Credit: Cake Coquette / Photo credit: Elizabeth Messina
Marie Antoinette definitely got the dessert right when she famously declared, "Let them eat cake," but perhaps she wouldn't have endured the same fate if she had thought of additional sweet options that her subjects might enjoy. Cake is delightful and delectable to many taste buds and eyes alike, and while some palates do crave the traditional white tiered wedding cake, others adore cake but desire even more to make their wedding that much sweeter.
As you'll see below, there are some terrific cake choices, as well as alternative desserts that can be used in place of, or in addition to, a wedding cake.
Credit: Nine Cakes / Photo credit: Di Zhang
One great thing about the traditional wedding cake is the opportunity that it provides to demonstrate your creativity and visually represent your personality. If you and your fiance have a particular affection for peacocks, for instance, or if you're looking to surprise your new husband with a separate groom's cake with a symbol from his favorite sports team, a fun, personalized wedding cake would be a wonderful option!
Credit: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes / Photo credit: Mel Barlow
Photo credit: Entwined Studio
Wedding cakes also offer a visual continuity with a wedding's design aesthetic or theme. For instance, if your wedding is working within a coral, cream and slate gray color scheme then a feminine, pink-ombre cake would be a beautiful visual accompaniment to the rest of the wedding.
Whether your wedding is a more classic, art deco themed or lavender-strewn rustic affair, there is a wedding cake and a cake designer out there who can make your cake dreams come true!
Photo credit: Stephen Hughes
Photo credit: Ashleigh Taylor Photography
Photo credit: Lane Dittoe
Variations on the classic layered cake have recently become a popular trend, and can range from the rustic, vintage look of stacked Bundt cakes to individual cake pops that lend themselves to a more playful and whimsical vibe.
Photo credit: Our Labor of Love
Photo credit: Emona Hennen Photography
Providing small bites, like a cookie buffet or candy table is another option that gives you and your guests freedom when deciding on a tantalizing treat. If your fete is set to be fresh and sophisticated, perhaps French cookies like macarons or madeleines will work well with your reception venue and menu.
Photo credit: Anne McGowan Photography
Photo credit: Weddings by Two
If you're leaning towards a casual, outdoor environment with a menu incorporating all of your favorite comfort foods then chocolate chip cookies with milk shooters could be a perfect complement to your coffee service!
Photo credit: A Bryan Photography
A candy table is a wonderful option particularly if you're planning on hosting a great number of children (or young-spirited adults!) and can also double as a make-your-own-wedding-favor station at the reception.
Photo credit: Evin Photography
Photo credit: Leslie Walker
Assorted pies (apple, pecan, key lime, cherry, whichever you prefer!) or fruit tarts are a great dessert choice for a casual backyard or country rustic wedding. This option offers variety to you and your guests and satiates all sorts of different palates.
Photo credit: Jessica Claire
Photo credit: Ryan Ray Photography
To go along with a pie theme, you can even throw in a meat and vegetable pie during your cocktail hour, especially if your or someone close to you lacks that sweet tooth.
Or if you and your fiance would both prefer a savory alternative to a wedding cake and have a history of attending or hosting wine and cheese parties together then stacked fine cheeses and fruit could be a perfect way to end your wedding day!
Photo credit: Browns Photography
Go on and get inspired! The perfect cake and desserts are out there for you just waiting to be found.
While the late Mrs. Louis XIV may have started us all off in the right direction in terms of ending our weddings on a sweet note, it's nice to know that there are endless possibilities when it comes to after-dinner treats!
** An edited version of this post can also be seen on the blog for Stellina Events, a New York and San Francisco-based wedding and special events planning and design consultancy for which I have interned since November 2011. The Stellina Events article, posted on December 15, 2011 can be seen here**