After two years of Covid-related restrictions, wedding season is back in a big way in 2022.
At La Luz Bakery in Round Lake, Illinois, owner Esteban Montes points out that weddings are a growing part of their business at the family-owned bakery, which opened 22 years ago.
“Our customers want cakes that are more elaborate in design,” Montes says. “Cake sizes may have downsized a little – we still do a lot of 3- and 4-tier cakes – but our customers want more different shapes and a lot of decorations.”
Last year saw a major increase in weddings in America as vaccines rolled out and mandates were reduced. According to leading wedding resource The Knot this year is set to host the most weddings in recent history at 2.6 million. Couples and wedding professionals continue to adapt by prioritizing health and safety to move forward with celebrations, including those that were postponed from 2020.
Of note, 98 percent of those set to wed in 2022 are confident their wedding will take place as scheduled. 81 percent of couple will implement at least one health or safety measure on their wedding day, such as having hand sanitizer readily available or requiring guests to be vaccinated.
The average guest size in 2022 is projected to return to pre-pandemic numbers at 129 (131 guests in 2019).
Panaderías are cognizant of these trends and are adjusting to this demand.
“We work hard to please our customers,” says the owner of La Luz Bakery. “Our wedding cake business is really good. We are very successful there.”
Cake size trends
Mini cakes and individual desserts, which were big (no pun intended) in 2021, will continue to be a mainstay. Not only are they safe for guests, but they allow couples to choose a variety of flavors instead of settling on one.
Many couples may order a single-tier cake so they can do a ceremonial cake cutting, but then fill the menu with three or four desserts that guests can enjoy in individual portions, according to research by The Knot.
Individual portions at weddings are not limited to desserts. 2021 saw a rise in individual servings, like individual charcuterie boards and canned cocktails. Couples are leaning into upgraded individual food, such as dessert platters.
As far as wedding cake decorating and the themes that will be utilized, there has been a return to bold color palettes in weddings and that trend extends into wedding cakes.
For those looking to match the wedding cake with an overall theme, one wise suggestion is to replicate patterns seen elsewhere in the wedding, like on a wedding dress or as part of a table linen. This creates more cohesion within the overall wedding design and couples get a cake that feels more personalized to them.
Another way to spruce up a wedding cake is to use pressed flowers. This has been a popular trend for a few years and continues to be extremely useful in decorating. Given the move toward bold colors, pressed flowers are a great option that can add a variety of shades to a tiered confection.
Citrus fruits and berries, such as limes, oranges, blueberries and raspberries, are rising in popularity in baked foods.
Seasonality and locally sourced dishes are becoming more prevalent at weddings. Couples are thinking holistically about the impact that their wedding is having on the earth and economy, and thus are emphasizing booking local caterers that focus on seasonal ingredients.
Everyone wants a beautiful cake but making it appetizing for guests is also imperative. Many couples continue to choose classic flavors like vanilla and red velvet, but for those who want something a little more unique, citrus is especially popular.