Sometimes wedding tradition just takes over. Heck, there are a lot of traditions that brides and grooms just do, but often don’t know really why they are doing them. At a recent Colorado wedding DJ appointment, I sat down with the bride and her parents. As we went through some of the wedding day traditions, it became clear mom and her daughter, the bride, had very different visions. The bride, Brenda, didn’t know the three questions every couple should ask before deciding to do any wedding tradition.
We began to talk about the wedding cake. The bride, Brenda, immediately interjected, “well we’re not going to a cake!” I replied, “oh cool. It sounds like you’ll be doing something else that better reflects you and James a little more. So, what is it?” Before she could respond, Mom with a sheer look of utter horror and disdain on her face, said, “Wait? What do you mean you aren’t doing a cake? You have to. Your father and I did a cake, your sister did a cake! You just have to. It’s tradition!”
Now, at this point, I’m in the middle, both literally and figuratively. I replied, “well, we’re happy to do whatever you may want, but as a frame of reference from what I see as the leading wedding DJ in Denver, only about two out of five brides do a cake now. About two out of five do cupcakes, petite deserts, pie, cookies, brownies, or even a gelato or ice cream bar. The last segment of brides decide to skip the cake cutting altogether. So there’s no right or wrong reason to do or not do the cake.”
Tradition of the cake.
“You see, the wedding cake is considered a symbol of fertility and plenty. Ancient Greek brides would arrange piles of small, hard biscuits to serve at their wedding feasts. These plain cakes were seasoned with honey and sesame seeds to symbolize the sweetness and bitterness of life. The belief was that these cakes would pass good fortune and success to the bride in I child birthing. In the 17th century, a French chef was traveling in England and found it difficult to transport the small cakes he made for a wedding. He created a white sugar frosting and stacked them. Viola! This become the first true tiered wedding cake.”
So, there is the tradition.
Consider the cost of cake.
“According to what other brides getting married in Colorado have told me, the new approved size for a slice of wedding cake, is about the size of a business card. I’m a farm kid, so if I want a piece of cake, I want a piece of cake. Brides have told me that the average cost is about $8-$11 per slice. It’s not an after dinner treat anymore, but rather, the cake has turned into a work of art with shows like Cake Boss, and Top Chef. Add in the cake cutting fee by your Denver caterer, or Denver wedding venue or hotel. Brides have said that this can be $2.75 to $4.50 per slice in addition of the cost of the cake to cut and serve the cake. So, best case, we’re at about $11 to $16 per slice. At, say, 100 guests like you’re expecting, that can add up quick. The fact is, not everyone will eat cake and certainly guests will not remember the cake as making the celebration. I can’t tell you how many offers I get at the end of the night to take a 1/3 of a wedding cake home to my family. I politely decline.”
The point is, most brides don’t want the wedding their parents had. On the flip side, the parents probably want that wedding for you. Parents tend to want a church wedding, the white dress, and formal dinner. That’s how it was done from their frame of experience. It’s based on their memories of what the wedding industry had to offer when they got marred.
As a Colorado wedding DJ, I can attest that things have changed!
Right now, according to the WeddingReport.com, only about 51 percent of weddings are traditional yet, 49 percent are not. We experienced wedding DJs in Denver are all seeing a huge, growing trend of casual, unique or even themed weddings.
Brides want different. Brides want unique. Brides want something creative. So, if you want to break with tradition, that’s great!
The three questions every couple should ask before deciding to do any wedding tradition.
#1) What do I want to do?
#2) Why do I want to do It?
#3) How can I personalize it to make it more us?
In the end, are you having the wedding of their dreams? Or yours?
So, let’s work together to…
Make a statement or tell your story.
Showcase your own style.
Brand your wedding.
Matt Martindale – Amore DJ Entertainment, Wedding Lighting & Décor, Interactive Photo Booth
*Professional Wedding MC / 13 Time Award Winning Colorado Wedding DJ Expert™
*WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award Winner (Top 5 percent of all Wedding Professionals Nationally)