Mon 12th Sep, 2011
Today I would like to introduce you to Tempting Cake's fabulous cake tables.
A concept that's been around in the US for a while, has now started to appear at weddings and celebrations over here and is proving very popular! The lovely Emily from Tempting Cake has been creating some beautiful 'Tempting Tables' recently and I asked her to tell me a little more about them...
How do you start planning a Tempting Table?
"First off, we meet with the client to find out the kind of look they’re after, as well as details such as the number of guests, any dietary requirements and where the Tempting Table will be set up.
From there, we’ll draw up the design inspiration from which the details of the Tempting Table will follow. While this is coming together, ideas are already starting to form as to how we translate the client requirements into a Tempting Table. There are various elements to consider including backdrop, table covering, presentation dishes, labels and of course the delicious cakes, desserts and sweeties themselves. We’ll brainstorm some ideas, raid our recipe collection and draw up a list of suggestions which fit the client’s requirements."
How do you decide what to include in a Tempting Table?
"The beauty of a Tempting Table is that the options are endless, although this can make it hard to decide what to include! We take into consideration the guests who will enjoy the Tempting Table, as the suggestions for a sophisticated evening wedding will differ to those for a whimsical children’s birthday party, for example.
We always try to include bites which are first of all a feast for the eyes, whilst ensuring they deliver on taste too. We aim to offer a range of traditional treats and perennial favourites like cupcakes, as well as some more contemporary bites such as dragon fruit, mango and passion fruit spoons to provide interest and a little something for all tastes. We also consider colour, texture and how the various menu items will be presented when making our selection."
Where do dessert tables come from?
"Dessert tables, cake bars, candy buffets and sweetie stations have around in the US for a while now, so it’s perhaps natural that they are proving popular here too.
Buffets are certainly nothing new and the concept of self-service food presented from elaborate tables and ‘court cupboards’ dates back to 16th century Europe. More recently, Californian artist Wayne Thiebaud captured what could be considered an early cake bar in his 1963 painting ‘Cakes’.
Dessert tables could also be described as simply a grown-up version of our childhood party tables. The buffet of pink wafer biscuits, party rings and iced gems of old has evolved into chocolate dipped meringues, black tie strawberries and mini cupcakes, all beautifully styled and presented."
Below is one of Emily's Tempting Tables. The brief was to create a seaside-themed table, and based on a soft colour palette of sandy creams with accents of sea greens and choral pinks. Below is just a hint of what Emily produced on the day!
Displayed on a wooden table with a linen cloth, accessories with two huge glass and chrome hurricane lamps which complement the outdoorsy theme.
Seaside cupcakes decorated with starfish, sea shells and oyster shells sit next to gorgeous mini cakes covered in flaked almonds to give the impression of crushed sea shells.
I think my favourites are the ridged Madeleines which resemble clam shells, filled with a gorgeous pistachio and line filling. Don't they make your mouth water?!
And to top it off, what seaside visit wouldn't be complete without an ice cream cone? Emily created these cupcake cones, each one filled with syrup-soaked sponge and topped with buttercream in a variety of flavours.
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Mon 5th Sep, 2011
Today, I can share with you one of the most unique and stunning engagement shoots I've had the pleasure of featuring on my blog in recent months.
Shot by Julian Beattie at Kondalilla Falls in Brisbane, he beautifully describes the shoot...
"It was cold. It is of course the hinterland, after all. But it still had to be said, it was cold. It had been raining for a week straight before we decided to go down to the falls and even in the height of summer, let alone winter, it is cold. Rain, hail or shine, we said; that didn’t mean the rain was about to let up and be kind to us, though. Engagement session or no, it didn’t stop. So, formal attire and all we trekked to the base through a cold, damp rainforest; still teeming, swarming with life. We reached the base… and started shooting. I told them to bring a change of clothes. Thankfully, they did.
The water was in the negatives, murky and obviously, without even having to touch it, freezing; but we came here with a purpose.
I led the way. I took them to the top of the water-fall, along a cliff-face, across slippery, moss covered rocks, up, up and up. “Watch your step here,” I cautioned as we crossed uneven mud and overhanging cliff-faces that hung on like an overbite. I showed them the waterfall and the view across the mountains and tree tops. Then I turned and I jumped. Thankfully, as I’d hoped, Maddie and Regan followed. And I was there to capture it all; unabated and true, they swam around the freezing cold water; laughing, shivering, kissing … and smiling."
