Archive of ‘Wedding Advice’ category

10 Best Door County Venues for Small Weddings

Kasey & Ben Wedding Photography

Small weddings are our absolute favorite! The short guest list usually means the day is more intimate and shows couple’s personalities. Brides feel less inclined to follow traditions that don’t suit them, and couples get to better enjoy their wedding day free from major stressors!

Door County is a great spot for small weddings whether you’re planning an elopement, small wedding, or destination wedding. Since we photograph in Door County regularly, we thought we would compile a list of the best small wedding venues in the area so you can get an overview and details on each before jumping website to website!

Door County Wedding Photographers

1. Wineries

Even if you don’t know much about Door County, chances are you know that the peninsula is dotted with wineries from toe to tip. What you may not know is that these wineries often open their doors to small weddings.

Simon Creek Winery, Sturgeon Bay, WI

  • Outdoor weddings can be held in green space near the creek (see photos above).
  • Ceremony tents are allowed.

Stone’s Throw Winery, Baileys Harbor, WI

  • Outdoor weddings can accommodate up to 150 people in the green space, or smaller groups on the patio or in the sculpture garden.
  • Indoor weddings can accommodate up to 80 people in the Barrel Room or Tasting Room.

2. Garden Gables

Garden Gables, Sister Bay, WI describes themselves as Door County’s premier DIY wedding venue. It’s romantic, whimsical, and charming with an outdoor stone bar, concrete band stage, indoor barn area, and outdoor gazebo. Everything about this venue is unique and perfect for weddings with a boho theme or a rustic vibe.

  • Open June through September and can accommodate up to 200 guests outdoors or 100 guests indoors.
  • There is a cottage space with restrooms available for wedding preparations and two multi-stall indoor restrooms for guests.
  • Only four miles from downtown Sister Bay.

3. State Parks

Until we were invited to photograph our first state park wedding at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek, I had no idea they even rented for weddings. But with all the water views and gorgeous wooded areas, it’s a great choice for your warm weather affair. Some parks even rent shelter areas to be used for simple receptions!

Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, WI

  • Only small weddings are permitted. Two enclosed shelters are available for rent and can accommodate up to 50 people. Other than the shelter rental fee and vehicle stickers, there is no fee for holding your wedding at Peninsula State Park.
  • There are some locations where tents are permitted.
  • Wedding locations include Weborg Point (see photos above), Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Welckers Point, Sven’s Bluff, Eagle Panorama, and Eagle Terrace.

Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay, WI

  • Some facilities are reservable including the picnic shelter on South Shoreline which seats 30 and the Amphitheater located in the center of the park near the campground which seats around 60.
  • A tent can be set up outside of the picnic shelter for outdoor ceremonies.
  • There are areas that are not reservable, but weddings can also be hosted there, (see photos above) just contact the park for details.

4. Gordon Lodge

Gordon Lodge, Baileys Harbor, WI may be Door County’s most popular wedding venue. Their unique grounds feature so many options from an intimate beach wedding, woodsy views, or indoor spaces, you can customize to your heart’s content. Onsite catering and lodging is a big plus for this venue as that is not easy to find in the area. The water views are unbeatable and the food is incredible!

  • Amenities include onsite catering and lodging, private beach, and equipment rentals (bicycles, kayaks, and paddle boards for exploring).
  • Gordon Lodge’s Event Center seats 250 without encroaching on dance floor, and the Boathouse is perfect for smaller weddings which can seat 50-60 based on wether you choose to do plated dinner or banquet style.
  • Ceremonies may also be held outdoors on the green space where Lake Michigan and North Bay meet.

5. Woodwalk Gallery

Art, wine, and beaches, that’s what Door County is known for! Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI is an active art gallery and a beautiful venue featuring a historic barn, landscaped trails, and multiple outdoor wedding locations. They are also known for their friendliness when working with couples to plan their wedding!

