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Everything You Need to Know About the Groom’s Cake

This wedding tradition is still alive and well.

Contributing Writer
buffalo check axe log cake

Photography by: Sugar Geek Show

If you’re like most people, you might only be familiar with one wedding cake—that is, the one the bride and groom cut into on their wedding night and feed to each other as a significance of their shared love. But wedding traditions from other cultures incorporate more than just one cake. The groom’s cake, which originated in Victorian England, is one such example. “As tradition has it, there were typically three cakes served during a Victorian wedding,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “There was the wedding cake that was served to the guests, the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids, and the groom’s cake, served to the groomsmen.” Eventually, Southern brides and grooms in the United States adopted this tradition, making it their own. (Who could forget the armadillo-shaped groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias?)

 

While the tradition has changed over time, the groom’s cake is still alive and well. In fact, it may be becoming more popular than ever. Couples across the United States and abroad—even Prince William had one at his wedding to Kate Middleton!—are serving a second confection tailored to the groom’s specific tastes. Thinking adding another cake to your party in honor of new husband? Here are some interesting facts to know about the groom’s cake.

 

RELATED: UNIQUE IDEAS FOR THE GROOM’S CAKE

 

The earliest groom’s cakes were actually fruitcakes.

Fruitcakes are a dark, rich cake filled with candied fruits and nuts that tend to keep well, especially with all of the liqueur used in their creation, explains Lehman. This is also why they are so popular to give as gifts during the holiday season! “Today, groom’s cakes are usually made with dark chocolate and may be filled with fruits and liqueurs, however, the groom’s favorite cake flavors and fillings should definitely take priority in this luscious dessert,” she says.

 

The groom’s cake is not always served at the wedding reception.

These days, especially for the less traditional couples, the groom’s cake is served at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. “This is always a nice touch because it spreads the fun across your wedding weekend,” says Catherine George, owner of Catherine George Cakes in Washington, D.C. She suggests leaving the cake out on display for a while before it’s served.

 

Although designated for the groom, couples are designing the groom’s cake together.

Though the cake design you select for your wedding reception will likely be fairly traditional in terms of color and decoration, the groom’s cake can be a bit more lighthearted and fun. Choose the look together as a fun detail you can both have some say in. If you like a classic look, though, feel free to go for it. The groom’s cake doesn’t have to show off his hobbies or interests. “As couples are veering away from a traditional cake (in the last few months we have seen a cookie truck, donuts, cobbler or pie, and ice cream for dessert instead) the need for a groom cake as an expression of the groom’s personality is becoming unnecessary,” says Isadora Martin-Dye, a wedding planner and owner of owner of Rixey Manor.

 

In terms of flavor and design, there really are no limits.

“Although the Southern tradition is to make a red velvet cake, I don’t believe wedding cakes in general need to have limits on flavors,” says Liz Berman, Boston-based baker and owner of The Sleepy Baker in Natick, Massachusetts. The same goes for its overall look. “I had a groom joke around about how he wanted a wedding cake that was a pegasus with him riding on the back. The bride refused to allow that and ordered a traditional tiered cake, but then secretly hired me to make a groom’s cake. The wedding cake was displayed next to a sculpted pegasus cake with an image of the groom riding on the back!”

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https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/619474/how-to-choose-rehearsal-dinner-venue

How to Choose the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Venue

Plus, other planning tips.

Contributing Writer
natalie jamey rehearsal dinner tables

Photography by: KT Merry

The second most important event of your wedding weekend will undoubtedly be your rehearsal dinner. Typically, this is a less-formal event during which close friends and family come together (generally following some form of wedding rehearsal) in celebration of the big event. It’s especially beneficial if many of your guests are coming from out of town, as it’s a nice excuse to spend more time together.

 

“The rehearsal dinner is one of the most anticipated and cherished traditions of a wedding celebration,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “For many couples, this will be the first opportunity that their friends and family members will have to meet each other.” To make the most of this treasured evening, we asked twp wedding planners to explain how you should go about selecting the right venue for this important pre-wedding event.

