Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

High Street Honey: Marks & Spencer

May 19th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Birdcage

Birdcage

Ladies we’ve all been there (before finding fiancées that is) – you see an attractive man on a night out, pluck up the courage to say hi, or even better, he approaches you, and then within matter of measly minutes the dream falls apart. Turns out he’s a mannequin man – perfectly formed on the outside but there’s nothing on the inside – he clearly has a low IQ, he’s way too laid back, or worse: he’s just plain boring.

I’ve had similar experiences with cakes – there’s nothing worse than a highly attractive cake that disappoints massively once you get a taste of the inside (just like mannequin man).

Bauble

Bauble

Surely for a wedding cake it’s essential that the style and taste stakes match up? Some couples are fortunate enough to have a talented relative or friend capable of producing a culinary masterpiece while others can afford to task a cake supplier with making a bespoke creation that tastes as good as it looks.

Chocolate Plaque Vintage Rose

Chocolate Plaque Vintage Rose

Elegant

Elegant

Rose

Rose

But what are the options for couples’ whose cake budget just doesn’t stretch that far? Cue the Marks & Spencer wedding cake collection – yes that’s right folks, this is not just any wedding cake collection, it’s an M&S wedding cake collection.  And, though we traditionally reserve the honour for fast fashion, these cakes totally deserve our High Street Honey accolade.

Romantic Pearl

Romantic Pearl

Shimmering Hoop (dark and gold)

Shimmering Hoop (Dark & Gold)

Upside Down Raspberry

Upside Down Raspberry

The high street supplier is close to many Brits’ hearts, especially the contents of its food hall – whether it’s the cheesy puffs, ultimate mash or faithful Percy Pigs, we trust M&S to deliver wonderful pleasures for our palettes. This is perhaps why so many couples turn to Marks and Sparks for their wedding cake.

The fabulous collection features a stunning range of both contemporary and traditional options, including exceptionally pretty vintage and floral designs, with a choice of delicious sponges and fillings.

Shimmering Hoop (white and pink)

Shimmering Hoop (White & Pink)

Vintage Rose

Vintage Rose

M&S itself states that a wedding cake should look and taste amazing, and encourages its customers to pick a cake that reflects them as a couple. Personal favourites of mine include the Birdcage and Bauble cake designs – it’s just a shame there isn’t a bride or groom version of Colin the Caterpillar!

For more information about wedding cakes by Marks & Spencer, visit their website.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 courtesy of Marks & Spencer

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

Posted in High Street Honey, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Sweet! Supplier Showcase: The Little Velvet Cake Company PLUS 10% Discount For Wedding Blog Readers

February 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Little Velvet Cake Company by Jade Osborne Photography

Image by Jade Osborne Photography

Anyone feeling hungry?  I know, I know, after banging on about keeping New Year resolutions this morning, I go and put a whole load of beautiful sugar in front of you at just after 3pm.  I’m a very bad friend

I’m a very good wedding blogger though, as it’s my job to tell you all about the best suppliers in the business, available in your local area.  Job done.  North West brides: wedding cake:  sorted.

Let’s meet the lady and Brides Up North Featured Supplier behind these delectable confections, the lovely Liz at The Little Velvet Cake Company

P.s. Let Liz know that you found her through Brides Up North and there’s a 10% discount in it for you!

The Little Velvet Cake Company

Hi Liz!  Tell Brides Up North about The Little Velvet Cake Company, yourself and your experience?

Well I wasn’t always a cake maker. In my former life I had completed a PhD in Environmental Chemistry and then I was an environmental consultant, working for an engineering company on big urban regeneration projects. Previous to that, in my early twenties, I had worked in theatres, where I was everything from usherette to stage manager.

I had never really thought about baking, until I jumped off the career ladder to stay at home and look after my two sons. It all started with a few fun baking sessions making cupcakes with the kids, but it soon got serious when I started nudging the boys away so I could do it all myself. They lost interest but I kept going, until one day I found myself offering to make a friend’s wedding cake. I had never iced a cake before, but fancied having a go after watching Lorraine Pascale doing it on her television show. That was it, I was bitten by the sugar craft bug!

I also loved the idea of having my own business based at home, and this was perfect. For me it’s the perfect combination of technical and creative skills. I’m completely self-taught, I got books out of the library, looked techniques up on the internet, and spent a lot of time playing with sugar crafting equipment. Everything I had learned in my previous jobs seemed to give me a good grounding, I don’t even mind the endless washing up as it’s nothing compared to washing glassware in the analytical laboratory where I did my PhD!

The Little Velvet Cake Company

Tell us about your cakes?  What finishes and flavours are available?

My role of creating perfect and personal centre pieces for something as important as a couple’s wedding day is a big responsibility, and so I work closely with each couple to make sure they get the perfect cake for them. Consequently I end up making a wide range of cakes, but I do think they all have the unique ‘Little Velvet’ style about them. I concentrate on clean, elegant designs that are well balanced and never unnecessarily fussy.

Many brides have quite a fixed idea of what they want their cake to be like, others need a bit of inspiration before they decide what they want, either way I try to accommodate this by relating the cake design to the big picture so it complements the styles, colours and textures used elsewhere in their wedding.

