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What’s a wedding without cake?

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed what gatherings are like now, some timeless wedding elements can’t be replaced – like the cake. 

With trends changing every year, the overarching theme influencing what marriage celebrations will look like in the next year is intentionality and personality. As couples trade large parties for more intimate minimums and micro weddings, cake is one wedding element that offers some semblance of normalcy.

While 2021 won’t necessarily see large, tiered confections like in previous years, cake aficionado Zolita Harper of Zolita’s Couture Cakes & Confectionery, says you can expect to see pre-packaged desserts, thoughtfully designed cutting cakes, new creative techniques and personal details that truly put the emphasis on the newlyweds. She breaks down wedding and cake trends that are unlike anything we’ve seen before.

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Micro weddings and macro weddings

The tiny wedding is popular right now.  With fewer guests than 80 weddings are being held in more intimate settings, allowing for a larger budget to be spent on more opulence in areas like flowers, food and cake, and allow couples to really spoil their guests.

With many weddings having been postponed, bridal couples have had extra time to save, some are adopting the go big or go home approach by hosting large weddings (province and protocol permitting) in excess of 150 people.

These two trends have had a marked effect on the wedding cake industry.

Micro weddings are encouraging brides to choose:

Slimmer, multi-tiered cakes with a distinct theme of modern art and geometric design.  We are seeing taller, smaller cakes as well as floating tiers.

Non cakes, such as doughnut cakes, croquembouches or macaron towers. These are becoming increasingly popular with brides opting for something different, that doesn’t include cake alone. This also works well for the smaller guest list as portioning items like doughnuts, French macarons and profiteroles is much neater than cutting up cake.  Even cheese wheels and large pies are being tiered and displayed as cake. These are used either before the reception or late at night as an alternative to a sweet treat. Brides are opting for the kinds of treats that are really tapping into the true patissiere’s talents.

Mixed or alternate tiers of cakes and treats. We are also seeing the combination of these treats with cakes. Doughnuts, with cake bases or top tiers. Cakes with French macarons or profiteroles. This is quite creative and can be displayed very elegantly or have a funky fun twist.

Plated desserts or mini cakes are particularly popular at micro weddings, adding a personal touch that is being created with plated meals and individual servings.

Single tier cakes are in vogue with the freedom to provide a great amount of detail and personalisation. These cakes are often small and don’t yield many portions, but this gives brides the freedom to have additional flavours in small sheet cakes, to be served as dessert.

Individual packed sweets and trendy take away packs. Some brides have forfeited the cake altogether for beautifully crafted chocolates or cupcakes for guests to take away with them, eliminating the need to cut cakes, and taking current Covid protocols very seriously.

Macro weddings are encouraging brides to choose:

While micro weddings also incorporate some of the trends above, we are seeing the trends in larger cakes mostly at larger celebrations, where brides and grooms want to make a statement.

Tall buttercream cakes are being commissioned in pale colours, or white with buttercream palette flowers and other subtle embellishment, making them very magical and whimsical.

We are also seeing the return of watercolour cakes, with beautiful sugar flowers being commissioned.  This is a real treat for the true sugar artist.

There are definitely trends that are making a comeback, and some that are relatively new, but all of these emerging trends are making for a very interesting 2021 wedding scene.

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