A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Hunter Mountain

Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Nelson who were married at Hunter Mountain on March 8th!

Advice from the couple:

“Splurge on photography / videography and try to take in every moment of the day because it goes by so quickly.”
Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Casino Wedding

Casino Wedding

Custom Cake Topper

Custom Cake Topper

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Wedding Location: Hunter Mountain
Ceremony Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Jeanne Stark)
Photographer: Photographics Solution
Videographer: Photographics Solution
DJ/Band: Piano Man’s DJ Productions (Nate Miller)
Ceremony Musicians: Golden Scroll Soloists
Florist: Anthology Studio
Bridal Attire: Angela’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Rings/Jewelry: Harold Finkle, Your Jeweler
Hair/Makeup: Krystal Rose Studio
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Favors: DIY
Casino Tables: Big Eastern Casino Company

Valentine’s Day Wedding Theme

A Valentine’s Day theme wedding is sure to be a romantic event with careful planning and operation. Here are some ideas and tips for your big day.

* Invitations: There are plenty of romantic wedding invitation designs out there, choose one with doves, roses, hearts or other Valentine’s Day typical signs to set the mood for your wedding ceremony. Pick your favorite envelopes with red liners and don’t forget the double heart stamps.

* Color Scheme: Pink, purple, red and white are traditional Valentine’s Day colors. However, just choose your favorite shades and hues to decorate your wedding party.

* Wedding Dress: A romantic bridal gown is a must for a Valentine theme wedding. Fluffy skirts, off the shoulder collars, puffy sleeves, sweetheart neckline and appliqués are ideal incorporation for Valentine’s outfit. You may even add a little red or pink touch to your dress, or choose a pink wedding dress for a sweet princess look. Hot lace or light-colored pearl embellishments are also amazing.

* Attire: The groom and his best men should wear formal tuxedos to match the romantic atmosphere. They may even try red or pink shirts to match the color scheme. The bridal party gowns should be as romantic as the wedding theme, but not overpower the wedding dress.

* Flowers: Undoubtedly, roses are the favorite flowers for a Valentine wedding, and pink, purple, red or white blooms match the theme. Pink lilies or tulips are also great choices which add a unique touch.

* Decorations: Besides flowers, there are still other decorations such as candles, lace and ribbons. Scatter heart-shaped confetti on guest tables and hang heart-shaped balloons over the entrance arc for a whimsical touch.

* Menu: A romantic menu could include any foods you like, such as your first date dinner. Choose chocolate covered strawberries as your appetizers. Rich hot cocoa is warm and popular in the winter holiday. Pink champagne is a superb choice for a romantic wedding.

* Wedding Cake: White chocolate and red roses covered heart-shaped wedding cake would be a perfect match for your Valentine’s wedding.

* Wedding Favors: Heart shaped favors may offer your guests a touch of romance. Colorful candies, strawberry jams, sparkling spoons, double heart photo frames are perfect for Valentine favors.

* Wedding Music: Choose love songs for weddings to play during reception.

Your Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are romantic and scenic, but there’s a lot that can go wrong. Here’s your guide to planning a trouble-free, outdoor wedding.

Who will officiate?
Some officiants will only perform ceremonies within a house of worship, so you’ll need to check with yours in advance before planning your ceremony outside.

Inform your guests
Guests need to know they’re attending an outdoor wedding so they can dress appropriately. It’s also a good idea to send weather information to out-of-town guests who may not be familiar with the climate.

Be prepared
Combat potential outdoor issues by having the following items on hand:

Plenty of water
Umbrellas
Handheld paper or wood fans
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Tissues/paper towels

Securing your Outdoor Wedding Location
For an outdoor wedding, the draw is the setting, so finding the right spot and coordinating the event around it is the most important task on your to-do list. Your setting options are as limitless as the great outdoors itself. But before getting your heart set on a specific spot, these are some key questions you’ll need to ask.

Is There Privacy?
Keep in mind that if your location is a public space – or even near a public place (like a street or sidewalk), you may have to contend with onlookers. Try to reserve your space in a secluded spot to prevent unwanted guests or distractions.

