Divine Details

Wedding Cake Tasting and Design

Spencer Special Events - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Planning your wedding cake is a yummy detail that we adore working on here at Spencer Special Events. We work with the areas most talented, sought after and acclaimed cake bakers and designers in the Lowcountry. Namely, we work with Minette Rushing of Savannah Custom Cakes. Minette is so sought after, she now only works on a referral basis. She's designed, baked, and executed some of the most divine cakes for our Spencer Special Events brides and her claim to fame is her exceptional hand crafted sugar flowers. We sat down with Minette to get all the scoop a bride needs for her wedding cake!

Where do you start? 
Designing your cake and the highly anticipated tasting usually occurs later in your wedding planning process, about 2 to 3 months before the big day. Minette likes to create cakes that are reflective of the details of your wedding, so typically your floral design is complete, your dress is purchased, and your wedding invitation is designed. Using these design elements, Minette designs a cake that is reflective of your wedding details for a cohesive wedding design. 

Where else do you draw inspiration?  
If brides have found a cake in a magazine or on Pinterest that they love, Minette is happy to use it for inspiration but always ensures that her brides cakes are completely unique. (No copying done here!) Once she's seen those details such as your flowers, invitation or dress, Minette sketches! She's always working and finds inspiration everywhere.

"I recently was at the Ritz Carlton Spa in Orlando," says Minette. "As I was sitting there with my friend, I saw some drapes that were beautiful.  I thought now THOSE would make a fabulous cake design. I am inspired by everything around me!"

What can you expect at your cake tasting? 
Minette usually makes 6 mini cakes (1 x 2" or 2 x 2") of some of her favorites including vanilla bean cake, sour cream pound cake (our favorite!!), red velvet, chocolate with kahlua fudge filling, carrot cake, or banana cake. Typically the spice cakes are seen more in the Fall or Winter. You also have a selection of fillings from which to choose! The tasting is typically held at your reception location when you come to town for your menu tasting!

How much cake do you need? 
The amount of cake you need depends on a variety of factors and with Minette's experience and Spencer Special Events planning, we can help determine the amount of cake that's right for your wedding. We will ask questions such as "What time is the cake being cut?" If it's later in the night, you don't necessarily need cake per person. We will also want to know if you are having a dessert bar or other sweets. If you are, you also probably don't need cake per person. Lastly, the size of the wedding is an obvious determining factor. The smaller the wedding, you will likely need cake per person. The larger the wedding, you can bet that not everyone will be eating cake.

What are sugar flowers? 
So many of Minette's Custom Cakes use sugar flowers, a signature trademark of a Custom Cake. Minette is a pioneer in the industry with her YouTube tutorial videos getting thousands of hits. She now primarily focuses on teaching classes to other cake designers in the country and has a partnership class with Sweet Genius, Ron Ben Isreal. Her designs have been published in Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart, Savannah Wedding Magazine, Occasions Magazine, and many others. Here's a look of some of her gorgeous wedding cake designs and a close up of the incredible sugar flowers that she did for Weston and Rhoades wedding last fall. Can you believe these flowers are made of sugar?

Here's a look at some more of Minette's creations!

To learn more about Minette Rushing, Savannah Custom Cakes you can visit her website! We hope we've given you some valuable wedding cake information and as always, we are happy to answer any question you might have! 

All about The Tasting!

Spencer Special Events - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Today's post is a subject that's near and dear to our hearts and all of our client's: food! Over the years we have had the incredible opportunity to taste some delicious bites by the best in the business! Many of our couples and their families are very curious from the beginning how to plan their wedding menus, and how the tasting process all works. We consulted with the exceptionally talented and kind Chef Robert Wysong at Colleton River Plantation Club, to bring you exactly what you should expect at your highly anticipated food tasting!

(Photo by Landon Jacob Productions)

How on earth do you choose your wedding reception menu?

The first step in planning your wedding day menu (and a few weeks before the tasting) is  to review those catering menus! For example at Colleton River Plantation Club, Erica and of course, Amanda at Spencer Special Events will share with you the pages and pages of menu ideas. From hors d'oeuvres to salads, plated entrees to party stations, pastries and desserts to late night party snacks, there are hundreds of options from which to choose. We can help steer you in a direction based on style, tastes, and feel you are looking for with your cuisine, you are also encouraged to brain storm with your family and share any ideas of your own!

We can also help recommend the right style of catering based on your size of wedding. At Colleton River Plantation Club with parties of 120-150, dishes can be prepared a la minute. They are cooked, plated and finished right before it reaches your table. For larger parties, the Chef can recommend particular menu items that are cooked and designed to perfection before they reach your plate, too!

Once you have narrowed down your selection, we will work with you and the catering manager to plan your tasting, which is such an incredibly exciting day! You are truly in for a culinary treat. Make sure you don't eat before you come, and prepare to sit back in a private dining room, have a glass of wine or beer, and just relax. You will receive a printed menu of what's being served.  We will give you a pen and make sure to take notes! This day is truly a preview of the service and food you can expect on your wedding day, and a great opportunity to make it yours.

How much food do you get at the tasting?

