Outdoor Weddings: Tip #5

December 6th, 2014


Growing up in NJ, my mom used to host a summer FIELD DAY at our farm.  For our 5-year anniversary at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. we followed suit and held a hilarious similar party with a rented water slide (turned “butter cream slip ‘n slide!) at Sycuan Resort… what a PERFECT way to share with friends in lieu of a traditional rehearsal dinner: everyone gets to know one another in unabashedly open fun!

“This could be you…” like our Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. 5 year party, butter cream slip ‘n slide.

Want to surprise your significant other with something WAY COOL at the rehearsal party?  Order a personally-inspired, fun sculpted cake in his or her favorite theme or favorite party idea…check out this Shiner Bock Keg Cake we made in Marble Cake infused with Bock-syrup, filled with salted caramel butter cream, and air brushed with silver dust to resemble the real thing!

Shiner Bock Beer Keg Cake by Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.
Shiner Bock Beer Keg Cake by Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.


Outdoor Weddings: Tip #4

November 30th, 2014

NO-NO’S in the summer heat:  *3-piece suits, *hot metal seats, and *(Yeeeouch!) short dresses!

Continued thoughts on a hot, sunny day… This is really a tip for both the hosts AND the guests.

We all have that infamous friend (or girlfriend of friend) who wears the inappropriately short dress (OK, guest, here is the tip I meant for you…don’t ever try to out-sexy the bride, even if the “bride” is a 185-lb male).

Hosts should plan to provide non-metal seats for an outdoor ceremony. They won’t burn people’s thighs if they choose to wear the dangerously short style dress or short pants… well, maybe this guest deserves a hot, metal seat for having worn this to your wedding…


Maybe something like this will protect both your legs and your relationship with other females there… still sexy and yet not asking for a fight. LOL!

Be considerate if suggesting the style of dress for your party – whether you’re requesting guests don the “all black clothing” for the Goth approach or even requiring “FORMAL ATTIRE” for men.

Just think about how hot a full suit and even a tie is on a hot day in August!

How gorgeous are THESE looks for men???  No one will complain that they didn’t wear a tux… Yeowzers!!

Shot at Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay

My own husband was adamant about wearing a tux, and he suffered briefly, but that’s just the stubborn, classic New Yorker in him.  xoxoxoxo


Outdoor Weddings: Tip #3 (and more!)

November 24th, 2014

Photo borrowed from www.personalcreations.com blog

:: GOOD IDEA:  sunglasses for guests if the ceremony is in bright sun

Probably no couple prays for rain on their wedding day, but bright sun can create just as many issues… Thankfully there are lots of great, stylish ways to keep your guests comfortable and your photos fabulous.

:: sunscreen in baskets as guests enter the ceremony site or reception area (look for zinc oxide & titanium dioxide)

Your photographer will be happily editing a LOT of sunburn photos and costing you a lot more money later…

Sunglasses are critical, but the result without sunscreen can look awful…


CUTE IDEA!  Personalized Water Bottles upon entry to ceremony – so many online sites sell these.
:: chilled bottles of water or pour spouts with ice-cold fruited water or sangria and non-alcoholic refreshers.



Outdoor Weddings: Tips to Remember, #2

November 18th, 2014
Thanks to Cake Wrecks for this beauty! (again, thankfully not ours)

Thanks to Cake Wrecks for this beauty! (again, thankfully not ours)

The wedding planner’s latest stress of the event:  “Oh NO, the cake is melting!  Quick, cut it now for photos, even if the guests won’t get to see it!!”

Are you planning a summer wedding or outdoor event?
Would you make your Grandma sit in the heat for 2 hours without protection?
Have you thought about how to protect your guests, your food, your flowers, your makeup?
Follow us on our Tips to Remember as you plan your special day.

This week’s Tip #2 – Cakes are People Too!

MELTED cake…what a mess!  Whether you’re serving mini desserts or a tiered (wedding or other) cake, unless you order an all-fake cake, these items are PERISHABLE and need protection.

Discuss cake with your wedding professionals:

1. Here’s how to know how long a Real Butter Cream cake (or WORSE, cupcakes frosted in cream cheese) will last in direct sun:  put a stick of butter outside on a plate in approximately the same location that you plan to display your cake….Check back with it in 2 hours and see how it looks.

