Cake

Wedding Cake Trends for 2017
Modern cake trends seem to be shifting from what was considered "normal" to becoming something completely abnormal.

Common wedding cake trends seem to be drifting away from the traditional white cake and more towards making cakes more vibrant and fun with their colors.

The most common wedding cake trend seems to be moving more toward coordinating with the bride’s colors, even if there is no white on the cake. Here are some of the trends for cakes this year:

When most people think of a wedding cake, they automatically assume it should be white. There are a lot of reasons for this. White denotes purity, which became popular during the Victorian era. The white wedding cake is also a visual link between the bride and the cake. White cakes and frosting, at one time, symbolized affluence. It was difficult to get refined sugar before the Victorian age. The whiter the cake, the more wealth a family had to obtain those difficult ingredients.

Here are some of the cake trends for this year:

  • Metallic decorations – think edible glitter for sparkle, or gold- or silver-leaf sheets in cutout embroidery lace-like designs.
  • White on white – a traditional cake with only white decorations.
  • Ruffles – no, not fabric ruffles, but embellishments of sugar frills. Include fresh or sugar flowers to finish off the cake.
  • Naked cakes – show off the inside of a cake by not frosting it. Fill the layers with seasonal fruits or nuts to add texture and taste.
  • Marbleized decorations – hand-painted designs on the frosting, set off with a simple ribbon or flower border.
  • Stained-glass – these cakes are part of the hand-painted variety but include outlining the images in black.
  • Beads – cover your cake with edible beads for a unique look.
  • Greenery and botany – don’t limit your cake decorations to flowers, but use fruits and greenery or anything organic to make it your own.
  • Navy and black – most people don’t associate navy blue or black with a wedding, but more brides are choosing one of these elegant colors as part of their attire.
  • Whimsical cakes – more brides are forgoing the elegant white cake for a tiered cake that represents their personality.
  • Ombre effect – blend colors on the wedding cake from a dark, deep tone to the lightest tint.
  • A cake trio, or quartet – a table of cakes at your reception, giving your guests two to three flavors to choose from. Not only does this make for a spectacular display, but you won’t have to choose between your two favorite flavors.
  • Rainbow cake – the inside of the cake is done in the colors of the rainbow, while the outside of the cake is more traditional.
  • A “sweet” cake – cover your wedding cake in the candies or sweets you enjoy. Some brides are even creating cakes out of their favorite goodies, opting for a different type of dessert altogether.
  • Monograms – decorate with your initials in a repetitive pattern around the cake. From a distance, it will be a pretty pattern. You could also have a sugar-made plaque with your new monogram.
  • Buttercream cakes – instead of the smooth fondant layer on the cake, more brides are going with a simple buttercream frosting in a pattern that might not be perfect. It tastes much different than fondant and can feel more casual and relaxed.

Why Stacked Wedding Cakes?

In the Middle Ages, legend has it that cakes or buns would be stacked in a large pile before the newly wedded couple. The couple would then try to kiss each other over the stack, and if they could, it symbolized a lifetime of prosperity. Eventually, the layers of cake would be stacked together with frosting. Because modern refrigeration wasn’t available, the cakes would be covered with lard to keep them moist. The lard would be scraped off before serving, but invariably, a small amount of the lard could not be removed. Bakers began adding sugar to the lard to improve the taste, and thus, the modern wedding cake came into being.

Christmas Food Ideas for the Holidays
Christmas food vector set.

Christmas food can vary greatly from country to country.

We all have family traditions for our Christmas celebration when we sit down to dinner with our families. Sometimes, it’s fun to start new traditions and enjoy a special addition to the holiday festivities. Here are some great ideas to serve during the season to ramp up your appetite.

Christmas Food Menu – Side Dishes

  1. Coquilles Saint-Jacques are simply scallops baked with herbs and cheese. Normally, this dish is served in France as an appetizer.
  2. Porkkanalaatiko is an alternative to the sweet potato casserole. It’s a spiced carrot dish which originated in Finland.
  3. Chicken Soup Avgolemono is often served as the first course at the Christmas feast in Greece. Think chicken and rice soup with a hint of lemon to entice your palate.
  4. Chicken Soup Avgolemono is often served as the first course at the Christmas feast in Greece. Think chicken and rice soup with a hint of lemon to entice your palate.

Main Courses

  1. In Italy, the Christmas eve dinner is called Feast of the Seven Fishes. Serve calamari, clams, shrimp and other fish dishes to await the birth of Christ or the arrival of Saint Nick.
  2. Tamales and hallacas are common dishes in South and Central America. Hallacas are similar to tamales, but might be filled with capers, raisins and meat and wrapped in plantain leaves instead of corn husks.
  3. Mince pies can be found on tables in North America and in England during the holiday season. The traditional filling is made with beef and fruit, but many cooks have adapted the recipe to include only fruits. Originally, mince pies were thought to preserve meats and use up leftovers that wouldn’t keep.
  4. Turkey is a traditional dish in many homes. Spaniards take it to another level by stuffing their turkey with truffles. The dish is called Pavo Trufado de Navidad, and it tastes divine.

