Laura Begley and Matthew Bledsoe taste tested wedding cake flavors at Hannah Meade's The Cake Gallery.
Editor’s note: Laura Begley and Matthew Bledsoe are the winners of the
Dream Wedding package — valued at $25,000 — and will be married on Sept. 14,
2013 at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City. The Times-News will follow their
wedding story throughout the year.
For previous stories in this series, click below.Dream Wedding 2013: Couple goes from rustic nuptials to extravagant event
Laura Begley says out of all of the decisions she and her fiancé, Matthew
Bledsoe, have made for their upcoming wedding, choosing what Matthew and his
groomsmen will wear was by far the easiest.
Laura and Matthew are the winners of the Dream Wedding presented by the
Kingsport Times-News and sponsored by Sophisticated Smiles by Angela Cameron,
D.D.S., P.C. Since learning they were the lucky couple in October, the two have
been meeting with some of the vendors who will help make their special day a
reality. Laura and Matthew have already met with Tricia’s By Design, the
Carnegie Hotel, Anna Hedges Photography and Rainbow’s End Floral.
Recently, Laura and Matthew met with Gaby Tipton and Rhonda Watlington at
Dress to Impress Bridal and Formal Wear in Kingsport to discuss what Matthew and
his groomsmen will wear.
“Back in October, when Matthew and I were waiting to hear the announcement
for who won the Dream Wedding at the Women’s Expo, we were goofing off and
watching the fashion show they were having prior to announcing the winners. We
were laughing and having fun picking out what we thought would look the best for
our wedding. So, when Dress to Impress had their models walk the stage in their
suits, Matthew and I both knew right away which one we would want if we won the
Dream Wedding,” said Laura.
Laura says already having an idea about what suit she and Matthew liked was
beneficial to this meeting.
“Gaby and Rhonda were so helpful when we were trying to make decisions and
they knew exactly what suit Matthew was talking about when he said, ‘The one at
the fashion show!’ And, surprise, surprise, that’s the one we ended up picking
out for the guys to wear. Out of all of our meetings so far, this meeting was
probably the easiest. It could be because it was all about Matthew and his guys
and I had very little involvement. Plus knowing what we wanted way back in
October definitely helped, too.”
Initially, Matthew tried on a dark gray suit with a lavender vest and
“I loved this suit on him, but he refused to choose anything but the light
gray, which was his choice at the Women’s Expo. So, of course we went with the
light gray. And I have to admit, after seeing him in both the dark gray and
light gray, I love the light gray the best,” Laura said.
Laura said Gaby and Rhonda also helped them pick out the perfect shade of
lavender for the vests and ties.
“The suits are exactly what Laura and I have been looking for since the
beginning. Not to mention, gray is one of my favorite colors, and I think the
purple that Laura likes, goes really well with it,” Matthew said. “I have always
liked to dress up and I’m looking forward to putting on my suit on our wedding
day. Hopefully, Laura will cry like a baby when she sees me!”
Laura and Matthew also recently spent an evening “taste testing” cakes with
Hannah Meade from The Cake Gallery. For Laura, who says she loves all cake
(except for lemon), this meeting was like being in cake heaven.
“I could eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still want more cake.
Thankfully, I do not do that, but I could! So, needless to say, I was
desperately excited about our cake meeting,” Laura said.
When they arrived at Hannah’s house, which doubles as her bakery, Laura
said there was a glorious spread of 14 different types of cake and six different
types of icing.
“Being the cake expert that she is, Hannah told us which icing to pair with
which cake. The only cake I didn’t try was lemon because I know I hate it! But
other than that, we didn’t taste one bite of cake or icing that wasn’t amazingly
delicious. We also knew immediately after tasting each row which flavors we
wanted for our cake. But we waited until the end of our meeting to make the
final flavor decisions,” Laura said.
After tasting for awhile, Laura says they began to talk about the design of
“Like all of my other wedding ideas, I have been pinning cakes for months
on Pinterest. I showed Hannah some of my Pinterest cakes and she began sketching
one of her own creations,” Laura said. “Her sketch was exactly what I wanted!
And I didn’t even know that’s what I wanted until we met with Hannah. She is
amazing. The actual cake will be a very pale blush color, with hand-painted
ivory lace designs covering all of it. Tiny pearls will also line the bottom of
each layer. Wildflowers similar to my bridesmaid bouquets and centerpieces will
be placed on top with stemmed brooches carefully placed throughout. Our cake
will be vintage.”
Laura said the wedding cake will consist of four layers.
“Of course, the top layer we are keeping. The top and second layer are
going to be Hannah’s vanilla cake with vanilla icing,” Laura said.
The third layer from the top will be a white chocolate strawberry cake with
white chocolate icing. The bottom layer will be what Laura and Matthew say is
their absolute favorite — caramel cake with vanilla icing with a layer of
filling that will be flavored with apple pieces and cinnamon.
“I am so excited about our cake. I love the flavors we have chosen,
especially the caramel cake with the apples and cinnamon. It is so fall and
anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely love fall,” said Laura.
Laura said this cake also takes her back to her and Matthew’s original plan
of having a rustic wedding in autumn on her family farm in Gate City, Va.
And because he thought chocolate cake should be available somewhere at
their wedding, Matthew will also have his own special cake — dark chocolate
caramel with vanilla icing.
“Hannah couldn’t have made our cake experience with her any more perfect.
She is also providing us with a to-go box that she is packing full of cake for
me and Matthew the night of our wedding. So, thankfully, if we don’t get to eat
any real food that night, we will be sure to at least have cake,” Laura
“Our cake is going to be awesome,” Matthew said. “The flavors we have
chosen were pretty much a combination of what Laura and I both love. And I love
the fact that I get my own cake, too!”