Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Cake

Nothing says a wedding like a tradition cake exchange between the two love birds. But sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and try something else of the sweet variety. Or maybe y’all are just not big cake fans.

Whatever the reason, we’re rounding up some of our favorite alternatives to the traditional wedding cake

1. Donut Wall

One of the biggest trends in wedding desserts right now is the donut wall. Use it as an accent to the main cake or treat it as the main event! What’s even more fun? There are so many play-on-word options you can use with donuts!

The Rutherford | Alternative Wedding Cakes

A “Hole” Lotta Love

Donut You Want One?

Donut Know What I’d Do Without You

Doughnut Leave Without Dessert

2. Cupcakes

Everyone loves miniature versions of the real thing, so why not serve mini cake aka cupcakes! With cupcakes, you can have multiple flavors to appease both bride and groom. Bonus points for arranging them to look like a real cake.

The Rutherford | Alternative Wedding Cakes
Meredith Beck Photography

3. Ice Cream

 Ice cream conveys a nostalgic memory so what better way to throw back to your formative years than an old-fashioned ice cream bar? Have an ice cream truck (our courtyard is perfect for this) come and serve your guest or DIY your own ice cream bar!

*via Style Caster

4. Pie

Are you having a fall-themed wedding? Try a pumpkin pie or apple pie as the main dessert! We love seeing this used in outdoor weddings, especially when served on our farmhouse tables.

The Rutherford | Alternative Wedding Cakes

You’ll be sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth!

Creating Your Own Signature Cocktail

Your wedding day is all about you and what YOU want the day to look like! Most couples usually put a lot of thought into flowers, food, and friends. But an out-of-the-box way to personalize another part of the celebration with your own cocktail!

Where to Start

What’s your typical going-out drink? Do you prefer a simple gin and tonic? Or something stronger like an old-fashioned? Perhaps you and your significant other bonded over a certain IPA. Why not serve that at the reception? It’s all about creating a day that you love!

The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail
Madison Grae Photography

Tie It to the Theme

The devil is in the details, and we love a subtle element that incorporates the overall theme of the evening.

Sometimes the glass in which the drink is served can spice up the drink and fit the mood of the evening. Tags and stirrers can also add to the visual appeal of a drink. It’s also an easy way to tie in your color scheme without having to dye the drink.

The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail
DiPietro Photography

 

Consider the food you’re serving and maybe incorporate a drink to compliment it! If you’re having a shrimp and grits bar, consider a southern-inspired cocktail.

Advice From the Pro

We chatted with one of our favorite bartenders, Jared, from Southern Libations, about how to get the most out of your bar!

First, a bit about what he does:

Southern Libations was founded on the idea that temporary bar set ups could be more than your typical line up of beer, wine, and spirits. They found a void and decided to be the company that offered specialty drinks for reasonable prices from a bar that would be an experience for the guests who saw and interacted with it. The drinks are an important part of any wedding reception but often couples and party hosts have no idea what to serve.

The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktails
DiPietro Photography

At Southern Libations, we provide a unique mobile bar service and enable guests to enjoy delicious custom cocktails made from fresh ingredients. We do a lot of weddings and have been able to add a unique touch to the couple’s day with our stylish mobile bars and custom drink selection. 

Signature Cocktails

He suggested that when it comes to crowd pleasing drinks, everyone has a different palate so to create at least two signature cocktails. 

Signature cocktails are a great way to add a personal touch to the bar at an event. For weddings, couples can customize the names to reflect their personalities. Where you really have the chance to go deeper and allow your guests to engage with your menu, is when you make a drink personal to you, your company, or the people you are gathering within celebration.

The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail
DiPietro Photography

This can also be turned into a “his and her” feature on the cocktail menu. A popular example would be a Moscow Mule (Vodka, lime, ginger beer) for the bride and an Old Fashioned (Bourbon, sugar, bitters) for the groom. From this selection, guests can still do standard two ingredient drinks with the spirits listed like bourbon/cola, vodka/tonic, etc. 

