Get on the Calendar ASAP: Save the Dates

wedding-365943_1280

The distance between the day I became engaged and the day I married my husband was 8 months. It was my senior year of college and I magically was able to balance wedding planning and college thesis papers. I lie. It was not magical. My husband was super fiance and took the lead on a lot of the planning.

I was not the norm. Modern engagements can last two or three years; with wedding planning consuming upwards of 18 months or more. What does this mean? Save the Dates become a standard requirement for weddings. If you are unsure if you should send out a Save the Date, here are couple questions to ask yourself:

smartphone-925120_1280

  • Is your wedding a destination wedding? Will it require majority of your guests to reserve hotel rooms and/or airline tickets? You need to give your guests time to plan for this expense.
  • Is your wedding during a popular time of year for vacations? Is your wedding scheduled during the summer season? Your guests may pay for their summer vacation trip months before their vacation. If you can get on their calendar before they choose their vacation you can hope that they can plan around your wedding.
  • Is your wedding on a holiday weekend? Is your wedding on Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend or another national holiday weekend? Your guests may be planning on attending or hosting an event to celebrate the holiday. If they know ahead of time, maybe they can postpone until next year to host their annual 4th of July Cookout.
  • Is your wedding on a weekday? Is your wedding on a Friday night or on a special day that is not during a weekend? Maybe you want to get married on your grandparents’ anniversary but this year it is on a Thursday. If your guests are aware of the date with plenty of notice, maybe they can schedule to take the day off work or to leave work early.
  • Is your wedding formal or child-free? Does your wedding have special requirements? Have you set up your wedding to be black tie or no children “allowed?” Give your guests plenty of time to shop for a formal dress or arrange child care. Or perhaps you have another unique request that it could benefit your guests to have more time to plan and prepare.

Check out these articles for more Save the Date tips:

When to Send Out Save the Dates

Mistakes of Sending Out Save the Date Cards 

Mini-Me & Mini-You

How many times in your life can you be miniaturized into a smaller version of yourself chilling as a penguin, flying in balloon or dancing with your sweetheart?  Of course I am talking about Cake Toppers. Today’s creative economy has opened the door to a market where you can buy almost any type of Cake Topper you can imagine. At first glance there are a lot of toppers that are tiny signs, monograms or words  – BUT here at Keep the Cake, we believe in the “Mini-Me & Mini-You” Cake Toppers because they are more fun! And make for a great keepsake!

Here are some of our favorite crafty folks on Etsy who make unique cake toppers:

Tiny Geek specializes in Superheroes, Comic Book Stars and Sci-Fi Characters

il_570xN.767936635_9tye

Tiny Geeks

Magical Gifties specializes in all animals real or imaginary

il_570xN.714349167_26zi

Magical Gifties

June Makes specializes in knitted mice – a niche market “but oh so cute”

il_570xN.802781430_g8m8

June Makes

Ana Crafts specializes in personalized couples going on adventures & acting out hobbies

il_570xN.217146376

Ana Crafts

Perfect Favours – Modern Spin on Traditional Cake Topper Design

il_570xN.777568881_krjx

Perfect Favours

Visit Etsy for more handcrafted Cake Toppers…and if you choose a sign or monogram over a “Mini-me & Mini-you” we will not judge….remember its your day! Do what makes you happy!

When You Own it All…

The classic wedding gift registry is full of everything a young couple would need to set-up their first home. Pans, dishes, silverware, appliances…but what if you already own these items?  What if you already have everything you need to be a”happy homemaker” because you have lived on your own for several years or more. You could register for new items, which could be a nice treat! Or you may want your friends and relatives to spend their money on something special that you actually want and not just another coffee pot that you do not need.

For over 10 years there has been a quiet industry brewing in the background: the Honeymoon Registry Market. A honeymoon can be a huge expense that might seem more feasible if some of cost is shared with your entire guest list. At the same time, just asking for your guest to give you a check or cash seems so impersonal that they still end up buying you that serving dish or teapot you did not want. What if you could customize your dream honeymoon and then guests could buy pieces of your honeymoon to give you as a gift.? Pieces could include one night stay in the hotel, a couple’s massage or a romantic dinner. All of these pieces come together to build your romantic getaway, thanks to all of your friends and family.

