About the Cake…

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
(personal photos)

(personal photos)

Pretty, huh? All of the above are personal pictures of cakes I’ve made for other brides and grooms. Not only did I used to spend my spare time decorating cakes (for fun and, occasionally, profit), I also used to be a Wilton Method Instructor and taught other folks how to do it.

Which is why this next bit might be a touch surprising:

I don’t want a wedding cake.

I know! I know. It may not make sense, at first, but hear me out. I have a few reasons for this:

  1. Wedding cakes are expensive (for a reason!)–even the basic models start around $2 a slice and I wouldn’t want a basic, blah, boring cake.
  2. Our wedding will be a small group and, really, a cake to feed 50 will look so very tiny unless we do a bunch of fake layers underneath to give it some presence (I know, I’ve done it both ways).
  3. There’s no way I’d be willing to do it myself. Even when I loved doing them, it was more a love-hate thing going on.
  4. No one else would be able to please me. I’m a perfectionist and a control freak and having spent years nose-deep in icing I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from critiquing whomever we ordered from and, truly, it would never satisfy me.

Luckily, having alternatives to a traditional wedding cake is nothing new to today’s brides (though the guests might still be a smidgen puzzled over it) and options abound:

  • Tower of cupcakes–offers variety and easy serving sizes and I do have to admit, the cupcake stands are neat to look at.
  • Tower of cream puffs–go French with a croquembouche; if your area is cool enough and lacking in humidity, a spun-sugar “cage” is a very nice touch.
  • Cake buffet–instead of one big cake, why not lots of normal-sized cakes of different flavor combinations to choose from?
  • Dessert buffet–who says it has to be cake? Pies, tartlets, cookies and whatever else your sweet tooth desire can be arranged on a variety of pretty plates and stands.
  • Ice cream sundae bar with various flavors, toppings and bases (brownies and pound cake, anyone?).

When I first confessed my disinterest in having a traditional wedding cake to Mr. Road Trip, he laughed but understood (he was there, incidentally, when I made my brother’s cake the year before and learned just how and why I feel the way I do about them). We joked that if it was truly a reflection of us and our favorite sweet, then the “cake” would need to be Oreos, as the double-stuffed fudge ones are one of the few indulgences we keep around the house.

Of course, since the initial decision to forgo the big spectacle cake was reached, some health issues have come up for me which mean staying away from wheat (among other things–I’ll go into that when we get closer to our tasting). This means I will definitely be making at least some of the items for our dessert buffet, both to make sure that there are safe sweets for me to eat as well as them being up to my admittedly high standards. But we’ll also be contacting the few bakeries in town that have wheat-free options available so that I don’t have to do it all.

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