What’s The Backup Plan?
Obviously you’ll need a plan in case of inclement weather. If your location doesn’t have indoor facilities to accommodate your event should the skies open, you’ll need to rent a tent. Many rental companies will reserve your tent for a deposit and that way, if the weather is nice and you don’t use it, you don’t lose the full payment.

Can You Hear?
Will guests have to compete with roaring waves, gusting winds, honking cars, or screaming children to hear your vows? You may need to rent a sound system and mics for the officiant and yourselves. Your band or DJ should be able to provide this for you.

Outdoor Décor Elements
Let the setting speak for itself – Don’t compete with Mother Nature; rather, subtly enhance your background (whether it’s a sandy beach, blooming garden, or thick forest) with a complementary color palette and décor elements.
Au Natural – Consider details like burlap table linens and vintage furniture to set your scene. It blends into the outdoor setting while also creating a statement. Get inspired by the vintage gems available from Found Vintage Rentals.
Lighting – Create ambiance in your outdoor space by getting creative with your lighting – there is nothing quite like bistro lights, twinkle lights, or lanterns set against a natural scene.

Outdoor Wedding Flowers
Blooms – An outdoor wedding calls for flowers that can brave all sorts of weather. Look for sturdier blooms like mums, orchids, carnations, alstroemeria, lisianthus, calla lilies, and sunflowers. Also, don’t overlook these hearty, simple floral embellishments that look fabulous by themselves: baby’s breath, bells of Ireland, hypernicum berry, bupleurum, and dusty miller.
Style – Keep your containers and arrangements natural-looking, as an intricately designed, elaborate pedestal centerpiece in a tall candelabra just doesn’t fit. Instead, use loose arrangements in mason jars, wooden boxes, vintage containers, crates, or pails.

Outdoor Wedding Menu
Keep it simple – Even an elegant outdoor wedding calls for simpler fare that can withstand varied temperatures, so avoid items like mayonnaise or dishes which must be served cold. If yours is a casual affair, consider a traditional outdoor barbeque.
Keep guests refreshed – Have plenty of ice and water, along with teas or lemonades, especially if your outdoor wedding will take place in a warm environment. Alcoholic beverages like sangria, mojitos, or mint juleps will also keep your guests refreshed.

Outdoor Wedding Cake Ideas
Make it last – Wedding cakes can melt outside. Opt for fondant icing over buttercream. Stay away from mousse and ice cream cakes. Many types of cupcakes hold up well in the heat.

Outdoor Wedding Attire
Bride – Dare to go casual. Outdoor settings allow for breezy fabrics and shorter hemlines. Knee and tea-length gowns are making a major comeback, while lace and/or organza are good outdoor fabric options. But if traditional elegance is what you prefer then you can still plan a formal dress code – just consider what’s best suited for sun, sand, or grass.
Bridesmaid – You may want to forgo the giant ball gown and instead, stick to a romantic empire or a-line dress in a flowing organza or light-catching taffeta.
Shoes – For both bride and bridesmaids, opt for a wide, flat heel, cute ballet flats, or strappy sandals, as a stiletto may sink right into the ground.
For the guys – Lose the tux and consider an unbuttoned affair. Dress the guys in khakis and sport jackets or crisp oxfords. If you’re heart is set on a tux, get a vest with a full back – which will look better when their coats are off.

Outdoor Wedding Favors

Keep ‘em cool – Personalized paper fans are both decorative and functional.
Keep love blooming – By giving packs of flower seeds.
Plant it – Gift them with miniature potted plants or herbs.
Give – Forgo the traditional favors and donate to your favorite “green” organization in your guests’ names.

Outdoor Wedding Getaway
Up and away – A hot air balloon makes a dramatic statement and affords some romantic alone time with your new spouse
Sail away – Make your exit on a sail boat, yacht, catamaran, or canoe (hint: you’ll need a body of water).
Horseback – Make sure you practice before you galloping into the sunset.
Vintage Flatbed Truck – ‘Cause you’re a down-home couple at heart.
Horse-drawn carriage– This romantic exit is the ultimate departure fit for a princess.

Outdoor Wedding Entertainment

Fun and games – In a natural outdoor setting, you’re not limited to a traditional band or deejay to entertain the crowd; outdoor games like horseshoes or croquet can be a fun and unexpected twist.



