Two Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Cake Designer

When working with any of the vendors for your wedding day, there are a myriad of questions that need to be asked. Click through to this post to discover two of the most important questions you can ask your wedding cake designer and why you should be asking them! @paperswalloweve

As a bride there are so many vendors to contact and so many different types of questions to ask each one depending on the role you're looking for them to fill on your wedding day. As a wedding planner I do my best to provide insight for each of my brides regarding what questions they should be asking to make the vendor hiring process as easy and unstressful as possible. In my experience with weddings, especially when I'm just brought in during the final weeks to coordinate the event, there are two important questions that I wish more brides thought to ask their wedding cake designers. It may feel as if these questions are a given, but they are not, so asking them will give you knowledge and the ability to find a vendor that offers these services or to prepare for potential mishaps depending on which route you decide to take.

I've swooped in to resolve situations caused by these questions not being explored before, and I'm sure I will continue to do so, but, brides, please ask these questions to save yourself from some potentially disappointing experiences involving your wedding cake!

Question 1: Will you bring supplies with you to fix any damage that might occur to the cake in transport?

Why should you be asking this question? Accidents happen. Whether your baker is experienced or otherwise, accidents happen. I've had a baker arrive at the venue only to inform me that one of the cakes had been damaged in transport and nothing could be done to fix it. Thankfully the main cake was still fine, but it was still disappointing for my bride. If the baker had brought extra fondant or icing with her we may have been able to salvage one side of the cake (part of it really was completely crumbled), but since she hadn't there was very little that could be done except tell the bride and groom to call her when they got back from their honeymoon so she could reimburse them. Avoid this horror story by talking with your baker about their plan to fix any possible damage that may occur during transport!

Bonus questions: Do they have a plan to reimburse you if a cake is completely ruined in transport? What if it arrives and it's not what you ordered? Will they be transporting the cake in tiers with plans to assemble it on site or will they be transporting the cake assembled (tiers is generally much wiser, especially if it's more than 2 tiers)?

Photo by Morgan Trinker.

Photo by Morgan Trinker.

Question 2: Will you stay on site to cut and serve the cake? If not, will you explain the inside construction of your cake to the designated cake cutter before departing the venue?

Why should you ask this question? Communication is key. I've asked caterers (who have their own jobs unless they're already planning on using one of their team members to cut your cake) if they're ready for the cake cutting before only to be met with blank stares because the bride assumed they would take care of the cake cutting but never communicated with them. Usually they are more than happy to help out, but it's important to the other vendors to know exactly what jobs they are expected to fill on a wedding day. It has a huge impact on making your reception flow seamlessly.

I will be open and honest with you and tell you that as your wedding coordinator I will jump in and cut your cake for you if there is absolutely no other option. However, cakes are not one of my areas of expertise and having my hands covered in icing when I need to be gathering your maid of honor and best man for their toasts or any other job I may need to be doing for the bride and groom is not the wisest plan. Having a designated cake cutting person makes the entire reception more seamless. And having your cake designer talk with that person about the interior structure of the cake so that it can be cut and served correctly is important. It's always an adventure trying to get a hold of a cake designer while they're driving so that they can explain the internal structure of the cake.

The Bottom Line: No Question is a Bad Question

Above all else, don't feel silly for asking these questions. An experienced vendor shouldn't be offended by you asking these things and should be more than prepared to answer them. Wedding vendors understand that most brides are walking through this process for the first time (and hopefully only time) and that you want to get it right. We want to get it right, too. The more questions you ask and the more information you communicate with the relevant vendors, the better we can all work as a team to make your wedding day flow as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes the things you feel as a bride must be a "given" are not, so don't be afraid to open that dialogue with your vendors. We're here to help you!

Are there any wedding related questions that you feel silly for not knowing the answer to? I'd love to help! :)

xoxo, Stacia

Curtis + Sarah: A Rustic Barn Wedding with an UP Themed Gift Table

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

I'm sharing my weddings from this summer a little out of order and sharing my most recent one first. Curtis + Sarah's barn wedding is one of the weddings that's given me the pleasure of traveling back to Tennessee. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah when I coordinated Jeremy + Julia's wedding (blog post coming soon!) at the end of July. Sarah was one of Julia's bridesmaids who approached me after the wedding about coordinating her wedding a few weeks later. I was so happy to still have her wedding date free so that I could coordinate this beautiful barn wedding!

