The Edition: No. 107

Jun 18, 2019

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” — Herman Melville

Tainted. Why the wellness industry is making women sick.

Eco-Friendly. Nordstrom now makes it easier to shop sustainably. (h/t Grace)

Eavesdropped. Can gossip at work be helpful? How to tell when it is and when it is not.

Clad. Meet the only shorts I will wear.

Bounce Back. Is it time you created a rejection ritual?

Sultry. Lovers + Friends makes this pretty yellow frock and this striking purple one-shoulder dress.

Material. If you need a new book, try this list from The What.

Dressed. This Everlane cotton dress is on repeat in my wardrobe.

Simple. The case for boring office clothes. Who dares speak ill of Ann Taylor?

Fetted. Speaking of Ann, she has the best summer shoes.  I love these sandals!

Pleasure. Why buying lunch isn’t a waste of money.

Kyle and I are having a fight…about cake.  Okay, not a fight, no harsh words have been exchanged.  But a disagreement that feels very personal given my love of cake.  (Some of you have seen the Instagram stories.)

Kyle thinks that cake is a waste of money.  He thinks that “you always end up with too much cake.”  Of course his views are in no way colored by the fact that he does not like cake. ????????

We are having a cake. Mostly because my Mother shares my love of cake.  But what kind, what frosting, what color, what style, how much cake to serve?

I have cake questions.

So married ladies, event planners, fellow lovers of cake.  Talk to me about your wedding desserts, what did you do?

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Workday Reading

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mallory says:

    We did a cake that was made by a friend. We erred on the lower side of what it would feed and still ended up with some leftovers. We also had some baklava made by my grandmother available for the non-cake folks. Again, some leftovers, but nothing too extravagant.

    My brother’s wedding was a few weeks ago and they had a small carrot cake to slice, along with two Costco sheet cakes (chocolate & vanilla) and had plenty leftover for their 120-guest wedding. At $20/each, the cakes are really a steal.

    • Emily says:

      I did the same thing as Mallory’s brother – we had a very inexpensive two-tier wedding cake by a local grocery chain and supplemented with sheet cakes. It worked out perfectly and offered the ability to have variety of flavors!

  2. Rachel Kravitz says:

    You can do a small special cake (2 tier because you want that for your anniversary), and then a plain sheet cake for guests. It saves money. And other than Kyle, everyone wants cake!

    • Crystal says:

      I disagree on needing to save the top tier for your first anniversary — most bakeries are willing to provide a fresh one for your anniversary, often even in the ‘wedding cake’ price. Most people don’t get much enjoyment out of eating year-old frozen cake, Kyle doubly so.

      • Anna says:

        You can also freeze a large slice pretty easily; just wrap the crap out of it. My friends did that with a cake I made, and they said it was still good a year later.

  3. Andrea says:

    I’m getting married in August, and we have opted for a combination of cupcakes and pies a la mode in lieu of traditional cake. We are ordering way too much. 5 different cupcake flavor options and 4 pie flavors. If I can keep the mountain berry pie off the front of my dress, it will be a miracle.

    Our wedding is a tropical outdoor situation, and we were concerned that full-on cake might melt down in the heat & humidity. Cupcakes were the compromise because cake is a must for me, as well. Always. I also have an unproven, entirely unscientific theory that people are more likely to eat things that are easy to grab and go…so I’m hoping we won’t have *too* much left over. And if we do? Well, I guess I’ll just have to finish off the extras myself. Darn 😉

  4. Jessica says:

    We had a small “topper” cake that we cut ceremoniously but then we had cupcakes. I only planned for one/person, assuming that not everyone would have one. But honestly, I didn’t care if we ran out and preferred that to having leftovers since our wedding wasn’t in our home town (i.e. couldn’t easily take it home). Also, no one is going to say “well it would have been a great wedding if they hadn’t run out of cake!”

  5. Anna says:

    I’ve made wedding cakes and wedding cake/cupcake combos for friends and friends of friends. The last wedding I did and my favorite, I did five single cakes of different sizes and heights with different but complimentary decoration and in the center a two tier cake (tall 8″ and tall 6″ rounds). This was probably enough 150. The wedding was 300, so I also made two sheet cakes that the venue staff kept in the back and served as well.
    Bonus was that a few months later, Harry and Meghan did the same multi-cake style set up, so I felt like a total trendsetter!

    I’m a million times over cupcakes, so I won’t really recommend that, but in case that’s your jam, I did one that was basically a tower of cupcakes with a small cake on top that the couple cut into. The bride’s dad made the tower out of found objects and light fixtures so it looked way cooler than your usual cupcake tower wanting to be a wedding cake. I also did one that was a two tier cake about the size of the one pictured above and about 150 cupcakes. This couple also had a donut wall which was really cute. You can do something similar with a favorite dessert and then have a small cake to cut. I’m also a fan of mini-cakes over cupcakes, but that can be tricky because there is a much shorter assembly window, and transport is more complicated depending on how many people you have.

    Since I don’t have to worry about running a bakery and having consistent offerings, I tailor every flavor to the couple – either their favorite things, their heritage, or their personalities. People will remember the cake if it’s something memorable, just like the food. If it’s an almond cake with some fondant, no one is going to care.

