Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wedding Cakes

Okay, finally! I'm sharing my favourite wedding project - the cakes! You might not believe this, but there was a time where I didn't think we needed a wedding cake, I figured there was a dessert course in the menu and that would be the sweet ending for the meal. But Howard pointed out that it would be weird for us to not have cake - especially with me being known as being a baker and all. So I thought about it and decided it would kind of be odd and I did like the idea of baking for our guests.
Then came the hard part, what type of cake would I make? What flavours? How would I decorate them? I looked in many cookbooks and my past blog posts. What did we like to eat? What would cause me the less amount of stress?
What I did know was that we wouldn't use fondant. Even though we started this blog showcasing fondant decorations and even though fondant looks really good, we personally don't enjoy eating it. I wanted the cakes to look natural to match the venue. This wasn't a sleek and polished event, it was small, intimate, and homey. I wanted the application of the frosting to look homemade. I wanted one to be naked with no frosting covering it. Then I wanted a cake that didn't look like much, but upon closer inspection, was something special.
So my next project was to figure out what types of cake toppers I wanted to make. Pinterest was extremely helpful in providing ideas and I eventually picked three: a "Mr and Mrs" bunting, a "LOVE" sign, and a "JUST MARRIED" banner. I used cardboard, paper, thread, and wooden skewers to make them. What I liked about these was the extra height it gave my six-inch cakes.
No one else would know this, but it bugs me that I made the mistake in pairing up the cakes with the cake stands. In my original plan and sketches, I had the naked cake on the white cake stand and the white cake on the glass cake stand. In my own nervousness, I accidentally set them up wrong on the day of. I could have also pushed down the skewers a bit more - like maybe an inch. This is just me over-thinking it and being critical. Since I was the one who set up the cakes, I have no one else to blame but myself! The staff did an outstanding job decorating the rest of the table with greenery and candles - seriously, best team ever!
Here we are, our first task as a married couple! Don't we look happy getting ready to cut the cake? (Another reason why I love my wedding dress, it almost looks like another dress when you don't see the bottom part of the gown. This could have been a knee-length cocktail dress since you can't tell with the table covering the bottom.)
We picked the easier cake to cut into. The restaurant provided the knife and cake lifter.
I'm over the moon here. If Howard fed me cake everyday, I'd be the plumpest and happiest wife on the planet.
I'm sure he doesn't feel the same.
When we were finished our photos, the staff took all three cakes back into the kitchen so they could divide them up and plate them. Then they were carried back out and placed on the table as a self-serve station. To my surprise - because a lot of my family members don't have a big sweet tooth - everyone went up for cake. At one point, I thought we didn't have enough (we did, there was like three slices left at the end of the night).
I made a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting - a classic and one of my favourite go-to cakes.
The next cake I made is one that is a bit more unique. Not a lot of people have tried a mille crêpes cake before and I feel that it's that something extra for special occasions. Plus, it's a favourite of ours ever since we tried it in New York where we got engaged.
The third cake I made was mainly for Howard. Even though the mille crêpes cake is his all-time favourite, he also loves citrus flavours. This was a lemon cake with lime buttercream.

Wedding Photography: Ikonica | Venue: Auberge du Pommier | Cake Knife: Auberge du Pommier | Cake Lifter: Auberge du Pommier | Cakes: A Baked Creation | Cake Toppers: A Baked Creation | Cake Label Signs: A Baked Creation | Glass Cake Stand: Crate and Barrel | White Cake Stand: Crate and Barrel | Wooden Cake Stand: Chapters Indigo | Six-inch cake boards: PME Sugarcraft | Wedding Dress: Mori Lee Blu 5108

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wedding Menu

Finally, we're getting to the FOOD portion of our wedding! One of the main reasons we picked Auberge du Pommier as our venue was for the food. Yes, you can call me a baker, a foodie, or someone who takes photos of her food, and this meant that I wanted our guests to be given various choices and to be well fed at our wedding. We decided on a French restaurant because most of our fond dining experiences happened in French restaurants.

