From the bouquet toss to carrying your partner over the threshold, many couples love to incorporate classic wedding traditions and superstitions into their weddings—and wedding cake traditions are no different. Cake traditions have come a long way since Ancient Roman times when a groom would break a loaf of bread over his bride’s head for good luck (seriously!). Here are some popular cake rituals and trends you and your partner can include in your wedding., as well as some myths about wedding cakes!
Your wedding cake should be white.
Back in the 19th century, Queen Victoria set many wedding standards with her wedding to Prince Albert. Not only did she make white wedding dresses a tradition that has carried on to this day, but she started the white wedding cake trend, too! White stood for purity and innocence, representing the bride as she entered this union. White frosting is created using refined white sugar. In the 1880s, this was an expensive ingredient! Therefore, a white cake symbolized one’s wealth. The whiter the frosting, the richer the couple. The color came to be synonymous with all things wedding related, and the tradition of white wedding cakes held.
While we still love the minimalist look of a clean, white wedding cake, there is no rule that says your cake HAS to be white. Choose a color that complements your wedding theme. You can incorporate detailed trends and techniques, or even go for the ever-popular naked cake! Whatever design you decide on, as long as you love it and it tastes good, no one will care if it’s white. However, you may want to stay away from darker colors like midnight blue, plum purple, or black, as the dye can stain your mouth!
Cutting the Cake
Tradition: It used to be only the bride who cut the wedding cake but today, both partners share in the cake-cutting ritual. Family, friends and photographers alike look forward to the moment the couple joins around the cake and cuts the first slice. Not only will your guests finally get to taste the gorgeous creation they've been eyeing throughout your reception, it’s also a classic wedding moment (up there with the first kiss and first dance).
Tip: Make sure your caterer gets a 15-minute lead time before you head over to cut the cake. They’ll need that time to refill champagne glasses and ready the cake table with all the necessary cake-cutting accessories!
Saving the Top Tier
Tradition: Back in the 19th century, couples saved their top tier for the christening of their first child. Today, couples generally wait a longer period of time after their “I dos” before having children, so they’ll save a slice or tier of cake for their first wedding anniversary.
Tip: If it’s well wrapped in plastic and sealed in an airtight container, you can keep your cake in the freezer for a year but I would advise eating it early (maybe your one month anniversary or while you’re reviewing your wedding photos three months later). If you do decide to save this layer, remember to remove all flowers, stems, leaves and other garnishes, and to wrap it carefully to avoid freezer burn. In my opinion, it was not worth it to keep it in my freezer to eat a year later - it wasn't so tasty! Would you rather a fresh slice? Have your baker make you a small cake with the same flavors and frosting on your first anniversary!
Cake Toppers - does it have to be a figurine of a couple?
Birthday cakes have candles, and wedding cakes have toppers! As the number of candles reflects the number of years you’re celebrating, the cake topper is meant to reflect the wedding day. That’s why traditionally it has been figurines of the couple.
Today’s couples have used their creativity to expand the traditional understanding of a cake topper. Some of the more popular toppers include: scripted words or phrases, flowers, banners, funny figurines, or simply no topper at all.
Wedding cakes come in a variety of sizes, depending on the number of guests the cake will serve. Modern pastry chefs and cake designers use various ingredients and tools to create a cake that usually reflects the personalities of the couple. Cakes range in price along with size and components. Cakes are usually priced on a per-person, or per-slice, basis. Wedding cakes and cake decorating in general have become a certain pop culture symbol in western society. In the United States, reality television shows such as Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes have become popular and are trending in today’s popular culture. At the end of the day, you can have your cake whatever flavor you want and however you want to design it! Today, some couples are opting for alternative dessert options for their reception - like donuts, cupcakes, or even mini pies!
What kind of cake did you/are you having for your wedding? Did you skip a cake entirely? Let us know in the comments!
We would like to extend a warm Harrybrooke Wedding Welcome to
Mildred and Jesus who booked their July wedding with us!
Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don't really know what you're getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.
Here are some tips to help you find "the one!"
Settle on a Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you'll want shooting your wedding. Just like when you are choosing a wedding theme, you need to think of what style or aesthetic of photography you want for your wedding photographs. Whether it be formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photo-journalistic feel. Remember that you don't necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there's a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.
Get inspired! Spend time perusing any kind of imagery you love...Pinterest is always a great place to start! Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Now it's time to start your research. Head to Wedding Wire to find local professionals, read reviews, check out their website and social media accounts. Checking out their media will give you an insight on their photography style. How do they capture the moments that are important to you? Like that first look when the bride walks down the aisle, or the cutting of the cake!
Consultations are Key
Choosing a photographer is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, your event date, the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos!
It usually takes quite a bit of time to get all of your photo proofs back from your photographer. Why? Your photographer is shooting enormous raw files far bigger than your typical JPG. Shooting raw files gives your photographer greater ability to correct the photo, but it also takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files. It varies, but many photographers say they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding, so it can take awhile to get proofs back.
Here's some questions to ask: How many images should I expect? Will they be high resolution or low resolution? Will I be able to get prints made myself, or does the photographer retain the rights to the images? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions, or does that happen after I select the photos I want? Speaking of retouching, ask about retouching options and special effects (which can range from simple white balancing to beauty retouching and stylized art effects like super-saturated colors) and the additional cost for both.
Wedding Day Prep!
Remember that your photographer is the professional, while it’s helpful, you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed list of specific shots for them. Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured. For example, a specific pose with your significant other, a "first look" with your parents. Let the photographer do their thing! This way, they’ll put extra emphasis on snapping shots of all your amazing details with the goal of helping your wedding aesthetic truly stand out.
In my opinion, Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. The photographs are something tangible that you will be able to hold onto and cherish forever, and help you relive specific memories from your wedding day. It may seem like a lot of work, but putting in homework time for your photographer is very important in ensuring that you are 100% happy with the photos you will have to look back on!
At Harrybrooke , we work closely with vendors that we have created and maintained great relationships with.
For photography, look no further than Picture This!
Picture This styled the shoot for our spread in the Connecticut Bride Magazine, take a look below at some of the beautiful pictures from that day!
One of my favorite things about Harrybrooke is the many different backdrops you can have for your wedding day. Each location in the park makes it look like the photographs are taken in different places entirely. It's amazing that you can get all of these looks in one place - Harrybrooke!
That's the magic of Harrybrooke.
Weddings are a joyful occasion, but sometimes, planning a wedding can be anything BUT joyful.
Sure, you can probably sweat through it, but it may pay to call in professional reinforcements.
A Wedding Planner!
Here, we consider the pros and cons of using a wedding planner.
Your Wedding Planner will sweat the details. Chances are, you've never planned an event of this magnitude. You'll soon learn, there's SO MANY DETAILS! Wedding planners have done this before, so they can help you wrangle details that you may overlook. Planners can also help you make the most of your budget and allocate it properly.
They have insider knowledge of the local market. Planners can be a godsend if you're putting together a wedding in a city where you don't reside. But locals can benefit, too, because they've likely worked with most of the venues and vendors in town. If we have a client who is looking for a cinematic photographer, finding one does not take weeks of research and sending emails that appear to go into the junk folder. It's one phone call!
They'll spend their time, not yours. Your wedding planner has the time to chase down obscure details and stay in constant contact with vendors for the day-to-day questions.
You have to relinquish some control. If you're the type who can't stand the idea of not doing everything yourself, it might be hard for you to turn over the details for one of the biggest events you're likely to have. However, you need to be honest with yourself about whether it's something you can do comfortably. If you decide to go with a planner, make sure that your planner is as detail-oriented as you are and has values and communication styles that align with your own.
It's an additional cost. If you feel your wedding budget is quite tight, perhaps a wedding planner isn’t the best course of action for you. If you think you need help but are on a tight budget, try seeking the help of your bridesmaid and trusted friends.
Did you know Harrybrooke Weddings offered Wedding Planning services? From the day you book your Harrybrooke Wedding, to the evening of your wedding when we say our goodbyes - our affordable and irresistible Wedding Planning service provides the helping hand you need! Don't sweat the many details and let us take that weight off your shoulders! Inquire about our Wedding Planning service here.
Welcome to the Harrybrooke family!
Let's congratulate Megan and Mung for booking their Harrybrooke Wedding for this August!
They are from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and having a Sunday Brunch wedding!
Jordan & Amanda for their September 2020 Wedding!
Planning mode: activated.
Did you know that 80% of wedding planning is done online? On average, couples spend nearly 2 hours a week planning their wedding and spend 80% of their time planning online. When looking at online planning behaviors based on time of day, mobile usage peaks from 9PM – midnight after couples are home from work and often multi-tasking, though Sunday is also a popular planning day on mobile.
Millennials, who are often referred to as the 'instant gratification' generation, make no exception when it comes to wedding planning. Not only are the majority of millennials doing recon on their wedding PRIOR to getting engaged, but right off the bat they're looking for checklists, budget tools and help on where to start in order to be efficient in the planning process. This generation (who accounts for 80% of today's marrying couples) is driven to get things done with a digital-first mindset. They are planning on mobile apps, researching vendors, and even using digital RSVPs.
I have two apps that will kick start your wedding planning process - and here they are.
The first being Pinterest -
I touched briefly on Pinterest in the last blog post. But what is Pinterest? How can it help you plan your wedding? Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as 'pinning' on Pinterest) images to their board (a collection of 'pins,' usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned. Using a visual orientation, this social network is very much focused on the concept of a person's lifestyle, allowing you to share your tastes and interests with others and discovering those of likeminded people.
Did you know Harrybrooke Weddings now has its own Pinterest?!
Here you can get visual inspiration for your wedding day. Struggling to make the tent for your reception look prettier than what it is? Check out some “tent-spiration” on our Pinterest, where you can find ideas on how to incorporate florals and decor into your reception tent. My favorite board on our Pinterest is “Harden House Vibes.” Vintage feels with pops of teal really ring resonant of the Harden House Museum!
Planning tool #2: Wedding Wire.
(Harrybrooke is on Wedding Wire, too!)
On Pinterest you found inspiration for your cake, floral arrangements, and so much more...but now you need VENDORS. Wedding Wire is the perfect place to go to seek out vendors for your special day. On Wedding Wire, you can search over 250,000 local professionals and see their reviews, pricing, availability, and more.
The best place to start is their free wedding checklist. A checklist is a good way to visualize what you have still have to do, and what you have already accomplished. You will feel so great crossing things off your Wedding Checklist!
Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and daunting, but some brides and grooms take pride in planning their entire wedding on their own! If the idea of planning a wedding is too much for you - there are Wedding Planners you can hire to take that stress away and do the planning for you. At Harrybrooke, you could hire me as your personal wedding planner! As your wedding planner, I would be in direct contact with your vendors - so the only thing you have to do is marry your best friend!
So where are you in your planning process? Sound off in the comments below!