Mark Joseph Cakes

This Saturday I spent a crazy amount of time eating cake. Why you ask? Because I was invited to the DUMBO loft of husband and wife team Mark Joseph Cakes for a tasting! The tasting for my own wedding cake left a little to be desired, so I was excited to see how it was really done, and Mark and Leslie did not disappoint. Their cakes are amazingly moist, the fillings are absolutely delicious, and the designs are as custom as you want them to be. Everything is made from scratch by Mark himself, so you’re getting exceptional quality for a great price. I got to mix and match many of their flavors, like pound cake with strawberry mousseline and chocolate ganache, or the southern red velvet cake with cream cheese and citrus buttercream [my favorite!!] You’ll be seeing plenty of their designs in bridal magazines over the next few months, so keep an eye out for them!

[images by Brooklyn Bride]

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Real wedding: Anna + Nathan part 1

Annabel from Belathée Photography sent me this amazing wedding from down in Florida…Anna Melcon is an incredibly talented artist and put together a lot of wonderfully handmade and personal touches. Here’s what she had to say about the day! [ps…Anna found Annabel through Brooklyn Bride! Full circle baby! I love it!]

Nathan and I planned our wedding in 3 ½ months (why not?) and had nearly 200 guests. It was a hectic time but I had so much fun and wouldn’t have changed a thing. I’m a graphic designer and illustrator so I really enjoyed having the opportunity to make so much stuff for the wedding myself.

THEME: The first thing we decided was to have a traditional mariachi band play at the wedding and that ended up setting the theme and tone of the day. We had a mix of traditional Mexican elements with organic and folk styles (I had to fit in animals). Somehow it all fit together and it was both festive and unique to our styles and it lent itself well to the laid back, casual and fun atmosphere that we were going for.

INVITATIONS: I illustrated and designed the invitations. It was a fold out little poster with an illustration on one side and all of the wedding info on the other. I also created a website to complement it for the RSVP (which made it so easy) and other information for guests.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE: Both the ceremony and the reception were held outdoors at a beautiful little cottage set on a secluded 160 acres in Central Florida. The ceremony took place in front of the house in the brick courtyard and the reception immediately followed in back of the house overlooking the lake. The cottage, which was incredibly unique and built by hand, was the perfect size to hold the cake, guest book, and to serve food from.

PROGRAMS: Our wedding was outside in the middle of July in Florida so I decided to make the programs hand fans (it may have been cruel not to). On one side of the fan I illustrated the faces of the wedding party and our families and on the other I wrote out what was happening at the wedding. I printed out each side on my home printer and had a cutting and gluing party to attach them to popsicle sticks.

GOWN & ATTIRE: My dress was from J.Crew. I wanted something simple, understated yet unique, and comfortable. J.Crew was one of the first places I looked and I loved the dress I tried on immediately. My mom and I made the hairpiece I wore out of a re-worked silk flower and pieces of lace that we added beading to. The bridesmaids also wore dresses from J.Crew in a kelly green color and the guys wore shirts and vests from Urban Outfitters.

CENTERPIECES: The centerpieces were my favorite things to make. My idea was so make mini forests in the middle of each table using tissue paper, glass jars and branches. It ended up working out great and was so easy and cheap. I found the jars from (for only $3 a jar!), ordered the colored tissue paper, and hunted down branches from around the neighborhood. I made tissue paper flowers, affixed them to the branches and placed them in jars with paper grass at the bottom. I also painted a few animals and cut them out of paper and placed them at the bottom to finish the ‘scene.’

FLOWERS: The only fresh flowers I had were for the wedding party and myself and were mainly a mix of orchids, ferns, and dahlias. My bouquet used white orchids and mixed greens and it was based off of a photo I found. The bridesmaids had a bit more color with coral and yellow dahlias.

CAKE: I loved how the cake turned out so much. When I found out how much wedding cakes cost I was tempted to find an alternative but I’m really glad that I swallowed the shock and decided to go with one. The bakery I used, Bake Me a Cake, did a fantastic job. I brought them a few sketches of the ideas I had, gave them my wedding invitation, and photos of the centerpieces and this is what came out! It was perfect.

PINATAS: When we decided on the mariachi band and other Mexican touches I naturally had to incorporate piñatas. I knew that I wasn’t really into the idea of a formal cake cutting (and couldn’t bear to cut into such a pretty thing) so we decided to have a piñata hitting instead of the cake cutting. Nathan and I were blindfolded, spun around, and went at our respective piñatas as the mariachi band played and the guys who ran the place surprised us with mini fireworks. It was so much fun.

MUSIC: The mariachi band was all we needed. They were amazing and were the highlight of the wedding. They played for both the ceremony and the reception the 8 of them were dressed to perfection in their traditional attire.

FAVORS: We created a little fruit stand to give away fruit as our favors. I originally wanted to give away Florida oranges but since they were out of season we decided on the next best thing, Georgia peaches. We had a local vendor that drives them down from Georgia every week bring us extra crates the week of the wedding. Guests could pick their fruit and put them in brown paper ‘apple bags’ that I stamped with our names and wedding date.

[images from Belathée Photography]

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Real wedding: Bahareh + Jelsen part 1

Photographer Stephanie Land sent me these AMAZING pictures of Brooklyn couple Bahareh and Jelsen…I just love all the personal touches that bring in both of their cultures. And geez, what about those shoes??? I’ll let Bahareh tell you about it….