  6. Sydni says:

    Cake and catering tasting sessions are the best part of wedding planning! In my experience, there are two things people will continue to talk about after your wedding – the entertainment and the food. Nobody tells you years later how much they liked your centerpieces, your flowers, your favors, or compliments you on the perfect table linens. They will tell you that they remember your wedding was so fun because everyone was dancing all night and the food was amazing. They will ask you who was your DJ and who made your cake. Taste all the cakes! You may be planning to go with a “safe” choice like a chocolate tier and a vanilla tier, but maybe the lemon with pistachio filling or caramel cake with rum filling is life changing! The look of it was less important to me than the flavor and texture. I didn’t want it covered with fondant because I think it tastes disgusting. I just had buttercream icing with a simple design and we stuck some fresh flowers on top. But I still think about how good that cake tasted.

    • A says:

      I would say the opposite on food – I don’t typically remember the food unless it is terrible (same for the cake). Our friends 5 years later still talk about how amazing our flowers were (my mom did them and they were absolutely stunning) and then how awesome the band and all of the people dancing were and the photo booth, but not one person talks about the food or the cake.

    • Anna says:

      Just a note if you want to add fresh flowers to your cake: try to get un-sprayed ones. If you can’t do that, be sure to wash them thoroughly and cover and seal the stems so that no part of the flower is actually touching the cake. I usually bunch them together and wrap with floral tape and then cover that with saran wrap. There are also some common flowers that can be poisonous if eaten, so try to stay away from those.

  7. A says:

    We found a reasonably priced baker who did a three tier cake and then “kitchen cake” for the rest (i.e., layers the same height as the tiers but in big sheets that were just cut and prepped in the kitchen – considerable cost savings considering we were a 200+ wedding). I insisted on buttercream frosting (personal taste preference) and no fondant, and I’m a pretty good cake baker myself, so we did a lot of taste testing until we found something that was up to my standards. I think we did chocolate, vanilla and lemon tiers to satisfy all of the constituencies involved.

    • A says:

      She also included as complimentary a 6 inch round on our anniversary, which was perfect, so no need to save extras.

  8. CeeCee says:

    I didn’t want a cake, I wanted a fruit and cheese course. My mother lost her mind when I suggested this and we ended up with a 4-tier cake for 150 people (served about 200 I think?) The extra servings were boxed up into tiny monogrammed cake boxes (a slice per a box) and put out with the favors. I think this was popular with our guests, as we had more favors left than cake boxes (maybe 8 boxes left, which my dad happily took home with them) We did keep and freeze the top tier- neither me nor my husband really care for cake- we each had a slice on our one year and I took the rest to work- it did freeze remarkably well.

    • Banana says:

      A friend of mine had a cake made of different sized cheese wheels. I thought it was a fantastic idea and it looked stunning, but the majority of the guests weren’t the type to normally eat a cheese course so there was a lot left over. Plus, my French in-laws were horrified that the desert of the 3 course meal was served prior to the cheese… sacre bleu!

  9. Lauren says:

    We did a small traditional wedding cake and had a side cake for the kitchen as well as some petit fours. Even our layer cake that looked tiny overwhelmed our party of 75. We had a whole cake left, but we brought it to our impromptu family brunch the next day and it was mainly polished off.

    A friend attended a wedding where the bridal party went to a specality bakery in town and bought a few bunt and layer cakes that were ready made, then garnished them all with fresh summer fruit to tie the look together (in this case strawberries). Sounds lovely for a more causal affair.

    • Anna says:

      I basically did this for my friend’s formal wedding, except instead of buying the cakes, I made multiple single cakes with a two tier cake in the middle. The designs were all a bit different but kept to the color scheme and used matching floral and hints of gold leaf. The were then arranged on different stands at different heights. Harry and Meghan actually did something similar with separate smaller “normal sized” cakes instead of a big tower.

  10. Mee says:

    No cake here, but we had an ice cream store bring a cart full of ice cream sandwiches (sorbet cups for non-dairy people). It was a hit, especially with the kids. Our wedding was outdoors in a forested park, soit worked well.

  11. Meghan says:

    We went the cupcake route from a local bakery. One) I LOVE cupcakes and how they’re conveyors for frosting. Two) Way cheaper than a typical wedding cake. Three) Easy to adjust the purchase based on RSVPs up to a week out. We basically planned one cupcake per person plus a dozen for those folks we knew would grab two. We had maybe 8 leftover for us to take home. We also had the caterer provide some trays of s’mores on a stick (we got married in December) for those non-cupcake fans.

  12. Ann says:

    When we were picking our wedding cake we couldn’t decide on one flavor and opted to have three regular cakes and make a cute display for them. It turned out this was significantly cheaper than getting one larger multi-tiered cake! We also didn’t want fondant and instead got buttercream frosting with a rough icing pattern and decorated with flowers from the florist. It was minimal but classy and could be a good middle of the road compromise. The sheet cake idea is another good one a few of my friends have done and worked well.

  13. B says:

    As a guest of many many many weddings, I always find grocery store/generic bakery sheet cakes gross. It’s bad frosting, a terrible frosting-to-cake ratio, and no one wants it. If you’re leaning that way, I would rather have a dessert sampler, some other sort of dessert (a recent wedding had strawberry shortcakes), a pie bar, or even pretty cookies, and you can still do a small cutting cake for you and your wedding party/family.

  14. Laura says:

    We had a croquembousche ( a giant, caramel-decorated cream puff tower that served 150. Croquembousches are traditional western/central European wedding cakes. It was very pretty and fun and easy to serve; everyone just grabbed a cream puff off the tower!

