Rewriting the Wedding Cake
More and more couples are choosing to express themselves directly through their cakes. Calligraphy and monograms are showing up all over the place, blending tradition with a new flair. These cakes sport favorite poems, song lyrics, names, or anything else you can imagine, making your cake truly unique.
Chocolate and Fresh Fruit
While it is one of the least traditional ingredients in a wedding cake (in the past, bakers have avoided chocolate-flavored cakes because their dark color tended to show through the icing) chocolate is making a name for itself these days. From chocolate curl-covered cakes, reminiscent of roses, to marbled chocolate covering the sides of cakes, this trend reigns in a whole slew of possibilities. Try covering your cake in antique-white chocolate and fresh fruit to create a whole new look--towering cakes with a fresh and festive flavor.
Geometric shapes or patterns similar to china or lace patterns are a popular trend with many brides. If you have lace on your wedding gown, you may consider having your cake designer copy that design in icing, fondant, or chocolate. If you don't need that level of customization, there are lots of scrolling patterns you can order from just about any baker. For those who want a more trendy look, use fondant to decorate your cake with harlequin patterns, stripes, and dots.
Flowers are a traditional part of a wedding, but a more recent addition to cakes. While confectioners have long decorated with small flowers made of icing, this trend points toward a fresher look. Fresh flowers can tie your wedding theme together, wrapping their way up your cake, or simply between the layers. However, fresh flowers also tend to wilt in the heat. So, if you're planning a wedding in a warmer climate, you may want to consider using flowers made of spun sugar. Professionals can make just about any flower you can think of, and by bedecking your cake in flowers of all different sizes (from fantastically large to magnificently miniscule) you add a modern touch with traditional taste.
All Tied Up
Cakes that are all wrapped up are a shoo-in for holiday weddings, but ribbon is also becoming popular for year-round receptions. With smooth fondant cakes, ribbon can be used to put stripes on the base, or in the middle layers, matching the cake to the bride's colors. And for those who can't decide on what to put on top of the thing, there are bows for all seasons that make lovely cake toppers.
Wedding cakes are often seen as a representation of the bride's dress, and with luxurious folds of fondant icing, you can take this idea to a new level. Some brides opt for fondant bows with tails that flow down the layers of the cake. Others prefer a more traditional look with matte or pearlized fondant swags around the tops of layers, or flowing from one layer to the next.
Printing in chocolate is a fairly new idea when it comes to wedding cakes, but it works perfectly along with patterns and calligraphy. Bakers paint designs onto waxed paper to transfer onto the sides of your cake. This option is great for those who don't like a lot of icing on their cakes, and it makes for a cleaner look with patterns flush to the sides of the cake.
It's the Tops
What to put on top can be the hardest decision when ordering a wedding cake. Bride and groom figures are traditional, but do you really want a miniature you on your cake? If the answer is yes, then there are lots of ways to make sure the figures really do represent you. But, if you're not sold on that idea, consider using a monogram in crystal or silver, ribbon, flowers, or an arrangement of fruit. You can even tie in fun wedding themes--if you're getting married on the beach, try seashells or miniature lounge chairs. When it comes to toppers, the sky is the limit.
All about Texture
Whether you choose a simple, smooth fondant cake or a cake covered in frills, your wedding cake should say something about you. It used to be that a cake was a cake. They were all decorated with frosting, and you picked a decoration theme. But now, there is a veritable plethora of textures to choose from, and each one says something different. A cake with a pressed-on pattern, rather than a piped pattern, feels more modern and elegant, where a piped pattern gives you a more traditional, fun feel. Cakes with "messy icing" feel contemporary and informal. No matter what you choose, make sure to take texture into consideration.
Changing it Up
To add an extra layer of personality, many brides are choosing to alternate layer sizes, colors, or shapes. Some choose asymmetric tiers instead of stacking tiers in the middle. Many brides choose to deconstruct the tiers altogether, placing cakes on separate platforms and different levels. Above all, remember that while tradition dominates in most weddings, the bride's own personal taste is just as important.