Wedding Traditions and History: The Bridal Shower

Bridal Showers have been traced back to 16th century Holland. There is a Dutch legend pertaining to the first bridal shower. It is believed that a young, wealthy Dutch girl fell in love with a grain miller’s son and wanted to marry him. Her father was opposed to the marriage and refused to give his daughter her dowry. When the village folks and friends heard the news, they brought gifts to fill her dowry so the girl could begin her married life.  And so the custom began of showering a bride-to-be with gifts before she embarks on her new journey as a wife.

Photo courtesy The Glam Pad

Photo courtesy The Glam Pad

Bridal Showers gained popularity in the United States in the 1930’s and have been going strong ever since. Of course, they were much simpler back then compared to the modern day bridal showers!

Photo by Jose Villa

Photo by Jose Villa

Traditional Wedding Cake Alternatives

In our experience, not every bride and groom has the desire to ‘cut the cake’ at their wedding.  So we put together some of our favorite alternative ‘wedding cakes’ to get those individuals’ creative juices flowing!

Photo by the Cake Blogger Girls

Meringue Trifle. Photo by the Cake Blogger Girls

Photo courtesy Dream French Wedding

Croquembouche. Photo courtesy Dream French Wedding

Photo by Michelle Kim Photography

Waffle Cake. Photo by Michelle Kim Photography

Photo by Heather Baird

Donut Tower.  Photo by Heather Baird

Photo by Jane Z Photography

Rice Krispy Cake.  Photo by Jane Z Photography

Photo by Jose Villa

Pie Cake. Photo by Jose Villa


Lemon ice cream cake with raspberry ripple.  Photo by Helena Ljunggren

Lemon ice cream cake with raspberry ripple. Photo by Helena Ljunggren

Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cake.  Photo by Heather Baird

And for the grand finale, how about this fabulous ‘cheese cake?!’  Perfect for the couple who prefers savory treats over sweet ones!
Photo by Ava Images

‘Cheese Cake’.  Photo by Ava Images

Check out these images and more on our Save The Cake Pinterest Page!

2013 Trends: Rentals with Hartmann Studios

Welcome to May’s installment of 2013 Trends, where we discover this year’s innovative and ever growing world of rentals. Many of our clients, have no idea where to start, what their options are and what they’ll need to pull-off their dream event (as I’m sure many of you can relate). Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We  spoke with Melanie Leinweber and Kelly Burns-Gaoiran, expert Sales Associates with Hartmann Studios, to let us in on the latest event design and rental offerings.

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: First, tell us a little bit about Hartmann Studios and your scope of services.

A: We specialize in the millions of details that work together to create an unforgettable event. In 1982, visionary, designer, and entrepreneur Bob Hartmann founded Hartmann Studios in a small warehouse in San Francisco’s South of Market area. A gifted artist, he created stunning environments for events all over the city and around the world, gaining a reputation for strong design and impeccable execution.

Presently Hartmann Studios has expanded its offerings to cover virtually every aspect of event rentals. The scope of our services is unlimited – from tenting and lighting to unforgettable tabletops. Our team of skilled designers and innovative staff work with clients to bring their custom event décor dreams to life. We work diligently with our clients to ensure that we can create anything they imagine.

Photo of the

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: Which items are typically found in a rental order?

A: Honestly, there is no “typical” event rental order, as every event is totally different! Most wedding orders contain the basics: linens, tabletop items, chairs, etc. However within those categories our selection of items allows a bride-to-be the creative flexibility to adorn their guest’s tables from the basic to overly elaborate. Our selection of items ranges from ‘shabby chic country’ to ‘big city super modern’ and everything in between.

Q: We work with budgets of all sizes.  In your opinion, what kinds of rentals are absolutely necessary for a bride and groom to incorporate into their wedding reception?

A: We work with brides of all size budgets as well! We feel we understand the thrifty bride who is looking for the biggest bang for her buck quite well. We believe that in order to achieve this goal, it is important for the bride to incorporate custom touches to the items provided by the Rental Company, Venue and/or Caterer. Incorporating small touches like specialty linens or upgraded glassware can make a huge impact. Placing a colorful patterned napkin on a white china setting can change the entire look of a table without stretching a bride’s budget too far. Another exciting and budget friendly trend we have recently seen is customizing the head table with upgraded specialty chairs, glassware, and table-top design which still match to the rest of the guest tables, but make the head table stand out against the rest.