I’m going to get a bit technical here, but where cake finishes are concerned there are two main types (forgive me, I’m such a cake geek!). I do traditional ‘rounded’ edges for that classic, smooth wedding cake look, which is very traditional. These cakes are very natural and romantic looking. I also like to do ‘sharp’ edges, which has a more contemporary look where the sides are ultra-straight with a sharp edge along the top. The tiers on these cakes are typically deeper, so the overall look is tall and elegant.

The more tiers you have, the more flavours you can go for! I do all the standard flavours, mostly vanilla and chocolate sponge, but good old faithful fruit cake is often requested for at least one of the tiers. There is demand for less traditional flavours though, with carrot cake and red velvet cake being popular. Last year I made a cake that was not just lemon coloured, but all 3 tiers were lemon flavoured too. I used plenty of zesty lemon curd and butter cream to fill it, and it smelt amazing. This is the beauty of having a bespoke cake… you get to decide your own flavours.

The Little Velvet Cake Company

Tell us about your ingredients?

I’m very fussy when it comes to baking ingredients. I always buy the same organic flour, because I trust it to give me consistent results. Eggs have to be free range, and butter has to be good quality. I believe that if you cut corners with the ingredients, it will show in the baked product. My ingredients are tried and tested, so I’m confident that my cakes will taste the best they can. For example, the quality of cocoa powder varies enormously, so I am brand loyal and get a good quality Fair-trade make that is head and shoulders better than the others. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a cake looks, nobody wants their guests to be disappointed when they eat it.

Do you cater for special diets?

Yes, I have made cakes without gluten, nuts or dairy products on many occasions. However, my kitchen isn’t gluten free, and not entirely nut free either, so I always state that there is a risk of cross contamination although nuts and gluten free products are stored separately and I take precautions to make sure cross contamination is avoided (again, the analytical laboratory experience comes in handy)!

Last year I made a ‘naked cake’ with gluten free products (which is tiered sponge cake without the icing. This one was filled with jam and fresh cream and dusted with icing sugar). These cakes have to be baked perfectly even and I was a bit nervous using the gluten free flour as it can be tricky sometimes. It turned out great though, you wouldn’t have known it wasn’t the usual wheat flour.

What are the most popular flavours?

Vanilla is the most popular flavour, closely followed by chocolate. I think these are the crowd pleasers.

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Posted in Featured Supplier, North West Wedding, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Favours | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Twice As Nice. A Vintage Afternoon Tea & Chinese Lions For Two Weddings In One – Lisa & Simon

January 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Damian S Brandon Photography

I just love that today’s bride, Lisa, is all about the cake.  As good a place as any to start planning your wedding, I reckon! Lucky for Lisa that some fabulous local suppliers (including Brides Up North Featured Supplier Liz from The Little Velvet Cake Company) were on hand with the baked goods. 

Lisa and Simon’s double celebration, mixing Chinese and British tradition, has it all – vintage high tea, fancy footwear, a dash of drama, Chinese lions, hula hoops, and plenty of cakey goodness.

With images by Damian S Brandon.

Damian S Brandon Photography

Lisa says:  We got engaged on 18th March 2012 which was Mothers’ Day. We first met on 15th October 2011 so had only known each over for 5 months when we decided to get engaged! We called both of our mums on Mothers’ Day to let them know the good news. It was the first wedding for both families so it was all very exciting!

Damian S Brandon Photography

Our wedding date was 25th May 2013 which also happened to be the day of the Champions League final. Simon supports Manchester United. I can’t tell you how happy I was that they didn’t make it into the final!

Damian S Brandon Photography

Damian S Brandon Photography

We decided to split our wedding into two days: one day for a traditional civil ceremony and the other day for a traditional Chinese banquet celebration. Our civil ceremony took place at Tabley House which is a Grade I mansion set in beautiful parkland located in Knutsford, Cheshire. The Chinese banquet took place in Chung Ying Garden Restaurant, Birmingham.

Damian S Brandon Photography

Damian S Brandon Photography

Damian S Brandon Photography

Damian S Brandon Photography

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Posted in Featured Supplier, North West Wedding, Real Weddings, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | 2 Comments

Say Cheese! Supplier Showcase: Northumberland Cheese Company PLUS The Top Tier Of Your Wedding Cheese Cake Free!

May 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Heather of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Northumberland Cheese Company is a fan of these swirly silver pages, saying: I like how there is a real sense of community between the Brides, and it is an ideal place to swap tips and lovely little companies you might have stumbled across. It is a place where people can share one of the happiest days of their lives and what can be better than that!

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Just so happens that Northumberland Cheese Company is one of those lovely companies, and I hope you enjoy stumbling upon them today.  For what could be better than a wedding cake made of cheese?  Make mine a Blagdon Blue!

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How and when did Northumberland Cheese Company begin?

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Northumberland Cheese Company was founded by Mark Robertson as the Redesdale Sheep Dairy in the spring of 1985 at Soppitt Farm, Esldon in Northumberland. Mark took a cheese making course and made the first cheese – a ewe’s milk cheese called Redesdale. The locals became very fond of the cheese, and as demand grew Mark expanded into other milk cheeses, including award-winning goat’s, cow’s and Jersey milk cheeses. From there the business expanded, and in 1996 we moved to the Blagdon Estate. We now have many areas of our business including our incredibly popular wedding cheese cakes which we have been making since a request from a forward thinking couple in 2007. Now the cheese cakes are flying out the granary door as fast as we can make them!

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Tell us about your cheeses and granary?

