Wedding Cake | Interview with a Baker

Love is sweet, but more importantly, so is your wedding cake!

We chatted with Michelle Crawford, Owner, Chef and Cake Artist of Bakers Cottage Cakes to go over all things delicious and learn a little more about her creative insights!

How did Bakers Cottage come to be?

“How much time do we have? ? It had been suggested that I should go to “cooking school”. My aunt was a very colorful lady and a bit rough around the edges, so when she made this suggestion, I believe it went something like, “You’re always making that “Foofoo Sh*t” (Can I say that?) and everyone seems to like it. I mean, I don’t like it but everyone else seems too” and well, crass or not, it planted the seed.

After earning a degree in Pastry and Baking, I worked as a baker at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel under a Chef that held the, “#1 Pastry Chef in the World” title and WOW, this was such an amazing experience!!! I went on to work for a small catering company as the pastry chef and it was there where I was bitten by the “Cake Bug”. I had the opportunity to make a few cakes and play with sugar art for the first time and I fell in love with the art of making cakes!

This was when I decided that if I put in the long hours working for myself that I had been dedicating to my employer, maybe I could build my own dream. I started off in my outdated tiny kitchen, which grew into having a small studio in my finished garage. From there, I juggled working from a commissary kitchen, my studio and office space I would rent to meet with clients. BUT… recently, as in the past couple of months, we have just moved into our own location! Yes Ma’am, we are OFFICIALLY a Wedding Cake Boutique!!!”

Blue three tiered wedding cake with coral pink flowers and petals, detailed with gold flecks.
Photos: Amalie Orrange Photography at Luxmore Grande Estate

What made you fall in love with baking and cake decorating?

“Having the opportunity to create Edible works of Art! We eat with our eyes first, so it’s important to capture the attention of the guests who will eventually enjoy the cake. Sculpting Sugar Flowers is my all-time favorite thing to do!! I am obsessed with beautiful cakes and the detail that is in each complex cake design. “

Any trends you or your clients are loving?

“I love that our couples are being so imaginative lately! Even if they envision a more classic simplistic design, the hands-on approach with my client’s involvement with their designs excites me. If the design leans more towards an elegantly understated trend, then I get to play with the florals. The more elaborate a cake design the more playful I get to be, and I embrace any opportunity! I get to flex my artistic muscles.”

What’s your personal favorite cake flavor? Is there a crowd favorite amongst clients?

“This seriously depends on the time of year! Right now, I am all over our Vanilla Cake with Cinnamon Steusel, Apple Pie Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream!! Our Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream is pretty tasty too. (You’ll find Alecia always asking for a slice of this ?)

However, our Coconut Cake with Berry Delicious Filling and French Meringue Buttercream is out of this world!!! Recently I have had one of the pair state that they really hated coconut, much to their partners dismay, who on all occasions, LOVED coconut. It tickles me, because the reaction is so extreme. On each and every occasion, they try our Coconut Cake and each time the partner that hated Coconut, LOVED IT! This weekend we have five weddings, four of them are with Coconut Cake!

A Client Favorite is definitely our Orange Almond Cake with Lavender Honey Caramel Filling. This is one of our Signature Flavors that I invented when I auditioned for the position as a pastry chef.”

Creamy yellow marbled wedding cake with white and silver flecked sugar flowers. Atop a vintage white, roll-top desk.
Photos: Casie Marie Photography at Cypress Grove Estate House

How early do you recommend clients order their wedding cake?

“The earlier the better! We are usually one of the last vendors couples tend to book but we lose the opportunity to work with really wonderful people when they wait too long to reserve their order. One year may seem extreme, but it isn’t unheard of. Six months would be preferred for sure. “

The hanging cake chandelier, what gave you that idea? Would you say that is a signature of yours?

“Yes, It certainly has become a big thing for us! I came up with the idea when I walked into the Luxmore Grande Estate. A few months before visiting Luxmore, I had been doodling on a sketch pad one afternoon and sketched out a chandelier covered in flowers. I thought, wouldn’t this be a cool thing to do for a wedding. The very 1st time I walked into the Luxmore, my mouth dropped open seeing the amazing staircase. As I approached the passthrough, just under the landing, I told the person next to me, “someday I want to hang a cake right here”. They looked at me like “OK Crazy”. But HA! I got to do it! ?”

Elborate hanging white and gold wedding cake. Flanked by grand staircase featuring lush greenery.
Photo: Flora Bloom Photography at Luxmore Grande Estate

Want to see more of Michelle’s incredible wedding cake creations? Be sure to check out Bakers Cottage Cakes on Instagram + Facebook and let her know we sent you ?

