to think about how this new debt will impact your upcoming marriage. NerdWallet’s Erin El Issa points out that each spouse is liable for individually incurred debts. This is true regardless of whether they originated before or after the wedding. Yet those debts still affect the couple’s overall financial health. A significant debt load can make it difficult to purchase a home together, contribute to a savings account, or plan for retirement.

In another Money Under 30 article, David Weliver offers suggestions for people desiring to purchase engagement rings on credit. While he still warns readers not to buy rings that they cannot afford, he discusses some favorable financing options. Some jewelry retailers may offer 0 percent financing or no interest and payments for a predetermined time period. Weliver strongly suggests reviewing each offer’s terms. With some, you’ll pay a much higher interest rate after the promotional period expires.

Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for cards that come with 0 percent interest on new purchases for up to one year. Be sure you know what your new APR will be. Also, you should assess whether you can pay off the ring before the promotion ends. Purchase your ring from a reliable online jeweler. Buying online could save you a significant amount of money, letting you spend as little as 50 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailer price. Make sure you request a shipment method with tracking and a signature requirement as well as insurance to cover the ring itself.

Choose Your Credit Options Carefully

In the past, society judged a man’s ability to provide for his future wife by the type of engagement ring he gave her. It’s true that some still take notice at an elaborate ring with a decent-sized diamond. Ultimately, you must consider the effects of purchasing one either with cash or credit. After all, part of your goal should be making smart decisions for your joint financial future.

 

Should You Invite Coworkers to Your Wedding?
Deciding whether to invite coworkers to your wedding can be tricky, so follow these suggestions to make sure you craft an appropriate guest list.

Deciding whether to invite coworkers to your wedding can be tricky, so follow these suggestions to make sure you craft an appropriate guest list.

You’re about to tie the knot, and you’re excited about taking such a huge step. You’re awash in planning details or in awe from the fact that your special someone wants to build a life and future with you. Understandably, you may feel like sharing the happy news and details with everyone. However, prudence is essential when it comes to crafting the guest list. Deciding whether to invite coworkers could become a bit tricky. Fortunately, you and your partner can better navigate this challenge by following some wise advice.

Preliminary Steps To Build Your Guest List

Nearly every wedding planning guide suggests setting your guest count as early as possible. Your budget will impact how many you can comfortably afford to host. Also, your guest count will determine the venue size, amount of food and drink, and supplies you’ll need. The Knot offers advice for trimming a bloated guest list:

  • Don’t include non-relatives to whom you’ve not spoken in three years or more.
  • Leave out people whose names aren’t familiar to you.
  • Do not invite anyone out of obligation or guilt.

Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast mentions more categories of people whom you can safely leave off your guest list:

  • People with a tendency to cause drama
  • Those who can’t curb their alcohol intake
  • Individuals who only seem to make negative comments
  • People whom you’ve dated in the past

What Do Etiquette Guidelines Say?

Some modern etiquette guidelines are pretty clear on who should definitely receive invitations. According to Alice Prendergast at Wedding Wire Canada, you must invite people who also attend your showers, pre-wedding bashes, and the engagement party. The only exceptions are destination weddings and showers thrown for you at the office.

Meanwhile, Martha Stewart Weddings provides more etiquette-based wisdom. Citing two etiquette and wedding planning experts, contributor Ellie Finn insists that couples shouldn’t allow a sense of obligation to dictate who makes the guest list. With that said, Finn also mentions three key questions to ask yourself when mulling over whether to include coworkers: Do you often see this individual outside of work? Have you met this person’s significant other or spouse? Would this coworker add happiness to your event that you’d otherwise miss?

Still Can’t Decide About Coworkers? Other Details To Consider

In a 2016 Brides article, Jaimie Mackey mentions that it may be standard practice to invite bosses, CEOs, or presidents in more traditional office environments or conservative-leaning industries such as law or banking. Even in nontraditional workplaces, it may be an unwritten rule to send wedding invites to coworkers. Mackey advises asking employers if there’s an expected custom at your firm.

