Friday, 24 September 2010

Joel and Ally's wedding- Part 3- The Final Chapter

I feel so lucky to be able to share such a beautiful wedding with you all.
Alison and Joel had so much style to thier wedding. Intricately planned from out west- where they live and work- organising most things over the net and during the short times they had here in Brisbane.
For those of you that have read the two previous parts to this trilogy here is the final chapter:

After Alison and Joel's ceremony we had a chance for a little relax before the reception that evening.
The reception began with drinks at the Bar and some yummy canapes.  

The room was beautifully lit with soft lighting and candles- fresh flowers were everywhere.
A solo guitarist played in the background - it was the perfect ambiance.
The place cards/menus mimicked the invitations and tied the whole theme in together.

Joel and Alison's bomboniere was little lolly jars- filled with rock candy which had "Joel and Ally" written on the inside- too cute! 

The food was plentiful- 5 courses- plus cake! Oh yes there was cake too............did I mention I make cakes ;-P

Making a cake for a family member carries so many emotions. While I love and respect the purpose of each and every wedding cake I make- when you are personally invested in the event it is just that little bit more special.
As you would have noticed from the past chapters- Alison and Joel are quite humble people- they are in no way pretentious- nor do they ever "expect" anything. They are truly grateful for anything they receive. I was so excited and honoured to be able to create their wedding cake. Being able to design a cake with no budget to adhere to- no sizing restrictions- just an open slather to create something really beautiful for them both!
Big was always on the cards- I LOVE big cakes- cakes that make a statement- cakes that make your guests go OOHHHH AHHHHHHHH!  Cakes that require a two person lift heheh!
As soon as I saw Alison and Joel's invitations I had ideas spinning around in my head. Not wanting to be the pushy SIL who was deciding on a design for them- I asked Alison and Joel to show me what cakes they liked- so I could create an adaptation for their wedding cake.
Alison and Joel loved the Wedgwood Desire cake from my site- and were content with the cake as it was- but really- a two tier cake- I could do far better than that for them!
With a pale "ice" lilac invitation- with a lace and pearl detail- it was almost destined to be replicated onto their cake.
Alison had asked for the cake itself to be purple- "OK" I said- knowing full well in my head that the cake would be as pale as possible- to keep it elegant and subtle. In the weeks leading up to the wedding I received a call from Alison asking "do you think the purple colour is going to be OK??" to which I had to confess- although I agreed face to face a "purple" cake- it was never going to be purple- per se- but a very pale ice lilac colour........all was good :)
So I decided to Double the Wedgwood desire size- creating a 4 tier version ( with 6 cakes inside). This cake was so big- I couldn't lift it on my own. I couldn't even move it to take a good picture of it at home.
After carefully taping it into its box- we delivered it to the venue on the morning of the wedding. I don't think the venue were expecting such a large cake- especially given that it wasn't the dessert- just take home and with tea and coffee.
So back to the design.
The cake was a double height base- with a scalloped "lace" pattern through the middle. String pearls and ribbon through the centre of that. Then the third tier was plain iced with strung pea sized pearls- the second tier- another double height tier- decorated the same as the base- and then the top tier plain with pearls. The entire cake was lustered in a pearl effect and four large open rose blossoms across the design.
The sugar roses made petal by petal- really gave an elegant feel to the cake.
I really enjoy getting to see the bride and grooms reactions when they first see the cake. Holding my breath as I wait to see if it is everything they had hoped for. It is not often these days that I get to see this- so I was really excited to see Ally and Joel's faces when they looked at the cake for the first time.

When we were designing the cake I had drawn the cake up and coloured it in- and to my own surprise it did really look like the drawing! Fantastic!

To give you an idea of the true size of this cake- the invitation at the base was 15cm Square- the cake itself stood around 60cm high and weighed- allot! Steve wanted me to put a can of coke beside it to explain it real size... boys!
The other cakes I made that same week seemed to look quite tiny in comparison.
There was over 7kg icing used to cover the cake- the third tier was a 3kg fruit cake. No less than 8kg chocolate was used- as well and all the butter eggs flour etc...... so yes it was a monster indeed. Alison and Joel also had some guesst with dietary requirements. I also made a Spiced Chocolate cake- which was gluten/dairy/egg and nut free cake- which I pre boxed and labeled for each special guest. I was stunned at how good this "free" cake was! Amazing really. It also (inside the cake itself) had no refined sugar- just maple syrup instead. It was moist and rich ( loaded with dutch cocoa) layered with an orange frosting- if you didn't know it was "missing" ingredients- you would never have known. 

