Select Your Wedding Cake

You know what’s overrated at weddings sometimes? The wedding cake. No, don’t get me wrong. I totally get that a wedding cake is something that is judged (come on, admit it) with a microscope the size of Jupiter in every guest’s head. Does the color match that of the bridesmaids’ dresses? Does it have fondant or frosting? Why couldn’t it be another flavor? And as if that isn’t enough, the bridal couple has its own set of worries. I hope it doesn’t topple over. Why is everyone taking the fondant off the cake? I paid good money for it! I hope someone saves me a slice; I don’t think there’s enough for everyone. There goes half my paycheck! While I understand that it could be your one and only dream to have a super-fantastic cake at your wedding (in which case you shouldn’t even be reading this. *shocked*), let’s put the dream aside for a bit and ask you: is a big fancy cake really a practical option for you? Do you really want to have one big enough to serve the entire guest list? Apart from the ever-increasing costs of cakes, there’s so much more to it than just the flavor and appearance. Are you willing to do all that it takes?

What do we suggest? Cutting a small cake for tradition sake, and having alternatives―really awesome alternatives to serve your guests as dessert. Trust me, the sooner you accept that sometimes a wedding cake is just not worth all the hoopla surrounding it, the earlier you will enjoy the delicious alternate ideas presented here. So, are you ready to take a ride into a world where sugar and indulgence reign supreme? Hop on!
Assorted Desserts

The answer to any sweet lover’s prayers, an assorted dessert bar. Instead of picking out a dessert for your guests, give them an array to choose from. Your wedding will be a super hit!
Brownies

You know what’s the best part about brownies? And yes, I do mean apart from the utter sinful pleasure they give your taste buds. Oh wait, that’s it.
Cake in Mugs

The latest darling of the baking world, cakes in mugs are the perfect way to indulge your guests in a treat that they’ll remember forever. Excuse me while I drool.
Cake Pops

That’s right. Instead of investing in a huge cake, shell out for adorable cake pops decorated in the true wedding spirit. They’re delicious to look at and to eat, so you can’t go wrong with them, ever!
Cornets

These delicious cream-filled delights are to die for. Take it a step further, and instead of cream, have cold frozen yogurt ice cream filled into warm cornets and served to your guests.
Crème Brûlée

What’s not to love in the wonderful combination of a hard, crisp outer layer and the soft, mushy inside filled with custard(y) goodness. Sigh!
Croquembouche

Fluffy choux pastry. Cream. Toffee. 3 ingredients to make anyone go weak in the knees. Do we have a winner? I think we do!
Cupcakes

Ah! The most reliable alternative to a wedding cake, a table full of cupcakes! Mind you, getting exact replicas of a wedding cake as cupcakes can cost you a fortune, so choose your design wisely.
Desserts Shots

For a perfect end to the scrumptious meal at your wedding, serve your guests dessert shots. Fill it with a dessert of your choice (these have granola, ice cream, berries, and marshmallows) and watch as they’re gobbled down.
Donuts

Donuts are another major hit when it comes to serving unconventional dessert. Chocolate, frosting, sprinkles, sugar, custard―the options you can use to top your donuts with are endless.
Flavored Popcorn

Who can say no to flavored popcorn. Just look at those pretty, feather-weight bites beckoning you to consume them as soon as you can. Caramel, strawberry, honey, jaggery―so many delicious flavors to choose from. Don’t leave them waiting.
Crispy Treats

For those who need a healthy nibble every step of the way, here’s a nifty option: grain/cereal bars drenched in rich dark chocolate.
Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! No matter how old that gets, no one with a sweet tooth will be able to decline the frosty goodness of ice cream. Cups or cones, your choice!
Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dark, solid biscuits sandwiching cool, thick, rich ice cream. Does it get better than this? I think not. What about you?
Mini Custard Pie

Miniature pies are the way to go when you want to serve your guests something delicious and crispy. And I recommend custard pies. What better glee than biting into this bite-sized wonder!
Mini Custard Cake

Custard again. Yes, it is most definitely one of the most adored fillings for dessert. Serve your guests mini custard-flavored cakes to win their hearts!
Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

Who doesn’t love cheesecake, right? Add to that a marvelous raspberry flavor, make it miniature-sized, and you have a winner of a dessert.
Swiss Rolls

There’s something about these decadent, jam-packed rolls that one simply can’t get enough of. Don’t believe it? Serve it as dessert, and watch the magic!
Truffles

Wanna tempt your guest beyond imagination? Have yummy, melt-in-your-mouth truffles at the dessert table. Fancy it up by placing handfuls in martini glasses. This way, each guest gets his own little glass of joy!
Waffles

Having a day wedding? Surprise your guests with a timeless breakfast favorite: waffles! Ditch the staple honey or syrup, and serve it dusted with rich cocoa.
Again, it’s not that using a wedding cake is a complete no-no. It’s just that serving something else as dessert seems more fun and unconventional, and may be just the thing you’re looking for to set your wedding apart from the others.

