Welcome to the Secret Diary of a Wedding Planner!

Within these pages you shall find...clever wedding tips from industry insiders, simply delightful photographs and oodles of inspiration.


Victoria x

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flavour of the Month

Bonjour mes amis,

Cake is something that’s very close to my heart. Yes, you read correctly, cake means a lot to me. I trace it back to my beautiful mother’s delectable cupcakes (and every other cake she’s made for that matter), which have been a favourite of mine since I was a young girl. It’s not wonder then that accompanying my clients to their cake tastings has to be one of my favourite parts of planning a wedding. While it’s not too helpful in the hips and waist department I just can’t resist popping in those gorgeous samples so they can melt in my mouth, making my taste buds dance in the process!

Just like everything else in the world of weddings there are trends in wedding cakes which are constantly evolving so to help you on your way I've provided you with a look at what’s hot right now!

Gold/Silver Leaf
I absolutely love gold and silver leaf! For those of you not familiar with it, edible Gold and Silver Leaf is gold or silver that has been beaten into extremely thin sheets. There are some varieties which are non-toxic and can be used to decorate food or beverages.

I absolutely love the look of macaroons that have been roughly coated with this product but for even more of a wow factor ask your cake designer to dedicate an entire tier to a gold leaf design.

Well-renowned cake designer Faye Cahill of Faye Cahill Cake Design first started using this product in early 2007. “The cake decorator’s imitation gold that we use looks too heavy over large areas, and I wanted something with a rich and glamorous look to compliment dark tones. The first design I created with it was the "love birds" cake which continues to be a popular design, and we often do variations on it to compliment individual wedding schemes.”

I asked Faye why she thought the gold/silver leaf attracts brides…here’s what she had to say. “I think the unique look appeals- it is something that is not seen often on wedding cakes, and also it catches the light beautifully. If the room features candelabras or tea lights, the gold and silver looks amazing. Couples want to give their guests a special experience on their wedding day, and it doesn't get more decadent than eating 24 carat gold leaf or real silver.”

Of course all of you discerning brides will also want to know what’s hot when it comes to cake trends so I’d be a fool not to ask! While Faye believes that couples still want to have a little fun with their cake design she’s noticed that the tide has turned away from the really cartoonish and crazy designs. “We are seeing a return to classic and beautiful styles with lace and flowers dominating. The all white look is definitely making a comeback, and many of my brides choose to display their cakes on a classic American style plateau. For more dramatic looks painted and stenciled designs are popular, often based on the invitation stationery.”

Macaroons are a great new take on the traditional wedding cake. I’ve personally tried to create these delights myself but while they taste fantastic I haven’t quite mastered the piping technique so I thought for some more reliable information it would be best to turn to an expert in the field, Nadine Ingram from Cookie Couture who is in her 4th year of business and still going strong!

Nadine puts this innovative approach to wedding cakes down to the macaroon’s colour and form as it’s the perfect sculptural element for a wedding cake. “In terms of flavour a lot of macaroons can have quite a fragrant quality which is perfect when paired with the flowers on a cake. Aside from all of this, macaroons make such a delightful accompaniment to cake. A lot of guests don't even get to the cake, but who could resist a petit macaroon?”

Macaroons can also be more cost effective than a traditional wedding cake depending on your requirements and vision. “Often when using macaroons there is just as much 'support' required to hold the cake up as a traditional cake, to ensure the delicate macaroons are not crushed. I usually suggest creating a beautiful cake that is going to hold up for 8 hours rather than having macaroons dropping around your guests stilettos! Remember you can always have extra macaroons and cake in the kitchen to ensure the guests don't go hungry. They will never know they weren't part of the cake on display.” Being in the wedding industry whenever I admire such detailed and exquisite items I always wonder how much blood, sweat and tears (so to speak) went into their creation but Nadine has quickly put me at ease by professing her love for making macaroons. “I do always say though that you should never let a macaroon see you are scared. They are extremely difficult to make and even though I have been making them since I was at Le Gavroche in London (15 years ago) I am still learning from them.” Fabulous Packaging
Some couples choose to present their guests with a slice of their wedding cake or a small individual cake or cupcake, beautifully wrapped as their bonbonniere. There are plenty of ways to wrap your choice of bonbon…for individual cakes or cupcakes that are iced to perfection, clear boxes can be purchased so your guests can admire the artwork of your cake designer. My personal favourite though are natural boxes with creative adornments which can hold complete cakes or disguise individual slices of your wedding cake. If you pick up the current edition of Bride-to-Be Wedding Cakes and flick to page 18 you’ll see a great selection of examples of how you can give your cake boxes that extra punch. Remember there are no set rules for your wedding so if you would prefer to use these for your lolly buffet go right ahead!!

Cupcake Wrappers
If you’re a fan of cupcakes consider dressing them up a bit. There’s a great range of detailed cupcake wrappers available through Pink Frosting for you to choose from and you’ll find that even with plain icing they completely transform the traditional cupcakes into stylish and inviting treats.
Regardless of whether you choose to go with a fabulous wedding cake such as those featured by cake designer extraordinaire Faye Cahill or some mouth-watering petit treats like those by Cookie Couture I wish you good luck and advise you draw out the tasting process :)

Victoria x

Images courtesy of:
Faye Cahill Cake Design – http://www.fayecahill.com.au

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day & more...

Bonjour mes amis,

As you all know, yesterday was Mother’s Day. My sister and I decided that instead of buying our mother a gift, this year our present would be a lovely day out and about…just the women in the family.

We started with a relaxing lunch at The Gunshop CafĂ© at West End where the food is to die for and the atmosphere is great. Being vegetarian I ordered a fig, haloumi, candied pecan and beetroot vinegarette…which was absolutely delicious.

After we’d finished our meals, we headed over to the Queensland Art Gallery to marvel at the delights in the Hats exhibit. There are so many mind blowing creations that it should be added to your “must see” list if you either live in Brisbane or are planning a trip soon.

While the “Hats” exhibit is also showing a small hat salon is located in the Gallery which has some beautiful pieces available to purchase and at fairly reasonable prices. There are some great ideas for brides if you don’t want a traditional veil but would instead prefer something a little more unique as well as an abundance of pieces that would be great for wedding guests and race goers who are looking for the final piece to complete their perfectly styled outfits.

In the Gallery’s shop I also stumbled across these gorgeous correspondence cards which are originally sold at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. My sister who’s recently engaged (so exciting!) pointed out that these would make nice invitations or “thank you” cards and she’s absolutely right. With the help of a calligrapher these would be just gorgeous. I couldn’t resist the butterfly print but they are also available with shells and dragonflies.
While you’re in the area you should also pop into the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and if possible check out the stunning reception space (I believe this is usually by appointment only but you never know you may get lucky). You should also be sure to visit the Queensland Terrace at the State Library which is a great open space...see below for a few examples from previous events held at this venue!
For more information about all of these venues visit the following links: