Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake

When it comes to wedding cakes, like everything else, they have evolved. Initially two types of cake were introduced into the modern wedding. One, considered the groom’s cake, was a rich fruit cake; the other, a light cake mixture heavily decorated with icing and sugar ornaments, belonged to the bride.

While normally either one or the other is used, in some countries both make their appearance at the same reception. The bride’s cake, which is unlikely to keep well, is eaten at the reception, while the groom’s cake is kept for the first wedding anniversary. In Australia, as in England, the wedding cake is a combination of both. From the groom’s cake comes the rich, fruit mixture, from the bride’s the decoration and ornamentation. 

Wedding cakes are shaped into squares, circles, hearts, wedding bells or horseshoes. For a large gathering a number of tiers are used each supported on decorative plastic or ceramic holders shaped as pillars, doves or bells. Even wine glasses, tipped up-side down, are used as supports for the various tiers. 

The tiers are placed on top of each other in decreasing sizes. Some couples prefer to place each cake directly on top of the other, each layer supported by its own hidden platform. Those who like to get away from the pyramid shape have three individual cake stands of varying heights for each cake. Another arrangement is to have two cakes placed side by side on one level, with the third on top of them both. Others still arrange their cakes as stepping stones leading to an interesting top piece.

While Elvis Presley, for example, had a six-tier wedding cake, for most people a three-tiered cake has become a standard. The first, and largest tier is cut up and distributed at the wedding reception, the second layer is used by the bride’s mother to send to absent guests, while the third is stored by the bride and groom for their first anniversary. Alternatively, a couple may decide to store the largest layer and use only a small portion of it for each of their subsequent anniversaries. For storage purposes the cake is either placed in the freezer or wrapped up loosely and placed in an air-tight container.

A slice of the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding cake was sold at auction, 68 years after the couple got married. The fruit cake is wrapped in its original baking parchment and is still edible thanks to its high alcohol content.

A theme wedding is likely to influence the decoration, and even the shape of a cake. As well as, or instead of such decorations as hearts, flowers, cupids, horseshoes and love knots, the cake will be decorated with symbols of couple’s hobbies, sport or profession. The Wedding Cake with which the current Queen Elizabeth celebrated her wedding was not only 2.74 m tall, but was decorated with plaques modelled in sugar depicting various castles in which the queen resides, as well as figures illustrating the sporting activities of both the bride and groom.

The four-tier cake was made with dried fruit from Australia and preserved with rum and brandy from South Africa.

Imitation cricket bat and ball enhanced the cake of a famous English cricketer while a patriotic Irish couple decorated theirs with harps and shamrocks. Even policemen show sentiment on their wedding day by covering their cake with coloured sugar police badges. 

Some wedding cakes are not only decorated in a non-traditional manner, but are conceived in a wholly unique wayAn unusual wedding venue resulted in a wedding cake being baked in the shape of the building where the wedding took place; while an American politician had his wedding-cake made as a life-sized portrait of himself. The cost of the cake can go from one extreme to the other, one couple enhancing theirs with 14 carat gold decoration, the other creating a simple pyramid by stacking couple of dozen doughnuts one on top of another. 

Currently revived is the old tradition of dropping a number of lucky-charms into the cake mixture. Going as far back as the wedding of QueenVictoria, into whose cake seven lucky charms were baked, charms come in the shape of hearts, coins, thimbles, rings, buttons and even wish bones.

Check out the different ways you can Celebrate your Wedding and how to begin planning your Wedding Day.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We can't All be Beautiful

It’s a sad fact of life that some of us – many of us, in fact – have not been born beauties. Not only that, some of us are just plain – well, just plain Jane. We don’t have ravishing locks, or incandescent skin, or kissable lips, or anything to show us as beautiful. 

Being aware of how that affects us, there have always been people who’ve tried to cheer us up. 

There’s the grandmothers’ encouraging words, ‘It’s not what’s on the outside, dear, that matters. It's what's on the inside’. Yeah. Right. Tell it to the thick-headed numbskulls who practically tear off their heads as they follow the progress of a woman definitely not plain. 

And there’s ‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,’ and ‘Beauty is only skin-deep’. But really, do plain Janes find these saying reassuring? 

Of course, historically there has been the odd plain Jane who managed to snare a Prince Charming. But historically beauties have been numerously more successful in that field. 

Still, how does a plain Jane compete? 

One of these successful ladies has been Wallis Simpson. Not a beauty even to her friends who also suggest that her ‘inside’ like her ‘outside’ was not particularly attractive. She has been described as abrasive, aggressive, and rude. 

What was her secret weapon? ‘I am nothing to look at,’ she has been quoted as saying, ‘so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else.’  She explained her philosophy as 'You can never be too thin' and 'if you're tired of shopping you are using the wrong shops'. 

When King Edward V111 abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, like all brides she decided to adhere to wedding traditions. 

For ‘Something borrowed’ she carried a lace handkerchief which her aunt lent her for the occasion. 

For ‘Something new’ she slipped inside one of her blue suede shoes a gold coronation coin emblazoned with the face of her husband to be. 

No one could see what she had for ‘Something old’, because that happened to be underwear trimmed with antique lace. 

But as to ‘Something blue’ she decided to make it her whole new wardrobe. This included her bridal outfit of a cocktail dress with a fitted jacket, wrist-length gloves, high-heeled sandals, and a hat. The rest of her trousseau of 80 dresses and 40 hats was in the same shade of blue. 

