After many months of careful and detailed planning the day finally came! 16th of February 2017- The set up date for the National Wedding Show at Kensington Olympia.
The excitement at home was palpable as my family helped to get all the cakes and decor loaded in a rented van which turned out to be much longer and bigger than we expected. We finally got on the road and the drive seemed to take forever with each turn and bump on the road sending my heart into my mouth as I did not want any of my beauties to have the slightest smudge before the show.
We got to Olympia at exactly 2pm and had an hour to offload the van and set up our stall with tables, curtains, shelves and the cakes as we raced to be ready for the arrival of our floral arrangement created by the gifted award winning florist Zita Elze.
When the flowers came I could not believe my eyes. They were more beautiful than I had imagined. This brought so much joy to my heart and tears to my eyes as finally the many sleepless nights of designing and creating cakes, and sketching the dreams I had for my stand at my very first National Wedding Show became a reality.
The theme of my stand reflected the essence of my 2017 collection; Bringing back the traditional wedding cake but with a modern twist. The simple but elegant English garden design both selected on the cakes and in the floral arrangements was dedicated to my precious grandma.
At the end of the day, my stand was all set and we were ready for the show.
Showtime! Day 1
I woke up with a spring in my step as show day was finally here. There was still a little bit more to get ready for the show including cake samples for tasters. I had baked a rich chocolate cake and my signature pina colada cake. The cake pieces were to be topped with rich chocolate ganache and cream cheese. My helpers for the day, Tina and my husband, Ola were all dressed up and looking like they were heading for a business meeting. We finally arrived at the venue ready to go.
After the first hour of the show, we were blown away by how many compliments we had received from every one of our visitors.
I was reminded that you can't go wrong with flowers as the brides-to-be appreciated the intricately designed sugar petals on each of the cakes.
The simplicity yet beauty of white still had a strong appeal to brides-to-be from various backgrounds. They loved my white on white cake because of how simple, pure and bright it looked.
The lace effect on two of the cakes elicited responses of sheer delight, amusement and affection.
One cake that stole the show was the novelty pillow cake. A lot of brides and grooms-to-be loved the idea of this cake with the coconut flakes finish and a simple flower arrangement drapping down from the top of the cake.
My personal favourite in the set and the centrepiece of my display was "Bella-Rose". This cake themed around "Beauty and the Beast" won a lot of hearts at the show. A bride for whom I will be creating this design for her wedding later in the year stopped by at the show and could not help telling everyone that visited the stand, "thats my cake for my wedding! just look how gorgeous she is!"
The ombre cake with neatly arranged sugar blossoms and cascading orchids had a lot of interest too. This particular cake reveals the true beauty and uniqueness of hand-made cakes. Every single sugar blossom was hand made and carefully placed on the top three tiers, revealing a beautiful pattern.
Watercolour cakes are a key wedding cake trend this year and having had quite a few enquires I decided to feature a cake perfect for any wedding in a mix and match of various sugar flowers in pastel colours. Notice the traditional piped details on the bottom tier? I love it!
All in all, day 1 was a huge success for Tees Bakery and a great start at my first wedding show.
Lets keep going! Day 2
I did not get to tell you how the cake taster's were received. Every visitor to my stand that picked up one of my cakes to taste had the same expression on their face when they tasted it. One of sheer delight as their eyes lit up and then their mouths opened wide to say "wow!"
I had my signature pina colada cake to taste and before long word spread throughout the show and vendors from other stands soon came over to try it out. The more people tasted the cakes the more the word spread.
A lot of people commended not just the attention to detail on each cake but the taste too. They instantly recognised and appreciated the quality of my cakes with every bite. It was such a delight to see and get such positive feedback.
And its a wrap! Day 3
So its the final day of the show and things get off to a perfect start. Like the other two days we received visitors who were very complimentary of my work.
It was quite hard work standing and speaking for the 3 days of the event. At about half way through the day I got a really pleasant surprise as a number of my friends stopped by the stand to give me some moral support, it really did go a long way in boosting my morale. I was really grateful for their encouragement and support.
It was not only the brides to be that were interested in working with Tees Bakery. We had a number of wedding venues who wanted Tees Bakery to be a recommended supplier of cakes at their venues. One venue representative commended not just the look and taste of the cakes but how the stand was put together which showed passion and attention to detail.
Towards the end of the show there was still quite a bit of cake left as I had baked a lot to cater to the large crowds. Other exhibitors around me were only too glad when I shared with them the last bits of cake that was left.
Finaly the hour came when it was time to say goodbye to the National Wedding Show Feb 2017. The exhibitors were given the signal to start packing up. My husband and I packed up all the cakes and flowers on the stand and before long the well decoated venue soon became a building site. I got quite emotional as we loaded the final pieces into the van, I was really thankful for the opportunity to do this and was grateful for all the help and support I recived from my family and friends.
I am looking forward to greater things for Tee’s Bakery in the weeks, months and years to come.
Special Thanks to;
Zita Elze Flowers - www.zitaelze.com
Tino Antonio Photography- www.tinoantoniou.co.uk