our wedding cake may just be the most significant confection you ever buy,” according to www.theknot.com, one of the leading bridal information Web sites. And it’s probably right. It’s not like you regularly match your birthday cake with your outfit and home décor. (Unless you do. No judgment.)
And with the increasing popularity of TV shows such as Ace of Cakes and Amazing Wedding Cakes, it’s difficult for most people to wrap their brains around contemporary cake trends and really figure out their “cake personality.” Are you extreme? Do you want a 4-foot-tall moveable robot cake because you and your fiancé both love robots? Are you more traditional? Do you want seven tiers of white buttercream with red roses? Are cupcakes still cool? Or is it multi-colored macarons now?
To give you some guidance, CityBeat caught up with four local wedding and event planners to get their takes on cake.
“Most brides are still traditional, but putting a twist to it,” says Joyce C. Smith, Master Bridal Consultant at Weddings Unlimited, Inc. (www.weddingsunltd.com).
And that twist can be reflected in the decoration or the presentation.
“The trends in cake tend to mirror the trends in wedding fashion,” says Brigid Horne-Nestor, master bridal consultant at i-do Weddings & Events (www.i-do-weddings.com). “We have been seeing lots of ‘bling’ and embellishments on cakes like sparkly sequins, ornate beaded designs and wedding dress details replicated with the icing.”
“The trends I’m seeing for cakes is a move away from the traditional cake altogether,” says Dora Manuel, owner and event designer of Viva Bella Events (www.vivabellaevents.com). “Brides are opting for a ‘dessert bar’ with mini cakes, cookies and other sweets. Other trends include the ‘cupcake tower cake’ and ‘pie bar’ with assorted types of the couple’s favorite pies.”
“Choose a cake that complements the style and theme of the rest of your wedding,” says Horne-Nestor. “If you are having your reception in a grand ballroom with high ceilings, a taller, dramatic cake will look better than a smaller, simpler design. On the other hand, if you are having an outdoor wedding in a natural, rustic setting, that same elegant multi-tiered cake would look out of place.”
Offering multiple flavors of cake can make decisions easier and provide a nice variety to guests.
“Don’t be afraid to branch out and pick several flavors you like. You don’t have to stick with all white cake anymore,” says Manuel.
Ceclia Rose, a 20-year veteran of the industry from Eventurous (www.eventurous.com),suggests choosing no more than three flavors. “Keeping it to three means that you’ll have a nice quantity of each flavor to serve.”
“Matching the color of the cake to wedding colors is popular but not cast in stone,” says Smith.
“Some brides try to ensure that the wedding cake is not whiter than the wedding dress. In some cases, a stark white cake will make the bride’s off-white or ivory dress look ‘dingy’ in wedding photos,” adds Horne-Nestor.
“It is important for a cake to be an extension, or perhaps the highlight, of the design of your wedding,” says Manuel. “The focus should be on a unique design that ties back to the overall look of the wedding, rather than simply matching colors. For instance, if jewels are used in the decor, the cake can incorporate those same jewels. If a damask pattern is used in printed materials or linens, the cake can use that same pattern.”
Classic or extreme
“Again, this is what the bride wants. Most keep with an overall theme, but there are brides that look outside the box and incorporate the personalities of the couple into the look,” says Smith. “I once had a groom that was a Lego hobbyist and the bride had a bride and groom made from Legos. The cake was still elegant, but it captured the groom’s personality without distracting from the overall vision.”
“If [the bride] is classic, the cake will be too,” says Rose. “If she is dramatic, chances are the cake will reflect this.”
Meet your baker
“For those who love desserts, cake tasting is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding,” Horne-Nestor says. “I recommend visiting at least three bakers before making a final choice. If possible, bring photos of cakes you like and a color swatch and photo of the wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Keep in mind that not all bakeries will create a cake based on a photo. Some will ask you to choose a design from their gallery. If you have your heart set on something you’ve seen in a magazine or online, be sure to ask if the baker creates custom designs before making an appointment.”
“As with other vendors, chose a baker that you feel has listened to you and your preferences,” Manuel adds. “Also, chose someone who is reputable and you feel confident can execute your vision. And of course, you should like the way their cakes taste!”