 The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail

Full open bars can provide guests with too many options. Focusing on 2-4 interesting cocktails makes the selection easier for the guests and makes the drink menu more personalized to the event. People will be more satisfied if they can start with a fairly limited number of high quality options, and go from there.  

Get Outside the Box

One unique concept that Southern Libations offers is putting cocktails on tap. Serving cocktails on draft speeds up bar service and ensures consistency with each drink. Many cocktails can easily be put on draft.

They love using Cannonborough All-Natural Craft Sodas out of Charleston—their line up includes Ginger beer, Raspberry Mint, Honey Basil, and Grapefruit Elderflower. From there, they combine your spirit of choice to the soda keg to create a unique cocktail on tap that can be served in under 6 seconds. Couples usually combine the cocktails on draft with a bubbly or beer on tap, or both. 

The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail
DiPietro Photography
The Rutherford | Signature Wedding Cocktail
DiPietro Photography

Having these drinks ready to serve straight from the tap cuts down on drink preparation time and keeps the line moving throughout the night. This also creates much less waste at the end of the night.

Let us know what you’re thinking about for your signature wedding cocktail!

– Audrey

Selfies with Brides

One of the fun traditions the owner of the Rutherford, Yasha has, is taking selfies with every bride!

In general, Yasha is pretty much the selfie queen. So it’s no surprise that when the Rutherford opened two years ago, Yasha started a tradition of taking selfies with all of the brides.

During the Rutherford’s first wedding season, Kaycee Hines’ wedding kicked off the month of May. It was only natural that she and Kaycee took a photo together.

From there, it just took off as a must-do on our event checklist. If Yasha knows she can’t be at the actual wedding, she’ll take on with couples during a planning meeting the week before. 

We love to become a part of a couple’s story and see all the planning and fun they have on their wedding day, and think of these selfies as a way to reminisce on all the excitement from their event.

What We’re Predicting for 2020 Weddings

2019 was (and still is!) all about bold colors (think: navy, blush, and gold), statement headpieces, and greenery everywhere.

Every single one of our brides incorporated their personal style into their weddings, and we always love to see how they put a twist on trends.

As weddings shift to a more natural yet personalized vibe, we’re predicting some of the upcoming trends to look for!

On Tap for 2020

1. Cornflower Blue and Gen Z Yellow

Unique color combinations are all the rage and we don’t see that dying down in the coming year. Unexpected pops of bright and bold hues will make your wedding stand out—and help you to express your personal style.

The Rutherford | 2020 Wedding Trends
Angela Zion Photography

 

2. Reception Entertainment

Receptions have become more than just dancing the night away. From photo booths to food board centerpieces, they’re only becoming more elaborate, and we’re excited to see what new ideas couples incorporate into their big day. Perhaps wedding scents or caricatures will become the new “it” entertainment at 2020 weddings?

The Rutherford | Taco Stand
DiPietro Photography

 

3. Eco-friendliness and Minimalism

This trend has been on the rise for years but it’s becoming even easier to implement environmentally-friendly aspects into your wedding. Using native flowers, sourcing local food, and printing invitations on recycled paper are all good starting points. Many couples are focusing on high-quality sustainable products rather than trying to incorporate every single trendy item.

The Rutherford | Wedding Invitations
Emily Bolt Photography

 

Let us know what you think will be next up for wedding trends!

– Audrey

Three Different Spaces = A Whole Evening of Events

Three Different Spaces = A Whole Evening of Events

Wedding day logistics are stressful! Let any-bride-to-be tell you. There are pictures and decorations and the ceremony and the reception and send-off. All of these moving parts, especially when you start moving places, can add more chaos to your big day.

The Rutherford can provide a solution to the crazy logistics of the day, especially when all parts of the day are done in our venue.

Wedding ceremonies typically either take place in our Brick Room, or, if the weather decides to cooperate, outside in the Courtyard. Both have beautiful backdrop options and plenty of room for guests to watch the ceremony unfold.

