Category: Wedding/Bridal

May 06

How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget

How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget (

Hi! This is Jen, with some cost saving tips from

Hey there! Getting married? Well, unless your wedding involves a judge, a witness and 2 rings from a cracker jack box, chances are you’re going to have to make some strategic decisions to make sure your big day doesn’t leave you in big debt.

First things first: When and When. For most couples, this should be between May and September, from late afternoon to early evening. Sure, this is a popular answer, but it isn’t the most cost effective; not to mention, that you’ll be competing with every other couple on the continent for locations and vendors. recommends thinking outside the box on this one, by picking a date outside peak wedding season to save you money. Also, a ceremony earlier in the day, with a daylight hour reception to follow, means the spread need not be as elaborate. No need for a full open bar at 1pm!

In terms of the Where, grooms should be on the look out for reception locations that are in close proximity to the ceremony. If you’re on the same property, all the better! This will cut down on transportation costs, and makes sure that no one gets lost along the way!

One of the most trying steps on the road to matrimony can be formulating the guest list. She wants 400 guests, and you want immediate family and your 10 closest friends each. While neither of you are right or wrong in wanting the amount of people that you do, you will have to come to some sort of compromise. And remember, each guest comes with a price tag attached! And, as’s Eco Chic Expert Emily Anderson says, not everyone you invite wants to be invited! If you feel obligated to invite someone that you haven’t spoken to in recent years, or, feel on the fence about someone in general, chances are they’re going to feel the same way when their invitation arrives. Why not make this event about only those people that you feel really close to, and avoid all that awkwardness? When your invitations do go out, why not ask guests to RSVP by telephone or email? This will save money and paper, as an alternative to self-addressed, stamped envelopes.

Flowers. Decorations. Gifts. These are the things that make your mind go blank. Wake Up! While you can probably do without these things, chances, are, your bride can’t! And, since you only do this once, why not do it right? But, right doesn’t mean you need to spend the farm! If you and your bride decide to splurge on the best band in town, why not choose a reception hall that’s already beautiful and ornate, so you guys can save yourself some cash on decorations?

For more wedding and engagement tips, visit!


Apr 01

Wedding How-To – French Spiral Bouquet

How To Make A French Spiral Wedding Bouquet (courtesy of

Today, we’re going to learn how to make a traditional french style bouquet. We’re gonna be using all one flower. We chose roses just because they’re simple, straight-stemmed flowers, and also, because they’re beautiful!

So, the first thing that you want to do is you want to clean all of the foliage and the thorns, in this case because of the roses, off of your flower. You don’t want to have the foliage under water. It creates bacteria and just doesn’t look very clean or nice.

So, take a heavy cloth or bath rag, maybe something canvas or a gardening glove, and just really strip straight down and just pull them off. You want to get a vase full of water ready, and you’d like to probably have some raffia, which we have, or string or ribbon – something that you’re gonna use to bind your finished bouquet.

Okay, you want to slowly choose flowers, and you’re gonna be crossing your stems. This is gonna be our base flower, and you’re gonna slowly cross your stems to start with the center, that’s going to be round and mounded from the middle, and it will slowly spiral out. So, you’re gonna come out with a sort of perfect, half-ball shape, once you’re finished. And, you just want to turn it, always holding with your thumb and pointer finger. I’m just making this really, simple pattern, which is allowing a lot of space around each flower and showing off every one individually.

It’s important to look at it from all different angles. As you can see, I’m sort of making it heavy on this side, so what I do is just sort of turn it around – it can be scary, but you can do it – and sort of just work from that other side.

As you can see here, I have nicely, spiraled stems, and I’m holding it with my thumb and pointer finger as I started out. You want to take your raffia and use your pointer finger to help. You wanna hold that pretty taut, and you want to just wrap it around a couple times – just tight, as you’re holding it – because this is gonna be the anchor that’s gonna keep your flowers in place. So I’ve wound this around – and you want to tie just like a double knot. Nothing fancy – just like you were tying your own shoe. You wanna make sure that it’s not gonna get untied and not gonna go anywhere. It’s a little tricky…you can lean it against your body or do what you need to do. So, we have our scissors here, I’ll just cut that down short.

