Inspiration: Croquembouche

I love a good donut.  Not all donuts, mind you.  Chocolate glazed and a few others, from a donut shop, not from a grocery store.  I try not to let myself have them too often, but while indulging in one this morning, I got to thinking about what a fun addition they would make to a dessert table!  Large and intricate wedding cakes can be insanely expensive, and the left overs go to waste.  Why not instead present your guests with the option of several types of donuts, or even better, the ever chic and tasty CROQUEMBOUCHE!

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The croquembouche is the traditional French wedding cake and is made of stacked creme puffs (or donut holes if that’s your fancy).  The magic that holds it all together?  Caramel.  YUM.  They can be topped off with chocolate, powdered sugar, or ideally with spun sugar, which cascades down and around it for a delicate, almost ethereal look.  I am always mesmerized by French chefs on television spinning sugar and draping it over the top of these towering beauties.

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You can add flowers (real or edible), ribbon, frosting, almost anything to match your color scheme.  When it comes time to “cut the cake”, the bride and groom can simply pull out a piece to feed each other…easy!

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I dream of a croquembouche made of puff pastries from Pacific Puffs in San Francisco.  Seriously, they are TOO good.  And, YES, they do weddings!

Think you can’t doll up a donut?  The truly inspired team over at Oh Happy Day (one of my daily must-reads) put together a “Fancy Donut Party”, and show exactly how to best showcase the sweet treat on your dessert table.  Click over to their blog to see how easy it is!

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Considering a late night snack for your guests who stay to dance the night away?  Donuts and coffee are a perfect pick me up for the drive home!  Bonus:  You don’t need to supply an additional set of dessert dishes!  Isn’t finger food the best?!

Thanks for reading and bon appetit!     photo (5)

***Ciao Cheri***

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Inspiration: Lavender

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This week I’ve been inspired by and drawn toward all things lavender.  Flipping through photos of a harvest party I attended last year, I noticed how a similar set up with well curated decor would make for a beautiful wedding celebration site.  I opted for a lavender, green, grey and natural tones color palette to inspire the looks I chose.  Please check out the Pinterest board I created for more inspiration!

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This is the beautiful lavender field on the property.  Imagine the heavenly morning or sunset photos taken among the tall, wild looking flowers.

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Stunning, right?!  I adore the polished and timeless look of purple and grey together for wedding parties.

lavenderandgreybridalparty     lavendergroom     lavenderbridalparty

It’s such a smart and crisp style, and compliments the natural greenery of any outdoor venue.

The lovely ladies who host the garden party decorated with wood barrels, a look I love.  By adding candles, twinkly lights and sugary sweet confections, the look is transformed into the perfect wedding dessert table.  Switching out the treats for glass jugs of homemade beverages, festive straws and mason jars creates a drink table perfect for any occasion!

winebarreltables     weddingbarreltable     weddingwinebarreldrinktable

A cheese and charcuterie table is an easy way to keep guests fed and happy before your meal together, and is more budget friendly than passed appetizers.  Simple bowls and plates spotlight the food, while natural elements match the surroundings and keep things from looking stuffy.

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If your venue can boast having a lavender field, make sure you can cut a few stems for an inexpensive yet gorgeous way to create a cohesive look.  Bringing in competing decorations can look too busy.  ***You should view your decorations the way you would your hair and makeup at your wedding: they should enhance the existing natural beauty, not cover it up.***

weddinglavedercaketable     lavenderbridalbouquet     artichokebouquet

(*Side note- decorate with artichokes!  They pick up shades of green, blue, purple, and silver, and they are such a fun, natural element to add to bouquets.  Not to mention one of my favorite things to eat!)

And now for my favorite part of any celebration…CAKE!  You can doll up simple, classic cakes with the same flowers you have on hand or have ordered for the day.  Yes, you!  Or see if your cake maker is open to arranging the flowers for you when they deliver the cake to the venue.

tinylavendercake     circlelavendercake     squarelavedercake

Simple bouquets and boutonnieres can be assembled the day of.  These finishing details help pull the whole look together, and don’t distract the eye from your happy faces in wedding photos.

lavendarbouquetseersuckerribbon     lavenderbouten

Put everyone at long tables, with or without place cards.  This set up gives people, that perhaps haven’t yet met, the chance to chat and bond over their shared love for the special couple!

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For even more lovely lavender looks, please visit my Pinterest board!  I get giddy whenever I peruse it, and know you will love it too!

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(Yeah, they have peacocks, too.  Doesn’t get much cooler.  Talk about commitment to a color scheme!)

Thanks for reading!

***Ciao Cheri***

*Photos of the harvest party are courtesy of Marcie Childers Dole- a talented photographer in the Portland, OR/ Vancouver, WA area.  Please check out her website http://www.marciedole.com/ to see her fantastic photos.  She is incredibly professional and a blast to work with!  More to come from her soon!