  • Although known mostly for small weddings, Woodwork can accommodate outdoor groups up to 250.
  • There are many outdoor options for ceremony including a garden lattice and vintage silo (see photos above), or you can hold your wedding inside the historic barn. A tent may be set up barn adjacent to make the transition indoors easy for your guests.
  • There is a getting ready space onside for wedding preparations and indoor bathrooms are available for guests.

6. Horseshoe Bay Farms

Although mostly know for its larger weddings, Horseshoe Bay Golf Club, Egg Harbor, WI is set up well for smaller affairs in their Beach Club venue. Centrally located, Horseshoe Bay Farms is only a short drive from Sturgeon Bay where many of the peninsula’s amenities and lodging are, or guests can plan to travel north after your wedding to explore more of what the county has to offer. Murphy Park is just across the way which is a beautiful stop for photos with a pet-friendly park and warm bathing beach.

  • At Horseshoe Bay the Members Clubhouse seats up to 200 indoors for dinner, the Private Dining Room seats 35, and Horseshoe Bay’s Tent Pad is an outdoor venue with seating for up to 140 guests.
  • The Beach Club is it’s own small venue along the shores of Green Bay with rooftop deck, patio, and indoor venue space with seating for up to 70 guests.
  • Horseshoe Bay is also known for their signature cocktails such as Door County Cherry Mojitos or Horseshoe Bay Old Fashioneds to add a personal touch!

7. Stavkirke Church

If you’re feeling adventurous, an island wedding might be for you! Stavkirke Church, Washington Island, WI is a small wood chapel surrounded by woods (see photos above). It was build by local craftsman to honor the Scandinavian roots of the island and based on a church in Borgund, Norway from 1150 AD. Washington Island does require a ferry from Gills Rock, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but your guests will appreciate the weekend getaway. No guests? Washington Island is the perfect spot for an elopement, just don’t forget to pack you swimsuit!

  • Great for elopements and small weddings of 30 or fewer guests.
  • Just around the corner from famous Schoolhouse Beach, perfect for photos.

8. Bjorklunden

Bjorklunden, Baileys Harbor, WI is a 440 acre estate on the quiet side of the peninsula. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the “bay side”, choosing a location along the “lake side” is a good option. Bjorklunden is actually a small music school (a branch of Lawrence University) but they do rent multiple spaces for private events and weddings.

  • The most popular option for weddings is Boynton Chapel which is a wood stav church built in 1939. It can accommodate up to 36 guests.
  • There are multiple onsite lodging options available (including a studio apartment space) as well as indoor spaces for food and events.

9. Landmark Resort

Although not exclusively for small weddings, Landmark Resort, Egg Harbor, WI is a Door County staple, voted “Best Wedding Venue” by Door County Magazine. In addition to their well known reception site and lodging options, The Landmark also has two outdoor ceremony locations including the Egg Harbor Terrace (see photos above) and Flagship Garden offering views of the bay.

  • Best known as a reception hall, the Landmark also offers outdoor ceremony venues and a smaller restaurant space (Carrington Grill) perfect for intimate weddings.
  • In the banquet space, The Landmark can hold up to 200 guests. The State Room seats 80, and there are smaller rooms to accommodate groups up to 40.
  • 284 condominium suites are available for rent for you and your guests so they can make a weekend of it. Book hospitality suites, distribute brunch vouchers, or even host a fish boil for your guests!
  • Outdoor ceremonies can hold 120-200 guests.

10. About Thyme Farm

About Thyme Farm, Baileys Harbor, WI is a gorgeous barn venue on the “quiet side” of the peninsula. It is surrounded by fields and lush green space. If you are thinking a barn wedding might be for you, but want a place that is already prepared to host, About Thyme is that venue. They are set up for DJ and band equipment, have a built-in bar, and chandeliers throughout the main of the barn with Italian bulbs lighting the back of the barn.

  • About Thyme boasts amble parking for up to 75 cars and the option to leave vehicles overnight if you are shuttling guests to lodging.
  • Wedding ceremonies can be held indoors or outdoors.
  • Indoor restrooms able to accommodate a full guest list.
  • Barn can seat up to 200 for dinner.