Advice for Forgoing the Traditional Wedding Venue

Many wedding venues have outdoor settings available, which makes planning an alfresco event a bit easier (they provide and handle the essentials). If you’re planning your outdoor wedding at a public park, beach or private home; however, you’ll have added details to attend to:

Permits
Public outdoor locations require numerous permits and fees. Be sure to find out about any restrictions on noise, alcohol consumption, number of guests, food preparation, tables, tents, and time limits.

Rental fees
Keep in mind that you’ll have to rent everything – from tables and chairs to bathrooms and sound systems – and these rental fees can up your bottom line.

Details
Attention to detail is key to the success of an outdoor wedding. Coordinating the permits, rentals, backup plans – not to mention the typical wedding details – can be taxing. Seriously consider enlisting the help of a professional coordinator to keep things together.

Accessibility
Is there convenient parking? If not, you’ll need to secure a nearby lot and provide a shuttle – especially if you’ll have elderly guests or others with limited mobility.

Wedding Insurance
Outdoor weddings are a prime candidate for insurance, which will to help recoup losses caused by extreme weather conditions or any other circumstances that prevent your wedding from taking place.

Wedding Dessert Ideas

In addition to the wedding cake, some couples also splurge on a Viennese table/buffet, an impressive display of assorted cookies, mini pies, pastries or fresh fruit, for dessert. Some couples even opt for a fun, colorful candy bar straight out of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” or a dessert station with gourmet cupcake towers and cookies but another great dessert option to consider is the interactive dessert station. Interactive dessert stations allow guests to get involved and actually create their own delectable desserts or watch as their desserts are created by a chef. Here are a few interactive dessert station ideas to consider that will have everyone talking well after the wedding is over.

Ice cream bar

Not just for kids’ parties, ice cream bars are a big hit with adults too! Ice cream bars are versatile and offer multiple dessert options. They can be sundae bars with lots of toppings for guests to select from like sprinkles, candy pieces, nuts, fresh fruit, flavored syrups and whipped cream. Add some fresh baked waffles, and the ice cream bar becomes a waffle and ice cream sandwich bar. Add some root beer, cola or club soda, and the ice cream bar becomes an ice cream soda station. Crazy for ice cream? Offer all of the above options. Your guests will thank you.

Bananas foster or crepes

Bananas foster is a popular New Orleans dessert that is created in a flambé pan with bananas cooked in brown sugar, butter, banana liqueur and rum and served with vanilla ice cream. The rum gets ignited during cooking, making this a showy dish that is delicious and fun to watch get made. Crepes are French pancakes that are also fun to prepare and eat. You can fill crepes with a variety of items like syrups, fresh fruit, nuts or Nutella spread and top with them with whipped cream for a sweet and satisfying dessert.

S’mores station

Who doesn’t like s’mores? Nothing brings out the little kid in you like making some s’mores. Guests can make them the old fashioned way by melting the marshmallow over a flame or electric burner and nestling the marshmallow and chocolate between two graham crackers, or for a more modern take, dip chocolate covered graham crackers in marshmallow fluff and have a server melt it all with a mini blowtorch.

Chocolate Fountain

Guests select items like pound cake, pretzel nuggets, Rice Krispies Treats, fresh fruit and marshmallows, skewer them up, and then dip them into the cascading fountain of melted chocolate. A chocolate fountain not only looks great, it tastes great too.

Fried dough

Fried dough in any form is fabulous and there are several variations on fried dough that would work well for an interactive dessert station. Perfect with a cup of coffee, there’s nothing better than freshly fried donuts rolled in sugar or cinnamon or donut holes with chocolate or caramel dipping sauces to top off the night. Zeppole, Italian deep fried dough balls covered in powdered sugar, taste great plain or filled with custard or pastry cream. Then there is the fun and more casual option of a funnel cake station. The deep fried batter is sprinkled with powdered sugar and can also include a topping of fresh fruit or jam.

Interactive dessert stations are sinfully sweet and a big hit at every wedding. Ask your caterer or reception venue if they offer interactive dessert stations, and if not, perhaps they’ll allow you to bring in an outside vendor that rents the equipment and provides the necessary supplies and servers.

