We were asked by the luxury cake designer GC Couture if we could design and plan a special event to mark the launch of their 2016 luxury cake collection – ‘Seasons of Sugar’. The brief was to create a unique and luxurious event for a select group of press and members of the wedding and events industry.
Marie Sinclair, GC Couture’s Creative Director spent several months designing couture cakes inspired by the four seasons, with superb results. The new collection ties in traditional, classic beauty with dramatic height and cascading sugar flowers.
My personal favourites are both ‘winter’ cakes as shown below which make stand-out centrepieces for any wedding.
‘Winter Romance’ (£2180)
‘Frosted Sparkles’ (£3180)
Both images by John Nassari
The design concept for the event was driven by the cakes themselves but we wanted to use the inspiration of the four seasons slightly differently, without being too literal or obvious. The venue choice was of course vital, and after considering several options we decided on the stunning and newly refurbished 5* Lanesborough Hotel in Central London. The decadent but relatively cosy Belgravia ballroom provided the perfect setting.
Image provided by the Lanesborough
The stationery was designed by Lovicci, who initially created a digital save the date and then a luxury postal invitation. We alluded to the location of the event but decided to keep the venue details secret until much closer to the time, when each guest would receive a text message 72 hours beforehand. This really helped to build intrigue and certainly got people talking about it. It was important to GC Couture to create a luxury and intimate event where those guests who had been invited felt really valued and included, as a result every person who had RSVP’d positively was there on the day.
Image by Cranberry Blue
The flow of the event would take the form of a drinks reception with a twist followed by Champagne afternoon tea. Visually, we used incredibly striking LED trees from ‘Twilight Trees’ to represent each season, and each one was adorned with gorgeous floral designs from ‘Wild About’. The cakes were then displayed underneath the tree which corresponded to the matching season.
All images above and below by John Nassari
The lighting aspect was very important, so we worked closely with Light Motif to ensure this really enhanced the guest’s experience. The colours around the room changed subtly as the drinks reception unfolded, with a lovely yellow and soft green tone for spring and summer, moving into more oranges and reds for Autumn and then cold blues for winter. To immerse guests even more into the concept, we worked with Gemma from Design in Scent to incorporate a different, bespoke scent into the base of each tree, in addition to the napkins for afternoon tea. One of these signature scents was also imbued into the gorgeous postal invitation which was designed by Lovicci.
The background music was provided by Sternberg Clarke and took the form of a modern and sophisticated string duo, who played a variety of different styles of music, again to subtly suit each changing season. For the reception, guests were served taster cocktails that were paired with a bite of a signature GC Couture cake:
Spring: Pear Vodka, jasmine syrup & honey, shaken with fresh mint, hint of citrus accompanied by a bite of pear cake.
Summer: A non-alcoholic cocktail of wild strawberries & fresh raspberries, cranberry juice, orange & elderflower essences with a hint of citrus accompanied by a bite of summer berries cake.
Autumn: Aromatic bitters and cinnamon syrup, bourbon whisky and cloudy apple juice accompanied by a bite of cinnamon cake.
Winter: Cognac, hazelnut & roasted walnut, cherry juice and pinot noir accompanied by a bite of fruit cake without the bits.
After the drinks reception, guests were asked to make their way to the far end of the room, which was divided by striking mirrored bars and masses of candles, for a Champagne afternoon tea. The four tables looked beautiful, with stunning centrepieces again by Wild About and mirrored table tops and elegant chairs provided by Great Hire.
After a few words of thanks to all the event partners from the Director of GC Couture, Sach Singh, Nadia Rae provided a fun and entertaining insight into the etiquette of afternoon tea. The Lanesborough’s afternoon tea was superb and the cakes and patisseries were a work of art.
Before guests left, they were given a gorgeous gift bag full of treats such as a scented candle by gift list company Amara, a box of luxury note cards from Lovicci, a bottle of scent from Design in Scent, a miniature orchid plant from Wild About and a selection of sweet treats from GC Couture.
It was a real pleasure working with everyone on this event and I’d like to say a big thank-you for all the hard work that went into making it such a success. The feedback we’ve received has been superb. The whole event was captured on camera and film by the fabulous John Nassari, the highlight’s film can be seen here, and in due course we will also be able to share some behind the scenes footage taken by Rupa Photography.
Lastly, I just wanted to share some of the kind words we have received:
“When looking for an event planner to work with us on the launch of our 2016 cake collection, we wanted someone who understood our ethos and dealing with clients in the high-end market. When we met Melanie and told her about our plans and the event style we wanted, she picked it up very quickly. The professionalism Melanie has portrayed has been superb. She’s great fun to work with, easy going and nothing is too much trouble, and for us I think that’s what makes it work as we’re easy-going people and we wanted someone to share in what would be a great event.
It was a pleasure to have Cranberry Blue on board to design and plan our cake launch. Melanie has all the right attributes, professionalism and vision one could ask for and has bought our event to life – a big thank you Melanie from all of us at GC Couture!”
Sach Singh, Director of GC Couture
“It really was amazing to have you on board and to work with you, I consider you one of the UK’s top event planners having worked with you now and I’ll be letting everyone I talk to know this – credit where credit is due!”
Nicola Russill-Roy, Director of Propose PR (GC Couture’s press manager)
All the cakes in the ‘Seasons of Sugar’ collection can be viewed in GC Couture’s gallery.
The Event’s Team
Design, Planning & Management – Cranberry Blue Weddings & Events
Cakes – GC Couture
Lighting and production – Light Motif
Event Photographer & Film Maker – John Nassari
LED Trees – Twilight Trees
Flowers – Wild About
Scent Creator – Design in Scent
Music Entertainment – Sternberg Clarke
Behind-the-scenes film – Rupa Photography
Furniture Hire – Great Hire
Venue: The Lanesborough
Stationery (Digital E-vite, invitation and table stationery) – Lovicci
Afternoon tea etiquette: Nadia Rae
Candle gift in the thank-you bags – Amara