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What you should do before you meet your wedding cake designer

If you are a bride whose dream wedding vision includes a towering, magnificent and spell-binding masterpiece cake, detailed wedding cake plans are on your list of must-do’s!

Your cake designer is the single person who can bring your perfect wedding cake to life. However, she needs your ideas and inputs to execute the plan to perfection. Although she may have her own suggestions and ideas, it may not meet your expectations unless you provide her the blue print to plan her cake around. This simply means that you cannot start with a blank slate. You need to first do a list of things, before you meet with your cake designer and discuss the cake design. Let us take a look at this list now.

Get inspired

Just like with wedding dresses, there is a whole world of fabulous wedding cakes waiting to be discovered. You will find drool-worthy pages and pages on Pinterest, in bridal magazines, on cake websites as well as on our own wedding cake gallery. Your first step to planning your wedding cake, is identifying what you want. Begin by setting up a wedding inspiration board (read all about it on our previous post here), and adding pictures to it. If you find interesting pictures in magazines, collect them too. Begin at random, by just dragging any picture that appeals to you onto your inspiration board. Once you have a number of pictures, edit out the ones that do not seem as interesting as they did initially. As you do this, you should see a pattern emerge, and this will help you identify the factor that appeals to you. It could be the color combinations, style, texture, the decoration used, shape, size or any other factor. Once you recognize what it is, it will be easier to refine your board and eliminate those that do not feature this factor. This will bring you closer to your final idea of how your wedding cake should be.

Research your options

Once you have narrowed down your choices to just those that would be ideal for your cake design, it is time to research and identify what would work. For this, consider the various details about each of the cakes you’ve shortlisted. Some questions to help you in this direction are

  • what are the ingredients used in the frosting—fondant, buttercream etc?
  • What techniques may be involved in making the design?
  • Is there any special work involved?
  • How are the special touches done?
  • Are the accessories you like ready-made or custom created by the baker?
  • Why do you think you like a particular detail?
  • What would be the features you could eliminate, if required?

Match it to your wedding

Your wedding cake, as much as it is an entity on it’s own, still has to belong to the wedding. For this, you should match it to the wedding theme. This would be in terms of colors, features, style and size. Where cakes are concerned, your options are numerous. You can have a wedding cake with as many layers as you want, without all the tiers actually being “cake.” Or, you can have a couture cake that is impressive, and serves for the cake cutting, while the guests are served with sheet cake slices in the same flavor. This brings down the cost, which is a very important factor in making your final cake decisions.

Determine your Budget

The quantity of cake you need depends on the number of guests at your wedding. Before meeting with your cake designer, you should compile information on the guest count, and calculate your cake budget. This will help you decide on the possible options, so you have enough cake for all your guests, while also meeting your expectations. Once you know the maximum you can afford to spend on a cake, it will also put you in a position to shortlist a suitable cake designer who will do the job for you within your set budget. This also gives you a general idea of the little extras that you can afford to have, without eating into other aspects of your wedding.

Consider aesthetic aspects

LilyGarden cake

The main factor that influences your choice for the cake is how it will finally look. Here are the aesthetic factors that you should consider.

  • Wedding theme: There are different ways in which you can integrate the cake into the wedding theme. This could be using the colors or similar details that are part of your décor.
  • Wedding colors: A talented and experienced cake designer should be able to create your cake in any color of your choice. She may also be able to suggest colors that work together, or tell you if something you suggest will not look good when executed. While all colors are possible, it is best to remember that appetizing cakes are usually done in light, breezy colors. So, you may like to stick with the lighter colors in your palette, for your cake.
  • Shape and Size: This article should help you understand the different cake shapes you can have at your wedding. This includes both traditional and contemporary styles, so you know abut all the choices you have. If you have a limited budget, remember that simple shapes like round and square cost less, while the topsy-turvy shape or irregular ones will usually cost more. Where the size of the cake is concerned, you can have a huge-tiered cake, with faux tiers in between as a budget-friendly option. Or, if this is one area where you don’t mind splurging, go with the real thing all the way.
  • Cake accessories and decorations: You can dress your cake up easily, using suitable accessories and decorations. You have plenty of options, including fresh blooms, sugar flowers, plastic figures and other accessories. Think of what you would like to have on your cake. Would you prefer elaborate embellishments, ready made cake decorations or ones made from fondant or sugar?

