You’ll know it’s a good party when palates are pleased and plates are empty. Make sure your menu’s a winner with some careful planning. 

Forget flowers and favors for just a moment: The one component you won’t want to skimp on at your wedding is the food. Aside from the music (which often translated to “how the party was”) and how the bride looked, the food is one of the most talked about elements of a wedding. Ever been to a wedding with bad food? Don’t let sub-par selections or flat flavors steal the spotlight on your big day. Here are Hilton Head Monthly’s biggest tips to ensure guests leave the table sated and impressed — no matter your budget.

weding foodEvery wedding guest secretly hopes for amazing food. Planning a standout menu is easier than you think. 

Trust us. The one component you won’t want to skimp on at your wedding is the food. Aside from the music (which often translated to “how the party was”) and how the bride looked, the food is one of the most talked about parts of a wedding. Ever been to a wedding with bad food? We have: rubbery chicken and cold mashed potatoes. Don’t let that be the menu on your big day.

Wedding Cake CupcakeThe stars of every wedding are the bride and groom. But if there were a third star at the reception, it would have to be the wedding cake. Traditionally, a white multi-tiered cake has been the go-to for many brides. But today's brides have a wider range of options, and many are choosing cakes that better match their style. Cupcakes, colors and more now rule the wedding cake table. With the wider variety of styles, choosing the perfect cake is easier than ever. Below are five trends that we are in love with.

bridal-cake01When planning your wedding, you’ll have to address some nitty-gritty details, like a marriage license, transportation and creating a planning timeline, all of which can be daunting for busy couples.

groom cake fish yetiOur previous article about cakes for grooms was an extremely popular story, here, we revisit the subject with a few new great ideas for the guys.

So what is a groom's cake?  It’s a cake for your groom, of course.  Though it is usually served to all the guests at the rehearsal dinner, welcome party or reception, it’s presented to the groom first. With all the focus on the bride – the gown, the flowers, the hair and makeup, the decorations, the favors and all that “girlie” stuff, the groom’s cake is an opportunity for the bride to honor her fiancé and make him feel special. It’s something that’s just for him. It’s often done as a surprise, the groom is totally shocked to see what the cake looks like.

By Robyn Passante
Crab cake photo by Mark Staff
Other photos courtesy Sheri's Edible Designs

crabcakegroomcakeIf a wedding cake is Sunday morning - refined, subdued, classy - then a groom's cake is Saturday night. It's informal and amusing, a piece of personality on a plate. And

just like Saturday nights, the stakes continue to get higher for groom's cakes, local bakers say.

Put a Personal Touch on Your Wedding Dessert

Cakes With CharacterGone are the days of cheesy, plastic bride and groom cake toppers. Couples are thinking outside the box for their wedding desserts, and the result is not only beautiful but delicious.

“Weddings are moving away from the standard for baseline cakes—carrot, white or red velvet were the standards for many years,” said Derek Spendlove, chairman of the baking & pastry arts program at Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky. “Now, the most popular flavors we’re seeing are mousses—flavor infusions to the actual cake or dessert.”

Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery & CafeFor more than 37 years Signe Gardo has been creating custom wedding cakes for brides throughout the Lowcountry. From classic and traditional to trendy and whimsical, this creative confectioner has done it all. And to top it off, she manages to run a full time café and bakery which has grown to be a favorite among locals and a “must-see” for visitors. Always on the go, Signe takes a break to share with our readers about her popular cake business.

“Choosing a cake is probably one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning,” Signe says. “However when a bride is busy planning out every detail, anything can become overwhelming!”

Signe meets with each bride and/or couple for an initial private consultation and tasting. “It’s important to get to know the couple and understand their vision for their wedding. Your wedding cake should be a reflection of your wedding style as well as your personal story.”

The cake is a major focal point at most wedding receptions. It serves not only as a decoration, pulling together your colors and wedding theme, but also as an important symbol. Traditionally, the cutting of the cake represents the married couple’s first shared task and is usually a key image in the wedding photos.

Today, you can choose from hundreds of cake designs and flavors, including basic vanilla or chocolate, fruit cakes, pound cakes or cheesecakes. Fillings can run the gamut from liqueurs or fruit purees to flavored mousse. If you have a favorite cake, ask your pastry chef to customize it for your wedding. Can’t decide? Please everyone by choosing a different cake for each tier.

Today’s wedding cake often takes center stage at the wedding reception, next to the bride and groom, of course. Today’s cakes are stacked, often in several layers, and can be seen in such shapes as round, oval, hexagonal, and square. Since theme weddings are becoming so popular, the theme of the wedding is being carried over into the reception and invariably influences the design and presentation of the wedding cake.

Brides and grooms are often opting to nix the totally white cake, and are beginning to add hues that coordinate with their wedding colors into their cake. Also popular is the addition of the initials of the bride and groom onto the cake.