Welcome to my blog!
Firstly, Happy New Year! I’ve been so looking forward to getting the new Cake Couture NI website up and running… and here it is!! I hope you like it as much as I do! Huge thanks to Rick for all his hard work (and patience) 🙂
With Christmas out of the way, this is the time that many newly engaged couples start making plans and gathering inspiration for their wedding. So, for my first blog, a quick run down of key wedding cake trends for NI in 2015 seems like a good place to start. It looks like rustic weddings will continue to be popular, and here in Northern Ireland we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to barn wedding venues- Larchfield Estate, Ballydugan Mill, Riverdale, Brekenhill to name but a few. Naked cakes, Lightly frosted cakes, Buttercream cakes and cakes trimmed with Hessian and lace all look right at home in venues like these.
The Chalkboard theme is one of my favourites (maybe I should drop the American-ism and just call it ‘Blackboard’!!) again, rustic and informal with hand written signs, table plans, stationery, place cards. Maybe not all at once though! And yes, you can even have a chalkboard cake!! This one may be a flash in the pan but I love it!! Hand painted cakes and coloured fondant are tipped to be popular and we’re still loving metallics! Wedding cakes and sugar flowers have almost always gone hand in hand but it seems we’ll be seeing a move away from fantasy flowers to something more botanical- which means a lot more work and honing of skills for us cake makers!!
Recently, I created some new cakes for display and exhibition and, as I do from time to time, treated them to their very own photo shoot. Many of the designs were inspired in some way by nature so an outdoor location was a must. The cakes were photographed by the very talented Des Rowan and we decided on The Walled Garden in Bangor- a hidden gem that has matured beautifully since its restoration and reopening in 2009. Council run and open to the public, this is a popular spot for wedding photographs with just-married couples and it turns out, perfect for cakes!! I should point out that I DID seek permission from the head gardener before descending upon the place with a van-load of display cakes and all manner of styling accessories hired from Sweetheart Vintage Weddings, Newtownards. It’s fair to say that we attracted quite a few curious glances from visitors, enticed by this Naked cake and cupcakes! These are hugely popular at the minute- nothing says ‘rustic’ like a Naked cake!
Part of the appeal of a rustic themed wedding is their relaxed, romantic feel- a great alternative to the more formal wedding set-up. AND, if you’re a little bit crafty, you can easily shave pounds off your budget by accessorising with with your own DIY- think chalkboard signs, table decorations, favours, pom-poms, bunting….this is what comes of spending too much time on Pinterest!! Speaking of Chalkboard wedding inspiration….
When it comes to picking out a photo opportunity, I think it was best to leave that to Des. I’ll stick to cakes!! I love the setting for this Country Vintage wedding cake- perched (precariously) on a fallen tree trunk. With Hessian, lace, sugar flowers in pretty pastel shades and delicate brush embroidery, this cake would be perfect for a summer garden wedding.
Peeking through the trees at the white anemones and my hand-painted Hibiscus cake 🙂 The ‘paint’ is made from melted cocoa butter mixed with edible colour dusts and for someone who rarely paints, the first brush strokes were a very daunting prospect indeed!
I made this Brambles and Bark cake for the Quirky Wedding fair last September. It just had to photographed in the great outdoors…
Another Quirky Weddings cake was this towering Grecian creation. I love the dramatic backdrop of the maritime-inspired fountain sculpture…
And lastly, this has to be my favourite display cake ever! I wasn’t sure if this one would work but I was delighted with the end result.
Massive thanks to Des Rowan for his time, creative advice and expertise. You can see more of Des’s work here. Thanks also to Anne and Ruth at Sweetheart Vintage weddings. You can find out more about their products and services on their Facebook page or arrange an appointment to view their lovely wedding accessories at their showroom. And if you find yourself in Bangor with have half an hour to spare, the Walled Garden is well worth a visit.
Bye for now……
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