10 Helpful Honeymoon Packing Tips

The wedding is over and now it’s time to bask in the warmth of newlywed bliss.  It’s honeymoon time! The last thing you want on your honeymoon is to worry if you packed adequately for the trip.  Just like planning a wedding, getting ready for the honeymoon will ensure you are prepared and leave you stress free.  It’s important to start packing early and research your destination well before hand in case you need to buy any additional items.  We’ve compiled 10 useful tips to help make packing for your honeymoon a breeze!

1. Check the weather.  Research your destination to get a sense of the weather during the season of your visit.  This way you will not be caught off guard by the variances in your destination’s weather

2. Expect the unexpected.  The thing about traveling is that you can never be certain of what to expect when you get there.  That is why it’s important to pack at least one out of season outfit.  If you go to a tropical place pack a warmer outfit just to be safe, etc.

3. Chargers!  Do not forget your chargers.  Whether they be camera, computer or phone chargers make sure you pack the right chargers.  You will want to capture every special moment exploring a new place with your husband, so pack those chargers.

4. Check in with your family.  Before you leave, send your family members the itinerary for your trip.  This ensures they know where you will be should any unforeseen incidents occur.  This will ease the worries of loved ones while ensuring your safety as well.

5. Medicine cabinet. You don’t know how your body is going to react when you visit a new place so it’s nice to have some basic medications on hand.  Travel size aspirin and allergy medication. Tums and Eye drops are a great start to a basic medicine travel kit.  Feel free to add other medicines, depending upon your location and the activities you have planned.

6. Get organized.  A few days before the wedding gather all the necessary paperwork, tickets, identification, and money you need for the trip.  Pack it into your honeymoon suitcase so you guarantee you won’t forget anything.

7. The great outdoors.  Pack the clothes you will need for any outdoor activities.  That could be hiking, biking or even just laying by the pool.  Don’t forget your running shoes! Not only are they practical but they are so comfy!

8. Toiletries. Designate one of your carry ons for toiletries.  Must haves: toothbrush, hairbrush, sunscreen, toothpaste, lotion, tampons, hair products and razor. Try to buy travel size when you can and pack well because you don’t want to be left searching for a store.

9. Contraception.  This is important if pregnancy is not on your immediate to do list.  Assure your prescriptions are filled and the proper contraception bought ahead of time.

10. Store the bling.  Bring something to store your rings in when you have to take them off.  For example, you might not want to wear your ring while snorkeling or doing any sort of strenuous activity.  Bring something you use to hide your ring inside your suitcase or hotel safe.

Happy Honeymooning!

2014 Kick Off: Ask the Chief Editor Anything

Another year is in the books and 2013 will be looked back as an incredible year at Bridal Hot List. We celebrated our first year, and each and every day we are growing in our followers and readers. We are so thankful for what the year brought, and look forward to 2014! To kick off the year, the writers of Bridal Hot List were encouraged to write in and ask the Chief Editor of the site anything at all. Here is the Q&A…

Q. How did you get into wedding business?

A.  I took a class at a local college about the “Business of Weddings” where I learned about weddings and the wedding planning industry. It was one my favorite classes, and was so much fun to attend! I quickly became more interested and was an assistant to the top two wedding planners in Orange County. I was an assistant for a year, and learned the ropes until I felt that was ready to go out on my own.  It has been a great time so far, and look forward to 2014 weddings!

Q.  What is your favorite thrifty wedding trick?A. One of my favorite and easiest budget saving tricks is simple – Create your very own wedding invitations. This is a great place to save money!  If you are on a really tight budget, then skip the “Save the Date” cards and instead you can email your guests and include a link to your personal wedding website, which are free! If you have good handwriting and the skill of arts & crafts, making invitations will be a perfect way for you to save money.  A stack of embellished cardstock at JoAnn’s Fabric cost $19.99 and can make about 35 invitations. Or if you are  not the crafty type, you can customize and design the invitations at VistaPrint.com for as low as $3.99 for 10.

Q. What event would you like to see Bridal Hot List be a part of in 2014? A. There are so many amazing events, but I would have to say the one that I would love BHL to be a part of would be New York’s Bridal Fashion Week. I am in love with all things wedding, but bridal gown trends are my favorite and it would be so great to have first look into all the bridal gown trends. I would LOVE to be part of this!