When Alison and Joel stood up to do the cutting of the cake- the size was just a perfect "Wedding cake" size.
The cake didn't tower over them- nor did they tower over it.

So after a very big meal- and dessert- The cake was served with Tea and coffee- and it was also boxed for the guests to take home. Each guest receiving a finger slice of each of the four flavours inside.  

Alison and Joel had chosen- White Raspberry- Almond Mocha Mud- Caramel mud- and my favourite- Rich fruit cake! YUM! They kept the top tier for themselves. 
I wished I had have had a video camera- to show all of my clients who say "no one eats cake" all of the guests who were going back for seconds and thirds - to the coffee station to get more. This cake would have served over 240 guests as dessert from the entire cake- and with less than 100 guests at the reception- there was barely 1/4 of the bottom tier left to take home.

So after a reception filled with love and good wishes- it was all over. Such a great Wedding- every part of it- tied together beautifully with Alison's beautiful attention to details and elegant styling efforts.
Alison and Joel chose some wonderful vendors who made the day flow seamlessly.

I also want to say a massive thank you to Alison and Joel for letting me help - where I could- with their special day. It was my pleasure and my honour to be apart of your wedding and wish you both all of the joy and happiness you deserve.

Well that is a wrap.......... 
Thanks for reading 

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Joel and Ally's Wedding. Part 2

Alison and Joel's wedding day came around super fast! I can't believe that it has been almost a month since their wedding too!
A more perfect day could not have been asked for- brilliant blue skies- with picture perfect scatterings of white cloud- a lovely warm day of 26degC- Magnificent!

Alison and Joel planned such a beautiful wedding. It was elegant- romantic and simply stylish.
They chose some truly wonderful suppliers- who made their day that extra bit special.
Joel's Brother Aaron is the AGM at the Medina Apartments- smack bang on the Brisbane river- with gorgeous views across the city from the Story Bridge. A perfect place to get ready before the nuptials.

Before I go on- all of the images in this Blog were taken by my Sister in Law Sam- nice work Sam! The official Photographers images are still in production- and fingers crossed Ally and Joel will get to see them soon.
Alison made easy work for the photographer- with her stunning blue eyes and great looks. Oh to have her height LOL!

Alison chose The Powder Room as her Hair and Makeup Artists. Alison's Strawberry golden locks and her flawless skin looked every bit bridal once the girls had worked their magic. I have met Karen from the Powder room a few times- as well as many of her girls- and each and every one is just as lovely as the next. They know their stuff and had Alison and her Bridesmaids looking every bit Magazine worthy for the wedding.  

Alison and Joel drew on allot of recommendations when choosing vendors.
I knew that Alison was in for stunning flowers when she Chose Karen from Bliss Floral.
I have known Karen for a few years now- in fact she even did my wedding Bouquet- her work is always stunning- super attention to detail too.

Beautiful Bouquets of Antique roses- freesias and tulips, Magnolia Leaves and dodder vine. Classic elegance all the way.  

Karen's work didn't end with the Bouquets and button holes- intricately wired Hyacinth hair flowers, rose petals- and of course the reception (to come). My MIL told me that flowers were Alison's "Thing". She wanted the wedding to have beautiful blooms- and that she did. 
Karen had advised Alison to get Scarlett (Gorgeous Flower girl Extraordinaire) to hold a poesy instead of a basket- and Scarlett LOVED it to pieces! She was so adorable- the perfect flower girl- no tears or tantrums- she just "floated" through the ceremony and lapped up every minute of her special role.
Part of Scarlett's Flower girl duties was to hand out the rose petal cones- lovingly made my my in laws' -the custom adjusted basket ( a truly ingenious idea of adding wire into the base to hold the cones upright!!) was filled with cute cones- bearing a personalised sticker- such a pretty touch.
Alison's 3 Bridesmaids- Caroline- Cheremie and Elene- looked AMAZING too!

Some last minute advice before heading to St Mary's Church for the Wedding ceremony.

Scarlett was ready and waiting for her stroll down the aisle ahead of her Aunty Alison- too cute for words.

Alison and her Bridesmaids arrived in Gorgeous Wedding cars- every bit the dream wedding.

