Beach Styled Wedding Shoot

I was delighted to have been approached by DANU Collective to design a cake for an opulent yet intimate beach inspiration styled wedding shoot last summer.

DANU collective is a boutique creative consultancy specialising in luxury brands and experiences. Styling luxury weddings for couples with a modern and contemporary mindset, their bespoke wedding service ranges from  micro weddings with virtual guest experiences to planning and styling full weddings.

The Setting

The DANU aesthetic is influenced by travel and nature, from the infectious energy of a cosmopolitan city to historical landmarks, cultural rituals and the jaw-dropping backdrops of the world’s most idyllic settings. It was unsurprising then that Aisling at DANU chose a windswept Dublin beach as a location for this shoot which combines grandeur and opulence with wild and rugged nature.

The Colour Palette

The colour palette featuring pantone blue was selected in homage to the age-old Irish tradition where the bride wore blue, and  is also a nod to the 2020 pantone colour -blue.

The Style

The concept was an intimate affair (a perfect reflection of 2020’s microweddings!), where nuptials were not overshadowed by extravagant flowers. Instead, the scene was set to the rugged backdrop of crashing waves, imbued with the wild and natural surroundings of Dublin’s Bull Island.

The Cake

For the cake design, I took inspiration from the opulence of the beachside scene. I chose a marbled sand colour and made sugar oyster shells and lustred pearls. The look was natural and luxuriant in equal measure. Aisling styled the cake to perfection as she drew in the blue colour scheme with natural linen and elegant taper candles.

The Team

Of course none of this beach styled wedding shoot would have happened without an incredible team of creatives. These guys are always a joy to work with!

Planning, Styling & Design: DANU Collective, www.danucollective.com
Photography & Videography: Story of Eve, www.storyofeve.com
Venue: North Bull Island Nature Reserve
Hair: Danielle Garner, www.wearewildflower.com
Headpiece & Hair Embellishments: Moon and Mai, www.moonandmai.com
Make-Up: Lisa Shannon, www.lisashannonmakeup.com
Female Model: Katherine,  www.notanothertheagency.com
Male Model: Kevin, www.notanothertheagency.com
Florals: Tina McGrath, The Wild Bunch, www.thewildbunch.ie
Gold & Pearl Jewellery: Emma by Jane, www.emmabyjane.com

For more of my wedding cake designs check out my portfolio.

Cheers!

Suzanne, x

Online Shop Launch

I am thrilled to launch the Cove Cake Design online cake shop! This is something that I have wanted to do for some time but the postponement of many of this years wedding orders finally gave me time to focus on setting this up and developing products.

With more products in the pipeline, take a look at what is currently on offer in the online cake shop:

Tasting Boxes

I have dispatched tasting boxes to my wedding clients for some time now and they have always been received with rapture. Any time I have posted photos of them on social media there has always been much interest, with people asking if they could pretend to get engaged to receive a box! Well I have finally met the demand with my Luxury Seasonal Tasting Gift Boxes which are now available to purchase in the online shop. With 4 seasonal flavours, these boxes are a taste experience for the recipient. Summer boxes included Champagne Elderflower Strawberry and Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Rosemary, while Vanilla Pear Macadamia and Orange Rhubarb Rose featured in the Autumn edition. These boxes are the perfect gift, or indeed treat for yourself! Christmas range coming soon!

Cake tasting gift box

Cake of the Month

I think we all need a little treat from time to time and my Cake of the Month was designed for people who want something refined and delicious for small family celebrations or even a weekend treat. Allowing me to indulge in my love of experimenting with flavours and ingredients, flavours change with seasonal availability. Autumn saw one of my favourites featured, Chocolate Blackberry Bay…delicious! Cakes are decorated with available ingredients such as macarons, gold leaf, seasonal edible fruits and dried florals.

Online cake product

Coming Soon! Recipes and tutorials

I can’t wait to release my most exciting product to date…my first erecipe book! Almost completed, Layer Cakes-The Essential Collection is my go-to guide for creating delicious layer cakes with confidence. Featuring 9 basic recipes with 3 variations for each (by my calculations that is 27 cake flavours!), plus all my baking tips and tricks, this book will offer a wealth of information to new and more experienced bakers alike. Indivudal recipes and cake decorating tutorials are also in development, stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy browsing the online cake shop, and don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list at the top of the page to be the first to be notified of new product lines!

Suzanne, x

Rose of a Different Colour

I am delighted to have been a contributor to an inspirational wedding editorial, A Rose of  Different Colour, which was featured in the January edition of Ireland’s premier glossy magazine, Image. Victorian splendour meets modern eccentricity was the theme, with concept and styling by the talented Kate O’Dowd of Love and Gatherings.