The trick is finding a honeymoon registry service that is easy enough to navigate and use for your Aunt Betty who is not tech savvy or Cousin Bob who does follow directions well. Be sure that you feel comfortable with the process from the user end to buy honeymoon pieces from your registry or to contribute money directly to the overall honeymoon.

Here is a list of 5 honeymoon registry services, each offering their own spin on gift registries and honeymoons (along with 5 honeymoon recommendations that we think are awesome!)

alaska-907724_1280mt iliamna

Mount Iliamna, Alaska

#1 Wanderable – this site helps couples discover, plan and book their dream travel experiences (no fees!)

St. Peter's in the Vatican in Rome Italy

Rome, Italy

#2 Honeyfund – crowdfunding site for weddings, honeymoons, down payments,  and charities

bora-bora-701862_1280

Bora-Bora in French Polynesia

#3 Wed & Wish – This is for more than honeymoons but for all of your gift wishes.

aida-802359_1280-cruise

German Cruise Ship “Aida”

#4 Honeymoon Pixe – Select from one of our pre-built honeymoon registries… it couldn’t be easier!

oia-416135_1280

Oia, Greece

#5 Traveler’s Joy – This is one of the original honeymoon sites, open since 2004, which means it has had plenty of time to master the art of registering for a honeymoon!

Comparison Shopping: 

How do you choose a honeymoon registry? We recommend these articles to help you make a decision:

The Ultimate Guide to Honeymoon Registries 

The Honeymoon Registry Comparison Chart 

Honeymoon Registry: Which one is Best for You?

Wedding Homework List – Week 2

Last week we suggested 3 books that we recommend to help you plan and prepare for your big day. Did you think that was ALL of your homework? No way! It is the beginning of the school year which means a constant stream of homework! But we promise it will be FUN homework! We think these books are winners!

Book #1: How to Feed your Artistic Side

THE DIY BRIDE: 40 FUN PROJECTS FOR YOUR ULTIMATE ONE-OF-A-KIND WEDDING

51vc8Hw11SL._SX495_BO1,204,203,200_

Book #2: How to Impress your New Family

EMILY POST’S WEDDING ETIQUETTE

51ag2cQ1KTL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Book #3: How to be the Modern Groom

THE GROOM’S INSTRUCTION MANUAL: HOW TO SURVIVE AND POSSIBLY EVEN ENJOY THE MOST BEWILDERING CEREMONY KNOWN TO MAN

517eQ1jOJkL

The Invisible Wedding Guest

photograph-865008_1280

You have seen many wedding albums shared among Friends, Family and Facebook. Who is the one person who is invisible in all of these albums? The Wedding Photographer! 

One of the biggest decisions you have to make in planning your wedding, after finding your dress, is choosing your wedding photographer. The world of photography has changed a lot in the past 10 years since we got married – so we definitely do not claim to be experts – but we do believe in doing your homework, asking lots of questions and meeting with at least 3 possible candidates to review their portfolios.

Now the experts will give you a different set of guidelines to follow and we recommend you consider them all! Here are 5 articles to get you started on your research:

Finding Your Wedding Photographer

Ten Tips For Hiring The Best Wedding Photographer (beautiful photos!)

I Hired a Cheap Wedding Photographer 

Look Before You Book!

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost? (reality check!)

photographer-424623_1280

 

 

Welcome to Memory Lane!

Looking at the purpose of Keep the Cake: we want you to streamline your stuff and focus on what means the most to you (and your spouse).

Your wedding will probably be listed in the top 5 to 10 memorable and significant days in your life. And your guests will shower you with all sorts of ways to document the special event.

Look through all of your wedding supplies, decor and accessories to determine what is worth keeping for sentimental reasons. Will you create a photo album, a scrapbook, or a keepsake box? How do you determine what you should treasure forever and what you can let go of without any tears? It all comes down to what do you need to remember?

