Pizza? Sushi? Layers of Jello? Meringue? Crepes? Croquembouche? Who says a traditional wedding has to feature a traditional cake?
While your tastes may run to classic silk, satin, lace, organza, and tulle, and a bouquet of sterling roses and freesia may be a must-have for your perfect stroll down an ideal aisle, the concept of a few fondant-covered carrot cake tiers (though yummy!) topped by a smiling bride and groom may not necessarily have to follow suit.
Today’s characteristic wedding cakes can be elegant and simple or sculptural, magazine-perfect confections and in some cases true works of art, with some haute designs costing tens of thousands of dollars. More and more, however, unconventional couples (or conventional duos who like to shake it up!) are choosing to leave the straight and narrow bridal path for more piquant pastures. Redefining the big sweet send-off, creative brides and grooms are finding ways to express themselves in dessert towers that feature cupcakes (certainly not new but providing mini-canvases for pops of bright color icing), layers of gelatin or piles of popular Jello shots with whipped cream and berries, artful piles of donuts in wedding theme-frosted colors, rounds of ice cream cones held together by a wide satin ribbon, tiers of truffles, towers teeming with fudge brownies, and so much more.
For wedding planner Patricia Settlow, imagination is the key to an exciting sweet (or sometimes not so sweet) cut-the-cake moment. “If a couple wants to explore alternative ideas for cakes, I dig deep to find out about their lifestyle,” she said, recalling a recent wedding where the bride and groom had met at a pizza parlor–a place they frequented all through their courtship. “We took the pizza idea a step further and created a dessert pizza,” Settlow said, “which was sweetened pizza dough topped with melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and layered to form a tower. Guests couldn’t get over it.”
For another client, Settlow said neither was crazy about desserts in the usual sense but loved cheese. “They’d taken courses in cheese making while they were dating,” she said, “so their wedding ‘cake’ was actually stacked, giant wheels of a variety of cheeses–in tiers much like a traditional cake–topped with a range of complementary exotic and other fruit that encircled the layers much in the same way flowers might.”
If you truly love cake though embrace the idea of experimenting as well, yet don’t want to forgo all of those red velvet, carrot, chocolate, and other scrumptious options, cake can be used as a canvas. Some happy couples opt to feature a photo cake of the big day (if you’re superstitious about posing ahead of time for the cake photo and seeing one another in your wedding regalia, you can be photographed separately and the results Photoshopped together).
Whatever dessert you select to gild your gorgeous day, wedding guests will get to share in the tasty results and are sure to savor the memory long after the last bite.
Share with us your non-traditional wedding cake ideas in the comments below!