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The cheese is all made here at the small dairy in a converted 19th Century granary in Blagdon Estate, South Northumberland. The dairy is downstairs, and above the dairy is our coffee shop, the Cheese Loft Cafe. We have a range of sixteen handmade artisan cheeses, all using Northern milk from Northern cows, goats, ewes and Jersey cows! We are very particular about the provenance of our milk supplies. The milk for most of our cow’s cheeses comes from the herd at the Blagdon Estate, where our dairy is based. We are proud that we can ensure full traceability of our cheeses. Several of the cheeses have won awards, including a first prize at the Bakewell Show for our Oak Smoked, a Gold Award for both our Brinkburn goat’s cheese and Blagdon Blue, all in 2012.

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What sets your business apart from your competitors?

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We are a happy team here, and we all love what we do! We really do put our heart and passion into the company, and people can see that when they meet us, and of course taste the cheeses or indeed Ann’s homemade scones baked at the crack of dawn in the Cheese Loft Café. Many of our ingredients such as the bacon, sausages and eggs used in the Cheese Loft Café are sourced locally, as are the majority of the food goodies we sell in our shop. Old fashioned family values of supporting the local community, using top quality ingredients and generally being nice to other people is what we do best.

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Becky

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Tell us about your wedding cakes?

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Our wedding cakes are towers of our handmade, artisan, Northern cheeses! They are typically three or four tiers, but we will try to make whatever tower you have in mind! The assembled cheesy tower can then be decorated however the happy couple would like it to match the colour scheme or theme. Some couples choose to have fresh flowers – lilies, orchids, edible flowers, or fresh fruit – figs, grapes, strawberries or kiwis, and a lovely bride to be who came in for her consultation was having her cheese cake decorated with delicate little origami paper flowers made by her bridesmaid. The cheese cakes can be deconstructed later in the evening and served with biscuits, chutneys, honey or fruit and maybe a glass of wine or two. The cheese cakes serve as a delicious base to create your own gorgeous cheeseboard, and are always a talking point. I think people also like the strong heritage, locality and passion that goes into Northumberland Cheeses.

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Why do you think that cheese wedding cakes have become so popular and why would you recommend one?

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I think the modern couple are looking for details that make their wedding celebration unique. The wedding cake plays an important and symbolic part of the day, and the unusual cheese wedding cake really makes a statement. I think some of us have realised we’re not that crazy about the traditional fruit cake with marzipan! For people without a sweet tooth, the cheese wedding cake makes a delicious savoury alternative served with crackers and fruit, and also adds a bit of decadence. The cake can easily be made to match the theme of the day, plus the cheese cakes are very economical, as they double up as a delicious evening course. We have seen our biggest sales to date this year of our wedding cakes.

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JOANNE AND NICKS WEDDING (253 of 470)

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Can Brides Up North decide how to decorate their wedding cake?  What sort of decoration would you suggest?

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Brides Up North have full reign to decorate the cake however they like, we can offer ideas and suggestions and we can also recommend some wonderful local suppliers to accompany our cheese cakes. During the consultation, the couple will meet with our wedding cake guru and discuss their requirements over some cheese samples and a cuppa. We have some great connections with the talented producers in the North. The bride and groom can take a look through our brochure of images of wedding cakes we have helped to create. I saw a cake recently that was decorated simply with a cascade of English raspberries interspersed with flecks of blueberries, very elegant.

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How far in advance should Brides Up North place their order for their wedding cake?

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The cheese is all made to order and as the cheese takes 3 months to reach maturity the order must be placed a minimum of 3 months before the big day. We have cheeseboards to hire, and we can deliver the cake to your venue so once the order is in you can relax and leave it to us and Mother Nature!

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Prices start from as little as £74 for a three tier undressed cake. A four tier cake starts from as little as £262. The cheese is all priced by weight.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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We are offering Brides Up North the top tier (225g – 400g truckle depending on your choice of cheese) of their wedding cake absolutely free! To redeem this offer, please quote Brides Up North when booking your wedding cake consultation.

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Where are you located and where can you deliver?

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The Cheese Farm is to be found down a winding country road in rural South Northumberland, 15 minutes’ drive North of Newcastle Airport, and easily accessible from the A1. We deliver to England and Scotland free of charge.

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Marks wedding cake

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What else is going on at Northumberland Cheese Company – tell us about your shop and café?

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The Cheese Loft Café was redesigned in January this year by a local interior designer and to celebrate we asked our customers to name the café, which they did! We have seen our biggest sales month on month this year, and the new addition to our menu, the afternoon tea is proving to be very successful indeed.

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Who would be your dream client and why?

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Johnny Depp… because I would like to be his bride (from Heather the wedding cake guru)!

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Are there any really memorable weddings that you have supplied for?

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One couple from Newcastle had their first ever date in our coffee shop at the cheese farm. Things must have gone well as they both moved out to Singapore together. Hey ho, they came back, and the gent proposed to his lovely lady back in our coffee shop! It was after closing time, and there was soft music playing and rose petals scattered and the ring was hidden within a piece of cheese! They also had one of our wedding cakes!

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We also had one customer who had our biggest ever wedding cake with four tiers of cheese surrounded by sixteen truckles!

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Northumberland

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How can Brides Up North find out more?

