Friday, September 20, 2013
Yesterday, I shared 14 of my favorite wedding vendor booths from the Enchanted Brides bridal show. Want to know my absolute favorite? The Cupcake Collection!
As a Nashvillian with a sweet tooth, I make it my job to know all of Nashville's sweet spots. So, of course I am familiar with The Cupcake Collection and its owners.
It was my favorite booth not because it was a new find but because I got to taste a myriad of cupcake flavors, see their most recent cake designs and meet the newest team members. Cake tasting. Pretty designs. Happy faces. That rare combination made The Cupcake Collection my favorite booth from the bridal show. And being named favorite booth among dozens of other great booths is a huge accomplishment.
New team members
In my fantasy world, the folks making my cakes are bursting with energy and are just as excited as I am about dessert. I know that's a lot to ask, but apparently not for The Cupcake Collection. When I met the new-to-me team, they were a ball of happiness. (Dreams do come true!) They were excited to meet all of the brides and grooms and wanted everyone to taste away. After meeting each of them - Netta, Kenneth and Jasmine - I was reminded of why brides are drawn to The Cupcake Collection. Aside from the taste and design, there's a happy energy! The always-smiling owners seem to have cloned themselves.
Kenneth (project coordinator), Netta (bridal consultant) and Jasmine (baker, cake decorator)
Recent cake inspiration
Need I say more? The cake designs below are just a taste of what The Cupcake Collection can create for Nashville brides and grooms.
Sampling of popular cake flavors
I've tasted my share of cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection but I was delighted that they had so many flavors of full size cupcakes (yes full size) at the show. This gave engaged couples an opportunity to taste many of the flavors that have made The Cupcake Collection popular: Chocolate, Red Velvet, Lemon, Wedding Cake, Blackout, Sweet Potato and their newest, Sunshine.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Nashville's 12th Annual Enchanted Brides Show at Cheekwood was another great opportunity to meet top-notch wedding resources. Listing them all would be a feat, but for those of you who missed some of the booths or were unable to attend, here are my 15 favorites.
1) Arzelle's Bridal - arzellesbridal.com
I swooned when I saw this simple but elegant gown at the Arzelle's booth. Isn't it a beauty? The other gowns were equally exquisite but this Marchesa was my fave. See these gowns and more at their salon on West End.
2) Wedlock Images - wedlockimages.com
Wedlock's photographic style is crisp, sleek and akin to magazine-style. Their work appeals to the edgy, modern bride who is getting married here in Nashville or is taking Wedlock to her destination wedding. It was great listening to co-owner Donice chat about Nashville venues she loves. (Great insight: You may want to talk to photographers before you book your venue!) She also told me about a new, farm venue near Murfreesboro, Events at East 96. Heard of it?
3) Classic Party Rentals - nashville.classicpartyrentals.com
Classic's inventory for Nashville weddings and events is massive. I visited their warehouse one time and they have just about everything you need. This tablescape is just one idea of many that they can help you design.
4) West Meade Wine and Liquor - westmeadewines.com
West Meade was a new find. They offer liquor, beer and wine in cases for weddings and events. This is a great way to save money if you decide on a venue like Houston Station, which allows you to bring in your own beverages.
West Meade also offers a bar registry for those who have everything they need but would appreciate a well-stocked bar! You know who you are. No judging. :)
5) Dulce Desserts - dulcedesserts.com
Juanita! I've known Dulce Dessert's owner and cake artist since I first started in weddings in 2006. (Wow!) She was one of the first wedding pros I met. She's always been sweet to me and her cakes have always been inventive and consistently scrumptious. I can never, and I do mean never, pass by her booth or store without being tempted to indulge. If you have not tasted her cakes, you simply must. Our blog intern Laurie had Dulce cupcakes for her wedding. Without a doubt - she loved them!
6) Designs in Paper - There is no doubt in my mind that owners Steve and Donette can create anything with paper! You really have to meet with them to see some of the previous wedding paper goods. They take pride in creating paper products that are custom to each engaged couple. At the bridal show, they shared many invites that were printed in white ink. You read that right, white ink. This chalkboard flyer will give you an idea of what they can do. They also print on fabric; think burlap looking fabric, for a rustic wedding. Lovely!
7) Capital Theatre - capitoltheatretn.com
This was a new find. The theater is located in Lebanon, TN and can accommodate all bridal events, from showers to receptions. Their spaces are very unique, ranging from an auditorium to an attic.
8) Street Tuxedo - streettuxedo.com
Street Tuxedo keeps a pulse on what's hot for grooms. For outdoor weddings, peach and khaki pair well. Sangria is a fun new color that can add a pop to a classic wedding. Neither of these work for you? Street Tuxedo has hundreds of swatches to match your color palette and several suit/tuxedo styles to complement your groom's style.
9) Geny's Bridal - genysbridal.com
Geny's is a Nashville staple. They offer three floral options: 1) wholesale flowers for floral designers, 2) retail flowers for DIY brides and 3) full service floral design for brides. Geny's recently added bridal gowns to their inventory in order to provide a more one-stop service for brides. They carry several exclusive lines and accessories. I had no clue they launched a bridal boutique. Their gowns are gorgeous!
10) A/P Couture - 615-545-2742
Alain Patterson, the owner and lead designer, creates custom veils for fashion-focused brides.
11) 2Travel Anywhere - 2travelanywhere.com
Carlie's a delight. She is a honeymoon specialist and helps engaged couples plan their honeymoon vacations at no cost to them.
12) Michael's Cafe & Catering - eatatmichaelscafe.com
They had me at banana pudding. I was told it was Michael's grandmother's recipe. Thanks grandma! It was absolutely delicious. Michael also served mac and cheese and BBQ chicken. Assumed southern cuisine? You are correct. And, based on the food they served at the show, they know what they're doing.
13) Elizabeth Jean Photography - elizabethjeanphotography.com
Elizabeth Jean does great work. I discovered her work this summer after seeing photos from a styled photo shoot at the Nashville Zoo (which we will feature very soon). It was great putting a face with her high-quality work. Be sure to visit her website to see her portfolio.
14) Grand Avenue - grandavenueworldwide.com
Transportation for the bridal show attendees was provided by Grand Avenue. It was posh! If you have a large bridal party or family that you want to ensure is easily transported (in style) between your bridal events, Grand Avenue should certainly be on your list.
15) Stay tuned. I'll share it on Friday.
Friday, August 30, 2013
"A lot of people are very into food now. The food has become an important part of the reception at the wedding and not just an, ‘Oh, we had people and we had to feed them."
This is what Bradley Russell, catering sales manager of Chef’s Market, had to say when I had the opportunity to speak with him about his scrumptiously creative menu and gorgeous set up for the CMT Awards Show after party, and how this could be applied to a local wedding reception.
Chef’s Market, an award-winning event caterer, with trendsetting, fun and unique menu offerings, catered the CMT Awards Show after party at Rocketown, this past June. The party started right after the televised CMT Awards Show at 9:30 p.m. It hosted such celebrities as Kevin Bacon, Lenny Kravitz and Dog the Bounty Hunter.
gourmet tater tots
The menu lineup featured:
Three passed hors d’oeuvres including steak fries, avocado tacos and crawfish corndogs.
Scrumptious selections such as fresh hand rolled sushi, inside-out BLTs, mini salmon burgers, churasco beef skewers and “grown up” tater tots (with brie and bacon) lined one long, illuminated, turquoise and emerald green buffet table, set up in the center of the room.
Innovative sweets like candied ginger cotton candy, bourbon chocolate truffles with candied bacon and pineapple margarita lollipops covered the desert table.
green tea cones with wild rice orzo
cocktail shrimp with bloody mary shooters
Bradley, who had the opportunity to create the tablescape (table design) and the menu, elaborated on his vision and how it came about. He was given a lot of creative freedom from CMT. They provided him with insight on what type of foods the guests weren’t too particularly fond of, but outside of that anything else was fair game.
Bradley says that when he tablescapes for an event, he, “doesn’t want the food displays to look like they landed from outer-space in the middle of the room, they have to relate and match the decor and design of the overall event that you want it to enhance.”
The atmosphere of Rocketown is intimate and contemporary, so Bradley wanted his tablescape and food to give off this same vibe. He scoured Nashville in search of the tools he needed. Once he found them, he and his team set up tiered platters made of glass and lucite, and lots of LED lights accenting the venue’s colors. Bradley felt like his creation was the perfect complement to the venue.
So, as a bride, you’re probably wondering how all of this applies to you?