Curtis + Sarah are such a sweet couple, and it was such a joy to see how happy they were to be marrying each other! They got engaged at Disneyland (one of their favorite places), so it was fun to see the little hints of Disney that I got to sprinkle around their reception space. The day threatened rain and for a little while we were uncertain if we would need to make a move to have the ceremony inside (those kinds of conversations are my least favorite kinds to have on wedding days - when the plans may need to change), but it ended up being a beautiful afternoon and Curtis + Sarah were able to have the outdoor wedding they'd been wanting! It was a beautiful day full of so many sentimental touches and I am so glad that I was able to be part of it!

Congratulations, Curtis + Sarah! Thank you so much for letting me be part of your wedding day! 

xoxo, Stacia

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

Curtis + Sarah love Disney, so this UP themed mailbox for their cards was just too perfect!

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

Sarah's late grandfather left her dad his red mustang. I love that Sarah + Curtis chose to include in in their wedding day and use it as their getaway vehicle! Sentimental touches are always such a unique and special part to each wedding day.

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

Curtis played a song that he had arranged for Sarah during the ceremony.

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

Sometimes flower girls get excited and throw their leftover petals while they're recessing, too.

Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve
Curtis + Sarah's elegant, rustic barn wedding with a live swing band and a Disney's UP inspired card box on their gift table was so much fun to coordinate! Click through to see more of photos from their wedding day! @paperswalloweve

Vendors:
Photographer: Your Reflections Photography | Venue: The Barn at Drewia Hill 
Caterer: Simply Savory Events | Band: Sweet Georgia Sound | Florist: Grafe Studio
Cake: Margie Clark | Dress: David's Bridal  |  Event Coordination: Paper Swallow Events

Pros and Cons: Traditional RSVP Cards Versus Online RSVPs

In this digital age is it better to save money and go with online RSVPs or should you stick with the traditional route and pay for stamps and paper RSVPs? What do wedding guests prefer? Click through to find out! @paperswalloweve

With how connected we all our to the internet, it is no wonder that brides are turning to it to aid in systematizing their planning process. With the rise of technology in the wedding field has come the rise of etiquette changes and questions. For instance, is it okay to ask your guests to RSVP online? Is that tacky? And how do guests feel about it?

As a planner, I see both sides of the argument. I understand the bride's desire to save postage (considering that an average of 4 stamps is used per guest throughout the wedding planning process.) Online RSVPs certainly save the bride from purchasing one of those stamps, which is no small amount. Not to mention how it removes the need to keep track of all your returned RSVP cards. 

However, I have also seen the amount of stress a bride experiences caused by guests not RSVPing online. I have seen brides two weeks before their wedding completely unsure of how many guests they are expecting because virtually no one RSVPed. In those moments brides normally wish that they had paid for traditional RSVP cards which have a much higher response rate.

I always remind my brides of one important fact when they're stressing about RSVPs: 

Once your RSVP date has passed you are 100% within etiquette to call all the guests that haven't RSVPed and request their response.

This is doable when we're talking a small grouping, and often unnecessary when the number of guests that haven't responded is small enough that it won't effect your bottom line. However, when the majority of your guests haven't RSVPed, it can be almost impossible. 

For this reason, I am still a firm believer in traditional paper RSVPs. Paper gives guests something tangible that reminds them they need to RSVP. It also allows you to easily communicate how many people are invited (and even list their names if, for example, you are inviting the parents but not their children.)  Plus, paper RSVP cards make the entire invitation experience feel more luxurious for your guests, which can set the tone for and help them anticipate your wedding day. 