Q. What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever seen at a wedding? Was there any way someone could have prevented it?A.  I have to say the biggest mistake I have seen is when a bride insisted to have her ceremony outside when it was a 95% chance of rain on that day. She insisted that she have it outside because they wanted an ocean-view. Even though a tent was going to be up, and the ocean-view will not be seen with the rain and all, they went on with an outside ceremony.  When the day came, it poured hard, and it was very cold inside. Heaters were not allowed inside the tent due to Fire Marshall standards. So it was a beautiful ceremony… but cold, wet, and with no ocean view. It could have been totally prevented by going with Plan B, and moving the ceremony inside where it was warm and cozy for the couple and their guests. But at the end of the day, it is the bride’s decision, and no matter what, you have to support that. (even it may not be the right one)
Q. What new features on the site are you hoping to implement in 2014 that readers can get excited about?

A. We are hoping to add a more mobile friendly feature, making our articles even easier to view for our readers. We are also going to add interviews and live seminars where readers can ask us anything about weddings! We want to make it even more personal for our readers out there.

Q. Can I get away with not wearing a white wedding dress?

A. Totally!! If you are a traditional bride and want to rock out in something non-white, then go for it! These days, brides are wearing colors of blush, red, and even black. Yes, black, the total opposite of white. A wedding gown is reflective of a bride’s personality, and as long as it doesn’t clash with the venue, then wearing a non-white gown is fine.

Q. Do you have any flower suggestions for people with allergies?

A. We asked our friend and florist Sussanna Davidson from French Buckets  to help us with this one! Here is what she told us: I would say any floral with no scent.  Calla lilies and roses that have been in a green house and not scented.  Succulents are also a perfect choice.  Flowers that definitely needed to be avoided are: Stargazers, garden roses and flowers with lots pollen.  

Q. I’m bad in heels, how do I work around that for my wedding?

A.  You can opt to go with a shorter heel, and just make sure when you go to your alteration appointment, that you take those shoes with you, so they can make sure the dress is the right height. You would really not want to have your dress dragging all day. Actually, when I got married, I had to get shorter heel shoes, and they were not the prettiest shoes, but my dress was long and no one saw those shoes anyways! The key is to be comfortable. This is your wedding day, and you want it to be an incredible day!

Q. Is it tacky to register for more high priced gifts?

A. I think the best way to register gifts is to choose items from all price points. This will allow for your guests to have the option to choose a gift which best fits their budget. You do not want to force your guests to buy highly priced gifts if they can not afford it. So, yes you can totally register high priced gifts, because family members or those close to you will want to buy you something super nice to enjoy as a couple in your new home. Just think balance!


Q. Should I send thank you notes to everyone that attended my wedding, or just those who brought gifts?

A.  Saying ” Thank you ” at the wedding reception to all your guests that attended the wedding is good enough. Unless you have a destination wedding, where they had to travel long ways to attend, then a thank you card would be appropriate then. If you sent a thank you card to those that did not bring a gift, it may seem like you are fishing for a gift. You do not want to make anyone feel bad or guilty. Make sure to make your rounds during the reception to thank your guests for coming to your wedding.


Q.  What advice would you give someone who is planning their wedding on a tight budget?A. Hire a wedding planner! Wedding planners can help save couples money as they can help with setting a budget, and making sure they keep with in their budget. Most couples will set a budget, however they do tend to always go above that budget because things come up which they had not thought about. I always sit down with my couples and we go through a checklist of all possible items that  is needed for the wedding day, and then we priotorize each one based on whats important to the couple. When couples work with me from the beginining of their wedding day planning process, and we have set a budget together, we are always under that budget. The couple is happy and so are the parents… or whoever is paying for the wedding!

Q.  What is the most romantic honeymoon destination you have seen?

A. I know this may be obvious and not so surprising, but I have to say Kaui, Hawaii. This island is perfect for newlyweds. The island is small, with nothing but paradise bliss. What I love about this island is that is it simple, lovely, and very romantic. It may not have a whole lot of city life, but there is plenty of gorgeous surroundings to enjoy. Waterfalls, gorgeous mountain views, delicious foods, stunning beaches, Waimea Canyon, and lovely weather. After all the hustle and bustle of wedding day, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your loved one. If you want to have a little bit of city life, you can take a quick airplane ride into Oahu, Hawaii.

