The Details

Cake, Flowers and More

Few items are more iconic for weddings than the cake – and that goes across cultures! Cutting the cake is a symbolic act for the first thing the two of you are doing together. (Nowadays that will certainly not be true any more in most cases, but tradition is tradition!).

Given the symbolic nature of the undertaking, the cake is expected to be special – especially big, especially decorated, especially unusual. Not to forget, especially tasty! Overall, it should fit with the general “vibe” of the wedding and be an expression of the couple’s special tastes. Maybe you are not into classical elegance/three tier/white with flowers? Many couples opt for a beautiful display of decorated cupcakes instead. You could also offer an assortment of different cakes instead of one big one, or, or, or… And on top of that, if you have a gifted baker in the family, I have a couple of foolproof, tasty recipes to share with you for lovely DIY wedding cakes!

No wedding without flowers, of course! Most prominently, flowers play a role in the bride’s and the bridesmaids’ bouquets and coordinated boutonnieres for the male members of the bridal party. But in most weddings they are also present in ceremony and reception decorations and centerpieces for the tables. Alternatives? Sure – at least for the centerpieces! You could do branches, greenery, fruit or vegetable arrangements; bonsais; glass hurricanes with candles and an assortment of shells, coral, and beach glass or even whimsical centerpieces on a theme special to the bride and groom – game pieces; artwork; travel souvenirs; animal sculptures are just a few ideas. Get creative! And come back periodically to look up what I found for you – something new every time you come look!

Don’t forget the wedding favors. Often enough they are just an afterthought, and that’s a pity, considering how decorative and pretty they can be – or even meaningful! You don’t believe me? Here are a few examples: hobby chefs could give away little pots of fresh herbs – plus, outfitted with a little flag bearing guest name and table number, they double as escort cards. Just imagine a whole bookcase or etagere filled with these pretty green plants! The name cards on the table are adorned with a rosemary sprig, and I promise not only a stunning visual display, but also an aroma of the Mediterranean!

Wedding favors need not, repeat: NOT!, be boring, nondescript or “cheap-looking.” The trick is to find something meaningful and useful, maybe something directly related to the bride and groom. Are you intrepid world explorers and travelers? Give away personalized luggage tags! Are you in the cosmetics business? Think of beautiful, unusual soaps! I could go on and on. And I will, I promise! Just check back periodically.