Music To Your Ears

The music at a wedding is often times a primary means of setting a specific tone or feel. Most Bride’s have a “vision” of what they want their wedding ceremony and reception to look and feel like. The music you choose is an intriguing way to accomplish the task of realizing that vision. In today’s post we will chit chat about all of your music options here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens and then we will break it down into some categories of the most used and popular wedding music (classic and current).

The Ceremony:

Whether your ceremony is at Ashland or The Gardens Chapel or in the Outdoor Garden Area at The Gardens Facility, we have a surround sound system that plays CD’s. We can provide the music (meaning you get a chance to sit down and take a look through our extensive list of music) or you can (meaning you bring in CD’s and we program them into our system).

Sometimes couple’s want live music in the form of a pianist, string quartet or harpist. We have marvelous musicians to recommend to you if any of these instruments interest you for ceremony music.

  • Tom Nix is the Pianist we highly recommend. He has a list of music to choose from and can also find pretty much anything else you are wanting played if he doesn’t already have it.
  • The String Quartet we use is from a local university and they do a beautiful job each time they get a chance to come and play here. They can also play during your reception (we think this would be marvelous at a morning or  brunch reception…don’t you? So romantic!).
  • Jill Justice is who we recommend when couple’s think a Harpist would fit the bill. She is an amazing musician and between her and her husband…they might be able to play every instrument known to man. So if there are any unique instrument requests for your ceremony – they are also who we would send you to.

Any of these musicians or groups can play at an indoor or outdoor ceremony. You are also more than welcome to provide your own musicians or singers.

The Reception:

There are so many different options for music during your reception. And which one you choose greatly depends on what kind of reception you are wanting to have and your budget. Imagining a quiet romantic setting with soft  music playing in the background? Or a lively (and potentially loud!) dance party with all the most popular, current hits? Are you a country or R&B music fan and can’t imagine not having a live band to keep your guests dancing all night long? We have recommendations for pretty much anything you can dream up.

Included in our Basic Package is light, background reception music that plays continuously during your party. This is something you can choose from our library or provide to us. This is an option that we only recommend if you are wanting something very low-key, aren’t wanting special songs played at certain times or songs announced, etc.

Our Royal and Ultimate Packages include a DJ (depending on availability…if he isn’t available, we will find someone else or we can subtract that from the package). Our DJ is Dance Party Productions and we just don’t have enough nice things to say about him. DJ’s can sometimes be cheesy, obnoxious, or cliche…this DJ is none of those things. He knows what to play and when. He knows how to keep your party moving. He. Is. The. Best. He includes amazing lighting and custom uplighting for your reception. You meet with him a few weeks before your event and go over the details of what you are wanting. He does not have a set playlist…so you can bring to him pretty much anything you are thinking. (He can also be added to our Basic Package) Need we say more?

We also understand that some people may know a DJ or have a certain DJ in mind, and that is fine too. You are more than welcome to provide your own DJ, but they must set up and tear down during your facility time.

On occasion people will hire a band to play at their reception. Usually this is a band they know or are related to in some way. Sometimes it is a band from their church. If you are interested in having a band, we would be happy to join you in your search to make the process as easy as possible.

Also, any of the ceremony musicians can also be booked for your reception for an additional cost. Pretty  much any of the live instruments would be unbelievably romantic/elegant. Piano music? A harp for your first dance? Love that.


So those are some options for who or what will provide your music. Here are some popular song options for different parts of the ceremony and for your first dance.

Prelude Music:

Jim Brickman Piano

Kenny G Saxophone

Harp Music

a Mixed CD of your favorite love songs

Seating of the Parents:

Mama’s Song (Carrie Underwood)

Butterfly Kisses (Bob Carlisle)

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)

Tale As Old As Time (Beauty and The Beast)

I Loved Her First (Heartland)

Processional: (This is when the Groom, Groomsmen, and Bridesmaids walk out)

Canon in D (Pachelbel) …this is a number one favorite…and we have like 14 million different versions of it…almost…

Air on G (Bach)

Claire de Lune (Debussy)

Forest Gump Theme (from the movie)…Yes, this is for real. Yes, it is gorgeous.

