Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wedding Cakes- A Sweet Ending to a Great Beginning!

When you're finished reading this post, be sure to check out some Cakes & Cake Ideas on Wediquette's Pinterest page!

Wedding cake is a treat. It's not the oversized, decadent dessert you might go for at a restaurant, but rather a nice, sweet end to an often indulgent feast. While the pieces are often ordinary, the overall picture of the cake is breathtaking, a grand finale, a big Wow factor at a wedding. After the bride and groom cut the cake ceremoniously at a reception venue (feeding it to each other sweetly or smashing it into each other's faces), the rest of the cake is wheeled away to the kitchen to be cut and plated, then can either be served (bringing the cake to the guests) or stationed (bringing the guests to the cake). The top tier is traditionally saved for the bride & groom's 1-year anniversary. Find tips for preserving your top tier here.  The rest of the cake's tiers are cut into approximately 1x2x4" pieces to be enjoyed by your favorite family members and friends, after decorations and your topper are carefully removed, and layers are gently separated by removing boards and dowel rods being used to keep it steady.

Oh, by the way? If you're looking for the perfect song for your Cake Cutting ceremony (and any other part of your wedding), you may want to check out this blog post and the list of options below:

Sweet Disposition (Temper Trap)
For Once in My Life (Stevie Wonder)
Sugar Sugar (Archies)
Cut the Cake (Average White Band)
Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani
Grow Old With You (Adam Sandler, from The Wedding Singer- love this!)
How Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
Sweetest Thing (U2)- Especially if you have a blue-eyed boy and a brown-eyed girl!
I Can't Help Myself/Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch (The Four Tops)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar, or the a capella version from Pitch Perfect)
L-O-V-E (Nat King Cole)
Accidentally In Love (Counting Crows)
You and Me (Dave Matthews Band)
Theme song to Curb Your Enthusiasm
Theme song from Sex and the City
Everlasting Love (Natalie Cole)
I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher)
You Are the Best Thing (Ray LaMontagne)
This I Promise You (NSync)
I Do (Colbie Caillat)
Chapel of Love (Dixie Cups)
Lollipop (The Chordettes)
If I Knew You Were Comin' Id've Baked a Cake (Georgia Gibbs)
When I'm 64 (The Beatles- You know, will you still need me? Will you still feed me...?)
1, 2, 3, 4, I Love You (Plain White T's)

Wedding cakes today often go along with the theme or color scheme of the celebration, and may incorporate some sparkle, ribbon, flowers and a cake topper. You can dress up your cake table with a fancy cloth, some votives and even some flower petals. Many times, the bride & groom will bring their own Cake Server and Knife Set, and the venue may even require it.  Most of the sets I've seen have been personalized with the couple's names and the date, and I've even seen some with a nice little saying or favorite lyrics engraved. BTW, this makes a GREAT gift for a bridal shower (as well as champagne glasses for the couple, if they do not already have a set).

Some couples (and some secretive brides) decide to also have a Groom's Cake. This may be a smaller, more fun cake, based on a favorite sports team, favorite activity, favorite drink, etc., might be ordered in the groom's favorite flavor, and may or may not be a surprise to him. Check out Jenna & Adam's wedding on The Event Crashers to see a refreshing Groom's Cake, and see the ones below for additional ideas (note: the middle 'cake' isn't really cake at all, but the groom did love it! Oh, and the 'cake' on the bottom right is just stacks of Oreo cookies and shots of milk. What fun!). The Groom's cake may be served at the wedding, or may be enjoyed at the Rehearsal Dinner by a smaller group.

When guests are out on the dance floor and having so much fun at your wedding, their cake may be cleared away before they have a chance to eat it, or they might not have any more room to eat another bite after a cool cocktail hour, a spectacular salad and a delicious dinner. Many couples today try to make sure their guests get a piece of cake- even if it means they'll enjoy it after the party is over- by providing cake boxes or bags. To ensure that more cake goes home and less goes in the trash, you should have it stationed and ask somebody (check with venue staff or a friend/family member) to box/bag the remaining pieces. You can put them out on a table with napkins and plastic forks on the way out so that guests can grab a piece as they go, and you could even ask for extra pieces to be packed up to go home with you or your parents at the end of the night. If the cake is served, you can ask servers to deliver some cake bags or boxes to each table so that guests can pack up their own pieces if they'd like.

The bags, little paper/wax paper sleeves, can hold a piece of cake or two and be folded down at the top (with/without a cute little sticker) for easy transport to the hotel, to your house, or to your mouth, if it doesn't make it that far. They should run a few dollars for a pack of 50 blank ones, or you can get them personalized online.  If they're blank, you can always print or stamp them if you'd like. The boxes, 4x4x2", should comfortably hold 1 piece of cake and are available online for about $35/100 (this price includes personalization on eFavorMart. Be careful- there are a lot of boxes out there, and even a lot of cake boxes. For a wedding cake, you'll want to get this size. Also, check your budget and the additional cost of shipping. If it doesn't fit into your budget, know that neither cake bags or boxes are imperative, and no matter how many/few you order, there will most likely be extras at the end of the night. Remember that some people WILL eat their cake at the reception, so you definitely do not need one box for everybody. I think 50% of your total guest count should be plenty.

