his and hers sweets: dia de los muertos

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Now for the second post in our His and Hers Sweets blog series with Goldenrod Pastries and Jenny Rawson Photography. When planning the editorial calendar for this series, I knew I wanted to incorporate Dia de los Muertos into our November shoot. This holiday, observed on November first, honors the Mexican tradition of celebrating the lives of departed loved ones using vibrant flowers, colorful sugar sculls, and bright papel picado banners.

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About the Pastries (from Angela): I wanted to do my take on some classic Mexican sweets. Churros are so great because they have such a unique, organic shape – and . Instead of doing the classic cinnamon and sugar coating on these, I chose to use cardamom and sugar. I wish you could smell them! The cinnamon cake includes a rich dulce de leche that was infused with star anise and cardamom pods, then roasted cashews were added. Both of these desserts would be unique and exciting additions to any wedding menu.

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About the Styling: Even though Dia de los Muertos is known for it’s bright colors, we wanted to keep the look and feel of the shoot bridal. In the spirit of the holiday, we created a Mexican-inspired altar or ofrenda filled with candles and dark red garden roses. We kept everything neutral, so the focus remained on the enticing dulce de leche dripping down the cake and the dramatic dark chocolate accompanying the churros.

Intricately decorated sugar skulls and elaborate face painting have become well-known symbols of Dia de los Muertos. Lindsay had the great idea of recreating these patterns in bridal white, so we had Sharon of Arbor Street Studios hand-paint these detailed designs on our model’s forearms like lace gloves. The painting looked stunning on her olive skin and paired beautiful with the lace wedding gown from Ready or Knot.

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We invited a few of our vendor friends to help bring the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos to our photo shoot. A big thank you to:

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His and Hers Sweets: Beer Lovers

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We first met Angela of Goldenrod Pastries last year when she hired us to design and plan her wedding. (Check out her wedding photos here and here!) From our first meeting (when she gifted us with her blueberry cream cookies), we were hooked on her mad pastry skills. We started having Angela-withdrawal after we completed her wedding last February, so Lindsay and I decided to start the His and Hers Sweets blog series, so we can share Angela’s talent with all of our readers. Angela is our go-to for out of the box wedding pastries, and my husband knows that all birthday cakes must be ordered through Angela (hint! hint! my birthday is next week).

Each month Angela will create two desserts based on a pre-determined theme. One pastry will be more masculine (in texture, shape, ingredients, etc) and one will be more feminine to show how different pastries pair together.

Photography by Jenny Rawson

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About the Pastries:

When we started talking about this shoot, my first thoughts went to Oktoberfest and the flavors around the fall harvest. I wanted to put beer in everything, but it just didn’t seem right. If you’re already drinking beer, do you need to eat it, too? I went to some of my greatest memories in Belgium, with one of my best friends. We drank beer and ate sweets on a really brisk night. We had paper cones filled oliebollen, covered in mountains of powdered sugar, from a street fair. I added lemon zest and Nebraska City apples to these free-form doughnuts to lighten them a little. The speculoos were inspired by a bakery in Bruges – with deep flavors of cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. So amazing. To take them beyond the traditional version, I made them into little sandwiches with salted caramel buttercream, some dark Belgian chocolate, and roasted pistachios. Sitting down with a big glass of my favorite Belgian beer and these sweets would be an autumn dream come true for me.

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About the Styling:

We love styling dessert displays for our clients’ weddings, so we’ve amassed a large collection of different food presentation items over the years. Our beer-themed pastry shoot allowed us to incorporate materials you’d see in your favorite pub such as dark natural wood and slate. I pictured our beer lovers enjoying a picnic with their favorite microbrew, so we made colorful paper cones for the oliebollen to fit perfectly into a four-pack beer carrier.

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Drooling yet!?! We’ll be sharing more delicious pairings next month!

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