Wedding Cake Tips from a Cake Decorator


One of cake decorators whose work I photograph the most is Lori from Cakes by Lori.  Her office is based out of the Hawthorn Suites in Champaign, and she answered a few questions for me pertaining to wedding cakes.  I've also shared a few of her creations that I've photographed (and tasted!!!) in the photos below. Lori says the first thing people should consider when planning their cake is their style and budget.  It's important to know much you're willing to spend up front, and also the overall style or theme of the wedding to match the cake to.  Do you want a classic style?  Maybe something more edgy and modern?  Are cupcakes more your style?  Is there a particular aspect to your wedding that you want to incorporate into the cake design?

Champaign-Urbana wedding cakes

Champaign-Urbana wedding cakes

What are the current trends in cakes?  Lori says the big trends are texture and metalllics.  She noted however that most of the cakes you see with the metallic finishes are not edible. The metallic finishes have not been approved by the FDA for consumption. Cake decorators can use them on any cakes as they are non-toxic and are approved for food use, but they are not to be consumed. We agreed this makes no sense, but still good information to pass along!  I had no idea!!

tennis theme wedding cake

tennis theme wedding cake

Lori's favorite type or style of cake are classic round stacked cakes. She says there is something simple and timeless about a round cake. Her favorite design is something detailed -- she says (for selfish reasons -- ha!) she can get lost in the details paisley and lace embossing when working on a cake.

Hollywood art deco black and white wedding cake

Hollywood art deco black and white wedding cake

I asked Lori about her dream job and she says she already has it!  She loves to help couples plan their cakes, seeing their faces when they see the cake, or hearing from them after the wedding.  These things bring her so much joy.

east central Illinois cupcake tower

east central Illinois cupcake tower

Lori's advice for bride's planning their cakes -- don't stress!  She says choose a cake artist that you can make a connection with and makes you feel at ease. You will be spending time with them and you should feel at ease and confident that your vendor can do what you are wanting. Also, check reviews online she adds.

I also asked her about her favorite color combo.  She said it's classic red and white because it is so pretty on the cakes.

That's it!  Thanks Lori for sharing a bit of yourself and your business with us on my blog!  I can't wait to eat some more of your delicious creations this wedding season!!

Vendor Spotlight | Elite Entertainment

Today I am featuring the first in a series of wedding vendor spotlights. First up is Elite Entertainment, owned and operated by Ryan & Kaitlin Mennenga. Ryan and I have worked together on many occasions, and near the end of 2011 and early 2012, it seemed like we were working together nearly every weekend! Ryan does a great job of DJ'ing. He's one of those guys who just kind of blends into the reception by keeping talking to a minimum while also keeping people on the dance floor all night. And just by taking a look at their website, you can see how they can transform any room into a masterpiece with linens, special chairs, uplighting, cake spotlights, and monograms. I asked Ryan to answer a few questions about Elite to help my own clients and blog readers become more familiar with his company. Thanks, Ryan & Kaitlin! 1. How long has Elite Entertainment been in business? Ryan Mennenga “officially” formed Elite Entertainment in 2006 after DJing on the weekends part-time for 5 years. In 2007, Ryan & Kaitlin formed Elite Chair Covers/Elite Lighting, so that they could offer more services to their brides and grooms.

2. What got you interested in starting a DJ, lighting & linen business? We have always enjoyed the entertainment aspect of weddings and Ryan has always had a passion for DJing. Once TV shows featuring platinum weddings became popular, we saw a need to offer uplighting and linens in the area.

3. What do you feel sets you apart from other DJs in the wedding industry? We offer the most customized services for our brides and grooms. We also offer services that no one else does in the area, such a chiavari chairs, custom linens, and elegant lighting.

4. What do you enjoy most about working at wedding receptions? Introducing the bride and groom as a married couple and seeing their expressions when they walk into their reception and see the work we have done for them.

5. What is the best tip you can give to brides who are planning the music and design of their reception? Be open to a wide range of music and trust that your DJ will make the best selections and keep the party going.

6. What current wedding trend do you enjoy the most? Chiavari Chairs is currently our favorite wedding trend! They can completely change the look of any reception room with their sleek, upscale design. We have several colors to choose from, so that they can coordinate with any bride’s color scheme.

7. What is one fun fact about you that brides might like to know? My wife and I enjoy watching the Bachelor every Monday night. Every year we have friends over for the first episode, and we all get to choose 3 girls to root for to hopefully win!

So fun! Below I've included a few photos from the HBP files of Elite Entertainment's work. Be sure to head over to their website if you haven't already to take a look at many more photos and get more information. And definitely stop by their office in west Champaign to see their reception room setup!

I used uplighting from Elite for my own booth space at the Elegant Bridal Expo:

Are you a vendor who has previously worked with Holly Birch Photography? You may submit a request to be featured in a future Vendor Spotlight by emailing Holly - holly [at] hollybirchphotography [dot] com, or by filling out the form on the contact page above. Thanks!!