The theme was cherries and honey and we tried to carry that over the entire wedding. (Jelsen proposed to me in the Cherry garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden). Jelsen is a designer ( and designed our invites himself. My only request was that he would use the Kraft paper, because I love the organic look of it. Our RSVP cards were postcards that guests returned with messages written to us. It was great because every day we would receive postcards from around the world. (Norway, Germany, Italy, U.S etc). The envelopes where handmade by a stationer in Chicago, Amber Favorite.

We got married by the Hudson in Fort Tryon Park. I had been obsessing about the weather for a month and we even rescheduled our rehearsal dinner because the forecast said rain and we were planning a backyard BBQ! When I woke up on our wedding day, I heard the rain before I even opened my eyes, but couldn’t really let that be an issue anymore. As the day went ahead, the skies cleared up and when we went to have our pictures taken before the ceremony, the light was perfect. By the time the ceremony started at 7pm, the sun was setting and we got an amazing view. Since the ceremony was in a public park, we had a lot of “uninvited” guests that were casually strolling through the park, but it didn’t bother us at all, we were far too excited and they were all excited to accidentally walk into our ceremony it seemed! Guests were handed programs rolled and tied with pieces of my dress ( I had so much left over after altering my dress) and I walked up the aisle to “My Cherie Amour”, performed acoustic by our good friend and artist, Sarah White, accompanied on guitar by DJ Don Cuco.
Jelsen’s sister and one of my sisters each read a poem for us (which made everyone pretty teary eyed) and we finished the ceremony by honoring our ancestors. First by doing the Persian honey tradition were the couple dips their pinkies in honey and feed each other to symbolize a sweet life together, secondly the african-american tradition of jumping the broom.

Jelsen wore a three piece suit from Dunhill with shoes and shirt from Ted Baker. His green socks were purchased at Clark’s Register in Soho and his cufflinks from etsy.
My dress is Norwegian Wedding Atelier, Agape. I altered it somewhat. I couldn’t find any shoes that fit the image I had in my head, so I decided to pull a Sandra Lee and semi-home make them. I purchased and had them dyed at and then made the pearl ornaments to go on the tip of my toes. My veil was from etsy and the lace bolero an Ebay purchase. All the jewelery I wore were gifts from Jelsen from previous occasions except my “something old”, a bracelet that has been passed through generations in my family.
My Maids wore traditional Norwegian formal gowns (I was born in Iran, but grew up in Norway), which looked amazing in this setting and I suspect they got more attention than me – I didn’t mind at all because I loved it.

Cake and sweets table
Indira The Sweet. We showed her a picture of a cake we liked and she made with all the little changes we wanted. Legos has a special meaning to us (Jelsen’s cufflinks were made of legos and my necklace reads LEGO), and she made these great cake toppers for us. The cake and all other sweets she made for the guests were amazingly tasteful.

Jessy of Fleurs nyc. Jessy understood our concept right away. Our colors were browns(from chocolate to honey) and lilacs(from powder pink to dark purple) and told her to make arrangements that looked whimsical and wild and she really delivered. The tables were decorated with creme pails stuffed with gorgeous flowers and small jars of honey for the guests to take home. The flower girls carried little pails stuffed with even wilder looking flowers and my bouquet was so beautiful, I placed it in a vase on our table during the reception, so I could keep looking at it. Jessy was really professional and so personal in her work. She actually invited us to the flower market with her at 6 am in the morning one weekend, so we could get a better view of what we could expect to find in season for our summer wedding. We had a blast working with her.

New Leaf Cafe, Fort Tryon Park. The team, headed by Tiffany Hogan, were flawless. Not only did they listen to all of our requests and answer our every question, but they made sure all our visions came to life – right down to how we like our napkins to be folded! The food was exceptional (luckily we had a tasting before hand, so we knew what we were feeding our guests even though we couldn’t get a single bite in on our wedding day) and guests are still talking about how tasty it was and how attentive the staff was.

Stephanie Land was amazing to work with. I told her what my concept of the wedding photography was (I wanted it to look like a fashion editorial of NYC) and she just made it happen! She shot us all over the city and on the A train up to the ceremony spot and really captured some great hidden moments.The very next day she started sending us some of the digital shots she had taken and it was so fun to get to see so many parts of the wedding that I had missed during the party of various reasons. She actually also turned out to be an awesome calligrapher and wrote all the addresses on our wedding invites. It was a great experience and we highly recommend her to anyone and everyone else.

Maya&Sara of Titans of Industry were kind enough to take on the task of helping us towards the end. Two weeks before the wedding, I realized that I didn’t want to be the one that everyone would turn to for questions on my wedding day. I also didn’t want to be the one that told our families what to do at the rehearsal, so we decided to hire on this great team to help us out. And did they help! They handled everyone in our families SO well, and if there was a problem at the wedding, I didn’t know and I still don’t really know because they took care of it. They were an amazing team that really complete each other. Maya is very practical and gets things done fast, and Sara was always keeping me calm and cool (literally! She was with us during our entire photoshoot just to keep us cooled down and hydrated!). I strongly believe that our wedding day was perfect because of their help.

[images from Stephanie Land]

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Real wedding: Angellique + Adrian

I think this wedding was just so cool….Angellique had a very signature style to her wedding day attire, and everything was minimal and tres chic.

[images from the Knot]

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Real wedding: Lauren + Derek

Lauren and Derek of The Curiosity Shoppe have a weekly column over at design*sponge, and last week, included a link to their wedding photos by photographer Jessamyn Harris. I really enjoyed all the personal touches, and thought this would be some great inspiration for my friend Christina’s wedding.

[images by Jessamyn Harris]

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