Honorable Mentions:

We didn’t want to make this post too overwhelming and there are so many great places to get married in Door County! If you didn’t find your hidden gem listed above, we suggest you check out Silver Poplar Studios, Birch Creek Music Center, Hillside Inn, Bridal Chapel of Door County, or Whistling Swan Restaurant. There are also many more restaurants that can host wedding receptions.

If you are considering an elopement, we suggest checking out a bed and breakfast (like the Chanticleer B&B cabin elopement pictured above) or a public park or beach area like Cave Point County Park.

We hope this guide has helped guide you through your planning process! We love Door County and it’s been such a pleasure to work with the people at these incredible venues to make beautiful, memorable wedding days. If you have questions about a venue or want to meet up and chat about your wedding photography vision, send us a message HERE.

Vendors: wedding invitations with basic invite

When we meet with clients, I ask a ton of questions. I love to hear about wedding colors, venues, and the vision for the overall wedding. It helps me imagine what the “color story” and mood of the day will be, and how that can be reflected in the images we create. Coming to photography from an art and design background, one of my favorite wedding day details is the paper suite. I have always had a love of fonts and colors, so getting to see beautiful invitations layered with foil cards and textured envelopes gives me all the heart eyes.

Basic Invite is a stationery designer with over 200 wedding invitation samples as well as nearly unlimited color options (so if you’re picky like me, you can find just the right shade of “seafoam”). Basic Invite also offers custom samples so you can physically handle your top contenders and check out not only the paper quality and pigment colors, but also see how your names and information will look in that particular design.

Whether you are looking for wedding save the dates, invites, or table place cards, you can find darling designs at Basic Invite.

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Sponsored Post for http://www.basicinvite.com. All images provided by Basic Invite LLC.

Vendors: wedding advice from jenstar yoga and dance

Green-Bay-Yoga-Pilates-Barre-Studio-Jenstar-Wisconsin-Photography-Business-Branding-Fitness-Health-Wedding-AdviceOur monthly blogs are back with advice from the experts! This month we’re chatting with Jen Berres, owner of Jenstar Yoga and Dance. Jen is giving us a few tips on feeling and looking your best for your wedding day, as well as how to de-stress and focus on what matters throughout the planning process.

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What would you like people to know about you? 

I own Jenstar Yoga and Dance in downtown De Pere, Wisconsin. I love to combine old traditions with new moves and my goal is for everyone to feel like they learned something (either about themselves or alignment of a certain pose) when they leave class! The studio itself is ever-evolving. We have a variety of offerings (yoga, barre, and dance) and I encourage teachers to let their own style and personality shine.  We are hands on and will help you.

Where do you find inspiration?

Three of my favorite yoga teachers are Kathryn Budig, Elena Brower and Jason Crandell. They inspire me in my yoga teaching and practice. I draw inspiration from books (anything from chakras to anatomy), music (I make a killer barre playlist), and even nature. It’s good to get outside and just breathe. But the best way for me to stay inspired is getting myself to class with other people around. I love the energy exchange.

What classes do you offer that would help brides de-stress? 

Everyone de-stresses differently, but I would recommend yoga at the top of the list. Breathing, moving, stretching, balancing – you will find some challenge but it’s all done with a mindful perspective and there is a lot of space given for you to calm your mind and just “go with the flow”. Yoga breathing techniques help de-stress your nervous system so it’s not always in fight or flight mode. Brides need this!

What classes would be best to help brides who are looking to “tone up” for the wedding day?

If people are looking to tone-up and kick up the intensity, a Barre class is the answer. The music is bumping, the choreography is moving/changing from planks, to core, to arm work.  People feel strong and accomplished after this class and the physical results show.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to couples planning their wedding?

It’s your wedding. Make choices that reflect your style and who you are as a couple. Don’t feel obligated to change your vision to appease other people. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything on your own.

What are some good ways to de-stess at home? 

