2016 JDE Brides Brunch

This past Sunday I got to spoil my 2016 brides and it was such a great time!!  It's a really tough time of year to get everyone together because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I'm so glad a few of us were able to take the time to relax and catch up a bit!

I'm fairly certain this sign is going in my office.  Champagne for Breakfast!!

Emma from Everything Emma provided all the food and, as usual, it was just perfect.  I left feeling twenty pounds heavier and needing a serious nap.

  My friend Heidi from Heidi Calma Photography was sweet enough to come and take a few pictures of the day for me and I'm so grateful!  Thank you Heidi!!!  These two ladies are just the best ever and I rarely get pictures with the two of them together!

I'm in awe of how wonderful my couples were this year and I'm so excited I got the opportunity to spoil my brides a little bit.  They definitely deserved it!!!  Now I'm excited to welcome all the 2017 couples I'm lucky enough to get to know.  Can't wait to make your day absolutely perfect!

Vendor Spotlight - Everything Emma

Everyone meet Emma!!!  This super talented lady holds a super special place in my heart.  Not only does she create some of the most delicious and beautiful desserts.  I remember the first time I had the opportunity to taste something Emma baked.  It was Super Bowl 2014 and she baked these adorable football cupcakes.  They were SO GOOD.  She's also one of the kindest and most creative people I know.  I'm so thankful to have her in my life as a fellow wedding vendor, and also as one of my greatest friends.  Read on to learn a bit more about Everything Emma and to hear her advice for choosing the right baker for your wedding day.

Tell us all about Everything Emma!  
Everything Emma started as a creative outlet that had previously been muffled due to the typical excuses, "I'm too busy, I have to focus on work, I'll do it tomorrow, etc." Since I rarely ever make a New Years resolution, I decided January 2015, I would start a blog. I had no clue what I was doing, but I loved whatever it was that I was doing for the blog. The blog took it's own turn and quickly went from "lifestyle" to "cakes, cakes and maybe a casserole here and there". I fell into a beautiful group of creatives that support each other and keep the motivation going. I still have no clue what direction the blog will go towards, but that's what I love most. It's the one thing I can't plan and I haven't been disappointed yet.

How long have you been operating? 
Officially, I would say, just shy of a year. But I've always been in the kitchen or trying to style pretty things. It's what comes natural and easy, not necessarily perfect every time, but that wouldn't be any fun.
What made you go into baking?
I'd like to say it was some sort of grand plan, but the cake life chose me as opposed to vice versa. It started as a few dozen cupcakes for work or a birthday celebration, which turned into actual birthday cakes and then one day, a wedding cake. Knowing that something I created and put a lottttttt of time and effort into was going to be apart of a milestone for someone is what keeps me baking.

How would you describe your style?
Somehow a mix of whimsy with modern architectural influences and a touch of vintage? It's a tad confused, but just think of gold, pale peachy pink frills and a little shimmer and you've got Everything Emma.

What's the most memorable event you've ever contributed to?
The most memorable even was Lauren & Tyler's wedding. They were my first couple and they took a total chance on me since I'd never ever made a wedding cake, I repeat never ever. Anywho, it was b-e-a-uuutiful! I still can't believe that I did that and was a part of such a huge moment for them. I can't thank them enough for that opportunity as it has completely opened up so many opportunities for 2016.

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a baker for their wedding day?
1. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Some people find that they don't want to offend someone's "profession", but it's your wedding day! Ask away! "What do you charge?, Can I try your cakes?, Are they frozen or baked fresh? Do you deliver? Do you do fondant or frosting?"

2. Be understanding of pricing. Weddings are expensive, we all know this. By the time you get the venue, caterer, planner and dress, you're eating ramen noodles until the big day. Cakes are expensive as well. It takes a lot of time, a lot of products and a lot of stress. Not to mention the previous practice to perfect our technique.

3. Communicate. Don't worry about blowing up their inbox, seriously! Give them every single detail that you want, our baker brains over-analyze everything and we thrive on the details. Send us pictures, flavor ideas, and any little idea that pops into your head. Either we can do it, or we can't. It's best to let your baker know precisely what you want or you may end up with a cake you weren't expecting.

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner? 
I know it's vague, but creating edible memories for people is the best part of this. Whether it is a wedding cake or a baby's smash cake, it's a memory that is captured and savored. Even yesterday at a birthday gathering, one guest exclaimed, "Holy crap you made this?! It's the best cupcake I've ever had!" I didn't pay her to say this and she was completely sober, and it totally made my day. It's the best feeling knowing you made something special for someone and sweetened life a tad.

What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to eventually be my own boss. It's something a lot of people dream about, but few attempt. I know it's possible and that it'll take time, but it's something to look forward to.

What kind of future do you see for Everything Emma?
I've been working on and planning a few ideas for 2016, including the Cupcakes & Cocktails parties and rebranding. Luckily, my brain is always churning and big changes are coming, just stay tuned. Like I said previously, this is the one thing I can't plan on. The blog has taken me on so many wonderful adventures, that I know it won't disappoint in the following years.

If you're looking for a gorgeous wedding cake, or even just a batch of homemade cupcakes for a birthday party....contact Emma.  You won't be disappointed.

Christmas: Small Business Roundup

If you know me at all, you know I’ve always loved to support small businesses.  Even more so now that I’m a small business owner myself!  The impact each consumer has on a small business is just crazy.  And if I can support a local small business, I’m seriously on cloud 9.

With Christmas right around the corner, I figured now was a great time to give you a little round-up of some of my favorite small businesses, all local to Virginia.  They each offer something completely different and I’m pretty sure you could wipe out your shopping list this season by checking them out.

Water’s Edge Design

Water’s Edge Design is run by my sweet friend Julia Stancampiano.  She designs custom signs and rehabs & re-purposes antique furniture.  If you could see how her home is decorated, you’d want to move right in.  Everything is so unique, but each piece has such a classic feel to it.  I’m obsessed with pretty much everything she creates.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to give, or you’ve been searching high and low for a beautiful Christmas sign to grace your own mantle, Water’s Edge Design is worth a look!

Everything Emma

My crazy talented friend Emma Hering of Everything Emma makes some of the most delectable food I’ve ever tasted.  Her sweets are gorgeous and festive, and they seriously taste like heaven.  She even has gluten free options!  I just placed my order of yummies to take to Christmas dinner and I’m so excited.  I always feel like there’s this crazy pressure when it comes to bringing dessert.  It should be pretty and taste amazing.  #notabaker

If you’re in charge of bringing sweets for dinner, or if you just want something delicious to give as a gift, contact Emma to place your order!  She needs at least 48 hours notice and she offers both classic and custom flavors!

Ro & Co Designs

One of my absolute favorite things about this time of year is Christmas cards. I love sending them just as much as receiving them.  I display the ones I receive on a Christmas wreath at home and it always makes me smile walking by the wreath and seeing all the love sent my way.  Most years I try to design my own cards to send out, but sometimes time just gets away from me and I end up buying a box of traditional cards from Target and calling it happy.  If you’re hoping to have gorgeous custom cards to send to your loved ones this year, but you don’t want to make them yourself…. you have to chat with my friend & JDE bride, Rosalie Poulin.

Rosalie run Ro & Co Designs and she creates some of the most amazing paper goods I’ve seen.  She’s responsible for all my new branding and even the JDE Christmas cards I’ll be sending out this year!

Merry Christmas & Happy Shopping Friends!