Now that you know the secret, ladies.............(Based on 'Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle?').

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Readings for Your Ceremonies

600 Readings - Wedding, Baby Naming, Funeral, House Blessing

Comprehensive book of poems and readings suitable for Wedding, Baby Naming, House Blessing and Funeral. 

There are more than 100 poems in each category.

Many of the wedding pieces can also be used for Renewal and Commitment Ceremonies. 

For ease of use, the Wedding Poems are categorised as:
  • Readings about Love
  • Readings about Marriage
  • Readings for Partners
  • Blessings
Check out the different ways you can Celebrate your Wedding and how to begin planning your Wedding Day.

The naming ceremonies have been divided into
  • Blessings
  • Readings on behalf of the Child
  • Babies and Angel readings
  • Adult readings

For the house blessing ceremony there are

  • Blessings for the House
  • Blessings for Family Members
  • Poems of Gratitude
  • Readings about Family and Friendship
  • Spiritual Readings
  • Invoking the Elements
  • Final Words

For a funeral service, the subjects of the readings include
  • Consolation and Acceptance
  • Mourning and Remembering
  • Elderly and the Ill
  • Family and Friends
  • Children
  • Inspirational, Spiritual and Philosophical
  • Committal
  • Pets
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Free Books about Anything and Everything

Looking for free books? Take a look here:

Project Gutenberg - over 50,000 titles to choose from
Many Books- free novels including romance, horror, classics, fantasy, mystery
Bookyards - free ebooks on a variety of subjects including business, cooking, entertainment, education, sport, literature, travel 
Get Free eBooks - free ebooks on subjects that include personal development, computers, adventure, web design, writing 
Obooko - free ebooks, both fiction and non-fiction, catering for every need or taste

For Australian residents only:
One of my most popular book among Celebrants, Wedding Ceremony Resource Book, free for the month of January.

Contact me at my email address and mention the book. It will then be emailed to your nominated email address. 

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Decorative, Practical - and Free

Check out these websites for free downloadable fonts to spice up your Wedding, Baby Naming, Renewal of Wedding Vows and Commitment Certificates, as well as your Programs for the various ceremonies.
Free Fonts 3.

Free Fonts 4.

Free Fonts 5.

Free Fonts 6.

Free Fonts 7.

Free Fonts 8. 

And here are some Decorative Fonts I've used, as well as how I've used them.

Baby Naming Certificate

Title Page for
Renewal of Wedding Vows
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Friday, December 30, 2016

Wedding Planning – Never Plain-Sailing

You would think being a Queen planning a wedding would be a breeze; especially if you had nine children and had married off quite a number of them already. However, despite the royal power and the experience, Queen Victoria, like the lowest of her subjects, had her own wedding-planning irritations.
It started when her favourite daughter Princess Beatrice decided to marry His Serene Highness Henry of Battenberg. Probably no one was more aware than Queen Victoria that it was a bit of a come-down for an English Royal Princess to marry a Highness of some tiny, unrecognisable principality in Germany. To quiet the many voices of outrage, she decided to keep this wedding small and simple; with only relatives and the closest of friends attending.
Then came a note from one of her other married daughters, announcing that as a Crown Princess of Germany, she could not lower herself to such level as to attend a wedding that included a nobody.
Well, that did it!
Dispensing with small and simple, the Queen invited as many wedding guests as she could accommodate.
On the Wedding Day, to the sound of Wagner’s Bridal March, Princess Beatrice walked down the aisle with ten bridesmaids, supported by her mother, Queen Victoria on one arm, and her none-too-happy brother Prince of Wales, on the other.
At the reception, the guests were served a Royal Wedding Breakfast of twenty-two courses, ending with the Wedding Cake. A three-tiered concoction, the Wedding Cake was topped with cupids and a vase filled with sugar and marzipan bouquet of flowers.
And to top it off the German Serene Highness was made into a British Royal Highness for the rest of his life.
In your face, Crown Princess of Germany!

Photograph by Pinterest

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wedding Ceremony Resource Book

For Australian Celebrants -
Wedding Ceremony Resource Book

Over 500 wedding ceremony samples to help the bride and groom craft a personalised wedding ceremony. 
Wedding Ceremony Resource Book includes:-
Wedding ceremony samples with a variety of wedding themes
Wedding vows, both traditional, contemporary and wedding vows with beach wedding vows, wedding vows for the older couple, couples previously married, couples with children etc,
  • Wedding Vows of support from family and friends
All symbolic rituals include text and include:

  • Candle Lighting as a unity ceremony for the bride, family blending ceremony with children or as a memorial wedding ceremony for deceased or absent friends
  • Rose Ceremony for the bride and groom
  • Seven Steps and Seven Blessing for the couple
  • Handfasting Ceremony for the couple, and maid of honour and the best man
  • Sharing a Drink
  • Releasing of Doves or Butterflies
  • Blessing of Hands
  • Blending of Sand by couple or as a family ceremony
Wedding ceremony samples include readings, love poems, marriage poems and rituals for:

  • Bride and Groom
  • Bride and groom's children
  • Bride and groom's parents 
  • Bride and Groom's attendants
  • Support for the bride and groom by parents and friends
All sections are divided into accessible subject matter to make the compilation of your wedding ceremony easier than you can imagine.   For all Books and Certificates