After a Short wait for the organist to arrive (heheheh) Alison walked down the aisle- looking simply breathtaking. Every bit the gorgeous bride inside and out. Never a bridezilla- courteous and gracious as always.

Hyacinth Pew Bows to tie in with the wedding theme.

There is so much emotion and anticipation with weddings- it seems like a blink of the eye and it is time to seal the nuptials with a kiss!

The next picture is probably one of my favorites- I adored how Alison and Joel Hugged after their Kiss- it was so beautiful awwwww still makes me teary thinking about it.

A quick change of pace and it was up to the Altar to sign the register. Once again Scarlett had everyone in her command- she is just too gorgeous to mess with!  

With the ceremony over and done with it was out onto the lawn for congratulations and a few drinks!
I not only need but really want to make mention of how fantastic the staff at St Mary's Church are. I had never met any of them before- yet they all treated you like and old friend and nothing was a hassle. They made the bar and cupcake set up (oh yes there was cakes at the ceremony- isn't this why you're reading this blog ;-P LOL!!) such a breeze. So thank you thank you thank you for all of your help and for taking care of it all and letting me enjoy being a guest!
Fr Stephen held a great service and made everyone feel welcome at his stunning church.
Scarlett had spotted the tower of mini cupcakes outside the church before the ceremony and had selected her "Scarlett sized cupcake" for later.

If I could have I would have bent over backwards for Alison and Joel- they new this and they are just too kind to ever ask for anything. But in reality it was more than my pleasure to do as much as possible for them.
So when I found out that they were having after ceremony drinks on the lawn I asked if it was OK to supply some mini cupcakes to go with the drinks..... I really didn't want to force them into having cake if they didn't want cake- but when the opportunity knocks- go for it I say. 
So very graciously they accepted my offer of cuppies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEY!!! 
This bite sized cupcakes are not something that I normally offer- so it was off on a borrowing trip to my fellow cake decorating friend Karen from KVW Cakes to loan a few extra trays- Thanks KVW
 A couple of Hundred Dark chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla cupcakes- as well as some Egg, Dairy, Gluten and nut free ones too- but more on that later.
Ally and Joel's guests seemed to love the cakes- The Church staff kindly passed them around- and luckily- with my over zealous catering- were even able to keep a spare few for themselves later.

 My Mother and Father in Law- and My Grandmother in law with the blissful couple!

Steve and I with the gorgeous miss Scarlett!
After the ceremony the guests and the bridal party parted ways- before meeting up later that afternoon for the reception...... and that is where the final chapter comes in.

Congratulations Alison and Joel- you both deserve all the happiness in the world!

Thanks for reading

Joel and Ally's Fabulous Wedding! Part 1

For those of you who are regular readers- you will probably have realised that I have two Wonderful sisters- and Two Fantastic Sister in Law's. Now neither of my sisters are anywhere near ready for marriage- but my gorgeous Sister in Law Alison- and her long time partner Joel- very recently got married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I was SOOOOOOOO Excited- seriously - this was the closest I was going to get to a sister getting married anytime soon.
Alison is more than Lovely- she is kind and softly spoken- a beautiful sister in law and a wonderful friend. Her Partner Joel is just as lovely. He too is a gentle and kind man- with a very wicked sense of humour too! I kind of felt bad ( amongst my squeal out loud excitement) when Alison called to tell me the engagement news- as only the week before I had introduced Joel to one of my cousins as Alison's husband- albeit a tongue in cheek remark due to the longevity of their relationship- and here I was blissfully unaware that Joel had been planning on popping the question for a while. Anyway- once Joel and Ally were engaged it was full steam ahead with the wedding plans.

After their Engagement party in January- the wedding plans rolled out- and before long August had come around- and it was almost the Wedding Day!

I was eager to make Alison's "Bridal" experience as full as it could be- and after chatting with her Bridesmaids- decided that it was OK to host a surprise Bridal Shower for Alison. Now Alison already had a Hen's night- a sensational dinner and a few drinks- organised by her Bridesmaids- but really- you are only going to be a bride once- in my opinion- so you may as well have a shower tea too? Shouldn't you??
So after working out dates and times with the Bridesmaids- and sorting out a cheeky way of getting Alison there- all was in full swing for a high tea shower.

I Love to give high tea's- and to be able to make one for Alison for her Bridal shower was extra special.
Gorgeous little treats to eat - divine finger sandwiches- and of course Games ( thanks Caroline!)
The table was set with a little tea pot cookie place card for each guest.