  15. Summer says:

    My husband doesn’t like cake either. I wanted a cake, so we did a traditional cake – white with strawberry filling for one layer and white with strawberry amaretto for the other two. For the groom’s cake, however, we did a milk and cookie bar. We had an assortment of cookies and cold milk available. It was a huge hit!

  16. Kat says:

    We had a dessert bar with a huge variety of offerings–cupcakes, cookies, bars, fruit, etc. I LOVE dessert but the bar option was way cheaper than a cake since it was included in our catering package (whereas a cake you have to buy separately–one more vendor to manage!). My husband doesn’t really like cake so he was thrilled with this compromise!

  17. irmck says:

    We also had fights about cake, specifically about whether or not to have a Groom’s Cake. I’m from Alabama, where it’s traditional to have a Bride’s cake and a Groom’s Cake, and I had no idea that this was not done everywhere. Husband somehow thought that this was a special cake, only for him and his side of the wedding party and didn’t want to be exclusive. Once he realized that it just meant “MORE CAKE” and that we didn’t have to agree on flavors, peace was restored.

    We had white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce for him, almond cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry mascarpone sheet cake for me. We had way too much, and we were all (my parents, sister, husband and I) were still eating leftover cake well after our first anniversary. It was awesome.

    • AL high Five says:

      IRMCK, that’s adorable. I went a similar moment of fiance confusion as an Alabamian with a non-Alabamian husband! Despite having gone to a million weddings elsewhere without grooms’ cakes, it didn’t occur to me that he wouldn’t expect one and that he’d be *very* confused when the baker wanted wanted his opinion on a different design…followed by delighted.

      Highly recommend a second groom’s cake or other dessert option! But for real, Abra, do what you want. Dessert is an area where I think people are mostly happy with either the traditional option or something creative. I’ve rarely had great cake at weddings, even clearly expensive ones, but have never felt myself ill-served. My sister’s wedding a few years ago had >200 professionally-baked cupcakes (family members needed a gluten-free option, and cupcakes made that easier) AND 40 dozen homemade cookies because my mother panicked at the last minute that there would be insufficient dessert, so she and the other church ladies all got to baking. Nothing fancy – think snickerdoodles, Tollhouse chocolate chip, etc. There were a few cupcakes left over but not a single cookie 🙂

      • Sally says:

        Yes, the Groom’s Cake is somewhat ubiquitous in the south! When my son married three years ago in Memphis, there was a traditional wedding cake, but instead of a Groom’s Cake, there was a “Donut Table” featuring donuts from a much-loved local donut shop. Guests enjoyed the cake but went nuts for the donuts, especially the out-of-towners who were just being introduced to this local delicacy.
        I agree there are many fun variations on the traditional wedding cake; choose the one that makes you happy and perhaps accommodate Kyle’s tastes and wishes with a second dessert.

  18. AVV says:

    We had several tiers plated on separate cake stands at different heights. That allowed us to have a few different flavors while still getting a little wow factor (because when else do you eat tall cake?), and also to preserve the little top cake to eat on our first anniversary (cute, but not that tasty in the end). They were hexagonal, because I wanted square, my mother wanted round, and our baker realized a compromise could be made. They were decorated with little real flower centerpieces, which we bought from our florist; the frosting was white with thin pink swirls. All in all, it was exactly right for our wedding: colorful and tasty.

  19. Lindsay says:

    Chiming in to echo many other posters. My mother also lost her mind when we said we didn’t want to do (i.e. pay for) a traditional cake (we wanted to do gourmet donuts). Our compromise was that my parents paid for the cake and we did both. We did a “cutting cake” and then had our bakery do a couple sheet cakes.

    I will add that the other advantage to a “kitchen cake” is that the staff at your venue can pre-slice the cake and be ready to whisk it out to your guests at the tables, or put it out for people to come grab a slice. Our big concern was slowing things down by having to wait for them to slice up a giant cake, when we just wanted to get to the dance floor.

    I will say that no one remembers our cake, but people still rave about the donuts because they were delicious and unique.

  20. jules says:

    I absolutely loved my wedding cake and my guests as well (or so they have told me)
    We found a local cheesecake shop and ordered a 5-tier cheesecake with all different flavors. It was under like $200 for the entire thing and it was SO DELICIOUS. (We bought a full carrot cake for those who hate cheesecake)

    A lot of poeple skip the cake anyway (for diet reasons or just being full from the food) so we had plenty leftover.

    Our wedding was pretty small, but if we had more people we could easily have bought another 5-tier cake.

    People liked it, and they told us they enjoyed how different it was. It also looked very pretty and we adorned it with some leftoever flowers.

  21. Anna says:

    I had a smaller wedding (about 80 people) and was blessed with a fantastic pastry chef at my disposal. I’m not a cake person but I wanted the tradition of cutting a cake. So we made a very small cake and enjoyed a small slice for pictures. It was a tropical flavor, but I genuinely can’t remember what exactly. We opted to offer a pretty assortment of pastries and sweets in lieu of a single flavor cake (as it turns out a good decision because I remember my mother in law later telling me she didn’t care for the cake). We also were lucky enough to have a nearby creamery serve hand-dipped ice cream on the front porch of the Victorian house-turned restaurant where our wedding was held. Ours was a very laid back wedding so the varied offerings matched our less formal evening.

  22. ANgela says:

    SIL and her husband did not like cake so they went with pie instead. They had one regular sized pie for the “pie cutting” and ordered large sheet pans of different flavored pies to serve the guests.

