Friday, August 2, 2013

Photo Friday: Vintage Wedding Cakes Edition

Good morning!

It's Friday, kids! I know you are going to be sick to death before I am officially wed of hearing about all the wedding preparations, but I'm going to have to tax your patience a little while longer with today's post. My friend Kelsey's mother made a very kind offer a couple weeks ago to make my wedding cake, and Kelsey herself offered to get the ingredients and fixin's for it. These Foster women are good people! Together with the help of her mom's friend Charli, they will no doubt knock it out of the park. I am excited about having the wedding cake semi-checked off my list. Only problem-- what do I want to do for the cake itself!

So many options out you go for super traditional? Super nontraditional? Infused with this? Flavored with that? Edible flowers? Non edible flowers? While I'm no foodie, and I have offered to eschew my veganism for a eggs-and-butter based cake, I don't have a clue how else to decide on a cake. So I turned, as I usually do of a Friday's morn, for inspiration in the deepstreams that are Flickriver. First, the formal cakes:

I'll tell you right off the bat I was tickled to death to see all these frothy, tiered, be-ribboned, spectacle like feats of wedding cake fancy. While I've always associated enormous, towering Inca-pyramid style confections as being only required of enormous weddings, what a lot of the photos in the Flickr stream reminded me is that even the most modest formal celebration could lay claim to a cake as big as the Ritz, if that's what the bride desired. None of the four of these wedding ceremonies and receptions were particularly indulgent or overly lavish from what I could see of the other photos, but when it came to the cake, they decided to go hard or to, very well, go home. While the sheer height of the one in the upper right hand corner is fantastic, and all of them are lovely, couples included, the one in the lower right hand corner is my favorite. Doesn't the bride look like a million dollars cash in her fountain spray of a veil and silk sheath dress? I particularly like how the table is laid, with that arrangement of flowers dressing up the table with just the correct amount of color.

Second, the informal cakes:

Just because it's the seventies' and you decided to get married at the courthouse, that doesn't mean you don't get a special celebration on your wedding day. I was struck by the difference between what results the search terms "wedding cake 1960" and "wedding cake 1970" respectively yielded. While the simple sheet cake next to the can of PBR in the upper right hand corner would seem like "phoning it in" at a larger ceremony, I love what an intimate and informal light it throws across the whole ceremony. And that kiss being planted on the white pant-suited new bride in her white scarfed much more adorable of a "my parents on their wedding day" could you ask for? I'm not sure what's going on with the reflective base of the mini-skirt bride's cake, but it caught my attention! I give the upper left hand corner couple top marks in this grouping for a) having the reception on someone's covered patio (I see so many covered patios in old neighborhoods being used as car ports rather than party-locations, and it makes me mad! If I had one, it'd be supper dances every Friday night and let the car be rained on!) and b) the bride's midriff baring ensemble. That couple looks so cute!!

I assure you I spent more time than this going through even more photos of people-I-don't-know getting married in decades-I-wasn't-around for, but the main takeaway idea from this internet research was that I wanted something traditional, but also kind of low key. No crazy theme, no special frosting recipe, just a good looking, good tasting cake that was made by people who I like! When Kelsey asked me to forward her a photo of what I wanted for my cake, I sent along this:

The left is a photo from an unnamed couple's wedding, and there's everything to love about the presentation here. White sportscoated groom, wispy tulle dream of a bride, simple streamer decorations, and a small but elegant cake. I want mine to be on a cake platter, like the one in the illustration from Betty Crocker's Book of Parties on the right, but essentially, this hits it! White cake, white frosting, little people on top, and DONE.

What do you think? Am I selling myself too short by not trying for something more ambitious? I think this cake reads my style through and through, and as Matthew has told me a hundred times he thinks of the ceremony part as MY big day rather than his (though he has put in a tiny request for a grooms cake shaped like something from Castlevania, and we may have to oblige the sweet man in this sole spoken preference), that should suffice, right? 

What's the best cake you've ever had at a wedding? Would you choose something exotic for your ceremony, or stick with a simple but beautiful traditional cake? Tell me, folks! I need to know!

I'm off to the sales with Miss Kitsch (Madison, we're comin' for ya!), but I'll see you guys back here on Monday! Have a great weekend. Til then.


  1. Hope you and Eartha had fun... and you might want to hit Michael's warehouse sale for 60% off day tomorrow. He has a lot of super-cute jewelry left.

    1. We were beset by wasps at that one Dogwood sale! I'm sorry I missed the 60% MT one, that sounded like a gem!

  2. that last one looks like my parents wedding cake! i wish i had a picture of it on my computer! i love simple too. we we pretty simple with ours:
    the lady who did our cake couldn't believe i came to our appointment with exactly what i wanted, and all I wanted was dots of butter cream. hah! fondant is ExPENSIVE! and tastes bad!
    but i wouldn't be opposed to one of those tiny fountains, or a plastic swan.

    1. Oh, I love your cake topper people! HOW CUTE! No, I'm a big fan of either having a set-in-stone idea in my head-- which is a challenge in this wedding planning business, as I have no idea how "one does" some things. I really like your cake in your photos, too, I want mine to look very similar! Simple, but elegant.

  3. We opted for a variety of different soft frosted (butter cream) small round cakes adorned with seasonal fresh fruit and other appropriate garnishes, and a petite two tiered cake for use to cut. If I could go back and do it all over again, I just serve chocolate cake as that's what our guests seem to favor! Also, we ordered lots of cake, much more than we needed, and nearly any was left over... apparently people like cake!

    I think your idea of a small but elegant cake sounds lovely! Anything more ambitious and you might be asking for disaster. Those cakes with pillars, like you showed at first, are neat but I've witnessed a few crash before cake cutting time. In one such cake crash, there was a fountain under the first tier of the cake, and when it all came crashing down, boy what a mess that made!

    Overall, what I learned from our wedding was, the simpler the better.... less room for error!
    Good luck!

    1. Congrats on your recent wedding! I just saw the post you did and OH MY GOSH, between your beau in his uniform and you looking vintage pitch perfect in that teeny waisted dress...I die! So fun and so gorgeous.

      I am now entertaining visions of cake-collapses in my're right, I think small and elegant might be the way to go!!

  4. I like the small but elegant cake idea as well! We had a 3 tier, average size cake with guava creme frosting inside the top layer. Dang, now I want cake....

    What Lola Wants

    1. Guava creme frosting! That sounds so neat!! I too now want cake.

  5. Love those pictures :)
    Fun and quirky clothes for your little one



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