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So Berry Sweet
Lovely to look at and downright delicious, these vibrant fruits can put a summery twist on flowers, invitations, cakes, and more. Here are a bushel of fresh ideas, ripe for the picking.
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Edible Escort Cards
No need to tart up fruit; berries and currants are already irresistible when displayed, farm stand-style, in Texas Basket's half-pint containers. Attach escort cards like these -- printed by Moontree Letterpress and calligraphed by Wendy Cook for Bell'occhio -- to Royal Paper wooden stirrers (cooksdirect.com) and stand them in the baskets. The finished product does double duty as an amuse-bouche that leads guests to tables.
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When designing your posy, apply the gardener's adage "If it grows together, it goes together." This sweet-as-cobbler clutch pairs flowering strawberries and sweet peas with blush and white Fair Bianca roses, starlike tweedia, and Canterbury bells. The mix of blooms and fruit gives off a delicate fragrance that will waft down the aisle, just like its fluttery green silk-satin ribbon.
75mm Mokuba New York ribbon in color #38 (212-869-8900).
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Strawberry Fields Stationery
Fruit and flowers can outlast the season when they're artistically rendered on invitations so enchanting that guests will consider them keepsakes. These wreaths and vines were hand-drawn by Cynthia Warren and printed by Moontree Letterpress. For the day of, incorporate the motif elsewhere, like on your menu cards.
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Tiers of Joy
This cake, made by contributing editor Wendy Kromer of Wendy Kromer Confections in Sandusky, Ohio, only looks complicated to decorate. In fact, the wickerwork pattern gracing its five square layers was created by pressing a Stampworx 2000 chicken-wire stamp onto marzipan blended with fondant. Golden raspberries crafted from gum paste wind their way around the middle and sit on top, but you could sub in any fresh fruit that works with your palette.
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We've all seen (and devoured) chocolate-covered strawberries, but the tables are turned in Bell'occhio's Amandes de Saint Valentin favors. Fruit-shaped tissue paper packets with leafy bows are stuffed with caramelized almonds dipped in dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa. Not a chocoholic? Ask that the "fruit" be filled with sea-salt caramels instead.
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These light-as-a-cloud beauties are packed with Bavarian cream mixed with pureed fruit, and trimmed with ladyfingers and a band of red ribbon. But it's the heap of berries on top that makes partygoers want to dive in.
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Take a cue from your gown's hue for a tablescape that's ethereal and modern. Here, the bouquet's blossoms show up again (joined by scented geranium leaves) in Frances Palmer ceramic vases. An openwork linen runner makes a pastoral background.
A tip from our expert: Keep the decor relaxed. "Let berries fall the way they naturally grow -- just dress them up with delicate white flowers," advises Kate Berry, Martha Stewart Weddings style director.
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Surprise guests with treats that are out of the ordinary and out of this world.
Clockwise from top: raspberry cream cookies; chocolate strawberry candies (candyaisle.com); strawberry-pistachio tartlets; blueberry gumdrops (sweetlifeny.com); fruit-topped poppy seed pavlovas; raspberry candies (candywarehouse.com); rose gelee; custom Papabubble candies; and berry financiers.
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Home, Sweet Home
Giving new meaning to "architectural digest," this four-tier cake by Kromer features adornments inspired by the moldings in stately houses. The flourishes, including a monogram, echo the stationery suite (note: white-on-white piping would create an equally elegant look). On the inside, incorporate a new flavor, such as red velvet or dark chocolate.