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Fake wedding cake trend?

a couple of weddings i've been to have opted for a fake wedding cake instead of the real deal......basically styro forms covered in icing.....and then a cheap slab cake is ordered from a bakery to hand out to guests.. Even get pictures taken "cutting" the fake cake. Has anyone else noticed this trend? I know weddings cost a lot of money and people view this as a cost saving measure.....but as a baker, it bothers me for some reason.

Thoughts?

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  1. Most of the wedding cakes I've tasted have been vile, and in those cases I'd have happily applauded the "cutting" of the faux cake.

    Then again, I see nothing wrong with celebrating a tasty sheet cake instead of a towering stack of frosted styrofoam.

    1. Is this fake cake especially made for each wedding, or is it a "rental"?

      3 Replies
      1. re: scuzzo

        fake cake per wedding...i do know of one that was offered for re-use for another wedding. And to clarify, the insides are fake, it is finished with real fondant or what not, and i'm guessing, tossed post-wedding.

        1. re: scuzzo

          I've seen both instances, with one "real" layer for the cutting ceremony. After it is cut the whole thing is wheeled off and slices magically appear out of the kitchen.

          I think either is tacky, if you can't afford a fancy cake, don't have one. A tasty simple one will work well and make a better impression than a fancy faux cake your guests will quickly figure out they are not eating.

          1. re: scuzzo

            Actually ,in China no wedding cake on the wedding, at least i not seen the cake , and i think probably , most expensive cake is most delicious .

          2. I think I understand where you're coming from. A fake wedding cake is misrepresentation. Personally I had a real cake -- however, my wedding cake wasn't super expensive. I can understand why people cut corners to make their budget.

            The cake cutting ceremony is tradition. The cutting of the wedding cake is supposed to symbolize the couple sharing their first task by breaking bread. It does seem a bit odd cutting into a hunk of styrofoam.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Yes, i agree there's alot of tradition associated with a real cake, which is what i would prefer. When my sister got married, my mother made the actual cakes, which were fruitcake as per local tradition, and mother-in-law actually decorated the cake. My sister froze the top little layer, and used it at my eldest neice's baptism party (and you'd never have known it was frozen). I think sometimes people also do this for an anniversary . It is also a fun tradition, that after the wedding cake is cut and divided, single women take the slice home, under their pillow, and that night you dream of your husband to be !! I know there are other's associated with the wedding cake slice, that i can't recall.

              Just seems to me, if you're not having a real wedding cake, why bother to pretend you have one..as above, celebrate the tasty sheet cake instead.

              1. re: im_nomad

                What you are saying is a very old tradition and common years ago.
                Never heard of a faux wedding cake in my life before now.
                Maybe if people didn't spend 5,10 or 30 grand on the wedding,they could afford the cake.Never heard of a dessert table either as someone said,the cake is the dessert.

            2. Seems bizarre to me. Fake cake? Sounds like a case of getting swept away with what folks think a wedding is "supposed" to be and losing sight of what's really happening.

              Maybe if one doesn't wish to pay for a limo they could have someone make a cardboard cutout shaped like one and paint on the details, then attatch it to whatever car is actually being used. Aluminum foil or a wire coat hanger could be used to create a fancy hood ornament. Possibilities are endless.

              All of that said, however, I suppose folks should do what they want to. I just feel bad that they think they need to do such things. There is no shame in doing with what you have.

              5 Replies
              1. re: fern

                "There is no shame in doing with what you have."

                My sentiments precicely!

                1. re: mamaciita

                  I have no intention of having cake at my wedding next year. Neither of us like cake much and the posing while cutting thing is terribly cheesy. During our discussions of how we want the wedding to be, we prioritize. What is more important: dinner or dessert? Dinner! What is more important: guests or band? Guests!

                  So we're inviting more people and having musician friends perform. We're focusing our money on the dinner and keeping the dessert simple. And we're serving beer and wine only in order to pay for our siblings hotel rooms. It's all about what's important to the couple.

                  1. re: mojoeater

                    you could have it all if your family or friends chip in and make the food and the cake, there are alot of ways to save money throwing a wedding and being able to have it all.

                    1. re: cakebaker611

                      That year actually turned into this year and we are finally getting hitched! And I still don't want cake. Just don't like it.

                2. re: fern

                  Having a large number of bridesmaids and groomsmen can really add to the cost of a wedding. Perhaps wedding planners could provide department store mannequins, appropriate dressed, who would be wheeled up the aisle, choo choo train fashion. Their smiles wouldn't look much more forced and faked than those of most wedding attendants and they'd certainly behave themselves with more decorum than what I've seen at certain wedding receptions.

                3. it not an entire fake cake because sometimes the layer that they actually cut has a wedge of real cake. but then again these styrofoam cake can cost as much as the real thing.

                  but i don't think it is going to catch on really quick. haven't heard many wedding boards talking about actually having it. even though they talked about the option.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: vttp926

                    I have a couple that is interested in one however, I'm trying desperatly to convert them to a real one, I'm a home baker and can bake them a magnificent cake for what a bakery wants to make the faux one !!!

                    1. Some wedding cakes have both real and fake layers... usually the cake can feed an army anyways so part of it are faked... I assume it's easier to decorate and less waste of food. I don't mind that the wedding cake is entirely fake as long as I'm fed good cake in the end.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Blueicus

                        we did this at my brother's wedding...it was a very small reception but the cake was so beautiful and just wouldn't have looked right without 3 tiers. it was actually kind of nice because they were able to keep the top tier as a souvenir...and they didn't have to store it in the freezer. :o)

                        1. re: soypower

                          I'm not married, so I haven't had to deal with this issue. I understand the tradition of saving the top of a real wedding cake and having it a year later (although I doubt I'd ever use valuable freezer space for such a thing.)

                          But I'm trying to wrap my brain around the "souvenir" top tier of a fake cake. What did they end up doing with it? Put it under a glass bell to show off? Or on the top shelf of their glass front cabinet in their dining room?

                      2. What I've seen on the TV wedding planing shows are couples who choose to have a couple tiers of real cake on top of a couple of fake cake. It makes sense for those who want the big multi layered cakes but don't have the # of guests to eat it all. These cakes are still prepared by bakers and they still cost a pretty penny (labor and decorations). I think it's a great way to have the traditional multi tiered cake without waste.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: viperlush

                          it is a waste all that icing and the deception towards your guests

                        2. I have heard about this. I, too, find it offensive, and I am not a baker by trade. There is just something about the tradition of everyone eating "THE wedding cake" ... offering anything less to your guests seems likely to provoke a negative impression on some people. I once participated in the wedding party for a very large wedding (for which I spent many months helping to plan all sorts of events and activities). I distinctly remember my dismay at the wedding reception when I was served a piece of run-of-the-mill sheet cake that looked nothing like the super-duper fabulous many-tiered wedding cake (real) that had just been presented to us. Maybe I wouldn't have been so disappointed if I hadn't had prior discussions over the cake/filling/design with the bride... ! I was looking forward to tasting it. Why do people do that??? I understand that sometimes even a very large cake won't serve everyone... in that case, I think the couple should have the bakery make smaller, less fancy cakes with identical ingredients for serving. A fake cake is even weirder to me-- I mean, if it's not that important to you to have a "real" cake, then why take photos with it as if it were? Or take photos with whatever kind of "real" cake you choose to have, however small or simple. Seems like it would feel a bit more authentic, no? Bizarre.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: vvvindaloo

                            From my understanding, you are not getting a different cake, just an easier to serve version in sheet form.

                          2. For the last few weddings I have been to, the "fake" cake has made an appearance and the overheard discussion was that the bride/groom/family wanted a lavish dessert table and couldn't afford both the cake and the dessert table.

