Wedding Cake Alternatives

For many years, cakes have ruled wedding receptions. One of the first questions people ask about weddings is what the cake either looked or tasted like.

wedding cake alternatives - cake pops

Over the course of the past few years, though, the cake has started losing its place at the party. Oh, it’s not like wedding cakes are going away anytime soon. I expect them to continue to be the most popular dessert at weddings for a very long time to come. It’s just that now more people are more open to variations on the theme.

One popular variation that’s sprung up is the wedding dessert bar. With this option, the couple may or may not have a traditional wedding cake, but they will offer multiple options in sweet ways to end a meal.

wedding cake alternatives - pie

I have to say this is one of my favorite trends in weddings today. As much as I love cake, the fact is they are often extremely expensive or else not terribly inspired. Sometimes, they are both. And while you can make each tier a different flavor, that means most of us are talking about two to three flavors. It’s helpful, but then you get a large crowd of people with dozens of different food issues and preferences. Someone is going to go home disappointed. The dessert bar is a great opportunity to offer more options so as to satisfy more guests.

wedding cake alternatives - crepes

It’s also a great way to save a little cash, because this is a great DIY project. Break out your best recipes, ask friends and family for their help, fill in blanks with commercially made sweets, and either use coordinated serving pieces or a cheerful cacophony of china you, your friends, and your family can provide.

What should be included? Anything you like that will hold up sitting unattended on a table for a while. Cupcakes, cookies, tarts, pies, sweet muffins, chocolates, fudge, Rice Crispies treats, Peeps, canolli, dried fruit, nuts, petit fours…really, almost anything you like.

wedding cake alternatives - waffles

Vary the height a bit, add a little floral or some pretty linens, and away you go!

So if you’re looking for a little more than wedding cake, consider the dessert bar. It’s fun, it’s practical, and it’s oh so chic!

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

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Decorating Your Wedding with Balloons


I read something recently that said that anything – and I mean anything – can be an upscale-looking wedding decoration when used in quantity. In fact, quantity was the key. DIY mason jar bouquets, rounds freshly cut from trees, simple paper confetti… doesn’t matter. It’s not about the what, it’s about the how much. That’s definitely true when you’re using balloons to decorate at a wedding because used just here and there, balloons look cheesy. Obviously. The theme of your wedding reception decor should not be ‘kids party’.

The easiest way to avoid that look is buy using LOTS of balloons, oversize balloons, or – even better – both in your reception decor. Here are some examples of how you can decorate with balloons at your wedding without sacrificing sophistication:

balloons at weddings balloons decorations wedding

balloon-wedding-exit  giantballoon_reception_decor

wedding balloons reception


wedding heart balloons

There are lots of great ways to use balloons in your wedding decor, from centerpieces that include balloons to a sparkling ‘sky’ of balloons over the dance floor to a balloon backdrop for a photo booth or the sweetheart table. Just stay away from the now dated balloon arch and balloon pillars – two ideas guaranteed to make your reception look more like junior prom. On trend right now are giant perfectly round balloons and giant gold and silver letter balloons (both shown above).

In quantity and at scale, balloons are a whimsical addition to almost any reception, from formal to casual! xoxo

Christa Terry is a wedding expert


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Wedding ‘Disasters’ and How to Overcome Them Gracefully

When it comes to weddings, something will always go wrong. And I mean always. You can prepare for every possible contingency but there will be some detail, hopefully a tiny one, that doesn’t unfold as planned. We’re quick to call a lot of things wedding disasters that are more like inconveniences. Rain on your wedding day. Ungracious guests. Catering mix ups. Or as in the case of the wedding that went viral a while back, an entire wedding party falling into a lake.


The biggest wedding disaster of all is the one that prevents you and your intended from saying “I do,” but that doesn’t mean that smaller issues can’t feel like the end of the world. One bride I know had so many things go wrong that I was shocked she didn’t go crazy. The jeweler lost her custom wedding rings a month before the wedding. Her bridal veil never showed. The caterer cancelled. The area’s one nice hotel was overbooked that weekend. The original reception venue closed without warning and she had to fight to her her deposit back. Her MIL-to-be refused to come. And the best man lost all of his luggage, including his tux.

The whole wedding planning process was, in short, a disaster. And yet this friend of mine somehow managed to smile through it all because she knew that none of it would mean that her and her husband-to-be would be any less married. Her family and friends help her put together an outdoor reception at a local part that was nothing short of amazing. Relatives cooked up a massive spread – for free. She looked as beautiful without her veil as she would have looked with one and the local tux rental place managed to hook up the best man on very short notice. In the end, everything worked out for the better if not the best.