This Cake Servings Guide by Iced Jems makes it easy to see how many servings each tier of the cake will provide. I found and pinned it a few months ago, and it's been repinned so many times that I'm happy to share it here, too! Note that we can't count the top tier of a cake for guest servings, as it will be saved for you (unless you or the baker specifies otherwise), and that party cake pieces tend to be larger than wedding cake pieces (see the #'s on the left). If you have a large wedding, the baker may provide the cake as well as a Service Cake (often an iced sheet cake, in the same flavor as the main cake, with the sole purpose of being cut for more pieces if the tiered cake is not quite enough).

Thanks to for this AMAZING diagram on how to cut the cake. If you're having a DIY wedding, you may need to know how to cut the cake! This should help. It also gives an idea of how many servings you'll get out of these 2, 3, 4 and 5-tiered cake configurations. 
Sweet! Pun definitely intended ;) 

While it might be hard to find a use for extra boxes, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a use for extra napkins, so if you have room in your budget, consider personalized beverage napkins! They can be placed at your Cocktail Hour stations, the bar(s), and any dessert/coffee stations that you have. Plus, they bring in a little more love, a little more fun, a little more color, and help make it all a little more personal- plus, everyone will see these at some point in the celebration! These run about $35/50 on Wedding Paper Divas and are available in a variety of colors. Plus, you can see a sample of your design before the napkins are printed. Note: You want beverage napkins (not larger dinner napkins), about 4.75 inches square. If you're ordering in sets of 50 or 100, feel free to switch it up and get more than one color and design! You can get one for the bar that says Let's Drink! and one for food stations that says Let's Eat!, or something equally fun. 

Wow it up!- It's your wedding, so make it your cake! Some wedding cakes stand out because they're so fancy or beautiful, and some stand out because they- or the way that they're presented- are just so unique. Want your wedding cake to stand out? Consider your relationship, your shared loves, your colors, your alma mater(s), your pet(s), your culture/background/religion, and do something different. 
Dream it up, talk to your baker, and make it happen! Oh, and pick your favorite flavor(s)! These days, bakers have limitless possibilities on the flavors of cake that they offer, and you can most likely mix and match- a layer of this, another layer of that- then offer 2 or more options to your guests! Tip: If you do this, and your cake is stationed, be sure to make little signs telling guests what the cake and icing flavors are. Note: There's a new trend to have unfrosted, or "naked", wedding cakes. What do you think about these? 

I've seen weddings with tiers of cupcakes, and weddings with a small cake on each table. I've seen cake lovingly fed and cake lovingly smashed. I remember cutting the first piece of cake with my husband at our own wedding, and sharing that sweet (unbelievably sweet, as I recall) beginning with him in front of our family and friends. I've also been on the other end- the lucky one who cuts the cake in the kitchen- and sends each piece out with wishes of goodness and happiness. 

History of Wedding Cake-
Wedding cakes have been around for a long time, in some form or another. In Ancient Rome, the wedding ceremony ended with the breaking of a cake of wheat or barley over the bride's head as a symbol of good fortune. The newly married couple ate a few crumbs, and the guests gathered up the remaining crumbs as tokens of good luck. Wondering how we went from that to this? Click here

Did you know about these Wedding Cake Superstitions? Some believe that: 
- Sharing the cake with family and friends increases fertility and prosperity.
- The bride who bakes her own cake is asking for trouble.
- A taste of the cake before the wedding means loss of the husband's love (while a piece of cake kept after the big day increases his fidelity). 
- The newlyweds must cut the first slice together, and every guest must eat a small piece to ensure that the happy couple are blessed with children. 

Whatever you believe, it's clear that a Wedding Cake is something special, something to be enjoyed, and something to symbolize the love and coming together of 2 wonderful people. Have fun with it, and be sure that you and your guests enjoy it! Check out these colorful cakes...

Oh, did you check out that Cakes board on Pinterest?

By the way...

Putting together bathroom baskets? Click here for great tips and inspiration! 

Are you (or your wedding party members) in a wedding party and not quite sure what to do next? Check out this post  to get prepped and rock it! 

Have you thought about what you'll do with your dress after the big dayThis post has some great ideas!

Check out the most popular posts along the sidebar (scroll up!), including Weddings Across the Board- a series devoted to the cultural & traditional awesomeness that goes into wedding celebrations around the world- with coordinating Pinterest boards.

Do you have a request for a wedding or party-related post? Leave a comment! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, by the way? If you're looking for the perfect song for your Cake Cutting ceremony (and any other part of your wedding), you may want to check out this blog post and the list of options below: wedding songs