                            And here I was thinking that cake WAS dessert. Foolish me.

                            17 Replies
                            1. re: Seth Chadwick

                              Seth, I was thinking the same thing when I read your post - isn't the cake dessert? I can't think of a wedding I've been to where there were desserts served in *addition* to the cake.

                              1. re: Suzy Q

                                Suzy - then you have never been to an Italian American wedding in Brooklyn!

                                1. re: NellyNel

                                  Ahh, the dessert table. Best thing about my brother marrying an Italian American in Northeast NJ was the dessert table at their wedding. The photographer caught me with a big smile and 4 plates piled high with dessert in addition to the cannoli cream filled wedding cake.

                                  1. re: viperlush

                                    LOL -
                                    Sounds like me at weddings!
                                    oh yes! cannoli cream wedding cake!! yummmmmmmmm

                                    1. re: viperlush

                                      I have never been to an Italian Amercian Wedding in Brooklyn and right about now I am feeling VERY deprived. :)

                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                        Yeah - it's a big "thing"...dessert tables.
                                        You have a room filled with tables of desserts!
                                        Every kind of cake, pie or Italian cookie you could possible imagine...usually lately there is a chocolate fondue fountain with all sorts of treats, strawberrys, cookies pretzels etc..ice creams, mousse - honestly - the works!
                                        At one wedding, my DH dislocated his shoulder while dancing ...he came up to me and said "We have to leave" I looked at him like "What - can't you see I just sat down with 5 desserts in front of me!"
                                        We still laugh over that - I was not about to leave without eating at least a bite - of each one!

                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                          It's like the Willy Wonka "everything is edible" room.

                                      2. re: NellyNel

                                        At Jewish weddings (at least the ones I went to in the NYC area years ago) they are called Viennese tables....mostly mini desserts etc.

                                    2. re: Seth Chadwick

                                      I have been to many Portuguese-American weddings where there is both a wedding cake and a dessert table. The wedding cake was purchased as part of the wedding, but the desserts were baked and brought by friends and family. I always thought it was a nice tradition as it kept alive some of the recipes that are handed down.

                                      1. re: Seth Chadwick

                                        Seth, DH and I attended a wedding in NY where there was a very elaborate "Viennese Table" AKA many, many desserts in addition to THE cake. I misunderstood and thought people were talking about a "Vietnamese Tables" and could not for the life of me understand what dozens of tortes, candies, mousses, cakes etc had to do with Vietnam especially since both bride & groom were Anglo. It was days before I learned the truth. Never had heard of this before as I too thought wedding cake was dessert at a wedding.

                                        To answer the OP, I'm not in favor of fake cake or fake anything at a wedding. It sends the wrong message to begin a life together with fake trappings. Do the best you can with what you have and leave the faux to Hollywood.

                                        1. re: Sherri

                                          I realize this is another odl post but I believe the term is "Venetian Table". Again, it's an Italian thing. The first thing I thought when I read this post was, "Who wastes dessert calories on cake at a wedding? Bring on the Venetian Table".

                                          1. re: southernitalian

                                            Very interesting. I had never heard the term "Venetian Table". I am from NY and when I was getting married (5 years ago), I was offered the Viennese Table. That is the only term I have ever come across to describe the "extra" desserts table at a wedding/function. Learn a new thing every day!

                                            1. re: meggie t

                                              perhaps it is a corruption (by the italians ;-)) of "viennese table," since the goodies are usually "viennese" type sweets, no?

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                I think you are right alkapal! In doing a search, the term in the dictionary is Viennese Table. I did find Venetian Table at one bakery in CT. So, I guess the term Venetian Table is out there but most likely made up.

                                                1. re: meggie t

                                                  Having grown uo in New Haven, we say about our local Italian community:
                                                  "Illiterate in two languages" VBG
                                                  The Viennese table has morphed into a Venetian table, even though the Italo-American are from Naples.

                                                  My nephew is getting married in August, there will be 280 guests. The caterer wants $5.50 +18% service charge plate fee for serving wedding cake at dessert time (this does NOT include the cost of the cake). The Viennese table is included in the price already. They have decided on a Viennese table for desserts and a phoney cake for pictures (there will be no symbolic first cut-this avoids that trashy custom of smearing cake on the bride or groom's face).

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    Trashy is a perfect adjective to describe that custom...

                                      2. Thinking more about this, I think I would do a small two tier cake, then serve sheet cake of same flavor, filling and frosting. If you're serving the exact same kind of cake, really what's the difference? You're there to enjoy the marraige of two people, not squabble about the origins of your dessert.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Oh Robin

                                          to be serving the "exact same cake" in this scenario, one would have a styrofoam sheet cake to match the styrofoam "original", as the original is 100% fake (no part real-part fake for effect)...

                                          and in most cases, the secondary thing that gets fed to the masses, it's a supermarket sheet cake, no different than you may have sampled recently at some kid's birthday party (the soft fluffy kind that suspiciously taste like cake mixes).

                                          Any such weddings have been very enjoyed and celebrated.....i just find this a very odd trend, and i just don't get it.... I can assure you that when my parents married in the 50's...there was not a lot of money floating around, they didn't even have their own place right away....yet no fake cake at their wedding. Guess i just don't like facades.

                                          1. re: im_nomad

                                            If you read my post above, I wouldn't do a fake cake, just a small pretty one and serve slices (from a sheet) of the same flavor. If you ask me rolled fondant tastes god awful anyway.

                                            "facades"

                                            Who cares anyway? It's cake. I've been to weddings with an absolutely gorgeous cake that tastes gross. But then again, I'm one of those rare Chowhound wonders that (gasp!) likes cake from cake mix.

                                            1. re: Oh Robin

                                              Robin - my wedding cake was lemon - made from a Betty Crocker lemon mix. When I asked the cake maker (an older lady been making cakes for 40 years) if I could have a tasting she laughed and said sure -go to the grocery store.
                                              At $1.50 per slice, I didn't care, really. It was a beautiful cake and everyone said it was so good. Its what I could afford.
                                              But, it was a real four story cake not a faux-cake.

                                              1. re: Oh Robin

                                                Totally agree about fondant - every time I've tasted a wedding cake with fondant icing, it's awful. It's beautiful to look at, though. Depends what your priorities are, I guess.

                                          2. At the bakery I worked at in college, the cake itself wasn't the expensive part. It was the hours that the decorator spent rolling fondant and piping on details that made a cake expensive. For most brides, by the time they paid for sheet cakes and the "man hours" to get their 4 tiers of styrofoam decorated like something out of Bride magazine, the savings was minimal.

                                            1. I know there are some hotels that keep a selection of gorgeous styrofoam wedding cakes in storage, monuments of royal icing that are entirely fake except for a little wedge of the bottom tier. That piece gets filled in with real cake and is decorated to blend with the rest of the cake. While the bride and groom are busy with the cake-cutting traditional bit, the catering staff is in the back cutting sheet cakes for the guests. Once the ceremony is over, the fake cake is wheeled into the back, and moments later all of the guests are served cake all at the same time. Done like this, I think it's quite clever.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                At first i did think it was silly and cheap but do the guests really eat the wedding cake? If there's a dessert buffet they'll skip the cake or leave most of it behind because they're stuffed from dinner. I'm not a fan of the common sheet cakes that do get served so i don't bother. I've tables of sliced wedding cake left behind after the party so maybe busying all "real" wedding cake is wasteful.

                                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                  And I also like the idea that the faux cake can be done way ahead of time and won't require refrigeration. It's basically just a table decoration. I think it makes things much easier for the decorator! One thing, though-- I think they should be reuseable/recyclable. I hate the thought of all that styrofoam getting thrown away each time (better to have a real cake, if that's the case).

