2009 BOB Awards: Bridal Gurus


Lisa Toohey of Cake Expressions by Lisa bakes sugary sweet and detailed creations.


Lisa Toohey (pictured) of Cake Expressions by Lisa has been spreading on the love (and the buttercream and the fondant) for Charlotte couples for more than fifteen years, and her portfolio has the sugary goods to prove it. Toohey, whose work has been featured on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen, has designed cakes in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, an electric guitar, and a popping bottle of champagne. She’s also mastered confections that fit all molds: modern, traditional, chic, colorful, flower filled, monogrammed, and whimsical. Best of all, the eleven different flavors are incredibly tasty.


Ivy Robinson’s weddings have been featured on Whose Wedding Is It Anyway and Married Away, but it’s not the glow of the spotlight that drives this bubbly Charlotte planner — it’s the challenge of integrating each and every couple’s personalities into a truly unique wedding design. For Robinson, every bride is a new BFF, and while she’s planned for brides across the country, she loves working with couples here in the Queen City because it allows her to spend time seeking out the little details — the home décor they collect, the dominant colors in their closet, the photos on their mantel — that help her design a day that is a testament to the unique style of the duo walking down the aisle.
Ivy Robinson Weddings and Events, 2910 Selwyn Ave., 704-347-3963


Jami Svay‘s hair and makeup talents have been putting the finishing touches on the beautiful people who populate fashion editorial spreads and gleaming advertisements for years (Ralph Lauren, American Express, and Neiman Marcus to name a few), but it’s her impeccable work in the nonmodel world that garners her guru status. Svay is a master at creating a coif that captures the style of a bridal gown, the theme of the wedding day, and the individual beauty of each bride. From impeccable, classic up-dos and sleek blowouts to whimsically romantic tresses, her styles work for any kind of bride.


Husband-and-wife team Leslie and Bruce Schlernitzauer of Porcupine Provisions are known for their innovative menu ideas, which consistently put a twist on traditional wedding fare. They offer delicious dishes including grouper cakes, pan-seared duck with plum dipping sauce, and lobster paella. They design menus that fit every taste and whim of the bride and groom, and they even offer the option of a decadent seven-course sit-down feast. Their attention to detail and creative presentation are impeccable, their service is personalized and thorough, and their food, of course, is delicious.


Samantha Smith of Potion has been primping the pretty faces of Queen City brides for a decade, and she takes her job seriously. "It’s the day that every woman becomes a supermodel. I want each bride to look back on the photos and love how they looked on their wedding day," she says. Stocking the shelves at one of the city’s top beauty shops has made her an expert on what works. Her insider tip? She won’t go near a blushing bride on her big day without three must-have products in her arsenal: Becca’s Silky Hydrating Primer, Bare Minerals Weather Everything Waterproof Mascara, and false lashes.
9816 Rea Rd., Ste. D 704-541-8182