The traditional wedding cake is almost as widely recognized as the traditional wedding dress. Both are white (a symbol of purity, hope, and so forth) and each has been in wide use for several generations.
Of course, weddings date back farther than either of these items, so to call them “traditional” by historical standards is probably a bit premature, but our mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers probably embraced both items and the symbolism behind them, so at least they have been able to withstand the ever-changing tides of the fashion industry.
Unfortunately, you may not be the strictly traditional type. But don’t let that stop you from eating cake (or a reasonable facsimile). There are plenty of trendy, non-spendy alternatives to serving a big, white cake at your wedding reception, and here are some options to consider.
Tier it up
A giant cake with loads of decoration can be fairly pricey. So why not opt for something a bit smaller? Instead of a tiered cake, provide guests with a pile of pastries, a cascade of cupcakes or cookies, or a veritable mountain of muffins. Because of the logistics of decorating and transporting many small items instead of one large one, some bakeries may try to charge more for certain selections (cupcakes in particular), but often you can hit up a small local bakery for mass amounts of pastries and save a lot (especially if you’re willing to haul them yourself).
Who said you had to stick to one cake? By separating the layers, you can avoid not only the huge cost of one gargantuan cake, but you can get different flavors and decorations on each one. And while traditional cake is a take it or leave it proposition, every guest should be able to find something to their taste if you offer an assortment of confectionary flavors.
More and more brides are opting to provide their guests with sugary treats that are made with love by relatives or friends. This is not only an excellent way to cut costs; it can also be a great excuse to promote a little family unity before the big day (especially if you can get some of the groom’s side to lend a hand).
With food tastes trending towards healthier fare, it’s no surprise that many brides would turn to fruit as a good alternative to cakes or pastries. You can still give all your guests the sugary after-dinner treat they crave without worrying if they’ll be on their way to the cardiac-care unit after the reception.
Make a splash
Fondue fountains are not only tasty, offering a diverse group of foods to be dipped into the flowing waterfall of chocolate, they also provide a lovely and delicious piece of art for your guests to enjoy before they take the plunge with a skewer full of fruit, baked goods, or marshmallows. Best of all? Everyone can get as much or as little as they want.
This article was written exclusively for STL Weddings by Sarah Danielson. Sarah is a writer for a culinary colleges website where you can browse schools and the latest trends in the culinary arena.