This is a good opportunity to have a vocabulary lesson from our dear friends at Merriam-Webster to help us start thinking about how to sort our closets, guest rooms & basements for a productive trip down Memory Lane:

Sentimental: Based on, showing, or resulting from feelings or emotions rather than reason or thought

rose-764267_1280

Keepsake: Something that you keep to help you remember a person, place, or event: a memento or souvenir

coffer-281251_1280

Treasure: Something that is very special, important, or valuable

tables-743750_1280

Remember: To have or keep an image or idea in your mind of (something or someone from the past), to think of (something or someone from the past) again

photo-256889_1280

 

In summary, you will know what you want to keep and what you want to give away. It will probably be the special items that tug at your heartstrings and evoke memories of happiness from your special day. Nobody can tell you what items are more significant than others. I will say  to you that a keepsake does not have to be an expensive or fancy item. Maybe you want to keep a shell from your beach wedding or the cork from your first bottle of champagne opened at your reception…Because even the smallest trinket can carry great memories!

We recommend this adorable article about unique wedding keepsake stories:

Right Next to the Cake Topper? Why, That’s a Jar of Rainwater

Newlyweds Need Romance Too!

Everyone pictures the first couple years of marriage to be perfect “newlywed” years of bliss & romance everyday. But that isn’t reality. Life gets in the way. And work & responsibilities will always be part of Life. You need to nurture your marriage from Day One. Now is the time to start threading habits in your everyday routines or traditions to keep your marriage healthy & strong. Nothing big, extravagant or expensive. Just enough to remind you to not take your relationship for granted. Here is a few basic tips we suggest… They may seem obvious – but sometimes you overlook the basics! Proven Winners!

Tip #1: Pick up a Phone – Your partner is worth more than a text….sometimes a spontaneous phone call can brighten their day! Just the sound of your voice during a busy day at work may mean the world to themconversation-687877_1280

Tip #2: Random Acts of Kindness – Always keep in the back of your mind what little things make your partner smile. What little surprises can you sprinkle throughout the year? Breakfast in Bed has always been a classic surprise!

breakfast-848313_1280

Tip #3: Traditions & Routines – It is never too early to start traditions with your spouse. Romantic little moments that you make time for once a week. Maybe its a Friday Night Movie on the couch or Wednesday Night Stroll in the park after dinner. There is nothing wrong with scheduling romantic time in your chaotic lives!

bridge-525615_1280

Tip #4: Write from the Heart – I have always been a fan of the love note found in my lunch box or taped to the bathroom mirror. It could be just a few words “I love you!” or it could be your classic love letter. It is one of those romantic gestures that you will carry with you for weeks, months or years. Every time you come across that little bit of paper with your spouses’s chicken scratch… you smile!woman-792162_1280

Tip #5: Laughter is the Best Medicine – Humor is sometimes the only thing you can depend on in your marriage. You will have unexpected Ups & Downs. You will have Wins & Losses. You don’t know what the future will hold. But if you can still make each other laugh, find humor in your mistakes and enjoy a good comedy together once in awhile…you will be okay!

grimace-388987_1280

Tip #6: Just Because – It is customary to send flowers for Valentine’s Day, Birthdays & Anniversaries. I will tell you now. Don’t do it. Send flowers on a random Tuesday months after your spouse’s birthday or weeks before your anniversary. Just Because. Your spouse will love them 10 times more than any given holiday. They will feel like they won a special little lottery when they think the delivery man is walking to the woman 2 cubes from her but instead he stops at her desk. Just Because = She will Love you Forever!  

flowers-422142_1280

Wedding Homework List

Out of all of your homework assignments from your life….this should be most fun!

Here is our list of books to check out in-between cake tastings and dress fittings:

Book #1: Planning Your Wedding

51uYrc1jCbL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Book #2: Budgeting Your Wedding

41FXlDjD5NL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Book #3: Planning your Ceremony