(Cake by Riot Cake Co., photographed by Steph Sousa Photography)
‘Tis the season to recollect on a year’s worth of wedding trends and what’s to come after the calendar year ends. To a “12 Days of Christmas” tune, we’re revisiting what big day details we saw in 2019 and what’s sure to appear in 2020. (Spoiler alert: No partridges in pear trees… but a pheasant or peacock, maybe.)
By Jenna Miller
Though Santa loves his cookies, his reindeer prefer carrots. This year, couples are following the reindeer’s example by choosing, well, carrots—carrot cake that is. This is according to our San Diego-based wedding cake connoisseurs Jennifer Duncan, owner of Cake, and Shelley Davis, baker and owner of Riot Cake Co.
The flavor of 2019 was vanilla. But we aren’t talking just plain ol’ vanilla. Couples were adding fresh fruit like strawberries or pineapple to their confections and buttercream. And though red velvet was on its way out in 2019, the tropical trend moved in with citrusy flavors and coconut and decoration like ferns, orchids, and tropical leaves. Also, Davis says she’s seeing more fun flavors like cookies and cream and peanut butter coming out to play in 2020.
In 2019 we saw a lot of sea foam green, metallics, blush, navy, and neutral colors. For 2020, Davis says she’s expecting more dark, bold colors like black, navy, and deep emeralds. Duncan predicts we’ll also see more lavender and gray.
Also popular in 2019 were requests for supplements to the wedding cake like tartlets, mini trifles, macarons, lemon bars, brownies, and other bite-sized desserts. Davis says she saw donuts as a popular cake substitute this year but is expecting more mixed dessert bars next year. Donut frown, though, if you’re still craving a one-holed confection in the new year. Those will still be there, as well as carrot cake that’s made a comeback.
No longer will it be seen as a flavor for the “older” crowd because couples are now picking something they want to eat rather than what they think others will like. Turns out, carrot cake’s a hit!
Hand painted cakes, gold and silver flakes, and semi-naked designs are going to be all the rage in 2020, as the solid gold tiers and completely naked looks are getting the boot. Personalized, handmade cake toppers like seahorses, sand dollars, Princess Leia and Hans Solo, and robots will also be a big thing according to both of our experts.
Another thing to look for in 2020 is big cakes but with smaller price tags, because couples are more and more opting for cakes that are part real and part fake to make a big impression without emptying their wallet. Davis says she’s hoping to see more abstract tiered cakes where every tier is not proportional to one another. With all of these trends heading in and out next year, there seems to be one common consensus for 2020: Let them eat cake!