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Brides Up North can see our website, Facebook page and Pinterest board to see examples of the decorated cheese cakes. To book a free consultation, contact Heather Maddocks at heather@northumberland-cheese.co.uk  or 01670 789 798.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Northumberland Cheese Company

Northumberland Cheese Company is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Alternative Weddings, Featured Supplier, North East Wedding, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | 1 Comment

North East Hen Party Inspiration: An Afternoon Tea With Baked Cupcakery

August 9th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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The gorgeous Helena at Baked Cupcakery spoilt my guests at the recent Brides Up North Tweet Up North East with a tower of beautiful Brides Up North cupcakes.  Helena is also my kinda gal, coming early to help out and staying right until the end of the party.  Legend. 

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Brides Up North Tweet Up North East by Mandy Charlton

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Now her services are not just limited to your big day, as she launches her new Afternoon Tea party service – utterly delicious, and perfect for a girly gathering.  A perfectly frosted hen party anyone?  Yes please!

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Pass me a cucumber sandwich?

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Afternoon tea hen party by Baked Cupcakery

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Helena of Baked Cupcakery says:  Baked provides Afternoon Tea direct to your door. Perfect for parties, hen nights, baby showers and other celebrations.  We provide the spread and you just have to enjoy it. You can choose to hire our beautiful pink polka dot tea set and stands or simply use your own. When you’re done we will collect it all again, so there’s no washing up!

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Afternoon tea hen party by Baked Cupcakery

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There is the choice of two different spreads to suit your hen party celebration or girly get together. Our Dainty Spread is £7.00 per person with a minimum order of 6 servings, and the Splendid Spread is only £9.50 per person.  Tea set hire is from £18.00 and our polka dot tea set Includes tea pots, milk jug, sugar bowl, tea cups & saucers, plates and cake stands – the works! 

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Delivery is free in Sunderland and from £5.00 to surrounding areas of the North East

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Afternoon tea hen party by Baked Cupcakery

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We are a small bakery based in Sunderland, run by cake enthusiast Helena. We specialise in all things cupcake, from giant cupcakes to mini cupcakes and everything in between. We are always trying out new things and love a challenge. Please get in touch by emailing hello@bakedcupcakery.co.uk to make an enquiry.

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Click here to read an interview with Helena of Baked Cupcakery on Brides Up North.

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Afternoon tea hen party by Baked Cupcakery   

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  – Images © 2012 Baked Cupcakery

Baked Cupcakery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, Hen Parties, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Style Good Enough To Eat! Supplier Showcase: Couture Cake Design PLUS 15% DISCOUNT For Wedding Blog Readers!

April 9th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Had enough sugar this weekend Brides Up North?  I’ve demolished two Easter eggs, and I’m totally ready for more?  Who is with me?!

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This morning, its all about the wedding cake as I chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier Carrie of East Yorkshire wedding cake designer Couture Cake Design all about her sugar coated services. 

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Prepare yourself for some total cake porn {drools onto laptop}.  

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

.Photographer credit: Atken Photography Bridlington

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How did Couture Cake Design begin?   

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After having two children and been made redundant whilst on maternity leave I decided to look into self employment working from home, so this is when Couture Cake Design was born!  I have not come from a catering background, I have always been quite arty and creative and can pick things up rather quickly, so all my skills are fully self taught. Since my business began I have done a few master classes with some world famous cake artists perfecting my techniques.

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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Where is Couture Cake Design based?

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We are based in Bridlington on the East Coast and we are a home based business.

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire   

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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What type of cakes can you make? 

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I bake all of my own cakes and use my own adapted recipes. I use only the finest ingredients, free range eggs, organic and fair-trade products. I use French butter in my cakes and buttercreams to ensure the best possible taste. I specialise in romantic, vintage style wedding cakes and in selected handcrafted sugar flowers.

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Which is your favourite cake design of all time?

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Anything with lace, roses, hydrangeas and piped pearls! Anything girly really!

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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How long does a wedding cake take to make?

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Every cake varies depending on the size and the design.  One full bloom sugar rose takes one hour alone to make so if you have a cake with twelve roses there is three days work alone ! I usually spend between three to seven days on each wedding cake.  Most of my brides book their cake with me because of the type of work I do so most of the time the design is what I love doing most!

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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Which celebrity’s wedding would you like to make a cake for and why? 

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Victoria Beckham, she is a very classy lady and I think my style of cake would suit her perfectly. I would probably design something quite simple, six tiers with a full bloom of sugar flowers on top with some delicate pipe work. I would suggest my best sponge cakes, Madagascan vanilla bean cake with raspberry conserve and lemon cake with limóncello syrup and curd.

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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What sort of cake would you make for your own wedding?

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Something very big (eight tier plus) with lots of piped pearls and roses!

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How far in advance should Brides Up North place their order?

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I recommend booking as soon as possible, we work on a first come first served basis. I work for myself and don’t employ any staff so I am limited to the amount of bookings I am able to take each week with having such a young family at home.

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Every cake is unique and prices can differ tremendously. I work on three tiers roughly £300, four tiers £400 etc. The best way to get a definite price is to contact me to book a wedding consultation, to discuss the wedding cake and to also sample some of my lovely cake.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I am more than happy to offer a 15% discount on any wedding cake booked October – April each year.  Please mention Brides Up North when booking.

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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire
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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you?

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Visit my website at www.couturecakedesign.co.uk  or  follow me on Twitter CarrieClarkCCD or Facebook  Couture Cake Design
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Couture Cake Design - Wedding Cakes East Yorkshire

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  – Images © 2012 provided by Couture Cake Design

Couture Cake Design is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, Wedding Cakes, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Wedding Planning SOS: Have Your Cake & Eat It!