Kate sent me through a design brief which incorporated Victorian style patterned fabric and vintage tableware alongside ultra-modern and vibrant floral centrepieces…probably one of my most exciting briefs to date!

The editorial was shot in the surroundings of the exclusive 5 star Castle Leslie hotel by talented photographer Paula O’Hara. Kate’s vision came to life in the gorgeous vintage-meets-modern tablescapes with contemporary florals by Holly of The Rosehip and Berry and modern stationery by Rome and Jules.

The colours and vibrancy of the florals were echoed in the use of real fruit as a decorative element.

And for the cake…I was probably most decisive about this cake design than for any other photoshoot I have done! I took inspiration from the pretty scalloped edge of the napkins, turning it into a striking statement on the cake which was of complementary colour.

Pink sugar roses, red anthurium lilies and sugar fruits echoed the bold yet soft florals of the tablescapes. (Unfortunately due to humidity my red sugar anthurium lilies succumbed to moisture and had to be replaced last minute with some beautiful fresh red roses…a testament to how sometimes things don’t go according to plan but can still work out in the end!)

Fashion was equally an eclectic mix of folk style dresses or pretty, modern and glamorous gowns. 

Cheers to Kate, Paula and all the amazing suppliers who came together for this inspiring shoot for the modern bride!

Suzanne,  x
PHOTOGRAPHER: Paula O’Hara; STYLING: Love and Gatherings; VENUE: Castle Leslie; FLORALS: The Rosehip and Berry; STATIONERY: Rome and Jules Bespoke; MAKEUP: Orlaith Shore; HAIR: Lisa Babikian

 

 

 

 

 

Old World Romance Inspirational Shoot

Award-winning stylist, wedding and event planner Kate O’Dowd of Love & Gatherings approached me last summer to contribute to a wedding editorial for Image magazine to be shot at Gloster House, a beautifully restored 17th century mansion that is a lived-in family home as well as a magically elegant wedding venue.

Kate has an effortless and confident style; unafraid to embrace maximalism and mixing patterns, bright yet delicate colours and vintage items for a fresh, romantic yet old world feel. Inspired by the venues antique details and patterned toile fabrics, the brief for the shoot was ‘chintzy maximalism’, mixing patterned decor and using a colour palette of dusty corals, powder blue and sepia to create a truly romantic old world story.

Kate had a clear vision for the cake, asking me to continue the maximalist aesthetic by recreating the signature floral borders of the custom-designed Emily Rose Ink stationary.

I chose powder blue and brown as my colour palette, echoing the muted tones of the walls of Gloster House and the vintage patterned crockery, faithfully recreating the floral border in delicate hand drawn detail.

The shoot was captured by talented photographer Paula O’Hara, who took advantage of the light and airy rooms of Gloster House to dramatic effect.

Hollie at The Rosehip and Berry created soft and pretty floral urns that lent a soft romantic air to the toile prints of the table setting. Additional and varied floral installations were used for the fashion photographs, with my favourite being the orchid ‘cloud’, demonstrating how varying styles and arrangements can exist in a cohesive manner.

I loved how the cake complemented the patterns and tones of the stationary and venue…

The fashion was exquisite…with directional modern brands mixed with vintage and Irish-made pieces, styled against the bright and airy architectural backdrop and visionary floral arrangements. 

As well as being featured in the June edition of Image magazine, we were all thrilled to see this shoot get global coverage in prestigious wedding blogs Green Wedding Shoes and Magnolia Rouge. Follow these links to see more!

Thank you to Kate, Paula and all the amazing suppliers!

Suzanne x

PAULA O’HARA|LOVE & GATHERINGS|THE ROSEHIP & BERRY|GLOSTER HOUSE|EMILY ROSE INK|COVE CAKE DESIGN|MICHELLE GRIMES FOR HAIR MAVEN|ORLAITH SHORE|KATE AT NOT ANOTHER AGENCY|MIRA ZWILLINGER|EMILIA WICKSTEAD|DIRTY FABULOUS|HALFPENNY LONDON|AB ELIE AT ARCHIVE 12|HELENA KOLAN AT THE ONE

Cove Cake Design Brand Refresh

It has been almost 6 years since I launched Cove Cake Design, named after the beautiful seaside suburb of Sandycove which myself and my family call home. Both the logo and website in their classical design have stood the test of time, but as my style and business have evolved, I decided it was both timely and exciting to have a brand refresh to more aptly convey the ethos of Cove Cake Design and my cakes.