Presentation of the Bride:

The Bridal Chorus (we have more versions of this than we do Canon in D…piano, harps, strings, guitar…etc)

  • The most popular version we use currently is one by Jonathan Cain…gorgeous, dissonant version on the piano with a beautiful entrance point. Just ask for #8

Pretty much anything else you could possibly imagine. This is YOUR moment to shine. Walk to whatever makes you feel good. Lots of couple’s choose a song that has had special meaning to them or a piece that points to their faith.

Unity Ceremony:

If you are choosing to do a candle or sand ceremony or other kind of unity ceremony, you will probably want a song played during the moment. Here are some faves…

How Beautiful (Twila Paris)

I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)

When I Say I Do (Matthew West)

Hymne (Vangelis…we have a very pretty soft piano version…don’t be fooled by some of the versions on youTube!)

Or again…anything you love.

Recessional: (Bride and Groom and Wedding Party leaving the Chapel at the end of the ceremony)

Wedding March (Sometimes called “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”…the really traditional one you hear in wedding movies)

Ode to Joy (Beethoven)

Spring (Vivaldi)

At Last (Etta James)

This Will Be (Natalie Cole)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder)

I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)

Forever (Chris Brown)

This is one you can really play with. What makes you dance? What makes you laugh? What will make your guests do both? Choose that song.

Here are some popular songs from certain genres that you can also plug into places you need music during your ceremony (pretty much any of the above spots).


Me and You (Kenny Chesney)

Then (Brad Paisley)

Only You Can Love Me This Way (Keith Urban)

Amazed (Lonestar)

My Wish (Rascal Flatts)

I Could Not Ask For More (Sara Evans)

When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)

The Way You Love Me (Faith Hill)

R&B / Gospel:

Ribbon in the Sky (Stevie Wonder)

Here and Now (Luther Vandross)

Endless Love (also Luther)

You for Me (Johnny Gill)

I Believe in You and Me (Whitney Houston)

If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys)

Let’s Get Married (Jagged Edge…and the remix. We love the remix. It makes us dance.)

All My Life (K-Ci and JoJo)

Coffee House Hits:

Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)

One, Two, Three, Four (Plain White T’s)

I’ll Be (Edwin McCain)

Unfailing Love (Jimmy Needham)

You and Me (Dave Matthews….swoon)

The Luckiest (Ben Fold’s Five…swoon even more)

Love Never Fails (Brandon Heath)

Falling in Love at the Coffee Shop (Landon Pigg)

Bella’s Lullaby (From Twilight, the piano version…don’t judge, it is beautiful)

Make You Feel My Love (the Adele version…or any other version you love…we love the Adele version)

The First Dance

This is the song that couple’s often struggle with choosing the very most.

Couple of tips:

  • Don’t give up. There is always a third option. You hate his. He hates yours. Find a third option you both LOVE. (This will be good practice for pretty much every other decision you make in your marriage.)
  • Dance to it. Before the night before your wedding. If it feels weird, find something else. If you simply must dance to this song…practice. Lots of places in the city offer one class deals where you can take one lesson to brush up on your skills.

As for some suggestions to get the creative juices flowing, we talked to our DJ, Chris of Dance Party Productions about some of the most requested songs for the first dance. He said, “Lots of Tim and Faith” (meaning McGraw and Hill, of course). “At Last by Etta (James) or Beyonce for a classic sound.” For a great R&B selection, he says “Differences by Ginuwine is a very popular choice.”

That’s all we have for now…Have fun adding your unique style to the big day by choosing music selections that either match the theme, tone, or feeling of your event!

Happy Planning!





Je’Kashia and Ryan 1.19.13

With the bulk of the beautiful renovation done just in time for our annual Open House, we were so excited that our January 19th wedding got to enjoy the stunning new look!

Je’Kashia and Ryan are one seriously photogenic, stylish couple. Their love was evident in their big beautiful smiles. The Bride wore her mother’s wedding dress from 20+ years ago (we are thinking probably late 80’s early 90’s) and pulled it off perfectly. The style mimicked so many things that are currently in the most fashionable bridal boutiques. We couldn’t get over how well it suited her! The flowers were courtesy of PJ’s Flowers and Gifts and they were perfectly pink…the Bride LOVED them!


