Winter Wedding Cakes

v_details66By Anja Winikka

Wedding Cake Flavor

For your winter wedding, pick a cake that tastes like winter. What does winter taste like, exactly? Think rich flavors — and don’t be afraid to stray from the traditional white cake. Consider a caramel spice cake filled with caramel and a buttercream frosting, or an orange chocolate cake with dark chocolate filling and decorated with flecks of orange. For a lighter cake with a taste that still reflects the season, go for a white cake with cranberry buttercream frosting and filling.

Wedding Cake Color

Color counts for every wedding cake, and nothing says “winter” better than a palette of whites, icy blues, and deep reds or rustic greens mixed with brown. Add a hint of winter color with a simple chocolate ganache-covered cake trimmed in light blue, or an ivory buttercream cake trimmed in red. Or let the winter colors pop with an ivory cake covered in red sugarberries and green sugar holly leaves. See what real brides chose as their winter wedding colors.

Wedding Cake Flowers

Match your wedding cake to your bridal bouquet by asking your baker to create sugar versions of your flowers. For a modern wedding, ask your baker to make a few large graphic sugar calla lilies for your cake tiers. If you’re going for a more classic look, find out whether your baker can “paint” small stephanotis flowers along your cake using an edible dye. Find your winter wedding flowers.

Wedding Cake Shapes and Add-ons

When it comes to a winter wedding cake, snowflakes, pinecones, and other winter elements made out of chocolate, sugar, or gum paste are an obvious choice. But you don’t have to go overboard with these add-ons to get a wintery look. Instead, you can order a white cake with subtle white sugar snowflakes. The tone-on-tone look will up the elegant factor and still give you the same seasonal effect. See more winter wedding ideas.

Wedding Cake Sides

Whether you’re already set on a wedding cake design or you’ve decided to take your wedding cake in a not-so-seasonal direction, consider serving a winter-inspired side with your wedding cake. Serve cake a la mode with black walnut ice cream; add a handful of starlight mints to each plate; or indulge comfort-food lovers with warm chocolate pudding.



whelan_0800_orchard_cove_photographyAre you convinced the only sort of color pallet you can have for a winter wedding is frosty blues and icy whites? Think again, we suggest you snuggle up with your honey and take a look at these cozy winter wedding ideas. With warm knit throws and a gourmet hot cocoa bar, we are positive you will be planning your own cold weather wedding when you are done!

This gorgeous shoot was designed by one of our favorites, Sealed With A Kiss Events. They did such a fab job, we highly recommend soaking up all of the details captured by Rahel Menig Photography in thefull gallery here!

Miss Conduct’s survival guide for wedding guests


There’s all sorts of advice out there for the bride and groom, but what about the rest of us?

By Robin Abrahams


whelan_0807_orchard_cove_photographyMy invitation didn’t include my partner/kids/a plus-one. Can I bring her/them/him anyway?

Sadly, no. Only the explicitly invited may attend a wedding. RSVP cards aren’t election ballots; you can’t just write in whomever you want as a protest vote.

It’s usually not polite to ask if you can bring someone extra. If you have to travel to the wedding and children aren’t invited, you can ask the couple about child-care options. And if your spouse or longtime life partner isn’t invited, you can discreetly check if that was a mistake. A celebration of couple hood shouldn’t require people to leave their partners at home.

Something has come up. Can I back out of a wedding I’ve RSVP’d to?

You get back in that pew and smile through your ruptured appendix, young lady.

Weddings are a Major Life Event, but not the only one, and if an M.L.E. of your own — the death of a relative, an illness, a financial emergency — makes it difficult or impossible to attend, you may excuse yourself. If you suddenly can’t participate as a member of the wedding party, let the couple know as soon as possible and do your best to gracefully delegate any responsibilities. Etiquette doesn’t require you to explain your situation to the rest of the wedding party, but human psychology does — everyone’s going to wonder and gossip, so you may as well get your story out there.

How do I make a good toast?

Think about that story you’ve been telling about Chris since eighth grade. No, not that story, the other one. It’s sweet. You tell that story, just as if you’re sitting around telling it — this isn’t “public speaking.” You tell it, and then you say something like “And that’s when I learned the kind of person Chris is” or “That’s how Chris taught me what ‘trust’ means,” and then you say something like “And I know you’re both going to do great things together,” and then you say “I love you, Chris,” and then you say “To Chris and Leslie!” Say your words slowly, and don’t say very many of them.

The wedding invitation says “bohemian formal” (or something like that). What does that mean?