Over the winter I enlisted the services of Irish graphic designer, Natalie of Keady Row, whose sophisticated and modern designs for wedding stationary had caught my eye; as well as photographer Claire Brown, whose light and dreamy photography is nothing short of beautiful.

My brief for Natalie was a new logo and stationery package that would capture the essence of my business: a small Irish cake design business offering a bespoke personal service and delicious cake with a natural, sophisticated and botanical style. I also wanted Natalie to refine my packaging, such that there would be a reduced requirement for use and improved recyclability, reflecting my belief that all businesses should work towards a more sustainable future. I compiled a branding moodboard for Natalie to illustrate the look and feel that I felt reflected Cove Cake Design…..

Natalie immediately captured my brief, coming back with a simple and elegant logo, with a subtle botanical feel. A natural colour palette in shades of green to ivory and luxurious gold aptly conveyed a luxury bepoke Irish brand. Natalie provided a wealth of files and logo variations to utilise across a variety of uses and platforms. 

As most of my wedding cakes are delivered to site, my packaging requirements are quite minimal and confined mainly to my tasting box service. I worked with Natalie over the course of a few months to design new branded packaging, choosing from samples to select a stationery and sample box package that was refined, elegant, practical and importantly sustainable. I chose natural sturdy recyclable boxes that could withstand postal delivery, obviating the need for an additional outer postal box and hence reducing waste. I also chose beautiful branded tissue paper from No Issue, an environmentally conscious packaging company. Gold foil stickers added a luxurious feel. Business and compliment cards were the final personal touch.

I have also started providing menu and flavour cards to clients to enable them to convey their cake flavour choices to guests…with such exciting flavour options this has become essential! Natalie designed templates for me to use and I now provide customised menu and flavour cards in gold frames and holders for clients.

Phase two was a branding photo shoot with talented photographer Claire Brown. I had worked with Claire previously on a wedding editorial shoot and loved her light and ethereal style.  I coordinated the shoot style with Claire, giving her an image list and working on props and styling needed for the shoot. I loved this part of it..(maybe I should develop a little sideline in styling!). Claire came to my home for the shoot, photographing my gorgeous new stationary and sample boxes in a flatlay which is on of my favourites of the day! 

She also captured me behind the scenes in my kitchen, working on admin and layering cakes…letting my clients get a little insight into me and my workplace!

A styled cake table which epitomises everything about my brand: delicious modern cakes, exquisite and luxurious detail, and signature sugar flowers; was the finale of the day. 

These photographs and many more were substituted into my website along with some content updates with a little help from my web designer, Mick from Smudge Design. The ease with which the website can be updated is testament to its original good design.

I hope you like my new style and that it more aptly conveys the ethos of my brand! Enjoy browsing the website!

Suzanne x

 

 

Let’s Talk Waste

Much attention has been focused of late on the scourge of plastics in our oceans and environment, with dire consequences for future generations unless we take action. Living beside the sea, we see at first hand the waste that is routinely washed up on our little stretch of coast. Since last year my family has worked to take one small step at a time to reduce plastic use, and waste in general, in our home, each thing we eliminate is one less piece of plastic or waste in our environment.

It was inspiring to learn of the recent launch of a Green initiative in my local villages of Glasthule and Sandycove (the latter after which my own business is named!) aimed at tackling waste.  ‘Glasthule Sandycove Going Green’ sees businesses aiming to reduce waste, focusing on plastics first. Businesses signed up to the initiative are pledging to replace at least three of their single use plastic items with biodegradable alternatives in 2018. To coincide with this I have taken a look at my own business to see if I can further reduce waste.

Cove Cake Design is a small home based business who supplies clients directly. The direct delivery of the majority of my products, wedding cakes, to a venue means there is thankfully little to no packaging involved in these orders…I take back my transport box to use again. Cakes that are collected are packaged in cardboard boxes which can be recycled. In terms of my supplies, I try to shop for ingredients locally and seasonally (and in small quantities to avoid potential food waste), choosing products not in plastic where possible. Any food waste is composted (and I keep this to a minimum, carefully quantifying recipes so that there isn’t an excess) and anything that can be recycled is.

There is always room for improvement though and I have been taking further steps to reduce waste (even though some only small I think even saving one item from waste is an achievement!)