April 5th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This morning it’s all about cake – wahey!

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Our resident wedding planning expert, Helen of Bash, talks us through the process of choosing a wedding cake in the hope that you really will be able to have your cake and eat it on your big day!

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Meanwhile, I have a very pressing engagement to attend to… er… {disappears to the kitchen in search of sweet things}

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Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi    Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi

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Helen says: The requirement for a wedding cake is borne out of many traditions. One of the first began in Ancient Rome where small wheat cakes were broken over the bride’s head! It was thought this ritual would bring good fortune to the couple and their guests, who would scramble to polish off the crumbs from the broken bread in order to ensure prosperity for themselves.

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The first signs of a tiered wedding cake appeared in Medieval England in the form of a succulent slab made from fruit and wine, which was regarded as a symbol of fertility and prosperity and would last at least until the couple’s first anniversary. A pile of cakes would be stacked high, which the Bride and Groom were required to kiss over. The idea was to stack them as high as possible to make it difficult for the couple to kiss over the top. If they were able, it was thought to symbolise a life time of prosperity. The bride would then help the groom cut the cake, symbolising her promise to help and support him wherever possible. If they proceeded to feed each other the first slice, they were committing to provide for and share with each other for life.

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Today, considering the number of hurdles we encounter whilst planning a wedding, it’s perhaps just as well that you don’t need to worry about jumping over cake! Fortunately, tradition has given way to taste. And whilst there are no longer any hard and fast rules associated with choosing a cake there are definitely a few pitfalls to avoid.

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Trends have as much influence now as when Queen Victoria chose to wear a white gown when she married Prince Albert in 1840, after which big and white became the norm. But in recent years, fruit cakes encased in royal (white) icing have given way to a rainbow of colours and a myriad of flavours and fillings.

Where to start?

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Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi    Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi

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Helen’s top tips for choosing your wedding cake

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Give some thought to what you’d really like and set a budget. Decide how much you’re willing to spend and how your cake fits in with your overall vision for the day. For instance, will you cut it and offer a piece to every guest to take away with them, incorporate it into the meal as desert, or cut costs with a polystyrene tier or two and serve slices from a discrete tray, baked separately so as not to disturb the masterpiece? It might sound a bit over the top but considering all the options may save you money and time in the long run.

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Be prepared to order your cake at least three months before the wedding. As the size of the cake is usually determined by the number of guests, you’ll need to have your numbers at the ready, and bear in mind that if the cake is to fit in with your overall theme, you’ll need to have a colour pallet in mind. Your choice of dress, flowers and other finishing touches may also have a bearing on the design of your cake.

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Look for inspiration on the web, read wedding blogs and visit Bridal Fayres in order to gather ideas and identify what you do and do not like.

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By all means seek recommendations but most importantly…..eat cake! Ask every cake designer you meet for samples.

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Consider all the alternatives to a tiered cake, such as a cup cake tower, celebratory cookies, a brownie extravaganza or a cheese cake…yes, even a cake made of cheese!

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When you think you’ve found the right supplier, arrange a consultation. Take pictures of any designs you like (and don’t) and be prepared to describe as many elements of your day as possible. As well as understanding your colour pallet, they may also ask to see pictures of your dress and flowers, particularly if the cake is to be decorated with coordinating ribbons, swirls, flowers, lace or icing patterns to echo the embroidery on your dress.

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HEART Consider to what extent the cake could reflect your image. Since we’re no longer bound by tradition, the only limit is your imagination. Whether it’s to be fruit or sponge, flavoured, iced or decorated is entirely up to you. Don’t be afraid to opt for a quirky, bespoke design incorporating spots, stripes and personalised toppers reflecting your individual personalities and hobbies!

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HEART Will it be vanilla, lemon, coffee, chocolate fudge, orange, fruit, coconut, banana or carrot? Filled with butter cream or jam or both? Don’t rule out the possibility that each tier could be a different flavour.

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HEART If it is a fruit cake, it should be made as far ahead of the wedding as possible to give the recipe chance to develop and mature, whereas a sponge cake must be freshly baked no more than a couple of days before the wedding.

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HEART Establish whether any guests have any allergies or special dietary requirements, e.g. gluten free. Can the cake designer cater for this?

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HEART Establish how the cake will be transported, when it will be delivered and assembled, and by whom.

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HEART Is there an additional cost for a cake stand to be supplied? Many venues have their own and can supply one for you.

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HEART Ask for everything to be confirmed in writing in a contract and establish what deposit is payable and when.

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Get it right and your cake will be a focal point, a centre piece and quite possibly, the best dressed guest at your wedding. Get it wrong and you’ll wish you hadn’t!

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Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi    Wedding Cake via Hello Naomi

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Previous guest posts by Helen:

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Wedding Planning SOS- Hello Petal!

Wedding Planning SOS- Practical Paper- Wedding Invitations

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect- How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

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Would you like to be a guest blogger for Brides Up NorthContact me

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Hello Naomi via Pinterest

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Wedding Cakes, Wedding Planning | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Victoria Sponge Towers & Floral Bowers – A Beautiful Styled Wedding Inspiration Shoot In The North West

March 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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It’s a beautiful day across the North today, and if you have to be stuck inside what better way to bring the outdoors in than this gorgeous wedding inspiration shoot masterminded by Emmylou of Lilybud Cupcakes and featuring the work of a team of super talented North West wedding industry suppliers.  I generally hate a name dropper but – look! – the unmistakeable floral excellence of Red Floral Architecture and the gorgeous gowns of wedding industry superstars Charlotte Balbier and Amanda Wyatt never fail to leave me breathless. 

