Archive | Expert Interviews

Real Wedding: Rebecca & Adam

Looking back on Rebecca and Adam’s love-filled Chicago wedding day brings a smile to all our faces at Elysia Root Cakes HQ! Our bride Rebecca also happens to be a seasoned wedding planner with Honey Bee Weddings and we felt honored that she chose us to execute her wedding cake vision!

While we love coming up with creative designs to fit your unique vision, sometimes a simple white buttercream wedding cake is the perfect choice for a sophisticated, white-inspired reception.  The wedding took place at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and the contemporary yet classic square wedding cake was a perfect choice.

Each tier was a different delectable flavor: Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese filling, Vanilla Bean cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache filling and Double Chocolate cake with White Chocolate Buttercream filling. The three-tiered cake was adorned with lush white florals from Kehoe Designs and delicate piped buttercream beading for a touch of texture.

All white wedding cakes are always timeless, and definitely some of our all-time favorites to create. We’d love to take a bite from this decadent design right about now! Wishing these two a lifetime of happiness together!

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XO, Elysia

Venue: Art Institute Chicago | Photography: Dennis Lee Phootgraphy | Floral/Decor: Kehoe Designs | Planner: Honey Bee Weddings

Lavish Art Deco Styled Shoot

Our team participated in a fantastic shoot published in Chicago Style Weddings Magazine that centered around infamous china patterns, such as this lavish art deco pattern! This simple grey and white geometric china laid the perfect foundation for a timeless cake design. We began constructing this three-tiered cake with an industrial aesthetic in mind, which perfectly personified this classic china pattern. White fondant detailing and minute silver accents ultimately brought this design to life! We could not be happier to have worked with such a talented vendor team on this one-of-a-kind styled shoot!

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XO, Elysia

Vendors //

Chicago Style Weddings | Photography & Videography: Rush Photography and Video Productions | Styling: Frank Event Design | Venue & Flowers: Anna Held Floral Studio | Invites: EIGHT21 Studios designs by Carol Woldhuis | Rental: Hall’s Rental | Linens: BBJ Linen | China: Char Crews, Inc.

Christina & Kosta Engagement Party

Planning for your wedding cake is always fun, and always full of great designs and opportunities for customization; however, your engagement party is the perfect chance to explore your creative dreams! For Christina and Kosta’s love-filled engagement party at The Estate Chicago, the lush florals from Northern Greenhouses and sequined linens created a truly intimate and romantic aesthetic. For the cake design, it was only natural to create a sophisticated design with timeless flair. A white-fondant wrapped three-tier Chocolate and Vanilla Bean cake with different fillings on each tier was the perfect choice, decorated with metallic hues and topped with delicate fresh magenta orchids. This special occasion marked the beginning of Christina and Kosta’s new journey together, and we hope it was every bit as sweet as we imagine!

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XO, Elysia

Vendors //

Venue: The Estate Chicago | Florist: Northern Greenhouses | Photographers: Marcin Cymmer PhotographyElios Photo

Whimsical Notions

Styled shoots are such a fantastic opportunity to explore new creative avenues—like this china-inspired shoot for Chicago Style Weddings! We were honored to work with Frank Andonoplas from Frank Event Design on this. From the floral design by Anna Held Floral Studio to the table setting supplied by Char Crews, this great shoot is chock full of playful, charismatic colors and décor. This quadruple tiered cake is adorned with hand-painted butterflies and flowers, playing off of the fanciful china. While this cake’s ornate detailing mirrors the place setting, we also constructed fondant butterflies to really bring the cake fantasy—and whimsical fantasy—to life. It’s always a pleasure participating in styled shoots, and this vibrant shoot is no exception!

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Vendors //

Chicago Style Weddings | Photography & Videography: Rush Photography and Video Productions | Styling: Frank Event Design | Venue & Flowers: Anna Held Floral Studio | Invites: EIGHT21 Studios designs by Carol Woldhuis | Rental: Hall’s Rental | Linens: BBJ Linen | China: Char Crews, Inc.

Geode and Gemstones Styled Shoot

With Labor Day just behind us, it’s safe to say the summer season has come to a close and we’re looking ahead to fall. This styled shoot is the perfect way to kick off the season, with its rich color palette and decadent design. Geodes acted as a focal point for inspiration for this shoot, which we drew upon when designing this one of a kind four-tiered grey marble cake. Hand-painted detailing mirrored the geodes, ultimately creating a fresh, fall-inspired look!

Check out more of this Geode and Gemstones shoot was as featured on the Chicago Style Weddings blog.

