Secondhand Doesn’t Mean Second Best: My Tips Featured by WeTV.com!

Hey Ya’ll,

Do you LOVE to shop at thrift stores? Would you ever consider buying a secondhand wedding dress either online or in a store? I recently spoke with WeTV.com about this very topic, and while there are a few things to be weary of when buying secondhand, overall, I think it’s a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly on your wedding day.

Click HERE to read the entire article, which explains the benefits of buying your wedding dress secondhand and all of the things you should keep in mind while you’re shopping.

There are a lot of reputable websites dedicated to selling pre-owned (sometimes the dress was never even worn!) wedding gowns. If you’re buying your secondhand dress online, my biggest tip to keep in mind is as follows: Unless you are able to go to a local store and try on the same dress or another dress by the same designer in person, look for dresses that are slightly larger in size than you’d normally wear.

Why? First off, wedding gowns tend to run smaller in size than other types of dresses/clothing that you’re used to buying. Second, having a dress let out or having to add fabric for length is difficult and costly. On the other hand, taking a dress in is pretty easy, and with all of the money you’re saving by purchasing a secondhand gown, spending a little dough to make sure it fits you perfectly is well worth it.
-Brian

March Wedding Series: Let Them Eat Cake!

Hey Ya’ll,

Get ready to drool because today’s post is all about cake! This time honored tradition has always been a delicious one, however, cakes these days are anything but traditional…
Modern cakes are more like beautiful works of art that incorporate the theme, colors and design of the wedding. I’ve designed cakes for my clients that are exact replicas of the bride’s wedding dress—right down to the Swarovski crystals and intricate lace details. And during the height of the cupcake craze, I did tiers of cupcakes with mini brides and grooms on top and various shades of icing to match the wedding decor. Here are some lovely examples of modern works of edible art:
When it comes to the traditional bride and groom cake toppers, I’ve ditched them on several occasions and instead opted for something more creative. For example, at a Moroccan themed wedding, I used a Moroccan lantern as the topper and filled it with flowers to match the centerpieces. To determine what kind of cake topper is right for you, think about something that shows off your personalities or says something about you as a couple. When in doubt, go with something funny or unique! Here are a few fun examples:

As you can see, a lot of thought and money goes into creating the perfect wedding cake, and yet, oftentimes dinner will last too long or “The Business”, as I like to call it, takes over and your beautiful, expensive cake becomes an afterthought served to straggler guests and the wait staff at the end of the night! But fear not, here are a few tips to help make your cake dollars go further:

  1. Work with the bakery and have the larger bottom layers of your cake made out of foam and decorated to look like the top tiers. I know this may sound weird, but trust me; you have been to many weddings where this has been done. A tall cake looks impressive, but a tall cake also costs more, so stick with a layer of foam and watch your budget and cake grow.
  2. If your guest count is constantly growing, use TIP #1 to make the cake larger, but rather than paying for the decorated cake to be based on a per person price, have the bakery create a couple of sheet cakes with same flavors or even a few different flavors. Then, when they are cutting the cake in the kitchen, have the sheet cakes served along with the decorated cake. Once you cut into the cake, all the slices look the same and no one will know the difference!
  3. Rather than serving a dessert with dinner, use the cake as the dessert. I have had many clients who insisted that we serve dessert as well. Last time I checked, cake is dessert! I don’t see any reason to double up. If you serve dessert with dinner, then your guests are usually full by the time the cake is cut and you just wasted a lot of money.
  4. Like I mentioned above, every wedding has certain things that I like to call, “The Business” that have to be completed. The ceremony, first dance, the toasts, etc., and if “The Business” takes too long then you start to lose your guests. You can only keep your guests captive for so long, and even if they are there to celebrate you, they will grow tired and start to leave. When this starts to happen, that beautiful cake usually gets ignored. I suggest getting all “The Business” out of the way as soon as possible and then cutting into your cake right after dinner as dessert. Then all that’s left to do is party!
  5. This last tip may seem like an odd one, but I like to always give options. There are now companies that make entire cakes out of foam, decorate them, and leave just a slice that is made of real cake for you to cut into. This is a combination of TIP #1 and TIP #2. You cut into the real cake, they roll it away and there are sheet cakes in the kitchen that are cut for your guests to enjoy!

Lastly, while the tradition of cutting the cake is an old one—symbolizing the first task you will do as husband and wife—whether you feed each other like civilized adults or smash the entire thing in each other’s faces at your modern-day wedding, is entirely up to you! 
-Brian

P.S. Check back Wednesday for my post all about the long standing, southern tradition of groom’s cakes!