 

THE ULTIMATE WEDDING REHEARSAL AND REHEARSAL DINNER CHECKLIST

 

Step 1: Determine your budget.

First and foremost, figure out how much money you have to spend on the rehearsal dinner. This will help you figure out what kind of event you’re able to have, and how many guests you can invite. Setting your budget also means figuring out who will be shouldering the cost. “Traditionally, the groom’s parentsare the hosts of the rehearsal dinner,” says Lehman. “Today, however, as more couples are paying for the expenses of the wedding themselves, the cost of the rehearsal dinner is often included in the overall budget.” Be sure to allow enough time to scout out the perfect venue, taking into consideration the overall cost of enough food and drinks for guests.

 

Step 2: Settle on a theme.

This is the fun part! Just as you likely chose a theme for your wedding, be it nautical, vintage-traditional, or rustic, you can have fun with the vision you choose for your rehearsal dinner. The food you choose can play a role in this effect as well. Are you big on Italian food? A lover of guac and chips? Don’t feel the need to go fancy just because your wedding day is upscale. “A rehearsal dinner can also be as casual as a pizza party or barbecue in the backyard of the couple’s home, or a local park,” says Lehman. “Generally, whoever hosts the dinner has creative control, taking into account their budget, and the tastes of the couple, aesthetically and gastronomically.”

 

Step 3: Find the right venue.

The rehearsal dinner is often held at a local restaurant or country club, but Lehman points out that any location will do. “A rooftop with a great view in the city, a nostalgic bowling alley, a private home, or a clambake or a bonfire on the beach are all great ideas,” she says. Though she does warn that it’s wise to choose a venue that’s close enough to the wedding ceremony that it provides guests the convenience of not having to travel too far. “Visit several venues to see if there are enough areas for seating and standing, clean restroom facilities, and friendly, well-trained wait staff,” she adds. Will the venue allow the wedding party to bring in decorations, entertainment, and catering as needed?  Will the venue be able to accommodate special dietary needs of guests? Will there be a dress code? These are all things she suggests considering when finding the right venue.

 

LITTLE WHITE LOOKS FOR EVERY WEDDING EVENT

 

Step 4: Finalize your invite list.

Just as your guest list for the big day is important (and likely involved some cutting), you can expect the same when it comes to your rehearsal dinner. “If you’re having a traditional rehearsal dinner, your guests are your VIPs: your immediate family, bridal party, and their dates,” says Tessa Brand, wedding and event planner and owner of Tessa Lyn Events. “A party this size should be able to fit in a private room in a restaurant.” However, if you are extending the invite to all guests, she says this is more of a “welcome party,” which means you will need a larger space. Knowing your approximate guest count will help you determine the price per guest. “Keep in mind, that even if you invite all your wedding guests, the acceptance for a welcome dinner will be lower than your wedding, as people arrive from out of town at different times.”

 

Step 5: Pick your ideal menu.

“The menu is probably the single most influential factor when debating where to have a rehearsal dinner,” says Lehman. “Many couples choose to host their rehearsal dinner in the location they met or where they had their first date.” This is cute and all, but remember that your rehearsal dinner can hold as much or as little meaning as you want. After all, you have a whole wedding dedicated to your love for each other the following day. Have fun and be adventurous! “Sharing the experience with those closest to the couple is what it’s all about,” Lehman adds.

 

Step 6: Plan your décor.

Once you’ve locked down your rehearsal dinner venue and selected from the menu options, your next to-do is décor. Brand suggests going with a completely different color scheme for your flowers, and switching up the décor from what you’ll have at your wedding. “While the idea of having one cohesive wedding weekend may sound ideal, it is much more fun to switch it up and will show you put thought into each event,” she says. “Plus, this leaves an element of surprise for your guests to see on your wedding day.” Floral additions are great, too, as they will easily last a few days and can be repurposed for a farewell brunch at the end of the weekend.

 

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