Looking for fun ways to incorporate a little Thanksgiving into your wedding without going over the top? How about a tart cranberry signature cocktail? Or maybe pumpkin wedding cake? We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite cranberry sips and pumpkin layer cakes to inspire you – for your wedding, or for your Thanksgiving!

 

10 CRANBERRY COCKTAILS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY OR WINTER WEDDING

Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette.

 

Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake.

 

Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C's Designs | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C’s Designs | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C’s Designs.

 

Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty.

 

Fizzy Ginger Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Fizzy Ginger Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Fizzy Ginger-Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker.

 

Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart.

 

Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen.

 

Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion.

 

Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange.

 

"The Sunburn" Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer | 10 Cranberry Cocktails "The Sunburn" Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

“The Sunburn” Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer.

 

"The Frenchy" Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology | 10 Cranberry Cocktails "The Frenchy" Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

“The Frenchy” Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology.

 

10 PUMPKIN LAYER CAKES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY OR AUTUMN WEDDING

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch by Annie's Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch by Annie’s Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Pecan Filling by Annie’s Eats.

 

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel by Use Real Butter | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel by Use Real Butter | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting by Use Real Butter.

 

Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida.

 

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats.

 

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart.

 

4-Layer Sweet Potato & Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Candied Pecans and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Buttercream by Sweetapolita | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes 4-Layer Sweet Potato & Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Candied Pecans and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Buttercream by Sweetapolita | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Autumn Delight Cake by Sweetapolita.

 

Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis.

 

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frostin by Cake Merchant | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frostin by Cake Merchant | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Cake Merchant.

 

Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

 

Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple.

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I absolutely love this beautiful wedding – it’s got so many special touches, not to mention these beautiful photos from Nancy Ray. I especially love the private sweetheart dinner that the bride and groom enjoyed before joining their guests at the reception – what a nice way to really take everything in after saying your vows, to just be together as brand newlyweds, and to actually eat something!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BY NANCY RAY.

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you do any DIY projects?  With a 20-month engagement, I had a lot of free time before starting graduate school, and one of the projects I took on was to draw a map of events, which I first painted as a Save the Date postcard. The image was later used as a weekend itinerary, rolled up like an old-fashioned map, and tied onto Cheerwine bottles with red-and-white twine. I also designed custom napkins, koozies, and cups using a twig-themed monogram. I made the escort cards and table numbers on Zazzle. For our friends who rented houses, we lined baskets with Spanish moss, and filled with goodies from the local Mast General Store, as well as Krispy Kreme Coffee. Finally, my friend’s sweet mom helped me design a personalized needlepoint belt for one of Dex’s wedding gifts. I was surprised how little time I had for the wedding once school began, and I am grateful for all that I accomplished at the beginning.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In honor of Dex’s father, his mother mailed me monogrammed buttons from an old sports coat, which I wanted to secretly sew into Dex’s suit coat. The day of the wedding, just an hour before the ceremony, I finally located the button, and Dex’s cousin quickly led me to the suits. It was later that we realized that I had sewn the button onto the wrong jacket (which should have been obvious, as it was made for someone 6’10″!). It’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“The first time Dex brought me to his grandparent’s mountain home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was our senior year of college, and we had not been dating very long… at all. The first thing Dex showed me was the bark-shingled chapel directly across the street, and I told him that I wanted to get married there one day, quickly adding, “to anyone!” Over countless trips, I never faltered that it was the perfect place to get married… and it is equidistant from our home states of Pennsylvania and Alabama. Five years later, my dream came true!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, quaint, sweet

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  All Saints Episcopal Church is a historic, sacred space. Designed by Henry Bacon over one hundred years ago, we are honored to be allowed to marry there, and followed the traditional Episcopalian marriage ceremony procedures, including vows from the Book of Common Prayer.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Luckily, the visiting officiant during the month of August was the former Bishop of Alabama, whom Dex’s family knew and rightfully admired. We planned our ceremony over phone calls and emails, but Bishop Parsley felt like an old friend.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We did not want a large wedding party crowding the tiny chapel. Therefore, we only had four people in the conventional bridal party – our sisters, a cousin, and an oldest friend – to stand beside us. To honor special friends, we had eight friends each proceed down the aisle and sit in the choir pews, facing us. Not only did it free up space, it really helped us focus on each other, which is the point after all!

What was your ceremony music?  With such a small, intimate chapel, we opted for a string duo, both violin and cello. The ceremony music was classic, from the processional through the declaration. Our only two requests were to end the prelude music with “Carolina In My Mind” (by James Taylor,) and to play “God Only Knows” (by The Beach Boys) for the recessional.