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Better yet, this is the first in a series of three gorgeous blog posts featuring the work of the same team.  Oh how I spoil you!

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Enjoy…

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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019_LR_Photo_LilyBud_Cupcakes

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Emmylou of LilyBud Cupcakes says:  LilyBud Cupcakes is a year old this month and as I’ve looked back over what I’ve accomplished, I can’t help but feel extremely grateful to all the wonderful people that have helped my business grow. So many people gave me opportunities that I could only wish for, when they hardly knew me or had never even met me at all. I still have far to go and there’s still so much I want to achieve but to think that I began making cupcakes in my day’s off from my hospitality management role, taking them in for the staff to sample and thinking that it was just a creative phase I was going through!

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I owe a lot to the photo shoots I was invited to and asked to supply for. I watched from a distance how each supplier brought their products or talent, as well as passion, and made a masterpiece. I couldn’t help but be in awe and feel sense of being overwhelmed at what I saw being transformed in front of me and so to celebrate, I thought that I would arrange my own. 

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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I decided on a bridal picnic as the theme and styled a woodland shoot with trees in the background. I also wanted the models to be having fun, and not to be posing, like a lot of the shoots I see. The dresses would have to be easy to move about in and reflect the easy going theme. I imagined lots of laughter captured when the models didn’t realise. I also wanted them to interact with each other and the props, including the food.

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I had a massive bake-a-thon 7 days before the shoot. I made a 4 tier wedding cake for the shoot, around 10 dummy cupcakes, 12 real cupcakes that the models were to eat on set, an assortment of cookies in the shape of love hearts, tea cups, teapots and cupcakes, a 4 layer summer fruit cake, about 20 scones and a selection of beef and chicken salad sandwiches. The models were also given fizzy grape juice (which looked like champagne) to drink and I even took my own bottle of Bollinger.  I have just recently launched my vintage crockery collection and Afternoon Tea Party hire and picnics, so I really wanted to show this off. We had a couple of breakages, but it was expected.

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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I am, and always have been, the type of person who tries to do everything myself. It gets me into trouble sometimes and it’s caused a few emotional melt downs but I knew that if I was organised enough… and this is the one thing this industry has taught me, I could do it.

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Charlotte had invited me down to the studio to choose which dresses we wanted to use and we got to meet her lovely team and family.  We decided to have a mix of Charlotte and Amanda Wyatt’s dresses.

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Everybody said what a fantastic day they had and I’m sure you can tell from the photos they all had fun. I am ecstatic that the pictures are amazing and everyone involved was absolutely fantastic! It’s very overwhelming that all these wonderful people and suppliers came together to help me with a small idea that I had.

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As well as all the amazing suppliers, I should also give a mention to one special helper.  My mum was an absolute star! She arrived at mine the night before to get everything ready and make food for the day ahead.  She made cups of tea and coffees all day, giving out sandwiches and cakes, helped the girls get dressed, watched my little girl Lily all day. If you know my daughter, you’ll know she’s a very energetic child! Mum had to chase her around the venue on numerous occasions. Mat from Red Floral suggested I give her a medal for her efforts!

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography

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Lorna Roberts Photography

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Little Black Book

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Styling, cakes and cookies, picnic, vintage crockery, pompoms  – Lilybud Cupcakes 
Flowers and bouquets – Mat Hepplestone at Red Floral Architecture

Gold artisan bouquet – Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven

Make up and bridal hair styling – Clare Arden at Harry Jon Make Up Artist

Bridesmaid hair styling – Maria Santoro 07966 230 293

Venue – Styal Lodge 

Bridal dresses – Charlotte Balbier and Amanda Wyatt 

Bridesmaid dresses – Amanda Wyatt 

Menswear – Groom

Hair accessories – Charlotte Balbier 

Stationery – David Spoor from Acushla

Photographers Lorna Roberts Photography and Sue Westwood- Ruttledge Photography

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Check the wedding blog shortly for more styled wedding inspiration from this talented team. 

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  – Images © 2012 Sue Westwood-Ruttledge Photography and Lorna Roberts Photography as tagged

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

Posted in Cupcakes, North West Wedding, Styled Shoot, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Flowers | Filed Under | 7 Comments

Fancie A Bit Of That? Supplier Showcase: Fancie – PLUS Cake For Every Wedding Blog Reader!

February 12th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day and I have a crush.  In fact, hell no, I’m in love.

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I fancy a bit of Fancie.  We’ll they do say it’s for people who like cake!

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Greyeye Photography

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Recovering from today’s most excellent inaugural Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive at Allerton Castle (more on that later!) would be just that much more satisfying with a side order of sugar.  This afternoon, I chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Fancie, who make the most sinfully sweet cupcakes in Yorkshire.  I know – I’ve succumbed many a time!

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Fancie

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How did Fancie begin?

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Fancie was born in February 2008 in the home kitchen of Amanda Perry who founded the company. Her passion for producing delicious cupcakes has helped the business grow from these humble beginnings to a thriving company with three shops throughout Sheffield.  Fancie has a dedicated team of skilled bakers and passionate shop staff who deliver the Fancie experience to our customers.