What’s In And What’s Out

Wedding Cakes

Gone are the days of white cake, white icing and a figurine of the couple on top. Many couples are taking their cakes to new levels with unique fillings such as caramel apple or cream cheese, while others are making each layer of the cake a different flavor. The days of the white cake are over. Brides are opting for cakes with bold colors and abstract shapes.

The cupcake wedding cake is also becoming extremely popular. Instead of a fancy, expensive multi-tiered wedding cake, many couples are opting for cupcakes arranged in the shape of a cake. This is a much more affordable alternative to a traditional wedding cake. Your guests, young and old, will enjoy the cupcakes at your reception. What’s fun is that you can get the cupcakes in a variety of flavors.

If you’d like, you can still have a smaller, separate one tier cake used for the cake cutting ceremony.

Wedding Food

Instead of a sit down or buffet dinner, many couples are saving money by serving only cocktails and appetizers at their wedding reception. If you aren’t serving a meal at your reception, be sure to plan your wedding away from traditional mealtime and indicate that it is “cocktails only” on your invitation. You don’t want hungry, disgruntled guests who were expecting a full meal.

Dessert action stations are also becoming very popular. You can rent a chocolate or caramel fountain and provide lots of fruit, cake and other treats for dipping. A build-your-own banana split or ice cream sundae station is also a terrific idea.

Fried food and heavy entrees are out. Lighter fare, organic cuisine, and vegetarian cuisine are definitely in. Serve guests an organic feast of foods produced without chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or pesticides, and top it off with organic drinks. During cocktail hour, for example, try Square One vodka and Juniper Green gin, both fermented without additives.

Wedding Flowers

Symmetrical floral centerpieces are out. Choose centerpieces of varying size, shape and color. Stay away from using the same vases at each reception table. Choose local, organically grown flowers. After your wedding, donate the arrangements to nearby hospitals or other facilities.

In color palettes, green is still the most sought after color with accent shades of creams and white or hot pinks and mango coral. However, combinations of deep burgundy red Black Magic roses, Black Forest mini Callas and rich purple, almost black, tulips are striking against ornate damask linen. No more white linen on guest tables for sure.

Destination Weddings

Some reports indicate that as many as 20 percent of all weddings are now destination weddings where the bride and groom travel to a vacation destination to host their wedding ceremony and reception.

Celebrities have been hip on the destination wedding trend for years. But destination weddings aren’t just for the rich and famous.

Because of the travel expenses, most destination weddings are relatively small involving only the couple, family and close friends. Resorts and hotels offer packages that make planning a destination wedding relatively simple. Many offer the services of their own on-site wedding coordinator who will plan all the details of your wedding from decorations to sightseeing activities for your guests.

Though it may seem expensive to hold a destination wedding, it actually may be cheaper than holding a large wedding with a seated dinner in your hometown. It is commonplace for the bride and groom to pay for the hotel rooms, food and other guest expenses. However, normally guests pay for their own airfare.

When planning your destination wedding, keep your guest list small. Choose a destination with inexpensive airfare and avoid traveling during peak season.

The biggest drawback of a destination wedding is that unless you are wealthy, all your family and friends will probably not be in attendance. Many times all your invited guests will not be able to travel or get off work. Consider the schedule of your most important guests when selecting your destination wedding date.

All in all, a destination wedding can be a wonderful choice that allows you to experience your wedding in an exotic locale, combining your wedding and honeymoon in one destination.

Wedding Colors – These are interesting ideas for wedding colors

Tangerine with Azure Blue and a shot of Espresso
Sky Blue, Navy Blue, Celadon Green and a splash of Purple Wine
Glossy White, Metallic Gray, Bold Magenta and Sleek Black
Dark Cocoa, Seafoam Mint, Metallic Silver on Ivory
Blueberry, Raspberry, Lavender, Black and Charcoal Gray
Jewel tones mixed with antique metallic for fall and winter
Black and White, add a splash of Apple Green or Citrus Yellow

Wedding Cake vs Wedding Cupcakes

There’s something so whimsically childlike about unwrapping a cupcake and so elegant cutting into a tiered masterpiece. This is why it is so hard to decide between the two. If you’re having a formal wedding, you may choose a grand and elegant wedding cake. Wedding cakes are best for a formal sit down dinner, where the cake will be plated and served. With overall design possibilities, wedding cakes have more beautiful options to choose from and adds a grand element to your decor. If your wedding guests are traditional people, they might think cupcakes are too casual, or even worse, cheap.