  • I am in the process of sourcing biodegradable cellophane for my cake samples in my sample boxes. This is one area of my business where I do us packaging and I hence need to minimise waste from this.
  • I have started using a washing up liquid that comes in a container which is made from 100% recycled plastic and can be recycled again itself.
  • I switched from antibacterial soap in a plastic pump bottle in my kitchen to an antibacterial soap bar that comes packaged in a box.
  • I have switched from purchasing plastic milk containers to tetra pak cartons which have a better water and carbon footprint than plastic.
  • I have discovered a farmer in my local market who takes my old egg box cartons to re-use to sell his eggs…even though I always recycled them before to have them re-used is a much better circular system!
  • I have reduced the amount of paperwork that I print, backing up certain files electronically that I used to print a hard copy of too.
  • I am determined to work with suppliers and make complaints where excess packaging is used in my orders, shopping elsewhere if necessary! (Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows how much this upsets me!)

I have been inspired by others and I hope this little post can inspire too. I also want my clients to have confidence in knowing that when they buy a cake from Cove Cake Design I am conscious of doing my best to minimise any waste produced in the process!

Suzanne x

 

Sharing the love-A Few of My Favourite Instagram Accounts

Instagram has to be the one social media outlet that I truly love. More than a social media channel or advertising domain, it can be a source of unending inspiration. From recipe writers to artists, food stylists to interior designers, not to mention fellow cake makers, I love to see beautiful imagery popping up in my feed. Today I thought I would share a few of my favourites with less than 5,000 followers.

@cakeatelieramsterdam

I only recently stumbled across the feed of Natasja Sadi (@cakeatelieramsterdam), a wedding dress designer turned cake decorator. Her Instagram feed is filled with beautiful images of her stunning lifelike sugar flowers, artistic cakes as well as little glimpses of her carefully curated interior style. Add to this pretty photos of one of my favourite cities, Amsterdam, and Natasja’s Instagram feed is a firm favourite!

@pippa_cakery

@pippa_cakery, based in Utah, is run by Tauri Tucker. Her Instagram feed showcases her seemingly effortlessly styled cakes, which are characterised by decadent touches such as caramel drips, gold leaf and fresh flowers. Most importantly however is how delicious they look..sure to spark a cake craving!

@designology.ie

Designology is an inspirational interiors and lifestyle blog by Moya Farrell. Her Instagram feed @designology.ie is a carefully curated collection of casually styled interiors, delicious food and everyday beauty…all in a serene and pretty colour palette…sure to calm and inspire, it is always a delight to see her photography in my feed   !

@marcylamont

Marcy Lamont of Cotton & Cream Studio makes THE cutest cake toppers! With the most intricate of details they always elicit an ‘aww how cute’ from both myself and my children when I show her images to them. A peek through her Instagram feed is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face!

@cavistons

@cavistons is my amazing family-run local delicatessen. Providing me with much of my fresh fruit as well as more unusual ingredients for my cakes and recipe experiments, no matter how often I visit I always love to browse the heavily stocked shelves of artisan produce. But their Instagram feed is also worth more than a mere mention…with beautifully styled deli products and ingredients, as well as tips and recipes on how to use them, I always love to see their imagery pop up in my feed!

Five of our Favourites from 2016!

It is hard to believe that another year has passed! We have had a wonderful year of baking and creating cakes and are incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to work with our amazing clients. A big thank you to all who have supported us in 2016 and wishing you all a lovely festive period!

For our last post of the year we decided to have a look back at five of our favourite cakes from 2016.

1. Opulence

What started as a delicious towering blank canvas became a rich and sumptuous cake with the help of some beautiful deep blooms from Appassionata Flowers, gilded fruits and a splash of gold leaf. Set up in one of Virginia Park Lodge‘s cosy rooms, this cake formed the centrepiece for a delicious evening wedding buffet.

2. Blush Buttercream Roses

Sometimes simplicity speaks for itself. Classic smooth blush buttercream adorned with the most gorgeous of avalanche roses by Unique Flowers became one of our summer wedding favourites!

3. Dark and Decadent

Our client had a wonderful vision for this wedding cake, dark and rich to reflect the wild wintery surroundings of Connemara where the wedding took place. Three tiers of Guinness Chocolate cake coated in chocolate ganache, trimmed with gold leaf and adorned with dark winter fruits. This one begged to be eaten!

4. Rustic White and Green

This cake epitomises the effectiveness of a simple palette, a perfect setting and beautiful styling. A rustic white iced cake adorned with fresh greenery and accompanied by marshmallows and macarons, was surrounded by foliage and soft candlelight. Set against a rustic stone backdrop with those amazing floral hoops by the Wedding Festival, this cake table formed a classically beautiful centrepiece for the wedding reception.

5. Floral Monogram

I may be displaying a little bias in choosing this one, as this cake was made for my brother-in-law and his beautiful bride who were married in 2016. Designed around the monogram of their wedding invitations, I loved how the floral semi-wreath turned out. And I got to eat some of this one..!!!