The restaurant doesn't offer a complimentary tasting, but you are able to schedule one for an additional cost. We felt pretty confident that the food would be good, so we skipped the option and picked the dishes based on the menu descriptions.

Of course, the first edible treat they received was part of the program. After the ceremony, the drinks were generously circulated to our guests. Lots of wine and cocktails to start the party with.
We also ordered three types of canapés to be circulated at this time. A vegetarian pick - savoury scallion madeleines with lemon crème fraîche - as you may know, I love madeleines! Next up, a seafood option - grilled octopus brochettes with strawberry gastrique. Then, because most people love meatballs, grilled Moroccan lamb on a stick.
Auberge du Pommier printed the menus for every guest, but the children's menu wasn't included in it. But our flower girl and ring bearer had some great choices for dinner as well! Caesar salad, crudités and dips, or greens with house vinaigrette for an appetizer. Fish goujonettes with chips and tartar sauce, petit filet of beef with vegetables and potatoes, or roasted chicken with vegetables and potatoes for their entrée choice. Then for dessert, they could pick a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, a banana split, or fruit salad with cookies. The children's portion were actually really large so the parents happily helped finish all the food.
For the adult guests, they could order the soup of the day which was fennel and leek vichyssoise with fennel front mascarpone and mint pesto or the chou frisé consisting of kale, radish, pickled granny apple, and horseradish kefir vinaigrette.
One of the popular mains that guests ordered was the canard: roasted duck breast with apricot, coriander tabbouleh, fennel salad, pickled red onion, and grilled lemon jus.
Next, the boeuf: a beef tenderloin with braised broccolini, pommes purée, shallot confit, a scallion compte, and bordelaise sauce.
And since no one RSVPed with food restrictions, we offered a saumon choice instead of a vegetarian one: B.C. salmon with charred romaine, braised radish, spicy pea purée, and goat cheese cream.
Even though there would be cake, we still wanted a dessert course (who doesn't want more dessert?) The mousse au chocolat was served with a mixed berry compote, nut clusters, and salted caramel.
And the rhubarbe consisted of chilled rhubarb coulis, yoghurt gâteau, toasted almonds, and crème fraîche ice cream. Howard's and my plate were personalized from the chef with a note of congratulations (the only photo I took that day).
Cheers! More about those cakes next time . . .

Wedding Photography: Ikonica | Venue: Auberge du Pommier | Food and Drink: Auberge du Pommier | Printed Menus: Auberge du Pommier

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Wedding Game

One of our highlights of the evening was the game our maid of honour and best man co-hosted for us. You've probably seen it at other weddings or parties, where the couple sits back-to-back and answers questions without knowing each other's answers. Normally this "shoe game" is played with the shoes the groom and bride are wearing, but we swapped that out with homemade paddles instead.

We want to applaud and thank Laura and Kurt for doing such a fabulous job. They bounced off each other with great energy, had amazing pacing and entertaining questions. How did we do? Well, not that it was a competition of anything, but I'm pretty sure I won the game.
Kurt and Laura started us off with some easy questions at first.

Who owns the most pairs of shoes?
H: Howard
S: Howard
(It's really unfair how many shoes he has over me, but I'm slowly catching up.)

Who spends more time in front of the mirror?
H: Sylvia
S: Howard

Who has better taste in music?
H: Howard
S: Howard
(Sad, but true. Howard picked out all of the ceremony music for our wedding.)

Who is the better dresser?
H: Howard
S: Howard
(Sigh, I know I should try harder, but I really do prefer comfort over fashion.)
Now the questions progressed to be a little trickier.

Who starts the arguments?
Howard: Howard
Sylvia: Sylvia
(We're being politically correct here, aren't we?)

Who is more stubborn?
(Oops, didn't catch what our answers were, but I'm pretty sure I picked myself.)

Who says sorry first after an argument?
H: Howard
S: Sylvia
(Lies! I always go first!)

Who is more likely to be running late?
H: Howard, then switches his answer to Sylvia
S: Howard
(The fact that he took so long to answer should indicate that he's always late.)
We were warned that these questions were more difficult to answer.