This one might sound weird, but it works. Take at least 20 minutes every day to set your electronics aside, be by yourself, and be quiet.  You could take the time to do something that you love, but it’s all about the conscious choice to stop what you’re doing, ground, and recharge. Clear minds are less stressed minds. This is so much harder than it sounds, but it is worth it if you can make it a daily practice. We don’t need to be busy all the time.

Anything you would suggest in the final days before the wedding to keep brides feeling their best? 

A consistent wellness routine months in advance is so important leading up to those final days. The week of the wedding keep to your fitness schedule and maybe add one additional yoga class or workout session. Drink tons of water to stay hydrated and keep skin nourished. Remember to avoid super salty foods and alcohol (even at the rehearsal dinner) so your body isn’t retaining water. Every night make it priority to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Keep your phone on the other side of the room so you don’t feel tempted to lay in bed and scroll through Facebook. The most beautiful bride is a well-rested bride.

Every wedding has obstacles and stressful moments in the planning process… what advice do you have for focusing on what matters?

Remember the reason you are getting married is because you love this person and want to share your life with them – that’s what’s important.  No one cares what your bridesmaid dresses look like or what color scheme you chose. We get way too wrapped up in petty details sometimes. Simple is better, always.

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You can find the Jenstar Studio at 365 Main Avenue in De Pere or online at http://www.jenstaryoga.com

Vendors: wedding advice from petal pusher floral

Green-Bay-Florist-Wisconsin-Photography-Petal-Pusher-Business-Branding-Flowers-Wedding-AdviceAs a bride, wedding planning can get a bit overwhelming. There are so many vendors to book, timelines to keep, and budgets to remember. When Ben and I got married, the area I felt the most clueless in was the flowers. I didn’t know the names of flowers, what was in season for our fall wedding, or how to pick flowers that matched our theme. Ben and I set up a meeting with Nichole at Petal Pusher and she helped answer our questions. After our conversation I had a clearer vision of what we wanted and I felt a huge relief in knowing I was in good hands.

A few weeks ago I sat down with Nichole again, this time to pick her brain for a few little tips to help you 2016/2017 brides as you start your planning. Read on!

What would you like people to know about Petal Pusher?

I have owned Petal Pusher for nine years, and the previous owner had it for eight years before that, so we’re nearing the two decade mark. People ask what makes us different, and I feel we do work that is very personal. We’ve done a lot of interesting things for weddings like flowers on the couple’s dog, mementos in the bride’s bouquets, which makes it fun for us. I like that it’s challenging and that we don’t make the same bouquet twice.

How would you describe your style?

I like natural, organic looks. I can do the “bling” thing, but my personal aesthetic is more woodsy. Some of that translates into my home too; it’s what I find appealing and what I like to be surrounded by. The rustic trend is a wonderful, but I would love to see that translate into a more woodsy look with bark, mosses, and twigs. I am inspired by nature. Things that feel truly original to me I am pulling from my surroundings – wandering through the woods or gardens.  I can see something and say to myself, “why have we never used that before?”

What are some things couples might not think about as they plan for flowers?

I would say durability is an important consideration. For example, if you know you are having an August wedding and it will be a long, hot, sun-filled day, even though hydrangeas would be in season, they might not be a great bouquet option. The other tip I have is to envision a color palette rather than specific flowers. For example, if you come in and say you want yellow, I can show you all the yellow flower options for a June wedding, whereas if you say you want sunflowers, that puts us in a harder position. Otherwise, if there is a flower you are dead set on, call your florist, then pick your date.

How far before the wedding do you suggest couples get in touch to meet with florists?

At least 6 months out is ideal, but we have some brides meet with us much farther in advance just to start getting ideas.  A Pinterest board is probably the best way to start brainstorming because brides don’t need to know the names of flowers or even how to describe the style. Even to see the other wedding details: dresses, shoes, hairstyle, tells me so much about the vision they have for their wedding, even if they don’t know how to describe it.  The other thing I would suggest is to sit down as a couple and chat about which family members should get flowers, that way you aren’t put on the spot later on. Everything else we can go through one step at a time.

What would you recommend for brides on a budget?