The Rutherford | Outdoor Wedding
Photo by Red Apple Tree Photography
The Rutherford | Brick Wedding
Photo by Madison Grae Photography

Following the ceremony, most brides choose to have their cocktail hour in the reverse of their ceremony—either the Courtyard or the Brick Room. This gives the couple plenty of time to take pictures after the ceremony while their guests mingle right next door.

The Rutherford | Outdoor Wedding Reception
Photo by Emily Bolt Photography

The Warehouse tends to be the most popular spot for food, drinks, and dancing. It can be set up for a sit-down dinner or flipped to a dance floor for you to get your boogie on.

The Rutherford | Industrial Wedding
Photo by Red Apple Tree Photography
The Rutherford | Industrial Wedding
Photo by Emily Bolt Photography

Guests can also float outside to chat under the lights or to catch their breath after an evening of dancing.

The Rutherford | Industrial Wedding
Photo by Madison Grae Photography

Send-offs are done from our parking lot and are a magical way to end a special day.

The Rutherford | Industrial Wedding
Photo by Angela Zion Photography

 

By flowing the events of the evening throughout our different spaces, you can truly enjoy the time without feeling rushed to get to the next place while still have distinct spaces for each part of the night.

Curious about how you can use all three spaces for your evening event? Reach out to schedule a tour today!

– AR

A Unique Way to Eat (or Cater) on Your Wedding Day

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child

Making sure that you—and your guests—are well-fed on your wedding day is a top priority. Ask any caterer—food is always something people are willing to splurge on in order to elevate their event.

But what about those in-between moments or a-typical food requests?

Enter: Bite Squad

A service that brings your favorite food directly to you, Bite Squad can be used for more than just an in-office lunch delivery. It’s perfect for ordering lunch for a bridal party or even a favorite dish to serve during cocktail hour or a reception.

The Rutherford | Catering Your Next Event

Lunches and Such

For a bridal party lunch, delivery can be scheduled out in advance, so all you have to focus on is your big day. Chick-Fil-A, Sully’s Steamers, Caviar and Bananas, and Moe’s are all delivery options in Greenville (along with +100 other restaurants). With such a variety of offerings, you can make sure that there’s something for everyone to eat.

Food is priced as it would be in the restaurant and you simply pay an added delivery fee. (most restaurants charge around $3-5 for delivery).

The Main Event

If you’re looking to have food catered to your event (we recently had a bride feature Hooter’s wings as part of her dinner offerings), Bite Squad features a catering option. You pick your date, time, and the number of people, and they make sure that your food is delivered and ready to go when you want it!

The Rutherford | Catering Your Next Event

Restaurants that cater featuring their catering menus online, and there are over 25 options in the Greenville area to help feed a larger number of people at your event. Delivery fees for catering range from $5-15, depending on the restaurant.

Make sure that you—and your friends—are well-fed the whole day by planning your food ahead (or ordering whatever you’re craving in the moment). Whatever your style, you can stay put and enjoy the day while Bite Squad takes care of the logistics of lunch.

– AR

Courtyard – Spotlight

Our best kept secret.  The Rutherford Courtyard.

We’re a little biased, but our outdoor space is our favorite—especially this time of the year! From wedding ceremonies to the reception, there are so many ways we’ve seen the space utilized and wanted to share a few of our favorites.

Continue reading “Courtyard – Spotlight”

The Rutherford – Quick Tips for Photo Ops

With all of the different elements at the Rutherford, photos can be taken in the style that fits your aesthetic.

Brick Room Windows

A fan-favorite spot for stunning and elegant photos is in our upstairs brick room. With the original hardwood floors, a brick backdrop, and tons of natural light from the almost-floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s no wonder that so many brides choose to have their photos taken here.

Brick Venue
Red Apple Tree Photography

Under the Lights

One of our favorite parts of receptions is when couples sneak away for a few shots under the lights. There’s just something about that post-wedding glow that makes these photos even more special and intimate.