                                                2. Just to give another example, we had about 130 guests. We had a lovely white cake with buttercream and blueberries which was three tier cake with a wonderful fondant design and pez dispensers as the cake topper. But it was only three tier and would only feed 75 people or so. So we ordered a sheet cake as well. The sheet cake was the exact same as the three tier but did cost loss than having a 5 tier cake. I tasted both and have to tell you that the sheet cake tasted a bit better. You have to work with the budget you have and this was perfect for us.

                                                  And to keep this as a recommendation. Our baker was fantastic. If you are getting married in mid coast maine go with Sweet Sensations and Steve Watts. Really great.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: emmyru

                                                    I don't think that people have a problem with having a small layer cake and then a sheet cake to supplement that. But having a STYROFOAM layer cake, that you pretend to cut and then the only real cake is a layer cake? Good lord. That's just crazy.

                                                  2. I think it's rude to complain about something in another person's wedding. You are there to celebrate the couple, not your own dining preferences. Plus, they are paying so they should serve whatever they want.

                                                    To the OP, I understand from a baker's perspective because what you do is an art. I just think that budgets, especially in today's economy, are what become priority #1.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Anita Drink

                                                      alot of these bakeries see people coming though and as a baker myself it's more my goal to satisfy my clients with an actual cake that they want at a very ggod price that the guests will even eat

                                                    2. When I did a large feature on wedding cakes...maybe three years ago - several CAKE people mentioned to me that many brides who were having cake and punch receptions did exactly this. It's not just that it's less expensive (although that's a big part) - it's that it's easier to cut and apparently most people could give a rip that the cake is white and the frosting sugar fluff - as long as there's a pink rose or something on it.

                                                      1. My daughter is getting married on August 2, 2008. Which was here grandparents wedding anniversary. We are very excited, but limited on funds as most people. The one thing that my daughter has always wanted was a beautiful wedding cake. I didn't think much about it until we started pricing them. At three dollars a slice, being a 2 X 2 square it is expensive, plus we aren't having but about 100 to 150 guests. We are having the wedding at our house with the reception, I will be making all the dresses including hers. We are cutting cost but still keeping a pretty wedding. We have a nice big front yard with a nice field to hold the reception in. She decided she would just go with a small cake, which would feed anyone who wanted a piece but still costing more than her dress by a mile. Someone told me about the fake cake. Yea I thought the same thing that is just weird. Well the more we got to checking into it the less werid it became and the more her dream cake is becoming true. We are signed up to take cake decorating classes so we can do that our self. We are going to have what they call stallite cakes around the main cake with a fountain. The stallite cakes will be real so they will be cutting into real cakes plus serving real cake. So before you think things are just a little to weird you try to tell your only daughter that she can't have her dream cake and eat it to. And to the person who said her parents had a nice cake and wedding and it wasn't that much. My wedding cake in 1983 was a beautiful 5 tier cake with colomns and flowers it cost a whole whopping 75.00 and my sister cake was less than that in 78 and she had a huge cake with a fountain and 5 staillite cakes. So times has changed and money doesn't go as far as it did when gas was a dollar a gallon. Because of this kind of cake I am still making my daughters wedding her dream wedding.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: deewill

                                                          If you're the one decorating the cakes, you might as well go ahead and make the cakes too. The cake part itself isn't all that expensive, really. The most expensive part will be buying pans for it, and you can re-use those for all sorts of things around the kitchen. And if you're already going to shell out cash for the columns and fountain and such, the cost of the pans will be negligible. Go and get the butter at Costco, their prices are very good on such things. If you're lucky enough to have a Smart & Final nearby, go there, the price is even better.

                                                          And something regarding the size of wedding cake slices... you don't need all that much for each person. Wedding cake slices are traditionally small because everyone's already eaten quite a bit during the reception anyway. I've done two wedding cakes recently, and there was a lot more cake left over than people expected. For 150 people, you'll do just fine with three tiers of double-layer cakes, the first being 12 inches, the second 9, and the top 6. Really. I'm not kidding. I didn't believe it first either, but I've seen it with my own eyes and it will be enough.

                                                          I've used Rose Levy Beranbaum's excellent book The Cake Bible for making wedding cakes (there's some great decorating ideas in there too), and I have had great success. She tends towards being very precise and scientific (she got a Masters' degree in baking), but I've just kinda winged it at parts and had things turn out fine. For example, she adjusts the amount of leavening according to the size of cake. After asking the ladies at the local decorating supply shop, I found out that you really don't need to adjust the amount of leavening. I do a double recipe of the cake for the 12-inch layers, and then a batch and a half for the 9- and 6-inch layers together. The 12-inch layer ends up the tiniest bit taller and the 6-inch ends up a little bit shorter, but if anyone actually notices that the layers aren't all exactly the same size they're inspecting your cake WAY too closely!

                                                          Like I'd said, a 12-inch, 9-inch, and 6-inch is going to feed your party of 150 just fine. If you want to split it into satellite cakes, you could do three of the 9-inch and a 6-inch, or make four 9-inchers if you really want to make sure you have leftovers. But really, I think I'd rather do a single triple-tier cake and decorate the hell out of just the one big cake instead of all the satellite cakes plus the monument foam cake; cake decorating, while fun, is surprisingly time-consuming, and the 12-9-6 triple tier will take the two of you the better part of an evening during a very busy time.

                                                          Oh, and as far as cake recipes go, the Cook's Illustrated basic yellow cake paired with their cooked vanilla buttercream frosting has had people tell me they wanted to get married just so I could make them that cake again.

                                                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                            JK thanks for the great tips on the three teir. The reason for the satillete cake was to have the stair case, plus the fountain. My mom has most everything we need to make the cake the only thing that we will have to buy, besides the frosting and cake is the fountain, which is expensive. She has always seen pictures of her aunts cake which has the fountain and she loved how pretty it looks. I am glad to know the sizes of the three cakes it really does help. As far as the reason for the fake part is because we don't want alot of left over cake. Plus she can save her cake top forever. I know you are to eat it on your first year anniversary, but mine after 24 years is still in my moms freezer and my mothers after 51 years is still presvered, believe it or not in popcorn in her cedar chest. So if you use the royal icing, or permaice my daughter can have hers forever. This kind of reminds me when fake flowers came into the picture. People hated seeing fake flowers at weddings because if you couldn't afford real then maybe you should just cut back on them.

                                                            1. re: deewill

                                                              The tradition of freezing the cake top came about when fruitcake was still traditional for the wedding cake. Fruitcake freezes a lot better than the cakes used in wedding cakes these days. I always offer to create a replica of the top tier for friends who are getting married now so they don't end up trying to eat freezer-burned cake for the sake of tradition.

                                                            2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                              This might sound horible to you, so take it as you will. But I will suggest a boxed cake mix. A higher-quality boxed mix can taste great, especially if you use good homemade icing. While my mother is not a professional baker, she took more than 10 decorating classes (and is an excellent baker) and for more than 20 years has made 75% of the wedding, birthday, etc. cakes in our family. Especially in the 90s, elaborate ones with fountains, multiple tiers, satellite cakes, and now there is fondant and elaborate groom's cakes. For most of these she has changed to boxed cake mixes. Get about 10 brands and flavors and try them out several months before the big day. If you make SURE to use the highest quality butter, eggs, oil, etc, you will have great results that are a lot easier and more reliable than home baking.

                                                              Please don't get me wrong. I bake a lot, several times a week (for a single woman with no kids that is a LOT!) and most of it is from scratch. However there are many times when I will use a boxed brownie or cake mix. High quality eggs and butter, good hommemad frosting, that makes all the difference.