What were your ceremony readings?  Having met during our senior year at UNC, it was fitting that both of our readers were our college roommates. The first reading was from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), followed by Living in Love by Dr. Gerald May.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Before the ceremony, our bridal party and family gathered in the backyard of Dex’s grandparents’ house. With such a small chapel, some guests stood in the lawn, and I got to see so many of our favorite people from the house all the way to the altar.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We have already been back to Linville twice since our wedding, and it is so wonderful to wake up in Dex’s grandparents’ house and see “our church” across the street before the day even begins. It is something we will cherish for many years to come.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Following pictures on the golf course, we drove directly to the boat house, which is downhill from the Camp. A private dinner was waiting for us, and as we sipped champagne and enjoyed our first meal as a married couple, we could not only see, but hear, our most loved people all in one place!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  We really wanted our guests, who came from so far, to experience the Linville we love – including a bluegrass band party on Friday, hiking and a picnic lunch on Saturday, and a poolside brunch on Sunday – for their entire visit. The epitome of the mountain weekend experience, however, is always an evening at Camp Yonahnoka (also known as The Camp at Eseeola Lodge,) where you have a panorama of Grandfather Mountain, and an expansive view of the stars. With a gorgeous view of the mountain reflecting onto a lake, the Camp itself is a wooden, open-air pavilion, with a centralized floor plan, encouraging everyone to mingle and join in on the dance floor.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Our first dance was to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. We took lessons and surprised people with a choreographed dance. My father and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Dex and his mother danced to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, a favorite of Dex’s father who passed away.

What was your wedding menu?  The Eseeola Lodge serves the most decadent and rich Southern food! There were buffet stations for flexibility, yet assigned tables, so people could sit and enjoy. The stations served shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, butternut squash souffle, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grilled summer vegetables, salad, and corn bread with various sauces. The only perk of going to school the Monday after your wedding is having delicious leftovers in your lunchbox all week!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Instead of a large cake, there was a simple cake for us to cut (almond with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting,) and four cupcake flavors for our guests: cafe au lait, raspberry lemonade, red velvet, and chocolate-peanut butter ganache. My father works for Krispy Kreme, so we also served warm doughnuts. There were mini boxes of doughnuts for favors. I did not know until the pictures arrived that Dex was carrying trays of doughnuts around the dance floor!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  For the entrances to the restrooms, I blew up and framed black and white photos of both of us at about 5 years old. In typical fashion, I was dressing up as the prim and proper bride, while Dex was barefoot, with a wrinkled tie and an untucked shirt. Some things never change.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  No one knows what you had in mind. If something is forgotten or goes awry, no one will know what could have been!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I was so lucky to have such an opinionated groom, which was helpful, as my parents refrained from any opinions. I would suggest finding ways in which to get grooms excited and to feel important in the process, which makes for fun teamwork. We really let this be our idea of our perfect weekend.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wish we had entered the reception to House of Pain’s Jump Around, but did not think of that in time. Hopefully another Tar Heel couple will take note!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  We truly made our wedding a weekend affair, with events from Thursday to Sunday, thanks to the help of many hosts, hostesses, and helpers. Housing worked out wonderfully, with friends and family on every corner, as we took over the little mountain community.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Event Planning & Design: Viva L’Event NC   / Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola in Linville, North Carolina / Church: All Saints Episcopal / Dress: Allure via Victorian Rose / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses, Ties: J.Crew / Jewelry: Mikimoto / Cake: Hallmark Cakes / Catering:  The Eseeola Lodge  / Floral Design: Callista Designs / Hair, Makeup: Hair 101 / Stationery: Opus 1 Weddings / Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band:  Summit Strings  / Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers / Grooms Attire:  Martin Greenfield Clothiers
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

    24 November 2014
  • 4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Last week we were basking in the warmth of Maui, and tomorrow we’re headed for the tundra of Wisconsin (Kidding. Sort of.) to spend Thanksgiving with Ryan’s family. With record-breaking cold happening in the Midwest, it’s going to be an adjustment to say the least. This year Ryan’s mom and I collaborated on the Thanksgiving menu, and I’m really excited to make all kinds of goodies, especially this sourdough stuffing with sausage and apples. Drooling. Before I head out, of course I have some links for you below. And I’d love to hear what yummy things you have on your Thanksgiving menu, so leave a comment and share!

    Mini Ice Cream Mobile by Kim Baise Art Mini Ice Cream Mobile by Kim Baise Art

    How darling is this ice cream mobile?!

    This Thanksgiving hat tradition is hilarious.

    The United States of Thanksgiving.

    Lovely pear garland.