2.  “But we aren’t cutting the cake until 9pm…”  (the average sunset time in peak wedding season is 7:25pm; the average time guests arrive to receptions is between 5:30-6:00pm; the cake company may need some setup time prior to guest arrival). Do you want your cake being setup during dinner?

3. We won’t need a tent; it never rains in San Diego in the summer…(famous last words).

It's ok for the molten chocolate gang to melt...

It’s ok for the molten chocolate gang to melt…

Air conditioning is cake’s best friend in the summer months. Most venues are not comfortable with storing a cake in their walk-in refrigerator and taking it out to display themselves – too much at risk if they drop it! We find that the fast-paced staff in some restaurant locations will grab a 2-3 tier cake and whisk it away for refrigeration without incident. (in San Diego, we applaud The Bluewater Boathouse for their agility & comfort with this!) .  On the contrary, most caterers or venues will not offer this option. Our most helpful hotel property who is willing to keep a 3-tier cake in the fridge on a hot day is the elite ocean view hotel L’Auberge Del Mar…thanks Catering team!  This helps us and the clients on a sweltering evening when needed.

No cake designer wants to see an unknown caller on their cell phone at 8pm…worried that the dreaded disaster may have struck: a cake has melted or fallen over due to the heat!

photo borrowed from Events North blog...thankfully NOT one of our cakes.

photo borrowed from Events North blog…thankfully NOT one of our cakes or even theirs.

This is THE WORST news to hear, especially when the venue is too far away for us to make any reparations.

At Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. we require clients to provide indoor shelter, shade, or solid roof tent (YES, that clear tent is WAY COOL…and totally acts as a steam room on a hot day), or we require a signed waiver to offset the potential hazards.  With up to 15 cakes on a Saturday, we just couldn’t logistically run around town scooping up melted butter rivers from the cake table floor and fixing cakes during receptions.

Think about it: would you ever consider leaving out your tuna fish salad for 5 hours at a picnic?

Outdoor weddings are stunningly beautiful, but BE SMART when planning, and listen to the pros you’ve hired.

Future Summer Wedding Tips:
Sunburned skin
Wilted flowers
Blown out photo exposures
Smeared eyeliner
Sweat stains! Yikes!

Outdoor Weddings: Tips to Remember – Tip #1

November 12th, 2014
Sunny San Diego Summers are dreamy...hot

Sunny San Diego Summers are dreamy…

Ahh, we all LOVE our beach and our beautiful SUNSHINE here in San Diego!  Newscasters have it easy here, temps average 70-80 degrees with little chance of rain or otherwise.

However… there we were, again in mid-September, with OVER 100-DEGREES hitting the thermostats inside and out, causing harm to our favorite delectable condiment:  BUTTER CREAM!  But wait, the cake is only one of your worries… What about the GUESTS?  The guys wearing JACKETS???  Yikes. Get that guy a beverage fast!

I don't know about you, but these look REFRESHING!

I don’t know about you, but these look REFRESHING!


We’ll start a list of tips to help while planning your SUMMERTIME parties… remember these things if you opt to get married in a potentially HOT venue without excellent shade or air conditioning:

Tip #1 – First & foremost:  Your Guests.  Provide the following to show that you care about them:

:: CHAIRS: even if you’re on a BEACH, if you have ELDERLY or DISABLED GUESTS, please bring folding chairs at least for these guests (it’s tough enough that they just required assistance to noodle down the beach with their walker)..

:: Large hand-pump SUNSCREEN bottles (or minis handed to each guest upon arrival).  Photographers will thank you too – think of the money you’ll save if they don’t have to Photoshop out all of the 1/2-faced sunburns!  Thanks for this tip from our Beach Wedding Photography Expert, Lisa G at Elle G Photography!

:: PARASOLS to protect your fair-skinned friends from sunburn during your beautifully sun-blazing ceremony (and they’re a beautiful way to add to your party’s style)

:: Personalized WATER bottles (FUN!!!… and life saving).  Tons of companies online sell custom label bottles with your monogram, photo, or “Thank You for Joining Us!” note . Yes, provide one for your officiant too.

:: Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Beverages at the Outdoor Ceremony – Inspired by our dear friend Carmin Cermak of Carmin Design, who makes a mean N/A SANGRIA loaded with sliced fresh fruits, sparkling water, & a touch of juice!  A delicious conversation starter at the punch table (keep it covered to avoid bees).  You can add the Tequila later… ;)


…More to come in our next post about Summertime Weddings & Events…

Ultimate Weddings: Styled Photo Shoot at Loew’s Coronado

November 12th, 2014

Fabulously fun ruffle cake in Black & White with touches of blush sugar flowers

Fabulously fun ruffle cake in Black & White with touches of blush sugar flowers

We get asked regularly to provide amazing cakes for photo shoots (which is very flattering but impossible to keep up with), but Holy Cannoli, this is one gorgeous photo shoot we did at Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort!  Glad we said yes!  ;)

Quite a spectacular team of Wedding Professionals, led by Suher Haidar & Michelle Cerundolo of Saavy Soiree LLC, who coordinated it all, and Kyla Akasha, photographer at Spotlight Photo Studios.

If you’re looking for some KILLER DETAILS of black & white weddings, ruffle cakes, or if you just love BLUSH, it’ll be well worth a peek at the stunning video that Michael at Focused Bliss Productions put together – totally cool that he was not only producing the video but STARRING in it as the groom!…pretty sweet….

First Triathlon by a Cheek! Lap ‘em Left Cheek!

October 5th, 2014
Team Cheeks supports The Left Cheek, Ms. Donna, as she beautifully finishes her very first TRIATHLON here in San Diego!!!

Team Cheeks supports The Left Cheek, Ms. Donna, as she beautifully finishes her very first TRIATHLON here in San Diego!!!

Cheeks at Donna's tri Cheeks Donna in run portion of race Mission Bay Coaster triathlon

In a show of tremendous effort, multiple Cheeks rose out of bed on an early Sunday morning to cheer on their fearless leader Donna as she finished her very first triathlon!  WOO HOO!!!  So much fun to show support, probably just as cool as it was for her to participate.

Nick (our “Jack of All Cheeks”) of course led the charge by driving Donna up despite his head cold,

Lauren joined graciously, bringing yummy Sweet Cheeks breakfast treats for the crew and our NEARLY-PROFESSIONAL posters ;)

Kayla, Laurel, & I met up to prove that early rising can be fun with our beach cruiser bike ride down the boardwalk to reach the race scene – thanks for the laughs, dolphin sightings, and rusty chain mechanics to Kayla & Laurel! Thanks to Uncle Alex for sharing his bikes with us!

Krista caught up with vigor & enthusiasm, always the awesome cheerleader.

For a review of this fun event, check out the real website:  http://www.kozevents.com/Triathlons/Mission_Bay_Triathlon.htm

Martha Stewart Loves Sweet Cheeks!

September 9th, 2014

Yay! A welcome nod from Martha Stewart Weddings to a gorgeous wedding cake we made to fit a spectacular watercolor theme at San Diego Museum…


Watercolor wedding

Watercolor wedding

Thanks to the lovely & stylishly talented Heather at Amorology Weddings for her insanely fun ideas and to Joielala Photography for their stunning & soft light images!

Baking in Watercolors at the museum! Love the detail of ingredients & tabletop paper by Amorology!

Baking in Watercolors at the museum! Love the detail of ingredients & tabletop paper by Amorology!

Guest Chefs in the Kitchen!

June 15th, 2014

What amazing friends we have in this industry! We do whatever we can for them, especially our chef buddies …and no better way for them to show their appreciation of SWEET CHEEKS than to cook for US! Woo hoo!!!!

One blessed morning, in came Chefs Mark & Justin from Loew’s Coronado Resort to create some outstanding morning fare for our team. We probably did not deserve this, but they even catered to EACH of our insane dietary restrictions – can you say “High Maintenance?”

Chef Mark Ching was recently hired as the new Executive Chef at the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel (go Markie!), so we miss him & our beloved Laurel (AKA “Red Velvet Baby”)terribly. Chef Justin still helps to man the fort here in San Diego at the beautiful Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort, one of our awesome clients who represent Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. desserts both on the ROOM SERVICE MENU and in the hotel Café!



Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (24) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (26) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (27) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (28) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (29) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (32) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (33) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (10) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (11) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (13) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (17) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (18) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (19) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (20) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (2) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (3) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (5) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (6) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (8) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (9) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (7) (800x531)

Laurel & Mark, we miss you guys very much here. You will always be such inspiring friends; thank you so much again for all that you have done and all that you do for us!

