Wedding cakes

Whether you prefer sugar or fresh flowers, pretty blooms are the perfect accessory for your wedding cake!

One of the highlights of every wedding; the cake! Guests might forget your first dance song or the colour of your table runners, but your friends and family will always remember what your wedding cake tasted like — and looked like.

Wedding cakes with flowers are one of the most popular big day desserts, and for good reason! Pretty blooms add vibrancy to an otherwise simple cake at a relatively low expense. It allows the bride and groom to skip pricier decorative techniques — like fondant or hand-cut details — in favour of floral adornments.

And though sugar flowers cost more than fresh, the fake buds are still a cost-effective way to upgrade your wedding cake without bursting your budget. The best part about going the faux-flower route is that the colour and design options are endless.

If you prefer to use real flowers (which look absolutely gorgeous on a big cake!), choose a bloom that’s currently in season and complements your wedding theme.

One of the most popular ways to include flowers on a big-day dessert; the topper! Many couples are forgoing traditional cake toppers in favour of fresh blooms. But if you can’t image skipping the classic bride and groom, consider other options, like sugar petal details or scattered buds at the cake’s base or between layers.

With countless options, including hand-painted, cascading, single-bloom, and overloaded-floral styles, it’s impossible not to find a delicious confection you absolutely love.

Bridal shower ideas

Planning a bridal shower for your sister, best friend, cousin, or another special person in your life? Then you need a creative bridal shower theme! Some brides are all about wedding flowers and lace while others just want something unique.

  1. Brunch and Bubbly

 

What’s classier than champagne? Hosting a “Brunch and Bubbly” theme for your bride allows for lots of blush pink, gold, and cream. Fresh flowers, white or cream tableware, and cloth napkins are all a must when decorating for brunch. If you’re really ambitious, you can have brunch at someone’s house. If you’d rather have someone else handle the details, hiring a Caterer is always a great option!

 

  1. Mad Hatter Tea Party

 

A Mad Hatter Tea Party bridal shower theme is perfect! You can get creative with decor and refreshments, too. Use mismatched teacups, plates, tablecloths, and napkins to add to the eclectic feel of the party space. For refreshments, tea of course! And other miniature desserts like petit fours, macaroons, or cupcakes are perfect for a tea party. Adding “Eat Me” placards or even putting the words on cakes or cookies is a great way to incorporate Wonderland into the party. You can serve other drinks like lemonade or wine spritzers, but don’t forget the “Drink Me” tags!

 

  1. Wine time

 

Wine is a girl’s best friend sometimes. And why not use this as inspiration for a bridal shower theme? Your bride will no doubt welcome the chance to sip some wine, open presents, and just enjoy some time away from the planning process. White wines pair well with white meat or light foods like quiche. Red wines complement richer flavors like red meat and roasted vegetables. So sit back, sip, and enjoy the party with your bride!

 

  1. Kick back and relax

 

Planning a Wedding is stressful. Being “on” all the time can take a toll. Laidback bridal shower themes are definitely the best choice for the stressed out bride-to-be. Set up a buffet bar, add some crisps and homemade salsa or guacamole for tasty appetisers. Let bride to be kick back with her favourite food…and a cold margarita for some laughs with friends and family!

 

What to eat

When planning a wedding, what you eat could make the difference between a stressed bride and a happy bride! Here is a list of top foods and nutrient packed ingredients with the properties that will revive your glow, boost your energy and promote a settled and happy stomach!

Watermelon

Watermelon is low in calories and it consists mostly of water and the anti-bloating potassium. If you wish to try another melon opt for cantaloupe. Eat slices of melon as a snack or slice it into cubes and add it to a salad to fully de-bloat.

Bananas

Perfect if you had any salty food the night before – the high levels of potassium found in bananas will counteract with the sodium, making any bloating completely disappear. Additionally, the minerals found in bananas will keep the overall levels of minerals in your body replenished, meaning that you won’t get muscle cramps or experience numbness in your legs, which is essential during your wedding day!

 

Avocado

In the run-up to your wedding day, try adding slices of avocado to your salads, or your morning slice of toast. A known superfood, avocados are full of vitamins C and E, which work together to give your immunity a boost, as well as leaving your skin and hair looking healthy.

