It wasn't too long ago that wedding food options were limited to beef, chicken, or fish with a champagne toast and frosted white cake to follow. Of course, with infinitely creative couples finding new ways to set their celebrations apart, there's no longer a set formula to the American wedding menu. Drawing upon traditions from other world cultures, couples can honor their diverse backgrounds or create new traditions that define them as a pair. We've rounded up several customs worthy of consideration for your unique nuptials!
Skip the cake: The popularity of cupcakes has prompted many couples to serve them at their reception. While it's hard not to love the tinier bites of cake goodness, it's not all fad: cupcakes, wedding cookies, and even dessert bars are often less pricey than extravagantly iced tier cakes.
Try ethnic bakeries: A friend of mine bought an affordable but beautiful wedding cake at a Chinese bakery. I was actually really surprised because in my opinion, it was the best-tasting cake out of all the weddings I've been to.
Go to your local baker: Check with your local baker to see if the costs are cheaper. You can usually get a better price with the ones who don't specialize in wedding cakes. Those who bake from home don't have to pay the overhead costs of a brick and mortar bakery, so that may result in a lower cost as well.
Check out the supermarket: There's a burgeoning trend of supermarket wedding cakes, and many are even adding fancy fondant designs and details. The cost of these grocery store wedding cakes can cost you about $300 — a bargain compared to specialty wedding cakes.
How about you? What is your favorite kind of cake?
One month before their nuptials are set to take place, the world is abuzz with curiosity about details of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Today we've learned what their regal wedding cakes will look like. Kate has chosen a fruitcake to be the main wedding cake — perhaps an odd choice in America, but a traditional one across the pond. Its designer will be Fiona Cairns, a well-respected cake creator known for her bold designs.
Although further details of the cake "will be a surprise," says Cairns, we do know this: It'll be tall and tiered, and covered in cream-and-white decorative flowers that not only mimic the architecture of Buckingham Palace but also each represent something meaningful. For instance, the cake will include roses for England, shamrocks for Ireland, acorns for strength, and sweet William flowers as well.
Although both sound incredible, I'd spring for William's in a heartbeat. Which cake would you rather eat?
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Source: Flickr User HeroicLife
Though the cake has always been an important piece of the wedding pie (at times, it literally was pie), it wasn't always the masterpiece we eat today. See how the wedding cake has changed, what traditions we've borrowed, and what's faded away.
There was no cake, but a loaf of bread to symbolize the bride's virginity. After the groom ate half, which isn't a disgusting innuendo at all, he broke the rest over her head to show his dominance. Young love!
The tradition of throwing rice, or now confetti, stems from this time, too. Guests showered the bride and groom with breadcrumbs, and when they ran out were given a mixture of nuts, dried fruit, and sweetmeats — confetto.
Spiced buns were stacked as high as possible, and the bride and groom had to lean over it and kiss (hence the kissing wedding toppers we see to this day) without toppling the cake. Succeeding was an auspicious sign of prosperity, happiness, and children.
The bride and groom often had their own cake, and the bride's cake was usually a pie — bride pie. Filled with savory foods, charms — both lucky and unlucky — were placed inside for guests to find. Finding a button meant a lifetime of spinster- or bachelorhood while finding the wedding ring meant marriage within the year.
Find out when wedding cakes went white below