A tradition that almost dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was more hard bread than cake and they didn’t have icing, so technically it wasn’t until much later that the actual ‘cake’ emerged. However, for hundreds of years cakes have been present at weddings all over the world.
Today there is a trend for couples to opt out of serving cake in a traditional sense. With cupcakes, dessert tables, specialty cookies, the ideas are endless. There is nothing that says you must have a cake at your wedding, but there are also options to incorporate cakes still. A popular choice in the recent past has been small cakes with cupcakes to serve. This is the option I went with at my 2017 wedding since I was having an intimate reception with limited space. I loved having a white two tiered cake for me and my husband and the centerpieces on our guests’ tables were lovely cake plates with cupcakes in our wedding colors. A popular display option is a cupcake tower, so you still have the tiered look.
Cookie tables are another alternative to a cake. Some people have family bring cookies and some people have the caterer or baker do a variety of different cookie options. This tradition is actually American and started in areas with Catholic European immigrants.
My favorite alternative to a wedding cake is actually a trend that took off for a while, the donut. Donut walls might not be as practical as cake. They can be a little messy and take up a lot more room, but there is something whimsical about them. They definitely don’t fit every aesthetic, but are delicious. Instead maybe a full dessert table would be a better fit for your wedding. You can feature cookies, mini pies, tarts, cupcakes, brownies, chocolate covered fruit (Anyone remember the chocolate fountain at weddings craze?), and so much more. Offering goodie bags or boxes so guests can take sweets home as an extra favor is a fun idea.
If you want a wedding cake, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Wedding cakes can vary in size and it all depends on how many you need the cake to feed and your vision for it. The larger the cake, the more pricey it might be. However, a masterpiece of a cake towering over your dance floor is a show stopper. Usually you can choose different flavors for the different tiers, which gives variety. A popular trend is fake tiers that are decorated to look like cake, but are not actually edible. This really doesn’t save much money since the cost is more in the time it takes to decorate the tier than the physical cake (but if you are convinced you need a 5 tier cake for a small wedding reception, it makes sense to not have a ton of wasted cake). Wedding cakes come in so many different styles and colors, so don’t think you are limited to white frosting with flowers. Research different bakers in your area and find ones who make cakes you love the design of then set up a tasting. You can’t go wrong with a good chocolate or vanilla cake, but pink champagne, lemon, pistachio, and coconut are other popular choices.
The ideas for dessert options are endless (ice cream cart, mini pies, cotton candy, etc.), but at the end of the day it is your wedding and you should choose a sweet treat that you love.