Next, Mackey suggests that engaged couples consider the size of their workplaces before making a decision. In larger offices, it is easier to invite only a few colleagues who happen to be close friends. The issue becomes trickier in smaller offices, where news of your impending nuptials may quickly spread. If you’re able to tactfully and subtly extend invitations to closest friends, then do so. Otherwise, Mackey recommends either inviting the entire office if there’s enough room to accommodate them or leaving everyone off the guest list.

A Wise Approach Yields Optimal Results

Solving the puzzle of coworkers on your wedding guest list requires a respectful and careful approach. Depending on your relationships with your colleagues and the general workplace environment, determining if or who you should invite from your job can be difficult. Even so, you must consider personal ties, available space, and your own enjoyment before finalizing your count and sending out invitations. With a smart plan and circumspect choices, you’ll find solutions that benefit both you and your guests.

 

 

Naked Cakes Enjoy Popularity at Canadian Weddings
Naked cakes continue to enjoy popularity at Canadian weddings, and may be just the right dessert option for your nuptials.

Naked cakes continue to enjoy popularity at Canadian weddings, and may be just the right dessert option for your nuptials.

How do you feel about naked cakes? Ask engaged couples, food fanatics, and wedding industry insiders, and you’ll likely find folks who either love or loathe them. While some south of the border decry the trend as overdone and trite, others suggest that naked cakes will remain a top choice among Canadian couples. If you’re curious about these unusual treats and are thinking of one for your reception, read on.

A Brief History of Naked Cakes

Jennifer Bain reported in a January 2015 Toronto Star piece that naked cakes (cakes in which the sides are bare) became a top choice for weddings in the Queen City that same summer. Bain traces the genesis of the naked cake trend back to 2008, where the treat debuted in New York City at Milk Bar’s grand opening. After chef Christina Tosi invented the confection, it was embraced by foodie culture and eventually crossed the border into Canada.

Brides writer Gabriella Rello adds that naked cakes first hit mainstream American bakeries in 2013. As more establishments added them to their menus, demand for these low-fi desserts slowly increased. American actress Angelina Jolie boosted their popularity when she opted for a naked cake at her August 2014 wedding to Brad Pitt. These treats quickly made the top trends and ideas lists of several major wedding publications between 2014 and 2016. They became a frequent sight at weddings, especially those with rustic, bohemian, or casual themes.

Perhaps due to the common tendency for trends to become trite, 2016 saw a hatred for naked cakes that was just as spirited as the initial fervor for them. In a September 2016 Country Living article, Lyndsey Matthews cited several reasons for this backlash. She opined that the trend had run its course, then pointed to both sloppy execution and their tendency to dry out as her rationale for agreeing with the haters. Even the U.S. version of Wedding Wire said “See ya” to naked cakes, rolling out new cake trends south of the border for 2019.

To Bare or Not To Bare? Key Factors To Consider

Despite the detractors, Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast speculates that naked cakes may still be popular choices at Canadian nuptials in 2019. She suggests that they could take on new dimensions in looks and taste, elevated by elements that infuse new aesthetics and flavors. Prendergast mentions a few ideas for kicking your cake up a few notches:

  • Dripped glaze over the top and sides
  • Out-of-the-ordinary decorations
  • Incorporating multiple cake flavors
  • Playing with complementary or contrasting colors

As both Country Living’s Lyndsey Matthews and Brides writer Gabriella Rello point out, naked cakes are at a higher risk of drying out due to the lack of exterior frosting. However, the “nearly-nude” versions avert some of this risk with a very thin layer of frosting on their surfaces. Meanwhile, Lucie Loves to Bake discusses a few other factors that will impact your planning if you select a naked wedding cake. First, your confection will need to be assembled and decorated at the venue, since it can’t be transported in its finished state. Secondly, delivery and assembly should occur as close to your meal as possible. Finally, naked cakes melt more easily in hot weather and have a greater tendency to attract unwanted insects.