                                                              Also, as practically a professional wedding guest and bridesmaid (mid 20s and everyone around me engaged), I've noticed that the cakes that get eaten the most are the more simple ones. White cake, chocolate, red velvet, with simple fillings, ganaches, frostings. The more trendy ones that most bakers offer or ones like carrot or pumpkin cake usually sit there most of the night.

                                                              1. re: KariAnneATL

                                                                I can never bring myself to buy cake mix. Making a cake from scratch is one of the easiest baking tasks I know of. For a basic yellow cake, all you do is mix the dry ingredients and butter together with a mixer, then mix in the liquid ingredients until they're all incorporated. All you save is time spent measuring out the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

                                                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                  I think most cake mixes use too much sugar. Made from scratch cake has more flavor as the sugar doesn't cover up the taste of the other ingredients.

                                                            1. re: Honey Bee

                                                              ok that is way beyond creepy...and hmmm a little self-obsessed..lol. Where's the groom in there? Qualifies for bridezilla category methinks, haha. I can not even begin to fathom how much that thing would have cost.

                                                            2. Maybe I think different than some, but when I got married it was the only time I was going to be getting married, and told my wife to go all out on the wedding. No fake cake, no cash bar, etc. I would have been embarassed if I had done either of those things. Just poney up the cash, and worry about it later...

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: swsidejim

                                                                "Just pony up the cash, and worry about it later..."

                                                                I'm sure if they could, they would. My friend had open bar at her three hour reception for 125 people and the bar tab was over 10k!!! Worrying about it later causes severe credit card debt imho.

                                                                1. re: Oh Robin

                                                                  I agree with you Oh Robin. If we all had the money and wanted a big fancy wedding, then why not? But very few people can afford this luxury. Too many people think they can afford this luxury, but then are stuck with debt.

                                                                  Swsidejim, there is nothing embarrassing about sticking to a realistic budget. Wish I had your life. I'd love to poney up the cash and worry about it later....

                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                    Perhaps instead of charging a wedding on a credit card, save up the money required for the type of reception you want.

                                                                    My wife and I got married in Las Vegas, and then a year and a half later, after we had saved the money for the reception, and the honeymoon to Hawaii, we renewed our vows, and had the reception for our friends and families. Not the model for everyone to follow, but it worked for us.

                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                      And it is a great way to do it, and it works for you. Probably more people should do it by saving up, rather than creating more debt. But there are still people who may not even be fortunate enough to be able to save the amount it takes to pay for a big wedding. Should they just not bother then? Get married in Las Vegas, but forego the big party at the risk of being embarrassed by cost cutting measures like a fancy looking wedding cake? There are many ways to celebrate. Let those who want to do it with a cake do it. And let's just be happy for them, and wish them well. And let's also hope that people stop feeling the pressure to spend big bucks that they might not have just to "avoid embarrassment".

                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                        never said others should be embarassed, simply stated I would be if I skimped on those things.

                                                              2. I've never had a good wedding cake, anywhere. I have seen some spectacularly beautiful ones, but they're not made for flavor.

                                                                We had cupcakes at our wedding. Four varieties (chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, carrot) from an outstanding local bakery (http://bakednyc.com). They were a huge hit and were both more affordable and delicious than any wedding cake we could have gotten.

                                                                We didn't have a formal cake cutting, obviously, though we did feed each other one of the cupcakes & have photos to prove it.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: terrier

                                                                  we had a fabulous almond creme filled white cake, covered with marzipan.
                                                                  too bad people feel the need for fake cakes! so silly.

                                                                  1. re: terrier

                                                                    Now that I think of it, the most beautiful and delicious wedding cake I ever had was at a vegan wedding. I was scared of how the food would be until we sat down to a feast of black bean enchiladas and guacamole. Then the most gorgeous spice cake with meyer lemon icing and fresh raspberries was served. So good and... the bride made her own cake! She's a vegan baker.

                                                                    1. re: terrier

                                                                      We had two cakes. The brides cake was a three tier vanilla cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream. The grooms cake was a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate custard filling. They were both excellent. We got them from Publix and were well pleased.

                                                                    2. Fake wedding cakes are the norm in Japan (where most folks have western-style ceremonies either in addition to or in lieu of Japanese ceremonies). There's one piece which is real for the cutting and picture taking but the rest of the cake is fake. I'm not sure they even bother to give the guests pieces of cake that look like it as everyone knows the cake is just for show.

                                                                      1. This has to be one of the most pitiful things I've ever heard! Sad that people are so committed to some arbitrary idea of what a wedding "should" look like that they'd actually pay for frosted styrofoam!

                                                                        It just makes me want to scream, "Be yourselves!" "Be individuals!" Why insist on having a carbon copy of other peoples' weddings?

                                                                        Then again, my mother-in-law ordered the cake for my wedding as her contribution to the day. It was an absolutely beautiful-looking, single-layer, rectangular-shaped cake with pretty white fondant on it. Inside, it was a fruitcake (It was England in December, mind you, and they call it a Christmas cake, but it's fruitcake). I think some of us would rather have eaten the styrofoam. But it is the thought that counts!

                                                                        1. I'm probably weird, and I haven't been to that many weddings, but I'm not sure I've ever actually eaten the cake. It runs out, or I'm doing something else at the wrong time, or who knows what. I think it's tacky to be making sure I get some cake or whatever. I have a suspicion that most cakes made up fancy don't end up tasting that good because they are made so much for looks. I suppose it depends upon your baker, but really, when you taste a sample, they haven't made you a sample that's the same as that crazy design they're actually going to make, right?

                                                                          When it comes down to it, the cake designs are pretty silly anyway. So faking it seems entirely appropriate. Eat a normally made cake that tastes better, use a fake one to look "pretty" (whatever your version of pretty happens to be). Perfect.

                                                                          I entirely intend not to have any silly traditional stuff like this when I get married. I used to be ambivalent about it, but now I truly find the whole idea off-putting. I'll go to others, for very close friends or family, but I will not be involved in my own ceremony and reception that is anything like the typical events I've seen and experienced. (Yes, if that rules out some potential brides, oh, well. The one I'm with now agrees with me. ;-)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                            you can have a pretty cake and eat it too! (i.e., don't give up on a delicious wedding cake). get recommendations for good bakers in your area. my cake was the same flavor as the one i sampled. i gave them a photocopy of an arts and crafts design border, and they used that for the design. not elaborate like you see (not even close) to the get-up, goo-gaw cakes you see on FN shows -- but a nice looking, 3-tiered white almond creme cake with marzipan -- and darned delicious. and it was not so expensive. one of the best parts of my wedding! others still remark on the delicious cake.

                                                                          2. I think the fake cake trend is consistent with a lot of other trends of indulgence and excess, and weddings are one arena where superindulgence tends to get a free pass...the whole, "you only plan to get married once" train of thought. There's a line somewhere between 'splurging on a special occasion' and 'pretentious showing off'. I don't know exactly where it is, but IMHO, spending the money for a huge fake cake is over it.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                              Just anther triumph for style over substance.

                                                                            2. You know, I keep reading all of the replies to this thread, and it's amazing to see the wide range of opinions that people have on what others choose to do. However, I think we can all agree that one's wedding day is - or, well, at least SHOULD be - one of the most important days of your life. There are different aspects of that day that matter to people - someone may not be able to conceive of walking down the aisle in anything less than a Cinderella princess dress, while another may choose a bikini on a tropical beach. Someone else may not dream of getting hitched without family and friends there, while others may just jet off to Vegas and get married in the drive-through at the Little White Chapel. And along those same lines, some people may not be able to conceive of a wedding without a big, tiered, "traditional" cake. Should they be criticized because they either can't afford a real cake or choose not to waste the food? I for one don't think so.