The couple chose to have hot pink flowers added to white flowers in the chapel to add a pop of their colors into the day.


The Bride also provided pink and white silk flower petals to line the sides of the aisles. They matched the add ins exactly and looked great!


The couple booked one of our recommended photographers – Patrick Berry Photography. He took LOTS of dress pictures to capture the special touch. (We can’t wait to share some of his photos with you later!)


The Bride also wore her mother’s full headpiece and veil. It was AMAZING! We loved the pearldrop head band and tiered veil.


The Bride’s uncle officiated the ceremony and created a memorable and personal experience for his niece and soon to be nephew!


The Wedding Party consisted of siblings and close friends and kept the couple laughing all day long. At your wedding, surround yourself with people you love and who make you laugh and you can’t go wrong!



The Brand New Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Rork!


Patrick Berry was able to get TONS of simply wonderful shots of this extremely photogenic couple. They were easy to photograph!







The couple shared a few quiet moments in the entry to the reception right before they were announced in. We always love it when couples take a few minutes to bask in their newly married status. It will be those moments you remember most vividly from your wedding day!


This shot shows all the WOW factor that the back of the dress and veil offered.


The couple had the Royal Package and upgraded to a sit down meal for their guests to enjoy. Their cake and the uplighting (provided by Dance Party Productions) made their colors pop in the reception space.


The couple swapped the white table linens for black to be more in line with their color scheme of Pink and Black and it added a spark of elegance!



Cutting their cake!




Dance Party Productions kept things moving as always and helped the reception flow just exactly right.



The day was a true success and we couldn’t be more happy for Je’Kashia and Ryan! We wish them a long life of peace and joy together.

For more information about having a wedding here, see our Contact page and we can tell you all about our packages and how we can make your wedding day one to remember. Our goal is for you to be able to relax and enjoy the moments…because we are handling everything!

Subscribe to the blog so that you can stay updated on the most recent weddings here…get excited for a Winter Theme in a few weeks! We’re talking snowflakes and specialty lighting and a GLAMOROUS cake! We can’t wait!

Kira and Nathan

Life got a little wild around here after the new year and so we missed telling you about  a couple that just should not be missed. So here is Kira and Nathan from the end of December.


They are a precious couple whose love and faith was so evident in every aspect of their event. They were not only a joy to work with, but their day was seriously beautiful.


Kira and Nathan wanted a very Christ-Centered Ceremony and their minister did a beautiful job sharing about their love and faith, and what a truly Christ-Centered Marriage looked like. The music for the ceremony was very seasonally appropriate (the songs for the Seating of the Parents, Processional, and Presentation of the Bride were 3 different versions of Canon in D) and also featured current worship music such as Never Once (during the family prayer) and All That’s Left (during their Unity Candle).



Kira chose a stunning plum color with a green that popped and added a festive element (we are talking 4 days after Christmas here folks!). They also chose to add a super fun Hot Chocolate Bar to their cake and punch reception which added to the warmth and elegance of the event.



The Guestbook Table had engagement photos that showed the couple holding signs that said why the loved each other.


The scripture readers during the ceremony used a special Family Bible.


Kira’s Shoes and the Bouquets that she made for herself and her bridesmaids.

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The Big Happy Wedding Party!


Congrats Kira and Nathan! May you be blessed in your marriage!


The Cake with a fun Mr&Mrs Topper!


The Couple toasted with bottles from POPS set on coasters that displayed the wedding date!






The Hot Chocolate Bar provided by Cypress Creative Services:


The Hot Chocolate Bar


Toppings: Marshmallows, Whipped Cream, Crushed Peppermint, Cinnamon Shake, Caramel Drizzle



Open House 2013

We would like to extend our gratitude to each Bride and each vendor who made this evening a complete success. It was awesome seeing lots of current and potential Brides checking out everything we have to offer. We also had the great pleasure of showing off our brand new stage design at Ashland Gardens for the very first time (there are just a few things left to do before it is complete…it’s amazing!).

Here is a complete vendor list. For additional information or contact info, give us a call.

