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Choosing Your Wedding Cake

The role that wedding cakes play at wedding receptions has changed somewhat over the years to the point that it is now truly an individual choice as to design and configuration. Whereas in the past these choices were dictated much more by tradition (white cake, multiple tiers, traditional scrollwork), now its not uncommon to see weddings that are all pies, mini pastries, or cupcakes, with a small cake to cut or some combination of all of them. At Raindrop we’ve seen it all and are glad for it. A bride and groom should have what they want at their wedding and not be held to tradition. So don’t be afraid to ask.

In a typical wedding season at Raindrop we still see a majority of multi-tired wedding cakes, albeit with much more design variety, but I see more and more couples who just want pies or cupcakes, with just a small cake to cut. One tradition that has remained is the cutting ceremony. What follows are some things to consider when choosing your wedding cake or other desserts for your wedding.

Multi-tiered cakes:

Still the most popular and usually the most elegant, dramatic choice. These can be round, square, hexagonal, heart-shaped, etc but most often are round. They are typically priced by the serving and that serving size has been somewhat standardized at 1” X 2” X 4”, assuming that the tier is the standard 4 inches high. At Raindrop they are, 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of filling. Pricing by the serving seems to be the most equitable way of pricing across a broad range of styles without having to do a ground up cost analysis of each cake. Once you get past the basic cake you are paying mostly for the decorator’s time. As the time involved goes up so does the price per serving. But this price per serving can vary greatly from bakery to bakery. Also, the different shapes will yield a different number of servings. For instance a certain tier configuration in square will yield more servings than the same configuration in round and so will cost more.

Another consideration for multi-tiered cakes is weather the tiers will be stacked or raised on pillars. This is usually determined by design, use of flowers, etc and can increase the price a little because of the cost of plates and pillars.

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Cupcakes:

Cupcakes have become more popular for weddings over the past 10 years or so, to the point that you now see bakeries specializing in them. They are easier to serve because they are basically a self-serve sort of item. They can also cost less but that will depend on the bakery involved and the complexity of design on the cupcake. But they are not as elegant as a traditional wedding cake and some people feel they look a little too birthdayish for a wedding. Some people will get a small tiered cake and then a bunch of cupcakes to have a little of both.

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Mini Pastries:

These are little bite-sized desserts which are not only self-serve but come in a variety of types which gives you, well, variety. Sometimes called French pastries these can look a little classier than cupcakes but not as dramatic as a tiered cake. Usually priced by the dozen, they may or may not save you money over a wedding cake.

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Pies, Tarts, Whole Desserts:

This is a good option for those that just don’t want cake. They are generally displayed whole and are often pre-cut so they can be self-serve, although a little messier than cupcakes or mini pastries. At Raindrop these items usually come right off our regular menu and are priced accordingly with a cutting and delivery charge added.

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Groom’s Cakes:

This can be a nice addition and a way to get a little more cake if need be. Its also a way to honor the groom with a cake of his own as the wedding cake usually winds up being the bride’s cake. Groom’s cakes are usually a theme cake based on an interest of the groom or something very chocolaty. At Raindrop these cakes fall into the category of custom cakes and have custom pricing.

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Michael Wall
Raindrop Desserts