I’ve learned that you can’t take a strong stance when writing about wedding style. First of all, nobody really wants a frizzy internet lady ranting about trumpet hems. Secondly, it’s a bit cruel. Most couples are just trying to stick to their budget, throw a good party and ride off into the sunset. Let them at it, live and let live.
So, when you’re catering to the wedding crowd, it’s best to stay impartial. I am good at this – mostly because I hate upsetting people, but also because I do genuinely love weddings. The enthusiasm of soon-to-bes is infectious. I love decorations, gowns, flowers, the beauty, the cakes. My God, the cakes.
Arguably the best bit of the wedding, cakes should never be a point of contention. You know how they say there’s no such thing as an ugly bride? That’s also true for wedding confectionery, in my opinion.
On one of my recent Pinterest research missions, I was struck by the reemergence of an old cake trend.
American couples are forking out for an addition cake at their wedding – the groom’s cake. It’s actually a very old tradition; Victorian couples had two cakes, the main one and a groom’s cake. The latter was a richer, boozier recipe, created because the former was deemed too feminine.
This tradition died out until the mid-noughties, but it’s back with a fondant twist.
See, while women’s liberation means that men can now eat vanilla sponge, there’s an issue with buttercream. Any flavour goes, the manly-man-manning comes from the finish.
Typically, groom’s cakes are comic-book, army or sports themed, but there’s no standard design. I’ve seen stadium-shaped cakes, gun-shaped cakes and truck-shaped cakes that look like they’re ruining the ‘main’ wedding cake by splashing them with chocolate mud.
While the opportunity to have extra dessert is always appealing, everything else about groom’s cakes makes me cringe.
One, it implies a homogeneous female identity while enforcing the idea that men’s interests are more real and valid. The traditional icing is fine for us, but grooms need their Marvel logos.
Two, it plays into the notion that women aspire to marriage, but men get worn down and go along with things. The main cake, and the rest of the wedding, belongs to the bride. The husband is just told where to stand and when to speak.
Thanks for dragging yourself along, pet. Here’s your Batman cake, please don’t get any on your shirt.
Three, not only are they sexist, they are sexist cakes. It’s like one of my own turning against me. Will I get over it? Only time, and possibly the healing power of French Fancies, will tell.