Couples have historically infused their weddings and receptions with tradition and symbolism — the white dress, the ring exchange, and bride’s bouquet tossing, to name a few. Some rituals are reworked into new practices or left out of modern nuptials by trend-setting couples; other long-standing customs like serving a wedding cake at the reception are still common.
When making decisions about the style and type of cake you will serve to your guests at your post-ceremony party, one of the primary considerations is where you will get your cake. Since the caterer is taking care of the food at the reception, couples sometimes expect that they will handle the cake, too.
Whether or not the wedding cake is included in your catering package depends on the vendor you choose. If a restaurant/caterer incorporates an in-house bakery, it may provide a wedding cake in their meal package, but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
You can book Wooden Paddle to cater your wedding by calling (630) 326-8150. We offer decadent desserts to choose from for your catering package; however, the wedding cake is not included in our services.
Wedding Cake Traditions
Wedding cakes as we know them are often large and elaborately tiered creations, iced in white and covered with edible flowers. However, this has not been the case throughout history, as wedding traditions have evolved over the centuries.
The custom of having a tiered-style cake dates back to medieval days when people in England would pile pastries like cookies or scones as high as possible at their wedding celebrations. If the bride and groom kissed each other over the stack without knocking it over, it was said that they would have a long and successful marriage.
You may want a multi-layered cake, several smaller cakes, an assortment of cupcakes, or one of Wooden Paddle’s distinctive dessert options at your wedding reception. The possibilities are endless, and the choices you make are a reflection of your individual style. Whichever avenue you choose, there are several modern-day wedding cake customs you may decide to incorporate into your special day.
The Groom’s Cake
Some couples have only one cake at their reception, while others serve two. The second cake is sometimes called a groom’s cake — a distinctive cake that often featured a different flavor and decor than the main cake.
By offering two desserts, you and your spouse-to-be can express your tastes while providing your guests with a more varied dessert selection from which to choose.
Cutting the Cake
Cutting the cake after your wedding ceremony is a symbolic act that represents your teamwork as a couple. It also demonstrates your commitment to facing life’s challenges together.
No matter what kind of dessert you serve, you can still participate in this ritual by cutting a piece together. You may also want to consider having a small cake available just for this purpose, especially if you want something that will look more traditional in your wedding photos.
Feeding Each Other
After cutting the cake, the wedding couple traditionally takes turns feeding a bite to one another. Cutting the cake together represents solidarity and unity as a family, and feeding it to your partner communicates your promise to provide and care for him or her.
Whether you decide to smash the cake into your spouse’s face, as was the trend for a while, is entirely up to you.
Saving Some for Later
Many couples freeze the top tier of the wedding cake to enjoy together on their first wedding anniversary. If you and your spouse choose to honor this tradition with a cake or another type of dessert, here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your special delicacy will make it through the year unscathed:
- Choose buttercream or ganache icing as these ingredients freeze and thaw better than many alternatives. If your main cake has meringue icing or other ingredients that won’t freeze well, like custard or fruit filling, consider buying a separate portion as well with hardier components for freezing.
- Preserve the cake as soon as you can after your wedding, while it is still fresh. Place it on a baking sheet and freeze uncovered for a few hours to set the icing, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container.
- Keep the cake in your freezer away from seafood or onion- or garlic-rich entrées, so your cake doesn’t absorb these flavors.
- Ask the bakery if they provide wrapping services or, better yet, can make you an anniversary cake — a replica of the cake’s top tier that they will bake fresh for you next year.
Choose Wooden Paddle Desserts to Include in Your Catering Package
Even if you have a traditional bakery wedding cake to serve your guests, you may choose to provide additional desserts. This gives your guests alternative selections and allows them to satisfy their sweet cravings while they wait for the cake to be cut and served.
Booking Wooden Paddle as your caterer will give you and your guests a range of innovative and delicious desserts to select from. Current dessert options include:
- Nutella Me About It — A dessert pizza topped with mascarpone, whipped Nutella, and a dusting of powdered sugar
- Slightly Buzzed — A dessert pizza topped with caramelized pears and mascarpone drizzled with honey
- Peanut Butter Banana Time — A dessert pizza topped with salted maple, whipped peanut butter, and caramelized bananas
- Gelato and sorbetto — Italian frozen desserts similar to ice cream and sorbet, with delectable flavors — pistachio, lemon, raspberry, chocolate hazelnut, and mint chocolate in addition to the more traditional vanilla and chocolate.
- Root beer and gelato floats — Root beer topped with rich vanilla gelato.
- Cannoli bites — Bite-sized versions of the fried Italian pastry, including cannoli shell chips, ricotta sweet cream, and chocolate snow.
- Snickerdoodle cookie dough — Made with whipped mascarpone, cider gel, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, puffed quinoa, and candied lemon.
Each of these desserts pairs perfectly with our mouthwatering appetizers, salads, and savory wood-fired pizzas. Get started today by telling us about your event on our online form or by calling our event coordinator at (630) 326-8150 to schedule a full-menu tasting.