Five Tips on Who to Bring to the Bridal Appointment

Selecting your bridal gown is one of the key elements in your whole wedding. In fact, most decorations and themes are centered around the wedding gown itself! So it is important to choose the right one. This decision is so important, that people often want to bring their whole family to help them select one. But with these five tips, you’ll be better equipped to choose the select few to witness your gown selection process.

1. Yourself: This tip of bringing yourself may sound redundant, but it has a point. Remember that your gown choice is ultimately your own and not everyone else’s. Even though you would like to please everyone, it will be impossible to do so. With that being said, bring pictures of gowns you like to the appointment to ensure that you get to try on what you want to try on. Bring an open mind, and resolve in yourself to stand your ground if you end up finding a gown that doesn’t meet everyone’s approval. Bring yourself, your opinion, your likes, and your voice. Remember that you are the most important one on this special day, so don’t let anyone deter you from your vision.

2. Mom: For most girls, it is important for them to bring their mothers along when they try on dresses. It is a very special bonding moment, and you want to be able to share that with her. If you are unable to bring your mom, then bring the closest person to her; the motherly figure that you have in your life. She will greatly appreciate you wanting her to be a part of the occasion, and it will strengthen your relationship.

3. The Buyer: Often times, a good family friend, great aunt, or someone else will offer to purchase the dress for you or to contribute to the overall cost. It is courteous to invite the person who is going to pay for your gown along to your bridal appointment. It will help them to feel a part of the process, and feel more confident in contributing financially.

4. Friend: Shopping in general is always a lot of fun with your girlfriends, and trying on wedding dresses should be the most fun of all. Bring your best friend to the appointment, as she will be honest with you while still having your best interests at heart. Often times your best friend is your maid of honor, so you are still incorporating someone from the bridal party.

5. Limits: Trying on dresses is one of the things that most girls look forward to, and they want to make sure that they enjoy that experience. The bridal appointment can be really fun, as a long as you set limits. Do not feel obligated to invite your whole bridal party, or all of your cousins. Trying on dresses should be an intimate occasion with you and the few people that matter most. Less people will allow for less overwhelming opinions, and the focus will be on you and not on pleasing everyone. You want to walk down the aisle and surprise everyone in attendance, so don’t give too many people the full sneak peek.

Five Tips for Building Your Wedding Menu

One of the more fun parts of planning a wedding is getting to test run the menu! The most biggest day of your life should automatically come with the best meal of your life. Here’s a few tips to keep you en route to the dinner you deserve!

Don’t Starve Yourself

You should meet with your caterers with an appetite- but if you’re too hungry it’ll change the way you remember food! At the very least, have breakfast that fills you up but isn’t carb heavy. By giving your body something to run off of, you’ll meet your caterer much more level-headed.

Take Notes

In instances like this, it is completely acceptable to instagram your food! Take notes with each bite, writing down what the dish is, its’ consistency, flavor, and if you liked it or not. It can also help to take pictures so you can imagine how it will look against your linens and color palette. Make sure you write down whether or not your partner likes it too- it may be your big day, but you have to (at least) try to agree on food.


Bring a Friend (or two!)

Your wedding should be all about the couple, but just remember it’s an event for all your friends and family as well! As a couple, it could be a good idea to bring a friend (the best man or maid of honor, for instance) to call tie breakers on the menu or offer insight on appetizers. Just don’t bring too many people, you want to keep how awesome the food is close to heart until the big day!


Don’t Rush

Even if you’ve got your heart set on one specific caterer, it’s a good idea to ‘shop around’ and see what kind of caterers are out there. It can be easy when you’re stuffed full of crab cakes to want to say yes to the first caterer you see, but waiting can pay off. Make sure you make your most informed decision before putting down a deposit.


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you hate spicy, speak up! If you’re seeing lots of steak and are more of a seafood gal, let your caterer know. A wedding as a whole should accurately represent the couple it is celebrating. Your partner may have to have their favorite comfort food, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for yours! You and your partner should have say in the food and both be happy with the menu.


Five Tips for Having An Organized Wedding

Your wedding is going to be one of the most amazing experiences of your life- but also one of the most hectic. If you really want everything to go smoothly, you need to be prepared. Here at BHL, our goal is to always keep our brides taken care of and prepared for everything wedding related. We’ve got a few quick tips for all you blushing brides out there looking to avoid stress and be organized for their big day.