  23. Caitlin says:

    We did cupcakes for guests and a small cake for us to cut. I liked the cupcakes because I could have more flavors and even some gluten free and vegan options to accommodate all my friends. We had 60 guests and I had ordered 72 cupcakes and we had nothing left over (except the rest of the cutting cake, which I happily ate on the flight home!).

  24. Becky says:

    The cake photo you posted had me gasp because it’s quite similar to the cake recently served at my wedding!

    My personal thoughts on cake are that it’s one of the best parts of a wedding! I will rarely go out and buy a cake for a dessert for myself, so a wedding is a chance to enjoy it. I am a bit sad when that’s not the wedding dessert served (though I fully subscribe to “your day, your choice” notion).

    Our cake was included in the venue’s wedding package, which was incredibly convenient. Based on our number of guests, the pastry chef opted for a five-tier cake. There were two flavors, served every/other at the tables to the guests, the fondant was taken off before serving, and we took the top tier to enjoy on our first anniversary. It also provided an incredible focal point for our reception’s cocktail hour, so that’s something to consider.

    As for the “too much” I think it really depends on your schedule for the day and your guests–lots of my friends and family knew the cake was a big deal to me, and have similar positive feelings about cake. It was the thing I got the most compliments on. While I did not really get a good look at the tables post-dinner to truly assess, my sense is that most guests did eat their cake, possibly in part because it was served while we were doing a few final photos of just the two of us and group photos with guests from our alma mater so they were given time to eat it before dancing got started.

    A good baker and a good wedding planner will be able to guide you well in the appropriate amount for your guests. If it’s a smaller wedding but you want several of tiers, see if they’ll do one or two fake tiers.

    Have fun at the tasting!

  25. KLeigh says:

    We had a fairly traditional three-tiered cake that was great. Saved the top tier for first anniversary and it was still great. We had a weird timing glitch with the serving of cake and our first dance, so some people who went to watch the first dance somehow didn’t get passed cake, and you would be SURPRISED that people really do comment and seem to care about the cake (obviously not everyone).

    The best thing, though, was that we did warm chocolate chip cookies with milk shooters at like 9:30 p.m. and that was a HUGE hit, and people still talk about it. 🙂

  26. Martha says:

    I am getting married in two months, and my awesome friend is catering the wedding. She is making a bunt cake with two tiers for us. We’re also having chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting, butterscotch blond brownies, chocolate peanut butter cookies, macaroons, lemon cheesecake bars, fudge, no bake cookies, and rice crispy treats.

  27. Janine says:

    This is a bit of a hybrid of what a few others have said. I always remember cake from weddings, but that is because I love, and frequently bake, cake. I had a fantastic cake at a friend’s wedding and learned that it was from one of my favorite bakeries (Baked & Wired for DC folks!), so I decided that this was one decision I didn’t need to belabor. My fiancee didn’t care too much about the cake and, other than tasting for approval, left the final decision up to me. We ordered two of their wedding cakes, which feed 50-60 people, for about 120 guests, and we had leftovers. Flavors were dirty chai with espresso frosting and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and I only heard rave reviews. We were also able to order a few dairy/nut free cupcakes for our guests with allergies. It was less expensive than a typical wedding cake because that isn’t their primary business, but the cake was fantastic. The only thing I would have changed would be to skip a cake topper and add flowers that coordinated with our table flowers.

  28. Mackenzie says:

    Our wedding package at the venue came with cake that could feed 150 people, but we only planned on around 70 people at the wedding. We sent home the extra cake as wedding favors in boxes I ordered from Etsy. They had our name and the wedding date and said “Eat Cake for Breakfast.” At the end of the of the party, most people said that they ate their extra piece before they got back to the hotel as a good midnight snack – when you’re intoxicated cake is always a good midnight snack.

    If you’re worried about having any left overs at all, it was a great favor and the custom to go boxes were very cheap. As a guest, I would prefer extra cake (and other desserts if you want them) over something with the bride and groom’s name and wedding date on it that will go into my junk drawer until I no longer feel bad about throwing it away.

    We did buttercream icing in the wavy pattern you see on Pinterest because fondant isn’t actually very good. The cake had two flavors, lemon cake with (slightly) salted caramel icing between layers, and almond cake with salted caramel icing between the layers. Our wedding cake was the best damn cake I’ve ever had and we did not save any for our one year anniversary because it was too good to let it sit in the freezer for a year.

  29. Madeline says:

    Yes! Pretty tiered cake (you can even have some layers made of styrofoam) and then a sheet cake from the same bakery or a less expensive bakery in the back. That way the cake can already be cut and plated when you do the official cake cutting so that as soon as you cut the cake they can wheel out the slices for serving. Great way to keep everyone happy and cut down on costs.

  30. E says:

    We did an ice cream sundae bar. I missed it in all the excitement but the guests seemed to really like it!

  31. Annie says:

    We ordered a small gorgeous delicious 8″ round with rose icing to cut publicly and two sheet cakes from Costco (also yummy) to serve. We went to cut the small cake and found a fox had snuck by and ate it (outdoor wedding), so we cut the sheet cakes. Everyone enjoyed the Costco cakes including us.

  32. Lisa says:

    I have gone to many weddings and can’t picture a single cake from any of them (but I’m really not a cake person). Get whatever you like best / whatever makes you (and your mom) happy.
    Also, if you have extra, definitely bring it to a breakfast/brunch if you’re doing one. I had pie at my wedding, and it was a hit with my hungover friends and family.