It was, as she puts it, the most wonderful day of her life even though the weeks and months leading up to it were disastrous. Maybe it’s because she kept her eyes on what was really important: their families were there, their closest friends and family were standing by our sides as they made their sacred vows together, and everyone was happy. She told me later that hardly anyone realized that things had gone wrong – everything seemed perfect just the way it was.


And that’s something else to remember… sometimes wedding disasters make for funny stories and amazing photo opps. Look for the beauty and you will probably find it!


Christa Terry is a wedding expert

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Wedding Planning and Those Pesky Last Minute Details

Getting to “I do” can be a pretty big pain, and getting to the end of your wedding planning checklist is no guarantee that you’re in the clear. After you’ve checked nearly everything off your list and finally feel free to relax there may still be a whole bunch of last-minute details to tackle. If you’re lucky, your spouse-to-be is splitting the list with you or you have some seriously engaged bridesmaids who have your back so you can relax a little bit before the big day. But if you’re like a lot of brides, last-minute wedding planning to-dos like these will fall on your plate:

  • Put everything you need for the ceremony and reception in one place, and designating someone to take them to your venue and set them up. A few days before, get all your decorations and reception accessories to that person.
  • Figure out who is doing what – have you decided who will be in charge of the programs? Who is helping seat guests? Who will hand out the tip envelopes at the end of the reception?
  • Give a final head count to whichever wedding vendors need a head count. Don’t forget to include meals for your other vendors.
  • Create or buy a wedding day emergency kit. You never know what you and your bridesmaids might need on the big day, from mints to clear nail polish to band-aids.
  • Pick up your wedding dress and remind the groom to have his side pick up their wedding day apparel. Put your wedding day undies and your bridal jewelry with your gown so everything you need is in one place.
  • Take a walk in your wedding shoes to break them in. Pro tip: Put a pair of men’s socks over them after putting them on your feet and wear your bridal shoes around the house for a few days. They stay clean but get more comfortable.
  • Pick up your wedding rings (and your engagement ring if you had it cleaned).
  • Finalize the seating chart and put your seating place cards in alphabetical order in an envelope so they’re ready to go.
  • Review the guest list with your fiance. This helps big time when you’re in the receiving line!
  • Pick up your marriage license. Confirm the details of the rehearsal (and the rehearsal dinner if your future MIL hasn’t already done so). Create a loose wedding day itinerary and go over it with your wedding day VIPs. Make sure everyone knows where to be and what to do.
  • Confirm EVERY detail with EVERY vendor. Confirm your order, the drop off time and place, and any special details.
  • Pack for the honeymoon – if you’re leaving ASAP after the wedding – and confirm your travel reservations.

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NOW you can relax. If you can relax, that is. I know from experience that it’s really hard to just kick back when your wedding day is a week away but it’s definitely worth a shot. You’ll feel happier on the big day if you are well-rested and not super stressed out!

Christa Terry is a wedding expert


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Bridesmaid: Can You Really Wear that Dress Again?

Let’s talk truthy about bridesmaid dresses. They’ve come a long way from bright pink and blue taffeta (complete with dyed shoes to match)! But even so, let’s be honest. Has anyone ever worn their bridesmaid dress again? I have – when the bride was sweet enough to let all her ‘maids choose their own frocks in a specific color. When that happens it’s easy to find a bridesmaids dress you can wear again because the dress you pick is just your style.

But should it happen that you are a bride who isn’t a fan of the idea of letting bridesmaids choose their own dresses, there are still things you can do when choosing bridesmaids dresses to increase the odds your girls will wear their frocks more than just the once.

bridesmaids dresses wear againImage: We Heart Photography

First of all, the styles of bridesmaid dresses have improved dramatically over the past few years. Today, we’re seeing a lot of A-line dresses which look great on all different body shapes and sizes.

blue bridesmaids dresses mismatchedImage: Andrew Mark Photography

The hottest styles right now are still mostly sleeveless. Also very popular are column style dresses, floor length, halter top or straps criss-crossing over the back and asymmetrical. But keep in mind that anything floor length or overtly formal will be harder to re-wear than cocktail length bridesmaids dresses. That said, there are always exceptions!

sparkling bridesmaids dressesImage: Erich McVey Photography

These days, designers are getting very creative when it comes to color and fabric. It’s not just pale pinks and blues anymore. Platinum is very in at the moment, as well as very vibrant colors that would be at home on stylish peacocks. And yet earth tones and natural colors never go out of style and are especially versatile when it comes to everyday wear.