Who passes gas more?
H: Howard
S: Howard

Who is the bigger baby when they're sick?
H: Sylvia
S: Sylvia
Who wears the pants in the relationship?
H: Sylvia
S: Sylvia
(I just love the above picture, because I am 100% certain of the answer.)
Who has the craziest family?
We both refused to answer this, in which Kurt told us that technically, we're all family now!

Who said I love you first?
H: Howard
S: Howard

Who says I love you more often?
H: Sylvia
S: Sylvia

Who talked about marriage first?
H: Howard
S: Howard
Who is more romantic?
H: Sylvia
S: Sylvia

Who loves the other more?
H: Sylvia
S: Sylvia

Who is the better kisser?
H: Howard
S: Howard
(I pointed out that you can't tell if you're the better kisser unless you kiss yourself and Howard then chooses to demonstrate...)

We ended it there as we were informed that the questions get a lot more risque after this! Again, thank you to Laura and Kurt for doing such a fabulous job. The photographers caught the best photos from this game. Lots of laughing faces and candid shots of our family and guests. It felt so nice to look back at these pictures and see everyone having a good time.

Most of all, thank you to my bridesmaid Diana who made us the paddles for the game! She's incredibly talented and crafty and made us two grooms and two brides that matched our tux and dress. I love the sweetheart neckline, corset detail on the back, and the poof of my dress. Not to mention that stunning tuxedo lapel!
Wedding Photography: Ikonica | Venue: Auberge du Pommier | Game Paddles: Diana Brown | Wooden Cake Dowels: Michaels

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wedding Programs

We took the wedding programs into our own hands as another do-it-yourself project. This was required some timing and planning as we wanted our programs to be as fresh as possible. Odd? Yes, but our program included a sweet treat with it.

Do you remember our centerpieces from the previous post? Well, I couldn't make those until the programs were finished because I had to use the cookie cutters first.
Two days before, I made the batter for brownie roll-out cookies, chilled them overnight, and baked them the next day.
It would have been pretty difficult to do with the dowels on them!
I needed eight of each number to go with our seating chart. We found these clear 4 x 6 treat bags for the cookies to go in and stapled them to the program I printed.
I designed these double-sided programs and printed them on card stock so that the shape would hold while the treat bags were attached. The back of the programs informed each guest which table they would be seated at for dinner.
I know these programs don't match the save-the-dates or the invitations, but I wanted it to be simple and match the venue. So I stuck with a craft paper background, black, and white, and the cookies would be dark enough to stand out.
We piled it all into a wooden pine crate and put the groomsmen in charge of handing these out to guests when the ushers dropped them off at the terrace.
Of course, Howard and I didn't need one, we knew where we were sitting!
And there's the front of the program where we listed the key people participating in our wedding party, the officiant, and schedule of the evening.

A few guests commented on the fact that they saw the connection between the table numbers and the program cookies. =) And those brownie roll-out cookies are so good, I love how they stay soft and chewy. I think most people would have chosen to go with a sugar cookie, but I find those dry and hard to the point that they'll be too crumbly.

Wedding Photography: Ikonica | Venue: Auberge du Pommier | Table Numbers: Sylvia Chan |  Wedding Programs: Sylvia Chan | Cookies: Sylvia Chan | Cookie Cutters: Fox Run Craftsmen | Wooden Cake Dowels: Michaels | Clear Treat Bags: Michaels | Wooden Crate: KNAGGLIG from IKEA

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wedding Tablescapes

We live in a city with some great farmer's markets and florists. So I was very torn about going the do-it-yourself route or simply buying gorgeous and beautiful flowers to fill our tables. In the end, it came down to budget. After doing some research and seeing some sample quotes online, I knew were weren't going to get a sprawling table of flowers. I didn't even bother contacting florists for quotes in fear of offending them!