So, we’re almost done with our lovely, round bouquet. My vase is all ready with the water in it, and, we’re gonna cut this relatively short – probably shorter than you would think. And, you know, you can sort of bring your vase up and figure out, sort of eyeball, where you think you should be cutting it. We’re gonna just cut some stems – you wanna just cut straight across, and this will be resting on it. If you give it a cut on an angle, they have much more of a surface area to drink from.

And, what’s important – with roses especially – but, a lot of flowers that have these – these are nodes from where the leaves were growing out – you always want to cut above it or just below it. But, I’m gonna continue to cut these straight across, and you just want to guide it in there, give it a little tap and poke, and there we have our pretty french, round bouquet – viola!


Jan 24

How To Do A Classic Bridal UpDo

How To Do A Classic Bridal Up-Do (courtesy of

Hi! We’re back with Ashley Matthews, and we’re gonna go ahead and do a classic updo on her. Really simple, easy style to achieve at home!

We’ve already taken a small section out here, right in the crown and just teased it lightly from underneath, and then just sprayed the top. That will give her a little bit of volume right here at the crown.

We’re gonna pull out this bang section, ’cause we’re gonna deal with that a little bit later. So, taking from the ear, also leaving a little piece down, we’re gonna start combing this hair all the way to the back, just kind of smoothing as you go. And, we’re gonna do the same thing with the other side, taking all of this hair back, leaving just a little bit right by the ear. Pulling it all the way back into a small, low ponytail, smoothing all of that hair as you go. Being very careful that you don’t pull out all of this hair on top that you’ve already teased.

Okay, you take that section of hair, and, what you’re gonna do is start twisting it towards the scalp, and you’re gonna start pinning as you go. Just continue to pin this all the way up the style, so it stays nice and secure.

Now, you have a few options, You can either leave the hair out on top, as one variation. Or, you can take this hair and just kind of tuck it underneath, into the style. Take some hairpins and just secure, taking the comb at the same time and just smoothing and swirling it around.

I’m taking the comb and almost laying it completely flat against the head, and just smooth the hair. That won’t cause any friction or upset any of the teasing that we did. And same thing on the other side, and the comb flat against the head, and smooth and tuck all the way back. I’m just taking some pins in that top section and really smoothing that over. I think I’ll also leave that little piece out by the ear.

Now, I’ll take that bang section that we already left out from the beginning. Teasing from underneath, have the comb about a ½ inch from the scalp and push directly forward. Then, smooth the top out there. Now, you can also leave this bang out, if you’d like, as a variation. I’m gonna put just a small pin right behind the ear, and get that section rounded. Now, I’m just gonna do that again on the other side. Leave out the little small section by the ear.

That’s a quick, easy rendition for an updo style, or a style for a night out on the town!


Oct 24

How to Plan a Wedding – Destination Weddings

How To Plan A Destination Wedding (courtesy of

Hi! This is Susan Breslow Sardone, the author of Destination Wedding for Dummies. I’m not just the author of the book – I’ve actually been a destination bride! I’ve got 3 important tips for anyone having a destination wedding:

1) Find out what the marriage laws are where you’re going to get married. In France, for instance, which people think of as a really romantic place to get married, a 40-day residency is required. And, that’s why a lot of couples will get their license at home, and then they’ll have a symbolic ceremony at the destination.

2) Hope for a sunny day, but plan for a rainy day! Lots of destination weddings happen on beaches. Ask the wedding site to prepare an alternate space where you and your guests can go in case there’s a thundershower or a heatwave.

3) If you’re thinking of a really small wedding, you can always come home and have a great party. That’s when you can invite your friends to some informal party or barbeque, and you can even theme it to the destination.


Jun 07

How to Plan a Wedding: Reception Seating Tips

How To Plan A Wedding: Reception Seating Tips (courtesy of WeddingTips)

When decorating for a wedding reception, you first have to choose the guest tables. How many will you need, what size and shape you’ll want, and how you’ll arrange them. In the next few minutes, I’ll show you the most popular table for a wedding reception.

Now, your guest tables usually come in about 3 different sizes: the 6-foot rounds, the 5-foot rounds, and then, your 4-foot. The most common used for a wedding reception today is a 5-foot round. It’s big enough to serve dinner, but small enough so you can talk to other guests, and reach the salt and pepper shakers! Most 5-foot rounds, sometimes called 60-inch tables, serve as little as 6 people, but can go up to 8 without really cramping anybody’s style. Now, depending on the size of the chairs, and the space of the table legs, you might be able to squeeze a 9th person in. Some rental companies may even tell you that you can get 10 around a 5-foot table, but, I find that I little too restricting. But, keep in mind the size of your guests, and, if you have anyone in a wheelchair, they will need extra room.