                                                                              Whether or not I would have a styro cake isn't the point unless I'm the one getting married. If it's something that allows someone to have their dream wedding and adds to the perfection of the most important day of their life, well, hey - more power to 'em.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Suzy Q

                                                                                As a caterer I cater quite a number of weddings. Although I have not run into the "fake" cake yet. I do suggest to many brides, that what they should do is order a smaller cake than they need because not everyone eats the cake. If the are serving a dessert other than wedding cake this works out well. If they are serving wedding cake as dessert then we have a sheet cake in the back, which enables us to get a head start plating dessert, while the cake cutting is taking place.

                                                                                The other thing we do is tell the bride to plan on serving every layer, then on their first year anniversary, we go ahead and make them a brand new top tier, that way it has not sat in the freezer for a year and it is fresh and wonderful like thier wedding day

                                                                              2. I hear about so many etiquette offenses concerning weddings (receptions, showers, registries, invitations, etc etc,) that if I even noticed this it wouldn't be a blip on my radar.

                                                                                The only way this is rude, in my opinion, would be if the said cake was of higher quality and served only to the bridal party and anyone they deemed more "worthy" than their mere guests, but this applies to all food and beverages.

                                                                                1. i think its brilliant. had i thought of the idea 8 years ago... i would have done it! Instead, we got a very reasonable cheesecake, and had it decorated.... and those who wanted it, ate it. Everyone eles had fancy pastries..... that were much better than cake!

                                                                                  1. I'm from the Dominican Republic and the fake cake trend has been going strong there for ages. Mine was semi fake.....the bottom layer was real cake and the rest was styrofoam covered in fondant.
                                                                                    I think it's a great idea because I was able to cut my cake and save money. I wanted a big beautiful cake but did not have the funds.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. The amount of money the average couple spends on their wedding is really insane...lots of people send themselves and their families deep into debt, and often, it is just to "keep up with the Joneses" and impress other people. But a fake cake is just silly...especially since it is wasteful to decorate a styrofoam cake that will just be thrown out later! When my husband and I got married last year, we tried to keep things within a budget by limiting certain things or having people provide things (like the band and the cake) in lieu of wedding presents. This allowed us to have a live band and a real cake. They meant more to us than a generic (and expensive) cake or band, but still, were better than cutting corners by self-djing or having a styrofoam cake. I know, not everyone has friends with such talents, but really, it's the thought that counts, so even a homemade cake from Auntie Martha would be better than a hunk of styrofoam, in my opinion!

                                                                                      1. Wow, never heard of fake cake. Do people still do groom's cakes? And if they do, would they do that in styrofoam too?? STupid!

                                                                                        1. I have seen lots of fake cakes. One was even bigger than the bride ;)

                                                                                          I think most wedding cakes, especially ones that look pretty taste horrible. So, i don't think there's anything wrong with cutting a big pretty fake but feeding the guests a cake that tastes good.

                                                                                          but, it is annoying if the cake they serve is also yucky.

                                                                                          1. After reading all the responses and thinking about this for a while I have to admit there is one situations where I would find a fake cake acceptable - when the wedding involes a blow up fiancee.

                                                                                            1. Does Sandra Lee have something to do with this?

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jennywinker

                                                                                                Wow, not sure I understand some of the outrage I'm reading on this board... I've always viewed the entire wedding extravaganza as a waste of money, and thankfully my wife agreed so we were able to have a very small ceremony. But, I'd never question someone else's decision to go all out and spend oodles of $$ to do so. For the same reason, I don't see anything wrong with having a fake cake, if that's what you want. Seems a little odd to me, but to each his / her own.

                                                                                                1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                  I haven't posted, but I do feel some outrage. Because to my mind, the function of cake--the entire reason cake exists in this world--is to taste good. A fake cake represents the extreme of a tendency (not just in wedding cakes) toward cakelike objects that aim to fulfill some sort of conceptual or visual idea of "cake" while overlooking the basic purpose of the thing.

                                                                                                  1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                                                                                                    So don't have a fake cake at your own wedding. But why on earth does anyone have any right to be "outraged" over what someone else does or doesn't do at their wedding?

                                                                                                    1. re: Suzy Q

                                                                                                      Because the proliferation in the world of bad-tasting (or, taken to this extreme, non-tasting) cakes makes me mad, what can I say!

                                                                                                      I mean, if I were AT a wedding where this happened (which I never have been), I wouldn't SAY anything to them about it, of course.

                                                                                                2. re: jennywinker

                                                                                                  oh Jenny - I wondered when someone was going to bring her up! LOL

                                                                                                  We solved the cake problem at my first wedding very simply. Since there were only going to be about 20 people (small private ceremony) with dinner for the group afterwards, I ordered an elaborately decorated sheet cake from Buskin Bakery in Cincinnati (where we lived at the time) and the morning of the ceremony, I sent my husband-to-be to the main bakery to pick it up. He had his camera with him (he took it everywhere) and when he saw the "cake room" display at the bakery, he took a picture of the biggest cake they had. and then brought OUR cake home. After compiling the wedding photos that everyone took into one album, he added that cake shot. When people look through the album and see that picture, they crack up! (And, of course, they know who took the picture). In retrospect Im glad that he never knew about the concept of a fake cake or Im SURE he would have wanted one.

                                                                                                  I've attended two fairly elaborate weddings recently and neither reception had a cake cutting ceremony at all. In the swanky Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, we were served fancy little individual dessert cakes. In England, there was a "cake" but like someone mentioned above, it was more of a fruitcake, and I can't recall if anyone actually cut into it and served it (there was a large tray of sheet cake slices next to it and we just helped ourselves.) If a fake cake will keep even one more newlywed couple from smashing cake and frosting into each other's faces, Im all for it!

                                                                                                3. I just got married a few months ago, so yes, I am aware of this trend. I'm bothered, personally, by fake anything or doing anything simply for show. We included no traditions in our wedding unless they had personal meaning for us. We didn't want the day to be about show.

                                                                                                  A few things I don't understand--someone having a small wedding, but wanting a giant cake. Those two things don't go together in my head. A decent cake designer should be able to make a beautiful cake that is suitable to the scale of the wedding. It doesn't have to be three tiers to be impressive. And I have seen people cut a small decorated cake and then bring out the sheet cakes in the same flavor, but without ornamentation. That seems preferable to me, because at least the cake is real.

                                                                                                  And also--a lot of cake makers are working hard to make the cakes taste better. There's a lot more creativity in weddings nowadays and therefore a lot of people are skipping bland cake in favor of customized cupcakes, pies or a dessert table, sundae bar, etc. Everything's about personalization nowadays and cake makers have a lot more competition for the wedding market than they used to.

                                                                                                  1. I believe the point of a wedding cake originally was a fancy treat for the guests, but, in modern ceremonies, it's as much there for a picture as anything else. The fake cake probably serves the photo opportunity better than a real one and other types of desserts perhaps satisfy guests better.

                                                                                                    Personally, I think all weddings are pretty overblown in this day and age. I had a strawberry sheet cake with white frosting and my entire wedding cost $500 (including my dress). I'm happy with how things went to this day and wouldn't have done everything differently if I could do it all over again with limitless funds on someone else's tab. It's the marriage that followed that I cared about, not one day.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Orchid64

                                                                                                      Wow! How'd you manage to only spend $500? I thought I was doing pretty good at about $750 so far! (Including my dress and our wedding rings) lol
                                                                                                      The catering's going to be about a thousand, but my aunt's paying for that as a wedding gift to us.

