Monday, July 2, 2012


While we do live in a land where "light" isn't an issue in the summer, we often have to have light-blocking curtains or blinds tone it down a bit.  But when planning a wedding, candlelight and the romantic effect of it is part of the ambiance that we anticipate.

Candles, tealights, and twinkle lights soften the setting rather than ceiling/direct lighting. But before investing in a clearance sale on white candles or purchasing a truckload of white Christmas lights from your neighbor's garage sale, consider the factors that will affect how much ambient light you will need for the ceremony and reception sites as well as what season will your wedding take place?

Answer these questions and you can focus in on the type, quantity, and effect you will need for the look you want to achieve.

     ~ When is your wedding? ~ Spring? Summer?  Fall? Winter? 

     ~ What time of day? If evening, what time does the sun set that day?
                                        (you can find this on your local TV station website)

     ~ Where is the ceremony?  Indoors? Outdoors? Church? Hotel? Other building? Tent?
     ~ Where is the reception?  Indoors? Outdoors? Hotel? Other building? Tent? 

     ~ If outdoors, is there electrical power access for twinkle lights? or will wind/breeze snuff out 
        the candles?

    ~  If indoors, is there natural light from windows or is it dark/shadowed?

    ~ Does the church or location have any restrictions on the usage of wax candles?   
     (some do so be sure to check)

For help or more ideas for planning your wedding in Alaska -

Sweet Whimsy & Company
Wedding & Event Planners
Gina Auldridge, consultant

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

~ ~ COLOR ~ ~

You're planning your wedding colors.  One word. (well maybe 2)

#1 Mauve

#2 NOT!

Nuf said.

Monday, June 25, 2012


And no that isn't a typo.  Just a little thought processing on selecting your bridal attendants.

You are giddy with excitement because you have a ring on your finger and maybe you haven't set the date yet, but you are planning the extravaganza in your head already.  The question is, who will be in it with you?

To learn the history behind maid-of-honor and bridesmaids, you can follow this link.
But the bottom line is they are family and friends of the bride who all dress alike and stand next to her on her wedding day.

Maybe you already know who you'll ask to fill that special role as your "honor attendant" or maybe you have SO many friends that you don't know how to narrow it down!  Using the reasoning that you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

I was puzzled and not a little indignant for a bride at a bridal salon I visited some time back.  At first the gathering seemed like the usual selection of friends and family in attendance at that euphoric day when the girl first dons a white confection and appears in front of the mirrors. This young lady was 20-ish and accompanied by her mother, her maid-of-honor, two bridesmaids, and a little sister.   I don't know how long they had been at the salon, but I think they were only on the first wedding gown.  And this is where things began to go awry.

Anybody who has seen more than one episode of TLC's "Say YES to the Dress" knows that the consultants talk price point, style, fabric, etc.  There is also a special show for bridesmaids, and horror of horrors, "Bridezillas".  This was a like an outtake reel of the worst of those combined with "Jersey Shore".   The bride didn't appear overly demanding, petulant or extravagant in taste.  However, the M.o.B and M.o.H. appeared to be of the mindset that it was THEIR wedding or their job to tell the bride what wear and what not to wear.  It was unclear whether the mother and bride had discussed the wedding/dress budget beforehand but the mother made several comments along the line of "if that's what you want to wear, I'm not paying for it."  Well, that is one way to get her to wear what you pick out!

The bridesmaids had two or three hooks full of selections that they were waiting to try on, and voiced that very thought. Never did I see a salon attendant, the mother, or one of the bridesmaids work at helping the bride with all the miles of fabric, rows of buttons, or yards of lacing on any of the gowns she tried on.  As an attendant for a bride, that is your JOB DESCRIPTION.

Loyal, helpful, courteous, resourceful, polite, generous, and organized are positive characteristics to consider in choosing an honor attendant or a bridesmaid. Pushy, opinionated, loud, abrasive, argumentative, selfish, moody, unreliable . . .if she has exhibited these qualities previously (especially recently) in your acquaintance, then do yourself a  BIG favor and DON'T have her in your wedding.  Even if she is related.

The day is about you and your groom.  Don't let somebody else and their 2-cents worth of opinion ruin the enjoyment of your day.

Just something to think about.

For more ideas for planning your wedding in Alaska -

Sweet Whimsy & Company
Wedding & Event Planners
Gina Auldridge, consultant

Saturday, June 16, 2012

      Dream cakes, yummy cakes, cakes to die for.  It's what all of us romantic gals would like to have at our wedding reception.

After finding your dress, for some, the cake is the next significant item that display your taste and style, especially at the reception.

Some of my favorite spots to hunt for delicious designs are 
But there are countless others on the web.  Just Google - "wedding cake designs" and it will bring up "images for wedding cake designs"  you will see more cake than you ever imagined.  Unless you're like me...I can imagine a LOT of cake.

      If you are looking for a particular color, or style, or with a particular fruit, flower, or element, include that in your search and it will narrow the field.  For instance, when I was looking for designs that incorporated hydrangeas for a spring wedding I simply titled my search "wedding cake with hydrangeas" and hit about 10,000 images within seconds.  Closing your search inside quotation marks helps to gather only images with both wedding cake and hydrangeas and not cakes AND hydrangea pictures.