Now, if you want something a little more intimate, you can rent a 4-foot round. The 4-foot round, 48-inches across, will seat 4 to 6 people. It’s used a lot for the cake table, too, and it’s a perfect size for that! 6-foot rounds, or 72-inch tables, can seat anywhere from 8 to 10 people comfortably. Again, some people say at highest, 12, but I really don’t recommend that.

Now, this is another choice in table that is becoming more popular – the bistro tables. You can use these if you’re having a cocktail party and just serving hors d’ oeuvres for your reception.

Now, this is a 6-foot banquet table, used commonly for the head table, your buffet table, and, you can mix and match these with 8-foot banquet tables.

Finally, it’s important to leave enough space between your tables, so the guests and servers can comfortably move about the room. A good rule of thumb is to leave a minimum of 4½ feet from edge to edge.

So, there you have it! One of the first steps in planning our wedding reception is figuring out the tables you’ll need. Thanks for watching!


Apr 27

How to Bake a Wedding Cake

How To Bake A Wedding Cake (courtesy of

So, if you’ve got a wedding to go to this year and you just don’t want to do the registry thing again, why not bake the bride and groom a wedding cake? It’s not as impossible as you think!

So, we’re about ready to get started on our wedding cake! I’m standing here with Shannon Pridgen, who is the owner of Heavenly Crumbs Bakery, and she’s gonna make the icing and ice the cake for us, and, Shannon’s friend Shelly Everett is the owner of a catering company called Gourmet Angel, and she is gonna do us the honor of baking the cake!

We are making my aunt Estelle Betty’s Simply Lemon Cake.

1) We’re gonna sift 3 cups of all-purpose flour
2) Now, we’re gonna put in ¼ teaspoon of salt
3) 1 teaspoon of baking soda – okay, excellent!
4) And 1 teaspoon baking powder

Now, I’m just gonna sift it – just like she would.

What we have to do in our mixer here is put in 1 cup of unsalted butter, which is approximately 2 sticks – we’re going to just put it in.

You want to add 2 cups of sugar. Alright, so we’re gonna have to keep this going for about 5 minutes. And we’re gonna go ahead, and Deana’s going to lightly whisk 4 eggs for me. So now, we have our lightly whisked eggs, in which we are going to slowly start to incorporate into our butter and our sugar mixture. Gently do this!

It’s gonna be 1 ¼ cups buttermilk – we have to incorporate a little bit of the flour mixture that we put together earlier, and then a little bit of buttermilk, and then a little bit of flour, and then a little bit of buttermilk, until we have absorbed everything into our batter here. She was very specific about saying that we have to start with flour and end with flour.

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice – put that right in!

And, we need 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon extract

Add ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

I’m gonna let this go for about 5 minutes. And I’m going to cheat, and I’m going to use pan coating spray! All you have to do is evenly distribute the batter into the baking pans now.

I’ve preheated the oven to 350° and slide them right in the center for 25 minutes or until done.

So, I have conveniently replaced Shelly with Shannon! Shannon is gonna make some butter cream icing.

I’m gonna take the butter, and I’m not really giving it a measurement (about 5 ounces). I left it out so it’s soft, and I’m going to whip that.

Now, I’ll slowly add confectioner’s sugar to this (about 1 cup). And, to give the flavoring, I’ll add vanilla (1 tsp). Now, icings sometimes get a bad rap because they’re sweet. What the vanilla will do is give me a little flavor, and the salt – what that does, is it cuts down on the sweetness. And, it actually enhances the vanilla.

Take your fingers (just a pinch) and add the salt – yea, just a pinch – that’s really all you need!

Now, to make your icing fluffy, – you don’t want it heavy – what we can do is just add a little milk (whole milk or cream) or cream. Cream is actually gonna give you a richer flavor, because cream has more fat.

