Q & A with the lovely Gillian from The Little Cupcakery!
Give us a little background to who you are, what you do and how you ended up there.
I am Gillian, a wife, a mum, a teacher and a wedding cake designer.…life is busy!! I started my business in the summer of 2012 when my friend Lucy persuaded me to make her wedding cupcakes! At first I made mini cupcakes but everyone kept asking if I would make them a cake and so eventually after a lot of practise and eating a lot of sample cake recipes, I launched my celebration and wedding cake collections.
What do you love most about your job?
All of it…apart from the washing up! I love the creative process. I love meeting brides and discussing their wedding and bringing it all together in cake form. I adore designing and baking wedding cakes and creating each and every little sugar flower that adorns the final display.
Is there a popular cake or does each bride want something different?
Generally brides want a cake that is going to appeal to all their guests. I offer a different flavour/tier and so often they get 3/4 choices of cake. My most popular would definitely be the Strawberry & Champagne-light and fresh and perfect after a wedding meal.
Would you recommend anywhere for brides to look for inspiration?
There is a wealth of information in magazine form, blogs and online. Pinterest is a great starting point to get ideas of the kind of design that you might like…and even the kind you don’t! But don’t worry if you cant decide-if you bring a few ideas to your consultation a good designer will be able to look and listen to your thoughts and suggest some ideas for you. Try starting here https://uk.pinterest.com/tlcni/
Have you any advice for brides on choosing their cake?
Choose something that you will enjoy and love to eat. It is your day and it is important that you love your cake! Don’t order a sugarpaste cake if you are one of those people who pick off the icing and leave it on the plate! There are other options such as chocolate ganache, a naked cake or buttercream. The choice is yours.
What did you enjoy most about your wedding day?
Definitely having all the people that we loved the most in the one room altogether! Waltzing with my Grandpa would have to be up there too-a memory that I will treasure forever.
How early should I book my cake?
You can never be too early-especially if you are having a summer wedding or a Saturday. Good cake designers will be booked up more than a year in advance. If there is someone in particular that you would like to design your cake get in touch and see if they are free. I take names and then a small deposit nearer the time to secure your date. Then we meet and chat over coffee and cake
How can brides get in touch?
Best way is via email at email@example.com or via message on
Photography credited to Paula O’Hara and Jonathan Ryder.
My Wedding Day and What I’d do Differently!
So it is our two-year wedding anniversary, I know it’s only two years but it has gone in so quickly and of course the best two years of my life (I have to say that)! I got married though in a world before Facebook Pages, before Pinterest and before wedding blogs (well before they’d hit little old Northern Ireland), a world were you only had word of mouth and wedding magazines to give you all your hints and tips. Do I wish I’d got married this year, of course not, I love being married, but would I change a few things if I’d to do it again, definitely! I loved my wedding day, but for me it just flew in, so here are the things I’d do differently.
The morning of your wedding…
Sit down with a cuppa tea, your bridesmaids and your family all around you and have a good old laugh. I was in organise mode, I had planned our wedding in 10 months, along with doing my finals and buying a repossessed house that needed a whole lot of work done, that I had forgotten to switch off. The morning of my wedding, what was I doing, packing for our honeymoon, which was three whole days away. Also in the run up to your wedding, make sure you are in bed before midnight, this was a piece of advice I was given and which I adhered to. As a lot of brides are so busy doing the last minute touches, that they get little sleep, the days goes by in a flash and on honeymoon they just conk out and miss a good part of the honeymoon, which is probably the best holiday you will have in your whole life!
Probably one of the most precious things to a lot of brides, as they hold the memories of the one day you’ll ever get to spend with all your friends and family. SO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PHOTO LIST. If your photographer doesn’t ask for one, make one yourself and give it to your photographer, also give one to your groomsman, just in case the photographer forgets (which happens!) Sit down and think of who all you would like to have photographs with, girlfriends, school friends, uni friends, sisters, grandparents, may be even one of just you and your mum or you and your dad. I didn’t have a photo list, and although I know it’s not the end of the world, I would have loved to have photos with my mum and sister, with my grandparents, with school friends etc. Also, if there are a few photos that are really important to you, highlight them, tell your photographers so that they don’t present photographs to you after your wedding and people have their eyes closed (which also happens!)
Although I know they’re expensive, and sometimes an expense, which is easy to rule out, I would push the budget and try to get one. It’s nice just to have to show family, children, grandchildren, great-great grandchildren (you get the point!)
This is always a tricky one, how do you get your Best man, groomsman, dad, father-in-law, and if you open the floor to all, to keep their speeches to less than 5 minutes… impossible! Yet, all your evening guests are waiting to come in, the band is waiting to start and you (the bride) are waiting to get the first dance over! So try!
My speeches were great, apart from my husband starting his speech with, “ I was wondering why Pete (the Best man) was growling at all the guests as he walked up the aisle… until I realised he was the ring barer” For those of you who haven’t got it yet, as I didn’t get it, nor did our guests… it’s supposed to be a play on ‘ring bear’! The rest of it was good though, and the groomsmen were great even doing a video and singing a song. If you don’t trust what your husband might say though, may be ask him to practice with you, not the stuff about you, but the thanking his parents, your parents, anyone who helped and then tell him to just say how in love he is, why he loves you and some funny stories to fill in the part about you… you can’t go wrong!
I actually wish I had said a speech, I know this isn’t for everyone, but I wish I’d stood up to thank my parents, brother, sister, those who had really influenced my life and of course my husband. I’ll get to do this though at a birthday party or anniversary in the future.
Have breakfast the morning after…
One thing I really wish I had done was have breakfast with my guests the morning after our wedding, or for those who can afford it have a wedding-weekend. We had so many guests from so many different countries, South Africa, New York, Germany, England, Canada, America to name a few and I felt like I hardly got to speak to them. I got a quick chance during dinner and that was about it. I wish I had arranged to meet up with them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper the next day to have a real catch up before jetting off on honeymoon. That’s what a wedding is really about, getting time to celebrate your marriage with loved ones.
Don’t get precious about your wedding…
I know this is a difficult one, as when you’re getting married you want everything to be perfect and a surprise, I know that best as I love surprises, more than I really should and wanted to surprise my wedding guests, I’m not talking operatic singers pretending to be chefs and guests and then bursting into song. I just mean, I wanted the colours of the bridesmaids to be a surprise, the décor, and now I realise it doesn’t really matter. I know for a lot of people it does, and you get caught up in wedding hysteria but when you get married, you will look back and realise it doesn’t, no guest is discussing the colour of your bridesmaid and how it might look. Don’t get me wrong, DO keep your wedding dress a surprise but don’t feel the need to lie. If someone asks who designs it, or where you bought it, just say “Ooo it’s a surprise, it’s the one part of my wedding I want to keep a surprise, but I’m happy to chat about bridesmaids, décor, venue etc.”
A wedding is having the day of your life with your closest family and friends, the man of your dreams, eating good food and dancing the night away.
“A wedding is a party, not a performance.
If at the end of the day you are married to
the one you love, then everything went perfectly!”