At Lily and John's Santa Barbara fete, the cake topper derived its super-sweet charm from two wedding bells made with quilling paper and framed by vintage millinery lily-of-the-valley buds and a gauzy vintage linen ribbon, tied into a bow. Festooned with rose-budded swags of royal icing, the raspberry-lemon cake rested with ladylike poise on a pedestal.
From left: Herendâ€™s hand-painted porcelain giraffes wrap their necks around each other in a heartfelt embrace.
â€śYou complete me,â€ť say the toppers created by Concarta, whoâ€™ll customize a pair of mini-me paper dolls in your likenesses.
Pinwheels are just the whimsical accent a fun-loving bash needs, and you can make your own.
Have Better Off Wed spell out your names (or anything else!) in your favorite font.
Let them eat pie! Rachel and Larry served Chef Andrew's Washington state apple pie at their destination wedding in Idaho and decorated it with a custom topper by Etsy vendor Goose Grease.
Rachel and Larry put the toppers and Larry's feathered boutonnieres in shadow boxes once they got back home to Brooklyn.
Left to right: This winsome cake topper of wedding bells and vintage millinery blooms gets our ringing endorsement. Livia Cetti for the Green Vase.
Perch a fanciful golden dove topper on your wedding cake and you'll hit just the right note on your big day. $50, from Tinsel Trading Company.
Music to our ears: This charming beaded design is proof that big style doesn't have to bear a big price tag. $19, by Martha Stewart Celebrate from Wal-Mart.
Left to right: A throwback topper like this one suits the vintage-loving bride. Find similarly snazzy duos at Fancy Flours, a great online resource for vintage toppers. Crafted from millinery flowers, paper scraps, and German glass glitter, this whimsical creation by Goldbug Studio is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Trim, Tinsel Trading Company. Appropriate for your cake or mantel, these minimalist wooden figurines couldn't be more adorable. The best part? Each couple is custom-made to approximate your likeness. Goose Grease. Can't find one you want? Consider mixing different products. We've placed a vintage bride-and-groom set on top of a glittering D. Sharp podium for a classic effect. Trim, Tinsel Trading Company.
At the wedding of Navy petty officer Louis and crafter/designer Casey, the cake topper mimicked Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photo of a sailor and a nurse embracing in Times Square on V-J Day. The topper was found on eBay and perfectly brought together the thematic elements of the wedding.
Left to right: Garnish your cake with an edible candy compote -- and fill it with even more candy. It's a sugar fiend's dream. $16, Dorothy Timberlake Candies.
For the perfect touch at an afternoon wedding, fill a ladylike teacup with Jordan almonds and set it on the cake. Dragees, $39.50, Crossings French Food.
A cascading adornment of marzipan fruit looks especially lush at an outdoor affair. $240, from Wendy Kromer Confections.
We've always loved the look of flowers on a wedding cake -- but blooms that taste like cake? Even better. From $4 per stem, Sugar Flower Shop.
Instead of a large, multi-tiered confection, Lauren and William worked with Rhonda DeForest of Flour Power Confectionary to create a selection of eight small cakes. The center cake was topped with a vintage figurine purchased on eBay from a couple who had just celebrated their 50th anniversary.
The most familiar topper becomes uniquely yours when embellished. We gave this classic couple a molded clay dais that was inspired by the intricate sugar-spun fretwork adorning toppers of earlier eras. (Vintage figurines have a lot of character, and they're easy to find at flea markets and online auctions.) Tiny white and "something blue" paper blooms surround the base. The piped buttercream of the cake echoes the topper's design.
This is a classic symbol of good fortune; a bride in England might tie a horseshoe charm to her wrist for luck. The topper here is made of phalaris, a dried grass that resembles wheat, itself an emblem of fertility and abundance. The ribbon is embroidered with the couples' initials.
In Bermuda, couples top their wedding cakes with tiny saplings, which they plant to grow as their marriages do. Here, a milk-chocolate figurine, formed in a replica of a 1920s mold, stands on a faux-top tier of Styrofoam coated to match the cake. The flowering quince branches above were painted with chocolate (choose pesticide-free foliage). Chocolate modeling dough makes a balustrade and miniature roses. The rolled fondant is tinted pink to pick up the hue of the quince.
Working with designer Denise Sharp, we took poetic license with Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famed love sonnet, quoting it on a cake by Kromer. Sharp's calligraphed paper garlands -- dotted with ribbon flowers and bows, and adhered with royal icing -- and paper bands encircle fondant tiers that graduate from rosy pink to paler pink on top. The bands are layered over satin ribbon and scalloped cardboard trim wrapped with embroidery floss. A crepe-paper bouquet on a fondant disk is the crown.
Doves mate for life, and in Armenia and the Philippines, the releasing of a pair of white doves at the end of a wedding signifies the beginning of many years of love and happiness. Our millinery birds are framed by an arbor of white silk lily-of-the-valley and maidenhair fern, images that are repeated in the royal-icing decorations on this classic white cake. The doves perch on a bead-covered birdbath.
As legend has it, wedding bells ring out to announce a brand-new union to the world -- and also to frighten away any evil spirits. These bells and the wreath of paper flowers that encircles them were made using the old-fashioned art of quilling, in which strips of paper are manipulated into intricate shapes. Gum-paste curlicues on the fondant-covered cake pick up where the paper ones leave off.
Adorn your wedding cake with one of these thoughtful handmade touches.See the Ideas