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We’ve Got A Craving For Wedding Cookies!

Specialty sweets tables are a big deal for weddings right now. Color-coordinated candy extravaganzas, vintage candy-store displays, gourmet chocolate spreads—sweets are not just delish, they invoke childhood memories and symbolize a sweet union.

Candy not your bag? Here’s an alternative: cookies! They’re small, they’re simple, they’re darling to look at and comforting to eat. Really, who can say no to a cookie? Especially when it’s your grandmother’s chocolate-chip-pecan recipe, or crisp, buttery shortbread, or colorful dipped fortune cookies bearing messages of love, or sugar-dusted Mexican wedding cookies lookin’ like perfect little snowballs of yummy. We like cookies stacked on tiered stands or passed with shots of ice-cold milk. Heck, we like cookies pretty much any way, any time.

Guest Blogger Radhika Day, Publisher of Weddings in Houston Magazine, Recaps the Houston Wish Upon a Wedding Launch

All Photos: Monkey Tree Photography

Thursday, June 30, the Houston chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding had its official launch. I am one of the board members of this fabulous organization, and so proud to be involved.

If you’re not familiar with it, Wish Upon a Wedding is the nation’s very first nonprofit charitable organization set up to produce weddings, at destinations across the United States, for couples facing a life-threatening illness. Its unique mission makes Wish Upon a Wedding the world’s first nonprofit wedding-wish-granting organization. It’s also quickly becoming the wedding industry’s charity of choice.

Attended by more than 150 Houston wedding industry professionals and brides, the launch reception, generously underwritten by the Westin Galleria and overseen by catering director Adam Rineer took place in the hotel’s Monarch Ballroom, with its beautiful views of the city. The talented Rob Smith and staff of Events in Bloom decorated the space stunningly with stylish lounge furniture. Guests enjoyed the impressive buffet and desserts prepared by the Westin chefs, along with sinfully delicious miniature wedding-cake truffles from Cakes by Gina. Both,  I personally and everyone on the board of Wish Upon A Wedding are so grateful to the wonderful Houston wedding professionals who donated their time and services to make the evening a success.

Houston chapter president Heather Hamilton-Sims of Simply Jubilee Events shared the vision and objective of Wish Upon a Wedding, and the accompanying video clips left not a dry eye in the room.

By the end of the evening attendees could not wait to volunteer their services and time as wish grantors for this most worthy cause, which provides weddings for couples in need regardless of sexual orientation. Houston brides, here is an opportunity to share your good fortune with someone a lot less fortunate who wants nothing more than to be married….just like you. As President Hamilton-Sims put it, most of us are planning weddings and events one, or maybe two or three years from now, but for these couples facing a life-threatening illness that time line does not exist.

So how can you help?

Watch this short video clip to see just what Wish Upon a Wedding has done and visit Wish Upon a Wedding. To donate your services, please sign on as a Wish Grantor. Blog about it. Talk about it. Become a Facebook fan and follow Wish Upon a Wedding on Twitter. In lieu of favors at your wedding, please consider making a donation to Wish Upon a Wedding and spread the joy. 
But most of all, just GIVE.

WUW:: Rehanna + Christian from bliss productions on Vimeo.

Houston Wedding Baker Makes Good, and Great Cakes, Too!

WIH-J-Jucker-HEADSHOT
Boy, does Janice Jucker have an amazing attitude. The president of Houston’s venerable Three Brothers Bakery and 2009 winner of the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Houston Woman Business Owner of the Year award says that had she not battled incredible adversity—being battered by hurricanes AND diagnosed with breast cancer—she might not have won the award, “So everything happens for a reason!”

In addition to her heroic work saving Three Brothers after the onslaught of Ike, NAWBO honored Jucker for leading a group of vendors to provide IT services to Reliant Park, where Katrina evacuees were being housed. Those services allowed evacuees to connect with family, friends and loved ones during a time of unprecedented crisis.

So isn’t it just fitting that Jucker’s 60-year-old family bakery creates certified Kosher, certified delicious desserts and other sweet indulgences for many of life’s most important family reunions? And isn’t it lucky for us that she specializes in gorgeous, too-divine-to-decline-a-slice wedding cakes??

Speaking of cakes, Jucker, who got her start at New York’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, has been tracking wedding cake trends, and she’s got the inside scoop, plus great suggestions for the cake-shopping bride.