Tangerines

Tangerines are a great source of vitamin A and C, which not only help your skin battle acne, but also speed up the rebuilding process of your skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are much easier to manage with plenty of vitamin A, as it has wonderful anti-aging properties, while vitamin C helps you produce collagen, which keeps the skin supple.

Eggs

A perfect wedding day breakfast staple! Eggs are full of protein which will leave you feeling full without causing any bloating. Eggs are also rich in sulphur, which is not only good for your liver, but also great for increasing collagen and keratin production, which are responsible for healthy hair. Additionally, eggs have a diuretic effect, which will further reduce any bloating.

 

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain 65% of the minimum necessary daily amount of Vitamin C and have a very low glycemic index of 17. The best way to benefit from sweet potatoes is to keep the skin as it possesses healing potential with its high levels of vitamin A, beta-carotene and high potassium content. The body converts beta-carotene into active vitamin A, which is important to maintain healthy skin, hair and teeth.

 

Salmon

Wild salmon is another great staple to add to your pre-wedding diet. Rich in omega-3, it keeps your skin looking healthy, as well as well moisturised. Additionally, the vitamin D found in salmon will help keep your bones and teeth strong in the run-up to the wedding.

 

Blueberries

Blueberries have been labelled a superfood due to their high levels of polyphenols, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds that positively impact the nervous system and brain function, helping to combat memory loss and improve your mood, keeping you calm and happy.

 

Green Tea

In the run-up to your wedding day, you might feel like you need all the coffee you can get, but try and steer clear of it as it can stain your teeth. Instead, drink some green tea. The tea will provide you with the energy you need and the amino acids in it will help you feel less stressed and more resilient under pressure, giving you a feeling of purposeful calm

 

Wedding food on a budget

Thinking about ideas on what food to serve at your wedding when you’ve on a tight budget is sometimes difficult. We’ve got 10 top tips to help you serve great wedding food ideas on a budget!

Although you are catering for the whole wedding party, when choosing your menu, don’t offer too many options. Offering a multitude of choices for the wedding breakfast doesn’t enhance your guests’ experience, or make anything taste better. More choice only means more expense.

Some of the most beautiful wedding venues are outdoors – be it a marquee or a hog roast festival – but these celebrations do not have on-site kitchens or furniture. You will be required to pay extra to supply these facilities, so make sure you include this in your budget.

The key to a successful wedding reception is timing and service. Making people wait for food and drinks is not a great idea. Pay for extra serving staff to ensure a smoothly-run reception and you will notice the investment – and your guests will love you for it!

Champagne is everyone’s top tipple for parties, but it can be a little on the expensive side. However, there are some great sparkling wines available, which are just as good but cost less. To impress your guests on half the budget, add a little elderflower cordial and a hibiscus flower to Cava, to create the perfect festive fizzy cocktail. Not only does this add a light, sweet, floral taste to the drink, it makes the Cava go that little bit further – good news all round!

If you plan to party in the early hours of the morning, don’t serve an evening buffet – you are essentially paying for two full meals that many people won’t even touch. Why not serve bacon sandwiches or posh kebabs a la Lily Allen? This will give the illusion of an evening meal and your guests will be thankful for the traditionally British fuel injection before the trip home.

Cheese cakes are a great alternative to traditional tiers. You can ask your caterers to cut and serve the savoury slices with fruit and biscuits as the dessert after your meal. Alternatively, cupcakes are a cheaper option than a tiered cake and work well as both a dessert and a favour.

The drinks reception tab can easily set couples back a few thousand pounds, so limiting what is served can be a great way to reduce costs. Ask your bar to carry beer and wine, or alternatively, have a cash-only bar that your guests will have to pay for. If you have provided them with a lovely meal accompanied with great entertainment, guests won’t mind forking out for a few drinks towards the end of the evening.

Coffee and mints are an essential part of any party and the perfect way to round off your meal. Why not add flavoured syrups and amaretto biscuits to freshly ground coffee, to give your guests a delicious caffeine fix? They’ll be guaranteed to keep dancing late into the evening after one of these!