Taste options—what should you consider?

Just like with the aesthetics, the taste of your cake is equally important. Do this correctly by paying close attention to the following factors.

  • Shortlist the flavors you like

You will be overwhelmed with the flavor options available. Avoid confusion by shortlisting a few of your favorites, before you even visit your designer. You can then look at these flavors and anything similar that may suit your palette. Once you narrow down your choices, your cake designer can arrange for the chosen flavors at your tasting session. Although you can always go with a bold and unusual choice, remember that if you stick to common flavors, it will most likely be liked by all. Your cake should also be soft, spongy and moist.

  • Discuss your filling choices

The overall taste of the cake will depend on the filling that you choose for it. So, decide whether you want something fruity, creamy or chocolate. You can make this decision based on your personal preferences, or by looking at what is easily available and budget-friendly.

  • Choose your icing options

The icing will not only determine the finish of the cake, but also the taste. Some bakers specialize in fondant, while others are experts with butter cream. It is best to choose a vendor who has enough experience in working with the medium you prefer, for best results.

Check with your venue for any restrictions

Some venues have restrictions on what you are allowed to serve at your wedding. Some of them require you to use their in-house bakers itself, while others allow you to bring your own cake designer for an additional fee. Considering health and safety requirements, it may be necessary to go with a licensed professional for your wedding day. So, you should check for this factor with the venue manager in advance, before scouting for a vendor.

How will the cake get to the venue?

fresh flowers on cake

Getting your cake to the venue without damage is very important. If your cake designer will not be working onsite, you will have to check for the transport arrangements to get the finished cake to your venue. Will your baker arrange for this, or will you have to make transport arrangements yourself. If it has to be transported, the size of the cake will determine whether it will have to be transported in one piece or, if it will be assembled on-site. An experienced baker will normally have the provision to supply your cake to the reception venue. If this isn’t available, and you have to transport it by yourself, make sure you will be able to do it efficiently. Discuss the details about how it has to be transported as soon as you settle on the design.

The flexibility factor

Cakes in magazines and pictures may not always be easy to replicate. Each baker will have their unique style. As creative artists, they will appreciate a certain level of freedom, so they can contribute in their own way. If you are very particular about replicating certain aspects of a cake, make sure that you look for a cake designer who is equipped and experienced in working on that aspect. Moreover, replicating a picture entirely doesn’t make the design your own. So, we suggest you keep your options available to discuss what can be done to make a cake design that is your own. Also, keep the actual logistics in mind when you choose to go for a cake design you pick from a picture. The replication may look different in color, or the details may differ to a certain extent. Your cake designer will give you a correct idea of the extent to which your ideas are practical, and what changes would give you better results. Be open to such suggestions, and it will be a lot easier for both of you.

Create your list of preferred cake designers

Based on reviews, recommendations and your own research, you should shortlist the vendors who would be good candidates for your job. Make sure you have more than just one option, in case the person you want is booked already, or you aren’t satisfied with what they have to offer when you actually meet. In all cases, it is advised to first start visiting with vendors you like most. So, if you find a cake designer who you like, you can immediately finalize the deal without having to check on any more vendors.

Discuss your plans with your fiance first

Unless your fiance doesn’t really care about how your wedding cake looks, it is necessary to gather his inputs as well, before you come to a final decision. Before you meet a cake designer, discuss the design together and come to an agreement on what you both like. Both of you should be happy with the design, flavor and other details.

Once you have a clear idea of all the above mentioned factors, you are ready to visit your cake designer and discuss your ideas. It is much easier for a cake designer to give you what you want, when you have a very clear idea of what you would like. Nevertheless, be open to ideas and suggestions, as your cake designer is an experienced professional, and can give you valuable inputs on making the cake that is just perfect for your big day.

For more inputs and great inspiration for your special day, visit our online cake gallery at Best for Bride. Apart from delicious and great looking cakes, we also offer brides many more wedding services. With an impressive inventory of dresses for the wedding party and an exquisite designer wedding dress collection, we are the one-stop destination for everything a bride needs, when planning the event of her lifetime. You can also find wedding stationery, wedding favors, décor accessories and beautiful accessories on our website. Visit us online today, to see what we can do to complete your wedding day.