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Fancie

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Where is Fancie based?

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Fancie has three shops in Sheffield, one in Meadowhall, one in the Winter Garden in the city centre and one on Sharrowvale Road just off the bustling area of Ecclesall Road.

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Fancie

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What type of cupcakes can you make? 

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Fancie have a range a 12 signature cake flavours which we bake daily along with seasonal and daily specials. We can also create bespoke flavours if your favourite cake isn’t already on our menu. Our classic Victoria and Chocolate cupcakes tend to be the popular choices for Brides and Grooms. The designs we create are driven by each individual couple and their wedding, popular themes include butterflies, flowers and vintage inspired colours.

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Fancie

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Which is your favourite cupcake design of all time? Which are your best sellers?

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Our favourite design has to be the beautiful cakes which are frosted to create the petals of a rose – simply stunning! Our best seller is our classic Victoria cupcake, a light and fluffy vanilla sponge filled with gooey raspberry jam and topped with a vanilla buttercream swirl.

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Fancie

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How long does a wedding cake/cupcake tower take to make?

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The cupcakes for an average wedding take around 4 hours to make, bake, frost, deliver and set up at the wedding venue on the big day itself. Before that though you have the fun bit of the design process and meeting to dream up your perfect wedding day cakes.

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Fancie

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Which celebrity’s wedding would you like to make cupcakes for and why? 

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I would love to make the cakes for Kylie’s wedding, the shows she puts on for her concerts are amazing so it would be wonderful to create her wedding cakes inspired by one of these. I think Kylie would like some quite simple but classic flavours like Lemon and our Raspberry & Almond cupcakes. Design wise it would be great to hear her creative ideas but I would love to take inspiration from her Showgirl tour and create something really wow with feathers, diamante and beautiful colours.

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Fancie

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What sort of cupcakes would you make for your own wedding?

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I love all things Art Deco and roses so something along the vintage theme with beautiful ivory, peach and mocha colours. Some piped to look like roses and some with striking Art Deco motifs created in fondant with pearls and lace to decorate the stand. They’d have to be Banoffie flavour – my absolute favourite!

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Fancie

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Have you made any really unusual cupcakes?

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For one couple’s wedding last summer we created cupcakes with fondant toppers to depict a Pacman design when the cakes were arranged on a table – they were really fun!

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Fancie

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How far in advance should Brides Up North place their order?

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We can work to quite short timescales as our cakes are baked fresh every day, although we would always recommend booking as far in advance as possible to make sure your wedding date doesn’t get booked up! Around 6 months in advance of your wedding is usually about right.

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Fancie

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Can you give me an idea on price?

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Prices do vary depending on what you choose for your wedding but as a guide the average Fancie wedding costs around £250.

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Fancie

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Can you do a  giveaway for Brides Up North readers?

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Fancie are delighted to offer all Brides Up North readers a free box of four cupcakes when they book and attend a wedding consultation with us, just let us know you found us on Brides Up North when you book!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you?

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To get in touch please email us on weddings@fancie.co.uk or call 0114 272 6177

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Take a look at our website www.fancie.co.uk and our Facebook fan page (search Fancie Cupcakes), you can also tweet us @Fancie!

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Fancie

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Anything else we should know?

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Don’t forget all those little extras for your wedding too, our cupcakes make great favours, place settings and thank you gifts. We can also give you a great hen do experience, we have Cupcakes & Cocktails and Cupcake Decorating parties, the perfect get together with all your important girlies before your big day.

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  – Images © 2012: 1 Greyeye Photography, all others Fancie

Fancie is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Cupcakes, Featured Supplier, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Fondant Fancy! Supplier Showcase: Baked Cupcakery

February 1st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Need a Wednesday afternoon sugar hit?  We’ve got it licked. 

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Today I chat to Helena of North East wedding cake and cupcake specialist Baked Cupcakery about all things fancy, fondant and fun!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Baked Cupcakery

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How did Baked Cupcakery begin?  

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Following my passion for all things creative I began a career as a Graphic Designer after studying at Leeds University. After nearly 4 years working as a Graphic Designer I decided I wanted a change and didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk any more.

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Ever since I was little I have always enjoyed baking cakes and sweet treats. Any chance that I got you would find me in the kitchen with my sisters baking up new concoctions. While I was working I started getting interested in cupcakes and began practicing. Looking back, I’ve come a long way since those early creations! Using my skills as a designer I created all the branding for Baked, even teaching myself web design so I could create the website. I pride myself on attention to detail and creating perfect cupcakes and cakes. A year on since I first set out on this path I couldn’t be happier – although there are stressful moments, nothing is better than seeing the faces of happy customers!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Baked Cupcakery    Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Baked Cupcakery

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What is your background?  

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I have always done well at school and college, but after so many exams I knew the creative route was the way for me. My degree in Graphic Design has certainly been invaluable and I doubt I would be where I am today without it.

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I have no formal training in baking or decorating, but I have devoted many hours to perfecting my skills. There are always new things that I want to learn and try, that’s the exciting thing about this business!

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Baked Cupcakery

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Where is Baked Cupcakery based?

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The business is based in Sunderland and I currently work from home. I love visiting brides to be to discuss their wedding cakes and cupcakes and I always come armed with samples! Brides can always check out the website and Facebook galleries as I am always posting new designs and creations for inspiration.