Cutting corners doesn’t always mean cutting costs. If you cut out canapés, you will end up with hungry guests at the beginning of the day. Why not spend more on canapés but less on the evening buffet? Many people overspend on the evening food when most guests are still full from the wedding breakfast, which is a waste of both money and food! Lighter evening snacks will go down just as well with your guests, and save you money, too.

 

Finger food dining

When planning a wedding; informal dining options such as buffets, bowl food and rustic platters are shaping up to be hot this year. These all give guests the freedom to move around and enjoy proceedings, making for a more relaxed atmosphere. Remember, the key is to include a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options to accommodate all guests.

Offering canapés as a starter or dessert adds a fresh twist and provides a good talking point for guests. Think miniature steak and chips with a warm horseradish cream – lovely!

Another huge trend this year will be reinventing classic dishes. Pay homage to your childhood favourites, with a twist. Think pie and mash, mini sirloin hamburgers, bangers and mash, or fish and chips all made from local produce. We particularly love the fish and chip option. If it’s not formal enough for the day time, it would definitely work for your evening guests, and it may work out cheaper than a buffet.

When it comes to wedding desserts, the key is to think small! Opt for dessert tables or platters with an array of miniatures. smatterings of your favourites such as cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, dainty trifles, chocolate brownies or crumble will allow guests to tuck in. And with light portions they won’t be left feeling lethargic, meaning they can dance the night away!

One particularly lovely trend ‘bring a cake’ dessert table. Brides are asking friends and family to bring their favourite homemade desserts – cakes, flans and more. It’s a cost-effective way to add a personal touch, guaranteed to get everyone talking.

For a novel wedding menu idea, why not serve an actual ‘wedding breakfast’ a la Carrie and Big in Sex and the City? A beautifully served full English with locally sourced produce, fresh orange juice or fruit to start and pancakes or waffles for dessert.

 

Be money savvy

Between the wedding food, the event space, the wedding photographers and the band — you may have spent a large part of your savings on your wedding. If you were lucky enough to receive wedding gift money from friends and family, you can really make this money work for you. Instead of using your cash for a trip to the Caribbean or on a new car, consider the following suggestions:

Start an emergency fund. We know it doesn’t sound as glamorous as a spa package, but starting an emergency fund and help to combat stress when something unexpected comes up. Whether it’s a sudden boiler breakdown or car repair, this saved cash will help if times get tough. It’ll also make you feel better to know there’s a bit of a cushion. We recommend opening an account that offers quick access and storing away £1,000 — you can always add to it.

Pay some bills. You’ve just planned a huge event and you’ve paid your fair share for it, so don’t feel guilty about using some of your gift money for your monthly bills, or even prepaying your mortgage if you have one. If you’ve been carrying around some unwanted debt — credit card, or car loan — consider paying off some of it. Having trouble deciding which to pay off first? Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate.

Watch it grow. It’s a smart idea to save and invest a big chunk of your gift money — this way it can gain interest and over time make money for you. It could be your deposit on a home or a nest egg for retirement. A financial adviser can help make sure you’re putting your cash in the best account for you, whether that be a tax advantaged plan, like a traditional ISA.

Invest in your home. If you’ve been looking for a place to call your own, your wedding money may make a nice deposit payment. As you probably know, the larger your deposit, the less interest you’ll typically end up paying on the loan.

Already have a nest? You could make updates and improvements to your current place, which can potentially increase its property value.

Look into life insurance. Now’s the perfect time to take out life for you and your new spouse. Pushing a plan to the side any further will make it more difficult to attain. Thankfully, this isn’t a huge investment, just a smart one.

Get a good night’s sleep

Every bride wants to look radiant and healthy on her wedding day, and getting regular, good sleep is a major contributor to getting this! When planning a wedding it’s vital to get some good sleep and here’s how…

Say no to champers

Although lots of people claim that alcohol helps them fall asleep more quickly, it actually reduces REM sleep – the stage of sleep associated with deep dreaming. Losing out on REM sleep can cause drowsiness when awake, so it’s best to avoid it altogether during the run-up to the wedding. Swap alcohol for herbal teas and non-caffeinated soft drinks, which also help with hydration.

