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top party possibilities

Vendor Spotlight: Cynthia Martyn Events April 10, 2011

One of my favourite wedding magazines is WedLuxe Magazine.  Their gorgeous photo shoots and real weddings are out of this world.  Time and time again, I noticed that events styled by Cynthia Martyn were popping up in the magazine and online.

Cynthia Martyn is a Toronto-based event designer with an exquisite style sensibility.  Cynthia and her team touch on every element of each special event, from the initial budget planning, venue selection and vendor management, to the styling and design of stationery, flowers and decor, and then expertly manage the dozens of suppliers, family members and friends to ensure the big day proceeds flawlessly.

Cynthia’s style is lush, romantic, and vibrant yet soft.  Her events are distinctive and magazine-worthy.  Just a few selections of beautiful event styling from Cynthia Martyn Events:

 

Breathtaking Table Setting

 

Fun, chic styling

 

Golden Goddess

 

Wow

 

Creative (and tasty) Centrepiece

You can follow Cynthia’s work on her blog or Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Cynthia Martyn Events.

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Birthday Coupon Code: Free Fancy Straws November 13, 2010

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It’s my birthday week!

Party time!

As a special “thank you” to Brilliant Bash customers, we are offering a FREE sample package of straws with every order (includes one of each design we carry). Just enter “SAMPLE2010” in the “Coupon Code” section when you are on the payment page of your order. THANK YOU and “Happy Birthday to meee!”

FREE fancy straws for you

This special offer is available from Saturday, November 13 until midnight (EST) on Saturday, November 20, 2010.

Please visit the boutique here.

 

A Simple Proposal? November 11, 2010

Do you know anyone who is planning to propose to their significant other this holiday season?  If so, do I have an idea for you…

Erin Samuell from A Simple Photograph (previously profiled here) has positioned a challenge for pending holiday grooms-to-be:

“Dear grooms to be,

If you are planning to pop the question this holiday season and want to capture the REAL engagement photos, please give me a shout!  Let me photograph you sweeping her off of her feet!”

What a proposition!  If you or someone you know is interested in having a once-in-a-lifetime moment captured by a fabulous photographer, visit Erin’s Facebook page to get the ball rolling.  What a lovely holiday memory this could be. 

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Vendor Spotlight: Coco Cake November 4, 2010

Coco Cake is a small cupcake catering company located in Vancouver, B.C., run by artist and fun-loving baker Lyndsay Sung.

Lyndsay’s work is unique and oh-so-cute.  Coco Cake cupcakes and cakes are handmade, baked from scratch, decorated with love, and have a warm, touchable, vintage aesthetic.  Lyndsay often adds handmade cupcake or cake toppers to complete her baked and iced designs.

Eye-Catching Cupcakes

The Main Event

Lovely Display

Fun!

Adorably Cute Sesame Street Gang (and grumpy Oscar)

Fancy Flowers

And check out these fab cakes!

Puppy Cake

Cookie Monster

I had the opportunity to ask Lyndsay a few questions about her business.  This is an excerpt from our chat:

Brilliant Bash: What made you decide to start a cupcake/cake bakery?

Lyndsay: I graduated from art school with a degree in Integrated Media focusing on conceptual video, film and music. I’ve been doing art my whole life in some way or another and I think it translated into cakes nicely. There is a lot of creative problem solving in cake-making! My cake  career was kicked off by receiving a pink Kitchen Aid as a wedding present from my grandma. It was staring at me in the face, daring me to use it!  So, I began experimenting, got obsessed with learning about the craft, the flavours and the design, and soon enough I was doing cakes for a good friend’s wedding.  After that, word of mouth spread about my work and now I’m lucky enough to be busy with it.

BB: How many people are on your team?

Lyndsay: I am the sole person on my team!  I shop for ingredients, draw out ideas, work with clients, bake and frost the cakes, clean up, maintain my blog, etc.  I do have two amazing helpers who I call on from time to time: My amazing husband Rich (he is very good with spatial dimensions so sometimes helps me carve cakes or visualize ideas) and my awesome dad Gerry (I bounce business ideas off of him, and he often comes with me and helps me deliver orders, then we go for lunch afterward).

BB: What are your hopes for the future of Coco Cake?

Lyndsay: My hope for the future of my business is to continue the path which I’ve honed thus far: Creating delicious and well-designed, cute and super special cakes for people who appreciate them!  I would like to develop my skills further by taking some classes in tiered cakes or just finding the time to learn myself and maybe to try my hand at doing some really modern and interesting wedding cakes.