                                                                                                    2. I make both fake and real cakes. I’ll let you all know that I spend most of my time decorating fake cakes then real. I charge $100 to rent a 4-tiered, $150 for a 5-tier and up and they can have it decorated any way that they want. The clients that I have made fake cake for either hate cake, or a popular reason is they don’t want to cut up their cake. Think about it $500 for a real 3 tiered cake to feed a 100 people or a $100 for a fake 4 tiered cake and $25 for a sheet that will feed a 100 people. The couples still get their dream cake and still get to serve cake.

                                                                                                      1. It kind of defeats the object of the day, by using a fake cake just for pictures, and then serving a cheap store bought sheet cake to the guests. Weddings are about loved ones celebrating a joyous event together; with good food adding to that celebration. What are you going to appreciate more years later looking back- that pretty picture, or the good memories of that celebration? I used a local bakery for my wedding cake, and it was a simple, single tiered cake but it was fresh, tasty, and it fed all 40 of my guests (and then some), so I was happy, and it wasn't expensive at all. I agree that weddings are way too overblown these days. It's about the joy of the event- not the minute details of the event itself.

                                                                                                        1. I recently got married and had a reception with 200ppl. While looking into cake options I came across this bakery in NH that makes fake cakes for a fraction of the cost of real cakes and also makes sheet cakes of all kinds. I was a little hesitant at first with the whole fake cake thing, but after seeing the cost of a real cake decided to go for it. My mom's friend who is a fabulous baker offered to make three sheet so I did not have the bakery make the sheet cakes. What this bakery does is make the styrofoam cake and on the bottom tier puts one big piece of real cake so you can still do the cake cutting. They decorate the whole cake with real fondant and frosting so no one would ever know it was fake. When the cake was delivered I was shocked. I had a simple three tier white cake with intricate snowflakes all around it. It was fabulous! I thought $125 was a bargin compared to the $700 I was quoted for a real cake. The best part is it was beautiful. Everyone was complimenting me on it. We did the cake cutting and then the caterer took the fake cake into the kitchen and cut up the sheet cakes to serve. I think this was the way to go because we got a beautiful cake and fabulous tasting cake to eat. I received a call from the reception hall three days later telling me they had my cake in the freezer and could not figure out why it was never served at the reception! The chef couldn't even tell it was fake.. I think if you are trying to save money this is a great thing to do esp. if you find a bakery that does a good job.

                                                                                                          1. This is hardly a new 'trend'. My sister had a partly fake cake at her wedding over 20 years ago. The cake was 3 tiers and only the top was real. The guest were served identical and delicious, I might add, cake, but from a sheet cake.

                                                                                                            And, by the way, the styrofoam layers aren't necessarily tossed at the end. They can be washed and reused.

                                                                                                            1. I was married in the 70s and we had a cake with a chocolate layer, a white layer and a Styrofoam top layer. I'm a romantic and wanted to keep the top. It's in the basement and a little dusty but still good. Sort of like the marriage!

                                                                                                              My mother also made a fruitcake and soaked it in brandy for months. My husband and I handed out the fruitcake which gave us a chance to thank people for coming. I also believed in the 'sleeping on a piece of wedding cake' tradition and fruitcake is so much better for that than a chocolate cake. The staff served the white and chocolate cakes as dessert.

                                                                                                              I think weddings are more fun if people feel free to have what they want and not care so much what people will think.

                                                                                                              1. This is an old post I missed back in January, and I absolutely abhor the "over-the-top just-for-appearances" weddings, but I'd just like to add that the only times I've ever heard of couples having fake cakes were in instances where the venues demanded it, using the rationale that sheet cakes are easier to cut and plate than the typical round, tiered cakes. That would be my argument for choosing another venue, but alas, some couples obviously opt to go with the styrofoam!

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: RosemaryHoney

                                                                                                                  This is interesting, although not something I was ever even presented in my Deep South wedding planning.

                                                                                                                  That being said, I'm not sure why people would get so worked up -- I know for me, personally, I'm much more "offended" when people serve beautiful wedding cakes that taste like absolute garbage.

                                                                                                                  Fondant, at least for me, is of the devil's creation ;-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: a213b

                                                                                                                    I absolutely agree with the "fondant as devils spawn" remark and was determined that my groom and I were not going to have that junk at our wedding, way back in '79.

                                                                                                                    We only had 60 guests, 6 tables plus 'head table', so we decided to make our own cakes. Our favourite recipe was the carrot cake from the Farm Journal Country Cookbook. So we started grating and mixing, chopping and freezing and then, the day before, decorating with cream cheese frosting tinted pale peach: voila, 8 simple tube cakes with tiny little bouquets, hidden in shot glasses, nesting in the centre of each.

                                                                                                                    On the big day we went to each table, hugged and kissed each and every guest and cut their cake. Many pictures were take and remain our most treasured wedding shots, way more memorable 30 years later than the posed album.

                                                                                                                    Next July our daughter is getting married. Her first request: "Mom, Dad can you make those cakes like you had? People have been talking about those all my life."

                                                                                                                    No problem...we are just very glad that the intervening years saw the invention of the food processer so I don't have to go to my own daughter's wedding with my knuckles in bandaids!

                                                                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                      I don't understand the fake cake stuff. Someone in a previous thread said "I had a beautiful cake for $125." But it wasn't a cake. It was a piece of foam. It was a prop.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                        LJS, thank you for sharing that beautiful story. That's my idea of a special day.

                                                                                                                    2. re: RosemaryHoney

                                                                                                                      Don't cakes serve two functions - as a showpiece, and as food? What is wrong with separating the functions? If the showpiece does not have to be edible, then more time can be spent on decorating it, and the structure can be more elaborate. Plus the showpiece does not have be sized to match the attendee list.

                                                                                                                      I don't really care whether the piece of cake that I ate at my son's wedding was from the showpiece or not. In fact I don't even recall eating cake. My own wedding was a relatively low key affair, with reception in the church hall. My mom baked the cake, my dad decorated it, I suggested the shape (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chi... ). While it tasted fine, I don't think it fed the whole crowd.

                                                                                                                    3. We had a beautiful small wedding cake and other cheesecakes of various flavors to be cut up and served-it was the same price as if we had gone the fake cake route. It doesn't even save that much money!

                                                                                                                      1. So... they save the top styrofoam and icing in the freezer and retrieve IT for dessert on their one Y anniversary? They smash styrofoam lovingly into one another's face for pictures?? Grumble grumble grumble...

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                          Well, if a fake cake gets rid of that disgusting trend of feeding each other cake, I'm all for it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                            Can I join the club? Then again, I am not really into many wedding traditions. I have no problem with a foam cake if it saves the couple money in the long run. I still don't see why it has to cost that much though. I went to one friend's wedding where her mom made the cake (and the dress!) and it was beautiful and delicious. Another friend got a cheap one from a regular bakery that was fairly inexpensive and tasted good. I find a lot of the more expensive ones taste vile with all the fondant, so if I can have a sheet cake without it thanks to the foam cake, I am all for it!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                              And thanks for that, Sooeygun. I admit to a little personal problem with that from my first marriage years ago, but even so, it just looks so angry - or at least frat-boy "humor".

                                                                                                                            2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                              we didn't smash the cake into each other's face. wouldn't even dream of doing something so stupid. first, mr. alka, who is from sri lanka, has no idea that this has happened here in america. second, even if he did know of this aberration (and yes -- i believe it is an aberration), he would know that i would absolutely kill him with the evil eye if he even THOUGHT of attempting that stunt. (but he wouldn't, as he is too much of a gentleman for it to even enter his mind.).

                                                                                                                              as to the fake cake: spending money on something that looks like food but isn't available for eating -- just to show off -- ridiculous. i got a superb cake that was beautiful and delicious.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                Um...PEOPLE DO THAT?!? Why would you want old frozen cake?!