Best Cheap Wedding Gifts for Men

Cheap Wedding Gift Options for Men

Mechanical Kitchen Scale
You can be sure that this gift will be put to good use in the kitchen. Just be sure that the receiver actually cooks, where if you aren’t certain, you can always inquire about this from close friends and family of the groom. You get all kinds of kitchen scales in the market, where you’re sure to find one that suits your budget. Make certain that it comes with a warranty card.

Wedding Scrapbook
For close to $10, you can find an opulent wedding scrapbook that the bride and groom can fill up with memories of the past, present, and future. Your gift will come in handy for when they need to put photographs in one place. Include a message on the front of the scrapbook expressing your hope that it is occupied with lots of laughter, love, and lasting happiness.

Potpourri Collection
You can mix and match a variety of lovely-smelling potpourri to fill up a home with heartwarming scents. If the packaging looks drab, you can always encase them in decorative gift bags or pouches; don’t empty them out into separate pouches or they’ll lose their aromatic intensity. Choose four packs of potpourri in vibrant colors for a gift set.

Wine Bottle in Faux Velvet Pouch
Choose a lovely wine that doesn’t cost more than $20, a price at which you can buy a robust, sweet, and quality bottle. You can buy the wine pouch separately by exploring other options that are available online or in an actual store, where it’s quite simple to put one together all by yourself at home―a DIY project you’ll instantly fall in love with. Clueless about how to go about this? Check out these 10 great ideas on how to wrap a wine bottle for creative suggestions.

Spice Box
For someone who loves spices, this gift would be an absolute favorite. For a man who finds himself bustling in the kitchen or over a barbecue grill, a spice box is the easiest way to grab what he needs without having to make the spices from scratch. A collection of eight spices ranging from pepper and cinnamon, to paprika and Cajun spice, is just what the groom needs. Be sure to choose familiar spices that aren’t overly exotic or unheard of. If you don’t find a ready-made spice box, no problem! Just buy a set of mini spice bottles and fill them up with the spices of your choice.

His and Her T-Shirts
There are places online that provide personalized T-shirts with fun messages that couples can flaunt in public; it’s adorable, really, and extremely creative an idea. You even get pajamas that use the same idea, making it a thoughtful gift for two. You can place them in a beautiful gift box tied with satin ribbon and a message that reads, “Showoff your love for each other. Wear em’ proud!”.

How to Make Unique Wedding Cards

Escort Cards Vs. Place Cards
For an intimate wedding, use place cards with each guest’s name. Escort cards let guests (mostly couples) know which table they are sitting.
After the ceremony ends, the guests head towards the reception venue. Before you and your husband arrive, it is better that everyone finds their tables. Even though place cards can help get the job done, escort cards are much easier to reduce any sort of confusion. With the guest names and table numbers displayed on the cards, you can be sure to enter your own reception with nothing but celebration on your mind.
Elegant Escort Cards
Before you decide what type of escort cards you want for your wedding, figure out whether you’re purchasing them in bulk or taking them on as a DIY project. Once you have figured that out, you can easily finalize a concept that goes with your wedding theme and colors.

These escort cards are inspired from the holidays, Thanksgiving specifically. You can place appropriate stickers on the cards to match the theme.

These bronze bells along with a white ribbon and paper heart cutout is just amazing. Arrange them on a wooden board to work its graceful charm.

The shell escort cards are perfect for a wedding by the ocean. Place individual wooden boxes for each table with the guests’ names in different sections. They can pull out their cards, and find their respective tables.

These heart-shaped escort cards are made of thin sheets of wood with the guests’ names ingrained on it. Place the cards on top of a bed of bamboos to show off your amazing style.

Don’t these look amazing? For the display, all you have to do is get the wooden stands that can hold the heart-shaped cards. Trust me, these cards are going to be a hit at your reception.

Rustic and chic, these mini heart-shaped chalkboard cards can be made at home. Write down your guests’ names with colorful chalk pens, and hang them on a hemp string.

By using a decorative fabric piece, you can place individual escort cards hanging on a colorful string and wooden clothespins. Write the names on a cardboard cutout, and display the cards for the guests.

If you wish to add a bit more color to your escort cards, try using different colors for the cards as well as clothespins. These cards work really well for garden weddings.

For a simple yet beautiful display, try placing the cards in card holders. Place them in perfect single file rows at the entrance for your guests to find.

What a wonderful and quirky display this will be! You can have the popcorn made fresh on the day of the wedding, or prepare them a day in advance. While the guests find their tables, they’ll have a big box of popcorn to munch on.

