Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Chocolate or iced, towering or tiered, wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes. But where does this tradition come from? Weddings have been accompanied by cakes for centuries. Historically wedding cakes were a symbol of fertility and rather than being eaten were thrown at the bride as a symbol of fertility.
Thankfully nowadays that particular aspect has disappeared but the tradition of wedding cakes remains, although in the time between, wedding cakes have gone through a number of different transitions. In Medieval England, weddings weren’t simply accompanied with cake but tables heaved with a plethora of sweet foods such as scones. The custom then, historians believe, was for couples to attempt to kiss over the towers of cake without toppling them to ensure a lifetime of prosperity. And the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 set the colour trend for white wedding cakes.
Today’s wedding cakes are works of art but like other elements of the wedding industry are still subject to different trends. The popularity of square shaped wedding cakes has been replaced with round cakes. But really, anything goes in today’s weddings.
Beyond the shape, the size of wedding cakes can change and wedding trends experts believe these could once again be returning to being taller and more extravagant than before; a look perfect brides who want to go bigger than the traditional three-tiered cake. And eye-catching cake creations also include balanced cakes, which is where the tiers aren’t stacked directly on top of each other but slightly off centre, creating a dramatic illusion.
Cakes can also take inspiration from the outfits of the bridal party, with small nods to the colour of the bridesmaids dresses for instance, replicated in ribbon. And cake making techniques and expertise have developed to such a degree that the cake can be made to mirror the bride’s dress. With Kate Middleton’s lace wedding dress inspiring wedding dress trends this can be imitated on the cake with hand piping and edible lace. Beautiful blooms are another tool which can be used to mirror themes and colours used throughout the wedding, and the bigger the better to make a statement atop the cake or indeed cover the cake with sugar flowers. Edible sequins will have fans of sparkle salivating and texture can be added with ruffles and frills to make the cake an eye-catching centrepiece. And ombre, a fashion which has made it into hair trend thanks to the likes of Alexa Chung, is also an option for fans of colour. Hand-painted wedding cakes are the ultimate in creativity with some created using stencils or alternatively free drawing designs onto the cake. But it doesn’t have to be all about intricacy and detail with sleek cakes an option for brides who are looking for paired down minimalism.
And it isn’t just what’s on the outside, because nowadays your wedding cake can be whatever flavour you desire. It’s also an opportunity to make a statement with different colours of sponge and filling. Fans of vibrant shades may like delicious red velvet or there is even the option to go striped.
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