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Thu 1st Sep, 2011
This morning I'm delighted to be able to tell you about a new jewellery collection launched by the very talented lady that is Sheena Holland.
'Edith and Agnes' is a range of jewellery designed by Sheena. Each beautiful piece is totally unique and won't be repeated.
See our previous blog post here about the launch of Sheena's online shop and her fabulous bridal headbands. Sheena also offers a bespoke service.
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Thu 25th Aug, 2011
This morning I have a gorgeous Jane Austin inspired shoot for you, sent over from Dominic Whiten photography.
I was really delighted to see these images land in my inbox. The way the lighting sets the mood in the interior images is stunning and I particularly love the detail and accessory shots, with fabulous attention to detail and great styling. Dominic has expertly captured the feel of the day.
Dominic explains the ideas behind the shoot and what appealed to him about getting involved...
"I was really excited when I heard this shoot was being organised and jumped at the chance of being involved – my work generally appeals to a more contemporary client so to have the opportunity of photographing a Georgian themed day wasn’t to be missed. The venue was also something of a draw, although being aware of Wiston House, I’d never visited and am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint! Located near the South Downs in Sussex, both the house and 6000 acres of parkland are beautiful and make a stunning wedding venue (if any readers are planning a wedding here I’d love to hear from them).
Rather than using full period costume and set-dressings, the shoot brought together a range of suppliers and readily available products to create a Georgian feel (full details after the images below). With the continued popularity of the works of Jane Austen and the return of Downton Abbey to our TV screens sure to increase interest in Edwardian style, a shoot like this proves you can combine period elements with contemporary suppliers to create a beautiful and elegant look."
Organised by - Melissa Love Design
Orchestrated - Stylised Shoots
Venue - Wiston House
Styling, food & flowers - The Tea Set
Dresses - White Mischief
Tailoring - Gresham Blake
Make-up - Natalie Clark of NC Bridal Beauty
Hair Accessories - Cherished Vintage Bridal Accessories
Hair styling - Caroline Kearney
Stationery - The Girl Taylor
Children’s vintage clothing - Dinky Vintage
Children’s clothing - Bonnie Baby
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Wed 17th Aug, 2011
I have a very elegant wedding for you on the blog today. Thank you to Kate and Arwyn for sharing their beautiful wedding with us and for Sacha Miller's wonderful photography...
Arwyn and Kate's beautiful wedding took place at Llandaff Cathedral, followed by their reception at Canada Lake & Lodge.
Arwyn tells us about when they first met.
"We first met through work, as we both work as journalists. We'd become good friends before we started dating, and the rest is pretty much history.
Asking Kate's father for her hand in marriage was far more daunting than proposing to Kate. But on the day, she was so shocked that it took a while for her to eventually say "yes"!!
I'd been working for several weeks in South Africa, which is when I realised how much I missed Kate and how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. So while I was out there I bought the diamond for her, and had it put in a ring when I got back. I'm quite glad she said yes, as I'm not sure how I'd have got my money back for that diamond!!"
Kate needn't have worried about the weather!
"We were so glad of the weather for the wedding day. All week the forecast had been for rain, and it was only on the Friday afternoon that the weathermen started saying it would be sunny, and even then it was only for the morning. But as it turned out we had the most glorious sunshine, so everybody could have drinks on the lawn next to the beautiful lake at Canada Lodge."
"We realised on the wedding day how important the small details are. My mum had spent ages sewing together the name places for the guests, so when you saw on people's faces how impressed they were, we really appreciated her hard work."
"As we were preparing for the wedding, it became clear how important it is to have recommendations. The names of our florist and photographer were both given to us by friends, and when we met with them, we immediately could tell these were the ones for us. Not only did we get along with them really well, but also felt that they understood exactly what we wanted from our wedding day. And to say they delivered, doesn't come close to doing them justice."
Flowers: Alison Bentley
Photographer: Sacha Miller
Caterers: Strawberry Field Catering
Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy (from Absolutely Fabulous in Llandaff)
Groom’s suit: Moss Bros
Transport: Rumney Wedding Cars
Cake: Terry at Cakes for Celebrations in Cowbridge
Hair and Make-up: Leon James in Bridgend and Eirioes Elfyn
Stationery: Victoria Lewis
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Wed 10th Aug, 2011
Good morning lovelies. I hope today will be a calmer day and that you haven't been too affected by the events in London and across the country.