But if you’re having a simple relaxed reception where fun is the primary goal, tell everyone to be a kid again and grab a cupcake. If your dinner is buffet, heur dourves style or just a celebration with cocktails in hand, then cupcakes are a practical choice. Once everyone is busting a move on the dance floor, they won’t have to sit again for dessert. They’ll just grab a cupcake and dance the night away.

If after all this you still can’t decide between the cuteness of a cupcake and tradition of a wedding cake, just have both. Cupcakes are a great addition to dessert and candy buffets, while the wedding cake will be a staple in your receptions decor.

Entertaining Your Wedding Guests

Your wedding is a special moment that remains in your memory. It is a unique moment that deserves to be peppered with less common items. The latest trend is to create a real show during the reception. Here are some entertaining ideas for your wedding reception that can turn your wedding night into a memorable event.

  • Create a slide show presentation including photos with you and your partner. These can be pictures from your childhood and during your relationship to suggest how it evolved. With the help of your photographer images from your ceremony can even be included. During the reception, it can run continuously or can be run only once, with a representative background song.
  • Magicians, dancers, acrobats can all be hired at a price to keep your guests happy and entertained. (And it’s fantastic for weddings that include children) Remember to check out any performer first before the big day to make sure you like what they do.
  • Caricaturists are also becoming more popular. This is not only a bit of fun, but your guests get to take away a lasting memory of the day.
  • Set up a photo booth with props like funny hats, wild glasses, wigs and chalkboards for guests to write messages that will appear in their photos. Guests will have a great time being creative, and you’ll have lots of photo memories to cherish.
  • Have the videographer set up a stationery camera so guests can record their own messages to the bride and groom throughout the evening.
  • Set up a lounge with cigars, billiards and casino games or poker. The gambling fans on your guest list will more than appreciate this option.
  • Create a quiet lounge area with couches, coffee tables and lamps for guests who would like to take a break from the music and dancing.
  • Use the season or your location as an opportunity to greet guests with a refreshing drink. Lemonade and sweet tea will quench your guests’ thirst while gathering in the blazing sun, or serve hot apple cider to warm your guests during chiller months.
  • What says fun faster than the aroma of fresh buttered popcorn or fluffy cotton candy? Rent machines that create affordable, easy-to-serve snacks to take the edge off guests’ hunger before meals are served.
  • Offer wine or beer tasting stations and let guests guess the newlywed’s favorite vintage or brew.
  • Who doesn’t like something with the word “bar” attached to it? Your guests will delight in all things bar, from a mashed potato bar or dessert bar to an espresso or martini bar.
  • Fondues are making a comeback, and whether you prefer sweet chocolates or savory cheeses, your guests will relish in the rich offering.
  • Bring in a gelato or ice cream cart to complement or replace the cake or cupcake tower.
  • Satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth — set up a candy buffet! It’s a great way to get guests to interact and have fun. Choose candies in your wedding colors so the buffet blends in with your décor, and provide favor bags and boxes for guests to fill themselves.
  • Hire a fireworks company to put on a show for guests at the reception site if it is outdoors. Even though a professional fireworks show can be extremely expensive, it will surely entertain guests and make them feel special. Brides on a smaller budget can opt for sparklers and ground fireworks to set off during the reception or during the bride and groom’s departure.

Winter Wedding Ideas

Very few things tend to be as beautiful and magical as a winter wedding. The summer season is filled with stereotypical “dream weddings”, but it’s all to easy to overlook the options and individuality of a winter wedding. Let’s look at how a winter wedding will make your big day a day to remember.

Why a winter wedding?

There are several reasons you may opt to have your special day during the winter weather. The most simple explanations? Perhaps you or your sweetie don’t like the heat. Or maybe winter is your favorite time year. Perhaps you just want to stand right out in the crowd. Or maybe you want to fully appreciate a honeymoon in a very warm climate.

