Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

May 8, 2014

Let Us Eat Cake

TRAVERSE CITY — Bling is out. Understated elegance is in.

That’s the word in wedding cakes this season, say the region’s wedding cake decorators. Ruffled and lacy or sleek and smooth, “most of my brides strive for an elegant, classy, clean look,” said Gretel Steckler, owner of Amazing Cakes in Charlevoix.

Beyond that, almost anything goes.

“Back in the day when I got married, you called a bakery and you said, ‘I’m getting married and I need a cake for 100 people,’” said Linda Pendock, owner of Kingsley Cakes, a four-time winner of The Knot’s Best in Weddings and a Couple’s Favorite on Wedding Wire. “And they’d say, ‘Do you want yellow or white?’ The groom’s cake was chocolate or, if you had money, you could have marble. They’d say, ‘Do you want pink or yellow or red frosting?’ On top you got the cheesy little people, or birds or bells.

“That was the choices you had to make. Now I have girls who are here for two hours for a consult.”

Pendock said the latest wedding cake trends reach northern Michigan a year or so after they hit big cities, but general trends are the same everywhere — fueled by wedding magazines, websites and TV shows.

Here are a few to follow.

Natural is niftier

Flower decorations are still trendy but brides are getting away from flowers made from frosting, sugar and paste and going with the real things.

“Oftentimes brides love the simplicity of fresh flowers on the cake,” said Sherri Keech, owner of Cake Connection TC. “I’ve used roses, peonies, lilies, orchids. I did a beautiful cake with blue orchids.”

Not all of the botanicals have soft petals, however.

“One bride grew her own succulent plants to put on the cake,” Pendock said. “She had bonsai trees for table decorations and baby terrariums with succulents on the cake table.”

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