Open House 2013 Vendors:

Dance Party Productions

Cooper’s Catering

Apple Envy


Cakes by Dee

Dee’s Chococlate Fountain

Ideas in Ice

Tuxedo Junction

PJ’s Flowers and Gifts

The S’mores Bar

Cypress Creative Services Design Packages

Huntington Photography

Blue Label Bartending

Patrick Berry Photography

The Finishing Touch

Marianne’s Rentals

Mary Kay

White Wings of OKC

Oklahoma Marriage Initiative

Boudoir by Heather Schlepper

Oklahoma Premier Carriage Company

Unforgettable Video

RE/MAX Gemini Realty

Caricatures by Robert Lange


We are so blessed to have so many amazing amazing people we work with on a regular basis to be able to recommend to you! Here are some pictures of the evening:


Almost complete...the brand new beautiful stage design at the Ashland Chapel

The Brand New Beautiful Stage Design at Ashland Gardens!

Amazing New Chandelier (it will be getting two beautiful chandeliers on either side in the next week!)

The Stunning Chandelier (two smaller versions of the center chandelier will be installed this week for a completed design!)


The Gardens Reception in all it’s Open House Glory!


Patrick Berry Photography


Dee’s Chocolate Fountain


Cakes by Dee


Cypress Creative Services


Cooper’s Catering


The S’mores Bar


Apple Envy


Arbonne, PJ’s Flowers, Ideas in Ice, Huntington Photography


Blue Label Bartending








Caricatures by Robert Lange, Unforgettable Video, RE/MAX Gemini, Forever For Real


Boudoir by Heather Schlepper


Mary Kay, White Wings of OKC, Tuxedo Junction




The Finishing Touch



Dance Party Productions

okBride Bridal Show – January 6th 2013

We are so pleased to again be attending the okBride Bridal Show on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at the Cox Convention Center in Downtown Oklahoma City. If there is ONE and only ONE Bridal Show you attend during the planning of your wedding…the January okBride Show is the one to see! Bring your walking shoes, your address labels, and your bridesmaids (to help you carry all your bags of free stuff and brochures!) and get ready for a wedding extravaganzaa!

Check out their website for more info, and give us a call if you have any questions! It is a great day to get lots taken care of and of course…we will be there – so stop by, say hello, and get an invite to our Open House.

winter2013_postcard_4x6_front_001Still need tickets? Give us a call…we might be able to hook you up compliments of okBride!



Purple Accents in The Gardens Chapel

Wednesday, 12.12.12. was a big day for us here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens. We had the pleasure of hosting an Intimate Ceremony and TWO Royal Wedding and Reception Packages! Rumor has it that nationwide, 7,500 couples chose this special date to tie the knot! It truly was a once in a lifetime day for people to say “I do!”

Centerpieces, Cake Cutting, Limo Exit!

The afternoon wedding and reception for Yvonne and John and 100 of their guests held in store a chapel full of gorgeous purple accents, a heartfelt ceremony, heavy hors d’oeuvres in the reception with a DJ (Dance Party Productions), purple uplighting, and a champagne & wine bar. Their cake was a towering 4 tiered hexagon shaped cake with purple flowers between each tier. The Bride chose a Diamond Icing Design with the top tier having a Heart Icing Design. The Groom’s cake boasted decadent chocolate icing designs and chocolate covered strawberries. The couple left in a limo and went straight to the airport for their Jamaican Honeymoon! They were not only a delight to work with, but such a sweet couple who had a blast on their wedding day! It was fun to share in their joy – the bride was simply radiant with excitement at each new point in the day!

The Bride and Groom The Chapel, The Wedding Party

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The evening wedding for Jennifer and Shane and 50 of their closest friends and family was absolutely everything an evening winter wedding should be – elegant, romantic, and downright dreamy. Their colors were red, ivory, and black which was a beautiful touch in The Gardens Chapel. The flowers were done by PJ’s Flowers and Gifts – they were amazing! White roses, cala lillies, and red hypericum berries with black and red ribbons and a custom designed flower girl basket in those colors tied in exactly what the bride was hoping for her special night!