  33. kalee says:

    I feel like this is an unpopular opinion, but I’m a huge fan of the traditional almond wedding cake. I’m still slightly upset that the cake at one of my friend’s wedding was served during dancing and it was all gone by the time I got off the dance floor. I also get irrationally upset when I go to a wedding and there’s not cake. In the words of Julia Child, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” 🙂

  34. Sara says:

    Our venue included a cake from a local bakery that was luckily very highly reviewed. We tried all kinds of crazy flavors when we went for the tasting but ended up with a 3 tier white cake with alternating layers of strawberry and chocolate mousse. It looked like Neapolitan ice cream when you cut into it and had mass appeal. The bakery provided us with a separate anniversary cake which is wrapped in many layers in the freezer. We also set up table with apple cider doughnuts and warm cider/coffee (it was October) which doubled as our favors.

  35. SC says:

    I can only comment as a wedding guest, but the best food was at my best friend’s wedding and there was no cake — she had platters of brownies and cheesecake on the dinner serving line. Best dessert ever because we didn’t have to wait to cut the cake, and everybody loves brownies or cheesecake. She also had amazing dinner food; we still talk about the Tuscan panzanella and the crab mac and cheese.

  36. Edna Mazur says:

    We found someone local who does wedding cakes as a side biz. She uses Styrofoam bases (which she frosts and decorates) with only the top layer as real cake. We then picked out sheet cake in all the flavors.

    Looked super expensive but wasn’t (she gave you a twenty dollar or so refund if you returned the styrofoam).

    I love cake, and am disappointed when weddings don’t have cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love donuts and other sweets as well, but there is something about weddings and cakes…

  37. Clare C says:

    Cake was low on the priority list for us, so we just took our wedding planners advice: a small cake from our favorite bakery to cut just for the ceremony portion, and 200 cupcakes of various flavors for our 130 guests. We actually did whole foods cupcakes ($1.25 each!) making dessert one of our cheapest line items. 200 cupcakes was def too many, but we had cupcake boxes for favors at the end of the night so we ended up getting rid of all of them.

  38. ChristinA says:

    The woman who’s made my birthday cakes my entire life made our wedding cake. She ran a tiny bakery out of her house and it is super special because she since retired, so the wedding cake was literally the last cake my family will have by her. We went with Vanilla cake, layered with chocolate bourbon ganache and Vanilla icing. Super simple design too and I ordered the cake topper off Etsy. The cost was about half of what I budgeted for (or expected) but since it was such a tiny homegrown operation she undercharged for all of her goodies, not just the wedding cake.

  39. Robin says:

    The last wedding we went to was my BILs.They had a dessert table set up with a sampling of sweet cupcakes, puddings etc. Unfortunately they had not nearly enough! So if you don’t want to serve the dessert individually to your guests, I’d suggest to order MORE than you think because frankly, people are pigs.

  40. Naomi says:

    I had a small 2-tiered cake plus a dessert bar. It worked out really well! There was literally no cake or dessert left at the end.

  41. Steph says:

    we did a cake just to cut, and pie because we had barbeque for food and everyone loves pie! but the cake was from this LEGIT bakery called SusieCakes… its so freaking good… so not everyone got some and they were wishing for more. The one thing I would change about my wedding was to have more cake. And I don’t even like cake! SusieCakes is just that delicious.

  42. Laura says:

    Did anyone else grow up with insane Italian/New York weddings that ended with an opulent Venetian hour?

    I had no desire for a multi-tiered cake, but I was not about to pass up the opportunity for DESSERTS! Sadly, saying “Venetian/Viennese hour” in DC was like speaking an alien language, so I figured out how to do my own.

    We ordered four or five different flavors of cake from CakeLove (RIP), and had a platter of Italian cookies and pastries. My mom insisted on getting my husband a groom’s cake which was a giant cannoli shell stuffed with mini-cannolis. The menu at the hotel where the reception was also included a dessert that to be honest I cannot remember at all.

    True to wedding form, I was too busy socializing to eat any dessert besides the traditional cut the cake bite, but thankfully we had leftovers to take home and feast on!

    Kyle may not like cake, but does the man have no sweet tooth whatsoever? Besides, what’s a celebration with only one type of dessert? 🙂

    • Jill says:

      Fond memories of the Italian cookie feast at weddings when I was a kid in the Northeast. Pretty sure there was always cake, too. Puzzled by disliking cake but then, I won’t touch fruit pie, especially apple pie, so who am I to judge? 😉 Friend’s father inadvertently ate the bride and groom’s souvenir wedding cake piece from the freezer as a midnight snack. 😉

      • Denise says:

        Cookie tables are very common in Pittsburgh, where I grew up and had my wedding. I have baked countless dozen cookies for friends weddings. and I mean, is there anything better than eating a ladyfinger after boozing it up and dancing all night. The answer is no 😉

  43. Carolyn says:

    My husband loves all sweets, so he was all in on the cake tasting and was also rather opinionated on all wedding planning. We met with maybe 4 cake people? Maybe overkill but I was exploring the pricing vs product and basically came to the conclusion that there is a difference in a Costco cake vs a pricey cake lady. I loved our cake last from the first time I met her, and she was always the front runner.

    Our venue was awesome, and the “cake spot” was begging for a legit cake. So we did 4 tiers to feed like 120? We had 118 guests and a solid amount of it was eaten (it was so good!!). We went home with maybe 15 slices (wedding size slices, so not huge) and froze them and we ate them for dessert for a few months post-wedding. An anniversary cake was included in our price, so we didn’t save a tier.

