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Sweet Splendor

Sweet Splendor
Lemon-themed spread (Jessica Schilling Photography)
There is no better time of year to bask in pleasures that warm the heart and soothe the soul — especially if you’re planning to wed this winter. A holiday wedding is the perfect setting for rejoicing with family and friends, and — dare we say it — splurging on indulgent desserts. 
That’s right, ladies, when the wedding day comes and you’ve managed to fit into that gorgeous dress, it’s finally time to ditch the diet and welcome the bounty your wedding day brings. It is your big day after all, and all the sugary goodness you can handle is just a finger lick away. 
Trust us, your guests will love you for it. 
“Dessert is a comfort food, and let’s face it, we eat more of our favorite comfort foods over the holidays,” said Emily Wattez, owner of Grandes Fetes (, a Los Angeles-based event-planning agency specializing in weddings. “Knowing this, you might want to place more emphasis on your cake at your winter wedding.”
That’s exactly what Angelino Heights newlyweds Kristen Stanisz and Scott Bedno did at their intimate 85-person holiday affair at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts on Nov. 17. They hired pastry chef Sonia George of Cake Studio in Los Angeles to customize a cake picked to match their glamorous 1920s art deco-themed wedding: a replica of New York’s Chrysler Building in chocolate ganache with raspberry mousse and white cake. 
“Everything at our wedding was carefully planned out so as to re-create the opulence of the 1920s and ’30s and we felt that the cake should really epitomize the glamour and the architectural elements of the era,” Stanisz said. “Grand sweeping angles, blocked colors and of course a little sparkle were what we had in mind … we had a totally unique cake that really exceeded our expectations.”
Petite is sweet
Though cakes certainly can make a grand impression, bigger isn’t always better. Smaller cakes of different varieties might win you brownie points with holiday-hungry guests with diverse tastes. Serving multiple cakes also allows for multiple designs, giving you the chance to implement different textures, patterns and swatches.
“Many couples tend to select very simple wedding cakes, incorporating their wedding colors as accents over white frosting — but little else,” Wattez said. “A cake is a blank canvas and most bakers would love the challenge to create something more unique for your event.”
Experts suggest incorporating not just colors but textures from the event. Some of Wattez’s favorite cakes were iced with the textures of the bride’s wedding dress.
For brides who prefer a traditional cake, another option is to add a groom’s cake — and go all out on this one. Grooms’ cakes are much smaller than a traditional wedding cake and are usually served in adjunct to it.
Spread it out
Another idea is to go with a small wedding cake for the traditional cake-cutting and then let guests pick from a sweet pastry platter or cupcake buffet. Again, this works especially well for brides (and guests) with diverse tastes — maybe the filling of your dreams is a mix of peanut butter fudge and strawberry jelly, but you doubt your mother-in-law would agree.
“I’ve seen miniature creme brulee, cobblers, pies, even cookies and milk — just about any dessert can be made into an individual portion and your dessert buffet really can be the ultimate highlight of your wedding décor,” Wattez said.
And where there’s dessert, there’s usually champagne — and lots of it. Wattez recommends hosting a champagne bar with a variety of sparkling flavors, insisting that there is no better pairing than sweets and a little bubbly afterwards to wash it all down. 
“Champagne instantly makes us think of a celebration, and no one has ever looked bad with a piece of cake in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other,” Wattez said. “People associate toasting with champagne. And the impromptu toasts mingling family and friends end up making can be a fun and memorable experience.”

But whether you choose a dramatic custom-made cake or a decadent chocolate and pastry tableau, one thing is certain: December weddings are a time to come together, to celebrate family and begin new traditions — and nobody should be doing that on an empty stomach. Luckily, making sure everyone leaves satisfied is a piece of cake.

Becca Blond, Brand Publishing Writer