Call or email for a custom cake consultation today, we’d love to bring your dream look to life!

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XO, Elysia

The vendor team included the following:
Planning + Design: You Name It Events | Venue: The Haight | Photography: Photography by Lauryn | Models: Josh Smith and Taylor Anians | Menswear: Menguin Tuxedos | Gowns + Bridal Accessories: Veiled in Elegance | Paper Goods: Sylvia Stremming Designs | Hair + Makeup: Style by Bravura | Floral Design: Town and Country Gardens | Lighting: Atmosphere Events Group | Boutonnieres: Megboys Studio | Linens: Elegant Presentations | Cupcakes: Dainty Delights Bakery | Male Jewelry: Azar Jewelers 

Cake Sketches!

We pride ourselves on our custom cake creations, and begin each consultation the same way—with a sketch! While we do have a few staple designs and décor accents, each cake is constructed based on a client’s individual vision. Reflecting on past cake sketches, it’s fun realizing just how different each and every cake truly is, and how much dedication is poured into each project. We love nothing more than a custom cake creation, especially when it comes to executing something entirely new. Take a look back at these past sketches with us, and see if you recognize any of these sketches in real life on our Instagram feed or from a past event!

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Call or email for a custom consultation and let’s get sketching!

XO, Elysia

Expert Interviews: Carlene Smith, Naturally Yours Events

Carlene Smith is the owner of Naturally Yours Events, an eco-chic and green wedding and event planning company based in Chicago, Illinois. Naturally Yours Events specializes in planning your special day with as many environmentally friendly touches as you desire – from something simple as a locally grown bouquet to an entirely green event.

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Photo by Allison Williams Photography.

How did you get started as a wedding planner?

I have always been obsessed with details — whether planning birthday parties at 10 years old, organizing huge trips to midnight showings of super geeky movies, or helping family and friends plan their most important life moments— and I was quickly known as “the planner” among those around me. It wasn’t until after earning a degree in advertising, working for a prestigious wedding photographer, and moving to Chicago that I had that “ah ha” moment: I love to plan events and I rock at it! Pairing my personal and professional commitment to the environment with a passion for details, Naturally Yours Events came into fruition. Now my team and I work with some truly amazing vendors to create unique and stress-free events that are absolutely fun!

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Photo by Angela Renee Photo.

What do you enjoy most about being a wedding planner?

It is so fun to see all the details come together on the big day as planned. I really love to see when my clients get excited about an idea we came up with or vendors we have booked together. Also, when their faces light up when they see the venue for the first time or they see each other for the first time is such a magical moment to be a part of in someone’s life.

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Photo by Shane Welch Photography.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a wedding planner?

I would say that most of what I do as a wedding planner is general ‘small business owner’ stuff and that can get challenging. Most days I forget to eat or drink water and I just sit in the same position for hours emailing and such. But I wouldn’t change it for the world! I am doing what I love and I always keep growing and pushing myself.

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Photo by Michelle Lytle Photography.

What wisdom or advice would you give a bride/groom as a wedding planner?

All things start out with a good plan and clear vision. Before contacting vendors, have an idea of what you want the wedding day to feel like or what is the most important elements to you. Work on a realistic budget and be flexible with your wants in order to achieve those details that are highest on the list. For example, if photography is #1 on the list but the photographer you love is a little more than what you wanted to spend, try cutting out the hotel drop-off bags or forgo the favors. Your wedding doesn’t have to incorporate every item on The Knot’s “must have checklist”, just the ones that matter most to your day.

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Photo by Amanda Megan Miller Photography.

What’s your favorite cake flavor?

That is so hard, I really love cake. I would say my favorite is white cake with some sort of citrus filling or flavor. I love Mango, passion fruit, and lemon fillings or frostings with cake. Oh wait… I really enjoy a good red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting too.

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Photo by Heather Decamp Photography.

Expert Interviews: Akeshi Akinseye, Kesh Events and Kesh Designs

When it comes to wedding planning, Akeshi Akinseye (Founder and Owner of Kesh Events and Kesh Designs) knows the business like the back of her hand. She has not only one, but two companies in the industry: Kesh Events (focused on planning the events themselves) and Kesh Designs (focused on event decor such as floral, linens, etc). With a keen eye for details and aesthetics, Akeshi produces some amazing events. We love working with her, and think you should learn more about her and her companies. Read the Q&A and check out the photos below!