    We did almond for the cutting layer, chocolate with raspberry and then sweet potato cake (married in NC). My husband loves carrot cake, but when he tasted the sweet potato, he fell in love so that’s what we did. The top three tiers were covered in hand-piped lace to match my dress and the bottom tier was a diagonal stripe to mimic the gathered tulle on my dress. Not sure if anyone picked up on it ????????‍♀️ But I thought it looked awesome!! Then we had fresh flowers swagged across it. And our cake lady drew us a color picture of it, so we framed that!

    Basically, it’s a chance to have fun! I thought cake toppers and the silly tier pillars were soooo outdated, so we went for a clean look from afar that had pretty details up close.

    The cake was one of the more fun and less stressful things we did 🙂

  44. SC says:

    We had a dessert spread at our wedding, plus a small cake to cut/enjoy. We did cupcakes, pie pops, brownies, lemon bars. It was a big hit since everyone has such personal dessert preferences, and we still got to enjoy cake and do a (private) cake cutting with our photographer!

  45. Jubilance says:

    We had a small wedding (85 guests) and we did a round 3 layer wedding cake – the top layer was saved for us, and we froze it until our first anniversary. The bottom two layers were more than enough cake for our guests!

    We went with a chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream, not super fancy but everyone enjoyed it.

    We also did dessert as wedding favors – mini pies because we got married on Pi Day. So between the wedding cake and our mini pie favors, our guests were happy with the dessert selection.

  46. Alisha says:

    My husband and I both love sweets so we had 2 cakes from this amazing local bakery. A cheesecake and a small tiered cake, lemon cake with strawberry filling and a thin layer of buttercream frosting. We had a fair amount leftover, but honestly, they tasted so good it was worth it. If I had a do-over, I would get little to-go boxes for people to take home a slice or two.

  47. Meg says:

    Oohh, cake. We got small two layer cake for ourselves and the bridal party and a ton of cupcakes for everyone else. I think because cupcakes are grab-able, folks didn’t feel bad about grazing, rather than having to cut a slice of cake. We only had one plate left over!

  48. KLO says:

    Strawberry shortcake (individual servings) for our June wedding. It is a lot to ask a cake to be a dramatic centerpiece and to taste fabulous!

  49. mj says:

    The average the AT blazer costs $159 and J. Crew’s are right around the same. I’ve never really held J. Crew in higher regard, but this article makes it sound like AT shoppers are getting a huge bargain or are less well off? I wouldn’t exactly call either brand “reasonable” unless they are %40 off.

    • Jill says:

      Agree. And AT uses a lot of polyester, which makes the non-sale prices that much more painful. I wear it (less so in a more casual office now) not because I’m dying to wear it but it’s convenient. The stores are easy to find in D.C., where I live.

  50. Trista says:

    We did a small cake for cutting and cupcakes for everyone else. It worked out great because guests took the leftover cupcakes home (we were able to order just what we needed so there weren’t very many) and we had enough cake to freeze for our 1st anniversary (later ruined due to a hurricane induced power outage but that’s another story).

  51. Elz says:

    We got married forever ago, before anyone did anything unique. We had a delicious lemon and vanilla cake. Didn’t save the top layer, though.

  52. Danni says:

    Our reception was at a restaurant and it provided a three-tiered cake for us. We tried to save the top tier for our anniversary but our freezer stopped working a few months after the wedding and it was ruined. We bought a simple cake to share at the one-year point. It was delicious and probably better than one-year old, previously frozen cake would have tasted. A family member recently had a dessert table at her wedding. It was nice and the options were yummy however, it was set up at the start of the reception and people starting taking items before the dinner was served and well before the bride and groom cut their small cake.Ugh!

  53. EMily J says:

    We did a two tier cake to cut during the reception and had sheet cake in the back made by the same bakery for guests. I absolutely love cake (my husband not so much but I was definitely having cake at my wedding). I really don’t like the taste of fondant so our cake was just iced with vanilla buttercream. The cake itself was lemon and we had raspberry buttercream between the layers, it was heaven. Also did not go through the hassle of freezing the cake for our anniversary- I just had my mom save me as much as possible to eat when I returned back from our honeymoon!

  54. Kris says:

    I come from an Italian family and we had a traditional Italian wedding cake. It was absolutely delicious. The top layer was pound cake to freeze well. A year later it tasted very good on our first wedding anniversary.

  55. Ronda says:

    Please don’t serve guests sheet cake from Costco. Try a made-from-scratch cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it will change your view of cake/frosting. And go big with the flavor, make it unique. People can bake a yellow cake for their birthday at home. The cake should be as stylish as you.

  56. Leigh says:

    We had just enough cake for 3/4 of our guests. We knew based on our venue and flow of the night that not everyone would “engage” in the cake cutting or eating. I had a slice, I don’t think my husband did. We didn’t have extra!

    • Leigh says:

      Correction! We did have a top layer for our anniversary… but then we moved twice in one year. The cake moved too, but at some point along the way it got weird. I wasn’t too bummed about not eating it, and ultimately I think I could have skipped that layer.

  57. Kayla says:

    Fiancé and I are getting married in September. I have Celiacs and am also allergic to soy, almonds, and eggs. I am not about to pay some trendy gf bakery $75 for a tiny cake that likely tastes worse than what I can make at home, so I am baking a small cake for us to cut. For our guests: my moms friend owns a gourmet marshmallow company, so she is making us several custom flavors of marshmallows to serve (don’t think jetpuffs, think pillowy gooey flavored treats you would find in a French pastry shop).