You can learn more about Lyndsay and Coco Cake on her website and blog, as well as the Coco Cake Facebook page.

Photos Courtesy of Coco Cake & Amy Pelletier Photography

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The {SHOP} is open! November 2, 2010

The long-awaited day is finally here.  The Brilliant Bash shop is now open!

Brilliant Bash offers unique, on-trend party supplies for top party possibilities. Please enjoy browsing through the shop for the latest in fun, fabulous party essentials.

Fancy Paper Straws

Huge Round Balloons

Pretty Cupcake Boxes

If there are items you would like us to carry in the shop, please contact me and let me know.  I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Stop by the shop and have a look!

 

Brilliant Bash: Asparagus Cake October 29, 2010

I came across this gorgeous website today called Sweetapolita.  Rosie is a dessert designer and baker based in Newcastle, Ontario, and is in the midst of starting her own cake and dessert-making business.  Her talent shines through her website and blog, with her great eye for colour and form, and her knack for creating unique, eye-catching confections.  Her dessert tables are out of this world!

Check out this asparagus cake!  Unbelievable.

Eat your vegetables

 

Amazing Detail

 

Surprise!

This is what Rosie had to say about her inspiration and creative process:

Funny thing happened on the way to designing my sister-in-law, Mary’s cake for her post-figure-competition [bodybuilding] celebration: my pink and frilly cake idea got hijacked by this sudden idea that I had to create a hyper-realistic vegetable confection.  It was an “Aha!” moment, and I knew right then and there that there was no turning back.  Thing is, while training for the IDFA competition, she was so disciplined, so regimented, and so ridiculously sick of eating asparagus.  The week before her show, during a text conversation we were having, in response to “How are you doing?” she replied, “I’m loathing asparagus!”  So, like any self-respecting sister-in-law and friend would do, I decided to to torment her with a green and spear-filled asparagus cake.  See, there’s something you should know: Mary is a foodie, and like me, lives for dessert.  This makes her pre-show determination and diet that much more remarkable.

Mary and I talked about the post-show celebration for the weeks leading up to it, and what she really wanted to eat–the girl deserved to eat whatever she wanted, and I was determined to make that happen for her.   As for dessert, she knew she wanted rich chocolate cake with Swiss meringue buttercream and fondant, so that was the starting point.  Once I had the cake baked, filled, and coated, I covered it in a nice bright leafy green fondant.  I then started on the asparagus. Working from a real bundle of asparagus for reference, I rolled out about 150 full-sized green fondant spears, a dozen at a time, snipped them to look as realistic as possible, and then let them dry.  I also dyed, rolled out, trimmed, and snipped  about 400 asparagus tips and set them aside to dry.  Once they were dry, I dusted them with several shades of green edible dusting powder (that I typically use for dusting sugar flowers and leaves), and small touches of red.  Once they were all dusted and looking particularly asparagus-ish, I started to assemble it all.  I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together, but I loved making this cake, and, in the end, I was kind of proud of it!

Kind of proud?  This cake is outstanding, genuinely unique, and looks absolutely delicious (and I do not enjoy asparagus).  Wow – what an amazing result.  Rosie is superbly talented and is certainly one to watch in the world of dessert design.  Congrats on your new business venture, Rosie!

You can learn more about Rosie and Sweetapolita on her website and Twitter feed.

Photos Courtesy of Sweetapolita

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Vendor Spotlight: Hazlitt Vintage Rental October 26, 2010

Over the past few years, many wedding and event planners have opted for a vintage, rustic feel for their special events, and this trend continues to grow in popularity, but it is often difficult to source the rugged, iconic pieces necessary to achieve an authentic look and feel.   That is, until now.  Look out Ontario brides, wedding planners and photographers!  The province has a brand new prop shop that offers unique options for special events and photo shoots.

Selena Hazlitt grew up surrounded by vintage items and spent many days browsing antique shops and going to auctions with her parents.  Thus, Hazlitt Vintage Rental was born earlier this month. Selena’s new business offers one-of-a-kind decor pieces and props for brides and grooms, event planners and photographers.  An extensive collection of furniture and accessories is available for rent, including collections of vintage keys, mason jars, furniture, wooden ironing boards, picture frames, wood doors, door knobs, unique linens, quilts, radios, trunks, luggage, birch logs and much more.

You won't find these at Tiffany & Co

Vintage Furniture

Have a seat!