Hire A Planner

The best advice we have to give here at BHL? Hire a professional! Professional wedding planners are absolutely the best way to go for putting a wedding together. Not only will they take care of all the heavy lifting for you, they will guide you down the right path for organizing your perfect wedding. Our go-to gal? Niloufar Gibson, the mastermind of Perfectly Made Weddings in Southern California.

Create a Calendar

Grab yourself one of those huge desk calendars that have plenty of space to write in itineraries. This way, you can check to see what’s coming up at a quick glance. It keeps all your dates straight and helps give you and your fiance a sense of a timeline. Bonus points for keeping it color coded.

Keep It Together

Don’t keep stacks of wedding stuff here and there and everywhere! Many brides have binders that hold things like contracts, ideas, photos, everything wedding-related. Binders are easy because they can expand and tabs make it super easy to keep everything organized. You may want to consider getting a “bride bag”, or something similar, as well. That way, if you want to stash whole books, fabric samples, magazines, anything that wouldn’t fit in a binder.


Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go

Feel free to delegate! Yes, it is your day, but you should feel free to let go a little bit. For example, let yourself trust your maid of honor to keep your bridesmaids in check. Let your mom take over checking on family RSVPs. Feel free to trust your loved ones for your most beloved day.

Have a Countdown

Have something to remind yourself of what you’re working towards! Set an online countdown to your wedding date as your homepage up until the big day. Remember you’re working towards a goal date- it’ll keep everything in perspective and keep you looking forward!


Five Perfect Fall Wedding Palettes

Fall has become one of the most sought after season to host a wedding. From the mild and comfortable temperatures to the beautiful foliage arranged in rich and i inviting colors, no wonder Fall is the perfect time to have a rustic wedding.  Here are five stunning Fall color palettes that will add vibrancy to your big day. Ranging from light to dark, you can never go wrong with choosing one or the other. Lively, Radiant and Lush!




(Tulle & Chantilly Photography)

Emerald is the color of beauty and elegance that will bring harmony and balance because its rich and intoxicating tone.




(Tulle & Chantilly Photography)

Green is a softer shade of turquoise and can be paired with any type of pastel colors. It is an eye catching tone that combines Spring, Summer and Fall season. I love the idea of mixing bright colors with rustic details. Who says who can’t mix two seasons together?



(Tulle & Chantilly Photography)

This color scheme is very earthy and rustic at the same time. This is a great choice for Fall or rustic-barn theme because of its mild look. Carafe is a great tone if you want a neutral look that compliments the scenery, flowers, and overall setting. From the decors to dessert bar, you can never go wrong with this color because it matches well with everything!




(Tulle & Chantilly Photography)

The best way to incorporate “Something Blue” in your wedding. How cute is this? I love the tone because it is something beautiful, something preppy and something perfect! Get it?




(Tulle & Chantilly Photography)

Fuchsia or “Vivacious” is such a live color that will grab everybody’s attention. If you want to dress up your wedding in the color of love and romance, this color scheme is best choice for you! The tone is much more on the feminine side and screams fabulous. If your fiancé does not mind the bold color, why not?

So Bridal Hot List beauties, which color palette would you choose?

Customized Wedding Printed Eyewear from Promovizion

One of the best parts of my job is sharing hot wedding trends with you. Trends come and go and we want to keep you updated with all of the latest ones in the wedding industry. Today’s trend is all about the super fun things to do at weddings. These days, couples are always trying to find ways to incorporate a little bit of playfulness into their wedding day.   I recently attended the Wedding MBA (Merchant Business Academy) conference in Las Vegas, and while I was exploring the grand exhibit hall, my wedding-loving eyes caught a glimpse of a pair of amazing glasses. Not just any glasses, mind you – but a pair of  fun, sassy, and fabulous customized eyewear to make any wedding event a total blast! Just think, you could customize them with your wedding date or names! I am talking stylish, super cute, and fabulous glasses, too. As an admitted lover of wedding fun, I can’t help but get a little giddy when a company like Promovizion stops me in my tracks. Not only does this amazing company deliver the most fabulous customized printed eyewear for couples and their guests, but everything they do is with such detail and professionalism. Oh, and the owners are super sweet too. I enjoyed my short little interview we did with owner Aryel of Promovizion. See all he has to say about the fantastic glasses…

Make sure to check back with us soon for a chance to win yourselves a pair of these fabulous glasses!