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Their reception included heavy hors d’oeuvres, Dance Party Productions (DJ), and custom red uplighting. Their cake was the epitome of festive elegance with red ribbon at the base of each tier with our Tie The Knot Icing Design and a red flower topper. They got a little feisty behind the cake table, but they kissed and made up and spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away.

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We look forward to next year – 11.12.13!

Delaram and Scott : An Intimate Ceremony

Delaram and Scott say “I do.”

Here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens, we offer a number of packages that we provide to couples and families to aid them in planning the most stress free event possible. One of the packages we offer is The Intimate Ceremony Package.

Our Intimate Ceremony space features a koi pond with a bride where the couples stand to marry.

This is a simple package for couples who want to have a very short, simple ceremony. We offer two versions of the package: for the couple and two witnesses (you can provide them or we can)  OR for the couple and up to 15 guests. This allows people in a myriad of situations to have a beautiful but simple ceremony in a lovely setting. The package includes 30 minutes use of the facility and the minister, and chairs for your guests (if having any). We offer Intimate Ceremonies during our office hours only: Mondays and Tuesdays between 10-6 and Thursdays and Fridays between 10-4). There are lots of ways to upgrade or personalize the package  – adding time, a florist, a photographer, or (during the summer) moving the ceremony to our outdoor garden area – all for additional fees, etc.

Their first kiss as husband and wife!

Some of our Intimate Ceremony couples wear full wedding gear: gowns and tuxes. Other times they will wear a simple white dress and suit or nice dressy clothes (like our couple in the pictures). And sometimes, people come as they are (which is perfectly lovely!)…in their work or play clothes! Some couples bring music to be played during their ceremonies or flowers to hold and wear. Some people don’t. The point of the Intimate Ceremony is to essentially just tie the knot – in whatever way works for you!

A precious embrace after the ceremony.

Most of the time Intimate Ceremonies are scheduled one or two weeks in advance. Sometimes many months. Other times, people will call the morning of the day they would like to get married – that works just fine for us as long as the facility and the minister are available. We require a valid Oklahoma Marriage License in order for you to get married here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens.

The Happy Couple!

Scott and Delaram are a beautiful couple that absolutely radiate love for one another. Prior to their ceremony here in Oklahoma City, they shared in a ceremony in Iran – surrounded by friends and family there. They hope to schedule a full wedding and reception here in the States in the future for their friends and family that live here. We wish this gorgeous pair all the happiness in the world.

Scott and Delaram 11.27.12

Mr. and Mrs. Garland!

Save The Date: 10th Annual Open House 1.15.13

Please “Save The Date” and consider yourself officially invited to The 10th Annual Open House at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens! We are so excited for this very special after hours event that will take place on Tuesday evening, January 15, 2013 from 6PM-9PM (come and go). Admission is free. Once you register you are entered to win amazing door-prizes. You will have the opportunity to view the facilities, speak with MANY of our wonderful recommended vendors and taste test cakes and hors d’oeuvres.

In the coming weeks we are looking forward to sharing more with you about some of our vendors who will be there.

To pre-register visit THIS link! Registration will also be available the night of the event at the door. This will just save you some time that night when you arrive.

You can also RSVP by “Liking” us on FacebookHERE! – and then going to events and let us know you are planning to come . This will keep you “up to the minute” on anything new, exciting, or fabulous going on with The Open House!

If you are planning a wedding, looking for a facility, or already have your event booked here with us for 2013 – you will not want to miss this evening!

Planning a Party

Did you know that at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens we do more than just weddings and receptions? Shocked? It’s true!

DJ and Uplighting
for any event!

We can do bridal and baby showers, family and class reunions, corporate dinners or luncheons, sports awards banquets, birthday and anniversary parties, Quinceaneras, Baptisms, Holiday parties – whatever event you are planning (large or small) – you should come and chat with us about hosting it here. The smaller reception area at Ashland would be ideal for a baby shower or a Bridal Tea. The larger reception area at The Gardens is perfect for Anniversary Parties or Proms.

Quinceanera Expo 2012
We love to host Quinceaneras
at The Gardens

Imagine not having to set up tables and chairs, not having to mop the floor when you are done…imagine sitting back and relaxing – at your own event – we will take care of everything! Our coordinators are here to connect you with the people you want to make your event a huge success – and we are here to make sure things go smoothly before and all during your event.