You can make an online purchase of corks, depending on the type of display you wish to set up and the number of corks you’ll require. Write down the guests’ names on the cards and place them on the arranged corks.

Here’s another way of using hearts and clothespins. With this combination, you can come up with so many different ideas. Use a cardboard to stick all the escort cards on.

This cozy display works amazingly well for intimate weddings. By hanging these origami heart-shaped cards, it brings the display to life. You can have different wooden shelves for each table or one big shelf to place all the cards.

The combination of heart-shaped escort cards and clothespins is endless. Here, as you can see, the cards have been transformed into gorgeous keepsake items for the guests. This makes a wonderful way for the guests to remember the wedding.

For each guest, place a fresh, vibrant rose along with their names. Make sure to pick the same colors as your wedding theme to keep the display intact.

Tie a heart-shaped cardboard cutout with the escort cards. Other than placing a rose next to each card, you can even place candles, bells, and other decorative items.

Last, but certainly not the
least, opt for a gorgeous display of a blue heart clipped to a cardboard paper. With floral arrangements on the table, you can sure make the display a thing to talk about.
As you can see, there are tons of fun ways to display the escort cards. Add your own creativity to any of the suggestions mentioned above, and set a magical tone for the evening.

How to Find a Right Band for Your Wedding

Since you’ve already decided to hire a band instead of a DJ, the next logical step would be to find the best of the best, for you. Hiring a band is like entering a pact where both parties need to be clear as to what they want and can offer. So let’s get to business, and understand the process of hiring a wedding band, the right way.

Things to Consider While Hiring a Band

Although you’re free to choose the band and the music/songs they will play, it is important to consider the comfort of your guests. The entire act performed by the band should not just entertain, but engage the guests for an unforgettable evening.

Before Approaching a Band

1. ‘Research’ is your new best friend, and the people you approach will be your wedding planner, friends, family members, coworkers, entertainment agencies, and the reception venue. This will widen your search and help you find a band that you may not know of. Based on their suggestions, find the bands’ social networking pages and websites. You will get a lot of information here, and know what kind of music they play. And if all else fails, rely on the mighty Internet for an abundance of results.

2. Decide what musical requirements (jazz, disco, calypso, blues, etc.) would you like to hear, your budget (more on this later), and then approach a band. Will there be dancing or a quiet, intimate dinner with background music? The wedding theme has to match the music that’s played at the event.

3. What will be the size of the band? The answer to this question can be determined by the number of guests invited to the reception. If you’re having an intimate―just family and close friends―dinner, a big band will be a waste and inconvenience to all.

4. Apart from the guests, ask yourself, “Is the venue spacious enough for the band I have in mind?” If it’s an outdoor event, the stage can’t be too far from where the guests are seated. On the other hand, you don’t want to crowd the area too. Know this, a good band performing in a well-lighted and easy-to-maneuver room will make the night memorable.

Meeting with a Band

1. After you narrow down your choices, contact the band(s) via email, phone, or a message on their website/social page. A professional band will reply to your inquiry in 2—3 days. However, if they haven’t been able to reach you for any valid reasons (they were busy with another gig or couldn’t reach you when they called), do make a decision whether or not you wish to meet them in person.

2. Does the band have any prior experience of performing in front of an audience? Where have they played before? Do they have any written letters of recommendation from people who saw them perform? Can they provide any contact information from former clients for referral? You should have a clear understanding on all these questions (and perhaps a few more from your side) from the band. At the end of the day, it’s all about entertaining and being entertained.

3. If the band obliges, ask for a demo. The band may send you videos (or links) of their previous performances. But, since you are looking to hire a live band, a live performance is what they should be judged on. Plus, find out whether the band only ‘performs’ or ‘entertains and engages’ too. Performing songs is limited to the band playing music in the background while everyone, including the newlyweds, going about their business. On the other hand, entertaining and engaging guests means the band becomes an integral part of the event.

4. What will the total cost be? Does the band have any popular package? Do they take song requests? Are travel fees included or does that cost extra? Depending on the time of the event, how long will the band perform? Will this influence the cost of the band? Keeping your budget in mind, you need to know exactly how much the band is going to cost. Be realistic and know that weddings can be an expensive affair. Apart from the band, you have a lot of other things on the list. So search and find a band that will work within your budget, and not the other way round.

5. Paying good money for a band that’s worth it is never a bad deal. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate. If the band is exceeding your budget, and you’re determined to hire them, there will be some way you can break in the deal.

6. Get a signed contract with even the minutest details mentioned. This will include safety of the band and guests at the venue, date, time, and location of the performance, mode of payment, breaks during the performance, list of ‘must play’ songs, dress code, food, overtime fees, cancellation policy, etc. When all the details have been worked through, on the day of the event, none of the parties can revert from their promise.

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