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henna inspired cake

Maureen Anders, of Anders Ruff, here to share a Modern Indian Inspired Engagement Party styled by my design partner, Adria Ruff of Anders Ruff.  An inviting color palette of orange and hot pink coupled with gorgeous patterns and fabrics help transform a New York apartment into a gorgeous celebration.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Henna hand cookies and Mehndi cake
  • Salted chocolate dipped oranges displayed in ceramic appetizer spoons
  • Orange painted tree branch lined dessert table display

indian bridal shower

mendhi cookies

bridal shower invitation

orange chocolate oreos

orange and pink bridal shower drink station


bridal shower decor

elephant cupcake toppers

bridal shower favors

henna mendhi cookies


tissue tassel garland


adria ruff


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Adria Ruff of Anders Ruff

My best friend Kaye Matheny, recently got engaged (this spring) to a lovely man, Sudha Krishna, in Brooklyn, NYC. As Kaye and Sudha discussed their wedding details, they decided on a small civil ceremony in their favorite Brooklyn Park. I asked her if I could throw a Champagne party the night before the wedding since their wedding plans were going to be somewhat non-traditional. They both agreed and were thrilled by my gesture. I knew right away that I wanted the party to be Indian inspired (in honor of the groom), with a modern twist (in honor of the bride). I decided on bright summer colors, hot pink and orange with hints of ikat, geometric and medallion patterns. Since the wedding was to be held in the park, I used branch elements on the table and in the designs. The party would include a dessert table, champagne bar and appetizer spread. We rented a Brooklyn apartment just for the occasion and for our weekend stay. I had the pleasure of working with two AMAZING photographers while I was hosting the event. Chana Blumes from Chana Blumes Photography is a local Brooklyn photographer and shot some still life pictures the day before the event. Sudha’s brother, Srinivas Krishna who owns Divani films, captured photos early in the evening as guests arrived, and then Chana came by later for late evening photos. I couldn’t have worked with more talented photographers for this memorable event. The pictures tell it all!

Since I was unsure of the apartment space I was renting, I created a large modern branch centerpiece back in Charlotte. I used a long rectangular wooden box and covered with ikat fabric. I painted branches and inserted into the box for an eye-catching statement. I knew I could use this as the focal point, no matter what the background may be. Once I arrived in the Brooklyn apartment, I was able to create a space along a white wall in between windows over looking the city. It was a perfect space for the dessert table.

I layered a white tablecloth with geometric and medallion fabrics, pulling in bright pinks and oranges to set the dessert table. The fabrics represented the ornate patterns I used in the printable graphics.

I painted wooden cake stands hot pink to pop off of the table which was to hold the gorgeous Indian inspired cookies and Mendhi cake.

I wrapped small rectangular cardboard cake boards in ikat fabric to create colorful platters. This was a simple technique that allowed more color and patterns without spending a fortune!

The mendhi cake was created by a local Charlotte vendor, Michele Joyce from The Last Course Bakery.  I hand carried the cake from Charlotte on the plane to NYC! Nightmare, right? But let me tell you… it was worth all the hassle! She baked a coconut cake with mango buttercream and used a jaconde inset to create the Mendhi look. I asked Michele how she created it because I had never seen anything like it… Here is Michele’s description of her cake process:

“You make two kinds of batter, a tuille paste and a jaconde, or sponge cake. The tuille paste is what you create the design with. Often combs or stencils are used with the tuille to create a design on a silpat mat. I hand piped the henna pattern for this cake. Then you freeze the tuille paste design on your baking pan and then pour the sponge cake batter over it and bake it. The two batters bake together into one thin cake and the integrity of the design is maintained because the tuille doesn’t really spread or move while baking. The decor sides can be used to wrap around another cake, frozen mousse, ice cream cake or other yummy concoction.”

I topped the cake off with a mini tissue paper fringe tassel garland to tie in with the garland along the front of the table. The table tassel garland was created by Stacie Keiffer from Fancy and Fold.

