Music is playing, and the celebration is in full swing. The remnants of the meal have been cleared away, but the food festivities are not over. All eyes are now on the sweet treat of the event: the wedding cake. What do you want your guests to see? What do you want them to taste? Let’s explore the world of confections to get your creative juices flowing.
The first thing you need to do is decide who is making your cake. It doesn’t matter if you hire a friend, local business, or famous bakery. What matters is finding out what the baker is capable of creating. This is your special day so don’t take a gamble and open yourself up to disappointment. Once you decide who is making the cake, it’s time to work on the design. If you are unsure of what you want, break it down and make the decisions one by one starting from the ins and outs.
Flavor is a tricky detail. The bride and groom need to be happy first and foremost. Next, the guests need to be considered. Basic flavors are an easy choice because they will satisfy most people (e.g. chocolate, vanilla, strawberry). If you want to be a little more adventurous, there are unconventional flavors such as creamsicle, pistachio & rose, and s’mores. You could also compromise by using more than one flavor in the cake or putting a unique flavor in the filling or frosting, which can be scraped off.
The next interior detail to consider is color. If you want the cake to be more vibrant, request the use of food coloring, and match the hue to the flavor for cohesion (e.g. purple for lavender, yellow for lemon). Elevate the style with ombré layers, and pair the colorful interior with a plain exterior for contrast. If you only want a hint of color, go with a colored filling or a shape baked into a colorless cake. You could also fill the middle with candies that will spill out when the first slice is cut.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to how the cake is decorated. If your tastes lie on the simple side of the spectrum, naked cakes are a trendy choice. The rustic appearance of the exposed layers is complemented by decorations of the natural variety: herbs, flowers, and fruits. Another option is using minimum color and adding visual interest with textures and patterns. If you want a literal interpretation of your personalities, there are cakes for that too. Astronauts can have a galaxy cake, and gamers can have a Mario cake. Geologists can have a geode cake, and painters can have a Monet cake. Other ideas to consider as inspiration are culture(s), the location of a special memory, literary quotes, and scenes from your favorite movie
Many couples select a wedding cake topper made in the likeness of a bride and groom. If you want the likeness to resemble you, detailed figurines are the way to go. The style can be realistic or cartoonish; the outfits can be classic or nontraditional; and the pose can be romantic or humorous. To step further outside of the box, choose animals, objects, or fictional characters as the inspiration. If you want something more abstract, a unicolor figurine or silhouette is striking, especially if the cake is a contrasting color. Simplicity can also make an impression: a short phrase, initials, or “Mr. & Mrs.” If a topper doesn’t fit into your vision, skip it and let the cake design stand on its own.
There will be come a day when compromise is necessary, and this might be one of those times. If you can’t decide how to meld your personalities into one design, add a groom’s cake. The designs can be as simple as two different colors or as intricate as two different scenes. For a little more cohesion, use complementary colors (e.g. white & brown) and compatible themes (e.g. springtime flowers & baseball). To avoid an extra expense, split one cake down the middle. One side can be the bride’s vision, and the other side can be left in the hands of the groom. For more shock value, give the contrasting theme a smaller section. Nothing will surprise guests more than walking around the elegant wedding cake and seeing superheroes at the very last minute
Who says your wedding cake has to be made of cake? A “cake” of crepes is a great breakfast option for morning receptions. For couples who don’t have much of a sweet tooth, skip the sugar and go in a savory direction. The food could be something crazy like sushi or a simple stack of fruits and cheeses. Serve a tower of individual desserts (e.g. brownies, macarons, pies) to maintain the shape of a cake display while still being unconventional. Make the dessert more of a DIY experience and provide an assortment of ingredients for ice cream sundaes. If you want to stick close to tradition but still add a unique touch, serve a small cake with cake pops or cupcakes.
Now that you have a better understanding of the confectionary possibilities, start designing the wedding cake of your dreams. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be creative, this is a chance to add more personality to your special day. Every couple is different therefore every cake should be different. No idea is a bad idea so be vocal about what you want. Go with your gut and don’t allow the long list of options to overwhelm you. Remember that cake should be delicious, not stressful.