It means there’s a high likelihood of whimsical desserts and a low chance of the Electric Slide. It means that the couple want you to dress up but also to enjoy it, and that they believe this is possible for everyone and that they believe obfuscation promotes creativity. It means nobody else will know what to wear either. It means you should wear something simple and dark with flat shoes and one boffo accessory, just like you do for every other wedding.

I don’t know anyone here. What should I do?

The instinct is to pounce on a fellow singleton, but don’t. Maybe you won’t have anything in common and then you’ll be feeling lonely and awkward with another person, which is far worse. What you want to do is find a couple who aren’t talking — a married couple with nothing to say to each other at the moment, two other singletons who tried that “find another lonely person” thing and are realizing it doesn’t always work — and start a conversation with them.

A couple, romantic or not, that is hamstrung for conversation at a wedding can be revitalized by the addition of a third party, and they’ll be desperate and grateful enough that they won’t let the ball drop. Start with “How do you know the newlyweds?” “What do you do?” and then hit them with “Do you hate when people ask ‘What do you do?’ as small talk?” You’ll charm all four of their socks off.


The only gifts on the registry are way over my budget. What do I do?

Get one that isn’t. Buying off-registry is entirely legitimate — believe it or not, the registry actually exists for the benefit of the guests more than the wedding couple.

If you don’t know the couple well enough to choose something to their tastes, get them something consumable, like a gift box of Penzeys spices. (I’m not getting a kickback from Penzeys, mind you. Using brand names is the kind of specific detail that gives writing . . . flavor.)

If you know other people who will be attending the wedding, you could do one of the big-ticket items as a group gift, saving both time and mental energy.

By the way, don’t factor the fanciness of the wedding into how much you spend. There is no such thing as a “cover-your-plate rule.”

Do you tip the bartender at the reception?

If there is a tip jar out, then yes. There shouldn’t be, because that’s tacky as flypaper, but that’s the fault of the couple, not the barkeep.

Everyone is drinking, but I can’t. Help!

If you’re in recovery, sobriety comes first. You can leave early, duck out to call your sponsor, decline the invitation entirely. This is when you need to do you.

If your abstinence is more of a problem for other people than for you, you can always be the designated driver. If you’re pressured to drink, you can parry without being too personal: “I’m good with not drinking, but some people are struggling to stay sober, and the way you’re pushing, it could be very bad for someone like that.” (This is also a useful technique for childless people getting flak about their reproductive plans: “I’m good with not having kids, but . . . ”)

Everyone is dancing, but I can’t. Help!

You have options! You can sway with your honey to the slow dances. Learn two moves — anyone can learn two moves — and repeat them ad infinitum. Dance with the little kids. Chair dance. Study up on epically bad dancers, like Elaine from Seinfeld, and go ahead and dance for comic effect. Bringing people laughter is a mitzvah, after all.

Whatever else you do, arrange to be in the bathroom when the group dances start.

It’s been a year and I still haven’t gotten a thank you note. Should I say something?

It depends on the purity of your motives. You don’t get to scold your friends for their poor etiquette, but you do have the right and responsibility to ensure that your gift arrived as intended. Packages get misdelivered and envelopes fall out of pockets every day. Unless you handed the gift off in person, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I just wanted to make sure you got the . . . ”

New England venues help plan and host your perfect wedding or reunion

dorsi 405Promises have been made and friends have been phoned. Now it is time to plan your wedding or other celebration, from family reunion to welcome-home party. When choosing a wedding venue the first step is the couple’s taste. Will this be a traditional, formal gathering at a Maine or Connecticut waterfront resort? A casual party at a converted barn or public gardens in Vermont or New Hampshire? Wedding vows on a yacht off the Massachusetts coast or in a hot air balloon above the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island? New England’s resorts, hotels, inns and other wedding venues are ready with the wedding planning expertise.

New England venues for wedding and celebrations can help you plan every detail: rehearsal dinners; lodgings for guests; buffet or sit-down dining in a ballroom or on a patio; exchange of vows in a garden or a chapel; and all the many other wedding details: music, food, flowers, photography, and on and on. They can find you a justice of the peace or offer the amenities for a quiet elopement, like wedding license, accommodations, an intimate dinner, flowers, and wine. They can help you plan your wedding budget.