Fun Party Decor!

Give us a call today to set up a time where you can come in talk with us about making your next event a breeze.

All The Small Things

When planning a wedding, it is rarely “The Big Things” that people find to be their struggle. Finding things like a facility and a DJ and a caterer are all elements that are so important, but once they are done, they’re done. But the small things – all the little details – are what can really give people headaches. The lists roll through your mind at night and keep you up, invading your dreams and making you feel overwhelmed. We speak with Brides each day who are having this “detail dilemma.”

We get it – the details are what make your big day unique, and we love them! The colors, the favors, the flowers, the linens, the lighting…all the little touches that make your ideas come to life. Run with that, but make sure to not run so far that you can’t cross that finish line (read: walk down the aisle…because that is the idea here, right?!). Here are some tips to help you quit sweating the small stuff:

1. Make a list. Make two or three. Have a whole book of lists! There are apps on your smart phone that will help you, or break out a good old-fashioned pen and legal pad. List making will help you get it out of your brain and down onto paper. Who knows, maybe once you see it there in front of you, it won’t seem so insurmountable? List making can also help you prioritize. Ask yourself which details are most important – especially if you are dealing with time or financial constraints.

2. Create a timeline. Your own timeline. Ditch the magazine timeline that has you really sweating by the time you are done reading. Figure out what you need to do, and how much time you have, and then line it all out. Make sure you get things done early enough that the week of your wedding isn’t spent tying bows on favors and folding programs. Be sure to include important payments dates, etc.

3. Enlist some help. Come to us first. We can help with SO MUCH – it is our pleasure to take as much off of your plate as you will allow us. And then after that, whatever we are unable to assist you with, round-up those cousins and neighbors and pre-teens that have been begging to help. Only allow people who will actually make you feel less stressed – steer clear of folks that will call you at midnight panicking (you have your own middle of the night panicking to handle!) or will be panic attack prone on the wedding day. Ask those you trust to handle these important tasks. *One of the common mistakes our brides will make is rounding up their crew before coming to us, you do not need a clean up crew or someone to set up your favors, etc…we have that covered.*

4. Organize and Label. Putting finished products in boxes can help you feel a world better. Start boxing up all the ceremony items and decor (silk petals, unity candle or sand, guest book and pen, etc) and then label those boxes – it will save you a step in the long run. Then do the same for the reception items. If you are providing your own centerpieces for us to set up, take a picture of what you are wanting and tape it to the top of the boxes with the centerpiece items. Just seeing that pile of boxes and storage containers all stacked up will make you feel like you can start checking things off those checklists.

5. Schedule a time to come in and speak with one of our coordinators. If any of these items seems too stressful – scrap it and just come see us. We can help you make lists and timelines. When it gets much closer to your wedding here, we can even help you start stacking those boxes on our wall and not your living room’s!

6. Keep it all in perspective. Remember, as amazing and fun as all the little details are, this day is about you marrying your best friend. At the end of the day, that is the only detail that truly matters.

Here are some amazing details from some recent weddings here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens:

Blue and Purple Details

Bar Details

Rustic Details for Bar

Rustic Centerpiece Design Details

Wheat in the Groom’s Bout
Incorporates Rustic Detail

The amount of attention to detail
given to this cake helped add so much
to the rustic/glam theme.

So many design details went into decorating
this cake table.

Close up of tree stump cake stand. Incredible.

Tree stump, antler, and lantern details.

AMAZING Centerpiece Details!

Truly, the little things.

Guest book table decor.

Precious signs with burlap chair ties, detail shot of centerpiece, gorgeous attention to detail given to the flowers.

Details meant for an outside ceremony moved indoors to create the perfect rustic feel in the Chapel. Crates, Tin Cans, Baby’s Breath. Simple as that.

Black and Turquoise Guestbook, Unity Sand and Flower Girl Basket Details.

Floral and Feather Details!

Centerpiece, Toasting Flute, Cake Topper Detail

The cake was dreamed up by the Bride and designed by Rosebeary’s to mimic the Bride’s dress – the applique details and the ruffles. FABULOUS!

DIY Detail. Love it!