I’ve been to four weddings this year and haven’t had a piece yet. Nobody ever eats it.
We frequently hear this from couples who are thinking about not having a cake at their wedding. We certainly understand you don’t want to spend money on something that isn’t going to be enjoyed but there are some common reasons why this happens. We’ll discuss those and ways to overcome them in a minute but first consider this:
The cake cutting picture is THE photo event of your reception. When was the last time you were at a wedding and there wasn’t a rush to the cake when the bride and groom arrived to cut it? Most people, especially the older generations, expect there to be a cake cutting picture and it can be a quite a disappointment if there isn’t.
The cake cutting picture is also the one time during the reception when you stop to pose for a shot. All those candid shots are great and can give a great feel for the event but for some people (like those who aren’t part of the afternoon of photo taking) it’s their chance to get a good picture of the two of you together.
As it’s usually front and centre the cake also serves as a focal point for the reception. As one of the first things people often look for when they enter the room a great looking cake can add that extra wow factor.
However, after repeatedly seeing (and perhaps hearing the same about other weddings) a large portion of the wedding cake remaining at the end of the night it can seem a waste. There are three factors contributing to this problem:
The first one is that nobody knows the cake is being served. When the cake is served later in the evening after dinner and dessert, as is usually the case, the cutting of the cake by the catering staff happens in the kitchen. Then the plated slices are quietly placed on a table to the side or back of the action where nobody notices. And that’s the problem right there. Nobody knows the cake has been served! An easy and effective way to overcome this is to have your DJ make an announcement that cake has been served. Then everyone knows and can help themselves. This is also a great way to do it if you’re having cupcakes. Guests would like to have them but don’t want to seem rude or presumptuous by taking one before the appointed time. Once the DJ makes the announcement they can enjoy the cupcakes in confidence without feeling like they have to sneak one off the back.
Secondly, the cake serves too many people. Many bakeries will automatically sell you a cake that serves the expected number of guests. And they have an incentive to do so, particularly when they price their cakes by the slice. However, we know that not everyone will choose to eat cake after having already enjoyed dinner and dessert. Starting with a smaller cake that takes this into consideration will not only save you from having a bunch left over it also will cost less.
The third factor is fondant icing. Like the other aspects of your wedding, guests hope for great tasting food. In the past the cake was often a low point in this regard. Fondant icing, so very common until a few years ago, just doesn’t taste nice to most people. When given the option they often chose to forego the cake and those that did choose to have a slice would end up peeling off the fondant and leaving it on the plate – not exactly a ringing endorsement for others who may have been considering a slice.
In the last couple of years buttercream icing has become much more popular as couples have learned that it tastes much better and they’re specifically looking to have their cake decorated with it. Guests have certainly appreciated this change. We’ve had numerous couples tell us stories of how guests have shouted across the reception hall “It’s buttercream!” and the subsequent rush by others to grab a slice. As more and more guests are realizing how good a buttercream cake can be we are also finding that the percentage of guests who choose to have cake has increased.
Many people mistake our very smooth buttercream icing for fondant.
If you do find yourself with extra cake at the end of the night there are several options. You can send a large piece home with guests that have children for the children to enjoy. If you’re having a brunch, gift opening or some other get together the next day it’s a great time for guests to enjoy a piece of the wedding cake as some will have been too full the night before (and others will appreciate a second slice!). You can also freeze the remainder as when properly wrapped it keeps very well.
If you are truly not “cake people” then of course – we think you should have your day your way. Perhaps you are pie lovers. Then go ahead and have pie! You could even come up with a creative tower of pies to represent your wedding cake. But if you’re thinking of foregoing the cake because “no one eats it” or “it’s a waste” remember that these issues can be overcome and we have the knowledge and experience to help ensure this doesn’t happen at your wedding.
We invite you to take a look at our website and facebook page and then contact us to arrange a consultation. Not only will we have samples for you to taste but we’ll also discuss how we can design a cake that fits well with your wedding.