A Selection of Finger sandwiches- Quiches and more!
Some of the sweet items included:
Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
Bake Citrus Cheesecakes with Pistachio Persian Fairy Floss
Berry Tartlets
White Chocolate Rocky Road
Gluten free White chocolate Macadamia slice
Mocha Fudge Brownie
Caramel Slice
and some really cute Mini Three tier Wedding cake Biscuits!

There was a definite high risk of instant diabetic coma with all of this sugar.

I am happy to say that it was a HUGE Surprise for Alison- she was clearly shocked- and genuinely surprised.
Her Bridesmaids had arranged a photo album with a collection of images of Alison and her family and friends together- with hand written messages of love and best wishes. A great idea- and a lovely keepsake.

There was a few Bridal shower games organised- it is amazing how much fun it is!
One of the games was a "shower cap" game- where we fashioned up a blue shower cap- complete with a bit of Lace, Ribbon and Tulle (making it totally bridal and all LOL)
and who ever said the word "wedding" had to wear it. 
Well the stunning little Scarlett was the proud wearer of the cap- as the adults were a bit too savvy to be caught out with that one.

A lovely group of ladies enjoying a fun high tea together! 

Once again- I think I slightly over catered- thank goodness for take home goodie bags though.... to share with the men who weren't invited?????? maybe....
My Two Sister in Law's and My two Nieces- after a great afternoon!

So with all of the pre wedding activities out of the way- it was full steam ahead to the wedding itself!............
Stay Tuned for Part 2!
Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Last weekend of Winter...........

Was a VERY special one indeed.
Not only did I have some gorgeous Couples to make cakes for- it was also My sister in Law's wedding day.
Being such a special occasion I will blog about that separately... but will fill you all in on the other fabulous cakes I was able to make that week.

Once I had found out that my SIL was getting married - I stopped taking bookings - only keeping the ones which had already been locked in.
It was kind of uncanny that on the actual day all the cakes I had to deliver were in the same city block!
I also had sent a cake to Maroochydore- on the Friday, and also a cupcake tower to Mt Mee.

I had sent a Three tier cake complete with a Cricket attire groom up to Maroochydore on the Friday. 

Such a cute little couple indeed. I always love how gorgeous a simple cake with a set of personalised toppers can look. 

Unfortunately as I didn't set the cupcakes up- I have no picture of them :(

So on the Saturday it was an early start- getting Alison's cake and the two other cakes I had on order - Delivered and set up- before racing home to make myself look presentable for the wedding.

The First drop off was for the Stamford- where I had my popular "fresh bride" design. With stunning roses clustered across the tiers- it looked just too pretty!

My next stop was Quay West- and other cake adorned with beautiful pink roses.

Each tier had a piped pattern- withe the word "LOVE" piped into the middle tier. So Sweet!

Brisbane turned on a Stunning day for the last weekend of Winter- as always- Beautiful one Day- Perfect the next!

I am looking forward to sharing Alison and Joel's wedding day with you all shortly.
Thanks for Reading

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Capturing the Essence......

Making your "fit" your event is a huge part of my job.
Many of my clients are quite taken back at how many questions I ask them in regards to their choice of colours themes and decorations. If you choose a  cake that bears no resemblance to the occasion it is made for- then in my opinion- that is not money very well spent.
If you want a cake for the sake of a cake there are plenty of generic bakeries out there who can send you off with a round cake smothered in a delicious icing with a few chocolate curls here - a cake which won't leave an impact on your guests-  really if this is all you need a cake for,  then getting a "custom made" design is a totally different thing all together.

I often here people's jaw drop when they call up asking for cake pricing ( mostly for  kids birthdays) as I believe that really they have not much idea about what goes into making and creating a WOW Cake for your event. I mean- if the only "special" cake you have ever purchased is the Treasure Mud cake from The Cheesecake shop- where you have forked out an extra $15 or so dollars on top of the cost of the generic cakes- then yes- you are in for a big surprise when ordering a custom cake.