Typically for the tasting, families select anywhere between 5, 8 or 10 hors d'ouevres to try. In the hors d'ouevres portion of the tasting, each person gets one bite (no sharing necessary!) For salads, you can expect to see three different options and depending on how many people are at the tasting, you'll likely share a salad. For your entree, the Chef will generally prepare three options from which to choose. If there are 4 people at the tasting, Chef Robert will prepare two of each dish.This is enough to really taste and see how the food is presented and not so much that you are eating three entrees (after salads and hors d'ouevres.)

If you are interested in pastries, decadent desserts, or late night snacks, Chef Robert will also bring them out to you to see and taste. He's serving fantastic shoe string truffle french fries, mini buffalo chicken sandwiches on brioche bread, mini cheese steak sandwiches, milk shake shooters, cronuts and so many other fun late night treats! Though you may be incredibly full, this is a fun addition to your tasting and usually a favorite for the groom!

Here are a few of Chef Robert Wysong's amazing creations! Photos by Landon Jacob Productions.


At Colleton River Plantation, the cost of the bride and groom to taste the food is included in your venue package but this will vary depending on where your reception is being held. Additional family members or friends are welcome but oftenbilled per person by the food item, and are included in your final food costs on the day of the wedding. Your tasting is a small investment for a big portion of your big day! 

Special Requests

Be sure to take good notes at the tasting and give us your feedback immediately, or a few days after your tasting, too. Chef Robert is very accomodating and feels strongly that it's "your day." If you have special requests or menu suggestions, he's truly happy to work that into your menu. Also before and after your tasting is a great time to bring up allergies, dietary restrictions of your guests, or needs for vegan/vegetarian options.  Colleton River Plantation Club takes those requests seriously and does all that they can to make sure each guest leaves feeling more than satisfied!

Food Ideas

Chef Robert Wysong is truly an artist when it comes to his food. He shared with us some of his recent works of art that we just had to share in these behind the scenes snapshots! Review the catering menus, work with us at Spencer Special Events, and brainstorm what you'd like to have on YOUR big day!

We hope these have given you some great ideas and information about what to expect on your wedding menu tasting. Bon Appétit!

Marriage License in South Carolina

Spencer Special Events - Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Planning your wedding is such an incredibly exciting time and boy, do we have fun planning with our couples and their sweet families! The wedding weekend design, the cake tasting, choosing the right entertainment – it’s all so much fun it would be easy to neglect some of the more mundane details that are so important. But have no fear! Spencer Special Events is here to keep you on track with all those nitty-gritty details that you also need to focus on. And we are sure to keep you on track with one very big one: your marriage license. After all, this is what you are here to do! No matter how perfect everything else will be on your wedding day this piece of paper is an important detail you can't forget!

A marriage license is essentially a permit that recognizes your union legally in the United States. It allows you to file taxes together, get loans, apply for credit, and is used for many other legalities throughout your life together. It’s the legal icing on the cake of your wedding! Many couples find this process intimidating, but with a few simple steps, we can help you. (We are even friends with the sweet lady who accepts applications at the Beaufort County Probate Judge’s office!)

To get your marriage license, both parties need to appear in person at the Probate Judge office to file a written application right here on Hilton Head Island or in Beaufort. This is by appointment only (contact information listed below!) Spencer Special Events recommends that you do this during one of your planning visits in the Lowcountry, such as your tasting.  You should not wait until your wedding weekend to get this task done! We also suggest you sign a release form so that we can pick it up for you. That way it is one last thing you have to worry about packing for your wedding weekend and we have it to give to the individual performing your ceremony at rehearsal. When applying for a marriage license here in South Carolina, the process is relatively simple. Both of you will need to bring a drivers license or any other government issued ID.

Note that you do not have to be a resident of South Carolina to wed in this state. If you were previously married, no proof of divorce is required unless it was within the last 6 months a divorce decree is needed. You also do not need a physical and blood tests, required in some states, are NOT necessary in South Carolina.

The fee for a marriage license in our area is $50 for all county residence, $75 cash for state residents, and $95 cash for out-of-state residents.

Your application is a sworn statement of personal information and will be notorized and filed with the court.

There’s a 24 hour waiting period after the application is filed before the license can be picked up and the marriage can be filed. This is why we don’t recommend you doing it right before the wedding!

Ministers, priests, justices of the peace, or any other authorized official must complete the marriage license after your ceremony. They are required to give one copy to you and the other two copies must be returned to the county probate judge who issued it within 15 days of the marriage ceremony. Spencer Special Events works with the officiant’s to ensure the timely delivery to the probate judge. You should be enjoying your honeymoon and time with your husband, we will work to ensure your paperwork is filed properly after the ceremony!Once signed, there is no expiration date for your marriage license. Be sure to store it in a safe deposit box. However, if anything should happen to your marriage license, a copy of certificate of marriage can be obtained at:

                Office of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems
                South Carolina Department
                of Health and Environmental Control
                2600 Bull Street
                Columbia, SC 29201

The satellite office of the Beaufort County Probate Court is located on 539 William Hilton Parkway and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We can help make your appointment, or you can call directly: 843-255-5866. The Beaufort County Probate Court is located on 102 Ribaut Road, Beaufort and just 45 minutes from Hilton Head Island if this option works better for your schedule.

We hope that we have given you valuable information about obtaining a marriage license here in the Lowcountry! Please don’t hesitate to ask any other questions, Spencer Special Events is always here to help our couples through this process!