Your Day, Your Way: Cake Toppers

When writing about wedding cakes, I often get asked the question, “Should I have a cake topper?” Traditional brides often opt for the bride and groom figurines or perhaps the couple’s new initials. Modern brides often want to skip the topper all together or do something unique, like a pair of love birds or flowers that match their bouquet. And still you have the rare bride and groom who want to showcase their humor by selecting the bride and groom dressed or posed to match their personalities.

A cake topper is in no way necessary, but a wedding cake can often look bare without something on top. I decided to find out more about where the tradition of cake toppers came from and what some of today’s trends are.

The origin of the cake topper isn't well-known or well-documented , but I did find an article recently written about cake toppers. In the article, Western Wedding Cake Topper Traditions, the author references Emily Post, who in 1922 wrote in her etiquette book that a wedding cake should be topped by “small figures of the bride and groom.”

Other sources note that while the cake topper has been a wedding tradition throughout history, its origins are unknown. One story I found talked about a baker’s daughter who asked her father to make a symbol of love for her wedding. The father made two figurines for the top of the cake, thus beginning the wedding cake topper tradition.

While other historic references mention cake toppers at elaborate weddings in the 1800s, it wasn’t until 1927 that they became popular. It was in 1927 that Sears, Roebuck and Company featured a page of cake toppers or “ornaments” in the department store’s mail-order catalog.

So despite its unknown beginnings, cake toppers make appearances at all types of weddings and come in all kinds of forms. Here are some are our favorites!

With weddings being the perfect time to showcase family traditions, why not sport something vintage on your cake? Perhaps your parents or grandparents have a cake topper from their wedding. If you think you’d rather have something different than the bride and groom figurines, a vintage ornament or other sculpture can add a special touch.

Many brides choose to work their colors and flowers into their cakes, but why not top the cake off with a mini bouquet that matches the bride’s? The florist can help provide the flowers and the caterer can incorporate them into the cake. Want to make the top really sparkle? Why not pin an antique brooch to the bouquet or have the florist add some gems. They will catch the light and the eyes of your guests when the spotlight is on you cutting the cake!

For the modern couple, a large initial of the couple’s last name or the couple's new monogram really make a statement and look great on top of a wedding cake.

While humorous cake toppers aren’t for the bashful, they are sure to get a few laughs from your guests and illustrate your personalities.

While love birds have been a common symbol at weddings for years, why not include them by putting them on top of your cake. Have a favorite animal that you and your hubby-to-be share? Why not have it made into a custom cake topper?

Whether your new family is going to include you, your groom and a child or a handful of pets, brides are incorporating their new families into their cake toppers. Have a custom family made to resemble yours!

Cupcake Cake
Want to include a cake topper in your cupcake wedding cake? Ask the baker to make a small cake (4 inches) for the top of the tier where you can feature your cake topper.

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