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Happy Endings - Your Wedding Cake

When you think of wedding receptions, what is the one thing that they all have? A "stately mountain of snowy frosting and royal icing blossoms," (from "The Perfect Wedding Cake" by Kate Manchester), aka the wedding cake!

Not bad for a dessert which has its roots clear back to the Roman Empire. But back then, there was no beautifully decorated, sweet confection. Instead, a loaf of barley bread was broken over the bride's head to symbolize her fertility. Can you imagine picking crumbs out of your hair? As the barley bread evolved into today's wedding cake, the symbolism of the cake and the cake cutting ceremony evolved into your first joint act as a married couple, your commitment to provide for each other, and the sweet life you will share together.

Your wedding cake should taste absolutely wonderful, however, it is not just dessert. Your wedding cake will be an integral part of the reception decor, so place it in a strategic location where all of your guests can easily see it. How about in the center of the dance floor? It can be removed after the cake cutting ceremony - table and all - so you have room for your first dance as husband and wife. Just be sure that someone carefully cleans up any stray icing that may hit the floor which can be very slippery and dangerous. Or how about placing your wedding cake in a corner with pin lights or a small spotlight highlighting its glory?

The Statue of Liberty has its pedestal, a queen has her throne, the cake table needs to be worthy to hold such a beautiful creation. Like a beautiful frame that surrounds a lovely painting, the cake table should be decorated to complement the wonderful confection that it holds. Decorating the cake table needn't be time consuming nor expensive. You may already have something appropriate in your closet or on the dining room table. A lace tablecloth would be lovely draped across the cake table. A length of tulle loosely billowed on the top of the table gives the impression of your cake floating on clouds. Or, swag the table with tulle, organza, lame, or garlands of greenery and flowers.

If your motto is "Life's too short, eat dessert first," then you may want to go all out with your desserts. Have a dessert bar with trays of different scrumptious delicacies - iced cookies, brownies, mini bite-sized cheesecakes - with your wedding cake as the centerpiece. And speaking of centerpieces, if one large cake to feed hundreds of people isn't your thing, how about a small (only big enough for two) cake which you and your new spouse get to cut and feed each other, and in place of the more traditional floral or candle centerpieces for each guest table, have a single tiered cake that serves 8-10 people.

Jean Neuhart

Weddings From The Heart

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