Pro Tip: Are Traditional Wedding Cakes Still Relevant or a Waste of Money?
The Dubsdread Catering Team weighs in with professional opinions for this often-asked question.
For a long time, a large, multi-tiered wedding cake was an absolute requisite and focal point for the wedding reception. Couples spent hours sampling bits of cake and icing combinations to make sure such a large and costly item was just perfect. The personalization was in the flavor selection and decoration. The size, type, and construction of the cake can all add up considerably and can take a big chunk out of the wedding reception budget. The cutting of the cake ceremony was a much anticipated and photographed part of the event and always carried the will they, or won’t they, smash the cake into each other’s faces. As we shared in a previous blog, The History of Wedding Traditions – Keeping the Wedding Cake Top, it is also a modern tradition to save the top layer for a couple’s one-year anniversary.
Today, many couples planning their wedding reception have a wider variety of options to consider for their dessert and the tiered wedding cake tradition is becoming less and less important. Many couples today opt for non-traditional celebratory desserts including cupcakes, cake pops, gelato, cookies, ice cream, s’mores, and even donuts to share with guests, with only a small cake for the couple to use during the cake cutting ceremony. Instead of keeping the cake top, many couples choose to have a small “replica” cake made for their anniversary using the same flavors and finishes rather than keeping the ceremonial cake top. Many couples also use the dessert service to add even more personal tastes and preferences to their big day.
When planning their event, our Dubsdread Catering Team gets asked time and time again whether they think traditional wedding cakes are still relevant or are they a waste of money? So, we thought we’d ask our team for their opinions and share them here for your consideration.
- Christiana Bullard: Since I am more traditional, I like the idea of a cake cutting. I also thoroughly enjoy cake and think it’s a very pretty visual at a wedding reception.
- Carissa Llewellyn-Burns: I personally like the idea of a small wedding cake for cake cutting and tradition and photo ops, however, after that I’m game for anything! I have a major sweet tooth, so I had an Ice cream bar, cupcakes, and a cake at my wedding. Nothing is off limits in my mind! I love the doughnut walls and the Kelly’s Ice Cream Truck. I’ve seen cool candy bars, gelato carts, popcorn, and s’mores…okay, now I’m hungry for sweets.
- Shanna Paris: Traditionally, wedding cakes were made to bring good luck to all guests and the couple. I personally love the tradition of cutting a cake, however, cakes can be expensive! If it isn’t something of importance on your wedding day, I would recommend a single edible tier (6” – 8” in size) for the bride and groom to share, and something more affordable for guests with a sweet tooth to enjoy.
- Peighton Ballant: I think tiered wedding cakes are a waste of money. If you’re trying to stick to tradition, just do a small cake for cutting, and then mini desserts to go along with it. From my experience, so much cake gets thrown out at the end of the night! Save your money and keep it small.
- Michelle Edmiston: Most people like variety. I say go with a small cake for the formality of the cake cutting tradition. Then have a really beautiful array of assorted desserts for your guests to enjoy.
So, there you have it! Most of our team thinks it’s still a nice tradition to have some sort of cake for the traditional cake cutting ceremony and photos, but that it doesn’t have to be a huge, tiered cake to feed the entire crowd. There are many ways to incorporate other sweets, treats, and desserts that allow for more variety while saving on budget. It’s also a great way for the bride and groom to personalize to their taste and favorites for their special day.
Our experienced team at Dubsdread Catering are here to offer professional advice as well as help you personalize your special day. Just ask!