Marie Antoinette famously said, "Let them eat cake;" and for centuries, newlyweds have chosen this form of pastry to celebrate their nuptials. But times, they are a-changin', and in this day and age couples are veering away from the status quo and breaking the mold (cake mold!) when it comes to choosing the perfect pastry for their big celebration.
The original "wedding cake" has its roots in ancient Rome, where a loaf of bread was broken over the bride's head, symbolizing the groom's dominance over the bride. In 17th century England, a pie filled with sweet breads or mutton was served, and the couple would kiss over a pile of pies being a sign of many children and fertility for the couple. It wasn't until the late 19th century that the current concept of the traditional wedding cake became popular. These elaborate, decadent delights often serve as the focal point for the reception and is a visual extension of the couples personality and wedding theme, while the cake cutting is symbolic as their first act as husband and wife. Fast forward to modern day, and wedding cakes and desserts are as diverse and unique as the couples they represent. Don't be afraid to break tradition and serve your guests some of these creative confections.
The sweetest part of your wedding day will undoubtedly be your cake; however, don't be afraid to break from the traditional grandiose, multi-tiered cakes drenched in icing. One non-traditional trend is the naked wedding cake, or undressed cake. Originally popular in Europe, naked wedding cakes have no frosting on the exterior, giving it a natural, homespun look. Some may call this delicious treat "unfinished," and while they may be short on fondant and flair, they are big on flavor and exude a sophisticated, rustic charm. Though they may have all the structure of a traditional tiered wedding cake, the organic elements prove that in some cases, less is more, and this exposed style allows for the simple beauty of the cake to speak for itself.
Maybe a big, fancy, towering cake is not your style. I once had a bride who decided to try something a little different: instead of one multi-tiered cake, she chose to have sheet cakes brought out to each individual table during the reception. Each cake had a different picture of her and her new husband on top, transforming a plain cake into an edible timeline of their life together. Their guests got to see a glimpse into the newlywed's lives leading up to the big day, and then eat it all up!
More and more couples are choosing to ditch the cake altogether, and go with desserts more suited to their style and taste. Cupcakes are an easy and fun way to still give the guests cake, without the hassle of cutting! Stack them in beautifully decorated tiers, with a selection of flavors for your guests to choose from, and different colored frosting and finishes. But you're not limited to just cupcakes: you can do the same thing with donuts, cake pops or even macaroons! Sweet individual treats are not only aesthetically appealing, but easy to distribute.
Some trendsetting couples are opting for a candy station, filled with their favorite treats. You can pick a theme, such as "nostalgia," and have retro hard-to-find candies like Pop Rocks and Wax Bottles, or choose a specific color in your wedding scheme and have items only in that color. This self-serve option is always a winner with you guests because it's bound to have something for everyone!
If sweets aren't your thing and you fancy yourself a foodie, you may want to forgo the desserts and opt for a yummy delight: a cheese cake. No, I'm not referring to an actual NY style cheesecake; I'm talking about an assortment of fromages arranged in a way that mimics a cake. Serve it with all your favorite delectable accoutrements: honey, apples, grapes, a variety of crackers, homemade jams... the options are endless. And if you want to serve up just a little sweetness, add some dark chocolate brownies, they will compliment your cheese varietals.
Whatever path you choose, traditional or avant-garde, your wedding is an opportunity to make a statement, display your style as a couple, start your own traditions, and create new and lasting memories. So, "let them eat cake," -- or donuts or candy, or cheese... The sky is the limit and the decisions are delicious.