Are Naked Cakes Here To Stay?

Depending on who you ask, naked cakes are either the best wedding trend du jour or a tired and overrated fad that’s run its course. Nevertheless, adventurous new takes on this delectably bare dessert may help continue their popularity at Canadian weddings. If you decide a naked cake’s right for your event, plan accordingly and shop for a trustworthy baker who can deliciously and flawlessly execute your vision.

 

 

Food Stations Boost the Fun Factor at Your Wedding
Food stations are a fun and flexible option for any type of wedding, and you should consider them when planning your wedding reception meal options.

Food stations are a fun and flexible option for any type of wedding, and you should consider them when planning your wedding reception meal options.

As you try to figure out your reception meal options, you’re probably inundated with tons of possibilities. Maybe a typical sit-down dinner isn’t suitable for your casual wedding, or you’re not thrilled about the idea of long buffet lines. On the other hand, you may want to encourage guests to mingle more during the celebration. Maybe it’s time to consider food stations, an appropriate option for formal, semiformal, and casual affairs.

The Low-Down on Food Stations 

Brides writer Heather Lee explains how food stations work in an April 2018 article. For your food station setup, you’ll break down your menu into individual categories and then assign each one to a freestanding table. Your guests can then choose from available options and either serve themselves or request made-to-order items.

How should you divide up your reception menu dishes into individual stations? Your caterer can offer some guidance, but some typical arrangements include the following:

  • Assigned stations for entrées, salads, side dishes, breads, and desserts
  • Foods grouped by their countries of origin
  • Heavy appetizer stations

Of course, these are just a few possibilities. You can conceivably divvy up your offerings according to any scheme you wish, as long as you have the room and the budget.

Consider These Key Advantages

In her Brides article, Lee points out several advantages that food stations have over traditional plated multicourse or buffet meals. Your invitees can mingle and eat as they wish, allowing for more opportunities to interact with each other. Made-to-order items are prepped to their specifications, reducing the chance that they’ll be unhappy with their meals. You can also designate some stations to offer alternatives for guests with dietary restrictions. Finally, spreading the stations throughout your venue cuts down on long lines and waiting times.

Planning Tips for Your Food Stations

At the same time, you must also plan properly to ensure that your food station reception is successful. Southern Living, a United States-based lifestyle magazine, mentions that placing your stations too close together can lead to reduced floor traffic flow, longer lines, and congestion. For that reason, you’ll need a reception venue with plentiful room in order to properly space your stations. Be sure to budget appropriately, as Brides writer Heather Lee clarifies that you’ll need additional chefs for interactive stations and more staff to bus tables and assist with cleanup.

Not only that, guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions will require additional assistance in navigating your stations. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast stresses the importance of labeling stations to indicate whether they have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free dishes. She also recommends allowing guests with food restrictions to serve themselves first. You’ll ensure that they won’t have to contend with cross-contamination from serving spoons accidentally placed in the wrong dishes.

Stumped for Ideas? Try These Recommendations

Want to incorporate food stations but you’re stumped for cuisine or theme ideas? No worries. You’ll find loads of suggestions at many wedding websites. The Knot mentions several unique food station setups to surprise and delight your guests, with standouts such as a late-night snack bar or mashed potato bar. For brunch receptions, Wedding Wire Canada offers great recommendations such as pancake and waffle, salad, and cereal stations. Lunch and dinner receptions may benefit from Wedding Wire Canada’s savory food station suggestions to please your guests’ palates.

Food stations are becoming more popular at weddings for several reasons. They allow people to select their food when they wish while giving them more opportunities to move around and socialize. For hosts, they provide the chance to offer fun food while accommodating invitees with food restrictions. With wise planning and smart menu selections, your food stations will be a big hit with your guests.