    Solange Knowles’s wedding dress - so glam!

    DIY wire leaves for your Thanksgiving table.

    And DIY copper leaf candles.

    Leonardo da Vinci’s brain.

    Thanksgiving leftover pie printables.

    Not that I think there will be any leftovers of this hazelnut chocolate pie

    Six stretches for people who sit at desks.

    Christmas list for a child of the 1980s.

    Love this guy’s resume.

    Transparent concrete, what?!

    Jordan’s tips for creating a dessert table.

    Jewelry for a cause.

    And in case you missed it, this week on Snippet & Ink…

    Our 2014 bridesmaid gift guide!

    A pup-themed wedding at Villa Terrace in Milwaukee.

    Elegant winter wedding at BridgeStreet in Birmingham.

    Orange County wedding at Rancho Las Lomas.

    0 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups

    Classic elegance, blooming gardens, and Spanish-style architecture made this couple and their guests feel as though they were transported to a European garden… and if it’s freezing cold wherever you are, then let their sunny SoCal wedding at Rancho Las Lomas transport you too!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS CALIFORNIA WEDDING BY ESTHER SUN.

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “We chose this location for our ceremony because it was so beautiful – it’s almost hard to describe! The venue itself is a unique, private resort with beautiful architecture, and also had a small zoo. With the property and Spanish-style architecture, it felt like being transported to Europe. The ceremony site was an outdoor courtyard surrounded by trees with a beautiful ceremonial stage which was a perfect setting for us to exchange our sacred vows.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Traditional, Light-hearted, Religious.

    Who officiated your ceremony?  It was important to Matt’s mother and grandmother that we have a Catholic ceremony for our wedding. We had Father Christopher from St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Irvine, California officiate our ceremony.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Our wedding ceremony was very traditional – we said traditional vows and had traditional Catholic readings. But, Father Christopher incorporated a brief Q&A with Matt and me and asked us personal questions which allowed our ceremony to be more light hearted and fun. Our guests also had a good laugh which we enjoyed as well. We weren’t expecting Father Christopher to incorporate the Q&A into the ceremony, so it was a pleasant surprise for us.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “After the ceremony our guests went upstairs to another courtyard located above the ceremony site with a beautiful fountain and our guests enjoyed cocktails and food. We transformed our ceremony site for the reception, using all round tables for our guests and a head table for us and our wedding party. Market lights strung across the dance floor set a romantic mood especially at dusk.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you work with a wedding planner?  Matt and I planned our wedding in six months. Due to our time constraints we hired Jenna Kang from Divine Day and she was a huge help. She was able to help us from the initial stages to the final stages of our wedding and we went with her guidance and knowledge. Planning was exhausting but it was nice to know we had an expert guiding us and making sure we had everything covered.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The venue really inspired us during the planning stages of our wedding. With its rustic, romantic, outdoor setting, we wanted to base the rest of the wedding details around that.

    First dance song:  “Your Song” by Elton John
    Father/daughter, mother/son dance:  “In My Life” by The Beatles

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We had a rustic buttercream cake decorated with greenery. We had two flavors, coconut and Nutella, and both tasted delicious. We also had a dessert table with an assortment macarons, cupcakes, cake pops and mini parfaits.

    Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  My something old and something borrowed was a diamond bracelet I borrowed from my aunt. It was a beautiful bracelet that matched my dress perfectly. I also had a blue charm bracelet that I used for my something blue. // During our cocktail hour we incorporated foods from our ethnic background. Matt brought Vietnamese spring rolls and I brought Korean rice cakes to serve to our guests.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To slow down and take a moment amidst all the chaos during the wedding day because the day goes by too fast!

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Although stressful and overwhelming at times, enjoy the planning process have fun, and don’t stress too much because it is one day and the most important thing is that you are getting married to the most important person in your life and that is what counts, not the minor details that may consume your time.

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Start the wedding earlier in the day because it goes by too fast.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Our favorite moment of the reception was just looking around the room and seeing all of our loved ones, our family, our friends who took the time to spend this special day in our lives.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Esther Sun / Event Planning: Divine D-day / Venue: Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California / Dress: Cymbeline from Panache Bridal / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bracelet: Van Cleef and Arpel / Bridesmaid Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress / Suit: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen Attire: Friar Tux / Floral Design: Kristine Shin / Catering, Rentals: 24 Carrots / Hair, Makeup: Studio MM&B / Videography: The Seven Production / Cake, Desserts: Sweet and Saucy / Stationery: Exclusively Weddings / Strings Trio: Seaside Strings /
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Orange County Wedding by Esther Sun

    20 November 2014
  • 3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings