Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Cake at a Wedding??? Say It Ain't So!!!

A good friend of mine, Cindy, attended a wedding over the weekend. She shocked me with some astounding news, so it's a good thing I was already seated or I might have keeled over and knocked a tooth out when I collapsed onto my desk: there was no wedding cake.

C'mon, join me - clutch at your chest as your eyes bug out, gasping for breath as though all the air has been punched out of your lungs.

No ... cake??? No cake?!? It's a sacrilege! There has to be cake at a wedding! Guests ooh and ahh over it, vie for the best pieces, hope to get some of the edible decorations. Brides and grooms indelicately shove some into each other's mouths. Cake at a wedding is a tradition!

But perhaps not so anymore ...? Cindy said that people she spoke with that evening told her that there hadn't been cakes at other weddings they'd attended recently, either.

I'm sufficiently ancient and decrepit that my friends and relatives have either been married for 30 years or they're divorced; and our children aren't yet old enough -- please, God, make sure they're aware of that! -- to get married. So I admit that I'm not an authority on this subject. I hadn't been to a wedding in years until attending one in July; and thankfully -- whew! -- there was a cake. (Who knew it was now possibly considered "optional"???) It was really good, too, with luscious creamy white frosting .... But I digress.

I've known of people who offered tiers of cupcakes that were arranged to resemble a cake. I've known people who offered an array of treats and sweets in addition to the cake, but the cake was still a major attraction. Cindy said that other desserts were available at the wedding; there just wasn't a cake, and from what she could gather it's becoming a trend. So, in horror, I started to do some remedial and less-than-scientific research.

Here is an assortment of quotes and responses gathered when I tossed this life-altering notion out into cyberspace and sought comments via Facebook and Twitter (so excuse grammatical/spelling quirks inherent in trying to type on a phone or cram a message into 140 tidbits!):

what else would the bride shove up the grooms nose? ;-) Seriously, yes...cake, of some sort, is a MUST!

What are people going to do, cut into a cupcake or a cookie? Sheesh!That is ridiculous! If anything I have heard people turning to options but not getting rid of cake entirely! thumbs down!

Haven't heard this in the UK, though some friends had tiers of cheese instead.

I don't know if I want to go to a wedding that doesn't have cake. It's a travesty!

We had cupcakes as our cake and then an ice cream sundae bar with cookies and brownies and no one ate the cake! We had like 100 cupcakes left over. Maybe it's true :-(

Shut up!some things are just wrong, this is one! weddings=cake

not any weddings I've been to.. no.. wait.. there wasn't a wedding cake at the most recent one. Probably because the bride and groom didn't want to spend $1000 on a cake.

Plus, you have to save the top of the cake for your first anniversary! I have such fond memories of our wedding cake -- made at a Swedish bakery in Minnesota with lemon filling... and it's been almost 36 years!

So, there you have it -- I'm apparently not alone in feeling weak and dizzy at the notion of not getting my cake fix at the end of the festivities. Deep sigh of relief ....

I also did a search and found a website called
Exquisite Events Seattle which addresses the cake-less issue: 

"Cake has dominated the wedding industry for years. However, right now there is a growing trend to skip the cake all together. Maybe cake is not your thing. For many people cake is okay, but they have a dessert that they simply swoon over. So, why not have that dessert at your wedding?"

Why not??? 'Cause people expect a cake and want a cake! And they won't leave your ceremony talking about how beautiful the bride was, but instead will leave talking about how deprived they felt at being denied CAKE!!!

I am fully aware that there are more earth-shattering and life-altering situations taking place in the world than not serving cake at a wedding, just in case anyone was wondering! However, in my obsessive compulsion to learn more about this issue I've discussed it with many people who are in their 20s/30s -- those on "the wedding circuit." Almost universally, there has been cake at the receptions they've attended; one of my co-workers told me that she's never been to a wedding that didn't serve cake.

Cindy (who may regret, at this point, ever having mentioned this to me) brought up the issue of the Jewish dietary laws, and having to serve a non-dairy cake - which is very often inferior - with a meat meal to avoid combining meat and dairy products. In that instance, settling either for the lesser cake or for a vegetarian meal wouldn't make for an optimal situation; the better dinner served without a cake might easily take precedence over the butter-less dessert.

So finally, as my brain was starting to hurt from all of this contemplation, I consulted a true expert: my favorite baker, Bryant Stuckey of Decadent Delight here in Ann Arbor. Here's his professional opinion: 

"I don't know if I would say it's a trend, but I have had many instances in the last couple years where couples have forgone the wedding cake .... I think this is to stay within their budget. It seems a shame to me .... I just can't see a wedding without a wedding cake. The wedding cake is another character in the wedding. It's symbolic to an idea of a 'sweet life' together."

I think the notion of cake playing a role and symbolizing a sweet life together is absolutely perfect ... :) And I think that symbol should be enjoyed with all the loved ones who've joined the happy couple on their special day, literally and figuratively sharing that sweet life with all of those who have been - and will continue to be - integral to it.

So skimp on the rose petals that flower girls toss along the aisle; they're just going to get ground into the rug or the runner anyway. Do away with having 14 bridesmaids and save money by not ordering so many bouquets. Don't bother with an ice sculpture that will just melt. There are so many non-essentials at weddings.

But cake ... cake is an absolute! It's a classic that never goes out of style. Change the shape, the colors, the flavors, and even the doohickeys that go on top.

But never, ever shun the cake! And if you do, please know that I will not be offended if you leave me off the invitation list ....


Carol said...

you are like me....such insanity these days! How can you not want a wedding cake? obsurd.

I get rattled easy too...I'll go off for 30 minutes about the gym not handing out towels...some things are just wrong.


Mrs. Indecisive said...

I got married in January and had my first fondant cake :) It was a dream.

Simplyfood said...

This is new to me no cake its not done. I thought cup cakes had taken over weddings the last three wedding I went to each had tiers if intricate cup cakes.

Lauren | Have Fork Will Eat said...

I'm a fan of wedding cakes. Bryant actually made my wedding cake three years ago and to this day, a picture of it sits on a bulletin board in my office because it was so beautiful, whimsical and ohmygod delicious...I mean, seriously, have you TRIED his passionfruit filling?

Hell, half the reason for the wedding WAS the cake, in my opinion :)

mrs.shopper said...

Now that is different-- no cake! Following u on gfc from Thirsty thurs. hop. Please follow @

Yenta Mary said...

OMG, Bryant's passion fruit filling is one of the most extraordinary foods on Earth!!! Jeremy always says he just wants a bowl of it and a spoon -- nothing else is needed ... :)

Unknown said...

If I went to a wedding and there was no cake, I would probably make a scene!!! I'd rather save money and not have a wedding dress then no cake!!!

Rachel (Diary of a Recovering Chocoholic) said...

Pssht. I'd dreamed about having a chocolate wedding cake for years, so there was no way I wasn't having a cake. Something else would have had to go first- like the flowers!

I loved my wedding cake!

Anonymous said...

Ha! We had a variety of ganache-covered cheesecakes, but we did not "cut into" one or feed a piece to each other. Cheesecake, mmmmm!

FromTheHeartsOf said...

That is insane. I don't throw any parties without something, or many things, sweet. I usually have a dessert table, and this is for small family gatherings. I couldn't imagine attending a milestone event and there not being a cake, or some dessert, there. How sad!

Found you through the blog hop and am your newest follower!

Lauren | Have Fork Will Eat said...

I've actually had Bryant send me JUST a cup of the passionfruit filling and a spoon. And I ate it like that. And I'm not ashamed.

Candace said...

I'm a traditionalist in that sense, Mary. You have to have cake even if it's not the most elaborately decorated one that you can find. It's a tradition that I hate to see cast off to the side. I was glad to see that Prince William and Kate are not casting off the cake in favor of something else. Have a great Thursday! Candace

Amy said...

I love wedding cake. Mostly because they are so pretty. Unfortunately the prettier they are the more they cost. Maybe that's why they are being skipped? Our wedding was at home. All I had was a wedding dress and my cake. No other fancies were indulged. I had to have that cake though and it was very pretty :D

Dillypoo said...

