A Peek at How I Spent June 16, 2007…
Cakes, Cookies, Weddings

I’m in a reminiscent mood today and while looking through our wedding pictures (and realizing that 3 years later we still haven’t ordered our album…I know, that’s really bad!), I thought that it would be fun to share an overview of our wonderful day and some of the vendors who helped to make it so special!  Below is a quick look at the event.  It was really hard to choose so few pictures to share because there were so many amazing ones but hopefully these give an idea of the feeling of the event!

Our wedding weekend was held in The Berkshire’s at Cranwell Resort, which was beautiful in June!  I had always wanted to get married in a “castle” or at an old estate and I loved that Cranwell was close to where most of our family would be coming from, but far enough away that our immediate family could make a short getaway out of the wedding.  I can’t thank Samantha, the wedding coordinator at Cranwell, enough for making our weekend run so smoothly!  All of the pictures below were taken by Lisa Berry who was our photographer who we both absolutely loved working with!  She did an amazing job not only capturing the day but also making us feel completely comfortable as we’re both very camera shy.

My sister and I watching from the bridal suite as the ceremony was set up and guests began arriving…

The flowers were the one item that I really didn’t know too much about when I first started the planning process.  I had no idea at all what to ask for when I met with florists, but when I met with Mary Anne Gillooy, all that I had to tell her was when we were getting married and that we were working with shades of purple and she was just brimming with amazing ideas!  It was such a relief because I really had no clue what kinds of flowers I could even have and would have never thought about using lilacs, although they are one of my favorite flowers!

I had to wear ballet flats because my gown would have had to have length added during alterations if I had wanted to wear heels…Justin was glad because heels would have made me a bit taller than him!

The beautiful flowers on the arch, and view of the mountains, for our ceremony…

My Dad and I walking down the aisle…

Justin looking a tiny bit nervous and Eileen Drumm (on the left), our wonderful Justice of the Peace…

At the very end of our ceremony a dark cloud rolled in and it started to pour!  You can see everyone in the background scattering and running for cover, although it looks like Justin and I are completely oblivious to it in this picture :)

Greeting guests on the (luckily) covered patio during the 20 minute downpour…

The result of all of that rain!

When Justin was really little he was in his Aunt’s wedding and ruined all of her wedding portraits by making bunny ears in every single one…a detail not noticed until they were developed!  Justin’s Dad stood in for his brother as Best Man because both his older and younger brother were deployed and couldn’t get leave at the time.  My brothers Andrew and Brett are on the left and were his groomsmen.

Some details and closeups…

We did a good number of DIY projects for our wedding, mostly because I love doing craft projects.  They included our save the dates, invitations, programs, seating cards, menu cards, card box, out-of-town guest baskets, guest book, and of course favors.  Ordering custom rubber stamps and embossing the resulting mongrams was a nice and inexpensive way to make our paper products look more professional.

I love the color combination of the purples, greens, and bright pinks in the bridesmaid boquests!

Tiny purple Swarovski crystals added a sparkly element to our seating cards…

Making the 100 cookie favors the week of our wedding was actually a pretty stressful project…I’m so glad that Justin was able to help because I don’t think I could have done it myself!

Our delicious cake was made by Something Sweet by Michelle and  I loved the detail of the sugar vase filled with gum paste flowers!  We had three different flavors, lemon with lemon curd and blueberries, white chocolate with white chocolate mousse and strawberries, and chocolate with chocolate ganache…all of which were completely heavenly!

Lots of flowers and even more candles in our reception…I adore the romantic feeling of candlelight!

We alternated large arrangements and small arrangements to fit the tall ceilings in the ball room…

The pillars in the ballroom gave more opportunities to add candlelight…

I love this picture of Justin dancing with his Mom!

Taking advantage of Cranwell for a few pictures before the sun goes down…

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Using Cookies to Personalize Your Dessert Course
Cookies, myKPW Expert Advice Articles, Weddings

I have so many photos from the last few weeks that I want to share, but I haven’t had a chance to take them off my camera yet so instead I’ll share something that I worked on last February.  The cookie platter below was for a beautiful winter destination wedding in the Berkshire’s which was held at Cranwell.  The bride and groom wanted to do something fun and different for their guests to go along with the traditional wedding and groom’s cakes for dessert.  Working with their event planners, Corinthian Events of Boston, we decided to do small platters to be presented to each table when dessert was served.  I provided bags and ribbon for packaging so that any leftovers could be packaged and given to guests to take home the next morning at brunch.  The colors for the wedding were white, silver, and kelly green.  Corinthian Events actually has some professional pictures from the wedding on their website (chose the “wedding gallery” and they are the first 7 images you’ll see).  Since we did 15 platters I made them a bit different by changing the gowns on each of the bride cookies.  The one seen below is my favorite as I love how the brush embroidery looks like delicate lace! 