Xoxo,

Bridal Boutique | Winter Park Fashion Showcase

Throughout the month of June, The Bridal Finery hosted fashion presentations in their Winter Park bridal boutique. Their presentations feature what is currently trending in bridal fashion, beauty, and wedding decor. Wedding professionals, local influencers, and real brides attend this event, and The Bridal Finery Fashion Director, Jamie O’Neill invited us to provide a curated collection of rental pieces to showcase.

The Bridal Finery | Bridal Boutique Showcase
Floral: In Bloom | Sweets: Bakers Cottage Cakes

The Inspiration

Romantic, wild summer blooms inspired this summer’s bridal presentations. Jamie loves to encourage brides to choose unexpected wedding colors and textures for their big day so varying shades of blue, lavender, beige, and mustard were incorporated into the color palette. In Bloom’s wild and romantic design paired perfectly with the overall aesthetic and featured pampas grass and roses. We chose a selection of rental pieces that complimented the floral inspiration as well as the bridal boutique setting {including Slate Settee, Amelia, Gwen, and Walnut}.

The Bridal Finery | Bridal Boutique Showcase
Photos: Rudy & Marta | Models: Premier Model Management | Hair + Make-up: Michele Renee the Studio

Unique Experiences

The Bridal Finery is known for their one fitting room experience. By styling one bride at a time, brides receive the ultimate bridal experience. For the fashion presentations, the large fitting room was the backdrop for the event. Our collection of rentals brought the full vision together and transformed the room into a romantic, dreamy space.!

Xoxo,
Kim {with featured guest blogger, Jamie O’neill}


The Acre | Venue Spotlight

A Combination of Outdoor Rustic Charm and Whimsy

The Acre | A Combination of Outdoor Rustic Charm and Whimsy
Featured Inventory :: French Country Chairs | Chloe

Are you searching for the perfect backyard venue for your bohemian wedding?  Then look no further than The Acre! This unique outdoor event space is located in the heart of historic College Park, near Downtown Orlando.  

Some quick FAQs; 

  • The venue can host up to 250 guests 
  • They offer packages for both weddings & private events 
  • They offer intimate wedding packages as well! 
  • Free onsite parking 
  • Fancy Bathroom Trailer Provided 
  • Catering Kitchen Located On-Site 
The Acre offers three outdoor ceremony locations, including The Stage, The Vine Wall, and The Tiny House.

The Acre has three fabulous ceremony locations on the grounds!  

  • The Stage is perfect for a more traditional setup, or if you want to ensure the couple is the center of attention! This area is great for a unique floral arch or arbor display. 
  • The Vine Wall is definitely on trend with all the greenery we’ve seen highlighted in weddings this season. This location is ideal for the bohemian bride. 
  • The Tiny House creates an eclectic backdrop if you want something more unique and a little quirky. The historic structure has recently been renovated and creates a lovely photo-op. 
The Acre features a lawn area, which offers a blank slate for your wedding decor.
Featured Inventory :: Bohemian Decor | Bennett

The lawn at The Acre is the largest open space and creates the perfect blank slate for your event. It’s an excellent space for a tent or a unique structure. Or keep the lawn open to enjoy the stars and romantic market lights! The barn, which houses the bar, accents this space and can also be used as a covered dancing area or band set-up. There are areas in the garden where guests can roam, and enjoy a fire pit. Lastly is the popular Mirror Patio, featuring a stunning brick courtyard, which works well for the dance floor, DJ Set-up, cocktail hour, or a lounge area! 

The Acre's bridal suite is spacious and overlooks the grounds.
Featured Inventory :: Bohemian Decor

The Acre also includes a spacious bridal suite in their upstairs loft. It’s large enough for the bride and her squad to get ready, and also overlooks the grounds. The guys haven’t been left out as there’s also a Groom’s Suite just behind the ceremony stage. Finally, there is the Chapel Hall located towards the back of the property. This is an intimate indoor space that could be used for smaller receptions, an indoor food/dessert display, soft seating, etc.

Want more details on this gem of a venue? Contact their team here!

Xoxo,
Lacie

Candid Chats | Wedding Planner

Wedding Planner Highlight

A Q&A Session with Jennifer Lopez of Bella Sposa Events

The owner of one of Orlando’s fastest growing wedding planning companies and the pastel princess herself, Jennifer Lopez, was sweet enough to do a Q&A session with me. Find out about her personal style, favorite wedding moments and what it’s like to be a full-time wedding planner. 
 
Q: When did you start planning weddings, and how did you get into the industry? 

A: I started my business in February of 2016. In 2013 I was working for a wedding design company that partnered with some amazing planners and I would help them out whenever the planners were needing an extra hand. I didn’t think I would ever become a planner being that I grew up in a small town and planners didn’t exist. It has been the most amazing and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life, what a blessing it has been! 

