Friday, October 29, 2010

CT Bridal Event 2010: Vendors (part ii)

As promised yesterday, here are a few more of the wedding vendors you'll be able to meet at the CT Bridal Event 2010 which is being held on Sunday, November 7th at the UConn Alumni Center.

Tiff's Wicked Cakes

Tiffany Flanagan of Tiff's Wicked Cakes will be there. She works out of Rhode Island and can be contacted through her website, via email, or through Facebook.


London & Hartmann


London & Hartmann Photography will also be there - and these two lovely ladies can be contacted through their website.


Wedding Reports


Chris Bajda will be representing Wedding Reports. They can be reached through their website and through Facebook.

Cookie Creatives
Cookie Creatives will be there - and you can reach Jennifer Burkhardt through her website and Facebook. You can also read her blog and follow her on Twitter.


I will be there too. Representing lili lutu - my handcrafted bridal jewelry company. You can reach me through my website, follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and read this blog.


lili lutu


Erin Kelly Perry will be there for the Chocolate Rose Bake Shop. She can be reached through her website on on Facebook


Chocolate Rose


Lauren LeBlanc will be there for UConfections. She can be reached through her website.


UConfections


On behalf of all the featured vendors, I wish you happy browsing - and look forward to meeting all of you on November 7th!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CT Bridal Event 2010: Vendors (part i)

Vendors galore ...
Over the next two days I thought it would be fun to do a virtual walkthrough with some of the vendors - so that those of you attending the show will have an idea about some of the wedding professionals you can expect to meet on Sunday, November 7th.

A Favor For All Occasions




A Favor For All Occasions can be found on their website and on Facebook.

Kim Bova Photography

Kim Bova can be reached through her website or on Facebook.





DL Video Productions specializes in Cinematic Wedding Films and can be contacted through their websiteThey are located in Massacheussetts.






Lia Sophia

Denise Moore Fleming represents Lia Sophia Jewelry. She can be contacted through her website or through Facebook.


Tiffany Hall

Tiffany Hall of Tiffany Hall Beauty can be reached through her website.

Love Me Two Times will holding the Bridal Gown Trunk Show. Be sure to check them out. You can reach Cam Fogg through the store's website or on Facebook.


Love Me Two Times

Jessica Enos does the design work for EstoPrints. Budget-friendly one-of-a-kind work. The company can be reached through their website, via email, or through Facebook.


EstoPrints

Heather Henry is the owner of HGK Designs. She can be reached through her website or through Facebook. You can also follow her on Twitter.



HGK Designs

Looking for candles? Look no further than Candles By Laura LLC. Laura can be reached through her website or on Facebook.


Candles By Laura LLC





Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CT Bridal Event 2010: UConn Alumni Center

UConn Alumni Center

Today I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at the UConn Alumni Center in Storrs, CT - where the 4th Annual CT Bridal Event is going to be held on November 7th, 2010.
CT Bridal Event


"This is our 3rd year at this location," Kia Martinson-Wenzel of ESTOccasions explains. "We keep coming back to it because of the amazing space. It also gives clients the chance to have their ceremony there if they want. They also have a great cocktail space. But most important, it's open to everyone - not just UConn alumni. It gives couples the freedoms to really create a wedding, not just a wedding package, because they have control over everything. You bring in your own caterer and linens, so you really won't be having a cookie cutter wedding."

Melissa Wilson Photography

The Alumni Center's Great Hall, with its distinctive staircase and charming layout, is a stylish and sophisticated site.

UConn Alumni Center

It's the perfect location for your wedding, shower, reception or other special event. Whether you’re new to the area or have fond memories of the campus you know and love, you are invited to discover what the Center has to offer. 
A complimentary consultation and facility tour is available upon request. 
To request a consultation contact Julie Sweeney, Alumni Center Manager at 860.486.1828 or 888.822.5861 or by email at Julie.Sweeney@uconn.edu.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CT Tuesdays: Kia Martinson-Wenzel







Today we're catching up with Kia Martinson-Wenzel - the woman behind ESTOccasions, and the organizer of the CT Bridal Event




Although I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Kia in person ... yet ... it became very clear to me during our phone, email, and Facebook interactions that she loves what she does.




So with that in mind, I think there's no better person to talk about Kia than Kia herself.



ESTO comes from the fact that my parents are both Estonian and that Estonian is my first language.  Besides that, ESTO is a large celebration held by Estonians every 4 years in different parts of the world.  So it's always been a way to inject a little bit of me into everything I do.  


I made ESTO an acronym - and it stands for Events, Special Themes  and Occasions. 





We are a full-service planning & design company for weddings. I’ve been in business for over 6 years and I love what I do.  I simply just love to create and pull together any type of event and work with the size and budget.  Creating a stylish wedding, while mixing in tradition and the couple's wishes, is always a wonderful challenge.  I make a point to listen to my clients, make sure they know they are being listened to, and that their wedding represents them and their story.  