Amira tells us of their story...
"Kevin was sharing a flat in Camden with a friend of mine, Aizat, whom I met at college in Brighton. After we left college, we kept in touch and I would visit Aizat on weekends or weekday evenings whenever I was in East London. Kevin and I didn't talk much other than Kevin offering me a coffee or dinner. Coming from an Asian background, I was very touched by this gesture as men don't usually cook or make coffee for their guests! I also find his habit of reading every night before he goes to bed very endearing, in other words a cultured trait of a man.
After 6 months of going over to their flat, we start having short conversations about university or food. Before the Christmas holiday of that year, Aizat and Kevin threw a party at their flat, inviting me and my flatmate. The only difference this time around was that both of us were a little bit tipsy. Kevin came over to talk to me and the both of us were chatting away until 3am! I guess from then we started texting or calling each other and I would visit him more often. Eventually we started becoming close to one another and I moved in with them!"
Kevin and Amira chose to shoot their film at spots that meant a lot to them... "We would often walk along the Regents Canal and loved spending time at Hyde Park during summer, eating ice cream while sitting on a bench or coffee with friends at a small cafe. As for Tiffany & co., Kevin first looked for an engagement ring at Tiffanys in London and finally got my engagement ring from Tiffanys in Singapore. The blue door scene in the video I especially love, as it's from the movie Notting Hill and Kevin loves that film too!"
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Tue 2nd Aug, 2011
Would you like a piece of floral haute couture as part of your wedding day ensemble?
A few months ago we featured the work of floral designer Zita Elze and her amazing floral wedding dress, which you can see here. The 'Zita Elze Living Embroidery Bridal Collection' was launched at the Chelsea Flower Show this year and features a range of exquisite wedding gowns made entirely of fresh flowers, leaves and natural plant material.
Each wedding dress can be created in harmony with your bridal bouquet and venue decoration.
The dresses are be custom-made, just a few days before the wedding so that the flowers remain in their full, lush beauty. Brides choose their own flowers and the style of the dress, assisted by Zita’s expertise of reflecting emotions through flowers. After four or five days, the flowers on the bodice gradually dry retaining most of their form and colour.
Kew-based Zita Elze is renowned for her stunning flower shop, producing designs that decorate the most prestigious venues throughout the UK. In 2009, Zita gained a silver-gilt medal for her first ever exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show entitled “A Celebration of Life”, at which she introduced the floral embroidery technique to the public.
Zita also runs the Zita Elze Design Academy in Kew where students from across the world learn her innovative techniques and style, unique in the world of flowers.
“I love working closely with the bride, absorbing the ambience and emotions she wishes to evoke and then recreating this with flowers,” explains Zita. “I transform venues into something magical, something dream-like, and the bride is at the centre of this stage. Carrying a bouquet of flowers isn’t enough. I want to design the bride’s gown with the same textures, colours and feeling that only flowers can create.”
To complete the Living Embroidery Bridal Collection, Zita will also be introducing floral accessories such as sashes, veils, bracelets and hair pieces. Brides can commission all or part of a gown and any accessories. Gowns start at £5,000; accessories start at £200. Every design is unique.
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Tue 26th Jul, 2011
Lizzie and Daniel tied the knot on 10 April last year at Clandon Park in Surrey.
They met at University and 8 years later got engaged in Paris, a few months before they moved to Singapore together.
Lizzie tells me... "Daniel planned an amazing few days where we spent time in our favourite places in London and Paris before heading home to Surrey to celebrate with friends and family. We waited until we got to Singapore to buy the ring, where we were able to design it together and get the ring made by a local bespoke jeweller."
Lizzie and Daniel were planning their wedding from Singapore with only short visits to the UK beforehand...
"Our wedding day was fantastic. Living in Singapore meant that a lot of the planning and arrangements were done online and largely by our families, who luckily knew exactly what was important to us. It meant we had a really stress free time and were able to relax in the run up to the big day. Friends and family gathered to help us with the details; whether it be flower arranging, putting together table decorations or helping us create our invitations - it was a team effort!"