Q: How many weddings do you take on in a year?  

A: I personally take on about 60 weddings a year, which is a lot! The average planner does 25-30, but what can I say, I love what I do! My team and I take on about 130 a year. I love my girls, they’re amazing and I don’t know what I would do without them. They seriously rock! 

Q: How would you describe your personal style?  

A: I would love to say I’m pretty trendy! I love big fun earrings, shirts that say fun things on them, and I love me a cute pair of Keds! I love everything pastel, so If you’re looking for dark that’s not me. I am bright and bubbly when it comes to my attire, I always want to be picked out in the crowd. Hello, Kate Spade! 

Rentals Pictured: Willow | French Country Chairs

Q: Who is the most memorable couple that you have worked with, and what made them so memorable?  

A: Oh my gosh, this is a really hard question! I would have to say my very first Full Planning and Design Clients, Tess & Tyler. I connected with them on a personal level and we are still friends to this day. I enjoyed working for them because it didn’t seem like work. They always made me feel so comfortable and were always so easy to work with. They truly made me love what I do. It doesn’t always work this way, so I cherish the clients that I establish this amazing connection with! 

Q: What has been your favorite styled shoot that you have designed so far and why? 

A: My favorite shoot so far has been at Haus 820 in Lakeland, everything about this styled shoot was amazing! All the details, colors, and vendors made it absolutely flawless! 

Photos: Flora Bloom Photography

Q: What is one memory you have from a wedding that you’ll never forget?  
 
A: I had a wedding at Bella Collina a few months ago where the Father of the Bride made it a point to stop everyone and thank me from the bottom of his heart for everything I had done. Him doing that in front of everyone made me feel so loved and appreciated. It is very rare that people thank me in front of everyone, so it really made me feel so special. 

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a wedding planner? 

A: I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than seeing everything come together on wedding day. I love when I say goodbye to my clients at the end of the night and they tell me it has been the best day ever! That’s all I ever want for our couples so that’s always the most rewarding part. 

Q: What is something that you want future clients and/or the reader of this blog post to know about you? 

A: That I am the most chill and kind-hearted person in the world. I truly believe everyone deserves the most amazing wedding day no matter the budget, venue, or style. I really love what I do and my team and I are here to make sure you have the most amazing day ever. This has been the most rewarding thing in my life and I plan to continue to make sure that all our future and current clients have the BEST DAY EVER! 

Xoxo,
Megan 

Spotlight // Vendor of the Month

| Anna Christine Events |

Are you a bride who has been dreaming about your big day since you were a little girl? Perhaps you ran around with a pillowcase on your head and made your sister play the groom? If so, you are exactly like our March recipient of the totally cool and awesome award, Christy Subler, owner of Anna Christine Events! Just like our couples, we love working with Christy! She, along with her sister Laura (aka – her childhood groom) are dependable, experienced, and so much fun to be around. As if our couples don’t keep Christy busy enough, she also finds time to lead the CFWA chapter! Get it girl! Looking for a planner, a friend to swap keto recipes with, or need a date to Freddy’s…Christy is here for you!

How did you get into wedding planning?
I started on the corporate planning side an then in 2008 not really knowing what I was doing honestly and everything sort of fell into place naturally.

What’s it like working with your sister?
It was a pivotal moment for my business. She has the insight into me that no one else does. She knows my strengths and weaknesses and we work so well together.

Whats’s your favorite part of wedding day?
Room reveal, for sure!! It’s that moment they see all their hard work put together.

Who is your ideal Anna Christine Events couple?
The couple who want to celebrate their relationship with friends and family versus just replicating something from a magazine.

What distinguishes you from other planners?
We are the calm in the middle of a storm. Our clients and other vendors look to us as a touchstone. If they see us they think, oh they aren’t nervous or worried so we don’t have to be.

How do you handle unexpected surprises on event day?
Experience. I can think on my feet when it comes to problem solving and love working with my vendor team to come up with a solution.

What’s something we should all know about you?
I love my family! I am fortunate enough to have a tightknit, large family and they are a huge reason I am who I am today. And it’s why I view my clients as family. My brides are like my little sisters I am here to help take care of and guide ?

Xoxo,
Alecia

Spotlight // Vendor of the Month

| KT Crabb Photography |

Another month, another incredible vendor deserving of our really awesome “Vendor of the Month” award! Special shout out to February recipient, KT Crabb Photography! Aside from quite possibly being the sweetest person alive, our girl Katie is incredibly talented! So much so, she was our 2019 Lookbook Fashion Editorial photographer! Have you seen the stunning double exposure cover she created for us?!?!

