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The Grooms Cake

Sunday November 19, 2017

Something old is something new, with the wedding day tradition of the groom's cake. To many people, the words "groom's cake" may ring the "whaaat?" bell. The groom's cake may seem like a new kid on the block in the wedding world, but it's actually an old school tradition that traces back to the eloquent Victorian Era. This tradition was momentarily lost and is now found and has since evolved into the fun slab of sweetness we know today.

Traditionally, the groom's cake was a rich and dark fruitcake with white icing. The groom's cake wasn't displayed or eaten at the wedding. It was sliced up, put in boxes and given as favors to single women. That night, if she slept with it under her pillow, she would dream of her future hubby-to-be... talk about sweet dreams!

Till their dying day, groom's cakes have remained faithful to their fruitcake roots and are now made of dark chocolate (or red velvet) and contain liqueur and fruit. They're often artfully sculpted into Volkswagen Woody cars, a royal flush poker hand, a Patriots football helmet... something unique that the groom obsesses over. Abi Langlas, owner of Cake Works, told us that with prices ranging from $250 - $1500 (depending on the complexity of the cake), brides have been known to truly go all out! With intricate and creative designs, the groom's cake is sometimes more expensive than the WEDDING CAKE.

On a day that's all mostly centered around the bride, the groom's cake is a great way for the future wifey to recognize her main man. Groom's cakes make wonderful gifts and usually come as a surprise to the groom on the day of the wedding. Imagine your hubby's awe and amazement when you unveil a cake sculpted after his dog, Lucky. He won't be able to hide his excitement! Once revealed, the grandiose goodness is displayed at the reception and either served as another dessert option or saved and eaten the day after the wedding as a way to symbolize a sweet start to married life. Delicious!

BM=Big Mahalo to our Bridesmaids!

Tuesday November 14, 2017

They're more than your gals pals, your besties, your BFFs since junior high. These ladies stood beside you during every new crush and every heart break. They watched you grow into the beautiful bride you will be... and will stand alongside you as you say your "I Do's". If you think about it, your BFFs get as much of the limelight as your soon-to-be-Mr! So for all the times they went dress shopping, cake tasting, invitation making, and of course, wedding listening... it's time to give it up for your BRIDESMAIDS and show them how much you love and appreciate their friendship.

Brides ask me all the time what a good gift would be for their bridal party. Every bride wants something unique, special, memorably and the famous line, "and something they can use again!" Alrighty... here's my top 3 picks for bridal party gifts.

Accessories

We're not talking any ol' jewelry here. There are many ways to make this special. You can "kill two birds with one stone" and get your gals a necklace or earrings that matches their bridesmaid attire to wear during the wedding. If your wedding theme has hints of silver, get your pals a beautiful set of matching dainty silver hoop earrings they can wear on your big day, and any other day that they choose! If you want to be "O" for Original... do something custom for your BMs like a signature necklace with the direct coordinates of the location you all met! You can find a wide variety of styles, colors, metal finishes and truly anything on Etsy, my go to for all things unique and one of a kind. Why not go chic in your wedding day festivities? This is one gift that will surely get used more than once!

An Outing

Treat your BMs to an oooh-la-la day at the spa (Touch Mini Day Spa and Waikiki Plantation Spa are my faves and they both do parties!). Make a fresh fruit salad and mimosa bar and call it a day-of-thanks. You can easily ask the spa to create a rotation for however many girls you have attending - one can get a facial, while another gets a mani and you get a massage...

If you're a crafty bunch? Book a private bead making class at Creations by You and treat your girlfriends to a shopping spree around the craft store for a certain dollar amount. This day is all about YOU being thankful for THEM after all.

Be Creative!

Here's where your creative juices get to flow... think of something your bridal party loves. Are you all wine lovers? If so, customize your own wine and make it a girl party when you bottle the wine at ‘Wine the Experience’. Love dogs? Volunteer together one day at the Humane Society and make a donation in your friends names to sponsor a dog! Beach fanatics? Book a catamaran and sail a Sunday away.

And of course, we didn't forget the MEN! My all time favorite groomsmen's gifts (forego the tacky monogram cufflinks please!)... baseball/football hats that represent their favorite teams, tickets to a UH football game, a collection of beers from around the world, or what Bryson did for our groomsmen was get them all mini BBQ sets since they all love a good BBQ!