Deserts

  1. The Austrian dessert is known as sachertorte, which is a chocolate sponge and apricot jam cake. Served with a side of whipped cream and a cup of hot cider, it makes a great way to end the meal.
  2. In Germany, families make a fruit cake with rum and spices, called stollen. Sometimes, there’s a strip of marzipan in the middle of the bread, which adds a layer of almond flavor and richness.
  3. Make cherry-rice pudding called Risalamande for a traditional Danish dish for your table. Add a whole almond to the mix. Whoever finds it when they’re eating gets a special reward.
  4. Although India is not known for its Christian population, the season is still celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance it deserves. Make kulkuls, a spiced coconut cookie, to have on your table.
  5. Beigli is a Hungarian poppy seed cake. It’s a sweet bread dough made like cinnamon rolls, only with a poppy seed filling. Bake it in a loaf pan instead of cutting it into individual rolls before baking.
  6. White Christmas is an Australian confection made of mixed fruit, sugar and copha. It looks similar to white fudge, but can be a little lighter because it doesn’t have the rich chocolate flavor.
  7. Bûche de Noël is served on tables in France and North America. It’s a rolled chocolate cake with a filling such as raspberry jam or whipped cream, decorated to represent the Yule log. If you’ve never had one, make a stab at it this year. It’s actually quite easy, and you don’t need to include all the fancy and fussy decorations.

Festive Drinks

  1. Families in Malta make a cocoa-chestnut drink known as Imbuljuta tal-Qastan. It can be served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve to enjoy it more than once throughout the season.
  2. Crema De Vie is the Cuban version of egg nog. It’s jazzed up with rum and lemon peel for a rich and creamy drink that will help all the adults get a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve.

Save

Wedding Rules You Might Want to Consider Breaking
Breaking some of the rules during wedding planning can allow the couple to save some funds and allocate them to a different aspect of the wedding.

A couple making a heart because they love saving money by breaking all of the wedding rules.

The demographics of brides and grooms are changing. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for most of the expenses of a ceremony, but according to the Association of Bridal Consultants, only about 10 percent of weddings now are paid in full by the bride’s parents. People are waiting longer to get married too. The average age of brides is 27 and for grooms, the age is 29. This allows people to be more established in a career and foot the bill for their own nuptials. With the average cost of a wedding approaching more than $32,000, one way to save money is to break some rules.

Plan the Date Carefully

While many brides dream of a summer wedding, holding the date off-season can be very economical. Another way to save substantially is to hold the wedding on a weekday instead of Saturday. Technically, there’s no rule that says you have to get married on a Saturday, it is just more convenient for those who have to work.

Watch Your Guest List

There is a rule that you shouldn’t invite someone to the reception who hasn’t been invited to the ceremony. You don’t want to break that rule. It could appear that you are being greedy. However, there are ways to cut some corners when it comes to the number of people you’re inviting. Shorten the guest list. Less guests means less tables, so you cut costs by not having to rent linens, chairs, or flatware, and by not having to provide centerpieces.

Do You Have to Wear White?

White wedding dresses were made popular in the 18th century when Queen Victoria chose to wear white for her marriage ceremony, but in one survey almost half of people feel that a white dress is on its way out. The wedding dress can be one of the biggest line items, so it makes sense to really get the dress you want to wear. The grooms don’t necessarily need to wear a tux either. For a summer wedding, a nice vest and shirt might be formal enough without being too hot. Just because it’s always been done one way, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.

Choosing the Venue

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the reduced costs of a wedding in Windsor. Choosing to hold your ceremony in a larger city such as Montreal or Vancouver can significantly increase the costs of your nuptials. Look for different venues that have the space you want without having the demand of multiple brides. You might be surprised at the cost difference, which could help you have more money for other items that are more important.

Watch Your Bottom Line

Every good entrepreneur knows that every item in the business budget counts. Think like a business owner instead of a bride when you’re having to watch your finances. Go through every item and see exactly where you want to cut costs. If the photography is a priority, then don’t make a trade-off in that category. Maybe you have a friend who can drive you to the wedding instead of hiring a limo. Instead of having a full sit-down meal, could you have an afternoon wedding with cake and punch or a buffet service?

What Is Your Wedding About?

Every bride and groom wants their wedding to be memorable. Sure, the decorations, flowers, and reception are important to making those memories, but keep in mind that the real matter of the day is the vows. It’s about making a commitment to each other to live together for the rest of your life. The rest of the stuff is just that. Don’t be afraid to break some rules about your wedding. Remember what’s important. Be a good host. Rock your vows. Enjoy your day without wondering how you’ll ever pay for it.