Okay, we’re at the point where we’re making the filling. We made the icing. I separated some of the icing (about 1/3) – just enough to fill the cake. And, this is a passion fruit puree, and I’m gonna add about 1 tablespoon to the 1/3 portion of icing. Now, I’m gonna make sure that it’s fully incorporated. I’m looking at the texture – you don’t want to add too much!

Wow, they look great! So, I cut the cake in half, right? So, I have a nice, even 2 layers. Now, what I want to do also, is to even the top. To do that, I just go back and forth. You want to use a serrated knife, a bread knife, a knife with teeth. And now, I have a pretty, even top!

What you do need when you make a cake is a cake circle. This is to support your cake. You have to have something underneath, which is important – that has to be said. When you add frosting, filling, icing, my spatula is always on the icing and never on the cake. What I’ll do is, I’ll place my cake on top. Sometimes, I’ll invert it, because, what I want is the flattest side on the very top.

What I’ll do is I’ll get rid of the excess filling. I’m gonna put a lot of icing on this, and it’s gonna seem like a bit much, but always remember, your spatula must always touch the frosting. And why is that important – because when your spatula touches the cake it starts to make holes in the cake? No! You start to pick up crumbs.

Now I’m really using this turntable. I’m moving it around, because I want a nice, smooth icing. And what I’ll do is, I’m just gonna go across the top and holding the spatula straight. I’m trying to get those nice, perpendicular edges. I’m not really taking any off of the top (fill in holes with extra icing and smooth out as needed.) You gotta get the corners, all those uneven spots, so, what you do is you add a little extra. And then, I’ll come back and I’ll apply even pressure. You don’t want that extra icing sort of interfering with your perfect edge. And, what I’m doing is, I’m going across, and then I’ll pull away.

So from here, I’ll put this in the refrigerator and let the icing harden, and then, I’ll put the next tier on top of it – sounds good to me!

Apply icing to the smaller tier in the same way.

All your cake tiers need to be on a cardboard cake circle. I’m cutting off the remainder of the circle. And, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna place my straws were the cake is gonna be. And I use real straws, and they’re gonna support the cake. Instead of the cake resting on the other cake, it will rest on the straws. Notice how I frosted it first, because you need that straw to extend just where the frosting is.

Now we need to find the middle, so it looks just about there, so I’ll place it here, and I’ll use my spatula to adjust it.

I have my dowel. Make a point, because it needs to go into the cardboard. Yea, sharpen it, and I’ll estimate where the top goes – say a little below the top – and then, I’ll cut the dowel. Place this in the center. I’m going through the board. Something is going to cover that, right? A flower, a decoration, or whatever.

(Mixing food coloring into some icing) So, what I like to do is mix it on the table because it comes together very quickly. You must apply pressure, because you need to incorporate that color. I add a little more frosting. And, what I don’t like are flowers that are just one, single color. It’s kinda flat. So, I won’t mix it totally. I have a little of the white. And, what you can do – you’ll just add another color – so, I add a little red. And this will look beautiful with one flower.

Attach a number 5 tip to a piping bag with a coupler. I want a number 5 because I want a tip that’s not too big, something that’s elegant, but large enough to cover what I’m using. Fill the bag with white icing. The other key to this is…notice I’m doing this first, as opposed to the flowers. And now, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go around and cover the cake cardboard with icing beads. I hide them and I pull, so, I add pressure and then pull. Squeeze, pull. Squeeze, pull.

Now, I’m going to a rose tip, which is called the 104 (empty the bag) the number is written on the side. I’m gonna lay the accent color on one side only. Just on one side – it’s called striping the bag. Then, fill the bag with the main color. So, what I’m doing now is I’m squeezing the air out. This is great because this is a clear bag, and you can see what’s going on. And, I add just what was in there – that’s my little base. And, I’m gonna squeeze in a circular fashion. Now I’m making my petals. It’s really about pressure, and it’s about positioning your bag. And so, what I’ll do is, I’ll put other flowers around. And again, you see the different variation in color – they look more like nature, as opposed to just a flat pink, or red or blue – you know. Of course, you’ve got the red on top, so the red is the one that really shows up on the edge.

So here we are! Shannon just made this beautiful wedding cake! Thank you, both of you – Shelly, Shannon – thanks so much! And, it’s about to go into the refrigerator because we can’t have that collapse, and this is one of the times I didn’t get to taste it, but I’m sure it’s delicious! Thank you so much!


 Phillip Gaines Jersey