Vintage Wedding Cake Decorations
Ornate designs and white chocolate ribbons can add a taste of nostalgia
By Glyn Sheridan
The first iced and decorated wedding cakes appeared during the 17th century for wealthy brides and boasted meringue-based icing that hardened into a nonedible but beautiful coating. If you want a vintage wedding cake, you have many design eras from which to choose. You will be able to present your guests with a tasty wedding cake that is reminiscent of days gone by.
While "vintage" loosely means anything that "feels old," in wedding cakes it typically signifies one of the popular design eras within the past century or two. Fashion sets the stage for decades of style, so choose decorative elements that reflect the essence of the vintage period of your choice when designing your wedding cake.
Although the Romantic era occurred between 1820 and 1937, it still holds a place of prominence as brides choose from delicate and ornate sugar-crafted designs to add a touch of nostalgia to their cakes. Wrap wedding cake tiers in white chocolate ribbons and add more ribbons to bouquets of sugar flowers and strands of edible pearls. Choose traditional white-on-white icing decorations that include old-fashioned roses, perhaps tinged with a hint of mellow pink, cascading down stacked cake layers for a Romantic era look. Avoid bright colors when choosing this vintage design. White or yellow cake layers with custard or fruit fillings complete your Romantic era wedding cake.
A vintage cake from the 1940s or '50s might feature Lambeth icing. A highly skilled wedding cake decorator crafts this intricate cake design, featuring row after row of delicate royal icing or buttercream icing. Joseph Lambeth, a world-renowned cake decorator, popularized this elaborate style of cake decorating. Many a modern bride chooses this vintage style for her cake. When choosing a vintage Lambeth-style cake, make sure your cake decorator has extensive piping experience (see Resources).
Retro style is all the rage in weddings today and a vintage retro cake is simple to design with an array of bright icing colors and geometric style elements. Select round or square cake layers made from your choice of cake flavors and icings. Re-create the feel of this era by choosing decorative element colors that contrast with your cake's base icing colors. Aqua, orange, lime green or even brown or black icings can lend a vintage retro feel to your cake. Rolled fondant icing or traditional buttercream icing are both appropriate on a retro-style cake. Smooth cake lines, absent elaborate piping around the tops of the layers, will lend an authentic touch to this cake.
Your wedding cake topper is the crowning glory of your cake and you may use an antique topper to set the mood. Or your cake decorator can craft a topper from sugar paste or pastillage to resemble an antique topper. If you're carrying a vintage bouquet, consider inserting it into a food-grade bouquet holder to serve as your cake topper.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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When choosing a wedding cake, it is important to know how many servings are desired as well as the general feel and look of the final design... Watch Video
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Wedding cakes may date back to the Roman Empire, but it doesn't mean your cake has to be trapped in tradition. Carrot cake is a great choice for health-conscious brides. If you're getting married outside, think twice about mousse-filled cakes that need cooling. Or how about a chocolate cake?
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A secondary cake to the traditional wedding cake. Often masculine in design, reflective of the groom's interests or hobbies, and traditionally chocolate.View the Full Weddings Glossary