Number one, don’t be afraid. People get nervous because it’s not very often that you have to shop for flowers. I always tell people, “I’ve been a bride too; I’ve been there, I know what it’s like”.  I usually recommend coming in and making a list of all your wants. We can make an itemized estimate, so couples can prioritize this over that or substitute in different flowers. Or, after they look at that initial estimate, they can just be really honest and say, “I have a max budget of $800, tell me how I can best spend it.”  I would much rather help couples make choices to make that smaller budget look amazing.

What aesthetic choices would you make if you were planning your own wedding right now?

Well firstly, I think a woman deserves a wedding in each season (up to her if it’s the same man every time!) My wedding was in winter, and if I were planning one right now I would plan it for fall. I would love something with a gritty, organic, natural aesthetic. The reception would be pink champagne and hors d’oeuvres and I would love it to be outdoors or in a setting that feels outdoorsy. For flowers, I would do all local just to show what can be done: dahlias, grasses, berries, bark, moss and twigs, with guinea hen feather accents and little hemlock pinecone boutonnieres.

Are there any current wedding trends that you love?

Lately locally grown flowers have become popular and we work with a really amazing grower outside of Cecil, so it’s nice to have that for fresher, more organically-raised option. They grow things that you wouldn’t even fathom you could grow here; some plants I had never even heard of. My husband and I just purchased 26 acres and we are going to start growing on a portion of that, so we can gather birch bark, curly willow, pussy willow, and other things like that.

As far as other trends, I really enjoy the more petite bouquets for bridesmaids, I think it makes them look more graceful. I also like the cocktail dresses with matching shoes and bouquets look. For receptions I love the farm-to-table idea with local, seasonal menus. It’s fun for me when the food is as pretty as the flowers, I love that look too.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their decor?

Make the day a reflection of you. Personal touches give the guests something to talk about and it shares more about who you are as a couple. Also, whoever you book for your vendors, make sure they’re people you’re comfortable with. You should be enjoying the planning process, and if you don’t feel comfortable leading up to the big day, it will be so much harder with the stress and nerves that come along with the wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors questions that don’t quite fall into their “category”. Vendors have been to so many weddings, so utilize them as a resource for weddings in general.

Vendors: wedding style tips from edit salon

De_Pere_Wisconsin_Photography_Edit_Salon_Hair_Makeup_Branding_Green_Bay_Cookie_Macaron_Wedding

We love Edit Salon in De Pere, and the moment you step into their downtown space, you will too.  Amber and Ashleigh gave us a few minutes of their time last week to pop in and ask a few questions that many brides have on the brain when deciding on wedding hair and make-up. Here’s a little information about the salon, and some advice from the experts!

 What would you like people to know about Edit Salon?

Edit is a co-owned urban salon in the historic district of De Pere. Our space is designed to be relaxing and open-concept to make it comfortable.  We decided to open Edit because we felt it was time to fully invest ourselves in our clients and be responsible for our craft. Our salon is about offering clients more personalization in terms of products, amount of time, and pricing, thereby providing better service.  Working together is great; we love our space in downtown De Pere, and we love being stylists because we get to use our creativity to help people feel better about themselves.

Where do you find inspiration?

Truthfully, Pinterest. It’s fun to look through images, get ideas, and take them to the next level.  Everything we see we can personalize and make our own.  We follow other stylists and get inspired by clothing as well.  For weddings I always want to know what someone’s dress look like so we can draw on the style of that.  I love when brides come in with color samples, hairpieces, make-up or even show us through some of their pins.  A lot of our clients have more alternative styles, so we are often influenced by vintage looks and retro/modern styling.

 What’s the best piece of advice you would give to brides?

Research. I would suggest an idea board, even if it is just about shape or details.  Pin anything that interests you, and comment on it so you remember why you pinned in, and what you liked about it.  I would suggest this for make-up especially since people are less accustomed to having professional make-up done.

How far in advance of the wedding should couples think about booking their stylist?