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Photo by Neil Burger Photography

How did you get started as a wedding planner?
I was born into the hospitality field and was exposed to wedding at a very early age. So it came naturally to me and in 2012- I got married and that experience was an eye opener for me. It really confirmed my love for weddings both on the planning and design side.

Give a general overview of your company – what’s the vision, style, feel of it?
I own 2 chicago based companies:  Kesh Events and Kesh Designs. Kesh Events provides luxury planning and styling services for couples in Chicago as well as destination weddings. We are able to tailor to our clients needs and can help from the beginning to the end of the planning process making sure that the wedding as a whole has a cohesive feel and look and also fits the couple’s style. Kesh Designs is a premier event decor company providing exquisite florals, couture linens and full event design services.

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Photo by Bodas Modernas

What do you enjoy most about wedding planning?
The experience is just amazing. I get to create MAGIC for my clients. Having a couple fully trust you with every single detail of one of the biggest days of their lives is such a huge compliment. Nothing beats that!

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I would say the time we spend making sure everything is perfect! A lot of hours goes into what we do but that is the nature of the job and I accept the challenge 🙂

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Do you have any advice for brides/grooms?
Oh YES!!! Know who you are as a couple! Hire the RIGHT vendors and trust them to do what they do best!Put money in the right places. Hire at least a Month -of – Coordinator ( best gift you can give yourself!)

What’s your favorite cake flavor?
This is an easy one! Elysia Root Cakes -Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting. YUM!!!

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Photo by Cote Style Weddings

Are there any interesting wedding trends you’re seeing this year that stick out to you?
I am not a big fan of trends. I say make your own trend.  I would really love to see couples tailor their wedding to their taste and style and not copy what you see on Pinterest.

Describe a wedding you would put together if you were asked to do anything that you wanted.
That would be a real dream come true! I would plan and design a fabulous wedding  on a remote island 🙂 Seriously! That would be amazing.

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Photo by Couture Foto

 

Make sure to visit the website for even more information here: http://www.keshevents.com/.

Vendor Spotlight: Dennis Lee Photography

In the wedding industry, we get to work alongside so many amazing photographers who are entrusted to capture the best day of couples’ lives. This is no easy feat- but skilled photographers accomplish this with stunning results. Through rain or shine, these individuals produce images that will allow the betrothed to remember their wedding day with clarity forever. Dennis Lee Photography is one of these talented photographers, and we just love his work! Learn a little more about the company by reading the Q&A below.

 

Dennis Lee Photography

 

What inspired you to get into the world of wedding photography?

 

It was a trip to Morocco and through Spain. It was the first time I took photos for myself. I thought they would be amazing because I was in amazing places. Unfortunately, they were probably the worst travel photos anyone had ever taken. I had this once-in-a-lifetime experience and nothing to show for it. I vowed to learn photography and quickly fell in love with it.

 

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Give a general overview of your company – what’s the vision, style, feel of it?

 

Our vision is to be first and foremost documentarians, to find unique moments specific to each wedding and never working off a predetermined mental list of shots. We never dictate the schedule of the day. We work to find locations based on what clients love. Instead of dictating what clients should do, our goal is to help them feel comfortable so they are moving naturally instead of forced poses that can often look contrived. Our goal is to combine our skills in photojournalism and commercial fashion with the best in technical expertise to create images that have a natural sense of ease that will never date themselves.

 

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What do you enjoy most about wedding photography?

 

People are really happy to see me. There are few other jobs where people hug you all the time. Also, I’m giving them something that only gets more important with time.
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What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

 

In Chicago it’s the weather. We can be shooting on the hottest days, the rainiest days, the coldest days. Regardless of what gets thrown our way we have to produce great images.

 

Dennis Lee Photography

 

Do you have any advice for brides/grooms?

 

One, remember that while it is your day, this is also the first big event you are hosting. Great hosting is about making people feel comfortable and welcome. Two, don’t try to cram too much into the day. It’s better to do a few things well that you can really enjoy than trying to do everything which will create stress.

 

Dennis Lee Photography

 

Are there any interesting wedding/photography trends you’re seeing this year that stick out to you?

 

I actually hate trends when applied to weddings. Trends are fleeting and often quickly forgotten.  It should never be applied to something that should be so timeless as a wedding. Now having said that, wedding traditions evolve just as our society changes. The change that I’m loving the most is that weddings are less formulaic. From locations to food to décor we’re seeing so much more variety in how a wedding is held. Couples can really tailor the event to their taste and values and not worry.

 

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What do you think makes the wedding industry a unique one to work in?