Wedding inspiration is everywhere, even celebrity events
Fashion, home design, and food trends usually start on the celebrity scene, where ideas are big and creativity is limitless. Chef's Market's menu and table design was right at home for the Hollywood crowd but it works for weddings just as well. In fact, Chef's Market has one wedding in October where the bride is following the same set up and many of the same food elements as the CMT Awards Show after party for her own wedding at the Adventure Science Center.
Whether serving Hollywood or Nashville brides, Chef's Market works with clients based on their venue and their inspirations to create the perfect menu and display for their events. For some engaged couples, food is becoming the most important part of the wedding and their budgets are reflecting this. So are the creative freedoms that go along with it.
Bradley says that clients are looking for fun foods, especially brides. Food is becoming a focal point at wedding receptions. It’s a great conversation starter and one of the many features that people will comment on long after your wedding day.
To brainstorm your reception and menu ideas with an artist talented in both food and design, make sure to contact Bradley Russell at (615) 851-2433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
miniature bison burger sliders in petite novelty takeout boxes
peanut butter chocolate mousse cups
chocolate truffles with praline topping
ginger and pineapple cotton candy
pineapple margarita & strawberry pistachio lollipops
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Are you a vintage-style, burlap and lace kind of bride? Are you interested in a wedding cake with an old-school familiar feel? If so, then these modern buttercream cakes by Signature Cakes by Vicki may be just what you seek.
What are modern buttercream wedding cakes?
All of the cakes shown in today's post are buttercream. According to Vicki Nelson, owner and lead designer for Signature Cakes by Vicki, modern buttercream wedding cakes are a throwback to your grandmother’s style of cake decorating. These are the cakes we grew up seeing in the kitchen during holidays or on a family member’s birthday. They have a very textured, geometric look to them.
What makes them modern is that only our generation of brides has ever considered using this style of cake as a wedding cake. Our mothers, grandmothers and their mother’s before them, who were most familiar with these cakes and enjoyed eating them, did not find them formal enough to include in their weddings. Of course, the cakes that Vicki Nelson creates aren’t simply your grandmother’s cakes. They are delicately crafted cakes iced with Signature Cake’s Italian grand buttercream, and designed with ruffles, fondant lace and trim, sugar paste, sugar flowers, rosettes, hydrangeas and other fresh flowers. Creating this style of cake takes an extraordinary amount of time and talent.
If a modern buttercream cake seems like the perfect fit for you, contact Vicki Nelson at (615) 513-2266 for additional information and to discuss the endless delicious options. Vicki will also have a booth at Sunday's bridal show (8/25/13) at Music City Center. Stop by to taste and see for yourself.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Sambuca Nashville has just added six, tasty food stations to their wedding reception and event menu. The options are very diverse, and you're sure to find the perfect combination for your wedding guests.
Dana is my contact at Sambuca. Give her a call at 615-248-2888 or email her to learn more and hosting your wedding at Sambuca and/or catering. And don't forget to ask about their all-inclusive venue option (food, dj, cake) that makes wedding planning much easier!
Tennessee Two Step
An assortment of truly Tennessee food including:
bacon wrapped quail smoked sausage,
pulled pork sliders,
bacon wrapped, grilled stuffed jalapenos,
chili pie shooters,
and Tennessee chili in shooter with fresh grated cheddar cheese, onions, tortilla strips
Serving 2 pieces each per person
$18 per person
Turning Japanese, I Really Think So…
4 sushi (2 California rolls, 2 salmon rolls),
Sesame crusted beef satay stir fry with chicken and shrimp edamame
Serving 2 pieces each per person
$25 per person
Build Your Own Sushi
Shrimp tempura pieces
Julienne carrots, jicama, zucchini, squash, ginger, wasabi
Serving 2 pieces each per person
$15 per person
You Say Potato, I Say Potato
Havarti dill potato croquets
Potato bar with mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese, butter, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, and smashed sweet potato with caramelized walnuts, coconut and brown sugar
$9 per person
Blackened white fish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, slaw
Shrimp pieces in tequila lime sauce with cilantro rice
Ceviche bar with shrimp, crab and fish with cucumber pico de gallo
Served with tortilla and plantain chips
Serving 2 pieces each per person
$20 per person
Penne pasta with alfredo and marinara sauces
Italian sausage skewers
Sundried tomato and basil risotto croquettes
Caesar parmesan crisps
Serving 2 pieces per person
$15 per person
Shooter and penne pasta photos by Gregory Byerline Photography.