Four-six months.  Saturdays book up quick, especially at smaller salons like ours. After you book, it’s a good idea to schedule a trial up-do to allow you get to know your stylist, explain some of your ideas, and change anything that didn’t work for you.  It’s a lot like trying on your dress before the wedding day, and it will relieve a lot of stress.

I also suggest doing a trial run for make-up.  In order to look natural in pictures on your wedding day, you should wear more make-up than you would regularly, so it’s a good idea to get used to how it will look.

How much time should brides budget for hair and make-up on the wedding day?

About two hours.  It’s best for us if they wash their hair the night before for a smoother look during styling.  For make-up just arrive with clean, moisturized, skin.  Then bring in a bottle of champagne and relax. (Or let us take care of that too with a light breakfast and mimosas!)

Are there different situations in which you would suggest hair down, up, or half-up?

I almost always suggest hair entirely up.  Obviously you have to choose your favorite style, but I suggest up-dos because at the end of a long day hair-up styles will still look great. (Even at ten o’clock when you’re shaking your groove thing.)  It will hold up better to wind, rain, and humidity, so it’s always my suggestion.

Do you have a favorite hair and make-up combination for a timeless look?

Yes, I feel like a subtly contoured-eye with a light lip color and sun-kissed skin has a really classic, natural look.  For hair, I like a fuller up-do that is soft around the face with loose curls.

What are some beauty tools brides should keep by their side?

Lip color, q-tips for eyes in case of tears, loose powder and oil blotting cloths for shine, bobby pins and hairspray for hair, and deodorant if you can fit it.

Any secrets for pre-wedding prep for healthy hair and skin?

I would suggest getting into a good cleansing and moisturizing regimen; facials are great if you have the means.  This will help with evenness and texture of your skin.  If you color your hair, get that done two – three weeks before the wedding so that it is well-blended but you don’t have roots.  This would also be a good time for a hair trim and eyebrow wax.  The groom should get his hair cut one or two weeks before the wedding, or at least come in to get trimmed around the ears and on the back of the neck.

Outside the salon I suggest sunscreen and investing in a quality foundation for healthy skin. The day before the wedding be sure to drink plenty of water which will give your skin a good glow.

What are current wedding style trends? What would you like to see more of?

Natural looking make-up, big sleek buns, and hair extensions (which we offer here) are popular. For make-up I would like to see more people enhancing their best features rather than trying to look like someone else. We really want to accent your natural beauty by playing to your strengths.  Your groom is marrying you and choosing you for who you are, so you shouldn’t try to look like someone else…just the best version of yourself.

Final tips…

Do what you want, and don’t let others take away from the dream you have for your day. Oh, and hire Kasey and Ben as your photographers.

You can find Amber and Ashleigh in downtown De Pere at 123 South Broadway or give them a call to schedule an appointment 920.351.3230 .

Vendors: karli from cake and cookie llc

De_Pere_Wisconsin_Photography_Bakery_Cake_Business_Branding_Green_Bay_Cookie_Macaron_WeddingLast week we got a chance to sit down with Karli, owner of Cake and Cookie LLC in De Pere, pick her brain about wedding desserts, and snap a few photos of her beautiful (and delicious!)  macarons.

So often couples come to us with questions about the next steps after choosing their photographer, so we thought we would do a quick interview with Karli for our Vendor Spotlight post and share a little bit of advice on choosing your baker and deciding on wedding desserts. Read on for some information and inspiration!

What would you like people to know about you?

I make everything from scratch in small batches from quality ingredients. Everything is done by me with help from my mom, Mary.  From the consult to the baking, everything is done by just the two of us which keeps things personal. We try to be a friendly small business over here.

Tell me about starting Cake and Cookie LLC.

I started Cake and Cookie because I like being able to create my own style and I wanted to see if I could bring something new to the wedding cake world in Northeast Wisconsin.  When I opened Cake and Cookie I was baking out of a shared kitchen, and selling through deliveries and at the downtown farmers markets. I got my own space here in August and I really love it.  I found the shop at just the right moment; we were growing and it was no longer feasible to carry equipment and ingredients with me. When the flower shop moved out of this space, I was able to expand.