Here’s what she says…

About flavors: “Flavors seem to be moving back to comfort flavors. The top flavors chosen by our brides are a white genoise with amaretto buttercream or caramel buttercream (caramel is dairy, but it can sit out because it is cooked already), and a yellow cake with a fudge filling and buttercream icing. When we do a fondant I always try to steer our brides toward a filling with buttercream, so they get the best of both worlds.”

WIH-J-Jucker-PURPLE

About colors: “We’re seeing gold again, which I love, for I feel it is so very elegant.
Coral and deep purple (eggplant) are definitely colors to highlight at weddings. Black and white are also still quite prominent, and bling is always in.”

WIH-J-Jucker-ROSE
About decoration: “Toppers are moving out. Spirals of sugar flowers are gorgeous. Nothing is more beautiful than handmade roses. I’m also developing a new affinity for magnolias–they are big and bold. I love them. Technology has allowed us to be able to take a pattern and cut it with great precision to create great patterns on cakes. We can work with some of the most intricate patterns now.”

About groom’s cakes: “My husband loves grooms cakes because he gets to design something fun. He is a master builder and can create mechanical accents as well. Two years ago he designed an 8 ½-foot oil derrick that shot 3 ½ feet of fire and chocolate oil!”
Jucker, who is healthy, happy and looking forward to many more years of baking, says her favorite part of working with wedding couples is hearing their stories. “I like to ask the brides how they met their fiancé. I love looking at their dresses to gain inspiration. You really get to know them.” She sighs, “I just love weddings.”

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Janice. You’re our hero!

Coming Up: April 9-11, 2010

Remember this mouthwatering post from a few weeks back on Houston foodie fave
Campbell’s Catering? Yummy, right? Well, sure, it’s fun to read about fabulous food—but it’s a whole lot more fun to EAT it. Take advantage of Campbell’s open house this Saturday, April 10 from noon to 2 p.m. and sample this in-demand Houston catering company’s hospitality and culinary know-how firsthand. We’ve tasted Courtney Campbell & crew’s divine specialties (Duck wontons? Shrimp cocktail shooters? Gourmet BBQ-filled potato boats? OMG. TDF.) and you will NOT want to miss this opportunity.

Campbell’s Catering
14775 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Sat. April 10
FREE

For more info call 281.589.5555 or e-mail campbellscatering@sbcglobal.net

Moving on from food to fashion, we recommend the Angel Sanchez trunk show at
Maison de Mode, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April. 9-11. Reps of the design house will be lavishing personalized attention on attending brides as they show off beautifully made gowns from the celebrated Venezuelan bridal designer. Expect plenty of lustrous silk, romantic tulle and delightful touches such as metallic thread, handkerchief hems and impeccable embroidery. Brides who purchase their gowns at this special event get a 15% discount…and the ability to say with pride that they’re getting married in Angel Sanchez. Très chic.

Maison de Mode
2431 Rice Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
Fri.-Sun. April 9-11
FREE

For additional details call 713.527.8285 or e-mail maisondemode@hotmail.com.

Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez

Flower-Powered Wedding Cakes

If you’re a thoroughly modern Houston bride, who, nevertheless, has a soft spot for flowers, take comfort—there are cakes that mix your dueling tastes. We’ve found plenty of them, and we’re serving up a few of our favorites here, for your inspiration.

What’s not to love about this lovely peony-theme, three-tier stacked cake? We are crazy about that dreamy watercolor effect, and the romantic topping of multi-hued pink blooms. Perfection!

Weddingbee.com
Weddingbee.com

Smooth stacked tiers, slick grosgrain ribbon, a stylized gumpaste flower and an oh-so-au-courant purple-and-green color scheme make this cake from Austin-based Must Eat Cake, a chic choice for a stylish spring or autumn bride.

Musteatcake.com
Musteatcake.com

Cake artist Simon Lee, turned out this stacked square cake, which has a crisp, formal feel that’s softened by accents of black-centered poppies. Picture a cake like this at a simple, elegant outdoor reception or in an intimate, black-tie ballroom setting—beautiful, no?

Stellaalesi.com/wordpress/
Stellaalesi.com/wordpress/

And speaking of white cakes, how about these fresh-as-springtime beauties from Chicago’s famed Cake Girls? We love how sisters Mary and Brenda Maher manage to make cakes that are both classic and cutting-edge. No wonder their clients have included Bono, Ashley Simpson and, none other than renowned wedding guru, Colin Cowie. Wowie!

Thecakegirls.com
Thecakegirls.com

If any of these cakes catch your fancy, feel free to forward a link to your Houston cake-maker. There’s nothing a cake pro craves more than a bride who comes with ideas!