  58. Abbie says:

    White cake with huckleberry buttercream filling (from the Uptown Cafe). It’s such a Montana flavor and something a little different for people coming from out of state. Decorated with fresh flowers

  59. Bri says:

    We did a small tiered wedding cake and then did each of our favorite desserts to supplement (brown butter rice crispy treats for me and crepe puffs for the hubby). We put little signs near each of the supplemental desserts explaining “brides fav” and “grooms fav”.

  60. Megan says:

    Don’t know if they’ll ship to Montana, but Deru in Kirkland WA makes the BEST cakes I’ve ever had!! We custom order them for events all the time

  61. MarY says:

    #TeamKyle also planning a wedding and the caterer wants to charge $5.50/slice plus a $150 fee for just having a cake plus $59 for the cake stand!?! My fiancé and I both don’t really love cake (which you obvi do, so follow your bliss!) so we’re deciding instead to do a s’mores bar (my favorite treat) and a boozy milkshake bar (fiancés favorite treat). Moral of the story: choose a dessert that you love, it makes it personal. And if Kyle doesn’t love cake, is there another way to incorporate his favorites? E.g. Snickers cake if he’s obsessed with Snickers

  62. Annick says:

    Cakes can be sooo expensive, most places we were looking at in the DMV where around $8-10 a slice! We ended up going with a lady a friend and it was delicious. She did a three-tiered cake. We were more adventurous with our flavor, we chose a cinnamon toast crunch (my husband’s all time favorite cereal) let me tell you, it was so good.

  63. Erica says:

    We did a three-tier cake, and each layer was vanilla cake with a mocha buttercream frosting; the cake wasn’t huge but it was enough for ~120 guests. White buttercream frosting all around with some simple striped texture, along with fresh flowers (garden roses and dahlias) from the florist arranged on a diagonal across. Didn’t save the top tier because the idea of year-old cake seemed disappointing to me, so instead we got a fresh 6″ cake of the same flavor from our baker for our anniversary.

  64. Anna says:

    I think people often have leftover cake for two reasons: One is because the venue cuts it differently than the baker intended. The second is because they don’t have it served as dessert, and instead just set it out. I would ask your vendor to recommend a bakery they work with, and/or ask your baker if your venue is familiar with their cakes. If you’re serving a plated meal, have the cake served. If you’re having a buffet, have the cake cut and set out by the time people are in line so they see it.

  65. Ashley Shasko says:

    Let me preface by saying, we are both chocolate fiends! We went against the grain of the traditional “white wedding cake” and had a Chocolate Cake with Nutella Buttercream icing. We both loved it, and it was a big hit, so choose what you (and your Mom;) love and don’t worry about expectations!

  66. Kristina says:

    My husband had very few requests for our wedding and one of them was the cake. We ended up going with cake for roughly half of our guests (“blemonberry” = blueberry + lemon with a vanilla buttercream frosting- to.die.for.) & rounded out with a sampling of desserts: shortbread cookies (made by my grandmother), “bundtinis” from Nothing Bundt Cakes & a couple flavors of pie bites from a local bakery. We also purchased treat bags from Etsy for guests to take home a midnight snack.It was perfect.

    As for cake design, the amount we needed called for 2 tiers and looked quite odd, so we added a faux top tier and no one knew the difference 🙂 Our bakery offers a fresh 6″ round in your flavor on your 1 year anniversary, so preserving the top tier wasn’t necessary for us.

  67. Sasha says:

    I do not love cake and the spouse does not love cake. We had three giant tiramisus at our wedding and never looked back. However, the last three wedding cakes that I actually ate all hand fresh strawberries in the interior frosting and not too much frosting on the outside. One in particular, a lemon cake with strawberry filling, was to die for. I even had seconds.

  68. Julia says:

    I grew up saying I wasnt having cake at my wedding, I was having pie. Mostly because i didnt love wedding cake. In New Orleans, where I’m from, its a flavor – dry white almond cake, pineapple filling, and horrible gritty crisco laden buttercream or inedible fondant. Not my favorite. So when I was deciding what desserts to have, and accepted that I wanted some sort of showstopper cake, I thought about what type of cake I actually like to eat. I LOVE my moms strawberry cream roll. All homemade, light, and delicious. I’ve made it plenty times as a stack cake as an adult rather than a rolled cake. When I finally untethered myself from the idea of what a “wedding cake” is and decided to go with my favorite cake to eat, it all made sense. That being said, I also had platters of small pies, and my mom’s signature carrot cheesecake, so I fulfilled my childhood promise to have pie. 🙂 We didn’t have cake left over (so I’m told, and we served our top tier), but we did have smaller desserts left. For reference, the cake was 3-tiered (12″, 9″, 6″ I believe) and we had 125 guests.

  69. CP says:

    To address Kyle’s two concerns: first, if you eliminate the champagne toast (which is about $4 pp), this gives you some budget for cake. People can just raise their glass for toasts, and you can still have champagne on hand for those who want it. As an added bonus, no champagne toasts means the servers can focus on other things like clearing plates and attending to guests. And second, ask your wedding planner for a place to donate extra cake, and make this one of her assignments. Our one extra sheet cake went to a soup kitchen and our flowers went to a nursing home … all gathered up that night by our planner and delivered the next day.