What was your background with food?

I’ve always loved cooking.  As a child in summer I would drag my mom’s old pots and pans out to the backyard and cook in my sandbox.  In high school I took every art class and cooking class, but when I graduated I thought I wanted to go to a traditional four year school.  My mom knew I should be cooking but she let me figure it out on my own.  I left the university and went to culinary school at Fox Valley Tech in Appleton which is where I discovered that I loved the creative and artistic aspects of baking. After that, I went to the French Pastry School in Chicago.  I was there I learned to make macarons, and it became something I really enjoy.

Where do you find inspiration?

I like looking through contemporary wedding styles and decor – blogs, magazines, etc. and getting inspiration from them.  I can get inspiration from just a ruffle or other detail.  I will see other people’s cakes in the industry and find things that I like or would change.  Everyone is a little different in their artistry, so each person will put their own spin on things. My personal creative style is very simple and organic with clean lines.  I like incorporating simple patterns, lace, pearls, and organic work with gold brushstrokes and things like that.

What is the best piece of advice you would give couples planning their wedding dessert?

It’s a great idea for couples to form an inspiration board (with pinterest it’s so easy to show things you like even if you can’t describe them).  Sharing pictures and swatches gives me a way to get the feel of your wedding so we can create a cake to compliment your decor.  I do complimentary consultations where the couple gets to choose two flavors of cake and two flavors of filling that they want to try.  I allot that time to do kind of what we’re doing right now, sit down and chat.  They try the cakes; we talk about ideas, and I can develop a few different quotes for them.  I try to make the process a little easier, because I know that brides have 1000 other things to keep straight.

 How early should couples think about booking their baker?

For me, it’s a little different than most because it’s just me here.  I tend to book up faster and sooner than a larger bakery.  My advice would be “the sooner, the better”; I only take on one, maybe two weddings each weekend to allow me enough time for the entire process.  For summer weddings, I would say six or so months out, but if you want it sooner, you can always come in to try cake, put down a deposit, and you won’t have anything to worry about until your day gets closer.

What are some alternative wedding sweets that couples may not have considered?

A lot of couples with larger guest counts are doing smaller stacked cakes to keep the style simple, and then “kitchen cakes” for the rest of their guests. I call mine “kitchen cakes” instead of “sheet cakes” because they are still circular so they will look the same as regular wedding cake when they are cut. Dessert tables with things like cookies are become more popular, as well as macaron towers.  I also do a cupcake alternative which are mini layer cakes inside clear cups.  Beyond that, I have had couples comes in with an idea for something they absolutely love (like mint brownies or gingersnap cookies). So I’ve made some personalized desserts like that as well.

Are there any current wedding trends you love?

Dessert tables. I love those because they are always so cute.  I have been seeing a lot more simplicity in cakes and incorporating metallics – silver leaf, gold brushstrokes.  Organic looking icing and statement flowers are both still very popular.

Is there anything you are dying to try?

I’ve never done a “naked cake” before, and I would love to do one!  It really goes along with that organic aesthetic that I like.  Naked cakes have the edges exposed, and there is either no icing or it is applied in thin, textured layers.  I love the look of it, and it would be a great option for someone looking for a dairy-free cake as well.

What do you love most about doing what you do?

I just love baking. I love the fact that I get to be creative, and being creative with food is so interesting because it is not a traditional art.  Running a business is also great because I get to form relationships with clients, spend some time one-on-one, and turn their vision into a reality.  I love defining my own style, and it’s great when someone comes to you because of that style.

Final tips…

Be sure to do cake tastings before choosing your baker.  You want to know that you like the taste, and also check to be sure that the design you are interested in can be created by the baker you choose.  Also find out who will be making the cake – oftentimes the person you meet with will not be the person making your dessert.  You can always ask to meet the baker or the owner to be sure you have open communication.

You can find Karli at Cake and Cookie LLC in downtown De Pere at 518 George Street (try the macarons while you’re there) or online at http://www.cakeandcookiellc.com .