Afternoon Bridelings! I have to warn you, if you haven’t eaten lunch yet and you have a sweet tooth… divert your attention! Prepare yourself to start thinking about cake, but more specifically, wedding cake.
As overwhelming (or underwhelming) wedding traditions may become when planning a wedding, the thing I have found most inspiring is the ability to take them and make them into your very own creative visions. So many people have their opinions on what should be THE ‘white’ dress, THE flowers, THE old, THE new, THE borrowed, THE blue… do they matter? Brides these days have paper flowers, red dresses and not a hint of blue in-sight. Isn’t individualism what makes a wedding so fantastic? The bride and groom get to have their day, their way picking and choosing the traditions that resonate with them. No matter how absurd some of the brides choices might seem to you, no-one cares because all they want is for the couple to be happy.
Now then, what about that wedding cake? This is one tradition we are deliberating over keeping or not. Whether or not you think these tasty formations are a lot of huff about nothing, let’s face it, when done right they can be a work of art. These days, there are even dedicated television series’ such as ‘Amazing Wedding Cakes’. But do you or your guests really look forward to eating THE cake? I don’t think I am going to wake up on my W-Day and think ‘eeeeeeeeee bring on that cake cutting baby!’ Does anyone really want to eat a slice of cake after a three (or more!) course meal and usually a skin full of champagne? Or does it just end up mushed in ones handbag? Speaking from experience here! Is a wedding cake just another tick in the box? “The cake’s cut! Next!”
Traditionally wedding cakes were thought to bring luck to all the guests and the happy couple. They were simply formed as a rich fruitcake, where fruit mix had been soaking in a variety of ‘juices’ for months prior to the wedding, then covered in a layer of marzipan and thick white icing. After the cutting of the cake, the top tier was then wrapped up nicely and stored until the christening of the couple’s first child. Mmm… lush! Well apparently it really is lush, I know my mum and dad’s first tier was eaten at my christening and they lived to tell the tale! I don’t actually know the last time I went to a wedding that had fruitcake. These days it’s a yummy lemon or chocolate cake, which I fear would end up penicillin rich breeding ground if kept for nine months or more! Anything goes for flavour and the décor of the cake can really have the WOW factor with all shapes and sizes on offer. Two tier? Three tier? How about you destination brides taking on the local tradition?
What about bucking the trend that little bit further too, some couples choose fruit platters instead, or you can cake pop it, cupcake it, push-pop cake it, croquembouche it, macaron it, cookie it, doughnut it, cronut it … aggghhhhh a girl could go crazy with so much choice… and that I did….
Edible Glitter & Gold You Say?
I love cake, all cakes! So most of our guests are likely expecting something spectacular. You may remember my colour scheme is black, gold and pinks, so the thought of having a gold cake really got my creative juices flowing and isn’t it just FABULOUS you can get edible glitter! Now that’s something special for us glitterati queens.
So you guessed it, I was hammering that poor ‘Big Black Wedding Scrap Book’ (www.rockmywedding.co.uk/what-sarah-did-branded-the-wiwis) of mine with cake ideas. I loved so many colours and styles and soon I had a vision of what I wanted in a cake, something bright and bold, not necessarily 100% akin with the colour scheme of the day but the cake would be totally edible and grand without any fruit mix in sight (Callum hates fruit cake). The more I researched the more I wanted all shapes and figures, with gold all over it and glitter sprinkled within the batter and tiers upon tiers of different flavours (don’t forget the sprinkles of gold). Before I knew it this baby had scaled out of control till it started to look like Tinker Bell and Barbie had teamed up for a champagne party and subsequently thrown up over the Empire State Building…
Popping The Cake Bubble
I guess you could say I went a little ‘cake-crazy’. I finally had my design, which I wasn’t fully in love with, but it was time to take it to the baker. As we are planning from NZ I had to work with her via email which I think made the process of describing my Tinker-Barbie plan all the more difficult. This is when (thankfully) my cake fantasy/obsession came to an abrupt halt; she really wasn’t a fan of making this cake:
“Sarah, whilst I love your designs, I don’t think we can work with these colours as they don’t fully match your theme”
“It’s ok” I said, “that doesn’t bother me too much, I like things a little different”
“Well, it’s rather un-traditional and usually brides like everything to match”
“No, its ok, we really don’t mind that it doesn’t match our theme,”
“Mmm, but besides that Sarah, we can’t even think about the cake colours till we know what your dress is like”
C’mon… really? I mean with all due respect I’m not going to wear the ruddy cake.
This lady did everything she could to get out of it and she succeeded! After our emails I sat there staring at the worst piece of art I had done since year 7 and began to question myself, do we even really need a cake?
But It’s Tradition!
When I mentioned my ponderings to Callum, being a cruise-y kinda fella, he wasn’t that bothered if we caked it or not either. Sorted! So the next time I was asked ‘have you decided on a cake yet?’ I had my answer. Or so I thought… you should see how horrified people are when I announce, “We have decided not to have a wedding cake actually”, after all, it’s only a cake. You would think I have just told them I stabbed a baby bird. Then that sneaky word crops up again “But it’s tradition! You can’t get married without ‘cutting a cake’!”
Well, why can’t we not have a cake? I’m pretty sure the reverend wouldn’t annul our marriage just because we didn’t cut a wedding cake. The more we thought about it and after discussion with some of our married friends, the decision started to become cemented. No cake. I still don’t think many guests ever eat it and then you are faced with leftovers and the daunting fact that your nutritional intake for the next two weeks is simply fat and sugar. What about the fact you’ll be left with ‘cake-baby-belly’ on your honeymoon, as you felt the overwhelming compulsion to eat every last crumb because this little beauty cost you upwards of £300!
But then there are our parents and not having a cake is quite a big deal for them; “Please have a cake, guests can take it home! You can’t not have a cake”…Ugh. Where do you draw the line? For us, if it is something that will keep the parental’s happy it is a decision we may have to rethink. But oh Lord, that means the trawling of designs starts again, which to be honest fills me with ‘cake quivers’. I may have to revisit some of my favourite places to check out cakes again: The Cake Blog, Miss Martha, Brooklyn Bride always has something a bit modern, The Knot and of course Pinterest. If you live in Wales, give my friend Kay Augustus a call at Augustus Gloop Cakes, her decorating techniques are ‘MAZIN. But right now, for us, the pondering continues…
An Unconventional Idea
After a wine or two (ok maybe more) a friend and I started to talk about my wedding cake conundrums and we began to joke about possible alternative cake ideas. We decided if we were to wed (we were up to ‘a few bottles’ by this point) we would have a massive doughnut instead of a cake. None of the guests would be allowed to lick their lips till they had finished their very own slice; just like in school days! It would be a sugary cushion large enough to feed 80, filled with that yummy, sticky, raspberry jam (and of course edible glitter) that would explode everywhere when cut and no-one would care because we are all so happy to be covered in sparkly doughnut love (yeah right). ‘No wait’ I carried on, we can top that, ‘lets fill it with mini doughnuts, but hang on… better still, lets fill it with butterflies and glitter, it could turn into the opening act for the evening’s entertainment!’ ‘No wait!’ said my friend (who needs to remain nameless), ‘What about filling the doughnut with doves! Think of the mess!’ mmm, we may have gone too far, that’s not even funny…
Alas, it may have entertained me, but that conversation didn’t fix my quandary. It’s a cake minefield out there people! And we haven’t even started on the topper yet… Which side of the fence do you sit on, to cake or not to cake? What are you rocking out with on your W-day?
Happy Thursday Doughnut Love From Me! XX