Still feel the need to go with online RSVPs?  Here are the best tips for success:

  • Don't include the RSVP information on your wedding invite where it can get lost amid the other important info. Provide it on its own sheet of paper (preferably no smaller than a postcard) with a clear URL and instructions. 
  • Make it as easy and uncomplicated for your guests as possible! Perhaps consider assigning a bitly link to the URL so that guests aren't daunted by typing in something super long.  You could even route all RSVPs to a wedding specific email address.
  • Be prepared for phone and in-person RSVPs! Some people will take this route as "the same" as RSVPing online. Talk with your parents and his regarding how to handle and track these RSVPs. Don't assume the person will also RSVP online!
  • Set the RSVP deadline a little further out from your day than necessary. Especially if numbers are an important factor in your wedding budget, you need to give yourself time to track down all the people who haven't responded. When the time comes divide the list up between yourself, your mother and his mother and conquer it as a team! 

How do you prefer to see wedding RSVPs handled?

xoxo, Stacia

DIY Sign from a Thrift Store Painting

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

The signs you display around your wedding can be one of the key components to setting the mood for your guests. They help tell the story of your day, give guests directions, and can really look beautiful if you give them time and consideration. Today I wanted to share a fun tutorial for a unique type of sign that you might consider creating for your wedding and event. The phrase I went with was "bonjour" because I wanted a welcoming piece of art to hang on our wall, but you can easily use my tutorial to create a beautiful and custom sign for your wedding or event. (Or a piece of art for your home - because every married couple needs art on the wall!)

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

This is a peek at the painting before - I got it at the thrift store for $2 - along with some other canvas art my husband and I have been working on. The mini canvases are a tutorial in the works but we went ahead and put them on the wall because a certain cat we know always finds a way to ruin canvases that aren't afixed to the wall. *cough*Max*cough*

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

Supplies

  • An Old Painting
  • Freezer Paper (Or any type of paper that is the same size as your canvas.)
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto Knife (not pictured)
  • Paint (I used the gold version of this chalk paint.)
  • Paintbrushes (I recommend a larger size as well as a smaller one that can get into the more detailed areas without spilling over into the sections that you want to leave untouched.)
Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve
Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

Step 1: Cut your freezer paper to the size of your canvas. This will be the surface where you design your text or image. The paper allows you to stick within the size limitation provided by your canvas while being able to easily erase and refine your design without risking erasing some of the paint from the painting by accident.

Step 2: Choose your phrase or design and draw it out onto the freezer paper. 

If you don't enjoy your handwriting or are having trouble creating the design you want, you could also use pre-made stencils or type the phrase up on your computer and then print it out in a font you like. Just make sure it will fit the dimensions of your canvas.

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

Step 3: Cut your design out with the x-acto knife.

Step 4: Place your design on top of the canvas, make sure it's positioned how you want it, and then trace along the outline of your stencil. I taped the outer edges of my freezer paper down to keep it from shifting and then held the inner lines down as I traced alongside them.

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

Step 5: Paint your new design onto the canvas! You can paint it so that the inner portions are where the original painting shows through (like I did) or you can paint so that the outer portions are that of the original painting. It's a stylistic choice completely up to you!

Step 6: Hang and enjoy your new piece of artwork or signage!

Create unique word art from an old thrift store painting with this easy and fun tutorial by Paper Swallow Events! @paperswalloweve

What word, phrase or design would you paint on a canvas? 

xoxo, Stacia

Post written by Stacia Baskin // Photos by paper swallow events and vested image

Welcome to the Weekend

This DIY rustic ring bearer pillow is perfect for the bride seeking non-traditional elements for her elegant rustic wedding! @paperswalloweve

Welcome to the weekend! This weekend I'm travelling for another wedding - something I feel very privileged to be able to do. Because of the wedding, I'm going to just jump straight to the links! 

Because normal sparklers are underrated. ;)

These are for the bride who wants to keep things simple yet elegant.

Because who says your ring bearer pillow actually has to be a pillow?

I always fall in love with timeless swimsuits like this one. (Perfect for looking fabulous on your honeymoon!)

Candid photos like this can be some of the most precious ones. (Here are some tips to help make sure that you get them!)

Now that you have that pretty piece of bling on your finger, here are some ways to keep it sparkling!

What do you have going on this weekend?

xoxo, Stacia