When you think of wedding receptions, what is the one thing that they all have? A “stately mountain of snowy frosting and royal icing blossoms,” (from “The Perfect Wedding Cake” by Kate Manchester), aka the wedding cake! Not bad for a dessert which has its roots clear back to the Roman Empire. But back then, there was no beautifully decorated, sweet confection. Instead, a loaf of barley bread was broken over the bride’s head to symbolize her fertility. Can you imagine picking crumbs out of your hair? As the barley bread evolved into today’s wedding cake, the symbolism of the cake and the cake cutting ceremony evolved into your first joint act as a married couple, your commitment to provide for each other, and the sweet life you will share together.
Your wedding cake should taste absolutely wonderful, however, it is not just dessert. Your wedding cake will be an integral part of the reception decor, so plan accordingly and place it in a strategic location where all of your guests can easily see it. How about in the center of the dance floor? It can be removed after the cake cutting ceremony – table and all – so you have room for your first dance as husband and wife. Just be sure that someone carefully cleans up any stray icing that may hit the floor which can be very slippery and dangerous. Or how about placing your wedding cake in a corner with pin lights or a small spotlight highlighting its glory?
The Statue of Liberty has its pedestal, a queen has her throne, the cake table needs to be worthy to hold such a beautiful creation. Like a beautiful frame that surrounds a lovely painting, the cake table should be decorated to complement the wonderful confection that it holds. Decorating the cake table needn’t be time consuming nor expensive. You may already have something appropriate in your closet or on the dining room table. A lace tablecloth would be lovely draped across the cake table. A length of tulle loosely billowed on the top of the table gives the impression of your cake floating on clouds. Or, swag the table with tulle, organza, lame, or garlands of greenery and flowers.
If your motto is “Life’s too short, eat dessert first,” then you may want to go all out with your desserts. Have a dessert bar with trays of different scrumptious delicacies – iced cookies, brownies, mini bite-sized cheesecakes – with your wedding cake as the centerpiece. And speaking of centerpieces, if one large cake to feed hundreds of people isn’t your thing, how about a small (only big enough for two) cake which you and your new spouse get to cut and feed each other, and in place of the more traditional floral or candle centerpieces for each guest table, have a single tiered cake that serves 8-10 people.
Cake Toppers – The Crowning Glory>
You’re finished sampling yummy cake and icing flavors and have picked out your wedding cake. What’s next? Well, what to put on top of the cake, of course! While an arrangement of fresh flowers is one of the most popular choices, cake topper figurines are making a huge comeback. Traditional choices are doves, hearts and a bride & groom. Who can go wrong with such romantic icons? But they aren’t the only way to top your cake.
If you’re having a specific theme to your wedding, a cake topper is an excellent place to further express it. How about a snowflake figurine for a winter wedding? Perhaps pumpkins or gourds for a fall wedding – either a pretty figurine, or something yummy made out of marzipan. Dolphins or starfish would be perfect for a beach theme.
Seasonal fruits and berries are a delicious, and practical choice. Bunches of gorgeous grapes, or fresh strawberries or blueberries have such beautiful colors that add a lovely rich look – so perfect for spring or summer weddings. If you’re having a winter wedding, use small sugared fruits like apples and pears.
New trends in cake toppers include candles (make sure your baker reinforces the cake where the candles will be placed, so the weight of the candles don’t cause them to sink into the cake), vintage bride & groom toppers, and monograms – several companies offer silver or Swarovski crystal monogram cake toppers. And speaking of Swarovski, their wedding cake jewelry of romantic sprays of heart-shaped crystal drops adds an extra touch of glitz and glitter.
The possibilities are truly endless! Happy Endings
About The Author: Jean Neuhart is the owner of Weddings From The Heart. As a Professional Bridal Consultant, she helps busy brides and their fiances plan creative, personalized and stress-free weddings. Visit Jean at www.weddingsfromtheheart.net. You can e-mail her at jean[at]weddingsfromtheheart.net.