Chief Editor Niloufar Gibson with Owner Aryel of Promovizion

BHL Chief Editor Niloufar Gibson with Owner Aryel of Promovizion

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About Promovizion

Promovizion‘s line of personalized, printed wedding glasses are an amazing way to throw some customized swag into your big day. Whether you’re sporting them in your photo booth pics, or handing them out as favors, they’re sure to be a huge hit. Slip on your specs, snap some photos and share away on Instagram and Facebook, so all your friends can see for themselves how truly awesome your Promovizion glasses are!

Interview with Cupcake Wars Winners from Season 9

Shhh, guess what? I have a secret which I have been keeping for months now and I super thrilled to finally share with you all! It is pretty hard to keep something so amazing a secret. I do not know how I did it, but I did, and I am proud of myself for doing it. What is the secret, you ask? You know I love desserts, right? Well, I love cupcakes even more, and when I had the chance to attend the filming of the season nine finale of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”, I almost fainted.  I am huge fan of the show and was so excited to attend the filming of such an incredibly fun show.  I really loved attending the “LA Bridal Bash”  hosted by legendary high-end wedding planner Kristin Banta. The swanky and chic event took place at the stunning rooftop of The London West Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California with some of the most amazing people in the wedding industry.   What was the best part about attending the event, besides indulging in some mouthwatering and delicious cupcakes? Meeting the winners! Yes, that is the secret I been hiding for months now. It was pretty cool to know who the winners were before they are revealed them on the season finale.  I was so impressed with the cupcakes and their workmanship, I wanted to know a bit more about the winners. So, a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela and Kaylee of HappyCakes Cupcakery. First of all, congratulations to them both for being crowned Cupcake Wars Champions!  You can imagine how thrilled I was for the opportunity to interview these lovely ladies, who took time from baking delicious cupcakes to answer a few questions.

Cupcake Wars Season Nine Winners

Cupcake Wars Season Nine Winners

Bridal Hot List:  Welcome to Bridal Hot List, Kaylee and Angela! First of all, congratulations on winning Cupcake Wars! That is super exciting! For those members of our audience first getting to know you, could you tell us how you got your start in the cupcake industry and how you ended up on the show?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: We actually began baking together a couple of years ago because of Cupcake Wars. We loved the show and always felt the need to be eating cupcakes while watching. This led us to try several different cupcakeries…always with unsatisfying results. We realized that there was no bakery in our city where we could find moist and not-too-sweet cupcakes, so we set out to bake our own! We worked for over a year to perfect the recipe, and all the while our friends and family encouraged us to open a business. Last September, we decided to go for it! We opened HappyCakes Cupcakery AND applied for Cupcake Wars! We ended up missing the cut-off date for Season 8, but applied for Season 9 as soon as casting opened. Getting the phone call from Cupcake Wars was a dream come true, and we are so thankful that we had this wonderful opportunity!!

Bridal Hot List: What was your experience like on being on the show? What were some of the biggest challenges?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: Being on Cupcake Wars was an AWESOME experience! The producers and everyone working on the show were incredible, and even during the most challenging times, we felt blessed simply to have been given the chance to be on The Food Network. What great exposure for our little company!

The biggest challenge was definitely being timed in every round! The clock is real, and time goes by faster than imagineable. We practiced baking cupcakes at home before going on the show, and we would time ourselves to see how quickly we could get done…but it could have never prepared us for the real experience! Secret ingredients, intense competitors, and cameras in your face all add up to an overwhelming and nerve-wracking challenge.

Bridal Hot List: Besides winning it all, what were some of the highlights of competing on Cupcake Wars?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: We became good friends with a couple of the producers, as well as our fellow competitors. It was such an unexpected pleasure that we got to make new friends while promoting our business. Obviously, meeting Candace, Florian, Justin Wilman, and Kristin Banta was a highlight! We were honored to meet such experts of the industry, and to hear some of their feedback on our work. Flying to LA for the filming of our show was so much fun! Kaylee and I get along so well, so any trip that we take becomes a wonderful adventure. We are so happy that we got to make this life-memory together.

Bridal Hot List: What were the winning cupcake flavors? Can you tell us about each one? How did you come up with each flavor? What was your inspiration?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: Cinnamon Mint: Snickerdoodle Cookie Base, Cinnamon cake, Cinnamon Honey Glaze, Mint Tea Buttercream. We came up with this flavor because we had to use two of the challenge ingredients (obviously we chose cinnamon and mint). We were inspired by a hot cup of tea, because we felt that we could successfully marry the flavors of cinnamon and mint by making a mint tea and using a bit of honey. We wanted to impress the judges by taking two flavors that were not an obvious pairing and combine them perfectly–and thankfully this cupcake was a huge success and helped us stand out in round one!