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10 new and exciting bridesmaids dress ideas

Bridesmaids in matching outfits, and resembling big balls of cotton candy! These belong to the past. Today’s brides are smart and sensible, and want their bridesmaids to look and feel great on their big day. For this to happen, it is quintessential to toss the old rule book and make way for new rules for dressing up your bridesmaids.

So, here are few ideas that will help you dress your handpicked girls to look fabulous and add extra drama and excitement to your wedding scenery. Enjoy!

Rule 1: Mix up the textures

Here is an interesting way to give each of your bridesmaids their unique style, while keeping the look cohesive–Choose dresses in the same shade but different fabrics. With this simple switch in fabric choices, you change the overall look, but with subtlety. This option also helps brides who aren’t very sure of how to do the mix ‘n’ match concept to get it right. Dresses in the same shade but using different fabrics will easily go together, and the difference in texture will add an extra dimension of fun. Most designer collections give you plenty of colors for each design, and this allows your bridesmaids enough choices. They can choose from lace and tulle, to satin and charmeuse. Another factor is that as the fabric changes, so does the price of the dress. So, this allows your bridesmaids to choose a dress for their budget, as long as the desired color is chosen. As long as there aren’t too many accessories, it is bound to bring all the bridesmaids together. Just make sure you confirm that the dresses are of the same shade, before you give a thumbs up.

We have an example here to illustrate this idea.

Our first pick is the vintage style 8622L from the Alfred Angelo collection, in a gray color and created in soft net.

We have paired it with the 7342L from the same collection, which is an organza gown in a similar shade. Notice how the different fabrics give either dress a distinct personality, even while they come together beautifully!

Rule 2: Color block with one constant

Color blocking is an easy and uncomplicated way to bring more than one color into your bridesmaids outfits. Dressing up your bridesmaids in the same colors can resemble the original pattern of having all matching bridesmaids. This doesn’t do justice to allowing your bridesmaids shine individually. The better option is to mix up color block dresses, with different colors. However, keep one color constant throughout, so that there is a unifying factor that brings their looks together.

Let us demonstrate this with an example. Take a look at the 7344S from the Alfred Angelo bridesmaids collection.  It features color blocking with a black bodice and a gray skirt.

A dress that will work well with it is the 7345S from the same collection with a black bodice and soft beige skirt.  Although distinct from the first, the black bodices are strikingly similar, and this will bind the two looks together. These dresses can be chosen in any color shade in the skirt, and so make a perfect choice to play with color blocking.

Rule 3: Neutral color dresses with accessories that pop

There are two advantages to choosing bridesmaids dresses in neutral shades—your bridesmaids are more likely to use the dress again and the colors are usually easy to mix into any color palette. White, black, brown, gray and navy are neutrals that are easy to work with and form great pairings with most color palettes. These are also shades that look good on almost every skin tone. So, your bridesmaids will not have to worry about how the color clashes with their complexion.

The result is that everyone is happy, except for one small issue; not all neutral colored dresses can make that strong presence you require for your wedding. The solution—dress it up a notch with accessories in bold colors that will not go unnoticed. Choose shoes, belts or jewelry, and it will instantly add the necessary punch of color to your bridesmaids outfits. It will certainly be a better idea than having your girls dressed in unusual colors that they may not appreciate. Since they are paired with a neutral, there is no chance of the accessories going overboard. And, how about making these your bridesmaids gifts? That way, they get to use it on your wedding day and show it off. So, you now no how to add peach, sunset yellow or bubblegum pink to your bridesmaids outfits without making your girls cringe.

Take a look at this picture to see what we mean. Here, the bridesmaids dresses are a sober beige, and a bright dose of color is added through colorful heels and bouquets. By mixing up the colors, the result is interesting and lively.

The colorful bridesmaids
Image Credits: Ms.Phoenix,via Flickr,CC BY 2.0

 Rule 4: Neutral color dresses with zingy metal and jewel tone accessories

For an ultra-stylish and glamorous look, choose neutral colored dresses and pair it with bright and beautifully designed golden accessories. There are two benefits to this choice—your bridesmaids will most likely use the neutral dress again, and the metallic accessories will also work for them on another occasion. So it is a win-win situation, where they can get the best value for their money.

