Christie Howieson is the talent behind Glasgow baker Cake Days a Week, known for its eye-catching and whimsical celebration cakes. Were there tiers of joy when she married Jonny Boyle at St Luke’s and the Winged Ox on 11th August 2022?
Photography | Cat Markie
“Our wedding was the total opposite of what I’m used to catering for – I referred to it as a kids’ party on steroids,” laughs wedding cake-maker extraordinaire Christie Howieson, whose fun and alternative August wedding to Jonny in Glasgow’s east end wowed its 140 guests.
“I am known for being a colourful person and it was crucial that this was reflected in our plans. I shied away from the traditional white wedding aesthetic, as I wanted our guests to feel they’d never been to a wedding like it before – and I’m so happy that we managed to achieve exactly that. I wanted neon, tassel balloons, disco balls, wild flowers and a riot of colour!”
It wasn’t plain sailing all the way to the top of the balloon-festooned aisle, however. Christie and Jonny had in fact already planned a wedding in Spain before two years’ worth of Covid cancellations scuppered their dream. Optimist Christie wasn’t too downbeat about it, though: “It helped us figure out exactly what we needed to do to make it work in Scotland,” she explains.
First in line was booking St Luke’s and the Winged Ox. “It was one of the first places we looked at. It’s a beautiful renovated church that offers the perfect mix of old-fashioned architecture with a warm, modern touch,” she says. The only date that was available was 11th August 2022, which, incredibly, was the couple’s 11th anniversary. “We felt like someone somewhere was telling us that this was meant to be,” muses Christie.
Once the date was in the diary, she and Jonny started to assemble a cast of vendors to help bring their rainbow-bright moodboard to life. “I was very clear about what I wanted, but I also trusted the suppliers I’d selected to do what they are experts at doing,” says Christie.
Even with her industry knowledge and contacts, planning a wedding still had some surprises in store for the bride. “We budgeted £15,000, but even with that sum put aside, I was taken aback by how expensive things can be. The money disappears very quickly once you begin booking suppliers and deposits start leaving your bank account left, right and centre,” she recalls.
The couple also discovered that trying to keep others happy with their plans was nigh-on impossible. “I found that side of things quite stressful. I wish I hadn’t, but I did. It was a tough task that I struggled with at times,” Christie confides. “I made my peace with it by accepting that you can’t control everything (or everyone!) and would urge other couples feeling the same way to remember it is just one day.”
One of the bride’s favourite moments was walking down the aisle in front of the 70 assembled guests wearing a stunning and unique two-piece Watters wedding dress comprising a beaded bustier and tulle skirt. “I was adamant that I wanted to feel my age and wear a dress that was true to my style,” she explains.
“Shopping for wedding dresses made me feel older, until I went to Anne Priscilla Bridal in Glasgow. Its fashionable approach to bridal style was exactly what I was looking for, and the two-piece I found there was absolutely perfect”.
And what about the day’s other focal point, the statuesque pink seven-tier wonder of a wedding cake? “I wanted to create a cake I’d never done before – and that guests had never seen before,” says the bride.
“I used my great-gran’s recipe for vanilla sponge, filled with lemon, raspberry and white chocolate. It was colourful, vibrant and so big that we couldn’t fit it through the door at St Luke’s and I had to assemble it there! It meant I was left to tier it up in between the room change on the day – all while wearing my wedding dress,” giggles Christie.
After the cake was polished off, the 140 evening guests burned off the calories on the dancefloor as the bride and groom went head to head in a live DJ battle. Now that’s a sweet ending!
Christie’s insider tip: “Even though I’m a wedding cake designer, I usually point out to my clients that cake can get left on tables and forgotten about very easily at weddings. That’s why I’m an advocate of using false tiers – as I did with my own wedding cake. That way, the couple aren’t needlessly wasting food. I think it’s an important thing to be upfront and honest about,” says Christie.
Cake Cake Days A Week
Venue St Luke’s and the Winged Ox
Celebrant Maureen Kettle, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride’s dress Watters two-piece from Anne Priscilla Bridal
Makeup Rachel Lister
Hair Touch of Glamour
Bridesmaid dresses ASOS
Flower girl dresses M&S
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Flowers Floristic Designs
Stationery Peach Wolfe Paper Co.
Venue decor Thrill Event
Engagement and wedding rings Sarah Brown Jewellery
Reception music Steven at Beyond Entertainment
Filmmaker The Wedding Train (see highlights here)
Transport White wedding taxi from Glasgow Taxis