Helpful Tips

Special-Diet Wedding Cakes

Special diets are a hot topic in the catering industry these days – and I’m not talking about South Beach vs. Atkins. Many people have dietary restrictions, including sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan, and why shouldn’t they get to eat cake at their own wedding?

Many cake bakers in North Florida recognize the importance of dietary restrictions, and have cake options for their clients.

  • Gluten-free cakes require that equipment and supplies be kept separate from gluten-containing products, and the work surface must be sanitized thoroughly.
  • Diabetic cakes often replace sugar with agave nector, fruit purées, honey, maple syrup and evaporated cane juice.
  • Vegan cakes will not have diary or egg products. Alternative dairy products are used, such as soy, rice, oat, coconut and almond milk, soy butter, and coconut oil.

If you have a special dietary restriction, you may consider ordering a small cake that can be placed near the traditional wedding cake.

Or, ask your cake baker about a dummy cake! Many cake bakers can make a cake of Styrofoam and fondant, making it look very real. Then they can add a small layer of cake made especially for you, which you can cut during the reception. Then, the guests can be served from sheet cakes that are stored in the kitchen. This way, you get to cut your wedding cake and eat it, and your guests can enjoy a more traditional cake recipe.

If you have close family members or friends that have dietary restrictions, some may recommend having special cupcakes for them. While this is nice, it often draws attention to the fact that they have a special need. Consider having a small cake in the back and alerting your caterer to those that should be served the special cake.

The pretty cake featured here is from one of our past weddings, and was created by Simply Delicious! Cakes – they offer a variety of special diet cakes in North Florida.

Special Discount on Decor at B H L D N

We all know that B H L D N has unique and beautiful wedding gowns, bridesmaids attire, and accessories. But did you know they have a decor line as well? And lucky you – as a client of First Coast Weddings and Events, you get a discount on decor items! Here is a little sample of what you will find on their website. See something you MUST have for your wedding? Contact us so that we can order it for you.

Do You Need a Wedding Planner? Would You Remodel Your Home Without a General Contractor?

Today we have a guest post, which I hope you will enjoy! Be sure to check out Christine’s websites, listed at the end of the article.

I don’t get it. Why would you take on a project that can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to, well, as high as you want to go without having a professional by your side?

Here is the thing, would you take on a major home remodeling project without hiring a general contractor? Of course not. I know, you are asking how are those even remotely the same. Let me ask you,

“How are they different?”

  • Both have budgets in at least the 5 figure range. That is a LOT of money.
  • In both instances you want a high degree of personalization. In short, you want YOUR dream to be executed.
  • Both will require a long list of sub-contractors that you have most likely never dealt with before.
  • Both require tight scheduling to make sure everything comes together on time and on budget.
  • Both are going to have glitches and unexpected issues pop up that someone is going to have to deal with.
  • The results of both are going to be with you for a long, long time.

Am I beginning to make some sense here?

All those things listed above are what a wedding planner does.

  • They know which vendors are reliable and match your style.
  • They help you translate your dreams to the people who are going to make them come true.
  • They know all about how your venue works in terms of timing and convenience for load in.
  • It is their job to keep that timeline on track so, for example, the flowers show up after the tables are set up, dinner is served hot and the MC know when to do the first dance.
  • It is their job to keep all those sub-contractors working together on the right plan.
  • They are there to look you right in the eye and say “Yes you can have that, but you are going to have to give up XYZ”
  • They are there to handle those last-minute glitches and issues in a way that you don’t even know they happened.

There is a wealth of information online today on how to plan a wedding, but until you actually do it, you have no idea of everything involved. Seriously, when you look at it in this light, why would you even think of not hiring a wedding planner for one of the days you are going to remember for the rest of your life.

Sure, I could watch HGTV, DIY Network, House Crashers and This Old House until my eyes bleed but one episode of Holmes on Homes or DIY Disaster will cure my ass of thinking I can remodel my kitchen on my own!

By: Christine Boulton
Wedding Dish | Think Like A Bride

Thanks, Christine, for the informative (and oh-so-true) insight!

Wedding Insurance – A Good Idea, Always!

Did you know you can insure your wedding?  With the recent news of a popular wedding venue closing today, we are reminded that EVERY wedding can be protected by wedding insurance.  Lost Deposits can provide coverage if a vendor goes out of business, declares bankruptcy before your event, or simply fails to show up. For example, if your band or your limo provider fails to show up, this coverage can reimburse your lost deposit.

We thought we would re-post an article we wrote on the subject not too long ago on the other benefits on wedding insurance.

There are several companies that provide wedding insurance, but here is some information from Wedding Protector Plan.

Some of the things that can be covered by wedding insurance include:
  • No Dress. You can get repair or replacement cost if the bride’s wedding gown or groom’s tuxedo is lost or damaged.
  • Lost Rings. You can receive repair or replacement cost if the bride or groom’s wedding bands are lost or damaged.
  • Severe Weather.  If severe weather (such as a hurricane) forces you to postpone your wedding, we can provide reimbursement for non-recoverable expenses.
  • Call to Duty.  If the bride or groom is unexpectedly called up to active duty, or has her or his military service leave revoked, forcing you to postpone the event, we can provide reimbursement for non-recoverable expenses.
  • Damaged Gifts.  You can get repair or replacement cost if your wedding gifts are damaged.
  • Sudden Illness.  If the wedding needs to be postponed because sudden illness prevents the bride, groom or their parents from attending, you can receive reimbursement for non-recoverable expenses.
  • Venue Requires Insurance.  As an additional option to your policy, you can add liability coverage to protect yourself in case a guest is injured or causes damage to property.
  • Liquor Liability. As an individual liability option to your policy, you can add this coverage to protect yourself against liability arising from alcohol-related occurrences (subject to policy conditions and exclusions).

Rates start at $165 for this company, and other companies offer similar prices.

If you would like to see a brochure, click the link below: 
And for rates, click here:

Destination Weddings

Stephanie Ashwell Photography

Destination weddings have grown to be extremely popular in the wedding world. The fun of the destination allows a couple to combine the best of an adventurous honeymoon with their ceremony and reception. A big pro to having a destination wedding is that it creates an enjoyable atmosphere for your guests. Weddings bring together the people closest to you, so why not extend the time everyone’s going to spend together?

An ideal example of a wedding destination is the Florida Keys. To be even more specific, the Islamorada Key is a location many couples have experienced their weddings. Islamorada is perfect because it is a laid back and a relaxed destination with commercial amenities, tucked away in tropical landscapes and surrounded by clear, clean, blue water.

Here are a few  tips for having a picturesque destination wedding in Islamorada:

  • Select a resort that will fulfill all your wedding needs that all your family and friends can stay in. An ideal resort is Le Siesta Resort and Marina. It has plenty of rooms, and has multiple locations to choose from for your ceremony and reception.
  • Be sure to have welcome bags filled with fun treats that represents the Florida Keys that your guests can use during their stay.
  • Make sure to have a timeline for all the events that will be taking place. Your guests will need to know when they’ll have time to relax and when they’ll need to be at important events.
  • Be prepared for all types of weather. The Keys can definitely have it’s fair share of heavy winds and rain, so plan to have a backup plan just in case.