Salty and Sweet Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie: Pecan Cake, Salted Caramel Glaze, Whipped Chocolate Buttercream, Homemade Pie Crust Heart, Whipped Chocolate Buttercream, Salted Caramel Drizzle. The theme of our episode is “LA Bridal Bash,” so we wanted all of our cupcakes to be inspired by a wedding theme. This particular salty/sweet cupcake represented the idea of “opposites attract.”

Chocolate Espresso: Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Buttercream Filling, Espresso Buttercream, Chocolate Shell Drizzle. This cupcake was our “His and Hers.” We used the chocolate elements to represent the groom, and the lighter colors of the whipped filling and espresso buttercream to represent the bride. We also complemented this idea with the decorations (Mr. & Mrs. stamp, bowtie, and black wedding dress).

Coconut Cream: Coconut Cake, Cream of Coconut Buttercream. We decided to keep this cake a bit more simple, because white cake seems perfect for a wedding. But we wanted to give it a bit of a twist from the traditional white cake, and make it coconut! We were inspired partly by Kristin Banta’s love of traditional elements with modern and unexpected twists, and partly by the tropical honeymoon that often follows a wedding!

Bridal Hot List: I was lucky enough to attend the filming of the finale and got to try your cupcakes. My favorite cupcake that tasted, which I absolutely loved was the cinnamon, snickerdoodle with a mint tea frosting. What inspires you to create such a flavorful and oh-so-good flavor?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: As referenced above, we thought cinnamon and mint would be an unexpected pairing, but would not clash! In our house, we drink tea (often mint) with a spoonful of honey, cream, and a cinnamon sprinkle on top…and if it works in a mug, it should work in a cupcake! We chose to add snickerdoodles as a base to the cupcake because we knew that having another element that used cinnamon would help make that flavor even more pronounced. The judges expect to taste the challenge ingredients, so we worked very hard to make the flavors strong.

Bridal Hot List: Each season, the winning team has the opportunity to showcase the winning cupcakes at a special event. Can you tell us about this event?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: We had the honor of showcasing our cupcakes at an event hosted by Kristin Banta for some of LA’s top wedding vendors. We met some of the foremost people in the wedding industry, and loved sharing our cupcakes with them. Photographers, videographers, models, event coordinators, caterers, and more graced the rooftop of the London in West Hollywood.

Bridal Hot List: For future contestants that will be on the show one day, what advice do you have for them that you wish you knew before you went on?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: The promotion for your business is invaluable, so enjoy the process and don’t stress out too much! This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and worth all of the hard work that you put in to it. Also, make sure to push yourself! You will not regret doing your absolute best…go crazy with decorations, with your flavor choices, and (if you make it to the last round) with your display! The judges have seen almost everything that’s out there, so to really impress them you have to try to stand out.

Bridal Hot List: Overall, what lessons did you both learn with competing on Cupcake Wars and how did those lessons improve your skills?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: We learned how to communicate with each other better than ever before. We didn’t have the luxury of extra time to brainstorm or discuss solutions to problems, so we had to talk through what we could, and completely trust each other with what we couldn’t.

Bridal Hot List: Cupcakes are trending right now for weddings and many couples opt for cupcakes versus a wedding cake at their wedding. When did your team first notice this trend? What special arrangements can be done with “wedding cupcakes” that can’t be done with a traditional wedding cake?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: Before we opened our business, we were already noticing that cupcakes were becoming popular with weddings. As soon as we opened, we knew that one of our target audiences would be brides, and we generated an abundance of interest. Brides and wedding guests love the versatility of cupcakes. Cupcakes offer a variety of flavors per wedding, whereas wedding cake is limited to its individual layers. Cupcakes can also be displayed in a number of ways: tiered stands, ladders, vintage bookcases, etc. Cupcakes are basically mini cakes with lots of options, and so we believe that this trend will never go out of style.

Bridal Hot List: What has been the most bizarre cupcake creation request you’ve received? If you ended up doing it, how did it turn out? I imagine there are quite a few requests that you turn down. Could you share a story about a job you ended up turning down, and why?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: The most bizarre flavor that has ever been requested of us was a Peanut Butter, Sharp Cheddar, and Bacon cupcake. We decided to attempt it, and thankfully we had very tasty results! The cheddar flavor wasn’t very prominent, but aside from that the cake was moist and overall tasted very delicious! Aside from this, we do not receive very many odd requests, mainly because our menu has over 40 flavors so there is something for everyone!

