Weddings October 13, 2010
Let Them Eat Cake
Wedding Cakes

By their very nature, weddings are statements of emotion, intent, and personal style. Every aspect of the ceremony and celebration—right down to the wedding cake—should reflect the personalities and preferences of a couple and their families.

Whether stately and dignified or frothy and flourished, for several generations traditional wedding cakes were predictable, white-on-white affairs—white cake, frosted and trimmed in white, perhaps with a sprinkling of silver. That is no longer the case. Wedding cakes are now strong statements of individual style and celebration, from elegant white tiers concealing chocolate and raspberries to a rakishly tilted confection of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies blocks stacked to create a fairy tale castle with brightly colored banners, bejeweled candy windows, and, of course, a prince on a white steed. Any rules there once may have been seem to have vanished without a trace.

Contemporary, neo-traditional wedding cakes are likely to be dressed in elegantly clean lines and design, such as simple tone-on-tone piping, or fine white details on softly tinted frostings. Sugar-paste passementerie may mimic the lace, beading, or pearls on the bride’s gown. The new couple’s monogram may appear in carefully laid stitches of buttercream frosting. Textures may even be embossed on the frosting, for an unusual, bas-relief approach. A winter wedding in Sun Valley seems the natural setting for a cake covered in sugary snowflakes and nestled into a billowing cloud of white cotton candy.

Bright colors and bold structures are also showing up at weddings, flaunting whimsy and flair. Seuss-like, asymmetrical, wildly-stacked layers whirl with kaleidoscopic fondant geometry and gum-paste baubles. On these cakes, the traditional plastic bride and groom cake toppers may have morphed into fantastic marzipan kissing bumblebees mounted on bobbing wires.

Chocolate has long been associated with love, so it seems the perfect end to a romantic wedding celebration. A symbol of passion, chocolate is earthy, complex, and rich. Its deep color and intoxicating scent are the perfect foil to stenciled gold powder, gold leaf, fine gold wire, or spun sugar shaped into delicate bird’s nests with lovebirds in residence.

Toppers and trims offer another way to express personal style on wedding cakes. Trimming the base of each cake tier with dangling crystal fringe adds a glint of light, and perhaps color. Voluminous fresh flowers are a gloriously indulgent choice. Delectable fresh fruit, gilded or frosted with granulated sugar, offers a lush finishing touch. A sculpted sugar goblet, symbolizing the sacred union of marriage, may be engraved with the couple’s monogram. Sterling silver initials add an elegant grace note to the cake, and provide the new couple with a lasting reminder of their celebration.