CRAB CAKES: Recent work by Sheri’s Edible Designs, which is featured this month on an episode of TLC’s “Fabulous Cakes.”If 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.

“It used to be simply a round cake covered with dark ganache and chocolate pearls, and maybe a ‘G’ for Georgia or something. Ten years ago that was pretty much it,” said Signe Gardo, owner of Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe on Hilton Head Island. “Now it’s anything. Some of them get very, very involved.”

Of all the photos in a wedding album, few tell the subtle story of your special day with character and sentimentality like the close-ups of wedding favors. Whether they’re candles with ribbons that carry on the colors of the day’s decor or savory stuffed boxes of sweet take-home treats, these special gifts are a token of the couple’s gratitude and happiness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Local favors (with local flavor)

EDIBLE FAVORS

We already mentioned probing palates with a sweet treat. Personalized chocolate bars, individual truffles, cake-shaped cookies, fresh fruit or slices of a groom’s cake — a Southern tradition — top the lists at the Wedding Channel. Try packaging a variety of diminutive desserts in a gift box wrapped with colorful ribbon.



PERSONALIZE YOUR GROOMSMEN ATTIRE Many grooms and groomsmen are personalizing their looks with simple touches of color; for instance, Lakers purple.GROOM / GROOMSMEN ATTIRE

The black and white tuxedo is still the quintessential wedding look for grooms and groomsmen, but classic doesn’t have to be boring.

Many grooms are personalizing their looks with simple touches that show off their personalities, like having the wedding date or the bride-to-be’s initials stitched onto their shirt cuffs, or giving their groomsmen bright argyle socks to wear with their tuxes and special sunglasses to don immediately after the ceremony or when entering the reception.

RED RIDING HOOD Unless you are heading straight from the wedding back to your toy shop in the North Pole, this dress may not be the way to go. How to fix the inevitable Bad Bridesmaid Dress problem.

Last month, as we here at Monthly sat in the conference room brainstorming story ideas for the bridal section you now hold in your hands, we found that three words seemed to especially animate the ladies in the room: Bad. Bridesmaid. Dresses.

Many of us have seen them, some of us have worn them and all of us know that they’ve affected, in some way, weddings all over the globe throughout the history of time. And that got me thinking where such a strange, universal phenomenon could have come from in the first place, and how it could be demolished forever. It is the singular plight of women everywhere to want — nay, need — to look their best at all times, especially in those extra-double-important public appearances with photographers all over the place. Luckily, we know our figures, and we know how — or at least how to try — to dress them correctly.

By Robyn Passante

In recent months, celebrity magazines and gossip blogs have been buzzing about the supposed trend of celebrity wedding vow renewals. In June, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott featured their re-nuptials on the season finale of their reality show, "Tori and Dean." Heidi Klum and Seal reportedly renew their vows every year. And Khloe Kardashian and NBA star Lamar Odom just said "I still do" on their first anniversary in October.

For many families, weddings are reunions. For weddings in the Lowcountry, weddings are a weeklong affair, a chance to not only spend quality time with loved ones but to see the sites. Imagine a wedding ceremony and reception that occurs all in one place amid live oaks draped by Spanish moss and a picturesque bridge crossing a lake.

It's a place where family members stay together in luxury homes walking distance from tennis and bocce courts, a Pete Dye gulf course, a spa, a swimming pool and health and fitness center and driving distance from Hilton Head Island, Savannah and Beaufort. You can expect all of this and more at Hampton Hall, a luxury gated community in Bluffton.

orange

by Marianna Barbrey
Photos by Amy Daring

When you think of wedding flowers, orange is probably not the first color that comes to mind. But when assembled and paired properly, orange florals can make a beautiful statement, and provide a memorable pop of color to any wedding celebration.

Orange gets a bad rap for its association with Halloween - especially around this time of year - but it shouldn't be stereotyped. In fact, orange can be used in any season and any setting. A few popular orange options include calla lilies, orchids, roses, gerber daisies, lilies, carnations, dahlias, tulips and chrysanthemums.

Like the idea of using orange but stumped on how to incorporate it into your floral scheme? Here are some ideas:

Abby and MattImagine planning your big day — rehearsal dinner,ceremony and reception — in five months. Now imagine planning it without once seeing the venue in person.

That was the story for Abby and Matt Englert ofBloomington, Ind., married last June on Folly Field Beach.

“I didn’t feel like planning a gigantic, elaborate wedding — that didn’t matter to me,” said Abby. “It was a little crazy, but it was almost a little bit better. I wasn’t into meeting with people and going over menus.”

A lot can happen in two years, and a lot of things can change. Just ask Jessica Martin Finlen, whose May wedding didn’t exactly go off without a hitch.

“We dragged out the engagement way too long, enough to make anybody crazy,” Jessica said, laughing. “There were a lot of little glitches, to the point we were like, ‘Let’s just go to Vegas or Mexico or anywhere.’ ”

For starters, Jessica’s original venue backed out five months before the wedding. When she visited the site to discuss placement of the tables and DJ, the person in charge was nowhere to be found. Luckily, her father stepped in to save the day. “My dad worked at Sun City for like 10 years. And it just popped in his head, ‘What about Riverbend?’ ” she said. “It’s a beautiful long dock out to the water.”

kimbachelder6.19.10 Kim Bachelder and Hunt Werner

Have you ever been to a wedding that felt like a fairy tale?

That must have been how guests at Kim Bachelder Werner’s casual-chic June wedding at Honey Horn felt.

When less is more

Hot trends in wedding cateringWedding receptions just aren’t what they used to be. While you may occasionally encounter traditional sit-down or buffet-style dinners, many caterers are offering the option of small plates and mini samples instead.

More often than not, the alluring landscape of the Lowcountry sets the stage for outdoor a airs, where guests would rather walk around and mingle than be stuck behind a table. It makes sense, then, that couples are planning menus that allow guests to pick and choose from a multitude of bite-size morsels.

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.”

Children can add so much to a wedding day - from the ring bearer toddling down the aisle carrying a pillow with precious cargo, to the flower girl who sweetly perfumes your path to the altar by dropping tender petals in her wake. As special as you feel on your wedding day, you'll want even your littlest helpers to share in the feeling and know that you appreciate them.

To ensure that your young attendants are happy campers on the big day, you'll want to help them look their best and make them feel that they have an important role. Here are some helpful hints that you can put in practice, whether the child is your own or the child of a loved one. Follow these tips, and you'll help ensure the youngest members of your wedding party have a positive experience that they - and you - will remember for a lifetime.

weddingwomanSomething old, something new;
Something borrowed, something blue;
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

An enduring Victorian tradition steeped in superstitious symbolism, the verse containing a series of old, new, borrowed and blue good luck tokens for the bride dates back centuries in England.

John C. Franke, style expert and faculty member at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, offers a creative spin on the age-old tradition for the bride-to-be in 2010.