This is a new feature for my blog and I’m really excited about it! You’ve all seen blog posts on real weddings, showcasing the most beautiful, interesting, quirky and romantic wedding ideas that actual couples have chosen for their big day. Well, I have decided to run a feature myself, but showcasing beautiful and interesting real weddings that I have had the pleasure and honour of being involved with. I think any ideas chosen by a couple are best seen in context with the overall event, and so now you can read about the thought process behind some of my cakes and see how everything came together on the big day. I can tell you now, you are in for some absolutely stunning weddings, I can’t wait to show you!
For my first real wedding cakes feature, may I introduce Emma and Paul a lovely couple who were married in an intimate ceremony in an ice palace in Sweden, and then had a reception for all of their family and friends at the Imperial War Museum North. I first met Emma back in December 2010 and knew that this would be one of the most stunning and interesting weddings I had ever seen!
Emma, congratulations on getting married and thank you so much for agreeing to be a part of my blog! How did you first meet your husband?
I think like a lot of couples I met my husband, Paul through a mutual friend. We didn’t get together straight away but one night we started chatting while watching England play and we haven’t looked back since. It also means he has no excuse for not remembering our anniversary as he is a huge football fan
How did Paul propose to you? Was it a surprise?
The proposal came as a total shock. I can’t say I was ever desperate to get married, if it happened it happened, it was just a piece of paper after all. Of course, once he’d proposed, that all changed. The proposal was really personal and simple, which is very out of character for my husband, who loves making a big fuss, but totally suited me. He lit candles in the house, ran a bath and had opened a bottle of wine (just what I needed as I’d had a rubbish day at work) He’d also changed into his old army uniform and whilst on one knee said the last time he felt proud was when he was wearing his uniform but if I said yes, he would be even prouder. He must have been very confident as he’d changed my Facebook status to engaged, so friends knew before I did.
Wow, that is so heart-felt and romantic, what an amazing thing to be greeted with after a tough day at work! How long did you spend planning your wedding? What was your favourite part? What was the most stressful aspect?
We spent 2 ½ years planning the wedding but a lot of that was due to the location which was at the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland. The Ice Hotel is built every winter and melts in the spring so there are only 3 or 4 months that you can get married in the Ice Chapel.
2 ½ years was more than enough time to plan the wedding and surprisingly enough, everything did run smoothly, pretty much. The only hairy moment really was when we nearly forgot to get the legal side sorted but managed to get it sorted in time. I think from a stress side, the reception we had in the UK was a lot more stressful as I’d given myself a month to sort it when we got back. This seemed like lots of time but then we bought a puppy as well and underestimated how much work he would need!
Did you have an overall theme for your wedding? What was your inspiration for this?
Our themes were pretty much decided by our venues as they were both really different places. The wedding ceremony at the Ice Hotel didn’t really have a theme, it didn’t need it. It was all about having a white wedding and our evening reception in the UK was at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester so of course it had to be a 1940’s theme; a fantastic era and absolutely fitting with the venue.
Would you mind sharing a few details about your big day? (number of guests, any moments that really stood out for you) What was your favourite aspect?
We got married at the Ice Hotel, which is in Swedish Lapland. There were 15 of us in total, which was perfect for me as I had wanted a small personal ceremony but not wanted to offend anyone. The whole idea for getting married at the Ice Hotel was really just the idea of a white wedding. Everything looks beautiful when it first snows, although my brother is convinced it has something to do with Narnia!
The temperature on the day we got married was -17 and in the actual chapel it was -5, cold enough that you can see our breathe in the video! I was collected for the ceremony by reindeer sleigh, bundled up in my cloak and taken to the Ice Church. I didn’t think I’d cry but as I walked down the aisle everything got on top of me. Paul was welling up, we had beautiful Sami music playing as I walked in and I was off. We had a relatively short ceremony which was fine by me as I braved the ceremony without the cloak (the back of the dress was far to beautiful to hide). The reindeer took us away before having photos in the Ice Hotel. It was a fantastic day and one we will both remember for the rest of our lives.
Our reception in the UK was at the Imperial War Museum North, which was a fantastic find. As my husband is ex-military, it was a venue perfectly suited to him and I fell in love with it during my first visit. As a venue, they were so accommodating and professional, they made everything run smoothly. Our guests came in on a red carpet and were greeted with drinks under a Harrier jet, before being directed into the main exhibition space, where we had a rock band and DJ. We had around 120 guests for the reception and they absolutely made the evening. Everyone made such an effort, it really did make the night. My one regret was that I was so busy rushing around making sure everyone was ok that I didn’t really get to sample the food, which was apparently fantastic.
I had the pleasure of making your wedding cake, which was a two tier cake with beautiful flowers and leaves in a scrolling design, and a hundred black and white cupcakes, all tying in with the main cake. Please could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the design?
Well firstly I’d like to say the cake was absolutely fantastic, exactly what I was looking for, which considering I was pretty clueless to start with was no mean feat. I knew I wanted cupcakes and that the colour scheme for the tables was black and white but that was about it. When I sat down with Beth to go through it her ideas and mood boards were really helpful and got us to the finished article.
Thank you so much Emma! I tried to bring in a vintage feel to match your 1940s reception, and as we both have black and white wallpaper that we love, this seemed like the perfect place to start for inspiration!
And finally, what advice would you give to other brides and grooms when planning their wedding?
I think the usual advice really is true, enjoy it as much as possible as it will go so fast. But also I think look for venues that really suit yourself and your partner, there are so many unusual places and they are usually a lot more accommodating as they don’t have a set format. Liam at the War Museum was an absolutely fantastic event co-ordinator, full of ideas to make the event more memorable. It will also mean you don’t worry as much about the little things.
Thank you Emma, you looked absolutely stunning and it has been an absolute pleasure creating your wedding cake for you. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has goosebumps and a tear in their eye about your proposal story and the unbelievable Ice Hotel. All of my very best wishes for your future life together.