 Vineyard
I’ve also made a point to show that wedding planners are affordable

The amount I can save couples might seem to be a little here and there; but when you pull it all together, it is extra money to spend on something they may want.  I enjoy finding a cost-effective way to give my clients what they are looking for.  Finding creative ways to design a wedding is one of my passions.  I am always looking at products and trying to create something personal for each client.

Wickham Park





While there are parts of my job that are a lot of fun, it also takes organization, thinking quickly and handling the pressure.  No matter what is going on, I work to be on top of everything and make it all work out. A lot of elements need to work together to make a wedding successful and that is my passion.


Boca Beach

From large scale wedding to small, intimate ones, I make it all work.

I’ve been a wife for the last fourteen years, and spent eight of them as an Army Wife. 

I feel this has made me a good planner. 

I handle change well, I’m quick on my feet, and the one thing the Army loves is paperwork!  I have two young boys, aged 11 and 4, and they are another reason I love what I do. I have the chance to spend time with them while running a business. 

I work throughout the state, RI, MA and NYC.

Four years ago I thought why can’t we have bridal shows that are affordable for vendors and give brides a relaxed setting to really connect with them?

As a result the CT Bridal Event was born.

Some of the larger scale expos are great, but I’ve gone through them with my own brides and they hate it by the end. After seeing 12 photographers and 7 cake decorators they are lost and overwhelmed.  This is why we only have 4 wedding professionals from each category, and allow CT vendors in first. 


CT Bridal Event 2009

To pull together a large scale show is a bit different than a wedding for sure - since you never know who is really coming.

I have about 35 or so vendors to keep happy, I need to make the space work to display everyone in the best possible light, and still represent and work on my own business.

Three years ago I added in a bridal gown trunk show - as a way for brides to shop for dresses at a friendly cost.  It's been a great success. 



Trunk Show


Due to the success of our last three shows, we've added our first Spring bridal show for 2011.

I'm very excited over this because the goal has always been to showcase the very best talent for our engaged couples.  Plus I love showing off the hottest trends, color combos and give couples a chance to explore their wedding needs in one setting.

The CT Bridal Event is open to all engaged couples!

See you on November 7th!

Monday, October 25, 2010

CT Bridal Event

I'm back.
A week earlier than expected.
Which is a good thing really - because I now have a whole week to dedicate to the CT Bridal Event.


CT Bridal Event 2009


The details are as follows:

Date: Sunday, November 7th 2010
Time: 12pm - 4pm
Venue: UConn Alumni Center @ 2384 Alumni Drive in Storrs, CT


CT Bridal Event 2010 

Now in its 4th year, this unique bridal event is organized by Kia Martinson-Wenzel of ESTOccasions

I will be showcasing Kia in Tuesday's blogpost.
Wednesday we'll be taking a look at the UConn Alumni Center.
Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to the vendors - to give you an idea of what (and who) you can expect to see at the event.

Certainly make it a point to attend the Trunk Show from Love Me Two Times!

Tickets are $10 if you buy them at the door, and $7 if you register in advance online. 

If you buy 3 tickets, a 4th one is free!

Also, if you register ahead of time you will also get an extra chance to win a prize.

You can check out the details on the official website as well as on Facebook.

Looking forward to meeting you all there!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cake Week Giveaway


Congratulations Downtown
You are the winner of the custom portrait by wedding illustrator Rosemary Fanti.

Rosemary Fanti
Please email me your address and contact information at lililutu {@} gmail {dot} com by Wednesday, October 13th and I will pass it on to Rosemary. She will take it from there and ask you to send in a photo after your July 2011 wedding.

Today's giveaway comes to us courtesy of Frostings of Ridgefield



Two dozen lovebites in your choice of flavour.


There is a change to the rules for this one, however.





Due to the nature of the prize, this giveaway is only open to brides who are willing to travel to Ridgefield to pick up the lovebites in person. It doesn't matter if you're out of state (Ridgefield pretty much borders New York, for example) - just be sure you are willing to drive before you enter the contest.

It's a great opportunity for those of you getting married to sample Frostings' exquisite work - and talk to the bakers in person.

To enter please leave a comment.

Good luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Cake Expectations
We'll be talking about cake tasting today - but before we start I'll share some news.

lili's corner has been named one of Weddzilla's 2010 Blog Gurus

I'd like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the people who believed in the blog and voted for it.

I couldn't have done it without you, and really am very grateful for all the support and words of encouragement.

Now lets talk about cake and lets start with the joint effort aspect of it all.

Over the past several decades brides have taken responsibility for the cake. But things have changed. These days most grooms are very involved in the wedding process - so start by scheduling an appointment which is convenient for both of you. Lots of bakeries hold their tastings at the weekend for just that reason.

You will cut the cake together, so you really should choose the cake together too.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

There is no reason to limit yourself to one baker - but be aware that you need to be honest about the fact that you are looking around.

