Joey and I had an appointment with a local bakery, Signature Desserts, on Saturday. I had signed us up for volunteering for Habitat for Humanity with my sorority’s alumnae group earlier in the day, so we had worked up an appetite. After calling the Pittsburgh Animal Poison Control center for my mom’s 10 month old puppy, getting a speeding ticket, and hitting my thumb 3 times with a hammer, I was definitely ready to relax and focus on planning. Some find it nerve-racking, I find it therapeutic. I told you I am crazy!
Our appointment was with Linda, one of the owners of the bakery. There was a plate of cookies and water on hand for our appointment not to mention that we also had a small cake baked specially for us with our two filling choices inside. Sweets really aren’t our thing. We aren’t much for desserts and rarely eat cake. But cutting a wedding cake is a timeless tradition I would never want to pass up. That got me thinking about how the cutting of the cake became such a huge tradition. So I did some research. The tradition came from ancient Roman times when the groom would break and crumble a thin wheat cake over the bride’s head to ensure fertility. Clearly, with the size and types of cakes we have in modern times, this is not ideal any longer. The tradition slowly evolved in to the cake cutting we now observe and probably how smashing the cake in each other faces came about. Also, the bride and groom cut the cake together now rather than just the groom to symbolize their first joint task together as a married couple.
Another tradition is to keep and freeze the top portion of the cake to be eaten on your one year anniversary, which symbolizes posterity. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cake enough to eat a freezer burnt piece of cake for tradition’s sake. Luckily for us, Signature Desserts offers a replica of a small version of your wedding cake in the package which can be redeemed at your one year anniversary. It seems many brides are getting away from this tradition. I think it is each bride’s prerogative to decide whether they want to eat that freezer burnt cake or not. Personally, I will be taking the bakery up on their offer to make a fresh one for our anniversary, but who am I to knock tradition? If you are interested in freezing your cake, you can view directions here.
We’ll also be having a cookie table, which as I recently found out, is primarily a Pittsburgh tradition. In fact, there are a bunch of people who have no idea what a cookie table is or why you would have one. As per Wikipedia (yes, I know, the source of all knowledge), the cookie table was originated in Youngstown, OH and remains popular in Ohio and the Western Pennsylvanian region. Mostly homemade by family and friends, with the exception of a few people who are horrible at baking like myself and buy cookies and try to pass them off as homemade, many Pittsburghers would never consider having a wedding without a cookie table. And there is even a “formula” for figuring out how many cookies to secure for the wedding (6 x the # of guests). Until you witness the vastness of a cookie table, you cannot quite understand it. Oh and don’t forget the to go boxes so people can stack as many cookies as can fit in them and take them home. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with thousands of cookies because people were too full to eat them at the reception. And yes, this is all in addition to your wedding cake.
New ideas to expand on the idea of feeding your family and friends more sugar than they should ever consume in one single day include candy and/or dessert buffets. Candy buffets are becoming increasingly popular. One of my closest friends, Nikki, was just married and had a candy buffet. It was so popular among the guests that the bowls and jars were almost empty by the time the bridal party arrived. Luckily, they were very smart and purchased way more candy than they thought would be needed. Don’t worry, no candy was wasted in this wedding. I am pretty sure even the reserve was polished off by the end of the night.
We are choosing to do a dessert buffet because neither of us are cake people. I’d rather have something like cheesecake with fresh fruit. So to offer more options to my guests (and myself), we are having a smaller wedding cake and a variety of pies, cakes, and tortes. This was one of the options with Signature Desserts and mostly the reason why we chose them as our bakery.
So the point of this is that whatever your pleasure you can get your guests all jacked up on sugar and ensure that your guests will not fall asleep in the middle of your reception.