THE GROOM’S CAKE: The groom’s cake, a long-standing tradition at weddings, is a bride’s gift to her groom. Typically, the cake is smaller and reflects a hobby or interest of the groom, which is why you may have seen cakes shaped like sports equipment, guitars, computers, animals, sports-cars or even some really creative options like Emily’s FSU beer-bucket shaped groom’s cake for her hubby John, which you can see in Our Big Day on page 44 of the new Fall-Winter 2012 issue of Orlando Wedding or under Our Big Day/Emily and John at 
      Traditionally the groom’s cake is much smaller than the wedding cake, and it’s not eaten at the reception. It’s usually sliced up, packaged and sent home as favors when the guests leave. Single women are supposed to take it home and place the boxed slice under their pillow in hopes of dreaming about about their future husbands.
       Sometimes, the groom’s cake is forgotten, overlooked or cut because of sensitive budgets. But the tradition and the message it sends personally  can be one of your wedding’s more important elements. Plus, its a chance to get really creative and surprise your groom with something unique and special! Work with the vendor you have selected to do your wedding cake to see if they can make a groom’s cake. With the onset of TV shows like Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss and Wedding Cake Wars, a lot of vendors are being met with a demand for more non-traditional and “off the wall” cake designs. So, more than likely your wedding cake vendor can make your unique groom’s cake. If not, then there are plenty of vendors in the local area that can help you bring that concept to fruition – do a search on our Wedding Resource Guide under Cakes & Confections at

ADVICE FOR DIY BRIDES: The ideas are endless for creating your own décor, favors, programs, invitations and more for your wedding, so I can see why so many brides are attracted to the option. It’s a chance to personalize an element, be creative and save money! After a recent conversation with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) bride who was in over her head with multiple projects, I pulled together a tip list for those of you who decide to venture down the DIY road:
1 – No matter how creative and crafty you may be, Do-it-Yourself projects have a time and place. Your wedding will have multiple naturally imposed stresses, so make sure you have enough time to complete this type of project, and to your standard of quality. Make sure you are enjoying the planning and preparations, not adding too many additional duties or pressures.
2 – Keep your expectations realistic: Time, cost, talent. Sometimes it’s not always easier, cheaper or quicker to do it yourself. Do your homework, even test the time it takes to make just one of the items, then look at your calendar and other responsibilities to ensure you can get this done in time, with the quality you want.
3 – Start early with your projects; they will ALWAYS take longer than you think. It is one of the top regrets Orlando Wedding brides have reported: Waiting too long or til the last minute to do some important DIY details.
4 – Recruit help—friends, attendants, family— and budget project completion at least two weeks prior to the event. Don’t wait till the week before your wedding to make 300 favors. The two weeks prior to your wedding should be reserved for family, time, showers, parties, rehearsals, breathing room for you and your partner….all the good stuff that will get pushed aside if you are up till the wee hours of the morning tying ribbons.
5 – Have a sense of humor. Not all projects are going to work out the way you want. If you can’t handle that your origami bird looks nothing like the picture, but more like the art project your 3-year-old niece did at daycare, you might want to reconsider doing it yourself. Again, try actually making a few before you fully commit to the project.
6 – Have fun. Make sure that the projects you engage in will bring you enjoyment rather than obligation. It will make the time and effort priceless, especially if it becomes a time to bond with family and close friends and offers guests a treasured personalized item to take home.