Thank you Laura Dodsworth for sharing your beautiful photography with us again, and also to Lizzie for sharing her and Daniel's lovely wedding story.
"I found my dress at Fleur Bridal the summer before our wedding and they did an amazing job of making all of the alterations in the brief period of time I had back in the UK before the wedding. Fleur was also really helpful with my accessories, sourcing the vintage art deco style earrings for me and handmaking my hair piece."
"After a long time hunting I found my perfect pair of shoes at Giuseppe Zanotti in Singapore. I really wanted something different and not too ‘wedding-y’; I loved the antique crsytal detail and stilletto heel - I needed the height!"
"When it came to photographers we headed online again, looking up recommendations from our preferred venues. When we came across Laura Dodsworth, her style, use of colour and romantic creativity stood out from the norm. We were thrilled to be able to have her photograph our wedding and absolutely love the photos and album that she produced for us."
"Clandon Park was the perfect venue for us. Whilst we loved the traditional stately home elements and beautiful gardens, the venue still felt relaxed and informal. Having both known the National Trust property our whole lives it was very special to be able to get married there."
"What made our day so special was the fact that friends and family from around the world gathered to celebrate with us - living so far away from home made this an even more precious occasion."
Supplier info (UK)
Ceremony and reception venues: Clandon Park, Guildford
Dress: David Fielden
Flowers: Family friend
Photographer: Laura Dodsworth
Caterers: Clandon Park Caterers
Bridesmaids dresses: John Rocha for Debenhams
Groom’s suit: Ermenegildo Zegna
Transport: Family friend
Cake: Marks & Spencer with flower details added
Hair and Make-up: Applied own make up, hair by Nina Burrage
Music: Crystal Palace Quartet and Chess Professional Disco
Stationery: Designed ourselves, created by friend of the family
A beautiful addition to Lizzie and Daniel's family, an absolutely beautiful little baby girl. Isn't she adorable?
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Wed 13th Jul, 2011
Carly and Jonathan's wedding took place on 14 May this year at Willows Lodge on Woodinville, WA (US).
"Our wedding day went wonderfully! I think one of the best parts is that it starting raining just after the last person came inside to the reception area after our outdoor ceremony. It’s like it was just waiting for us to go inside to pour a little “good luck” rain over our day."
I LOVE Carly's dress... "The dress I chose was one of the first that caught my eye when I was looking online. I tried it on in the store, and although I tried maybe 5 other dresses, I didn’t like them as much as that one and soon went back and bought it."
Thank you to Michele M Waite for sharing her wonderful photography and to Carly and Jonathan for their lovely wedding story.
"A friend and I made the 'puff' balls out of coffee filters dyed with coffee, tea, cinnamon, and tumeric. I also made the place card holder out of pegboard covered in burlap fabric and clothespins covered with fabric and moshi tape.
I also made the table markers, which were just small potted herbs on each table matching to the name of the herb on each guests place card."
Supplier info (US)
Dress: Justin Alexander from I Do Bridal in Seattle, WA
Photographer: Michele M. Waite
Caterers: The Barking Frog at Willows Lodge
Bridesmaids dresses: They each chose a unique dress for themselves with a little of my help!
Cake: Top Pot Doughtnuts
Hair and Make-up: Ola
Music: Our friend Joe Pereira played the ukulele for our ceremony and a set for the reception.
Stationery: I made all the invitations/ save the dates, the signs for the shoes, and the board and cards for the seating arrangement.
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Mon 11th Jul, 2011
Amy and Eric's wedding took place on 2nd October last year at Dove Barn in Groton, Suffolk.
They first met in January 2008 at a mutual friend’s party who was off travelling. They then got engaged themselves, 20 months later in South Africa at the end of their own travelling trip!
Amy tells me what plans they had for their day...
"Eric and I really just wanted to celebrate with our closest family and friends with a big party. We aimed to have a relaxed, informal atmosphere where everyone was having fun."
Huge thanks to the lovely Sarah Gawler for sharing her fab photography and to Amy and Eric for sharing their story and their wedding with us too!
Dress: Anne Barge at Blackburn Bridal Couture
Flowers: Wild Poppies
Photographer: Sarah Gawler
Caterers: The George in Cavendish
Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy
Groom’s suit: Dress2Kill
Hair and Make-up: Zoey Stones, a friend who is a hair and make-up artist
Stationery: Dave Penn
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