9 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Reception

After almost 30 years of helping bridal couples plan their weddings, I’ve refined the following ideas as the easiest and most common ways to keep costs under control:

  1. Invite fewer guests. It sounds silly, but this one choice can have the single largest impact on your total budget. Caterers charge by the person for food plus you may need to rent additional equipment for larger groups. Often, having fewer guests will mean that you are able to choose a nicer menu that would be beyond your budget for a larger group.
  2. Schedule your wedding for a very early afternoon. An afternoon reception is usually shorter than an evening reception, resulting in lower staff costs. It is perfectly acceptable to offer only light appetizers or a light lunch for an afternoon reception. Guests will expect a meal to be served at evening receptions.
  3. Have your wedding during the week. Saturdays are the most popular days for weddings and venue rates are always highest on weekends. Most locations offer lower rental rates on Fridays or Sundays. Caterers and other vendors often will charge less for receptions held on weekdays.
  4. Pick a date during the off season. Most weddings are held May through September. Have your wedding during the slow season when venue rates are usually lower. Many wedding vendors offer lower prices or other incentives during their slow season as well. 
  5. Choose a location that includes tables and chairs in the rental rate. Having to rent your own tables and chairs can add substantially to your total bill.
  6. Choose a location and caterer that will allow you to provide your own alcoholic beverages. Clubs and other locations that provide liquor service make a substantial amount of their profit on alcohol sales. Providing your own beverages can save a great deal of money. Check with your caterer to see if they allow you to bring your own beverages and if they charge corkage fees.
  7. Hire a disc jockey rather than a band. Disc jockeys will play any type of music you want – at a much lower rate than a band.
  8. Have your friends and family set up and decorate the hall. Friends will offer to help you with your wedding – let them!
  9. Use disposable serving items instead of china & glass. Not only are China and glassware more expensive than disposables, their use also requires additional staff for set up, bussing and dishwashing.

By choosing one or several of the above money saving ideas, you can reduce the total costs for your wedding reception.

My most important piece of advice is saved for last: decide what’s most important to you about your reception and allow enough in your budget to accomplish that dream. Make less costly choices on items that are not as important to you.

Your wedding day should be joyous and stress-free. Once you’ve made your choices, relax and have a wonderful day!

How to make people cake pops for Christmas

December is finally here and there are only 24 days left until the big day. I still can’t believe this year has gone by so fast. If you are still thinking of what to make for your upcoming holiday party / Christmas bake exchange, why not give my newest cake pop creation a try? I think these little guys are THE CUTEST things ever! Just look at them all cozy and bundled up in their parkas/jackets with fur-lined hoods. The little pink rosey cheeks make them look like they just came in from the chilly weather outside.

 

You will need the following items:

• round cake balls (click here to learn how to make cake pop balls)
• white chocolate wafers
• white chocolate wafers colored in orange candy color (drop 1 drop at a time and mix until your desired color is achieved) — This is for making a light peach color. Use different candy color if you want the tanned skin.
• green candy melt
• brown chocolate wafers
• shredded coconut
• mini pink sprinkles
• toothpicks
• styrofoam block
• black Americolor edible pen
• pink Americolor edible pen (optional — only if you want to draw in pink cheeks)
• small clear bags and ribbon to package your cake pops (optional)

1 – Dip a lollipop stick into some candy melt and stick it into the cake ball.
2 – Dip the face area into the peach-colored candy.
3 – Dip the rest of the cake ball into the green candy melt. Use a toothpick to cover the chin area. Let it dry completely.
4 – With a toothpick, coat the fur area around the face (approximately 1/4″ thick) with white chocolate wafers and stick shredded coconut on it. Add another layer of white chocolate wafers and shredded coconut to build up the fuzziness. Let it dry completely.
5 – With a toothpick, draw on the hairstyle of your choice using brown chocolate wafers.
6 – Draw on the eyes and mouth with a black edible pen.
7 – Stick 2 mini pink sprinkles on the cheek area. You can also draw on the cheeks with a pink edible pen rather than using sprinkles.

 

Here’s the back view. ♥

Here’s the front view. ♥

Give this tutorial a try and let me know how it goes. Good luck!

