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By Chelsie Roberts

Including expert advice from

Duff Goldman of

Charm City Cakes

If there is one way I can describe this year’s wedding trends, (not just when it comes to confections) it would be… I give up-there isn’t one way to describe it. Brides still want classic, but classic with modern upsizing. This year’s trends in bridal photography style tend to have a rustic and vintage feel. Some weddings have gypsy carnival type flair or food trucks and tables of candy at the reception. Some have a shimmering chandelier illuminating an amazing suspended cake. Today’s modern weddings vary in style as much as old cowboy boots vary from Manolo Blahniks. Venues include old barns, breweries, art galleries, it seems anything goes. Brides have more choices than ever when it comes to their perfect wedding day. Fairytale princess has turned into vintage, artsy, cowgirl, avant-garde chic with a touch of glamorous glitz. Add a bit of shock factor and you have this year’s trends - at least my interpretation of them. Also, I’m not a connoisseur of cakes, merely someone that enjoys admiring and eating them. For true expert advice LX turned to pastry chef/cake artist Duff Goldman, sometimes known as the “Ace of Cakes” of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.

Cover page and images above Charm City Cakes “ Below Naked Cake Photo Ben Webb Photography

It’s easy to be thinking about aesthetic and personal touches with so many beautiful visual ideas out there. A bride may need to be reeled in, reminded that a cake is a cohesive unit of vision and taste. It serves two purposes, to be admired and then also devoured. “Cakes, no matter how beautiful, are meant to be eaten. And if something is beautiful, it is a crime to destroy it if there is no reason to, just as it is its sole purpose to be destroyed if it is, indeed, delicious.” One may want to move away from traditional plain white cake to more exotic flavors, like Charm City Cakes’ almond amaretto cream or red velvet. Duff also creates some unexpected yet tasty flavors like cardamom with pistachio and buerre noisette with pumpkin. When it comes to taste and Duff doesn’t have any specific recommendations for a bride and for good reason. He says, “Flavor is a completely subjective thing. I like what I like, but she should get whatever she wants. It is her cake, not mine.”

Photography Viona Ielegems Model Jolien Rosanne Post-production Chester Van Bommel

Above Dress inspired Cake Photo Doug Loneman - Loneman Photography Baker Cakes from Cabin Ridge

Top Left Tamari Cakes Baker Maki's Cakes - makiscakes.com Top RIght Ombre Radiant Orchid Cake 4 Photo Stephanie Yonce Photography - stephanieyoncephotography.com Baker A Cake to Remember - acaketoremember.com

Bottom Suspended Decor Cake“ Photo R.A.G.artistry Baker Weddings in Style by Ragini Patel

Duff recommends that when choosing a baker a bride should look for a few basics. “Taste the cakes, look at the bakery, look at cakes made by that baker in the past. Are the cakes beautiful? Do they taste good? Is the bakery clean? Is the baker happy? As for when I bride should schedule her cake tasting and who the bride should bring along - he recommends, “Cake bakers book up pretty fast. When you have a date, pick out a cake. Also, don't bring too many people, just maybe one friend and someone who is going to pay for the cake.” And he says to really think about what you choose. “The cake is like a tattoo, you get it and it is your wedding cake for the rest of your life. This should not be taken lightly. Have an opinion!”

or flower?” He's inspired by fashion. He mentions Chanel bags, Louboutins, “cutting edge use of colour and texture. I love it.” he says. Some are taking their inspiration of fashion into the design by opting to have a cake with elements inspired by their wedding dress. We asked Duff what a bride should bring to her cake consultation, he replied “PICTURES! Lots of pictures. pictures of cakes, of patterns, of styles. Anything the bride wants to be part of the cake should be in this portfolio.” While one

should be concerned about the details don’t become overwhelmed. “At the end of the day, the only important thing is that you have found somebody you love and you are sharing this with all your friends and family. If you get the wrong napkin rings or the roses you wanted weren't in bloom, it doesn't matter. You just got married!” he says. And when it comes to cake trends remember that you don’t necessarily need to be “trendy” to go with the trends. Simple and elegant is always in style.

Regarding the style of cakes this year there are many that stand out. Many brides are going rustic with naked cakes layered with berries and gorgeous fillings, then adorned with flowers, twigs, succulents and even herbs. Ombre cakes are quite popular. Duff says, “Bold colors are always risky but if used well they can be striking and memorable.” Pantone’s color of the year Radiant Orchid is a popular choice for cakes. Not all brides want bright and bold; Combining pastels and neutrals can make for a stunning option. Brides are also choosing different shapes than the basic round. Some brides are going round in a spherical way. Maki’s Cakes’ signature “Tamari” cake is one example. These beautiful balls of cake are inspired by the Japanese art of Tamari. While unique shapes can be marvelous, Duff reminds us that they don’t always work. “Round and square cakes put together make me want to cry.” he says. Other nono’s include staircases, toppers or bridges made of plastic. He also says to abstain from using Roman columns. Instead brides can choose a custom topper or give their cake sentimental value with hand-painted elements. Inspiration can be found anywhere. “Just look around.” Duff Says, “What makes her happy? What will she like in 20 years when she looks at these photographs? Who is her favorite artist? What is her favorite color Below Painted Cake Baker Wow Factor Cakes Photo Cunningham Photo Artists

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Let them Eat Cake.  

Let them Eat Cake.