Bridal Hot List: We want to hear from you to find out what’s trending this year heading into the fall wedding season. What are the top three most popular flavors for wedding cupcakes in Fall 2013? Are there any flavors you think brides should be thinking about that aren’t on that list?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: Our top three most popular cupcakes for weddings this Fall are: Maple Pecan Pie (with homemade pie crust topping!), S’mores, and Caramel Apple.

We have a new cupcake named the “Hot” Chocolate. It is a little bit spicy because of the cayenne in the cake, but is topped with a cooling layer of whipped chocolate buttercream and whipped vanilla cream. Absolutely perfect for Fall, and perfect for the slightly adventurous bride! Apple Pie is another flawless Autumn cupcake: snickerdoodle cookie base, cinnamon cake, homemade apple pie filling, cinnamon buttercream, homemade caramel drizzle, topped with a mini snickerdoodle cookie. We think either of these flavors would compliment any of this season’s wedding receptions.

Cupcakes are a great choice for weddings, and even though every bride has different tastes, as long as you choose a good range of flavors, you are sure to be pleased! Make sure that there is always a chocolate option, something with a vanilla cake base, and then possibly something fruity or peanut butter-y or caramel-y. This will ensure that all guests at the wedding have their sweet tooth satisfied.

Bridal Hot List: Has competing on Cupcake Wars improved your business?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: It has brought us a tremendous amount of exposure and allowed us to start pursuing our dream of having a storefront. When we competed on Cupcake Wars we were an online-only bakery, but we now sell our cupcakes out of a “temporary” storefront, and have our eyes on a permanent one!

Bridal Hot List: Now that you have won, what is next for you both?

HappyCakes Cupcakery: We are working very hard to open our new storefront within the next 6 months. We want HappyCakes Cupcakery’s storefront to feel like a second home to our customers…where we can share our cupcakes, and our happiness, with the people of our wonderful city. Then, down the road, we hope to begin shipping so that we can share our happycakes nationwide.


Kaylee and Angela with Event  Planner Kristin Banta.

Kaylee and Angela with Event Planner Kristin Banta.

Cinnamon Mint Cupcake.  Photo by Bridal Hot List

Cinnamon Mint Cupcake.
Photo by Bridal Hot List

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake Photo by Bridal Hot List

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake
Photo by Bridal Hot List

Coconut Cream Cupcake Photo by Bridal Hot List

Coconut Cream Cupcake
Photo by Bridal Hot List

Salty and Sweet Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie Cupcake Photo By Bridal Hot List

Salty and Sweet Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie Cupcake
Photo By Bridal Hot List

Niloufar, Owner and Chief Editor of Bridal Hot List with the Cupcake Wars Winners

Niloufar, Owner and Chief Editor of Bridal Hot List with the Cupcake Wars Winners


Here are some beautiful and lovely cupcakes that have been created by HappyCupcake Cakery: Oh, Just so pretty!




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BHL Vendor Hot Pick: Love Me Sweets

The week continues with some incredible tasty treats at BHL headquarters.  We have to admit,  we are in total love and kind of obsessed with sweets. I personally have a sweet tooth, and always ready to dive into something new and savory. So when something sweet and amazing landed in our inbox, we were beyond happy and in total heaven. Sweet heaven that is.  Yep it is that kind of  day. We are talking  about mouthwatering, lip smacking, to-die-for desserts. So, if you are  just getting back from lunch or an afternoon snack, we like to share some delightful and lovely cakes and cupcakes for your wedding loving hearts…or dessert loving hearts. We’ve got Love Me Sweets here to make your afternoon a bit sweeter, and your sweet cravings fully satisfied. Ashleigh Clesceri is a fantastic and very  talented cake designer based out of Orange County, California.  These desserts are not only beautiful, but they are so incredibly delicious, that our eyes roll back in our heads. At first, it took me a moment to bite into one of these. Why you ask? I know right? My sweet loving heart was dying to taste the goodness, but the design and pretty details stole my heart.  That is why we  had to devote an entire afternoon for admiring, loving, and drooling. You can see why we have picked Love Me Sweets for our vendor hot pick!  Make sure you save enough time to read all that Ashleigh says about her desserts, before your sugar-induced coma sets in. She is such a lovely gal! bridal-hot-list-vendor-hot-pick-150