I do have ambitions of opening a bakery in the future, but I’ve learnt to take things one step at a time. I have access to a larger bakery where I recently baked over 1700 cupcakes in a day with a great team of people – so there’s no order top big or small!

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Baked Cupcakery

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What type of cakes can you make? 

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Baked Cupcakery make traditional and modern wedding cakes as well as beautiful cupcakes of course!

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Cupcakes make gorgeous wedding towers and favours for guests. There are so many possibilities I couldn’t pinpoint a particular design and there are lots of examples in the gallery. I’m always looking at the latest trends to make sure I create the most stunning cupcakes and cakes for my brides. Recently Baked Cupcakery has started offering printed cupcakes which can have photos, thank you messages and even guests names printed on them in edible icing – which double up as table place names and favours! Giant Cupcakes are one of our biggest successes and they are truly spectacular, especially on top of one of our cupcake towers.

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I love new flavours – which is why Baked Cupcakery has so many! There are all the firm favourites as well as flavours such as Limoncello & White Chocolate, Kinder Bueno, Twix, Jaffa Cupcakes… the Terry’s Chocolate Orange went down very well at Christmas.

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Baked Cupcakery    Baked Cupcakery

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Which is your favourite cake or cupcake design of all time?

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My favourite cupcake design to create would have to be Baked’s Cupcake Bouquets. This is mainly because people are always stunned when they see them and I always have to explain that they are made of cupcakes and can be eaten! Cupcake bouquets make amazing table centre pieces as well as talking points at weddings. They took a while to perfect and now they are a true signature design of the bakery!

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As for my favourite cake designs, I love everything from Peggy Porschen and Maisie Fantaisie, they are so delicate, clean and beautiful.

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Baked Cupcakery    Baked Cupcakery

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How long does a wedding cake or cupcake tower take to make?

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Wedding cakes are one of the centre pieces of the day (apart from the Bride of course!), so they have to be perfect. It’s important that they taste just as good as they look! Wedding cakes need to be made over a few days, so all the preparation is done in advance leaving the final day dedicated to getting the decoration just right. Cupcakes need to be made as close to the day as possible so that they are fresh and delicious. It’s a time consuming job, but worth it when you see the results. Cupcake towers are real show stoppers and there are plenty to look at in our gallery.

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Baked Cupcakery

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What celebrity’s wedding would you like to make a cake or cupcakes for and why?  What designs and flavours would you choose?

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I would have loved to design some cupcakes for William and Kate – a huge cupcake tower filled with vanilla buttercream swirled cupcakes and lacy wrappers to match Kate’s elegant dress. It would be amazing to know the queen had eaten one of my cupcakes!

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As a polar opposite I think I would have a lot fun and go wild coming up with cupcakes for Katie Price’s next wedding! Hopefully it would be an over the top glittery affair… chocolate cupcakes in animal print cases topped with buttercream in pinks and purples with gold hearts and flower decorations.

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Baked Cupcakery

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What sort of cake or cupcakes would you make for your own wedding?

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I will find it very difficult to pick a design for my own wedding cake as I have so many ideas! I think when it comes down to it, it will probably be something classic and quite simple. I would love a cupcake tower filled with delicious cupcakes in pearly white with a hint or delicate purple decorations and beautiful cupcake wrappers – although I’m sure I will have changed my mind by then!

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Baked Cupcakery    Baked Cupcakery

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Have you made any really unusual cakes or cupcakes?

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The most unusual I can think of is a special cupcake box for a Westie and Pug loving piano teacher. I created a cupcake for each passion – the piano cupcake even came complete with music sheet and mug of tea. The resulting cupcakes were very well received, so much so that they were reluctant to eat them as they said they were works of art!

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How far in advance should Brides Up North place their order? 

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Dates are getting booked up fast, so I would advise making an appointment early to avoid being disappointed, I hate having to turn people away. A 20% deposit is taken to secure the booking and then you can rest easy knowing everything is taken care of!

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Baked Cupcakery

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?  

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Our cupcakes start from £1.50 each and the mini cupcakes from £1.00, creating options for every budget. The Giant wedding cupcakes are currently priced from £55.00 and a tiered wedding cake (6” and 8”) from £145. Guide pricing is available on the website but Brides should get in touch for a full quote.

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Baked Cupcakery

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you?

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www.bakedcupcakery.co.uk

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Baked Cupcakery has a website full of information and cakes! There is a contact form on the website to allow customers to quickly get in touch.

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Enquiries can also be emailed to hello@bakedcupcakery.co.uk or I can be reached directly on 07834854990. I am more than happy to visit couples to discuss their wedding cake at a convenient time for them.

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To keep up to date with news and latest designs follow us on Twitter @bakedcupcakery or give us a ‘like’ on Facebook/Baked.Cupcakery.

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Baked Cupcakery will be showing at the Great North Wedding Show (Hilton Newcastle Gateshead) on the 19th of February.

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Baked Cupcakery

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Why do you read Brides Up North?

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Brides Up North is full of great inspiration and I love looking through the ‘real weddings’, probably because I’m nosy! There are some amazing suppliers featured, the only problem is that by the time I start planning my wedding I am going to have so many ideas I won’t know where to start!

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  – Images © 2012 Baked Cupcakery

Baked Cupcakery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Posted in Cupcakes, Featured Supplier, Wedding Cakes | Filed Under | 2 Comments

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