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Wedding Cakes - What's HOT, and what's NOT!?

by: Charish Pyatt Hoover
Owner: http://www.FresnoWeddings.Net/

Everyone LOVES wedding cake! If you don't, well, then I question just how human you are!? ;-)

If you're like me, the first thing you likely notice when you walk into a couple's wedding reception is not just the heavenly aura put off by the wedding cake somewhere across the room, (being displayed almost as if it's a non-touchable work of art), but you most likely notice the heavenly smell as well. A smell that takes you back to your child-hood when you remember sticking your finger in mom's frosting, or getting to lick the bowl clean when all the mixing and pouring is done. A smell that brings good feelings of contentment, and warm hugs.

Some cakes are just too pretty to cut, (Of course that's why the wedding photographer's picture of the cake is so important, so as to preserve this edible work of art that smells so darn good!)

When I started out in the wedding industry in 1991, most people had not heard of fondant covered wedding cakes. In fact a photo of most wedding cakes from back then today - would most likely easily be "dated".

Then, it was common to see multi-tiered buttercream wedding cakes (topped with frosting flowers), and displayed on extravagant plastic (supposedly fairytale-like stands). Some of these stands were inspired by castles, some were just bridges, and some even had water fountains running through them. Most were topped by a traditional bride and groom wedding cake topper.

TODAY, it is rare to see cakes and cake stands as mentioned above. Our more modern bride and groom often take a more simple, and elegant approach when choosing their wedding cake design.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say, that the artistic appearance of the wedding cake is more important than ever for today's bride and groom, , , , but , , , without sacrificing excellent flavor, which can often be the case if choosing a cake designer without ample experience in the actual baking aspect of the cake.

Today - I see a good balance of cakes that are either Fondant (a sweet clay-like covering), or traditional buttercream frosted. Both have their benefits, unique taste, and decorative possibilities.

Frosting flowers are a thing of the past. (see gumpaste flowers below).
Today's cakery's often deliver a cake that is without flowers, that can, and often will be decorated with real flowers brought by the hired florist once the cake has been fully setup on its table.

It is becoming more common to see edible (gum paste flowers) as decorative accents on wedding cakes in place of real flowers, however real flowers are still used most often to date.

Both fondant covered and buttercream frosted cakes can be decorated with CAKE JEWELRY - which can either be a fashionable cake topper, monogrammed cake topper, and/or things such as pearls, or gems (aka BLING), placed all over the cake in a decorative manner. It is also common for colored, decorative, silk ribbon to be used around the base of each tier to add color, style, balance, etc.



I have learned that fondant covered wedding cakes tend to hold up better in higher temperatures, therefore if you're having your reception at an outdoor wedding venue, it would be wise to consider this option.


While some couples choose a more simple, elegant look for their wedding cake, there are those who want a cake designed specifically for the purpose of serving as an expression of their personalities, or a special passion in their life.

For example: One couple chose a wedding cake in the shape of a fire truck topped with a riding bride and groom. The groom had been a firefighter for many years, and the couple thought that this design was not only a tribute to the groom's dedication, but to the many firefighter friends/guests that were to attend their wedding reception as well. As a small tribute to the bride, a small duplicate of a tiny blue sports car she owned and loved was placed to the side of the fire truck.

So what's HOT, and what's NOT when it comes to wedding cakes? The answer is pretty much anything that suits the styles, and personalities of the bride and groom is HOT!!! What's NOT? I say who cares?

Whether you want a mini fondant wedding cake for each of your guests, a six tiered buttercream wedding cake smothered in daisies, or an elegant and completely BLINGED out fondant wedding cake, , , , , be sure to choose your cake designer/baker carefully, as few things can harm your reception success than a lopsided wedding cake (delivered late), , , that not only looks little like you had discussed with the designer, but also leaves a lot to be desired in the flavor department!