Shortly after the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was announced, I watched a documentary about the latest Royal Wedding to come. Learning more about Markle’s and Prince Harry’s very different backgrounds and native cultures took me back to our own Anglo-French wedding. We were keen to make sure both our countries of birth and traditions were present at our wedding, especially when it came to the wedding cake. If it’s your case too, here are eight ways to weave cross-cultural details into your wedding cake, all based on real weddings.
Work it into your design – although this might sounds like the most obvious solution, actually weaving a bit of both your cultures into your cake design needs to be done with careful considerations. You could add a discreet secret message or token at the base of your cake, at the very back, “For your eyes only”. It’s a very sweet way to add a nod to your heritage, and bound to make you both smile mysteriously on your wedding day. You could go all out with a Rock n’ Roll extravagant wedding cake design, marrying all the iconic references to your countries too. In this case, more is more, but do ask for a sketch of your design ahead of your wedding day to make sure it’s how you picture it in your head. Finally, you could add more of a symbolic reference. For example, a design including tone on tone macarons will bring a definitive French touch to your wedding cake, and be both elegant and modern at the same time.
Work it into your choice of wedding cake – Choose a traditional native cake like a croque-en-bouche (or piece montée) if you are French; A Millefoglie if you are Italian. You can also opt for more of a “nod” to your culture. For example, for this 2018 summer wedding cake, this French bride and her English Groom picked a semi-naked tiered cake design, very much on trend at British weddings in 2017 and again for 2018….with thin, dainty, classic French Langues de Chat biscuits surrounding it. Voila!
Work it into your choice of recipes – Fruit cake is still the choice to salute British tradition, whether you decide to cut it and eat it on your wedding day or keep it until your first wedding anniversary. Picking recipes that speak for your cultural heritage could also be something different. A classic Fraisier immediately evokes France and its patisseries. A pistachio, rose and raspberry cake or a tangy yoghurt and almond cake with a honey, orange blossom and cardamom buttercream will take you all the way to the Middle East. When UK born Wendy and her now husband Jamie, who is American, got married, they chose a American Classic: Red Velvet. This choice of wedding cake recipe also created an added wow effect. When they cut their all white chocolate ganache cake, it revealed layers of crimson red sponge! Selecting recipes from each of your cultures also means that the outside of the cake can be very simple, understated and elegant. Traditional in its look. Only to reveal its modern and multi-cultural twists when cut.
Work it into your wedding favours – A thoughtful way to include a nod to yours or your other half’s culture or countries of birth is through your wedding favours. When American born Gini married her English Groom Marc, a lot of the guests were flying over to the UK for the wedding. After talking about options to give them a traditional taste of England, they picked mini cream tea favours, with individual jam jars and clotted cream. For an even more immersive experience you can weave a short “how to eat your Cream Tea” demonstration in your speech…and even hold a “jam first or cream first” friendly vote!
Work it into your choice of cake stand – Cake stands are such a brilliant way to stage your wedding cake and also add another personal multi-cultural touch to your wedding day. You can opt for a classic and very British silver stand. You could use a wooden wine box from your favourite French wine or champagne to create your stand. Get your hands on a native Canadian tree log. Have an Zellige pattern stand to reflect Moroccan roots...
Work it into…your wedding date – ok so not strictly speaking about your wedding cake but I couldn’t leave this one out and here’s why. It can be extra endearing for the spouse getting married away from their native country to pick a meaningful date from their cultural calendar. So, when French born Heloise booked the venue for her English wedding, she chose the 14th July - or Bastille Day, France’s National Day, as a nod to her French dad.
Work it into how you present your wedding cake – Dessert tables can be a wonderful way to marry both your cultures into a display with a guaranteed wow effect for your guests. Imagine if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would opt for this option... Their wedding cake table could look a bit like this at Their Royal Wedding: A beautiful Post Regency mahogany table; laden with exquisite miniature Eton Mess, rich and decadent chocolate and pecan brownie petits fours, sticky toffee pudding mini pop cakes with Earl Grey caramel sauce waiting for them to be dipped in. Edible organic meadow flowers from the Sussex countryside topping little lemon curd tartlets, fun chocolate bark pieces, …all artistically “planted” into a classic English garden display. At the centre, a very elegant, understated and traditional tiered cake, hiding a choice of American and British recipes within its layers and proudly sitting on a glistening silver stand.
Very Fabuleux indeed.
How do you imagine Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake will be like?