Last year I was contacted out of the blue from an old friend who had seen my cakes and wanted to know if I was interested in doing a collaborative design for his wedding cake. Obviously this made my day.
The happy couple, (Ant and Vic) are creatives and already had a strong idea of what they liked and didn’t like so it was fun to merge our ideas, which funnily enough was easy as we all wanted a fun, unusual design which was personal to them and NOT Novelty. There were lots of tangible links, the 7″ top-tier was a Victoria sponge cake (the bride) and overall look was ‘english country garden’ to match the rest of the wedding.
You might have gathered by now the Ant on top of the cake was the Groom, and the Bee was the Bride. It was also a little surprise for the Bride’s sister (the maid of honour) as their names for each other are ‘Big Bee’ and ‘Little Bee’. They knew they wanted an Ant and Bee to feature in a garden and with my history of working with Ant (we used to make models of knees for medical purposes, weird I know!) I knew he would be able to make the creatures and suggested they try out some ideas out with plasticine. They loved the idea, and I quickly got a reply that they had bought some Fimo and were starting right away! The result was a fantastically anatomically accurate ant, with movable legs and body and a bee with daintily wired wings. Beautiful. I loved that they got involved and made them themselves, also its a lovely keepsake for them now the wedding has BEEn and gone.
So after many emails with attachments of lacy cupcake wrappers and various types of cake stands we started catching up on over coffee (and cake) to bind our ideas together. Possibly the funnest way to spend a saturday morning! The overall wedding feel was very personal and every detail was thought about and had a purpose, so the cake had to reflect this also.
The cupcakes flavours:
40 Chocolate sponge cupcakes with chocolate icing & 40 Lemon sponge cupcakes with lemon curd icing
Both were Hummingbird Bakery recipes. The Chocolate where like death by chocolate and delicious, you must give the recipe a try, I will be using it again and again. Except the lemon curd Icing, for that I went a bit off-piste and used my mum’s homemade lemon curd mixed with icing powder, I wanted it very tangy to balance the lemon sponge. If your don’t make a noise after eating lemony food, then there isn’t enough lemon. The noise can be ‘ooooh!’ or ‘Mmmmmm’ or ‘Wow’ (I’m not fussy).
So the wedding day came, it was at Pembroke Lodge, a mansion in Richmond Park, Surrey. An absolutely beautiful setting, and the sun shone for them all day, which was wonderful as the colours of the park magnified the country garden theme, lots of greens highlighted with blossom tones. Jam jars sat with wild flowers as table centre pieces, homemade jam for favours, flags, bunting and ribbons everywhere.
My husband Rich was my helper for the assembling of the cake display and a nerve soother when I continually asked “do you think they will like it, I hope they like it”. From the photo below you can tell the amount of concentration needed for the perfect ‘scattered’ rose petals…
I am really excited as I have another friend of mine is getting married over Christmas at the same venue, so to do another cake for a different season will be a lovely contrast for me. It was such an honour to work with Ant and Vic and I loved the enthusiasm they had about my ideas and how they wanted to cake to represent their big day, I fully believe the cake at a wedding can be treated as an aside, or can fully embody the couple and be a centre piece and canvas to celebrate the wedding day – which then gets cut and enjoyed by all the guests. Family and food is my passion and this, I think, celebrates both.
The lovely Mr & Mrs Houghton
The lemon face