Photo by Orange Photography

Photo by Orange Photography

Q: A lot of our brides and grooms want to create the sort of reception that makes their guests feel comfortable and relaxed. What sorts of rentals do you offer that can help achieve this look and feel?

A: Creating a comfortable space for the people who mean the most to you at your reception is key! We have a plethora of items to create an intimate and comfortable setting in any venue. Our selection of lounge furniture will not only give your guests a comfortable place to sit, but also successfully incorporate the theme and overall look of your wedding in to any space. Building a custom lounge space within a cozy cabana or small nook will allow all guests to take a break from the dance floor and relax in a beautiful but comfortable setting.

Q: What 2012 trends will we be seeing less of in 2013?

A: The year 2012 was the year of vintage rustic weddings! Corals, blush tones and ivories were big and country chic was the hot trend. So far this year we have seen our brides moving towards a much more modern feel. We’re seeing a shift from the soft and muted naturals of 2012 to brighter jewel toned color themes. We are excited about blending in the 2013 Pantone color of the year, Emerald, with the more modern and glamorous items we carry.

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Q: Are you seeing any innovative rentals requests in 2013?

A: We’re proud to offer the newest and most exciting rentals to help brides create a truly one-of-a-kind event. We recently received a ton of new lounge furniture, and we’re getting more new products all the time.  Many of the new items we have – such as bars, kiosk tables and wall flats – can be customized with a monogram or graphic from the wedding invitation to create a more personal touch.

Q: What kinds of trends are you seeing in terms of wedding day flow and the rentals that are associated with such a day?

A: We’ve been seeing a lot of informal wedding receptions! Couples are ditching the sit down dinner with floral centerpieces for a more relaxed reception.  Receptions featuring heavy appetizers and finger food allow guests to mix and mingle without being sequestered at tables of 10. Many brides are coming in and setting up comfortable lounge settings in lieu of formal dining.  We’ve even created some blended areas for guests to play games like bocce and croquet. Giving guests a more interactive space has been a big trend in 2013, with photo booths becoming more creative and popular than ever before. The “Pinterest” generation of brides has taken the “fun” reception to new heights, giving guests the opportunity to make flipbooks and other interactive party favors.

Q: Would you be able to share a before and after photograph of a space to exemplify the way rentals can transform a reception and ceremony room?

A: We’re proud of every wedding we do, but here are a few recent ones that turned out pretty great!

Before and After Photos from The Bentley Reserve

Before and After Photos of The Bentley Reserve

Q: Keeping in mind that this all depends on the space, guest count, etc. – how much do you suggest a couple set aside for their rentals budget?

A: A surprising factor some brides encounter is the fact that having a backyard wedding is not always as inexpensive as it seems. Saving on venue costs appeals to most brides, as they assume they can apply the money they save by hosting the wedding in a home towards a splurge on their décor. However many brides forget that while décor is the most fun way to spend a budget, essential items like china, flatware, glassware, tables, lighting, and sometimes even power have to be brought in. When renting a venue, many times these items will be included in the rental price, allowing the couple to use their budget to enhance the space they are renting. In a backyard wedding, much of the budget is dedicated to providing the party basics, which could leave couples missing the custom lighting and design moments they’ve been dreaming about.

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Q: If you had an opportunity to create your ‘dream wedding’ featuring your very favorite Hartmann rentals, what would it look like?

A: Working at Hartmann, we get to look at beautiful weddings all day, so this changes on a daily basis! We’re currently obsessed with a wedding we did at Santa Lucia preserve; we think it’s the perfect blend of modern with rustic touches!

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

 Thank you, Melanie and Kelly, for sharing some helpful tips and ideas as we leap headfirst into the 2013 wedding season!

In case you missed it, click here to see last month’s Trends feature on Color!

Real Wedding: Kate and David

Event Planning & Coordination: Stacy McCain Event Planning, Venue: Annadel Estate Winery, Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Floral Design: Cherries, Lighting & Sound: Got Light?, Photography: Carolyn Quilici for Lisa Lefkowitz