Friday, June 26, 2009

How Sweet It Is

The other night I was sitting at home, kid in bed, boyfriend at hockey, and I turned on the TV (I do this rarely if I am alone) hoping for an episode of Rich Bride Poor Bride, but to my pleasant surprise I discovered a new show called Cake Boss. Fantastic. Not even a word of a lie, cake is my favorite food, which is kind of evil, I wish I could say it was cucumber and egg white scramble, but no, sweet delicious cake. Over the past year I have changed my eating habits to be a lot more healthy, the one thing that will never be banned from my life is cake.

Over the past ten years, the dynamics of a wedding have been completely changed. Now it is all about the colours, the decor, theme, favors, special effects, flowers...and CAKE! It's almost like a competition, to have a wedding, not necessarily bigger, better, more expensive, but something different from the rest. Unique. The need to stand out from all the other weddings your guests have attended.

I am a bit of a Martha Stewart, in the way that I can cook, bake and craft like a mad woman when I am in the right mood. I have made cupcakes for several occasions, and have a few weddings that are coming up that I will be baking for. I just do not see the need to spend $2.50 a cupcake for something I can make for maybe a dollar. I love the cupcake tiers at weddings that have sprung up in recent years. I think that they are a fun and whimsical way of integrating the cake into the reception. I especially enjoy when the couple orders a small cake to top the tier, as I do like the wedding classics such as the cake cutting. Cupcakes are a great way to go as people will actually eat them, they are portable, and there is no need to sit with a fork and plate. I find weddings that serve cupcakes have less waste than a giant cake.

Now, do not get me wrong, I love a good cake (big surprise!) I just like them to be a little bit different. I am not a fan of the three tier white cake with nothing to make it stand out. There is so much choice out there now, and an endless amount of inspiration out there. I don't believe on spending a fortune on the cake, I think there are so many ways around this. Almost everyone knows a baker and with some direction, this baker family member or friend can create a cake that everyone will rave about. Call me boring but I also am not a fan of "creative" fillings. I like chocolate, vanilla, confetti, banana and maybe cherry cake. Please do not try and feed me wedding cake, that is disguised in a delicious icing coating but filled with orange cake and fig jam. Blech! Keep it simple for the cake portion, then everyone is happy and the cake gets eaten.

Some of my creations:

Now, off to make a cucumber-egg white scramble...

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Anti-Bridezilla

I met with Erin after work one day at Starbucks, she works at the same company as me and volunteered her fiance, Cliff and herself to be one of the couples I help coordinate this year. She is a very laid back bride-to-be, she wasn't even 100% on the date yet.

Erin and Cliff have been dating for almost 11 years, and are the same age as me, so yes, they are Junior High sweethearts, which I think is so awesome, they have grown up together, and probably know each other better than they know anyone else. Even before I met up with her, I got a great reading on Erin's personality...she reminds me of me, that's why I like her, ha ha! No, but seriously, she is very easy going, and by the sounds of it so is the lucky guy. She basically said, "he doesn't really do pink" and that was about it.

Like me, her most important expense is photography. I am a true believer that after the day is over, after the months of anticipation, time and expense, the pictures are the one material thing you have to look back on your day. Cheap out on shoes (ducking for cover from you shoe-a-holics out there!), do your own make-up, but make sure you do your research on a great photographer.

When I meet a couple I want a vision. I need to know a look, theme, colour, something about what the couple is aiming for. When I asked this of Erin she told me they were thinking chocolate browns and apple greens. Yes! I love this colour combo, and has been one of the schemes I have thought of for my own imaginary wedding. It's modern, clean and stylish. It's natural, yet super chic. Eco-chic! But yes, this made me a happy wedding planner. I got home that night and worked on their palette. For flowers she mentioned calla lilies and orchids, again, my favorites. The centrepieces we discussed were possibly going to involve live fish. Love it. Donations toward charity in lieu of favors, I will most likely do this at mine too. People spend hundreds of dollars these days toward favors, and half of them get left behind, the other half, thrown out, why not just put it towards something that is meaningful towards the couple.
Back to the anti-bridezilla thing...we still are unsure of a solid date...or place. But we have some beautiful locations in mind, until then, we'll work off the palette I created for this young, modern and laid back couple.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Damask Madness

I was going to put myself to bed the minute Brooke went to bed, as I have a massive headache, but decided that I was going to start putting together a palette for the wedding of Amanda and Trevor who are getting married next July. I met with Amanda today and I think for the most start we are starting a bit from square one, which is awesome as I have some great ideas for what they want. So far, they know black and white will be predominant in the scheme, and Amanda was pretty sure about adding coral to this, and I thought maybe an apple green accent as well would tie everything together.
The look of Damask has made a major comeback the past few years, I even have a lululemon hoodie in Damask! Using this for a black and white wedding really breaks up the starkness of the two pigments and makes it a bit more elegant and romantic, no checkerboard wedding here. Because of it's popularity you can find pretty much anything in this Syrian originated fabric (you thought it was French didn't you?), from candles, table runners, invitations and even toilet paper. Not sure if anyone works in specialty toilet paper into their budget!

Amanda is from the East Coast of Canada and wanted to integrate this into the wedding. Most shells have coral colours in them, so this wouldn't be difficult at all, it was the tartan that might be a challenge, but I want to make sure sentimental components that clients wish to have are always used. They have purpose and meaning and it's always about the little details. I found a sample of green, white and coral tartan that could be used to tie around vases or around the bouquets. I was so happy that I found something that really blended well with everything else I had chosen for this palette.

We have over a year to get this one together, so I am not sure as to why I felt I needed to do this tonight, I guess I knew I'd be awake all night worrying I would forget all of my Damask madness by morning.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

An Exciting Week

Mid-week, I had to complete an assignment for school, which made me cranky as I was not in a scholarly mood that day. I locked myself if our room and pounded out what I thought was an alright effort for someone just wanting to watch So You Think You Can Dance.
One of the parts of this assignment was to come up with an outcome from this course, something measurable, within a years time. My last instructor suggested I start building my portfolio, and to do so, volunteer my services for weddings. I am not one to do things half-way, so I knew that by doing so, I would be committing a lot of volunteer work this year, but all in the name of weddings, so that was more than okay with me. My measurable outcome was to have a complete portfolio and business plan by next summer.

The next day at work, I took a 3 minute break to post something on the company buy and sell. It stated that I required a few willing newly engaged couples to hire me on for free as their wedding consultant, thinking I might have a few bites by the weekend. Within 10 minutes I had three brides! Erin, Amanda and Jaclyn are my three first lucky stars and I am thrilled they are trusting me with their weddings. All three have very different needs and ideas, but I will be there for each of them 100%. I meet with my first couple, Jaclyn and Shawn tomorrow (and possibly the moms! Yay! I love moms!) all the way from Saskatchewan. They will be married October 31st, 2009 in Calgary and I am so ecstatic to get some ideas and brainstorming sessions in!

Secondly, my wonderfully talented Josh spent a good part of his week designing my logo, and we played around with it quite a bit last night. This part is very important to me as I am a visually sparked individual, as are many people and a bad logo is bad news, but from what he's shown me I will love the outcome. I spent my time after that doing market research, business card designing and government website reading on starting a small business. My goal is to have the business official by next August.

Things are slowly coming together, and I couldn't be more happy!