JUMP! Beachside Wedding for Chad & Heather

June 5th, 2014
Calm before the storm

Calm before the storm


What a twist on the traditionally perfect serenity of a perfectly sunny-happy wedding day…Jumpin’ Jivin’ Bride Heather McHottie (McCluskey) kicks it into gear with background volume from DJ Andy… and BAM! “I get UP, and nothing gets me down… JUMP!”

Not your typically nervous bride...

Not your typically nervous bride…

Leave it to Heather Elise & Chad to bring down the house with some Van Halen for their wedding march…just perfect.  Thanks DJ Andy! We all have those friends who are not afraid, who tackle life – its joys and its pains – with a SMILE, a HUG, and a PROMISE.  Thank God for those friends! electric on approach
Heather & Chad met about five years ago and started dating… two lovely singles, primes of their lives…but it just wasn’t the right timing. Fast-forward a few years, and some serious kindling hit the fires! Whew! JUMP is right! Chad didn’t miss his opportunity to catch Heather the 2nd time around. On an evening hike up Torrey Pines Preserve – sorry, Bodey, no dogs allowed there! – he proposed to her after only 8 months. No question, this marriage is made in SMILES, not just stars! Hot damn, you can feel the love all over!

Glowing with smiles & love!

Glowing with smiles & love!

San Diego natives Chad & Heather share an innate love for the ocean and all the fun associated with it, like surfing, paddling, swimming, water polo, and beach hiking. They chose a fitting color scheme of oceanic blues & Garibaldi (CA State fish) oranges – what perfectly juicy colors for the wedding party’s beach attire and Suzan M Florals’ punch-filled bouquets:
natural beauties vert juicy flower bouquets, Suzan M



Beach themed weddings are clearly a specialty in San Diego, but since we needed to WOW the mix of Heather’s friends and fellow wedding vendors. Our Sweet Cheeks Design Team immediately designed an ombre-colored aqua-teal wedding cake, adding touches of soft butter cream “surf,” white chocolate starfish, and some super-decked out sugar starfish décor…

starfish cake

Heather, a certified sea-lover (and my weekly stand-up paddling companion!), highlights stunning colors in her outstanding professional photography (you MUST SEE Heather Elise Photography).

Chad coaches some of the finest young water polo players in the area – both at Palomar College and Poway High School – and puts his heart into all the students on his teams.

…now check out the cutie petutie water polo groom’s cake we made as a special gift for Chad! Um, yes, please…coconut cake with peanut butter Butter Cream? Holy deliciousness! (Heather said they ate it for breakfast all week; they are my role models.)

groom's cake, water polo!

Fellow vendors in action that night included the ever-”fantastic” Carmin Cermak of Carmin Design

heather with diva coordinator carmin

DJ Andy Hagenah of Starlight Photobooth (Michael & I snuck into the booth…and this blog, apparently!)

Hams for Life

Hams for Life

Disc Go Round and The Groove

Focus Andy...

Focus Andy…

…and the, ever-silly, crazy cats of film – Joe Park of Joe Park Films & Andy of Andy King Photography
grumpies, Joe & Andy

Another HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT for us vendors is this CAKE-EATING DOCU-DOODLE created…uh, later in the evening… Many thanks to Joe Park Films for this insanely awesome VIMEO video which sent us so many delicious praises…between the psycho killer coordinator & videographer, the too-cool DJ, the over-the-top cake-lover bride, and the hysterical baker, we don this the FUNNIEST CAKE VIDEO EVER!

We know that for Heather & Chad this day will forever hold precious memories, thanks to so many wonderful family & friends in their lives. We can only account for a small portion of it here…but we’re so grateful to know & love them and to have shared a part of this BIG DAY!!!

This blog post would not be complete without a quick nod to their #1 fan and champion of cliff jumping, Mr. Bodey Himself – who graced the gift take-aways for all of their guests…so sweet

Always Sweet, Bodey

Always Sweet, Bodey

Thank you, our dear friend Heather, for lighting up our lives with JOY & SUNSHINE! We love you so very much.

jump heather pre wedding

Personally, I know Chad secretly thought: “Ohh there she stands in a silken gown Silver lights shining down” – Van Halen “Love Walks In”

Eddie Van Halen JUMP!

Eddie Van Halen JUMP!

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