Winter Solstice Steampunk Wedding

I've been waiting for the perfect time to blog one of our FAVORITE weddings from last winter.  Well, the January throes of winter just a few weeks after their one year anniversary seems the perfect timing.  The darkness in Alaska can be challenging, but I'm one of those folks who embraces it and, in fact, loves how our seasons are so different and drastic. Bring on the frozen beauty!  

What more perfect day than the Winter Solstice to celebrate this couple's wedding?  Courtney came to me when they were about mid-way through the planning process.  They had a date, a venue and a photographer, but not much else.  In our first meeting we connected and I could feel that she was struggling with finding anything that was going to make her day feel special.  We spent time looking through photos, but when we parted I could tell that she was hoping for something more.  After another meeting and a whole lot of coffee and dreaming, I just had a hunch that a Steampunk theme was perfect for them, and it was.  I think we all had so much fun with this because not only was it something very different for Alaska, but it was also the couple's style to an absolute "T."  Is there anything better?  On the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year in Alaska, we fully embraced the beauty of winter, some outside of the box designs, and of course the beautiful love between Courtney and Mike.  Not a detail was left untouched.  Each table was themed to embrace the genre.  "The Timekeepers", "The Literary Minds",  "The Inventors", etc. And each centerpiece was a collection of beautiful florals, antiques and gadgets to reflect the table's theme.  Lots of industrial gadgets, coupled with soft stationary and laces, pearls and hints of purple and mixed metals, made this a great mixture of elegant and moody. The topsy turvy cake and the black chandelier that hung above their sweetheart table were two of my favorite design elements of the evening.  The most fun was seeing the guests find their table and look at all of the fun trinkets that were in their category.  It set the mood for the entire evening.  And they offered a lot of fun photo props!

We were so honored to plan and design such a memorable day for these two.  We realize that what we do takes not only trust, but a lot of vision to hand over something so important and let us run with it.  It was intimate, fun and let me tell you the dance floor was full until the very last song played out.  Even their grandparents stayed for the entirety and danced the night away!  (Cue the best surprise ever, the Groom's grandmother flew in as a complete surprise from down south to attend the wedding.) Courtney and Mike, you are a wonderful match and thank you so much for letting us take part in your wedding!  Congratulations on your first year of marriage!

Planning + Design - Blomma Designs

Photography - Relic Photographic

Florals - Bloomsbury Blooms

Draping + Lighting - Special Events Alaska

Venue - The Alyeska Resort

DJ - R&R Productions

Antiques - BeVintage Rentals

Hair and MUA - Roxanne from The Beehive Beaty Salon

Cake - Scott Fausz 

Fine Art and Florals - Seeing Alaska in a Different Light

I'm always striving to challenge myself.  Move out of my comfort zone artistically and take a few risks.  Not only is it good for the soul, it's great for the learning process and keeping my mind fresh and always thinking of new ways to make our clients feel that their wedding is unique.  We teamed up with a group of talented women, and had some fun seeing Alaska in a different way for this shoot.  Our landscapes are magical, but there's also beauty in the rugged and industrial core of Anchorage.  It definitely has a certain grit to it that's almost like a reflection of living here.  It's harsh and wonderful all at the same time. This was all about the details and artistry, and it made my heart so very happy!

Photography - Anne Marie Moran

Florals - Blomma Designs and Bloomsbury Blooms

Gowns - Bateau Bridal Boutique - Truvelle Bridal - Theia Couture

HMUA - Mary Alice from Ebb Flo Hair Boutique

Models - Meghan Kim and Risha Toci

Mural - Justin Parsons

Venue - Blomma Designs Studio and Downtown Anchorage

Holiday Entertaining Part 2 - The Best (and easiest) hor d'oeuvre - Baked Brie

This Holiday season we're determined to bring entertaining back home!  In part 2 of our Holiday Entertaining Series I'm sharing a favorite - Baked Brie.  Whether you're hosting, or you have to bring something to share for a holiday event, baked brie is my go-to choice.  It's as easy as it is delicious!  There are a plethora of variations, and it's really hard to mess this up short of baking it too long.  The best part is that it is decadent and always one of the first dishes to go at any gathering I've shared it with others.  I'm going to share with you my two favorite ways of creating this dish.

#1 Baked Brie with Blackberry Compote and Spiced Mixed Nuts:

Don't feel intimidated by the name!  In the kitchen this took me less than 45 minutes total, and if you want to cheat you can buy pre-made mixed nuts at the store to cut your time to almost nothing.  Find a nice platter or cake stand to plate it on and serve it with salty and crunchy crackers for a nice balance of sweet and savory.  

You will need:

  • 1 cup mixed nuts (I like to use pecans and pistachios)
  • ½ tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (don't go overboard!)
  • 3 cups blackberries - set aside 1 cup for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz wheel of Brie cheese
  • Crackers for serving
  • Fresh Rosemary to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. If you're making your own mixed nuts, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place nuts on the sheet and toast for 12 minutes or until they smell toasty.
  3. While they are roasting, mix together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  4. Place the hot mixed nuts into the mixture and stir to evenly coat. Spread the nuts back onto the baking sheet on a single layer and bake for another 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries, lemon juice, honey, and vanilla on medium heat. Be sure to stir regularly. As you notice the berries liquify, turn the heat up to medium. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until it has the constancy of syrup.
  6. Carefully slice away the top of the Brie rind and discard it. Leave the sides intact. Bake for 15 minutes or until melted through and you can see it slightly bubbling.
  7. Top the baked Brie with blackberry compote and mixed nuts mixture.
  8. Garnish with the remaining blackberries and fresh rosemary.
  9. Serve immediately with crackers.
  10. You will have extra blackberry compote. I love to serve this over crepes and pancakes on the weekend with some fresh whipped cream!  The compote will keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

 

#2 Baked Brie En Croute: 

This is THE easiest recipe in the world!  If you need something that is just as decadent but a little bit quicker, I would recommend this.  It's also easy to transport if you need something delicious to bring to your next holiday party.  To be honest, I rarely use a recipe for this and improvise with ingredients all the time as it's pretty fail safe.  Your filling can be salty or sweet and the type of Brie I use is whatever I find readily available at the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz wheel Brie cheese
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (package comes with 2 sheets)
  • Your filling of choice (here I re-used the blackberry compote)
  • crackers for serving

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Lay the puff pastry out on buttered or greased cookie sheet. Place the Brie in the center of the pastry. Spread your filling of choice on top of the Brie in a thick layer. Gather up the edges of the dough and evenly wrap around the Brie. Gently press down on the dough ends at the top to ensure that you have a solid seal.  I always do a full 360 view of the Brie to ensure there are no holes in the pastry as you don't want your filling to leak and burn in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Other ideas for fillings are any jellies, preserves, nuts and fresh berries and I particularly know that my family favors a spicy hot pepper jelly that we buy at Costco.  It's the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and salty!

Whether you're a novice or a pro in the kitchen, both of these recipes are delightful.  We hope you're inspired to try one for your next gathering!  Happy holidays from Blomma Designs!

 

Photos - Erica Rose Photography