The cupcakes were purchased from a local Brooklyn baker. I created a printable cupcake wrap and topped it off with a beautiful fondant elephant topper created by Hakima Lamour from Kima’s Konfections. Elephants are used at traditional Indian weddings, so Kima thought it would be perfect to create these ornate fondant toppers for the occasion.

Various cookies were created for the party! We had Henna Hand sugar cookies by Erin Heflin from Whip It Good Cookies, Mendhi medallion sugar cookies in bright colors by Jennifer Herrera from Sugary Sweet Cupcakes and Treats, and Monogram sugar cookies by Two Smart Cookies. Each cookie vendor used extraordinary detail to match the printable designs along with traditional Indian designs. They truly were pieces of editable art!

Bright colored cake balls with paisley and leaf details by Hakima Lamour from Kima’s Konfections sat in small white paper sweet boxes on top of intricate wooden white trays from Adriana Machado at Blooming Table.

The orange floral printed chocolate covered oreos were created by Megan Pott from Sweet Baketique, and they sat in dainty orange fabric flowers from Adriana Machado at the Blooming Table.

I hand dipped clementine wedges in chocolate and sprinkled with a tiny bit of course salt and sat in white dishes on the fabric covered trays I made. The burst of orange, chocolate and salt was ideal for a savory sweet.

I also displayed clementines in gold painted urns on each side of the branch centerpiece to give symmetry with a hint of gold elements.

Brenda Byers from Great Stitch monogrammed gorgeous orange linen cocktail napkins that were placed on the dessert table.

Above the tree branches, I hung a beautiful sign that said: Kaye & Sudha / Eat, Drink & Be Married / 5.26.13, created to match my printable graphics by Shelley Rabe from Our Hobby to Your Home & Wedding.

The printable graphics that I designed were based on Indian inspired medallions, tree branches and modern geometric patterns. I used hot pinks, oranges and a hint of gold to give a fun summery and festive vibe. I also included monogram letters of K & S throughout the collection. The printable designs included: invitation, party logos adorned with tissue paper ruffles, party flags for toothpicks, cupcake wraps, favor tags and flower bulb favor instructions.

I spray painted oversized wooden letters K & S, and hung above the champagne bar. They were inexpensive and made a bold impact!  I used gold trays to hold bright pink champagne flutes and small clear wine goblets. I accented each pink flute with gold fringe tassels.

The gold glitter swizzle sticks were sent in by Christine Copeland from Desserts & Designs, and I used printable party flags to accent the glassware as well.

I served Champagne, Prosecco, Whiskey and the drink of the night, Mango Peach Bellini.

I spent a couple weeks figuring out a menu that was simple to make, yet elegant for the party. I made all of the appetizer food myself with a few helpers in the kitchen!

I used more fabric covered cardboard cake boards to set out cheeses and breads, and also created washi taped mini forks to go along with the mini clear appetizer plates.

The appetizer menu included:

  • Gourmet Cheeses with honey, nuts & jams
  • Various baguettes and crackers
  • Smoked salmon, prosciutto & cream cheese
  • Olives and cured meats
  • Veggie stacks in sliced baguette wedges
  • Mixed greens with toasted sugared walnuts, cranberries, goat cheese & aged balsamic vinaigrette
  • Mini spinach lasagna roll-ups
  • Mini black bean patties with guacamole
  • Tuna tartare

As I completed each appetizer, we served them to guests on trays (yes, I was cooking in the kitchen for the first 2 hours of the party)!!! However, as each appetizer was completed, the guests could have a taste served fresh from the oven or kitchen.

For the guests to take home, I passed out bright pink Dahlia bulbs. Stacie Keiffer from Fancy and Fold designed and created paper favor boxes for each bulb with tissue paper fringe tassles. I designed the planting instruction guide and a printable favor tag.

I also sat out another gorgeous sign by Shelley Rabe from Our Hobby to your Home that said, “We’re Hitched / 05.26.13” (that was also to be used the next day for the wedding).

Vendor Credit