Father’s Day Cupcake Ideas

Celebrating Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a day for children of any age to honor their father. Fathers are very special men, who, along with mothers, share the responsibility for building and maintaining the family. There are many ways in which to show thankfulness to fathers on Father’s Day. At Scrumps Cupcakes we want to help honor your Father with a box of our delicious cupcakes. These are not your average sprinkled cupcakes, these are what I like to call Man-Cakes.


A Little History About Father’s Day

After the war, he remained in western Arkansas near Fort Smith in a township called Marion which was located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. In 1865, William married Elizabeth L. Harris and had five children with only four surviving infancy. Elizabeth died in 1878. Shortly thereafter, in 1880, William married Ellen Victoria Cheek Billingsley. Ellen had been married before and had three children from the previous marriage. After the wedding vows were said, William and Ellen counted eight as the number of children combined through their marriage.6 During their marriage, William and Ellen had an additional six children together bringing the total number of children to fourteen.

One of William’s and Ellen’s children was Sonora Louis Smart, born on February 18, 1882, in Jenny Lind, Sebastian County, Arkansas. In 1889, when Sonora was 7 years old, William decided to move his entire family across the country, via train, to a town near Spokane, Washington, called Wilbur.

Nine years later in 1898, when Sonora was 16 years old, her mother, Ellen died to unknown reasons. As an older daughter among all her siblings, Sonora assisted her father by caring for her younger brothers. She continuously observed her father and how he spent endless hours caring for and raising all the children while working diligently trying to give them a better life. As Sonora sacrificed part of her life in helping to care for her siblings, she easily understood and admired her father’s sacrifice for all the children.

On November 4, 1899, Sonora married John Bruce Dodd. At a Mother’s Day service celebrated at the Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, Washington, Sonora began thinking about a day to celebrate fathers. As she honored her father so much, she felt that a perfect day for this celebration would be on William’s birth date of June 5th.

Sonora’s petition to hold Father’s Day on June 5th, 1910 was submitted too late for the Ministerial Alliance to adjust their sermons. The celebration would be held but the date would be June 19th of 1910. The sermon was “…presented by Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm at Sonora’s church, Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church).”

In 1913, Congress introduced a bill to establish each first Sunday of June as a day to recognize fathers. Congress voted the bill down. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson attempted to make Father’s Day an official day of celebration by attending and speaking at the Father’s Day service in Spokane, Washington. However, Congress turned the bill down once again. President Calvin Coolidge tried in 1924 to nationalize Father’s Day but again, the day was not supported by Congress.

In 1966, “President Lyndon Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.”8 President Richard Nixon, in 1972, “established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the 3rd Sunday of June each year.”

Celebrate Independence Day Cupcakes for the 4th of July

Time to celebrate the Independence Day. Going to a family gathering or cookout, well take a box of Scrumps Cupcakes with you. Nothing say Yummy… like Scrumps Cupcakes.

 

Celebrate Independence Day

Independence Day is a day of family celebrations with picnics and barbecues, showing a great deal of emphasis on the American tradition of political freedom. Activities associated with the day include watermelon or hotdog eating competitions and sporting events, such as baseball games, three-legged races, swimming activities and tug-of-war games.

Many people display the American flag outside their homes or buildings. Many communities arrange fireworks that are often accompanied by patriotic music. The most impressive fireworks are shown on television. Some employees use one or more of their vacation days to create a long weekend so that they can escape the heat at their favorite beach or vacation spot.

Independence Day is a patriotic holiday for celebrating the positive aspects of the United States. Many politicians appear at public events to show their support for the history, heritage and people of their country. Above all, people in the United States express and give thanks for the freedom and liberties fought by the first generation of many of today’s Americans. The Statue of Liberty is a national monument that is associated with Independence Day.
Public life

Independence Day is a federal holiday. If July 4 is a Saturday, it is observed on Friday, July 3. If July 4 is a Sunday, it is observed on Monday, July 5. Government offices and schools are closed. Some businesses may be closed as well. In some years, many employees use a proportion of their vacation days to create a long weekend. This can cause congestion in some places, particularly towards popular holiday destinations.

About Independence Day

In 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was first published two days later on July 4, 1776. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776. Delegates began to sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. In 1870, Independence Day was made an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for them.

The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” throughout the United States. However, the term “Independence Day” was not used until 1791.