Whatever you decide to do, let your gift reflect your friendship, but most importantly, your gratitude for everything they've meant to you!

Reception Table Q&A

Sunday November 12, 2017

You're planning a memorable reception that will knock the socks off your family and friends. Every detail counts... including a smashin' check in table! After all, that's the first thing your guests will experience when arriving at your reception. Introducing, Reception Table 101...

Q: What do I need for the reception check in table?

When your guests arrive at the wedding reception, their first stop is the reception table! Be sure that the table is set up, decorated to fit the theme of the wedding and organized before guests arrive, and get prepared for the crowd. Here are a few reception table staples:

  1. Complete guest list (make sure it's the most updated list!)
  2. Guest book
  3. Pens
  4. Envelope box
  5. Table assignments and place cards (if necessary)
  6. Decor and pictures of the bride & groom
  7. Wishing well notes (if requested by the bride & groom)

Q: What are some cute ideas?

Our favorites are customizable guest book options that your guests can write sweet well wishes for the two of you! Flipping through your guest book is a perfect first anniversary activity while eating your saved wedding cake. TIP: Incorporating cute snapshots of your guests or having them personalize their entries (think: colored pens, drawings, stickers) will make for a PRICELESS guest book to look back on!

Q: How should guests get checked in?

You've got your themed table and guest book ready, but how should your reception table assistants check in your guests?

  1. Greet the guests with a smile and confirm they're attending the right reception. NOTE: Hotels can have multiple receptions going on at the same time so it's always best to confirm they're there for the correct, happy couple. A simple, "For the Wong party?", or "Don't Jennifer and John make such a cute couple..." every now and then will ensure success. PLUS, having pictures of the bride and groom at the reception table will be an obvious clue.
  2. When your reception table assistant receives an envelope from your guests, have them double check that 1) there's a legible name and return address and 2) number the envelope in accordance with your guest list. As each guest signs in, have your table assistant check the corresponding number on your guest list and mark that number on your guest's envelope. For example, if Aunty Betty checks in and she is number 53 on your guest list, the number you will write on her envelope is 53.
  3. Present the guests with their table number if there is assigned seating and direct them towards their seating area.

TIP: Use your check in table for pre-announcements for the reception. Inform guests about cocktail hour, pupus, photo booth, etc. Happy guests = Happy party!

Q: Who should handle the reception table?

You've been going back and forth on who you should ask, but still aren't sure. Stick to these pointers and you've got a winning team!

  1. Have at least two people at the table. They can support each other and one can converse with your guests as the other labels the envelope or gift.
  2. A relative not in the bridal party is always a great reception table assistant. Opt for someone who is efficient, cheery and organized. Tip: Asking a family member means he/she will likely know your relatives and will be a friendly face to greet guests.
  3. Another option would be to select a close family friend that you trust and knows your guests well enough to make checking in a breeze.

TIP: Make sure your reception table assistants are trustworthy. They will be handling a lot of valuable envelopes throughout the night and transferring them from the reception table to a safe (if you're in a hotel) or standing guard all night!

Q: What should we do with the envelopes we receive?

Brides love dolling out their reception table and Envelope Box to fit the theme of their wedding. The Envelope Box is a key element on your reception table as it can be the focal point on your table. From the traditional box with an envelope slit, to fancy bird cage, your options are endless!

Q: Once all the guests are checked in, what do I do with the gifts and envelopes?

  1. Transfer the envelopes carefully from the beautiful Envelope Box and package them in large manila envelopes for safe keeping and easy transport.
  2. If you're staying at a hotel, have your wedding coordinator or reception table assistants walk with a bellman to put the gifts in the hotel room. The envelopes can be walked to the front desk and both your trusty reception table worker and a Front Desk worker will sign off when the envelopes are locked securely in the hotel safe.
  3. If you don't have a room, ask the hotel front desk if it's possible to leave the envelopes in their safe until the end of the reception. There may/may not be a charge for this service.
  4. If you're at a remote location, assign a person that you trust to keep a guarded eye over the envelopes for the night.

TIP: DO NOT leave the envelopes in a car or on the registration table! Make sure the envelopes are placed in a very safe and secure place.

Now that you're a reception table pro you've got nothing to worry about! Get your table items ready, select your winning team and say hello to a perfect check in!

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