All the Belles & Whistles
On 26 May, Belle’s Patisserie and Gert-Johan Coetzee, in collaboration with Jenna Clifford, treated invited guests to an indulgent afternoon of wedding perfection.
Incredible cakes, sparkling diamonds and gorgeous wedding gowns were the centre of attention at Jenna Clifford’s beautiful Sandton residence.
Five of Gert-Johan’s real brides stole the show, modelling their own wedding gowns and wearing Jenna Clifford diamonds, alongside multi-tiered wedding cakes created by Chris Cardoso of Belle’s, inspired by the gowns. Steenberg MCC flowed and a selection of moreish canapés created by By Word of Mouth did the rounds. Nubian Bride was there to capture it all.
“A wedding is one of the biggest moments in any woman’s life, so the gown, and the cake, and the occasion, all need to reflect that,” says Gert. The brides, who all got married within the last year, one as recently as a month ago, revelled in the opportunity to have a second shot at their big day.”
As for the importance of the cake, owner of Belle’s, Linda Lipschitz, says, “Belle’s knows how very vital the cake is on your wedding day – the moment the bride and groom cut through their masterpiece and feed each other a slice – it’s significant, and the cake must be just perfect! At Belle’s we offer wedding cake tastings and consultations; we meet with the bride and groom and understand exactly what it is they are looking for, and we are with them every step of the way until the special day. Being a part of this event was incredible and I think we got to show guests and customers just how committed we are to ensuring their wedding cake will be everything they wish for.”
“The beauty of this event lies in the synergy within our three brands,” says Jenna Clifford, whose jewellery complemented all the gowns. “Sprouting from an intense love of art and creation, we are all intent on creating bespoke pieces of art for our customers. Unsurpassed craftsmanship brings imagination to life and to top it all off, Jenna Clifford Designs, Gert-Johan Coetzee and Belle’s Patisserie are all proudly South African and fully support and promote local talent and employment.”
“For me, a wedding gown is all about celebrating femininity, and while there are bridal trends and classic looks to choose from, every bride is different. It is an extremely rewarding process to create a gown that makes a dream come true, and makes a bride feel like a queen on her big day – and I think all my brides exuded that notion on their wedding day, and relived that moment at this lovely event,” says Gert.
Chris Cardoso, the mastermind behind all the exquisite cakes inspired by Gert-Johan Coetzee’s designs on the day, is Belle’s wedding cake creator extraordinaire; he lets us in on all there is to know about the Belle’s wedding offering.
Tell us about your wedding cake offering? Here at Belles we offer a wide variety of wedding cakes; we can either take a sample picture, which is provided by the bride, to create her dream cake or we offer her our own designer sketches by meeting and finding out more about them and what their tastes are.
Take us through the process – from when a couple meets with you for the first time, to the final cake for the big day – how does it all work? Well, we start with a consultation and hashing through all the nitty gritty details of the designing process. Once a design and flavours have been chosen, we send off a quote (which includes delivery and a set-up fee) and then we require a 50% deposit to secure and book the date and the cake. Two weeks before the wedding we run through all the logistics of the day and the cake and we ensure all is on track. The cake is completed and ready for delivery the day before the wedding. The cake is only assembled on the day at the venue to ensure no damages occur during the transporting process.
What are the most popular types of wedding cakes currently? All brides are different, so wedding cakes vary widely. But a trend that is very popular this year is the ‘naked’ cake.
Besides the traditional wedding cake, what other options are there? There are many different ways brides are approaching weddings this millennia. Macaron towers, cupcake towers, croquembouche and more. Some brides don’t even have a main cake, they like to select four designer cakes and have it as part of a larger ‘sweets’ table, decked with macaroons and delicate mouthwatering patisserie.
Are there any new international trends in wedding cakes that you are seeing filtering through locally? Not as much as I’d like to see, to be honest. South Africans are stuck in a sense of safety when it comes to design. Traditional will always be favourable. Although, my favourite design at the moment is painted cakes.
What is the most important thing for a couple to consider when choosing their wedding cake? I always tell brides and grooms to keep in mind this is a day about them and it’s the last chance they will get to have everything they want to be for them and about them. So, when choosing designs and flavours their happiness should always come first. I’m just there to bring it to life.
Does Belle’s charge for wedding cake consultation? We do have a consultation fee, which includes our design services as well as a tasting of a selection of up to eight flavours decided on by the couple.