intimate wedding table settings at allerton castle

Intimate weddings for 2020

Intimate weddings

vase of fresh sweet peas roses sweet william clematis

I busied myself yesterday, picking fresh flowers from my allotment and garden. Faffing with them, sniffing all the scent out of these sweet peas. Thinking.  I’ve had time for lots of thinking. And as wedding receptions with up to 30 people are now allowed I thought I’d chat about my service for intimate weddings in 2020.

With each gentle relaxing of restrictions many people’s lives/jobs are starting to return to (a little more) normal. However, the contrast for those working in the wedding industry becomes increasingly stark.  For example, I fulfilled my first wedding of the year back in early March. Then, all others were postponed. And with no weddings until Autumn this enforced break is set to continue. Therefore, it’s great news that easing of restrictions allows intimate weddings to go ahead. Consequently, I can meet couples, chat weddings and create, albeit smaller, bespoke wedding cakes again. 

Keeping busy

Firstly, I thought I’d provide a little insight into what I’ve been getting up to in lockdown. During these past four months I’ve tried to be industrious. I’m naturally organised so never had an admin backlog to trawl through.  So, once it stopped feeling frivolous in these strange times I tapped into my creativity. Developing a new flavour…

pistachio and lime cake slice
Toasted pistachio and zesty lime sponge, infused with cardamom sugar syrup, layered with toasted pistachio praline buttercream and home made lime & cardamom curd.

Adding more vegan options. Filming tutorials. Adding videos to my IGTV channel. Creating a new design

Making my own Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract…

homemade madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

I filmed the process too. If you fancy making your own I shared the video on my IGTV channel. The extract is maturing nicely and will be delicious for next year’s weddings!

Meanwhile, with my own freshly-picked, organically-grown Hinnonmaki Red gooseberries…

freshly picked organically grown hinnonmaki red gooseberries

I’ve been making gooseberry jam…

homemade gooseberry jam

I’ll use it as one of the fillings for my autumn Elderflower & Gooseberry wedding cakes. A subtly floral cake flavour inspired by an ice cream I polished off whilst messing about on River Nidd last summer (aaaah, good times).

Also, for the last two months AVL Fitness has thankfully given some framework to my days in the form of daily HIIT bootcamp workouts via Zoom. A personal trainer with a military background, Aaron’s workouts are tough but have kept me (mostly) sane.  I only wish I’d discovered them at the start of lockdown. 

Latterly, though, I’ve been lucky to fill some of my time holding remote wedding consultations for those planning intimate weddings. 

Small wedding cakes

With an influx of enquiries for smaller wedding cakes, here’s what I’m offering.

To cater for intimate weddings I’ve added a one-tier 8 inch cake option to my range, priced from £185.  This size of cake will enable you to serve 20 generous portions as your dessert.  Or you could cut into 40 finger portions to share some with loved ones unable to attend your wedding. So no-one gets left out!  My service remains bespoke irrespective of the size of cake. So, for these wedding cakes, I’m offering a remote video consultation where I design a cake unique to you and your wedding. The cakes are available for collection or local delivery only. A minimum spend of £300 (excluding packaging) applies.

A small cake can make a statement too…

single tier bespoke wedding cake for intimate weddings
single tier vibrant wedding cake for intimate weddings

Small-ish wedding cakes

Alternatively, you could opt for a two-tier 6/8” cake, from £290, and serve this to your 30 guests as a scrumptious bespoke dessert.  A minimum spend of £400 applies. I offer my usual design service of a face-to-face* consultation and cake-tasting charged at £25, which is redeemable against an order exceeding £500 (excluding delivery).  Likewise, the cakes are bespoke and available for collection only. 

two-tier bespoke cake for intimate weddings
victorian plaster-inspired textural two-tier cake for intimate weddings
floral cascade wedding cake for intimate weddings

Socially distanced consultations

In accordance with government guidance regarding COVID-19 I have implemented certain procedures to ensure your and my safety during face-to-face* consultations.  Full details of my COVID-19 Consultation Policy will be provided on enquiry but, briefly, consultations are open to two people at a time and I hold just one consultation per day.  2m social distancing is maintained at all times with windows open to provide ventilation.  Of course, for your safety I wear a face mask throughout the consultation. Special mention – talented milliner, Chrissie King, of Hat Therapy, made mine. It’s so comfortable! Do check out Chrissie’s veils, bridal accessories and wedding hats as they’re just exquisite. I ask that you wear a face mask too – except during the cake-tasting obviously! And I have a big bottle of hand sanitiser at the ready!

wedding cake samples

I’m so excited to meet couples, chat weddings and share cake again.

*Currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, I am offering my cake by post service along with a remote video consultation.

Support small businesses

Sadly, I’ve seen some wedding businesses close this year.  Whether this was always the intention or COVID-19 forced these decisions is unknown, but in some cases it surely played a part.

Like other wedding suppliers the majority of my income has transferred to 2021, allowing less space for new income next year.  Hopefully, there’ll be a full recovery by summer 2022.  But that’s two years away.  Government support for the self-employed ceases in a matter of days. Whilst I’m here to stay, obviously enduring the next two years won’t be easy. Therefore, please support local independent small businesses. We offer a personal service and are the backbone of the economy.

To ensure I give every wedding cake commission the attention it deserves I usually take on only one commission per week.  By responding to current demand for smaller cakes for intimate weddings I’m able to accept more commissions per week without compromising the quality or intricacy of my cakes.  As someone with a strong work ethic this will enable me to contribute to society, help support my family and, of course, return to doing what I love!

Luxury bespoke cakes for intimate weddings

intimate wedding table settings at allerton castle
Joel Skingle Photography at Allerton Castle

This intimate destination wedding at Allerton Castle captured by Joel Skingle Photography demonstrates that you don’t have to compromise on style with intimate weddings. If you’re planning your intimate wedding for 2020 you can have a really special bespoke wedding cake too – get in touch!

With love, Amanda x

Amanda Earl monogram