Wedding Traditions & Superstitions: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Paul Wood Photography

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” This old, familiar rhyme suggests brides carry several tokens of good luck on their trip down the aisle.

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Viva Las Vegas!

I was lucky enough to spend last week in Vegas baby, a city that boasts nearly as many nicknames as New Orleans. Las Vegas has definitely earned the title of “Marriage Capital of the World” and although I wasn’t there for a wedding, this trip was all about weddings.

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Wedding Superstitions & Traditions: The Bouquet & Garter Toss

Greg Randon Studio.

While some may cringe when they hear the call for all the single folks to come to floor, others can’t wait to wrestle their gal pals for a fist full of fresh flowers or try to beat their bros to the garter.  But few give a second thought as to how these celebrated shenanigans that supposedly signify the next to wed, got their start…

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Wedding Superstitions & Traditions: Wedding Day Weather

Not a rainy Saturday goes by that I don’t think about it being someone’s wedding day.  The bride who wakes to drizzle or downpour will certainly hear over and over that rain is good luck, as she attempts to keep frizzy hair at bay and her dress out of puddles.

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Freeze Your Cake and Eat It Too

If you’d like to keep with popular tradition and freeze the top tier of your wedding cake, but fear freezer burn and a sketchy tasting cake 365 days from now, we’ve got you covered.  Here’s how to successfully store your big-day-dessert so you can enjoy it on your one year anniversary.

  • First, remove any adornments like sugar flowers or other ornaments and set aside.
  • Chill the cake.  This allows the icing to harden so the plastic wrap doesn’t stick to it.  Chill time will vary, just be sure the icing is firm.
  • Next, wrap the unadorned cake generously and snugly in multiple layers of of plastic wrap.  Be sure there are no gaps or air pockets that might lead to dreaded freezer burn.
  • Once the cake is solidly wrapped, place it in a sturdy container, like a box, which prevents dents from other misbehaving or carelessly placed frozen foods.
  • Be sure to mark your little frozen bundle of nostalgia appropriately so you don’t mistake it for last month’s lasagna and accidentally toss it.
  • When it’s time to celebrate your first year of wedded bliss, simply remove the box from the freezer 24 hours in advance, leaving all wrappings intact, and place it in the fridge.  An hour before serving, unwrap it and set it out at room temperature.

Hints:  Consider keeping your cake at a distance from other frozen leftovers so it doesn’t absorb any unwanted flavors.

Be mindful of cakes of with delicate ingredients, like creamy fillings, that may not freeze as well as heartier flavors like almond or carrot cake.

Some event planners will see to it that your top tier is wrapped properly and given to a trusted friend or relative until you can place it in your own freezer.  And of course you always have the option of revisiting your bridal bakery prior to your anniversary and having them recreate your top tier if you’d rather not be bothered at all.

 

Did you know…?  This modern tradition stems from an old custom when couples once preserved the top tier of their wedding cake to be used at their first child’s christening or baptism, which was assumed to take place within a year of the bride and groom’s nuptials.

Live it up y’all!  – M.T.

 

Meredith handles Brand Development, Social Media and Special Projects for Haydel’s.  Keep up with all things sweet and southern right here on “Haydelicious.” 

 

 

How Does Your Big Day Match Up Against the American Average?

Wedding season is in full swing here at Haydel’s!  Our friends at the knot recently released their Real Wedding Survey encompassing 13,000 U.S. brides who walked down the aisle in 2013.  Despite the trend toward more casual celebrations, wedding budgets continue to increase.  According to our local contacts at the knot, around 200 Louisiana weddings are represented in these numbers.

2013 Wedding Stats

  • Average Wedding Budget: $29,858 (excludes honeymoon)
  • Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $86,916 average spend (excludes honeymoon)
  • Least Expensive Place to Get Married: Idaho, $16,159 average spend (excludes honeymoon)
  • Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,281
  • Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31
  • Average Number of Guests: 138
  • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5
  • Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December
  • Average Length of Engagement: 14 months
  • Most Popular Month to Get Married: June and September
  • Popular Wedding Colors: Blue (35%), Purple (26%), Pink (25%), Metallics (25%)
  • Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%

Wedding budgets have continued to rise since the economic downturn five years ago.  Carley Roney, co-founder of the knot, says much of modern couples expenses go to “creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for guests…”

Louisiana ranks 17th among the 25 most expensive places to get married (or where couple’s spend the most).

