Beautiful things happen when three Charleston cake pros are inspired by a host of stunning, locally designed gowns
DECADENT DESIGN: White gown, white cake—see the connection? Show off the intricacies of your fancy frock by recreating details (floral appliqués, lace patterns, beadwork) in icing and fondant for everyone to enjoy. The cake becomes sculptural, and the gown’s finer points are showcased. Scroll down to see the gowns and cakes we commisioned for this story, and click on the galleries at right for bonus images and backstage shots of the shoot.
“The beadwork motivated me to recreate the pearls on the cake in edible decorations,” says Tammy Pilcher of Cakes by Kasarda. “Neapolitan” cake flavors (vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate) make up the 12 layers, which are filled with fudge, buttercream, and strawberry jam. Serves: 90 ($1,030)
A blanket of pearls sewn into diamond patterns envelops the bodice of the “Sirenia” dress by Rachel Gordon. Each of her gowns is custom-designed for brides who come to her ONE LOVE atelier on King Street.
“The flowing, wavy lines on the fabric inspired the design,” says Jim Smeal of Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal. The almond cake with almond-praline filling and iced in Italian buttercream is just as noteworthy for its lack of fondant as it is for its sublimely sophisticated look. An ace with buttercream, Jim fashioned the fluffy flowers from icing alone—a true feat. Serves: 150 ($1,200)
Katherine McDonald of LulaKate calls this gown from her 2013 collection the “Novak,” as its va-va-voom namesake (silver screen legend Kim Novak) made waves every time she donned her signature fitted, femme gowns. Made of cotton-silk embroidered organza imported from Spain, the strapless dress wears a wave pattern, and looks especially fetching with a LulaKate fabric posy pinned at the waist.
“The texture of the gown made me want to touch it!” says Hayden Campbell of Ashley Bakery. Carol Hannah’s modern interpretation of lacework and floral embellishments led Hayden to mimic those elements and offset the top tier in an irreverent way. The taste is still decadently traditional: vanilla cake marbled with chocolate ganache and filled with chocolate mousse. Serves: 45 ($700)
Carol Hannah Whitfield’s two-piece “Versailles” gown is crafted of silk mikado and chiffon with a bodice that cascades into a peplum of hand-cut organza. Tiny silver-gray pearls add shimmer to small flowers that dot the corset, lovingly designed by the fashionista who got her start at Charleston Fashion Week®.