Wedding Cake Colors and Trends for 2012

Choosing all your wedding decorations can seem overwhelming, but once your color scheme is in place, the rest becomes much simpler. Those key colors can be incorporated into the gowns, the flowers, tableware and even the wedding cake, which will become the centerpiece of your reception.

The tradition of the wedding cake as a symbol of good luck dates back several centuries. However, in those days, a dessert known as bride's pie was served to guests. Eventually, a bride’s cake became accepted, and from that, the tradition of the wedding cake was born. Queen Victoria shocked the world and started a new trend when she wore a white wedding dress and offered a white wedding cake to her royal guests in 1840. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was the first to offer a completely edible version in 1882.

Today's wedding cakes are not just for eating. Many are created as decorative showcases. The trends for 2012 include taller tiers and noteworthy pedestals upon which to display them. Brightly colored wood blocks or ornate glass cake stands are equally popular. Since the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the traditional white or ivory fancy cake has regained popularity. It speaks of fairytales and princess brides and all that is regal and refined. Decorated with latticework, piping, icing rosettes, swirls, drapes, lace effects, and delicate fondant ruffles and frills, this cake is perfect for a June wedding or any other time of the year.

The soft, buttercream wedding cakes that were so popular in the '70s and '80s are also back in style. Some use pillars and flowery top pieces. Sugar flowers are a nice touch, but real flowers are more affordable for those brides on a budget. However, under those lovely layers of frosting, exotic fruit-flavored cakes have replaced the traditional white, chocolate or marble fillings.

Painted wedding cakes are a new trend for 2012. Decorators first cover the entire cake in a draping of fondant, which then becomes the canvas awaiting the artist’s touch. Tropical flowers, botanicals, or green vines are then painted on the cake. Adding three-dimensional sugar flowers gives a charming "trompe l'oeil" effect. Another variation is painting “stained glass” on the fondant foundation.

While solid black wedding cakes are definitely edgy, they are less popular than striking black and white combinations. Since black has become a trendy wedding color, adding it to the wedding cake can create a sophisticated and elegant decorative statement.

Bold colors are also becoming more accepted for wedding cakes. Once again, the overall color scheme for the celebration will dictate exactly what colors to use, but when chosen carefully, the wedding cake can integrate the rest of the reception color theme perfectly. In addition to bright, bold colors, some wedding cake decorators are offering sharp angles and complex geometric details. Wrapping a box shape in a single strong color and adding minimal accents can be both stunning and affordable. For example, purple with orange and pink as accents might convey a tropical feeling.

Once upon a time, the groom’s cake was a fruit cake. It was portioned out as a take-home favor. Today, these wedding cakes are often humorously decorated to reflect the groom’s interests and hobbies. They are usually darker colored and served to all the guests from a separate table.

When choosing the wedding cake for your special day, be sure to give the decorator color swaths from which to work. Being slightly off on the color will be more noticeable than you might think. Integrate your wedding colors into your cake design, and you’ll have a centerpiece that will be the crowning touch to your own special celebration.