 

It’s the only industry where you hope to not have repeat customers. LOL. O.K. Seriously. Every time you do your job you’re involved in one of the most important milestones in a person’s life. There is a certain weight and level of responsibility that comes with knowing that.


What’s your favorite cake flavor?


Anything with lemon. I don’t eat the icing though.


In that case, it looks like our naked cake would be the perfect option for Dennis! To learn more about this awesome Chicago wedding photographer, make sure to visit the website at http://www.dennisleephoto.com/.

Vendor Spotlight: Nimble Well

We put a lot of time and effort into making exquisite and beautiful cakes, and we feel they are amplified by the stands that they sit on. Nimble Well is one of our favorite vendors to work with because their platter and cake stand rentals are unique and gorgeous. Read the Q&A below between Elysia Root Cakes and Kelly Connolly, Owner of Nimble Well, to learn a little more about this awesome Chicago rental company.

 

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Photo by Roots of Life Photography 

Describe your business in terms of style, vision and aesthetic.
I have a rental company, so the style can vary depending on what is pulled off the shelves and combined. I tend to collect things that have a strong, clean form or color that feels contemporary. The inventory is primarily vintage, but it’s often used for modern styles, so I only collect pieces that are versatile. Often, clients will say things like, “I don’t want it to feel vintage”, or something along those lines. Then, they’ll choose things that are from the 1890s and the 1940s, but I know what they mean. A lot of my job is translating other people’s vision into a tabletop design with what I have on hand. Personally, my style started off as pretty minimalist and is getting more layered and maximalist, but I’d say that my vision for Nimble Well is to have a kind of library of tabletop items that can serve a big range of possible styles. I love getting new requests and combinations that no one has asked for yet.

 

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What made you interested in getting your business started?
I had been a part of a good friend’s business and really enjoyed (the thought) of starting my own business. I ran through several ideas, and just hit on the unique rental business after my own wedding. I realized that many of the special things I sourced for our wedding were possible to offer as a rental company, but there wasn’t any company exactly filling that niche in Chicago yet. I found several similar companies in California and saw an opening here. Since then, I’ve refined what I offer to strictly tabletop rentals, and not exclusively vintage. I want Nimble Well to be able to evolve with clients’ interests.

 

How far out should clients book your services?
My clients come to me anywhere between 18 months to very, very close to their event. I recommend at least two months to have the best selection, but as long as the inventory they want is available and I can fit it into the schedule, it’s good.

 

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What is your booking process like (in terms of consultations and delivery/setup at the wedding)?
I offer consultations at my office where I store all the rental inventory. For most of my clients we discuss what they’re interested in over the phone or email and I send over a rental proposal with photos. After that, we make adjustments until it’s exactly what they’re looking for. About half of my clients choose to pick-up and drop-off their rentals at my Lakeview office, and for the other half I deliver either to one of their vendors (caterer, bakery, florist, planner) or directly to their venue. I can do midnight pick-ups. It’s pretty flexible. I can do set-ups as well, but, generally, clients have someone else on their vendor team who is already covering that, and I coordinate with their vendors to make sure they have all the information about the set-up.

 

What is your favorite cake flavor?
Chocolate cake is my favorite for ever and always, and I love Elysia’s version with salted caramel frosting.

 

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Describe some of your favorite current pieces in your collection right now, and why you like them so much.
I’ve been collecting a lot more trays, vintage silver and pewter and florentine trays in many different colors. The pedestal collection is a good size right now, so it’s been fun to expand the trays. It’s always interesting to see how clients want to use them. And I really like the new wood stands I added this summer–they feel warm and modern.

 

Have you seen any interesting trends in the wedding industry this year?
Brass is huge right now. Blush and gold are still popular. I’m seeing a much richer, layered look and a lot more requests for colors–jewel tones, contrasting and complementary color. More clients have been mixing more combinations of the stands and glasses. I hardly get any monochromatic requests lately.

 

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What do you think makes this industry unique, and why do you enjoy working in it?
Contrary to popular mythology, people who work in weddings are not out to gouge their clients and make a killing. I’ve yet to find those people. I find that the people who work in weddings here are extremely hard-working because they care a lot about their clients and care a lot about doing an excellent job. It’s an especially collegial industry in Chicago, too. There’s not a lot of ego. All the vendors I work with have a spirit of collaboration and genuinely like each other and like to solve problems together and really come through for their clients. I like getting to work with vendors over time on different weddings and events and I enjoy having many different aspects of my business. There’s lots of admin and communication, and driving in traffic, but also creativity in hunting for new inventory and helping clients create exactly the kind of wedding or event they want.