                                                                                                                                1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                                                  It's a fairly common tradition. Save the top layer for the 1st anniversary. I believe it started as saving it for the christening of the 1st child, but as that became longer and longer after the wedding, it became 1st anniversary.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                    Doesn't save it from sounding a bit gross. I keep raw meat in there!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                                                      angel, i'm sure your meat is well wrapped?

                                                                                                                              2. The bakery I worked at refused to do them. The fake cake takes just as long to decorate as a real cake, and still have the materials cost of the buttercream. Most couples don't realize that the bakery's main cost is the labor involved in decorating. Once the couple pays the price of the fake, and the sheet cake, they may as well have bought real cake.

                                                                                                                                1. Also, don't forget, an inedible dummy stands up to hot lights better and looks better in photos. Plus, the real sheet cake they serve the guests is fresh from the kitchen rather than being in a smoke-filled reception room for hours, so it's got to taste better.
                                                                                                                                  And I agree that most wedding cakes are more for show than for taste. I went to a wedding where the cake looked gorgeous but tasted like yesterday morning's toast dipped in plaster of Paris and topped with dirt. My taste buds were VERY disappointed.
                                                                                                                                  My wedding -- and sweetheart -- are fantasy at the moment -- but when i do find my Heart's True Hero and we tie the golden cord, we will make it a point to have a cake that tastes absolutely divine. A confection to set the tastebuds aglow

                                                                                                                                  1. I think it's sad and kind of off-putting. But I have to say that I LOVE wedding cake and I've only ever had bad wedding cake a couple of times. The rest of the times, it is plain yummy.

                                                                                                                                    It's kind of like saying that we want to put on a show of ostentation, and that appearances are the most important thing to the couple? I don't know, it's just kind of depressing.

                                                                                                                                    1. I noticed that but in the wedding i was at, the substitute cake was not a cheap one but rather a good quality cake that would have been astronomically expensive to make into layers and decorate.

                                                                                                                                      1. Went to an elaborate wedding recently that had a fake cake and actually really cheesy dessert. But it was widely known that the bride had spent close to $10,000 on her dresses (she had two - a demure one for the church and push-up bra tulle nightmare for the reception). It seemed like a bit of a disconnect -- amazing location, expensive dresses and then cheap out on the dessert and wine. But that may just be my chowhound tendencies taking over.

                                                                                                                                        But this is not a recent trend by any means, I was a bridesmaid more than 20 years ago and they had 3 fake layers and one real for cutting. Then there were sheets of the actual cake for cutting. But this wedding was in a small town and the caterers (actually the local church womens group) found it easier to serve everyone this way.

                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: pengcast

                                                                                                                                          I think there are lots of valid reasons why people don't spend a lot on alcohol- they don't want to encourage people to drink too much, they can't afford open bar, etc. Just because the bride spent $10K on the dress doesn't mean she wants to spend $20K on open bar or $5K on a cake. Perhaps the bride and groom weren't dessert people? I think couples do pick certain priorities for their weddings and few weddings have everything.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                            or perhaps the bride thought "it's all about me!"

                                                                                                                                            ....and nobody had the guts to disabuse her of that notion.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                              "and nobody had the guts to disabuse her of that notion."
                                                                                                                                              or the right?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                her parents or a good friend should (and that group of people should include the groom, but THAT is unlikely that he will speak up) -- and certainly her parents if they are paying.

                                                                                                                                                a wedding is NOT all about the bride. the guests are not there just to give gifts and adore one's beautiful bride-ocity. there is an obligation to the guests, as well. they are one's invitees, and should be treated well.

                                                                                                                                                i don't give a darn if she's paying for the dress and the parents are paying for the rest. one has an obligation to the guests! and yes, i do believe in social obligations, and think they are to be honored. i'm tired of selfish people.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe there are people who 'should' but if a guest can't go to a wedding without being judgemental then maybe they just shouldn't go.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    One has an obligation to the guests, but do you honestly think cake is part of that? If both the bride and groom decide that dessert just isn't that important and they would like to spend money elsewhere, that is their right. I worked catering for years and the vast majority of wedding cake went uneaten anyway. It was a waste.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                                                                      If the bride and groom decide that dessert isn't that important, why go the extra yard to get a fake cake?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: donna5657

                                                                                                                                                        Same reason many brides wear a garter which isn't needed. A nod to tradition.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                          Exactly. Though I would skip the fake cake altogether.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for your refreshing honesty. I am sick of the "Do what you want" mindset that so many people have.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    Maybe she spent years saving for the dress or that was a separately budgeted expense. From what we've read, we really don't know. I am a Say Yes to the Dress addict, and they have plenty of brides on there who have different sort of arrangements for paying for the wedding- sometimes the parents will pay for the dress and nothing else, sometimes the parents will pay for the wedding but not the dress, etc. I have one friend who paid for her dress but not the wedding, so it seems a bit odd to assume that the wedding is all coming from the same budget.

                                                                                                                                              2. I'm sorry alkapal, it is about the bride & goom; this is not just any random party. In my opinion, guests are guests; they shouldn't expect the bride & groom to provide any particular item other than invitation, i.e an expensive wedding cake or anything else. It is the bride & grooms occasion, not the guest; they are there to witness a marriage. It is up to the bride & groom if they choose to provide anything above that; THERE IS NO FURTHER OBLIGATION TO THE GUESTS. These days, many couples don't even have a large reception, rather, they may have a cocktail hour and serve cupcakes or individual cakes instead. Who is the guest to be offended?

                                                                                                                                                So when a bride decides she wants to buy the dress of her dreams or the couple would rather spend their money on the honeymoon instead of buying a large expensive cake that no one eats anyway, it's their right. Just like it's the right of the guest to either accept the invitation or reject it. Also, if you're an invited guest, should the bride or groom tell you that they expect you to give them a particular item as a gift? NO. If a guest feels that someone should have a cake that "they" themselves would have, maybe that guest should volunteer to pay for it. These are not the good ole days....

                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                  yes, cheryl, thanks to thinking like yours, it isn't the good old days. but selfishness as a norm is not ideal, and that is what you're positing.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    I don't think that making certain decisions with respect to the wedding makes you selfish. My parents decided to have a tiny, inexpensive ceremony at a sibling's house and go on a month-long honeymoon in Italy almost 40 years ago. I don't think they were selfish by having a modest affair in order to enjoy the honeymoon of their dreams. The reality is that each bride and groom have different priorities that don't necessarily result in the guests getting awesome food, desserts, and alcohol. The reality in today's economy is that more brides and grooms are paying for themselves than they did in the past, and if it's their money, they can do what they want with it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      No, alkapal, selfishness & greed is when other people expect someone to go broke trying to satisfy everyone else. Instead of being happy to be invited to a wedding to begin with, you are criticizing someone else because they choose not to buy a cake if they don't want one. You are telling someone else what they should do. So again, when you are invited to a wedding you are a guest, you shouldn't expect things to be how you want them to be unless you are coming out of your pocket.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                      When I started this sub-topic about the disconnect between a fancy wedding and a cheap dessert, I was not advocating for expensive weddings but merely relating that sometimes people make inconsistent choices. It did seem odd to be in the fanciest ballroom in the city (in a $250/night hotel) and get a cheap dessert and a single glass of wine with dinner. And I think that if you invite me to such a wedding and suggest that I pick a gift from a registry that has as its cheapest item a $175 china tray, then I think you are the one creating the expectations.