Avoid coffee and other stimulants

Caffeine is obviously well known for keeping people awake, but many other snacks and drinks also contain caffeine, such a chocolate, tea and cola drinks. It is best to steer clear of food and drinks containing stimulants, or make sure they are consumed early in the day, as even in moderate doses, they can block sleep neurotransmitters, causing insomnia.

Light exercise

Although time is always tight in the weeks building up to the wedding, you should allow herself some light exercise every day. Avoid too much strenuous activity later in the day though, because this is more likely to cause you to wake up in the night!

Eat foods that contain tryptophan

If you feel you need an energy boost, it’s best to snack on foods that contain tryptophan. This is an amino acid, which is required for the production of serotonin in the body, which in turn produces melatonin – a hormone that helps with sleep. Yoghurt, bananas, milk and eggs are all high in tryptophan.

Put that phone away

Although the days before a wedding can be frantic with so much to do and so many people to contact, brides should try to avoid using their phone, tablet or laptop late at night. Gadgets like this emit blue light, which is said to delay the production of melatonin, so keeping the body awake.

Turn off the TV

38% of people watch television to wind down before they sleep. However, this can actually harm the sleep cycle because watching TV before bedtime encourages you to stay up later than you would naturally.

Listen to sounds that aid sleep

If you’re anxious and finding it particularly difficult to get to sleep at night,try one of several devices or apps available that generate white noise. White noise devices work two ways: by blocking distracting noises, and by producing soothing sounds that are relaxing and help to induce sleep.

Sleep naked

It’s always tempting to wrap up in cosy pyjamas on cooler nights, but going to bed naked can have several benefits when it comes to getting our beauty sleep. Studies have shown that having the wrong body temperature at night can stop the dozing off process, while not allowing the body to regulate its temperature – by wearing clothes, for example – can prevent people from reaching the deeper stages of sleep.

Turn the bed into a sleep haven

Don’t compromise on comfort – make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible, even if it is just to change the bed linen for something luxurious, or swap a thick duvet for clean, cotton sheets to ensure she has a cool and calm night’s sleep before the wedding.

 

Shop smart for your dream wedding

Whether your dream wedding is a quiet country get-together with close friends and family or an all-out, gold-plated party with costume changes and fancy wedding cars, it all costs money. So how do you save on your big day without sacrificing the fairytale? Here are a few tips to set you on the right path…

Set realistic financial goals

There’s no point setting a goal you can’t achieve – work out what you can afford to spend on your wedding before you think about what you actually want, and set out the budget and any big purchases when you first decide on the date. Opening a savings account or using online budgeting tools can help to get you started.

Plan ahead

If there are expensive additions you absolutely can’t do without, then make sure you have enough time to save for them. Spreading the cost over a longer time period will ease the pressure – the more time you have, the more options you will be presented with. This is one of the best wedding saving tips we can give you – plan ahead! You’ll also be able to take advantage of those seasonal sales that could offer up some bargains.

Prioritise

Don’t get caught up in wanting to have it all. Everyone dreams of the perfect wedding, but there has to be a limit. Stop and think – can you really do without that designer dress? If the answer is no then make cutbacks elsewhere.

Get wed off-peak

Saturdays are the most sought-after day of the week to get married and will set you back the most, so switching to a mid-week wedding could save you a substantial amount – just be sure to give your guests enough warning so they can make arrangements to attend. If you really can’t control the day, you can still control the time – earlier morning or later afternoon weddings usually cost less as you slash your wedding food bill considerably.

Make use of friends and family

Got a friend who’s a brilliant baker? Ask him or her to make the wedding cake. Musician in your midst? That’s the wedding music sorted. Don’t be shy about asking your friends and family to get involved in your big day – chances are they’ll want to help out, and it’ll make for a really personal gift that will be far more meaningful than anything on your wedding list.

Shop around

Keep an open mind about what you want. Once you get your heart set on something – whether that’s a DJ, wedding venue or wedding dress – then it’ll be difficult to walk away if the cost is too high. Weddings can be stressful, so even the smallest set-back can feel like the end of the world. Viewing several options will give you a back-up plan.