tan and gold bridesmaids dresses

Accessories can really enhance the look of bridesmaid dresses – adding to the formality or funkiness. Statement necklaces add a bolder touch to relatively simlpe bridesmaid attire and look really stunning with all the sleeveless styles.

two piece bridesmaids dresses

Floral looks and patterned bridesmaids dresses are appearing at growing numbers of weddings. Maybe because they can be worn again or maybe because we’re all finally over plain Jane matching styles. But if you love matching bridesmaids dresses – and that’s okay – think about having your ‘maids wear striking shoes in different colors and styles.

floral bridesmaids dresses

The vintage aesthetic is also still trendy, especially with the more “retro” style dresses. Rhinestone barrettes and combs are lending a stylish touch to bridal parties wearing vintage styles. What makes these dresses so re-wearable is that their silhouette is more fun and less formal.

retro bridesmaids dressesImage: Briana Purser Photography

Happy shopping, ladies!coral bridesmaids dresses

Christa Terry is a wedding expert


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Your Headpiece: The Crowning Touch

Maybe you never wear headbands and a daytime tiara is out of the question, but chances are you’ll be wearing a bridal headpiece (brooch, band, or crown) on your big day. That’s because bridal headpieces and veils complement your dress and add another dimension of style to your wedding day.

You just feel different with something sparkly topping off your look – and why shouldn’t you? It’s a special day, so wear something special! Like…

*A barrette, brooch, or comb. This is typically secured into the back of an up-do. The Angela is one of my faves.

pearl bridal comb

*A bridal wreath. Typically a ring of flowers or beading, it encircles the head without necessarily being pinned into your hair.

*A bridal tiara. Think “princess”! And regal. And feminine. If you love playing dress up but want a subtle effect, try something like the Petite Pearl.

pearl bridal headband

*Hair pins. For just a touch of sparkle in your bridal updo, I love our Fresh Water hairpins.

pearl hair pins bridal

*A hat. Definitely different, but decorated elegantly, it can be in any number of shapes and sizes. Perfect for the modern bride.

* A bridal headband. Secured behind your ears and resting at the top of your head, it’s a lot of elegance in a lightweight package. Asymmetrical styles are my fave.

pearl bridal tiara

*The classic wedding veil. From Flyaway to fingertip to sweep veils and beyond, nothing says bride quite like a gorgeous veil.

bridal veil styles - bride veil help

Which isn’t to say that among all this loveliness, a bride-to-be can’t choose to go bareheaded. I actually did it myself, after buying more than a few tiaras and combs. Going without felt natural for me. But if you’re like most brides you can’t wait to don a bridal veil or your tiara or a headband dripping with pearls.


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The Most Wonderful Backless Wedding Dress Inspiration

Married in white doesn’t necessarily mean demure, as the millions of brides donning sultry backless wedding dresses have proved. The trend can translate into anything from a hint of skin to a dip that encroaches upon derriere territory. As for me, I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s that between the wedding ceremony and the first dance, you see so much of the bride’s back. Maybe it’s the dichotomy between the sexy silhouette of backless and the traditional purity of the wedding gown. Party in the back, business in the front? Here’s a whole lot of party in the back to inspire you as you shop for wedding dresses – some made to highlight your bridal jewelry and others made to make every inch of skin stand out. Bare a little or bare a lot, these dresses prove backless is here to stay!

backless wedding dresses (1)

backless wedding dresses (2)

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inbal dror

Jim Hjelm

julie vino

liz martinez bridal


yaki ravid

How bare do you dare to go?

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Modern Wedding Cake Inspiration That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

With all the options there are now, choosing a wedding cake can be almost as fraught with indecision as choosing bridesmaids dresses! The right wedding cake designer can create almost everything under the sun, from cakes that look like anything you can imagine to traditional wedding cakes with a twist. Currently hot is the modern wedding cake – which means different things to different people. In general, though, if you’re browsing around Pinterest for modern wedding cakes you’re going to see plenty of sharp angles, solid colors, geometric shapes, thick lines, and contemporary color choices. The designs on modern wedding cakes tend to look more like art than aliment, though one hopes the flavors inside are just as delicious as the exteriors are gorgeous. Here are some examples of what I think of when I’m thinking of modern wedding cakes:

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modern wedding cake 1 (2)

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modern wedding cake 1 (5)

modern wedding cake 1 (6)

modern wedding cake 1 (7)

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modern wedding cake 1 (10)

Remember to meet with your wedding cake designer well in advance of the wedding to talk about what kind of cake you’re looking for. It helps to bring pictures, so queue up your wedding cake inspiration board on your phone or tablet before the meeting!