The most fun of all this is imagining the glorious settings that New England can offer: an Oceanside resort in Martha’s Vineyard; a historic inn or high-rise luxury hotel in Boston; a storybook country setting in Litchfield, Connecticut, or the majestic mountains of New Hampshire. Plenty of options are listed at the link below. Find a location that stirs your heart and contact these wedding planning experts. They know what you need and how to make it happen. We work with many of the outside venues, hotels, parks and historical sites in Down East Maine, New Hampshire and Northern Mass. Producing elegant tenting, staging, flooring, tables and chairs along with outstanding assortments of table settings and linen supply. We can help direct you personally to the perfect out door wedding venue(s) for that special event.

Marriage secrets you shouldn’t share with friends

It feels good to vent to friends when your husband is driving you crazy. And a little complaining is fine, but once you convince friends that your husband is a jerk, they’re not going to forget it. You may make up or get over your “fight du jour,” but your friend may not be able to quite so easily.

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Can This Quiz Find Your Soulmate?

whitney_grayson_519A look inside the latest digital dating phenomenon

There’s nothing wrong with being a bit of a hopeless romantic and believing that you might just bump into your soulmate on the sidewalk—but what if finding that person could be found through a social experiment? A new interactive website—that’s totally independent of any company and is completely free—called 8^8 wants to give people the chance to meet someone they would otherwise have a 1 in 16 million chance of meeting.

With just eight questions (each with eight answers), the quiz only takes a few minutes to complete. While that part is quick and easy, the directions going into it make sure you know right away that the site is being sincere; the guidelines ask you not to take the test “while drunk, stoned, sleep-deprived, or in an extreme emotional state.” If someone answers identically to you (that’s where the 1 in 16 million chance comes in) you will both receive emails letting you know. Here’s an example of one of the questions: © Courtesy soulmate-quiz

A ticker on the bottom of the site states that the test has been taken more than 236 thousand times and that nearly six thousand matches have been made. If we know how to use a calculator correctly, that’s a 2.5 percent success rate. Which is about 2.4 percent better than the odds of meeting your perfect match in that bar tonight, right?

We love this social experiment—why not give it a shot?!—but keep in mind that the project is about finding someone who answers identically to you. This means that your so-called soulmate could very well be in the form of a best friend and either gender—not necessarily someone who is compatible with you in a more complementary way. Your match, if made, is another you. But hey, that sounds like some good company to keep.


Great event over the weekend and another happy client!



We always love to hear from our clients. It fills us with gratitude and makes us a bit humble at the same time when we get such great letter. We are all very busy in our lives so when someone takes the time to drop us a note like this it makes the experience even more special!

You may remember this outdoor event because we posted it’s setup last week in a few blog posts. The event was over the weekend and the client not only thanked us but shared two pictures with us. Again we thank the Gnall family for entrusting us with their very special wedding event and allowing us to enhance a truly memorable life experience.




I am writing this note with a huge smile on my face!!  The wedding was spectacular & special, even with the thunderstorm that ensued about 15 minutes after the ceremony!!!  No one seemed to care as the partying had begun.  I want you to know how the tent totally blended into our backyard scenery & all our guests that that it was a permanent deck!!  Yikes, can you imagine a deck that size???


From start to finish, you & the rest of your crew have been so helpful & all your hard work was so appreciated.  I must admit, I could not quite imagine how it would look (& why the flooring was so expensive!!!) but it was one of the 7 wonders of the world!!!  I promise to forward a professional photo once we receive them.  Again, my sincere thanks for an outstanding professional job.  I’ve given your name to lots of friends & neighbors.


Best regards,

Susan Gnall


Click here to visit our team website

Mamis/Gnall Group Susan E. Gnall

Senior Vice President
Financial Advisor

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

13 Things No One Tells You About the First Year of Marriage

viscusi 260Couples were asked what they learned about each other after their first year of marriage. Below are the answers to some interesting questions. We would like to hear from you about your first year observations so let us know below.



Cydney, 28, says, “I was well aware of the pressure to have children after marriage, but for me, the next big pressure is buying a house. And in an expensive real estate market like Washington, D.C., it’s hard to get friends and family back home in the Midwest to understand why I’m nearly 30 and still renting. My parents ask me weekly how my house hunting is doing.”

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Ready For A Weekend Event


It took many hot days this week to get everything ready for a beautiful wedding event this weekend! As always the crew came through in shining colors and it shows in the pride of workmanship and a job well done!
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9 Hidden Perks of Getting Married Young

KSW_1785rtyoung couples were asked how they were getting along after a few years of marriage. The surveyor was surprised with the responses she got. Here are some of the answers to the questions she asked.



When you get married young, it is easy to adjust to living with another person because you literally just moved out of your parents’ house. You haven’t had time to get used to living alone or to get too comfortable in your own way of doing things.

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