Elegant wedding cakes are sophisticated and regal, and they hold a place of honor at the wedding reception as they wow guests with their clean, pure lines. Understanding what makes a cake elegant can help couples choose the best design for their cake to add a touch of elegance to their reception.
The easiest and most common definition of elegance is simplicity, without too many wild details or contrasting colors to distract from the cake's overall design. A simple cake can be lovely and will coordinate well with many types of wedding celebrations, particularly more formal events. Just because a cake is simple, however, does not mean it cannot have a design as individual and unique as the couple who uses it to celebrate the sweetness of their marriage.
Any wedding celebration is elegant, from solemn traditional wedding vows exchanged in an ornate church to customized, personal vows shared during a beach wedding. Elegant cakes can continue the classy sophistication of an event by providing a deliciously timeless dessert for the couple and guests to share. By understanding just what makes a cake elegant, couples can easily choose a design to coordinate with their wedding.
Elements of Elegance
Elegant wedding cakes can come in many styles and designs, but each element of a wedding cake's presentation can contribute to its elegance.
- Color: Classic white or ivory cakes are the most common colors for elegant, sophisticated designs. Boldly colored cakes are generally too shocking to present the same level of elegance, though accents in a single vibrant color can accentuate the cake's design. Monochrome color schemes are preferred, and sharp contrasts such as black and white wedding cakes can be elegant as well.
- Shape: Elaborate shapes, tilted layers, and mixed shape cakes are considered more unusual than elegant. Simple round or square wedding cakes are the most elegant.
- Arrangement: How a cake is arranged can drastically affect its appearance. Elaborate touches such as bridges, fountains, or wedding cakes with waterfalls may be lovely, but an elegant design is generally simple stacked tiers that may be centered or offset. The cake table should also be simple decorated, without multiple floral arrangements, guest books, and other paraphernalia to distract from the cake.
- Details: The degree of detailing on a cake often determines its elegance. Basket weave icing topped with faux roses and strings of pearls presents too much visual texture to be appealingly elegant; simpler motifs are preferred. Smooth icing is easily elegant, and simple accents such as a few well placed flowers, subtle icing dots or swirls, or piping can add dimension without clutter.
- Theme: A cake's theme contributes to its elegance. The most elegant wedding cakes coordinate smoothly with the overall event theme, whether by being decorated with flowers matching the bride's bouquet or with subtle color touches to match table linens and bridal party dresses. If the wedding has a more direct theme, such as a butterfly wedding theme, coordinating accents should still be simple and discreet.
- Topper: Wedding cake tops can make or break the elegance of this dessert. The most lovely cake designs will seem much less elegant when adorned with corny or funny wedding cake tops, or if the topper does not coordinate well with the cake. Fresh flowers are an elegant topper, or more sophisticated bride and groom figurines are stylish choices.
- Flavor: The flavor of the wedding cake may not be immediately visible, but it can impact the cake's elegance. Any flavor can be sophisticated, but elegant wedding cakes generally use only one flavor instead of designating a different taste for every tier. More adult tastes, such as liqueur fillings or unusual flavor combinations, offer subtle elegance for the taste buds.
- Behavior: A wedding cake is only as elegant as it is treated. When cutting the wedding cake, couples should use appropriate utensils both to make the first slice as well as to share bites if desired. Treating the cake as finger food or smashing it into one another's faces robs the pastry - and the couple - of any elegance.
Creating Elegant Wedding Cakes
Any experienced bakery should be able to create suitable elegant designs. Couples should attend cake tastings if possible and communicate their preferences clearly. Because the cake design is likely to be simple and understated, it must match the event perfectly or clashes will be more easily noticeable.
Wedding cake prices for simple, elegant designs can be significantly lower than for more outrageous creations depending on the size, flavors, and style of the cake. Much of a cake's price is due to labor to decorate the finished cake, and elegant cakes that are easier to decorate can be much more affordable on a tight wedding budget.
Time to Go Crazy
Elegant cakes may be lovely, but many couples also want a chance to have a wild, crazy cake to showcase their personalities and poke fun at the craziness of wedding planning. A bridal shower cake or groom's cake is the perfect dessert to create with more flair and flamboyance than the wedding cake.
Elegant wedding cakes are a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. With simple, clean designs and classic decorations, elegant cakes are as romantic and sophisticated as the relationship they celebrate.