In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll break down some top wedding trends, like personalization and modernization, and share ideas on how you can include them in your big day!  Till then, happy planning y’all! – M.T.

 

All About Him: The Groom’s Cake

When I mentioned I was writing this blog about the origin of the groom’s cake, one of my co-workers said she always assumed it was a southern thing because we generally like to eat more than the rest of the country.  While our love affair with food is undeniable, the groom’s cake is actually of English decent, first appearing during the Victorian Era (1837-1901).  The tradition has since mostly faded away across the pond, but it’s still trendy here in the U.S., especially in the South, where we tend to have a deep appreciation for not just most things edible but also for customs of days gone by.

Like the earliest wedding cakes, groom’s cakes were originally made of fruit cake.  The modern version we know today only came about after the inception of processed flour and baking soda.  Fruit, liqueur and chocolate were common ingredients in the first groom’s cakes.  Chocolate still reigns as the most requested flavor, not only across the country, but here at Haydel’s too.

Today, we usually see the groom’s cake served alongside the wedding cake, as a compliment or additional alternative to the multi tiered showstopper, but that was not always the case.

A Mysterious Past

The groom’s cake has been linked to many a legend.  Rumor has it that there were once three separate cakes at the celebration…the wedding cake, a bride’s cake, and a groom’s cake (sounds like my kind of party!).  While the wedding cake was served to all the guests, the bride and groom’s cakes were specifically for members of the wedding party and served following the ceremony.

Some say the groom’s cake was once simply the top tier of the elaborate wedding cake, meant to be saved and enjoyed on the couple’s first anniversary.  This has since evolved into its own custom.

As a stand alone cake, we’ve heard it was common at one time to present individually wrapped slices in monogrammed boxes to each guest as a wedding favor as they left the party.

For modern couples who choose to embrace the groom’s cake tradition, the details of this masculine confection may serve as a surprise from the bride to her future husband, or they may be entirely of his choosing.  Either way, it is most often made to reflect his personal taste and even his favorite pastime or hobby.

Folklore

One superstition suggests that single ladies who placed a slice of the groom’s cake under their pillow would dream of their future husbands.  In similar lore, a ceremony in my own sorority advised that sleeping with a special piece of cake under your pillow would make your dreams true, but not specific to one’s future betrothed…although the two go hand and hand for many.

Serve It Up

Some say etiquette calls for the groom’s cake not to be served at the wedding at all.  However exceptions apparently can be made if wedding cake is the only dessert being served, with the groom’s cake following the serving of the wedding cake.  Alternatively, it has been suggested that individual slices can be boxed and given to the single women at the reception, certainly so they can place it under their pillow.

We Say…

Don’t fear the cake police.  I doubt they’ll pay you a visit on your big day.  If they do, they may be disguised as unwanted, misguided opinions, which I highly suggest you disregard.  The groom’s cake is a chance for you or your other half to have fun and be creative with the flavor and the design if you wish.  Keep it classy of course, but no matter what, remember it’s your day together, so make your own rules.  You may even start a new tradition. Check out our gallery of groom’s cakes here: http://www.haydelbakery.com/groom  – M.T.

Wedding Cake FAQ

We love these engraved forks found on The Faded Nest!

You’re getting married! There can be a considerable amount of stress when it comes to tying the knot, but the cake is one accessory that you can definitely have some fun with and it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) require too much of your time or attention. We sat down with one of our most seasoned wedding cake specialists here at Haydel’s, Tonya. She’s been working with NOLA brides at Haydel’s for nearly 10 years and is often requested for wedding cake consultations for her enthusiasm and vast wedding cake knowledge.  Although she now heads up our HR department, she still makes time for bridal consultations. Herself a bride-to-be, we popped open the bubbly and asked Tonya to share answers to some of our brides most frequently asked questions when it comes to the sweetest of plans for the big day.

How far in advance should I reserve my date?

Here at Haydel’s we typically recommend reserving your wedding date a few months in advance. However, some dates can book up quickly, depending on time of year and popularity, so it is always best to get your date secured as soon as possible.  our best bet is to put a call into the bakeries you’re interested in to find out if your date is available.