I've baked a few wedding cakes (mostly for friends) over the years, but when one good friend planned her wedding at 7:00 p.m. on a FRIDAY at a venue 45 MINUTES out of town, I told her there was no way I could do her cake. I'd just started a new job and couldn't take any time off to bake and decorate during the week. So she said that was fine because she didn't really want a cake anyway.


So I stamped my foot and we decided to bake 300 cookies the weekend prior. Cookies would be infinitely easier to transport and set up in a short amount of time and they didn't require my taking time off from my new job.

And you know what? They were a hit! A three tiered tower of little white frosted, sparkly sugared, heart shaped cookies. We baked enough for each guest to have two.

Unconventional, but they worked.

Sorry for the long post! Love your blog.

Cranberry Morning said...

I can see that I'm in the minority here, but one of the best wedding receptions I've ever been to had many kinds of delicious cheesecake, rather than the big, traditional cake. It was wonderful!!! Thought you'd want to know. :-)

Unknown said...

Hello, I am a new follower from the hop. Please visit and follow me back at

Posh said...

I've been known to attend a wedding solely for the cake :)

Stopping by from the Thursday hops to say hello.

Have a great Thursday!

The Fickle Nickle said...

The next we know, there will be no wedding dress! I'm your newest follower from the Thursday Hop. I look forward to reading your future posts:) xo

PS- Come stop by and say hello when you get a chance!

Lindsay-Jean said...

Have to disagree. Cake is generally take-it-or-leave-it for me anyway, but wedding cake can be even worse. Too often it is plain boring white cake with more attention to decoration than taste. At our wedding (5 years ago) we had key lime pie, and my sister will be serving gourmet brownies at her wedding this summer. Cake certainly is not a key tradition in my opinion, I'm all for shaking it up a little bit!

Kym @ Travel Babbles said...

We've decided not to have a wedding cake for our July 2012 wedding. Our package offers a 4 course dinner, and within that is the option to choose a dessert, so we are picking oreo ice cream pie. The two of us are going to have a very small cake to cut, share and save for our 1 year anniversary, but the rest of our guests are going to have the oreo pie that comes with their $99 meal.

Kym @

Debra said...

No wedding cake? Not even a cupcake? Wow. I would be bummed as a guest. But I guess it's the bride & groom's decision. I'm following from the Friends & Giveaway hop. Have a great day!

Style, Decor & More said...

Wow! What a shock! A lot of people are going to assume that it wasn't in the budget.
Newest follower!
Hope you can follow back!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I've been to a few like that lately. Mostly they seem to have really nice personalized cookies with the names & date on them. I'm fine with that. I was never that into the overly sugary, dried out cake sometimes covered in tasteless fondant that I usually encountered.

One served small (4 bites) cheesecakes in an assortment of flavors. That was the best!

Stopping by from LBS Tea Party

Marti said...

Dropping in from LBS and I too am a bit taken back by this trend. How can you not have cake at a wedding???

Morgan said...

A friend got married a few years ago and they only had a small cake to do the traditional cake cut. Everything else was booze and more food, it was so strange. They had wine gums around for people with sweet tooths, um okay!?

Stopping by from LBS. Have a great weekend.

Beth Zimmerman said...

AMEN! :)

Unknown said...

I agree, this is CRAZY!!

By the way, I am from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party and I am so glad I found your blog!!

Melissa said...

"Cause people expect a cake and want a cake! And they won't leave your ceremony talking about how beautiful the bride was, but instead will leave talking about how deprived they felt at being denied CAKE!!!" << I could not agree more!!! Very well put!

Traci Marie Wolf said...

A friend of mine is doing this. She is having a cake topper for her and her husband and dessert for the guests. Yeah, it's kinda weird. But then again, I eloped and my aunt brought a birthday cake that was dressed up with flowers. It was yummy.

Traci Marie Wolf said...

BTW, I'm stopping in from Lady Bloggers society.

Matti Aspen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flour On My Face said...

What a shame to give up such a beautiful tradition. I agree with you people will be talking about the lack of a cake instead of the bride and the wedding.

visiting from The Lady Blogger Tea party. Great blog!

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