Wedding cakes are a traditional icon in the nuptial industry. Most receptions have some version of the bride and groom jointly slicing the cake and then feeding each other the first bite. Other cultural traditions are centered on the cake such as saving a piece or the top tier and freezing it until the first anniversary or birth of the first child. The site of a beautifully decorated, multi-tiered, white butter-cream frosted wedding cake sitting on a table makes many guests which they could skip the meal and start with dessert.
As with many other aspects of the big day this one should fit in with the overall feeling that the bride wants to evoke. There are many styles and choices among which she can choose. There is something of a cottage industry these days with creating unusual wedding cakes and unique wedding cakes. (Fondant is amazingly malleable and the variety of different shaped baking molds and cake pans is impressive.) Some of these exotic and crazy examples come from big name designers and end up getting a lot of attention from multiple magazine pictures when they are used as famous celebrity wedding cakes.
Without venturing into some of the wilder examples, couples can still choose elegant wedding cakes that are not the tried and true round shape with plastic tiers separating diminishing-sized levels. Heart shapes and square shapes are big in contemporary receptions as are small, individual cupcake racks or a series of mini cakes with a variety of flavors. Another fantastic idea is to mix a traditional choice with a modern twist. The tiers separating cakes can be turned into waterfalls with plain water, fruit punch, or Champagne fountains. A visually stunning (and appetizing) idea is a melted chocolate waterfall or fountain between the layers.
Standard decorations include fresh flowers such as roses and calla lilies. Flavors and colors are often white, pink, blue, lemon, chocolate, and strawberry. Beach and seasonal themes are often worked in to the cake decor.
Wherever the chosen style lands on the continuum from classic to extreme (and perhaps even odd or wacky), one thing that couples never think will happen to them is a mishap with their gorgeous wedding cake. No doubt, thanks to the ubiquity of online video, they are more aware of the possibility than ever, however remote it may be. Still, it should be written in to the vendor contract with the baker stating who is responsible for the safe delivery and set up of the dessert as well as the ramification should something unexpected go awry in the process.