Frame it up

Rare find

I had the opportunity to ask Selena a bit about her new business and her passion for all things vintage.  Here is an excerpt of our chat:

Brilliant Bash: What inspired you to start your own business?

SH: I’ve always been an entrepreneur of sorts.  I am an independent soul who likes to explore new things.  I enjoy collaborating with others while knowing that I can retreat to my own space to refresh and organize my thoughts.  I am also a mom who made the choice to leave the nine to five, Monday to Friday work scene.  I really do adore hanging out with my 5 year-old son.  Starting my own business gives me the flexibility I need to love and parent my boy and also satisfies my need to have my own creative outlet.

BB: Was it difficult to get started?  Tell us a little bit about the process.

SH: This process is a little different for me.  Usually I am a very meticulous person; the type who does all the research, prepares the business plan, etc.  But that isn’t the way this journey has worked out so far.  I am enjoying the shift from my usual approach.  It took a few months for me to decide that I really wanted to manage a vintage rental business.  Once I got over that hump, everything fell into place rather quickly.

My advantage was that I already had a lot of inventory.  In order to prepare the store-front, I spent a couple of weeks in September painting and hanging out in hardware stores ordering wood and crown moulding.  My parents have been a huge support and help in preparing the space and inventory.  We have spent a lot of days cleaning jars, scrubbing furniture and squeezing in the odd shopping adventure.

I hired a local designer to create the brand and prepare some marketing tools for me.  Those things are in production and will be ready in November.  My good friend, Erin Samuell of A Simple Photograph, has been indispensable, thanks to her beautiful photos and creative ideas.

The web played a huge role in helping shape Hazlitt Vintage Rentals.  There are so many great resources available at any time of the day.  I spent a lot of time looking at industry web sites and blogs to get an idea of what was in demand.  And now Twitter is providing me with so many links to great people and ideas.

The most difficult thing is keeping my Visa card in my purse!  There are too many great pieces out there and I want to buy all of them!

BB: Why did you decide to focus on vintage rentals?

SH: There are a few reasons I decided to focus on vintage rentals.  Two people come to mind, Erin Samuell, and Deb Grasby from Cabin in the Woods Design.  Both of them helped me see the dusty collection in a new light.  For years I dreaded dealing with the boxes and furniture that my parents had gathered.  I grew up surrounded by vintage, to the point where I felt like I was living in a museum.  Conversations with Erin and Deb sparked something in me – a shift in my perspective.

There are a couple of vintage rental businesses serving the Ontario film industry, but there isn’t anything for event planners or brides and grooms.  I think there is a good opportunity to share much of the collection with people who want unique vintage touches at their event.  I see things on wedding blogs that brides are using and I think: “Hey I have that, so why not share it?”

I also enjoy a good party with fine details.  I’ve been a Martha Stewart fan for years.  I like making table arrangements and gathering things from my garden to cook up a fab meal for friends. There is so much beauty to share and so much creativity to enjoy.

BB: What are some of your favourite pieces that you currently have on offer?

SH: I have favourites for every season.  The top of my list right now is the 1950’s Car Snac Picnic Basket and thermos.  It was a birthday gift from my husband and son.  Erin used this in a shoot a few weeks ago for a fall engagement session.  For winter, I can’t wait to see someone use the ol’ red sleigh piled high with birch logs or a fresh green Christmas tree.  In the spring, I have a nice little fishing collection that would be great to feature for a river engagement shoot.  The beach chairs and croquet set are screaming for a summer lawn party.  And of course there are the classic stand-bys of blue mason jars and sap buckets.  They have so many uses and always look beautiful.

Winter's a'comin'...

BB: What are some dream pieces that you would love to add to your inventory?

SH: There is a fab furniture set at a shop not too far from my house.  I’ve mentioned it on my blog and I have yet to buy it.  It is a four-piece set of chairs.  There is one arm chair and the other three pieces can be put together to form a couch or used separately.  It is so versatile.  The cream pleather cover was okay in the ’60s but I dream of it being reupholstered in black velvet with splashes of colour from throw cushions.  It could be used in a club setting, at a tented wedding, or even at a house party where extra seating is needed.

I also want to work on an inventory set dedicated to the Great Lakes.  An anchor, some fishing nets, buoys, driftwood, beach rock, oars and a wooden dory, rope and pulleys.  Perhaps with a touch of salt water too because lobster traps are always a hit.

To view Selena’s vintage rentals, please visit www.hazlittvintagerental.com

Photos by A Simple Photograph

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