What is your most memorable wedding?
I went to a venue for the first time, Kent Life in Maidstone. It was a beautiful summers day and the venue looked stunning yet quirky and had an amazing feel about it! It was different to anywhere i had been, with a choice of places to get married. I set up the cake and stepped back and had a real wow moment! I love that cake now, 3 years later and the venue too!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Pretty and vintage,
floral with handmade sugar flowers,
lace and pearl,
glamourous yet under stated.
What about your business are you most proud of?
The fact that its all my own work. It has taken many hours of work and promotion to build up my business and now most of my commissions are by personal recommendation.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Once you find a supplier you like, and have booked your date, then book them as there is often a limit to the number of weddings that supplier can do at one time. Some brides book two years ahead, and some dates always seem more popular than others!
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
One of my happy couples had a "lemon" themed wedding and as well as having lemons on their cake, each guests name place was a lemon with the names on and the favours were small jars of lemon curd. It was truly unusual but looked amazing.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I like to meet with the bride and groom at my house so they can see me and my surroundings. We generally chat over a cup of tea, and try the different flavours of cake I offer. I ask them to bring ideas, colours, invitations etc and we try to draw up ideas for a cake that is truly unique with them. There is no obligation and no charge, but most couples go away happy with a cake design they love and then have to struggle to decide what flavour cake to have for which tier!
What is your signature cake?
Something bright and floral or quirky and colourful!
What is the most original creation you have baked for a wedding?
This will be the wedding cake that had Christian Grey (50 shades of Grey) on one side as part of a "reveal" / half and half cake.
Describe how you got into making wedding cakes.
In 1992, just after I had finished my degree, my mum bought me a book completely out of the blue called “kids character cakes”. She obviously thought I needed a hobby or something to do, I had never made a cake or shown any interest in baking in my life and I didn’t have any children, so it did seem a bit of a random purchase at the time. This gift was the start of the most amazing journey for me which culminated in Cake Decorating becoming my full time career. Soon, it was my mum’s birthday, so I made her a cake from the book. It was a pig cake made using two sponges made from bowls and a few marshmallows. Looking at it now it was really quite terrible, but mum loved it and that was enough for me to think about taking night classes to learn how to decorate cakes properly at some point in the future. This opportunity came much sooner than I had anticipated as I had booked an evening course for something else which was cancelled at the last minute, and so I found myself on a 12 week course “Cake Decorating for Beginners” As time went on, I enjoyed learning all the different techniques and got so much positive feedback that I tried more cake related classes. Friends and family started asking me to make cakes for their celebrations and I made my first wedding cake in about 1992, volunteered by my mum again!!
Making this first wedding cake was such a big step, there is a world of difference between a birthday and a wedding, but the couple were so pleased with the cake it made me feel incredibly happy, much happier than my full time job ever had done and this spurred me on to learn more. From that moment my aim in life was to become a full-time cake maker at some point in the distant future. I enrolled on a 2-year City and Guilds course in Sugarcraft and Design and was the only person to complete the course within its two-year time span, all whilst holding down a full-time job.
It took me many years, 3 children and a serious illness to be able to give up my day job to focus full time on cakes, but in 2012 I did just that, opening Iced Images Cakes and eventually specialising in wedding cakes over everything else.
My love of wedding cakes stems from me knowing that each couple will have not only a beautiful cake but also a beautiful tasting one. Once the cake is delivered and set up at the venue I like to stand back and not only feel pleased with myself but also pleased knowing that the happy couple will be thrilled to see their cake and it be everything they ever wanted and more. The wedding cake deserves to be a talking point on the big day be it cool and contemporary or fun and outrageous, meeting the couple’s specific requirements and personalities.
It’s important to me that I can take some of the wedding day worry away from the happy couple by providing amazing support and customer service throughout the process, getting to know the couple well during this time makes it very easy to go that extra mile to make everything just perfect.
I still love to go on courses to learn new skills and improve on my existing ones, it is never too late to learn as wedding trends are continuingly
What would be your show stopper in the Great British Bake Off?
A cake with sugar flowers and a personalised bride and groom topper on the top