Many times winter weddings are more cost-effective because it’s the off-season. Some venues reduce their prices during the off-season to bring in more business. Remember too that a number of places routinely decorate for the holidays; this allows you to definitely spend less on flowers and rentals. And with that snow – just think of the photo opportunities! You will have the ability to be so creative with your photographer, from cuddly fur stoles and cozy boots under your custom made wedding dress to a smooch under the mistletoe.

You won’t have to concern yourself with poor weather ruining your outdoor event. However, a lot of people travel during the wintry weather holidays or head to the south for vacations, so you’ll have to share your wedding date with your guests a lot earlier for them to reserve the date.

How can winter elements make your wedding magical?

There are several ways you can use winter to your advantage. Here are a few ways to get you started:

1. Numerous reception halls, churches, as well as venues decorate for the winter months and holidays. These decorations add flavor in your wedding. For a heat, as well as an intimate feel at your reception, look for a setting with a fireplace, a historic estate, or a private clubhouse. Other winter-themed decorations to take into account: an all-white cake covered in silver snowflakes; ice sculptures; and centerpieces made from sprigs of cranberries encircling pillar candles.

2. The best photographer will have a great deal of ideas for poses not to mention props that will insert that important dash of winter into your photos. In particular, for outdoor photos you will need to wear a wrap or shrug. You can coordinate this with the groom’s attire and huddle with him under a snow-covered pine tree for a unique, everlasting portrait. Skilled photographers are able to capture the sparkling light on the snow while portraying you your groom at your best. Other possible props comprise of snowmen, ice sculptures, holiday decor, poinsettias, and cute boots protruding from under your dress.

3. Guests can be enveloped in winter warmth while they are at your wedding reception with gourmet hot dark chocolate or spiced wine and by dining on warm pumpkin soups, among other winter plates. Possible party favors include spiced hot chocolate mix, snow globes, or dressed-up christmas cookie cutters.

Winter weddings supply the best of both worlds: tons of options to select from and lower pricing for it all.

Wedding Trends

~ Consider having a theme wedding! Theme weddings are rising in popularity and offer a great, inexpensive way to personalize your wedding. By starting with a theme, you will be surprised at how easy it is to personalize your wedding with your own special touches.

~ You don’t necessarily need to have a period theme, such as a Victorian or Renaissance wedding. Instead, you could make your wedding memorable by personalizing it with your own special theme. There are many themes to choose from, including: “cupids”, “Paris in springtime”, “romantic candlelight” etc.

~ Some brides are useing wedding newsletters to keep their family and friends up to date with their wedding plans and schedules. Newsletters can save you from making endless phone calls, and can be revised three or four times leading up to your wedding date. The newsletter can include such information as: when people are needed for fittings, profiles on yourself and the groom (for guests you may not have met) and other personal information.

~ The new trend in bridal gowns leans toward a more elegant and stylish approach. Many brides are now choosing gowns with simple, but stunning, lines. It seems the trend in bridesmaids dresses and accent colors is moving away from pastel colors. Deep shades, such as burgundy, forest green and navy blue are becoming more popular choices, with cummerbunds and bow ties being made to match.

~ Brides are buying more thoughtful gifts for their attendants. It is being recognized that the best gifts are not the most expensive ones, but the ones that are chosen with your sincere thanks. Some popular ideas include: antique looking, silver frames with a picture of both you and your bridesmaid/attendant, or gift baskets filled with beauty products. The gift needs to say “Thank you for being here and helping to make my day so special”.

~ Because wedding costs can be quite expensive, there is a rising trend in the sharing of the total expense, not only by both sets of parents, but by the couple themselves. This is especially the case with professional couples who have been living on their own for a number of years, who may even want to pay for the entire wedding.

~ Some couples are choosing to be married at their honeymoon destination, and are inviting only close family and friends. There are many destination wedding packages available, so ask for details.

~ Many couples are personalizing their wedding ceremony by writing their own vows.

~ A wonderful, moving new trend is to face the congregation during the ceremony (as opposed to the traditional stance of having your back to them).

~ More couples are choosing to incorporate their ethnic background into their wedding ceremony and theme, as well as their reception.

~ Many brides are now moving away from formal, posed shots for their wedding photography. Instead, candid photography and a photojournalistic approach to the day are rising in popularity.

~ For the reception, buffets are becoming the most popular menu choice as they accommodate every guest’s taste.