Do I need to make an appointment for a wedding cake consultation/tasting?

We offer wedding cake consultations Tuesday through Friday from 7:30am until 4:00pm as walk-ins only, no appointment necessary. We do take appointments on Saturdays however, so if a Saturday is most convenient for you, give us a call to set up a time. Don’t delay though, our Saturdays book up fast. Every bakery varies and most include this type of information on their websites.

Do I need to specifically request a tasting or is that automatically included in the consultation? 

We prepare wedding cake samples everyday and always have them on hand.Therefore brides are welcome to walk – in anytime before 4pm on weekdays (excluding Monday) and receive a sample tray. Even though we only do consultations on Saturdays by appointment we still try to carry a few extra samples so that if a bride happens to be in town and would simply like to pick up samples, we can usually accommodate her.

Lovely lace.

What should I bring to the appointment?

If there are any images of cakes the bride may be interested in, it is always best to have them available so that our sales specialist can assist them more accurately with design, pricing, etc. We have an entire wedding cake album for them to view when they come in, if they do not have a specific idea in mind just yet.  Be sure to check out our wedding cake gallery on our website for some ideas too. Color swatches from bridesmaids dresses or other samples are helpful as well.

Texture is trendy!

What’s trendy in wedding cakes?

There are so many unique designs out there, it’s always hard to say exactly what’s trendy. Textured trims and lace patterns have been very popular, which is interesting considering one is very simple and the other is ornate.

Have you given any thought to your own wedding cake yet?

I have given plenty of thought to my own wedding cake. Working with brides and wedding cakes all day, it is hard not to!  I have decided to go with a simple, textured design. Perhaps I’m just going with the trend right now or maybe I have seen so much that I decided to keep it simple. I have a few ideas to add my own touch, but I’m keeping those a secret!

No matter your wedding style, have fun when it comes to designing your cake. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show! Most importantly, enjoy the planning process and find vendors that make your life easier…(of course a glass of champagne can also do the trick!).  Happy planning y’all! – M.T.

 

Icing: Anyway You Like It!

There’s one in every celebrating crowd.  As the cake is about to be cut, they lay claim to the piece with the most icing via proclamation.  I am that person.  End piece please!  If said cake includes edible garnishes, kindly pass them my way.  The price of over consumption may come with a little tummy ache, but it’s worth it to this frosting loving fool.

Icing as we know it didn’t begin to emerge until sometime in the 17th century.  And even then it was often only used to decorate elaborate display pieces for feasts of the wealthy.  It wasn’t until the French began serving dessert as an entirely separate course (what took them so long??) that decorated cakes started to appear regularly.  My obsession, er rather, affection for icing has led me to study the three most popular variations here at Haydel’s.   

Buttercream

Arguably the most common, buttercream in its simplest form, is made by creaming butter with powdered sugar, and can be used as icing and filling.  Buttercream made with shortening and a higher sugar content tends to withstand warmer temperatures better than that made solely with butter.  It is the least expensive icing option and easiest to manipulate for decorators.  I tend to lose my mind around buttecream.  It’s hands down my favorite when it comes to taste.

Rolled Fondant

Rolled fondant is dough-like in nature.  Often the most visually appealing, it produces a smooth satin finish and can be molded into nearly any shape.  Rolled fondant can make for some showstopping creations.  Although some may not agree that it’s as palatable as buttercream or the poured variety, it sure is sexy.  Rolled fondant can be a bit pricier than other options depending on the intricacy of the design.

Poured Fondant

Sweet and creamy, poured fondant is often simply born out of sugar, corn syrup and water.  A multi-talented medium, poured fondant is used on multiple bakery items.  Petit fours, sugar cookies, king cakes, and cinnamon roles are bathed in it.  The look of poured fondant on cake is elegant and delicate.  It reminds me of days gone by…romantic, vintage.  Of course it can also be the most temperamental.  If not heated to the ideal temperature, poured fondant will be too thick to pour.  If heated too high, it becomes too thin and will run off the cake.  Treat it just right and a stunning and delicious reward awaits!

Tell us which one is your favorite.  Not sure?  Maybe it’s time for a taste test.  And might I also suggest that you keep the wise words of author Ernestine Ulmer in mind, “Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”  Live it up y’all!  – M.T.

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