I also posted an article “Adding Personalization to Your Dessert Course” on the new my Kate Parker Wedding site earlier today which is about incorporating cookie platters into weddings, although it could apply to any celebration or event!

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Swarovski Crystal Cake
Cakes

Looking through my recent blog posts I noticed that I hadn’t shared a cake post in a while.  This past summer I had the chance to help Michelle of Something Sweet by Michelle deliver this beautiful crystal cake to Cranwell in Lenox, MA.  The cake was five white fondant covered tiers featuring a tumbling cascade of gum-paste flowers and Swarovski elements.  I believe that the cake was coconut cream with lemon curd, white chocolate mousse, and black raspberry coulis…a delicious combination!

crystal_cake1

All of the Swarovski crystals were glued in specific patterns on the ribbon used to circle each tier as well the ribbon loops in the cascade.  Notice that there are even crystals in the centers of the small flowers in the cascade.  I can only imagine how time consuming this was as each piece of ribbon was very long and such small crystals can be difficult to work with.

crystal_cake2

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Kristin & Jim – Lenox, MA
Cookies, Weddings

Last week I worked on a fun order for a fall wedding held at Cranwell in Lenox, MA. Kristin and Jim decided to go with a white, light blue, and dark brown color scheme and used cookies as both guest favors and place cards. Each guest received a bag of 12 mini hearts, half white and half blue, at their seats. We needed 115 favors plus a few extras which totaled over 1,400 mini hearts!

mini_hearts

mini_hearts2

For their place cards they chose to do two different designs incorporating the brown and light blue. They had a grouping of three distinctly shaped flowers on their invitations which we wanted to use on the place cards to show continuity. For the oval cookies I made a stencil of the flowers so that I could stencil them on in the dark brown. On the brown scalloped edge rectangles I drew them by hand in light blue.

ovals1

ovals2

I’m always nervous when doing place card cookies because I don’t want to make a mistake and have some poor guest sitting at the wrong table.

cookies_mixed

Jim and Kristin had an absolutely beautiful day for their wedding. It was sunny, the air was crisp, and the leaves were starting to turn…I definitely could have sat in a chair on Cranwell’s patio taking in the amazing view all afternoon!

cranwell

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The Custom Cookie Design Process
Cookies

I thought that it might be fun to share our custom cookie design process and some insight into what I’m thinking as I create new designs for clients.  I met this client in March at Cranwell’s Tasting Party, which they hold annually for their brides and grooms to select their menus and also interact with preferred vendors.  She was drawn instantly to the cookie below which was a winter tree scene however it didn’t quite work for her wedding which was being held in August.  We discussed some ideas that she had and the feeling that she was going for with the overall design of the cookies.  She loved the idea of pine trees or a summer scene of the mountains which would be the backdrop for the wedding. 

  winter_trees

 If the client is ordering a large number of cookies and I don’t have any pictures of similar cookies then I like to make samples and mail them to the client.  This is a good way to let the client see designs, compare colors, and choose a type of ribbon.  For the samples for Mara’s and Elia’s August wedding I knew that most of their guests were out of town and they really wanted something that represented summer in the Berkshires.  Sage was one of their main wedding colors so I chose that and a dark brown to complement the forest green of the pine trees.  The first sample was a literal translation of a summer version of the winter tree cookie.  For the second sample I used brush embroidery to hand paint the “forest” and chose to do a blue sky with clouds.  For the third sample I did something a bit simpler and chose a stenciled fern.  The final sample incorporated both the inscription that they had asked for and the idea of the trees.  They chose to go with the fourth sample and also decided to provide me with stickers to attach to the backs of the cookie bags thanking guests for making the trip.

samples

 I usually start production of orders about a week before they are scheduled to be delivered or shipped.  Even though the cookies are heat sealed in cello bags and stay fresh for a very long time I like to make sure that they are as fresh as possible when they go out.  The final count for this order was 185 favors plus I like to make several extra cookies just to be safe.  These were large cookies and it took about 8.5 hours just to decorate the 2 trees on each cookie.  Writing names on cookies can also be very time consuming because it is extremely important to make each cookie look as identical as possible.  

 production

These cookies were finished with a dark brown satin ribbon and delivered to Cranwell on the day of the wedding.  It’s actually not too often that I get to see the cookies set out for weddings as many deliveries occur the day before the wedding to venues or event planners.  Even though the tables were not completely set yet it was really fun to see how my cookies looked with the linens and flowers.  Originally the client had planned to change the background on the cookies from sage to the blue sky with clouds but then decided to stick with the sage to match the room.  She didn’t have a swatch of the table linen for me to match and said that the color of the sample would work perfectly.  I was a bit nervous when I delivered the cookies having not seen the linens so it was a relief when the cookies were a perfect match.

table_set_up

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