     True, the tiered layers are so impressive, however, even celebrities rarely need as much cake as what 7 layers provides.  Did you know that there are frequently "dummy" layers under that icing.  True.  This is one way of getting a look you've fallen in love with (after the groom of course) without all the expense and the extra cake you would be eating for months. Your cake decorator/baker can work with you to determine which layers would be actual cake to have a sufficient amount for your guests and then your "save" layer for your anniversary.  There is a plethora of cake flavors and infusions that add to the wonder and confusion of choosing cake, but if the cake is coarse or dry, it doesn't matter what flavor it is, it will be a disappointment at your special celebration.
      As you plan your wedding, consider the age and type of guests not just the number when calculating cake with your cake decorator/baker.  The average cake serving that bakers calculate by is a 1" x 2" slice.  Typically, young female guests (teens- 20's) eat little or no cake, while males in the same age range may eat their slice and the slice only picked at by the female next to them.  Also, professional acquaintances will typically eat a smaller amount than close family and friends.  Also, whoever cuts your cake needs to be aware of which layers to cut (and which are just for presentation) and what is the anticipated size you want them cut.  I've been at weddings and cut cake for the bride and we ran out of the standard 1"x 2" slices, and I've been at weddings where we cut slabs twice that size and there was plenty (and some ate 2 pieces and took one home for a midnight snack).  These are just thought to keep in mind.  Whether or not there is other food prior to cake time; is that food finger/cocktail food, or is it buffet or full plated dinner?  These can have an impact on how quickly guests will devour the cake.

      Lest I digress, the object of the search would be for you to find a photo(s) to take with you to your cake designer/bakery when ordering your wedding cake.  Not every bakery can produce all the wide range of designs out there.  Some specialize in a variety of flavors, others may specialize in gum paste (sugar) work - such as life-like flowers - or traditional buttercream roses and string-work.  Be sure to tell them what you are looking for, get their input and suggestions but don't be sold into something that may not be your best option.

      The popularity of cable channels TLC and the Food network as spurned a huge surge in the appearance of new bakers, cupcakeries, and would-be "Aces" & "Bosses".  References are valuable.  Alaska has an online blog called the urban spoon where customers and critics provide feedback on their experience at different eating places.  It never hurts to check them out because I've found both extremely positive and extremely negative on a variety of bakeries and establishments all within the same blog.

     Price is the next major hurdle for brides.  I am, by nature, a pretty frugal shopper.  I research for quality and reputation of a service or product, compare prices, and shop for bargains. Do the same when shopping for cakes and catering.  TASTE it. Get a reference from someone who has eaten it.  Like I said, due to the popularity of so many "cake" shows and wars on television you will find you have a lot of choices, even in Alaska.  Remember too, the old saying that "you get what you pay for" but as any smart bargain hunter knows, sometimes you get all you want and then some at a great price.

      Wedding cakes are priced a bit differently than your standard bakery round or sheet cake.  The charge is by the number of servings and can go up with the degree of detail or intricacy of your design.  Most bakeries have a basic price list online or you can call and ask for a price per serving prior to your visit/consultation with the cake decorator, but after discussing your design, be sure to get a quote on what additional charges may be if there is sugar work, string work, or other details.  Delivery fees may apply, but are minimal if you are purchasing within your own city.  Cakes are created on a board support but if you want a special stand or arrangement for your cake table, this may include an additional charge as well. 

     The range prices per/serving for Alaskan wedding cake is from $2 - $12.  Even wedding cupcakes aren't necessarily "less expensive" (unless they are homemade) these range from $2 - $5+ each.
The $2 price is typical grocery chain bakery price, but you should be able to score a delicious, beautiful cake for around $3 - $4 without venturing into the highest range unless you are independently wealthy and money is no object.  :-)

For more ideas for planning your wedding in Alaska -

Sweet Whimsy & Company
Wedding & Event Planners
Gina Auldridge, consultant

Friday, June 15, 2012

~ Rain, Rain, Go Away ~                                        June 12th

- please don't ruin my wedding day.
      Well, today had rain, with a forecast of more to come.  This means, "Wedding season" is off to a very wet start this year.  Hopefully June brides created a back-up plan for inclement weather if they were planning an outdoor wedding/reception.
     Providing cover for you and your guests only makes sense in Alaska.  The weather is rarely predictable and tents are a great idea.  They can be simple or grand, depending on your budget.  Costco, 3-Bears and even Sears sell large canopy style tents with detachable walls.  When my brother and sister-in-law were planning my niece's wedding they lucked out on a clearance special at their local Sears store and picked up one with generous dimensions for only $99.
     Tents/canopies make a sensible investment for the big day, but are put to good use after the wedding for family picnics and BBQs, or cover for a garage sale or other event.  Or, if there is another family you know with the same idea, consider going in together on the purchase.
     If you have the funds in your budget, (what? you don't have a budget?!) consider a rental.  Rental companies have LARGE tents and they do the delivery, set-up, and take-down.

Don't get left out in the rain, the day is too special so plan ahead.
And more about that BUDGET issue on another day.
Sweet Dreams.

For more ideas for planning your wedding in Alaska -

Sweet Whimsy & Company
Wedding & Event Planners
Gina Auldridge, consultant