Have a sweet week!


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8 Bridal Veils for Every Bridal Style

Let’s get a hip hip hooray to celebrate the fact that veils are back in a big way. This time, they’re anything but traditional so if you’ve ever thought of bridal veils as stuffy and old fashioned, take another look. Sure, the bridal veil has a long and storied history. Some veils protected brides from evil spirits. Later on, they represented chastity and purity. Veils have been a status symbol for the rich and famous. And a fun retro accessory for the rest of us.

Most veils scream femininity, which makes sense because unlike shoes or jewelry, veils are pretty much just for us ladies. Maybe in all the excitement of shopping for your wedding dress, you’ve pushed thoughts of bridal veils aside. Once you have your gown on order, though, hair accessories and headpieces should be at the top of your pre-wedding shopping list. With that in mind, here are my veil pics for every bridal style:

bride cage veil vintage retro

An abbreviated cage veil with a side comb is a nod to 1960s brides, so if vintage glam translated into modern punk is your aesthetic this is for you. It’s light, see through to the extreme so you get all the fun of a veil without the headache or blurred vision.

flower cage veil retro bride

If something less funky is more your speed but you love the cage veil look, try a floral cage veil. It’s a little more femme but still plenty retro, and it’s just divine if you can’t get enough of the 1920s.

two layer veil no edging

Simple and elegant, a two-layer veil is all about the options. Wear it under your updo for a contemporary elegant look or go full traditional over the hair with a layer flipped over in front of your beautiful visage. Don’t worry – it’s still light enough and soft enough for dancing and all-day comfort.

edged wedding veil bridal

Want something the tiniest bit more elaborate but still relatively simple? Take a cut-edge veil and add a pencil edge for a finished look. A pencil-edge wedding veil gives a little more definition to a bridal veil so it stands out that much more.

mantilla bridal veil

The mantilla bridal veil represents a nod to tradition but with a twist. This mantilla veil has amazing floral lace detailing that gradually becomes delicate beading for a modern take on a classic look.

pearl edge bridal veil beads

Love pearls? Then max out on them on your wedding day with a bridal veil that combines two layers of soft bridal tulle with gorgeous sewn-in seed pearls. This pearl bridal veil is the perfect veil for girly-girl brides who want their veils to stand out.

ribbon edge bridal veil

Ribbon edge bridal veils are the ultimate must-have accessories for modern brides! The thicker the ribbon, the more impact it will have. These veils look amazing with mod column gowns without a lot of embellishment.

cathedral length bridal veil

And we can’t forget the ultimate in classic chic, the cathedral veil. It’s long, luxurious, and FORMAL. While the rules for wearing the longest bridal veil have relaxed somewhat, keep your wedding venue in mind before choosing this type of veil.

What type of veil will YOU be wearing?

P.S. – This month only you can get 15% of all bridal veils with coupon code MYVEIL15! Happy shopping!

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Wedding Cake Toppers We Love

For brides-to-be in the market for a wedding cake topper that’s a little different we are all about the letters! In a world where anything from Matchbox cars to pinecones can become wedding cake toppers, it’s nice to find something that’s both cool and traditional. Enter the monogram, the love note, the wedding date and so on.
 wedding cake topper 2
We’re seen this called an easy DIY but frankly, we’re not that handy. But Etsy is your bestie when it comes to this type of wedding cake topper.
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Personalize it? Oh yes. Love the Mr. and Mrs. (or the Mrs. and Mrs. or Mr. and Mr., natch) because it really sums up the wedding. Provided, of course, you’re planning to share a name.
wedding cake topper 9
Not sharing a name? Mr. and Mrs. or the aforementioned variants will suffice. Our favorite thing about this cake topper is how cute it would look on a mantle post-wedding.
wedding cake topper 1
Hint hint, our French Script wedding cake toppers let you spell it out yourself!
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Add your wedding date to your cake topper for an even more personal feel.
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Letters plus a little something extra – putting a bird on it, in this case. We’re loving the rustic feel in a polished topper that would look great in a garden later on.
wedding cake topper 6
How sweet is this? A sweet sentiment on a sweet treat.
wedding cake topper 5
Serious sparkle rocks with any message – Mr. and Mrs. or a monogram or a love note to each other. Let your cake topper speak your heart!

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