Wedding Catering & Cakes on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island

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A wedding feast is an important tradition in just about every culture on earth, and sometimes these feasts last for days. A lavish spread of fine food, like so many symbols in a wedding, represents the couple’s ability to provide abundance... another form of fertility.

It also represents the community’s ability to sustain the couple as they start their new lives, and in some cultures, every food item is assigned a particular meaning, representing everything from virginity to selflessness.

If your reception will be held in a venue that provides food (such as a hotel or restaurant), the venue will provide the catering, so in this situation, choosing a menu goes hand-in-hand with choosing the location. Along with your other criteria, such as the decor, the wedding cake, layout of the room, etc., food is a top priority, and you should get the best you can afford. You should be allowed to sample the various menus just like you can with wedding cakes (if the facility doesn’t allow this, considering going somewhere else).

Wedding Cake by Felicitations, San Juan Island
Wedding Cake by Felicitations, San Juan Island

If your wedding is being held in a location that does not include food service, such as a private home or an outdoor site, you’ll need to bring in a catering company. Here too, you’ll be allowed to sample the foods that you’re considering for your menu, and your menu can be anything from light snacks and cocktails for a few friends to a formal sit-down dinner for 500. Bear in mind that catering prices are much lower for lunch than for dinner, so if your budget is limited, consider a late morning wedding with a luncheon reception rather than an evening wedding with dinner. The San Juan Islands have several excellent caterers for large and small gatherings of all kinds. © 2010 Terri Daniel

Wedding Cakes

Like everything else in today’s weddings, catering menus and wedding cakes can be as creative as your imagination will allow. I’ve seen everything from 6-tier traditional wedding cakes accented with tropical flowers to a black-and-red cake designed for a vampire-themed wedding (to compliment the bride’s black dress). I’ve also seen individual cheesecakes placed on each of the tables at the reception, personalized cupcakes for each guest, and a hundred other variations. A wedding cake can be any color, style and flavor that you want, and there are modern, humorous “cake toppers” now available that go far beyond the traditional bride and groom surrounded by hearts and doves.

Cakes have been an important symbol in weddings since ancient times. In most cultures, using baked goods in ceremonies symbolized fertility and growth, and wedding cakes have been used in this way for centuries. Sharing the cake with guests represents bringing that growth (in the form of children) into the community.

A couple of important tips for choosing and ordering a cake:

  • Order your cake 3-6 months before the wedding, especially if you’re looking for something unique and original and not “off the rack.”
  • According to tradition, many couples save the top tier of the cake in the freezer and bring it out to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Decide in advance if you’ll want to do this, and design your cake accordingly.
  • If you’re not looking for a traditional wedding cake and you want to save money, consider telling the baker that you want a “cake” for a party. In other words, don’t say “wedding.” You can still design it to your specifications, but it might cost half as much, because frequently, the cost of a “cake” is less than the cost of a “wedding” cake.
  • If you are going to order a wedding-specific cake, be sure the baker allows you to have a “cake tasting” before you purchase. This is a standard practice in the wedding cake business, and it’s fun to bring your intended and a few friends along to sample a variety of cakes.

Choosing a cake is an exercise in creativity. It’s relatively easy once you’ve done some research and selected the bakery or pastry chef of your choice. After that, it’s a piece of cake! © 2010 Terri Daniel

Catering and Cakes providers on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island

Wedding Cake Trends

Trend # 1:
Dessert buffets are growing in popularity. The happy couple can still have a small wedding cake in order to do the traditional, ceremonial cutting but guests are also offered a variety of mini tarts, pies, puddings, chocolate dipped strawberries and petits fours, even ice cream sundae bars. Assorted candies and cookies displayed in dramatic glass canisters can also make your guests happy.

Trend #2:
Grooms cakes, an old Southern tradition, are now going national. Whether it is the groom’s favorite pastime or sports team, a whimsical cake to represent his interest is one way to offer your guests another tasty treat.

Trend #3:
Cakes are not just a sweet finale to your special event, they are a major style statement. Couples can extend the theme of their wedding to include the cake design such as vintage, bold vibrant colors, monograms, ethnic heritage, eco friendly.

Trend #4:
Buttercream is making a comeback for cake frosting. A melt-in-your-mouth buttercream can be flavored many ways to compliment your cake flavor and is so much better than fondant.

Trend #5:
Cupcakes are a trend that keeps on going. It is also an affordable and easy to serve option.

Wedding Cake Trends article courtesy of Cakes by Felicitations.