Here is a beautiful black evening gown, the J4003 from the lovely Jadore collection at Best for Bride.

Featuring a wide cut scoop neckline, sheath silhouette and softly sculpted cap sleeves, the gown is a beauty by itself. However, pairing it with an oversize gold necklace, waistband and bracelet makes it a dress that personifies Hollywood glamour. We are sure your bridesmaids will be excited to have a look like this. With such brilliant accessories, they will have that festive dressy look, perfect for a wedding day. The best part is that the dress being in a neutral shade gives them so many options to dress it up differently on another occasion. So, it’s definitely not a dress that will be exiled to the confines of their closets after your big celebration.

Rule 5: Go to different lengths to vary the style

Of the different ways to keep a consistent look but add drama, one of our favorites is to vary the lengths of the various gowns while keeping the color or print constant. This gives you ample choice to choose dresses in lengths that suit different body shapes and ages. So, if you have bridesmaids from different age groups and looking entirely distinct, you can easily vary the look yet bring it all together with dresses of varying hemlines. We look at dresses from the Mori Lee bridesmaids collection to bring you two examples of dresses that can achieve this look effortlessly.

Our first choice is the navy blue tulle 112 bridesmaid gown from the Mori Lee Tulle Affairs collection.

A full-length gown in tulle, with a sweetheart neckline and interesting criss-cross ruched bodice, this dress is elegant and looks best on both tall and short bridesmaids.

Here, we pair it with the Mori Lee 11100 from the same collection.

This dress has an illusion lace neckline and cap sleeves, and a short and fun skirt that ends a little above the knee. Although the two dresses are entirely different, they make a splendid combination because of the matching color. Hence you have suitable choices both for the women who want to look elegant and the bold and fun-loving bridesmaids in your wedding party.

Rule 6: Go from dark to light in a single color

Choose colors like red or yellow, and ask your bridesmaids to pick dresses in different shades of this color. This will keep the spectrum constant, but with interesting variation. This ombre trend has been in the limelight for a while now, and is an exciting way to dress up your bridesmaids. The only thing you should remember when choosing this option for dressing your bridesmaids, is that you should choose colors that cannot vary too much. Green, purple and blue are colors that can go totally wrong, if this happens. This is because colors like turquoise can fall into both shades, although it may look entirely different from pure shades like navy blue and mint green. So, choose colors that can vary only in the intensity of the black and white they may contain, when you choose this method.

Rule 7: One color with different prints

Printed bridesmaids dresses are interesting and exciting. While you may be tempted to choose the same prints for all your bridesmaids, it is a better idea to look around and find dresses in the same color with different prints instead. This will add a subtle variation to the look, and each bridesmaid will be unique in her own way. The unifying factor will be the color that all the dresses feature, and this is all that is required to bring the overall look together. You can also consider mixing up dresses that have prints all over with those where the prints are limited to chosen areas on the dress, like the yoke or hemline. Here are two dresses from the Jadore collection. The first is the J6013 from the Jadore collection, with black prints on a beige base.

The next is the J5009 from the same collection, with the same combination of colors done entirely different.

Rule 8: Alternate plain and print

In this option, your job is relatively easy. All you have to do is finalize a color and choose one plain and one printed bridesmaid dress in it. Alternate this choice for your bridesmaids, so you have equal numbers wearing the plain colored dress, and the same number wearing printed dresses. By keeping the designs uniform and the hemlines of both styles the same, the entire group looks well coordinated and classy.

Here is a wedding party that has achieved this result with alternate plain and printed purple dresses.

@shoopsmoo &#bridesmaids
Image Credits:leesean, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The printed purple dresses feature very subtle white floral prints all over the length of the gown. The dresses blend well with the plain purple dresses that the rest of the bridesmaids wear. What we specifically loved about this combination is that the plain dresses are not exactly similar, each one features a different neckline. Thus we can safely conclude that each bridesmaid has her distinct style of dress, and yet gels in with the group seamlessly.