Shay and Monique Taylor Photography

Shay and Monique Taylor Photography

Shay and Monique Taylor Photography

Shay and Monique Taylor Photography

Julie Irene Photography

Julie Irene Photography

Julie Irene Photography

Julie Irene Photography



Jamie Davis Photography

Jamie Davis Photography

Richelle Dante Photography

Richelle Dante Photography

Happy Photos

Happy Photos


About Love Me Sweets

Love Me Sweets is a baking company, owned and operated by Ashleigh Clesceri.  She specializes in wedding and all occasion cakes, gourmet cupcakes, and desserts.

Inspired by her mother, Charlene, who also is a baker and artist, Ashleigh learned as a young girl how to bake and decorate cakes. Starting in 1999 she began entering the Orange County Fair, and became an award winning cake decorator for over 10 years. Her love for culinary arts grew to create Love Me Sweets, where you can find delicious yet beautiful baked goods.  Ashleigh, being a bikini fitness competitor, also enjoys creating healthy desserts for those that want to “Have their cake and eat it too!”  With weddings being a passion of hers, she loves to help the bride and groom create the perfect wedding cake.  Creating customized cake flavors, filling, and a one of a kind designs.  Ashleigh also creates stunning dessert tables, to help make the day extra wonderful and delicious! She looks forward in planning her own wedding dream some day! 


Five Tips for a Successful Bridal Shopping Experience

Searching for your dream dress should be one of the most enjoyable times of your whole wedding experience. Sometimes though, the experience may seem to be a little overwhelming. These five tips will help to alleviate any stress you may encounter, and make the event more memorable and pleasurable for you and everyone else involved.

1. Research: It is always beneficial to do some research prior to going to your bridal appointment. Search on different designer websites or Pinterest in order to familiarize yourself with the different styles that are available. Then, narrow down your style choices to a select few and bring supporting pictures to your appointment. This gives your consultant a better idea as to what style you are looking for, and will enable them to suggest similar styles for you.

2. Time: Be sure to give yourself enough time to look for a wedding gown; and by time, I mean months! There are a few manufacturers that can accommodate quick weddings, but most designers need at least 3-6 months. If you do any custom or length changes, you can expect your gown to take even longer. You will also need to plan ahead for having alterations and steaming done on your gown – all which take a few weeks or more depending on the store. You want to be sure to get a dress that you love, so give yourself enough time to find the perfect dress for you.

3. Company: The more people you bring to an appointment, the more opinions you will have to deal with. As a consultant, I suggest that you bring 2-3 people at the most with you. Dress shopping is an exciting experience, but it can take a detour when you try to include everyone and have their approval. It isn’t possible to please every single person, so do not try to do so. It is best to surprise everyone on the day of your wedding. When you are walking down that aisle, people won’t be wondering what your other dress options were. Instead, they will be focused on you and how happy you look. They will see how your dress compliments you, your personality, and your theme. I’ve noticed that most brides are able to express their likes and dislikes better when they bring a few people to their appointment.

4. Shopping: Visiting a few different stores allows brides to see what types of gowns are available to them. With that being said, you want to stay balanced and not try to go to every store possible. Going to numerous dress stores in a short period of time will make you feel overwhelmed and confused. Designers are constantly coming out with new gowns and designs, so you could essentially look for a dress forever. Visit a few different stores to formulate what it is that you like and then narrow those choices down. It would be best to space out your appointments instead of visiting three different shops in one day. Doing so can overwhelm you as a bride and prevent you from wanting to make a decision.

5. Open-Minded: Even though I recommend doing some personal research, I highly recommend that you keep an open-mind at your appointment. I have found that the majority of brides leave our store with a gown that was the complete opposite of what they had originally envisioned. Bridal consultants know the dresses in their store and know what looks good on certain body types. Just be open to suggestions and be willing to try something on that you normally would not have picked yourself. If your consultant suggests a gown, at least try it on. You may be surprised! It is always a fun experience when the consultant ends up choosing the bride’s gown. You are still entitled to your opinion though, so it is fine if you do not like their pick. Your experience will flow a lot better as long as you are open to suggestions. Consultants love their job, and they want to ensure that you look your absolute best on the most important day of your life!