~ Multi-flavored and layered wedding cakes are becoming firm favorites. Some brides like to choose a different flavor for each layer of their cake. For example, a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of marble cake and a layer of vanilla cake. Also, more creative decorative ideas are being used, especially fresh flowers.

~ Cake tops are being ordered to match specific wedding themes and color schemes. Brides are also copying the cake tops used by their parents and grandparents at their weddings. If you like, you could follow the trend of placing wedding photos of your parents and grandparents on your cake table, which gives a sentimental and romantic touch.

~ Less traditional gifts for the guests are being given. New ideas include: personalized chocolates, seedlings, monogrammed wine glasses and small perfume bottles tied with ribbon.

~ Another new reception trend is the replacement of the receiving line. A new, more relaxed way to perform this duty is for the bride, groom and the wedding party to make their way around the room, speaking to guests who are seated at their tables.

~ If you have decided to invite children to your reception, this new trend is for you! By providing a designated play room and a babysitter for children, you will get the best of both worlds. By providing this service, the children are still present, but can be kept entertained and cared for by the babysitter in the play room, leaving their parents to relax and enjoy the festivities.

~ With the wide variety of materials now available, many brides are finding it hard to match their reception decorations, flowers and napkins to the exact shade of their bridesmaid’s dresses. Because of this, a new trend in shading has arisen. By using varying shades of the color you have chosen, you will be able to add depth and interest to your color scheme. For example, if your bridesmaid’s dresses are burgundy in color, you could use a deep red and a light red to achieve a contrasting look.

~ One thoughtful new trend is to donate leftover reception food to charities who provide food kitchens for the needy.

~ More couples are choosing to hyphenate their surnames and some brides are choosing to keep their maiden names, for business or personal reasons. However, it’s not only career women who are deciding to keep their maiden name. If you come from a well-known family, or are an only child, you may feel strongly about keeping your maiden name also.

Wedding Dessert Ideas

Weddings today are as individual as the couples getting married. Even using all of the same basic elements, you have the freedom to do things that you really like, instead of just doing what everyone else does. If you are having a less traditional wedding, why not have some fun with some informal wedding desserts?

For brides who are having very formal and fancy weddings, complete with a ballgown, ornate handmade wedding jewelry, an orchestra, and fireworks, the big traditional wedding cake is really the right answer (and the bigger the better!). But what if your wedding is going to be on a beach or a mountaintop with the bride in a simple dress and unique handmade wedding jewelry, with just a few close friends? The over-the-top cake might feel totally silly at such a laid-back reception, so feel free to explore some more creative dessert options.

It is true that everyone loves cake. Even if you have decided against a big traditional wedding cake, you can still serve your guests the cake that they are probably expecting. One fun idea is to serve cupcakes instead of one big cake. They can be artfully decorated and arranged into a beautiful tower. Everyone will get a kick out of them, especially your youngest guests.

Another idea is to have individual cakes made for each table or even each place setting. Having one cake for each table to share is in keeping with the trend towards family style wedding service. That way, each guest can have the size piece that they want. If you go this route, be sure to provide each table with the necessary tools to cut and serve their cake!

The mini cakes at each place setting are another very cute idea. Sometimes brides will still have a large main cake and use the mini cakes as favors, but there is no reason that you could not serve them instead of the big cake. Have a couple of designs at each table to make it really festive. The only thing to remember about the mini cakes is that they can add up to cost more than one larger cake.

Cake is great, but it is not your only option for your wedding dessert. If you and your fiance have a favorite dessert, it would be great to feature it at your wedding. Have a passion for crème brule or tiramisu? Go ahead and serve it for your wedding dessert instead of cake. It is always nice when you can customize your wedding to reflect your personal tastes.

When you are seeking a fun alternative to the traditional wedding cake, you can also consider doing a dessert bar instead of just one sweet treat. Your guests will love the chance to choose from a wide array of cookies, pies, cakes, and brownies. To make it even more special, set up a full service coffee bar serving espresso and cappuccino to go with the desserts.

Your wedding is your day to do things your way. And while the big tiered wedding cake is perfect for many brides and grooms, there is nothing to say that you can’t choose another option. Have fun, and pick the desserts that best suit the style of your wedding and, of course, delight your sweet tooth.