My initial vision was to keep things rustic to go with the restaurant's atmosphere. We were in what used to be a woodcutters' cottages after all. I was thinking mason jars and beautiful pink dahlias or flowers from my parent's garden. At one point I even thought I could make beautiful crepe paper flowers instead. I collected mason jars from family and friends (and ate a lot of pasta sauce myself), cleaned them, and painted the inside with white acrylic paint. I wanted the look of milk glass - without paying for the hefty price. A Pinterest idea gone wrong! Acrylic is supposed to be waterproof, but after letting the jars dry for weeks, I tested them a week before the wedding. No! The paint simply peeled off and bubbled. Water had somehow gotten between the paint and the glass - despite two to three coats of paint. It did NOT look pretty. Think mad-scientist lab with organs in a jar.
So that week, we frantically tried to come up with an alternative. Our best bet was going to Ikea for their versatile Ensidig vases. We bought six of the large ones (diameter: 15 cm, height: 16 cm) and 10 of the smaller ones that resemble milk bottles (diameter: 7.7 cm, height: 18 cm). We dropped the six larges one off at the florist where I ordered the bouquets and boutonnieres and asked them to fill it with green hydrangeas.
I had made the table numbers that would be combined with the main centerpiece. Had to insert a bit of my love for baking here. I took some wooden cake dowels, bought cookie cutters in the shape of numbers, and used a hot glue gun to stick them together.
There you have it! A visible table number - with a nod to baking - rising above a fluffy bouquet of hydrangeas.
For the milk-bottle vases, Howard and I went to our grocery store and bought green chrysanthemum buttons the day before the wedding. We trimmed them at home and had them ready to go. The venue provided candles and candle holders so they did the set up, placing as many candles that would look nice and lighted them before the dinner. They also arranged each place setting with folded napkins, menus, cutlery, and glassware. We loved how they did a little extra for our head table, using different candle holders and including some of their own greenery.
We decided on assigned seating for each table, so we got a pack of ivory tent cards with an embossed frame along the border. Here's the crazy part - I hand lettered all of the names. Yes, we could have ran it through a printer . . . but where's the personality in that? I don't even have calligraphy pens or special nibs, I did these with a regular black pen and coloured in the areas I wanted thickened. Yes, hand cramps and lots of breaks were involved.
Wedding Photography: Ikonica | Venue: Auberge du Pommier | Candles and Candle Holders: Auberge du Pommier | Florist: Ruby Florist and Loblaws | Vases: ENSIDIG from Ikea | Place Card Hand Lettering: Sylvia Chan | Table Numbers: Sylvia Chan | Cookie Cutters: Fox Run Craftsmen | Wooden Cake Dowels: Michaels

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wedding Hair and Makeup

This is probably my least favourite topic regarding our wedding. For those who know me, know that I've been grappling with skincare since high school. That's right, when acne reared it's ugly head in grade nine, it never went away. Thinking it was just a phase that teenagers go through, I never thought much of it. It became something that I categorized as mildly annoying. But then it stayed and it became wildly annoying. I tried Proactiv and many drug store face washes and cream - that didn't go so well as the products mainly dried out my skin to the point of flakiness. I hated getting my photograph taken. I didn't like to make eye contact because I'm sure people were staring all my acne. And I didn't (and still don't) have the skill that my friends and colleagues have in applying makeup. It's why I kept long hair to hide behind. It's why I don't wear V-necks or low swooping tops. It's why I wanted an illusion neckline and not a sweetheart top for my wedding dress. It's why I prefer sleeves to cover my dry, rough, itchy elbows - not just a winter thing for me, all year round I can't moisturize them enough.

Yet, I knew I wasn't going to go barefaced on my wedding day. I probably started too late, but I saw a dermatologist six months before the wedding who gave me three options: Take these pills that had crazy side effects that could change my mood, take birth control pills and use topical creams, or apply topical creams. Let's just say I didn't get along with my dermatologist and haven't been back after the wedding. She was firm on saying that there was nothing else in the world that could help. No natural solution at all, it was going to be medicine or nothing. And those cray pills didn't even guarantee that it would clear up my skin. So uh, no thanks. We ended up going with the last option - topical creams. I didn't see a huge difference, but it did cause a sunburn and after my skin peeled, the angry large pimples seemed to have went away. But that didn't mean that the scarring disappeared. Or the occasional pop-up around the T-zone. I did find that it was related to stress, so I tried very hard to remain calm the week leading up to the wedding.

