When it Comes to Groom’s Cakes, Go Big or Go Home

15 Nov

I’m from small town Connecticut and my husband is from Miami. Living in Houston has worked out pretty well as we’re right in the middle of the country and are only one direct flight away from both families. So when it came time to decide where we were getting married, we felt the safest bet was to host the wedding on our turf, deep in the heart of Texas.

Many of our friends and family had never been to the great state of Texas, so we knew that we wanted to incorporate several Texas-type elements into the festivities. We chose a venue out in the Hill Country, only served wines that we born, bred (and bottled) in Texas, and even took our engagement photos at the Texas State Capitol. Heck, we even had an armadillo at the big event (wish I could take credit…this was complete coincidence).

Another piece of Texas wedding tradition that I wanted to include was the groom’s cake. I am very lucky to have a husband that was extremely involved in the event planning process (sometimes more than I would have liked…do we really need to have an argument over the font for the place cards?) and this was one way to show my appreciation for his contributions.

The traditional groom’s cake has evolved over the years from a simple, one-tiered square chocolate cake to more complex, creative culinary delights. Many cakes now include the logo of their honey’s favorite team or showcase their favorite hobby or activity. My husband and I are both die-hard University of Florida Gator fans so I knew that would be part of the design. He was also very active in the school’s crew team and nearly all of his friends attending the wedding had rowed as well. I had my idea….but how would I execute?

Our wedding cake was being prepared by a fantastic local Austin bakery and restaurantand I was hoping, for simplicity’s sake, that they would be able to take on my complicated groom’s cake request. I had a vision in my head, but was struggling to find an example online of exactly what I wanted. It had to look incredible, or what was the point? I sent a note (see below) to our contact and kept my fingers crossed:

Note to Mandola’s Italian Market:
The best example of a rowing cake that I have seen is here. I would like to emulate this, but using a photo of Matt (rower all the way at the back of the boat) to show the colors that should be used (hooray Orange – Go Gators!). I would like the water to be a medium blue, but include an alligator or two peering up from water (just eyes and partial head showing, similar to photo here. The gator can look more cartoony (doesn’t have to appear menacing – like the ones we’ve purchased for our cake topper. We could even feature a little bit more of the alligator out of the water….but will let you decide.

Lucky for me, our cake folks were not terrified by my all over the place note and the obnoxious number of links and accepted my groom’s cake challenge. It took some effort on my part to trust that the cake would match the vision in my head (since I would not see the final product until it showed up at the wedding), but I knew that I had to take a chance. Go big or go home!

When the cake showed up at the wedding, I couldn’t have been happier – it looked even better than I had imagined! The rowers, the alligators…they were all there. And the best part….Matt was totally surprised! He had no idea that I ordered the cake (sneaky, sneaky) and said that it was one of his favorite parts of the whole wedding. I think we did Texas wedding tradition proud.

When planning your wedding there are many opportunities to insert your personality into the details, and the cake is no exception. Don’t limit yourself to one, beautiful-yet-probably-tame cake for the bride – go for the creativity gold and order a special cake for your groom. After all he’s been through in the planning process, it’s an easy and fun way to show him that, believe it or not, this is his special day too.

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