Courtyard Bridal couple
Mathew Pautz Photography

The Greenery Wall

Our green wall is one of the most versatile spots for photo-ops! We’ve seen it used as a cake table background, an accent wall, and a place for some of those first kisses. Seeing how clients customize it always inspires us!

wedding cake table
Emily Bolt Photography

 

Be sure to ask our planning team for ideas for your special day!

AR

The Herticas + Their Sweet Day

On May 18th, 2018, I got to experience working my first wedding at the Rutherford.  I arrived at the venue while the reception was still being set up and managed to catch a glimpse of the decorations before the guests began to arrive. This couple’s vibe was very classically southern.

First Impressions

The Herticas are high school sweethearts, and the great thing about this wedding  was that whether or not you knew them well, you could figure this out on your own. For the cocktail hour, they placed several tall tables around the bar.  On each table sat a picture frame holding a photo of a memory from their relationship.  From their high school prom, to their first vacation, to when they bought their first house, they wanted to allow their guests to see as many special moments from their relationship as possible.

It’s all in the details.

I loved all of the small personal details that they incorporated into the space. They created personalized street signs with their names on them to say “Jake Junction” and “Tara Trail” that sat at the entrance of the dining room. Instead of a guest book they placed a wooden letter “H” on a table and placed a sign above it that said “Sign our love letter”. This was one of the many examples of them taking traditions and giving them cute twists. They chose a 1955 Chevrolet truck that had been converted into a wood fire pizza kitchen to cater their reception. They wanted the children attending the reception to have something to play with, so they attached bells, ribbon, and lace to wooden sticks for the children to wave around while dancing.

Coastal Crust Pizza
Coastal Crust Pizza

Standing Out.

The most unique thing about this wedding was the groom’s cake. The bride and groom’s favorite place to eat was Hooter’s, and they wanted to find a way to incorporate this into their wedding day. One of the ways they did this was by having Hooter’s cater wings to their reception, the other was by dedicating the groom’s cake to the restaurant. The groom’s cake was made at Couture Cakes, and was shaped like the body of a Hooter’s girl and was wearing a Hooter’s uniform. This was a very creative way to include one of their shared interests on their wedding day. One of my favorite touches was their tribute to their lost loved ones. They dedicated a table to the family members that had passed too soon to see them wed. There were pictures of these family members scattered on top of the table, with a plaque in the middle that read “We know you’d be here today if heaven weren’t so far away.”

The Groom’s Cake

This wedding was a wonderful, family-friendly event. It definitely had a sweet and intimate vibe. It was truly an honor to be involved in the Hertica’s special day, and this experience has definitely left me excited for the next time I get to work on a wedding. 

Best, 

KV

The Pretty Place is Pretty Beautiful!

We recently held a reception for a bride and groom who got married at Pretty Place Chapel. Fred W. Symmes Chapel (dubbed ‘Pretty Place’ because of its beauty) is located at YMCA Camp Greenville in the mountains just outside of Greenville. The chapel sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the rolling hills that reside on the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

The Best Selfie Background

The beauty of this location is so difficult to capture even in the best pictures, and it is nearly impossible to do it justice in words. The front of the chapel is open and looks out on the gorgeous view. In the center of the floor there is a cross, and above the cross there is a ledge with a line of scripture on it that reads “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills”. This is extraordinarily poetic considering the scene that it sits in front of.  Needless to say this is definitely a dream wedding destination for people who adore mountain scenery.

Conveniently Located By The Rutherford

The great thing about holding the ceremony at Pretty Place and then having their reception at The Rutherford was that the couple and guests got to experience both a beautiful natural setting during the ceremony and then a trendy urban setting for their reception.  They could enjoy the mountains and all of their natural beauty, and then they were able to come celebrate in a cozy space that was more appropriate for a party and dancing. This plan was absolutely perfect for providing their guests with a unique and diverse experience.  You can easily have this experience too if you go onto the Pretty Place website and fill out the reservation request form. Then all you have to do is contact us for your amazing reception!

 

KV

Pretty Place Chapel