But enough about my poor skin situation. I knew I needed to find a professional hair and makeup artist for my big day. My sister-in-law had hired Fidelia Lee and she did a great job. I loved her hair and makeup on her wedding day. I got in touch and made an appointment for a trial with Fidelia. I'm sure Fidelia knew that she had her work cut out for her! But she was patience and listened to what I preferred - as natural as possible with soft and romantic light colours. Nothing too bright or strong, I didn't want to look unrecognizable with large eyelashes, purple eye shadow, and red lips.
For my long hair, we tried a braided bun first. I liked the idea of a chic and dainty bun and showed her a bunch that I liked from Pinterest. But you know what? I didn't take into consideration that my black hair showed none of the lovely braids, twists, and curls. And with the veil, it was basically nonexistence. Not to mention, it felt so weird to not have my hair beside my face. I didn't like how it looked in the front with all my hair pulled back. It felt uncomfortable, like I had the shortest haircut ever.
So we kept it simple by doing loose waves. Tucking a few strands from the front and tying them to the back with an accessory. One of the best parts of doing the hair trial at Fidelia's was her wall of accessories. She has shelves and shelves of colour coordinated hair clips. I picked out a few that I liked for her to apply. While I loved the leaves from the top photo, it felt too large and concentrated in one area.
The next one was a bit better, but too plain.
I really liked this floral one.
And because Fidelia is a pro, she added some more leaves at the side. There we have it, the winning style!

You might have also noticed that I dyed my hair so that the curls would be able to caught the light better. This was the first time I went to a hair salon for colour and it was a long process. It took about three to four hours for all of the dye to be applied on my hair and wrapped in tinfoil. The stylist did a light brown highlight to make my hair look naturally sun kissed. He also made it look gradient so that it became lighter near the ends.

I had what was healthy hair, but a few days after the dye, it tangled and felt crunchy. I wanted to cry! Turns out this is a common side effect from research online. It only meant one thing, I had to buy lots of conditioner and keratin repair spray.
Okay, back to the wedding stuff. I love this combination so much! One focal point with the flower and four mini leaves and flowers on each side to balance it out.
We started our wedding day at 7:00 am, which wasn't considered early according to many brides and makeup artists. Fidelia and her assistant came over to my parent's house to set up. My bridesmaids opted out of hair and makeup so I decided to treat my mom and mother-in-law. While Fidelia worked on my hair style, her assistant worked her magic on both my moms with Fidelia looking on and touching up as she saw fit. 

Even thought 7:00 am wasn't early for them, I found myself nodding off while there was a hot curling iron behind me. I'm sure Fidelia noticed but was too polite to say anything. I was sleepy, nervous, and eventually feeding off the energy as my maid of honour arrived to help with the tea ceremony and my aunts, uncles, and cousins filled the house. Howard came by to steam his tuxedo. People hovered around me to see the process. There was breakfast in the kitchen being served. It felt really nice to hear everyone gather this early in the morning for us.
After my hair was set, I popped in my contact lenses so that Fidelia could start on the makeup. I have to say my favourite part was the eyebrows! I don't know how to shape them or fill them in, so when she did it, it looked so amazing. I can see what the YouTubers are always going on about when you have proper eyebrows framing your face. I did end up using fake eyelashes, but not incredibly thick or long ones. And all my skin worries melted away through Fidelia's expert application. She instructed me to put on my dress so that she could do more touch ups along my neck, shoulder, and chest.
The tea ceremonies were a long way from the actual ceremony. So I included a touch-up session in my package. Fidelia came to our venue to fix up the damage all the rain drops did during our photo session in the park. She did provide me with a touch up kit - but I honestly didn't know how to use the mystical things in it. Regardless, I am so thankful she was there to make me look my best that morning and evening. I've provided her link below, but if you want her e-mail, let me know! I highly recommend her if you have events or photo shoots.

Hair and Makeup Trial Photography: Maid of Honour/Mom | Wedding Day Photography: Ikonica | Hair and Makeup: Fidelia Lee | Hair cut and colour: NC Salon | Venue: Auberge du Pommier