Rule 9: Add variety with infinity dresses

Infinity dresses are basically dresses that can be worn in various different styles. It is the true convertible dress. Here, the fabric left in the neckline and bodice to be wrapped in different ways to yield different looks. By draping the top half of the dress in different ways, you can achieve different necklines like the one-shoulder strap, strapless neckline, cap-sleeve look and more. This dress allows each of your bridesmaids to wear the style that flatters her most. Hence, it is versatile and everyone ends up happy. Check out this article on My Wedding website, which illustrates the different ways in which an infinity dress can be draped. With this choice, you play it safe by choosing the same color for all. Even so, each has her personal style enhanced with a suitable pattern.

Rule 10: Same style, different prints

We have seen prints and plains as well as textures in the same color and pattern. Now, the only one left to experiment with is prints in the same pattern. This is a fun and exciting way to make your bridesmaids stand out from the rest of the crowd. Printed dresses make them look different from typical bridesmaids, but the unifying design brings the entire party together instantly. Here is a sample.

The Lil' Getting Ready Bridesmaid Dress Styled Shoot.
Image Credits: Plum Pretty Sugar, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In this picture, the pretty bridesmaids sport strapless dresses with vibrant prints. The hemline is uniform, and ends at mid-thigh. The dress also features a bow detail at the waistline, making all three dresses unusually cohesive.

Hope you now have enough inspiration to mix and match and perfect your bridesmaids dress looks. For more exciting inputs on styling your wedding, as well as for all your wedding shopping needs, continue visiting us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination.

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Trends we love: 3D Wedding Dresses

There are some trends that stay for a while and are then forgotten, and then there are others that make the cut and live on to be all-time favorites. One such trend that has picked up momentum and was a designer favorite on the bridal runways this year is 3D wedding dresses.

3D embellishments add an endearing charm to a wedding dress, whether it is modern or traditional in style. Whimsical motifs like butterflies and flowers scattered across gowns of various lengths and patterns to create strikingly attractive designs that every bride would love to dress in. The Fashionista website highlights this trend with the Angel Sanchez’s futuristic wedding gown design for Spring 2016.

While that particular design may be suitable for a bold bride with its contemporary cuts and adventurous wavy layers of tulle fabric, there are plenty of gowns with 3D embellishments that are a safer choice. Let us take a look at some of our favorites that make the list.

Jasmine Collection Couture Spring-T172010

Spectacular Alencon floral lace appliques spread throughout the length of this A-line gown, embracing it all over the bodice and fanning out into dainty clusters along the skirt. The differing textures of the lace and tulle cause the floral motifs to stand out in 3D style. The appliques are further embellished with sparkling stones and tiny crystals that add a scintillating effect to the dreamy designs. Featuring a stunning sweetheart neckline and highlighting the waist with a waistband in a deeper color, the dress is nothing short of perfection itself.

Mori Lee 2676 Embroidered Venice Lace appliques on net gown

How feminine and delicate is this net wedding gown. Classic Venice lace appliques with intricate beading form clusters of floral extravaganza throughout the length of this gown. Softly framing the strapless neckline is a beautiful band of sparkling stones. The dress also has a removable waistband and the fit and flare design is slimming, thus allowing you to show off your stylish side.

Y11561 Teal from Sophia Tolli

Not all designs can look both feminine and bold at the same time, but Teal does. A luxurious spread of lace motifs engulf the bodice and sweep over the layered skirt, forming a pronounced 3D effect that cannot be missed. The softly scintillating crystal beaded waistband, stylish scalloped hemline and dreamy illusion neckline are additional features that make this gown a masterpiece.

Alfred Angelo 2522 gown with simplistic 3D motif

Some dresses have the ability to create magic with just a few elements placed at the right places. This Alfred Angelo achieves this effect, with just a few striking elements. On the skirt is a spectacular 3D embroidered motif that makes this dress stand out with striking effect. This well-balanced motif n the pleated ball gown skirt matches the beautiful waistband and glittering shoulder straps, that add the finishing touches to the modern fitted gown.

Do you love this 3D trend as much as we do? If you do, take a look at more spectacular wedding gowns from our wide wedding collection at Best for Bride. Be the epitome of grace and make a style statement on your wedding day with a befitting choice that is perfect for your big day.