We can get so caught up in the wedding invitation design process that we sometimes lose sight of the other details that make each bride’s day as blissful as can be. So many talented professionals spend countless hours to perfect their part of the grand wedding scheme, from the planner to the florist to the baker and beyond. While each wedding evolves into a lovely fete after the details are brought together, we often marvel at how perfection is achieved when professionals collaborate throughout the planning process. What if the stationer incorporated certain details from the bride’s dress when designing the invitations? Then, what if the baker was inspired by the monogram on the invitation and created a stunning design with royal icing? The color of the ribbon that accents the ceremony programs could be inspired by the soft hue of the peonies that make the bride’s bouquet. Each professional’s work is to be admired, and can spark another’s imagination. We absolutely love the opportunity to be inspired by other professionals in the wedding industry, so when we can, we love to take the time to highlight a few of our fellow colleagues.
Mary Winslow works her magic with exquisite detail
Planning a wedding can be stressful at times, but there is at least one component that all couples look forward to – the cake tasting. With so many incredible bakeries to choose from in Chicago, my fiancé Ryan and I definitely had our work cut out for us. As the resident bride-to-be at Elizabeth Grace, I decided to share our delicious journey here and feature some of the bakeries we explored along the way. Get ready to eat your heart out!
First on our list was Cake; a small bakery on the west side of Chicago owned and operated by Mary Winslow. Upon our arrival we were led to a quaint room filled with stunning cakes, beautifully mismatched china and picture books. Dressed in pastels and a white apron, Mary greeted us. She is probably one of the most genuine and sincere women you will ever meet. After going over the basic details of the wedding – including time, date, and location – she was off to the kitchen to grab the cake tasting presentation. Moments later she came back with what seemed like a mountain of cake and fillings. Not only was Mary very helpful in the selection process, but she paid great attention to our favorite flavors. Mary asked, “If there were two pieces of cake on your kitchen counter, which would you pick for dessert? That’s the cake.” She masterfully put together their shop’s famous almond cake with crème brulee, tiramisu and salted caramel fillings. My fiancé readily admitted, “I really like all of these filling and would gladly welcome them into my cake.” I nodded in agreement – multiple fillings it would be! Before sending us out the door she handed us each a little box of her homemade truffles to sample. Five stars for Take the Cake!
Before we knew the bakery as Cake, it was previously known as Take the Cake. Same sweet personality, same sugary confections — just a new name!
Wedding cake designs by Cake
Our next stop was Amy Beck Cake Design; another small Chicago-based bakery that came highly recommended. Walking through the door we immediately enjoyed hints of sugar in the air and the sounds of Arcade Fire from the open kitchen. I knew right away that we’d enjoy our time. Ryan and I were immediately approached by Amy – outgoing personality and all. We were seated at a large table with pristine white dishes and a delightful platter of the season’s best cake fixings – pistachio was even in the mix.
As we began tasting, Hailey, Amy’s right hand, offered us glasses of water. Ryan added, “Does that come with a shot of adrenaline?” Laughter ensued; cake tasting is work! While discussing our vision for the wedding cake, Hailey immediately picked up on the organic but delicious vibe we were going for. She also made a fantastic point by mentioning that a lot of couples feel the need to please everyone – chocolate loving guests, carrot cake connoisseurs, the die-hard vanilla cake fans. “Get what YOU like” she proudly stated. Hailey’s right; the day is about the couple, and in terms of having your cake and eating it too… just make sure the cake you’re eating is your favorite. We were enamored with a photograph of a beautiful coconut cake in one of their albums and were convinced we had found a favorite flavor. We left there knowing we had wonderful but hard choices to make!
Wedding cake designs by Amy Beck
Sarah’s Pastries & Candies
Thank goodness Sarah was able to accommodate us with a weekend appointment; three in one day would have been quite the sugar overload. On Sunday we arrived on Oak Street in downtown Chicago. At first glance the outside of Sarah’s Pastries & Candies was reminiscent of a French patisserie. Walking in, Ryan and I were greeted by a bevy of baking beauties in aprons. One of them showed us to a cozy nook where we were able to flip through albums and admire the beautiful cakes lining the perfectly painted pink walls. Alexa, Sarah’s catering director, joined us to go over the details of our big day to understand what we’re after in a cake. Rather than mixing and matching different cakes and fillings, we started by trying the most popular flavor combinations. Quick and to the point, the cake definitely spoke for itself and we were most impressed by the almond and vanilla cake with a caramel filling. As if our visit couldn’t get any better, before leaving we scooped up our free cupcakes for checking in on Foursquare. Right on Sarah’s Pastries & Candies. Right on!
Since we visited Sarah’s Pastries & Candies, she has decided to focus her talents on the launch of S. Levy Foods. We wish her all the best as she cooks up new adventures!
Stay tuned as we share photos from Molly & Ryan’s upcoming wedding. They say “I Do” on September 15th!