Spotlight On: Dragonfly Cakes
Dragonfly Cakes is always a popular vendor stand at our events and when you discover the passion put into each and every cake, it's easy to see why. We chatted to owner Fiona Campbell about how she got into the business of creating beautiful wedding cakes.
How did you end up in the wedding business? I’ve always loved cooking so the cake making started with birthday cakes for family and friends. It became a great hobby but I wanted to learn more so I went to Sydney to Planet Cake and started taking classes there.
As I grew more experienced and confident I was thrilled (and a little terrified!) when a friend asked me to make her wedding cake for her. I loved making it and the feedback from the couple, the guests and the venue was so positive that I decided to move from a hobby to a full business.
Dragonfly Cakes was opened in 2012 and it was in my second year that I realised that my passion really lies in wedding cakes so over time the business has evolved to specialise in this area.
What do you love most about weddings? Oh, that’s a hard one because there is so much I love about weddings but I love how every wedding is different.
Whilst there may be a common theme the different choices and personal touches each couple choose to create their vision of the day and then seeing how the combination of different businesses come together to make this dream a reality is amazing and a real privilege to be a part of!
If you had to describe your business in one word, what would it be? Memorable
What kind of couple is typical of your business? We actually get a wide range of bridal couples booking us because we offer a custom design service so we can really create almost anything a couple wants.
Having that diverse client base is wonderful because it keeps the work very interesting. It’s a lot of fun going from designing a traditional multi-tiered centrepiece cake one day to creating a quirky themed wedding cake the next.
Any celebrity weddings you have worked on? Not yet – but I like to think that every bridal couple is a celebrity on their wedding day!
Other memorable weddings? Recently I had a couple who designed their wedding cake by having their three young children draw pictures of each member of the family (including the family pets) and we turned those pictures into a design for the cake. The style of the cake perfectly matched the venue and the couple themselves and it was a real joy taking those pictures which had been clearly drawn with a lot of love and putting them on the cake.
Others that stand out are those with more formal wedding cakes with surprises on the back for the bride or groom – superheroes are very popular to appear there.
A few years back I made a four-tier Super Mario Brothers wedding cake for a couple who fully embracing their love of gaming for their wedding. It was so much fun designing and creating all the little creatures to go on it.
Brides who want to bring in a tribute to their mothers or grandmothers on their cakes are also very special. A design feature that harks back to a previous wedding cake, using specific flowers or a lace design - it's lovely being able to incorporate that kind of memory.
A typical work day for you is? Towards the beginning of the week, the days mainly revolve around administration tasks – quotes, organising design consults, ordering and preparing for the upcoming cakes etc. Most importantly that’s also when the kitchen smells great and there is definitely a scent of chocolate in the air.
As it gets closer to the end of the week then the days turn into decorating where I’m hands-on with the cakes. With the music cranked up the hours just fly past and the cake starts to come to life.
How would you describe your business style? I do love a good chat so meeting people at wedding expos, open days and doing consultations are an absolute joy for me as I’ll take almost any opportunity to talk about cake!
Once we have the design set it’s down to business. I like to be super organised and every cake is a project. Nothing says ‘deadline’ like a wedding day and the couple needs to know that the cake is in good hands.
What is your favourite wedding ‘first dance song’? "At Last" sung by the divine Etta James.
What is the one big mistake you see couples make all the time? Leaving it too close to the date to lock in vendors especially when getting married in peak season … September/October and November book out really quickly each year and it's heartbreaking to turn someone away.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a couple getting married? Take the time on your wedding day to stop and look around you – so many couples pass through their wedding day in a bit of a blur so stop for a moment, eat something, drink something, get some air just the two of you, look around you and enjoy your day.
What trends do you think will be big in the year ahead in weddings? The trend towards vintage luxe continue – lots of light, glass, crystal with metallic which we have been seeing for a while we are still seeing with the cakes. Extended height tiers, metallic finishes (especially gold leaf, rose gold and copper are very popular at the moment), multi-tiered centrepieces, stencilling and lace finishes tying in with the brides dress is still very very popular.
There’s also a big move towards a very organic look as well, cakes with greenery - mosses and succulents - teamed with vintage style or textured finishes make for some really beautiful designs – the more Boho/Boho luxe styles.
The naked, semi-naked & vintage/rough icing finishes will continue to be popular and they work so well with a range of themes and venues. The use of seasonal fruit, macarons, chocolate sails, fresh flowers, meringues, drips and other decorative features can then be used to really personalise the design.
There’s also a lot more couples combining different styles on a cake e.g. vintage icing finishes matched with a metallic feature tier or a semi naked cake with sugar lace tiers accents.