I am not saying that Customised designs need to be out of reach for most- but you will get what you pay for. If you want a design tailored to your needs- and say serving 80 odd guests as dessert- then the pricing expectation of this style of Boutique service should equate to more than the $5.95 for a piece of cake you would pay at a cafe.
Most of my clients are surprised at how reasonable the cake costings are- not only are they getting a beautiful dessert- but they are getting  a Sensational Centerpiece for their Function. Something for people to Ooh and Ahh over- and lots of "WOW- its too pretty to cut!".
It takes allot of time and practise to develop skills and learn techniques to be a good decorator, you put your heart and soul into the cakes- because you are so proud of the finished product- and you want your clients and their guest to feel that too.
So when I sit down with my clients - I want to learn a little about them- and their function so I can really capture the essence of their event- and turn it into a fantastic cake!

The first design of the week was for a Beautiful couple. SO lovely- I mean really want to make you bend over backwards and do anything for them wonderful.
Amy and Dan came to me after seeing my Invitation Print design. They had seen some painted cakes and loved the idea of using their invite as the feature for their cake.  
The cake was for their wedding at Mt Tambourine- and whilst not a traditional "white wedding" affair- it was one which was all about them and their love for each other.
The invite for the wedding was two branches meeting in the middle with Red Birds on it. This little motif was carried throughout the wedding- so it was only apt that it also featured on the cake.
No I am no artist- I do try-  but really I have to totally psych myself up anytime I paint onto cakes! 

So this design was a combination of hand painting ( with a 00 brush) and applique- with the birds.  

The top tier had the invitation "feature" and then across the design was smaller interpretations of the branch theme- with only a single bird on each one.


Simple and elegant- and completely fitting!

The next cake was also one which had a simplistic nature- but was everything about Style. 

A Four tier plain iced cake- with a striped Gross grain ribbon stylishly wrapped around the base of each tier.
There was no bow in the design- this was just me playing with the tad of left over ribbon- and unfortunately I have no shots without it (DOH)

A blemish free plain iced cake can look just as beautiful as a detailed design. This cake was for the Garden Marquee at Victoria Park- where the ceiling is Striped Black and white- and fit superbly with the cake itself.
The cake also sits on a Black iced board- which really helps the cake to stand proud.

I also had another cake on this weekend for Victoria Park- in the Big Marquee. If you haven't been to Vic Park since they renovated the Marquee- you should.
It is beautiful- with permanent doors and just all round really well set out design.


This Bride's theme was Pink and Black. A pale pink iced Extended height cake with a Damask Stencil- finished with sugar roses and Arum lilies and banded with Black satin.
Elegant- Grand - certainly providing "wow" in a room as bog as the Marquee.

I had another cake with Bec From Crystal Couture this weekend.
A three tier cake with Fresh roses and Tulips in amongst the layers- all finished off with a set of Crystal encrusted Monogram initials.

My flower wholesaler totally outdid themselves with these stunning roses and orange tulips! I was so excited when I collected them that I clapped! How embarrassing LOL! But I do love it when everything is simply perfect!

My sister Kate came with me to deliver this cake out to Glengariff- very lovely indeed.

I was all around the city this weekend- and managed to snag a nice easy park outside of Tattersalls to deliver this 4 tier Butter iced cake.
Now My flowers had been so right- there was certainly something that had to be not so right.. right??? 
recluster the gorgeous blooms and finish the cake exactly how it was intended.  


Some cake decorators may wash their hands of someone else's supplied decorations- but in the end your guests ask "Who made your cake?" not "Who supplied the flowers/topper and boy together it all looks fab!". Part and parcel of a days work really. 

My next stop was the Treasury Hotel.
What was a simple two tier ganache iced cake from me turned into a Magnificent Spring showpiece- with the addition of some glorious blooms from Shirley Baggaley of Baggaley's Florist. 


A pale yellow themed wedding- this ganache icing really worked in well. Ganache is far more yellow than Butter cream- so many brides opt for either a Whipped white ganache or butter cream instead. The yellow roses were picture perfect!

My last inner city stop was at the Royal on the Park- for another Beautiful couple.
Vas and  Billy were just gorgeous! They totally appreciated the work that goes into making a cake- and chose a classic design to suit their big reception.
Red roses over a cake decorated with icing swirls- everything romantic!

Last but not least was a "blank canvas" cake. The clients added their own fresh flowers later on- so I only have the image of the "base" model LOL! 

Having a cleanly finished cake to add some fresh blooms too- is a great way to have a timeless design that will be elegant amongst your settings- but still beautifully done.

So here's hoping that I did the job intended and created cake designs for all of my clients which totally suited their event.

Thanks for Reading