  70. Cheri says:

    We did a smaller cake. We also erred on the lower side of our numbers as we also had cake pops as party favors. I love cake, what can I say. We also has some left overs, but not a ton. Our wedding package included a groom’s cake. Complete waste and no one ate it.

  71. Amanda says:

    As a guest of weddings, I never eat the cake unless it’s served to me (left at my seat), or put out quickly as dinner is wrapping up. If put out early, I’ll go up and grab a slice while everyone is still sitting around, before the dancing picks up. If the cake is served late but left at my seat, you can bet that I’ll scarf down a slice while resting my feet between songs and be glad I did.

    So my avice is not to wait until well after the end of dinner to get the cake out. Or, like another commenter suggested, have a sheet cake version of your cake for the kitcen so the dessert can be brought out quickly after the cutting ceremony.

    Overall, I’m supportive of cake!

  72. Leslie says:

    We are having “bundtinis” in three flavors (marble, lemon, carrot) from Nothing Bundt Cakes displayed on footed cake plates.

  73. J says:

    We bought 5 9in round 3 layer cakes at my favorite bakery, traditionally decorated in the style of said cake: lemon raspberry, strawberry white cake, chocolate hazelnut, black forest, and carrot. We didn’t pay for a wedding cake markup, we got the flavors we liked, and everyone who likes cake got a chance to try whatever they wanted. It was great. We made differing levels of cake plates to showcase, and people served themselves. We stuck a cake topper on the cake on the highest level.

    My sister and her husband don’t like cake, so they did pie. Cherry, apple, french silk, and pecan. That was also great.

  74. Nichole says:

    My husband and I had a small cake that we cut during the reception. It was lemon flavored with raspberry filling – my fav cake in all the land. My DH was concerned that some wouldn’t like it, so we made our cake small and did 2 flavors of cupcakes for everyone else. Guests could have their dessert right then or take it home as a treat for later. It worked out great! And there weren’t any leftovers because we encouraged the last few guests to take home as many cupcakes as they wanted.

  75. Jenn S. says:

    Neither my husband nor I are big cake people, but we decided to do a small 6″ round for the spectacle of cutting; white cake, vanilla buttercream, gave the decorator carte blanche on how to decorate it apart from colors. Otherwise, we did petits fours – both white and chocolate. These were the larger, 2-3 bite petits fours covered in poured fondant (which IS NOT the same thing as regular fondant, which is disgusting). They were exquisite; you get the same single-serve type thing as a cupcake without being played out like a cupcake. 🙂 It was also a far more cost-effective route for us; for my intimate, <50 guest wedding, it was less than half the cost of doing a traditional wedding cake with enough for everyone.

    The petits fours were better tasting than the wedding cake!

  76. Kk says:

    We were married about two years ago, in a historic hotel ballroom in a major midwest city -we had about 200 guests. There was a tiny wedding (8 guests) happening on the rooftop of the same venue. We accidentally took home both their top layer AND ours- I got one from the kitchen and so did my mom, and later that week she mentioned to me “i thought your cake was gold, not silver!” (it was gold) and “i didnt realize you’d put an airplane on your cake!” (I didnt put an airplane on my cake)

    We hung our heads low and brought back the silver airplane cake top layer to the hotel a few days later and (I assume) the other couple picked it up. The lesson of that story is to check your cake before you bring it home, and definitely before your mom writes your names and the wedding date on the box in permanent marker!

  77. tristan says:

    We actually did two cakes. One was lemon cake with raspberry filling (My fave and SO delicious!). The second was chocolate on chocolate 🙂

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!


Anniversary Sale 2024: The Best of What’s Left

After a week of looting and pillaging by cardholders, influencers, and frequent shoppers, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally open to the public. Here are the best pieces chosen from the remaining selection.



Recent Posts

The Range: A Saturday Night Look

Sometimes you just need an outfit that works as is. No hunting the closet for pieces that match. No wondering if the proportions of this skirt are right with that top. Here is an outfit that is great for a girls’ night out, a conference dinner, or a casual date.



How to Survive the Blistering Heat

We had a wet spring, followed by a mild May and June. So I was not at all prepared for the triple digit heat that hit the Pacific Northwest like a freight train this week. Instead, I just feel lucky that we had any nice weather at all. But existing when it’s this hot is […]




Features, Top Posts | July 15, 2024

Anniversary Sale 2024: The Best of What’s Left

After a week of looting and pillaging by cardholders, influencers, and frequent shoppers, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally open to the public. Here are the best pieces chosen from the remaining selection.



Features, Posts, The Range | July 12, 2024

The Range: A Saturday Night Look

Sometimes you just need an outfit that works as is. No hunting the closet for pieces that match. No wondering if the proportions of this skirt are right with that top. Here is an outfit that is great for a girls’ night out, a conference dinner, or a casual date.



After Hours, Posts, Style | July 11, 2024

How to Survive the Blistering Heat

We had a wet spring, followed by a mild May and June. So I was not at all prepared for the triple digit heat that hit the Pacific Northwest like a freight train this week. Instead, I just feel lucky that we had any nice weather at all. But existing when it’s this hot is […]



Posts, Style | July 11, 2024

My Picks from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

Buckle up, ladies. It’s that time of year — the Anniversary Sale is here. Soon your inbox and your social feeds will be awash with influencer posts about Nordstrom’s once-a-year sale extravaganza. But, you know my rule: one post today, one post when the sale opens to the public.