Cake tastings are not typically free (unless you have already made your decision or the baker is a family friend) - so work the cost into your budget. In the grand scheme of things it's a wise investment.

Cake Expectations

Let the baker know in advance if there are certain flavours you and your groom do not like.

It's okay to give the baker free rein if you want to try something different, but you will need to let them know if you have food allergies of any kind. It's perfectly acceptable to ask for a list of ingredients.







Consider your guests.


If there is an unusual flavour on offer that you like but are not sure will appeal to the people attending your wedding, consider having a multi-layer cake or putting that flavour in the groom's cake.






Some cakes need to set over a day or two if they are elaborately decorated. Make sure you ask how the inside will hold up. You don't want to serve a cake which looks spectacular on the outside but turns out to be dry on the inside.

The golden rule: do not go to a cake tasting on an empty stomach.

The reason for this is simple. When you are hungry the body is susceptible to cravings. Things you would not ordinarily like may taste good if you are famished - so be sure to eat a small meal before you go.

Feedback is important to a baker's craft.  Don't be embarrassed to ask for time alone with your groom before giving it; and when you do give it remember that a little tact goes a long way.

It's really important to remember that there are differences in the way bakers handle a tasting.

Today I've asked Natalie Johnson of A World of Cakes to share the way she goes about one.

Natalie Johnson
When a bride comes to me with a wedding cake inquiry (either through phone or by email), we talk about the theme of her wedding, her personal style, and the number of guests. We discuss an initial design and concept of the cake, so that I can give her a ballpark estimate of the cost. 

If she feels that is within her budget we schedule a tasting - which typically lasts one hour.

6 inch cake
I offer one complimentary 6 inch cake, and then charge $10 for each additional 6 inch cake/filling combination. I prefer to offer a complete cake so that the couple can get a sense of how cake, filling, and icing will blend together. For example, they may not like buttercream icing with lemon curd filling - but they won't know this until they taste them together.

During the tasting I offer water to cleanse the palate inbetween the different cakes. It gives a clean refreshing break from all the sweet tastes. 

 A World of Cakes
We take time to discuss design ideas that I have prepared ahead of time, as well as ones that the couple have brought. If the booking goes forward we use all of those ideas to create a personalized wedding cake.

Don't be afraid to share your own ideas.

Nobody knows your taste better than you!

Natalie will be back in a few weeks to talk about other cake-related matters.

She is based in Chappaqua, NY and can be reached through her website or her Facebook page. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When in Rome ...







Talking to Letizia Grella made me feel homesick  in the most wonderful of ways.







Now as you may or may not know, I live in Connecticut but hail originally from the island of Malta.










In geographical terms that put me a stone's throw away from Italy, growing up. 


So not only did I get to flex my Italian with Letizia (although I should say that her English is impeccable), but I also got to connect with someone I didn't know in a way that is quintessentially European.


It was a wonderful feeling -  and made me happy about blogging in more ways than I can articulate.




Some people are born with a gift - and today I'd like to share Letizia's with you.







I was ecstatic to learn in the course of our conversation that she'd spent a few of her formative years in Connecticut - before moving on to summer internships in an old-fashioned bakery in New York.



Which is where her passion for sugar art and decorating cakes was born.









And what a passion!



A passion you can see in each and every one of her creations.







In fact as I was preparing to write this post, the same thought kept running through my mind in an endless cycle. 










I really don't need to say very much - because the cakes speak for themselves.



But of course I can't do that - because the photos show you Letizia's creative side but don't necessarily give you insight into the woman herself.


 


So lets start with her motto:

Troppo belle per farle a fette ... troppo buone per non mangiarle!

Which translates loosely into:

Too beautiful to slice ... too good to pass up!






One look at her cakes and you know it's the truth!

Nothing can look this good and not taste exquisite - because each cake is clearly a labour of love.

It also helps you to appreciate the name of her bakery.


     


One of the nicest things about Letizia, though, is that she is more than willing to share her talent with others.




Her workshops are becoming increasingly popular - and attracting women (and men) from all over Italy.

This doesn't mean that she's resting on her laurels, however.

She continues to further her own education by taking classes in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

In fact, here are a few photos from a recent master class with Colette Peters in New York.






Another exciting project on Letizia's horizon is the publication of her first book by Gribaudo Editori.

A step-by-step guide to thirty cakes - to be released at the end of October 2010.







When the talk everntually turned back to wedding cakes, her advice to brides was straightforward.

Don't exaggerate.

There is no need to put all of the elements from your wedding into the cake. 




Picking one or two details and replicating them will make for a stunning cake.






So when in Rome ... be sure to drop in for a slice of cake.

If you're lucky she'll be working on something absolutely fabulous like these cake toppers!



Letizia can be reached through her website or through her Facebook page - and I really encourage you to check out the rest of her stunning work.

 

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