Yes we love her, but so do her couples and industry creatives alike. Get to know our favorite New York loving, yoga guru some more below:

How did you get into photography and grow your business into what it is today?
It all started out as a class in college (go Knights!), and I was asked to capture a friend’s proposal. Being able to share those images and see the emotion they evoked (man did they cry), it was such a valuable interaction, and everything just fell into place. Here we are 11 years later! 

Who is your ideal client?
Someone who values the marriage the most, but appreciates the aesthetics of the day and their guests.

How would you define your photography style?
I am a fine art, film photographer who loves to capture tangible love and share it so you can look back and keep coming back to that overwhelming feeling of emotion.

Who inspires you as a photographer?
Rodney Smith, it is incredible how he saw the world through his iconic shots and Eric Ryan Anderson who I studied under, and he taught me the importance of a calm presence and creating an atmosphere of ease.

What are some of your favorite moments to capture?
It changes every season based on where I am in my own life honestly. When I was engaged, it was the walk down the aisle. Once I was married, it was the bride seeing herself for the first time. Now that Albert (her cutie pie we can’t get enough of) and I are thinking about growing our family, I love capturing the parents with their children.

Any bucket list locations you would love to shoot at?
Hawaii, New Zealand, Lake Como and I would love to capture a pop-up wedding!

Anything exciting planned for the 2019 year?
Yes! I am shooting my first European wedding this year! I also would like to expand the company by adding another team member as well as expand into the luxury market more!

You’re a little quiet, what’s something everyone should know about you?
I am not afraid to try something new and I am all about experiences!

If you haven’t already, check out Katie’s insane talent at @ktcrabbphoto

Xoxo,
Alecia

Vendor Spotlight | Lee James Floral Designs

We’re so blessed to get to work with amazing vendors like Lee James – he loves what he does and always blows us + clients away with his designs! His creative talents have been featured on numerous wedding blogs, in Orlando Home & Garden, and he’s won several awards for being such a rockstar florist!

KT Crabb Photography {above left} | Liga Photography {above right}

Amalie Orrange Photography
Amalie Orrange Photography

Floral Recipes | Summer Blooms

Whether it’s bold blooms, unique elements {like herbs or veggies}, or an eye-catching design, we’re always excited to see the creations florists dream up for our clients. One of our latest favs – this bridal arrangement from Bluegrass Chic. It was the perfect combination of southern staples and summertime florals!

Summer Bridal BouquetPhoto: Wings of Glory

Floral Recipe | Chocolate Sunflower, Antique Green Hydrangea, Purple Cabbage, Peach StockChocolate Sunflower | Antique Green Hydrangea | Purple Cabbage | Peach Stock

Floral Recipe | Thistle, Verbinum Snowball, Peach Spray RosesThistle | Verbinum Snowball | Peach Spray Roses

Vendor Spotlight | Gian Carlo Photography

Gian, of Gian Carlo Photography, is one of our {many} rock star vendor pals – we love his unique perspective on wedding photography and his laid back personality. He’s a great fit for any couple looking for not-so-traditional wedding photos!

Groom + Groomsmen
He’s got an amazing “in the moment” style of shooting, which really helps to tell the story of your wedding day, and no matter what venue he’s at, he always manages to find amazing spaces for portaits and group shots.

Bride + Groom PortraitBe sure to stop by his site to check out more from his portfolio of {amazing} work!

RW Chronicles | Fashion Show

Our team at Luxmore Grande Estate was thrilled to host a bridal fashion show for Calvet Couture Bridal – I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about gathering with vendor pals, sipping a little bubbly, and swooning over gorgeous bridal gowns!? Models sashayed and twirled through the ballroom, showing off the intricate details of gowns from some of our favorite designers – Hayley Paige, Amsale, and Claire Pettibone.

Luxmore Bridal Fashion Show

Head over to the Luxmore Grande Estate Facebook page for some behind the scenes photos and a peek into the bridal suite!

Bridal Fashion | Sarah Seven

I chose this dress as a favorite because on paper, it’s not something I would expect to like. I was unsure about the sleeves and thought it was kind of plain on the hanger. After this shoot though, this dress demanded that I change my mind. It proved itself as an elegant, feminine, romantic & bold gown that deserved to be appreciated. So kudos to you Sullivan, you’re my pick of the year! -Katie

Sullivan | Sarah SevenSullivan | Sarah SevenSullivan | Sarah Seven

Photos: Tiffani Jones Photography

2015 Recap

Well, 2015 is almost at an end and to celebrate a year of amazing weddings we’re sharing our favorite trends and events from the last 12 months – so stay tuned over the next several weeks to see our top picks for bridal fashion, desserts, floral, and more! For those of you who are just as excited as we are to relive these wedding moments, here’s a little sneak peek of what’s to come =)

Untitled 5Untitled 6Untitled 4