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While wedding cakes today seem to be getting smaller and smaller (and the frosting on some have even disappeared entirely!), midcentury wedding cakes were quite the spectacle—especially when they were served at the nuptials of famous actresses and royal princesses. Here, 16 of our favorite vintage wedding cakes (including one that would have cost $22,000 in today's dollars!).
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Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman
Actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward tied the knot on January 29, 1958 with an intimate ceremony at the El Rancho hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Here, they're seen sharing a sweet kiss in front of their petite wedding cake (compared to other vintage cakes) with a classic bride and groom topper. The happy couple was married for 50 years, until Newman passed away in 2008.
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Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and John F. Kennedy
The president and his new wife cut into an elaborately decorated wedding cake topped with a tiny vase of white flowers at their reception at Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island September 12, 1953.
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Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Now this is a wedding cake worthy of a princess! Grace Kelly and her new husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, served a massive six-tiered wedding cake at their reception on April 19, 1956 complete with a three-dimensional replica of Monaco's Pink Palace at the bottom, the Monegasque crest recreated in red and white spun sugar on the middle tiers, and two cherubs holding a replica of the crown of Monaco on top.
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Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and Elvis Presley
If you calculated the cost in today's dollars of the Presley's cake from their 1967 wedding, it would be $22,000! "The cake itself was a yellow sponge cake," Denis Martig, the pastry chef at the time at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas at the time, told Memphis Magazine. "Each layer was filled twice with apricot marmalade and a kirsch flavored Bavarian cream. All the layers were glazed with kirsch flavored fondant icing and decorated with royal icing and marzipan roses.”
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Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan
Here the future president is seen with his first wife admiring their elaborate wedding cake at their January 25, 1940 reception in California.
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Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli
When Judy Garland married the second of her five husbands, Vincente Minnelli, in 1945 she served a small(ish) white cake topped with a classic wedding bell topper.
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Maria Hawkins Ellington and Nat King Cole
Surrounded by family and friends, the two American jazz singers cut into five-tiered wedding cake following their ceremony at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, in New York's Harlem neighborhood on March 28, 1948.
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Edith Piaf and Jacques Pills
The French cabaret singer and her first husband celebrated their newlywed status with Champagne and a petite (for the time) cake at their September 20, 1952 wedding.
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Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw
We don't know what we love more—the British actress's lace wedding dress, or the fresh-flower topped cake the newlyweds cut into on August 13, 1949.
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Rita Hayworth and Dick Haymes
The cake that the Sands Hotel presented the actress and her fourth husband at their 1953 wedding was nearly as tall as the bride and groom!
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Joan Bennett Kennedy and Ted Kennedy
At their November 29, 1958 nuptials, Ted and Joan Kennedy cut into a classic white wedding cake surrounded by fresh blooms.
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Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra
The singer and the actress also cut into a wedding cake courtesy of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas when they wed there on July 19, 1966.
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Peggy Lee and Bradford Dexter
Here the American singer and actress and her second husband cut into a wedding-bell decorated cake on January 4, 1955 at their backyard reception at her West Los Angeles home.
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Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Hilton Jr.
For her lavish first wedding on May 6, 1950, the actress and her hotel heir husband cut into a five-tiered cake topped with wedding bells at the Bel-Air Country Club in California. There's even video footage of the couple cutting the cake and Taylor taking the first bite.
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Lana Turner and Steve Crane
Elizabeth Taylor wasn't the only actress to wed the same man twice! Lana Turner wed her second husband, Steve Crane, twice. Here they're seen on their first wedding day in 1942 kissing behind their petite wedding cake.
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Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan
When the American actress married the son of a sultan on May 27, 1949, she used his sword to cut into their rose-covered wedding cake.