Flag Day Cupcakes

Celebrate Flag Day with an assortment of Scrumpscakes Cupcakes.

The official Flag Day observance is on June 14th of each year. Flag Day is a time to respect the flag, to celebrate its origin, and to honor those who created the first flag. The flag flies over the United States to remind us that we are one nation, a nation under God; to remind us that we are a nation that is indivisible; and to remind us each day of those who fought to protect all who live within this nation. Written by Francis Bellamy, The Pledge of Allegiance states clearly the pledge to the flag and to the nation: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

History

The American Revolutionary War began in 1775 between the colonies of the new world and Great Britain. The war was fought over the issue of taxation. During the early and middle 1700’s, Great Britain began taxing the colonies with Acts such as the Sugar Act of 1764, Currency Act of 1764, Stamp Act of 1765, Townshend Acts of 1767, Tea Act of 1773, Coercive Acts of 1774, New England Restraining Act of 1775 and many more. By 1775, the colonies had become frustrated with ‘taxation without representation’ from Great Britain.

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, war broke out between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain. A problem arose on the side of the colonies as there was not a united military force. Each individual colony had its own volunteer military force to battle the small skirmishes. In order to fight a large war, however, military cohesiveness between all the colonies was needed. On June 15th, 1775, George Washington was appointed the Commander-in-Chief of the military by the Second Continental Congress; Washington’s commission date was June 19th, 1775.1 “He accepted and served throughout the war without any compensation except for reimbursement of expenses.”2

When the war began and because of the lack of unity throughout the colonies, different flags were flown in different sections of the colonies. Some examples included the “‘Rattlesnake Flag’ used by the Continental Navy. Another naval flag had a green pine tree on a white background. Other flags were quite similar to Britain’s Union Jack or incorporated elements of it.”

Stars and Stripes

The Stars and Stripes flag contains the colors red, white and blue. There is no record known as to why these colors were chosen for the flag. “However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”8

There were, and still are, thirteen stripes on the flag. The colors of the stripes alternate red and white. Beginning with the red color on top, there are seven red stripes and six white stripes. Located in the upper left corner of the flag is a rectangular shaped blue section. The first flag contained thirteen white stars within the blue section placed in a circular design. Currently, there are fifty white stars within the blue section placed on a diagonal line design.

As stated previously, the first official flag contained thirteen stars sewn in a circular design within the blue section. There is no definite answer as to why the stars were placed in a circular manner. Some suggest that the circular design was chosen so that all colonies would be considered equal; others suggest the circular design was created as a new constellation such as those found in heaven. Whatever the reason, the importance of the stars was that each star represented one of the original thirteen original colonies. The original thirteen colonies were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. The remaining stars were added as a new state was accepted into the nation.

Flag Day

The originator of Flag Day is Bernard J. Cigrand. Born on October 1st, 1866 in Waubeka, Wisconsin, Cigrand was the last of six children born to Luxembourg immigrants, Nicholas and Susan Cigrand. “Inspired by his father, young Cigrand displayed an early interest in American history. He was a devout patriot with a great love of the flag of our nation.”

While attending dental school, Bernard also taught elementary classes at Stony Hill School located in Waubeka, a small town located approximate 34 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Because of his love for the Stars and Stripes flag, Bernard began his quest to create an annual flag day to observe the importance of the American flag. He wrote many articles and spoke at many events pertaining to the importance of celebrating the flag. “In June 1886 he made his first public proposal for the annual observance of the birth of the flag when he wrote an article titled ‘The Fourteenth of June’ in the Old Chicago Argus newspaper.”

Flag Day celebrations began to be held around the country with the first celebration held in Chicago, Illinois on June 16th, 1894, the third Saturday of the month. More than 300,000 children attended the celebration. During the following years, Flag Day celebrations continued to be observed on the third Saturday of the month of June.

As June 14th was the day the Second Continental Congress officially declared the national flag to be the Stars and Stripes, it was agreed upon by many governors and delegates in the early 1900’s that June 14th of each year should be nationally adopted as the official Flag Day of the nation. In 1916, “.President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day as an annual national event.”11 Thirty-three years later in August of 1949, Harry S. Truman signed into law the National Flag Day observance to occur on June 14th of each year. The National Flag Day observance is not a federal holiday; it is just an observance.