Set in the heart of the Kent countryside, Chilston Park Hotel is a 17th Century Manor House and with its unique styling and beautiful grounds (including a giant outdoor chess board), it makes the perfect setting for a wedding. My older brother and one of my best friends have both had their weddings at this beautiful venue, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Whilst I have been building my business over the last couple of years I have worked with and got to see many different venues across the county but this was one venue that I couldn’t wait to work with. When Sydnee and Sam asked me to create their dream wedding cake for their January Wedding I was of course thrilled to be part of their special day. But seeing my cake in the grand setting of Chilston Park was the icing on the cake for me (pardon the pun).
With her own unique style, I knew that Sydnee would not be looking for a traditional wedding cake and I was so excited to create a design which was a reflection of her and her fiance Sam, and something that was a little different.
Sydnee and Sam gave me free reign on their cake, which as a designer is something so rare and so much fun. They gave me some nods to things they liked, but no set design. So what I knew was:
- The colour scheme: Deep red, black and touches of white.
- Their chosen flavours: Madagascan Vanilla, White Chocolate & Raspberry and Chocolate Orange.
- Sydnee and Sam’s vision was dark, edgy and a little Victorian.
- They didn’t want a traditional looking cake.
- I could really push the boat out on this one.
I also had some inside knowledge from one of the bridesmaids (she happens to be my sister), who knows Sydnee’s unique style inside out. She had been left in charge of organising the cake with me, so that it was all a surprise on their big day.
The design was a blend of traditional elements, Victorian style with a modern twist. Stepping away from the usual tiered cakes, where each tier is the same depth and the incline is in even increments, I opted for a double barrel 10″ cake, topped with a 6″ standard depth cake to give a modern feel.
To keep things non-traditional, the entire cake would be deep red, with the bottom tiers covered in black damask, black beading across the top tier and white pearls around the base of each tier. For a nod to the traditional, the base of the cake and the top would be adorned in white roses (to match the crown of roses Sydnee would be wearing).
As with any design process, this one evolved as it came into creation. While putting the cake together, and with the bride’s style in the forefront of my mind, something wasn’t quite adding up. I played around with it for a little while, and came to the conclusion that it was the roses around the base of the cake that was taking away from the modern, dramatic look I knew the bride and groom would want.
With the nod of approval from her bridesmaid, I vetoed the roses and Sydnee and Sam’s surprise wedding cake was complete.
This cake needed to be dramatic, so the perfect finishing touch was an extra-tall silver candelabra cake stand. Once set up at Chilston Park, standing altogether at over 3 ft tall, in front of a grand book case, it certainly was dramatic.
I absolutely loved making this cake, it was so much fun to create something totally different, and a beautiful contrast to the traditional cakes I often create. To be given completely free reign, come up with a totally unique design, and have the bride and groom absolutely love it is the best feeling.
Sydnee and Sam, your day looked absolutely beautiful, thank you for letting me be such a special part of it. It was an absolute honour to make this for you, and here’s to a lifetime of love, happiness and cake!