Do what you can yourself

Making your own wedding favours and table decorations could lead to significant savings. Plan well enough in advance and DIY your details early. That way, it’ll be a nice way for you and your family to get excited about the wedding, rather than a stressful, last-minute headache.

Try something different

Don’t feel you have to stick with tradition – it’s your day, and you should have the wedding you want. Unless that involves a private jet or a solo performance by Beyoncé, it could work out a lot cheaper. Look at the parts that cost a lot of money (for example, a sit-down wedding breakfast) and see where you can save. Would a buffet, barbecue or a potluck feast be a better option? Stick to your own plans, and you could end up with the wedding of your dreams at a fraction of the cost.

Casual dining experience

Informal wedding dining options such as buffets, bowl food and rustic platters are shaping up to be hot this year. These all give guests the freedom to move around and enjoy proceedings, making for a more relaxed atmosphere. Remember, the key is to include a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options to accommodate all guests.

Offering canapés as a starter or dessert adds a fresh twist and provides a good talking point for guests. Think miniature steak and chips with a warm horseradish cream – lovely!

Another huge trend this year will be reinventing classic dishes. Pay homage to your childhood favourites, with a twist. Think pie and mash, mini sirloin hamburgers, bangers and mash, or fish and chips all made from local produce. We particularly love the fish and chip option. If it’s not formal enough for the day time, it would definitely work for your evening guests, and it may work out cheaper than a buffet.

When it comes to desserts, the key is to think small! Opt for dessert tables or platters with an array of miniatures. smatterings of your favourites such as cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, dainty trifles, chocolate brownies or crumble will allow guests to tuck in. And with light portions they won’t be left feeling lethargic, meaning they can dance the night away!

One particularly lovely trend ‘bring a cake’ dessert table. Brides are asking friends and family to bring their favourite homemade desserts – cakes, flans and more. It’s a cost-effective way to add a personal touch, guaranteed to get everyone talking.

For a novel menu idea, why not serve an actual ‘wedding breakfast’ a la Carrie and Big in Sex and the City? A beautifully served full English with locally sourced produce, fresh orange juice or fruit to start and pancakes or waffles for dessert.

Wedding cake ideas

The cake is quite often the thing most people look forward to at a wedding celebration. After all, it’s not a reception without a cake cutting ceremony! These days though there are so many options for cakes. You can have red velvet, lemon meringue, chocolate, marble, carrot, or maybe traditional vanilla. Others may choose to divert from the traditional cake, choosing cupcakes, truffles, chocolate confections, cookies, or a dessert buffet (for those who just can’t decide!). With all these options how does one even begin?

1. Search for the Right Bakery

Choosing a bakery is tough. It can be even tougher if you have a special need – glucose-free, lactose-free, vegan, Kosher, organic, etc. Luckily more bakeries are becoming aware of allergies or special needs and offer delicious alternatives.  Do a quick search for a cake designer in your area who makes a product to your specification.

2. Choose Your Style

Are you a cupcake fan? Or are you a chocolate lover at heart? Or does a traditional tiered wedding cake tickle your fancy? Cupcake towers are becoming more and more popular at birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and more. This takes the hassle out of cutting the cake into equal-sized pieces! Cakes can come in all shapes and sizes these days. Bakeries and cake designers can sculpt a cake into a castle, sports arena, animal, musical instrument, and anything else you can come up with! You can go this route for a birthday cake to match the cake with the birthday person’s favourite hobby. A designer’s ability to do this also is beneficial for groom’s cakes. A dessert buffet is always a fun route to go, as well. You can have all your favourite goodies in one place from a chocolate fountain and truffles to fruit tart and pastries.

3. Find Your Filling

Whether you go with a cake or cupcakes, you then must decide the type, filling, and frosting. So many decisions! However, this is where the yummy part begins – cake tastings! On top of the type of cake, such as red velvet, chocolate, or carrot, you also have the option of having a filling. Fillings can be in the form of fruit, mousse, and cream cheese, just to name a few. Schedule a tasting with your baker to decide which one is just right for you.

Above all, have fun with your cake! A little indulgence never hurt anyone, especially on a day of celebration!