                                                                                                                                                      If you invite me to simple wedding in your backyard and serve me homemade brownies because they are the groom's favorite I would think that is lovely and appropriate. Frankly in this economy, I might even buy a bigger gift for the second wedding because of your frugality.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pengcast

                                                                                                                                                        very nicely done, pengast. it's about a kind of proportion, i guess.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pengcast

                                                                                                                                                          I think there are plenty of valid reasons to limit alcohol at a wedding other than just being cheap. I think many couples worry about people drinking too much and ruining the celebration, so they limit the alcohol or don't serve any at all. A wedding is not meant to be an open bar, especially if there are very young children around.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pengcast

                                                                                                                                                            YES! YES! YES!

                                                                                                                                                            I'm currently in the throes of planning a wedding and the wedding industry goes out of their way to remind brides that 'its THEIR pretty princess day and they should do what THEY want". What brides, and people on this board apparently, forget is that the reception is a way to thank the guests for coming to the wedding and should reflect that notion.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I guess they have a right to have a fake wedding cake and I have the right to think it's kind of sad and inauthentic.

                                                                                                                                                          And on a related note, I do think it shows a lack of character to buy a $10,000 dress and then cheap out on serving guests. Then it definitely seems like she thinks the world revolves around her. I pity her new husband. It's kind of like those brides who don't want ugly bridesmaids or ones that are too pretty and might upstage her. Gross.

                                                                                                                                                          And I am a "Say Yes to the Dress" addict, too. I chalk up the crazy dress purchases ($24,000 dress in a recent episode) to the celebrity-worshipping that has become an unfortunate part of our culture. On some of these brides, again I think "I pity the husband. Does he have any idea what he is signing up for with this one?"

                                                                                                                                                          As someone else said, there are way worse things than fake cakes that many couples do related to weddings, etiquette-wise, but the fake cake thing is still kind of off-putting to me. Next they will have a model stand in for the bride so the wedding pictures will look better.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Hey, if I had my way, my cake would've just been frosting, through and through! And to think when I got married, it was considered DARING that we had chocolate cake under the white-on-white frosting! (I'll eat any flavor frosting, but ONLY chocolate cake!)

                                                                                                                                                            However, along the lines of fakery at a wedding, the Rabbi wanted my husband to break... a lightbulb!! Huh? He told us it breaks easier! I've even seen in a catalog, they'll suspend the lightbulb shards in lucite as a souvenier! Like yr celebrating the fakery!

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CookieLee

                                                                                                                                                              The lightbulb has been standard for at least couple of decades. It breaks easily, and the chance of getting a shard in your foot is negligible. Dunno why this would be "fakery," since it's glass. Just not A glass.

                                                                                                                                                            2. My instincts were right-on 30-some years ago -- glad we eloped.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. My 12 yr old daughter's thoughts on the "faux wedding cake" is... it's ridiculous... who wants to look back at wedding photos and say, "Look at all the fun we pretended to have." Well put.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monsterfenn

                                                                                                                                                                  Given the idea of "starter" marriages maybe they plan to have a real cake at the next wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I got married in May, and we made our own wedding cake (and food). 3 layers, bottom one was styrofoam. We are amateurs and we were worried about a lopsided bottom layer making our cake slant. Plus the top two layers were plenty to feed everyone, and it wouldn't have looked right as a two-layer cake.

                                                                                                                                                                  The cake itself was delicious. We're both chocolate fiends so the top layer was a dense chocolate torte (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) filled with chocolate mousse and homemade caramel, and iced with ganache and a thin layer of buttercream (we wanted a white cake). The middle layer was a white butter cake also filled with mousse and caramel and frosted with buttercream.

                                                                                                                                                                  We couldn't afford a professional cake, and our limitations as amateur bakers forced us to go fake on one of the three layers. If I'd had more time (and a backup plan), of course I would have preferred a real bottom layer. But the consequences for error were too large so we went with the fake bottom layer.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jeremyn

                                                                                                                                                                    jeremyn, what an intrepid couple you were. congratulations. your cake sounds out of this world. did everyone rave?

                                                                                                                                                                    have you posted elsewhere about your menu, and the trials and tribulations (and lessons learned) from catering your own wedding?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                      We got tons of compliments on the cake. It wasn't beautiful (photo attached), but it looked decent and it tasted great. People have lower expectations when they know it isn't from a professional, and I think that worked in our favor (also true of our food). Flavor-wise, it was by far the tastiest wedding cake I've ever had. IMO, professional bakers worry more about aesthetics than flavor. That was another reason we wanted a DIY cake.

                                                                                                                                                                      There's a few other threads on here from before the wedding where people were helping me hash out ideas. You'll see that I went in with some preconceptions (wedding = big roast meat) that are just not practical when catering yourself. How the heck was I supposed to put out a decent slab of roast prime rib when I had other important things to be doing...like getting married?

                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616778
                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617398
                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616780

                                                                                                                                                                      A subset of our menu is available here:

                                                                                                                                                                      http://janineandjer.com/recipes/

                                                                                                                                                                      Instead of a cohesive theme, the goal was to have a ton of different flavors so that everyone liked SOMETHING. It turned out fine. People seemed to like the food, and in retrospect, it was a TON of fun. Incredibly stressful at the time. Plus we saved a ton of money. 100 guests, roughly $800 in food costs.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd be happy to offer advice or encouragement for anyone else thinking of catering their own wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeremyn

                                                                                                                                                                        what do you mean "wasn't beautiful" ??
                                                                                                                                                                        The table and cake look absolutely gorgeous AND delicious! congratulations. : )

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jeremyn

                                                                                                                                                                          what an amazing spread! i agree with alixium 100%.

                                                                                                                                                                          looking at your wedding page, i thoroughly enjoyed it. everyone was having a great time in a beautiful setting, and you two are a gorgeous couple.

                                                                                                                                                                          ps, can i have that kitchen? ;-).
                                                                                                                                                                          ....and .... those flowers were a-may-zing!
                                                                                                                                                                          and... where was that?

                                                                                                                                                                          ~~~
                                                                                                                                                                          p.p.s -- you need to update your profile to read "whatever my lovely bride just cooked" as your favorite meal. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                            I VERY much appreciate the kind words. It was a lot of work so encouragements and compliments never get old.

                                                                                                                                                                            My parents just had a friend redo their kitchen. I love going to visit them -- cooking in that kitchen is SO fun. I'm glad it was ready before the wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                            Glad you liked the flowers too. We ordered bulk flowers and my wife had some friends over the make arrangements the night before. THAT was stressful. They did that while I worked with our officiant (a friend) on the ceremony. I wonder how many people don't have a ceremony planned until past midnight, aka the day of the wedding!

                                                                                                                                                                            The venue was Ravenswood Historic Site in Livermore, CA.

                                                                                                                                                                            I have, unfortunately, recently become unemployed, so I'm the cook these days. I'll sneak on and update her profile.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Omg that is a GREAT idea. I don't know maybe I'm not cut out to be a baker but it still takes a lot of skill to decorate styrofoam I mean, I guess you don't have to be as careful...but a lot of wedding cakes have fake layers anyways?

                                                                                                                                                                      And this way you get a nice looking cake, and you can have a great tasting cake because it's not covered with awful, awful fondant that took god knows how long to decorate.

                                                                                                                                                                      And a few of you seem to be implying because it is not tall and decorated with a gazillion flowers it tastes bad? If I get the cake from the bakery wouldn't it still taste good...cause a lot of people are implying the cake is cheap, how do you know?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Well, not a FAKE wedding cake, but certainly a different type of replacement - a whole BigEye Tuna that is later cut up by professionals for sushi!

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.slashfood.com/2009/12/23/c...

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                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm going to a wedding this weekend that I'm reasonably sure is going to have cupcakes after dinner, not a regular cake. The ceremony is on a ski slope. Dinner is at a ski lodge restaurant (private room). Dress is casual. This to me is more interesting than the staid traditional stuff.