It’s every woman’s perfect day.
The dress, the ring, the flowers, the venue, everything must be in place.
But for the guests attending wedding after wedding throughout the month of June, the prospect of a sweet treat after the ceremony is often just what they need to make it through the event.
And brides are delivering, with wedding cakes getting more and more elaborate, imaginative and original.
Gainesville resident Rachel Bembry, who recently was married at First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, ditched the traditional wedding cake for a five-layer cheesecake, each level featuring a different flavor.
"With it being wedding season, it was good to have something different because people are attending a lot of weddings right now," she said.
The flavors included vanilla bean, Oreo and turtle, and she said her guests loved the new and different tastes.
"We wanted to do something different that would be memorable and surprise guests, and we felt like cheesecake was kind of a classy cake," she said. "From what feedback I got, (the guests) really enjoyed it."
Debra Harkrider, cake designer at Sweet Magnolia’s in Gainesville, said brides are expecting a lot more from their cakes than they have in the past.
"I think what’s happened is with the Food Network and all the cake shows, that has really made people step it up as far as what they can imagine," she said.
Her wedding cakes have been colorful, polka dotted and accented with ribbon and sparkles. They’ve been layered and embossed, painted and shimmered.
And they’ve all been delicious.
Harkrider said in the past, wedding cakes were "something you had to have and take pictures with."
Now, they’re meant to be eaten.
"They want it to be a nice moist cake that’s pretty to look at, but also yummy to eat," she said.
She spends 10 hours or more creating each cake, adding embellishments and details to match the bride’s expectations for her ideal wedding.
Kristen Brousseau of Memorable Creations Cake Shop has seen similar trends.
She said summer brides most commonly request fruitier flavors and may even combine several of their favorites. One of the more popular options is a pink and green strawberry-Key lime creation.
"If you mix them together and put some raspberry filling in the middle, it kind of makes a Skittles flavor," she said.
She also said brides want their cakes to be more personal and possibly go along with the theme of their wedding.
For Oakwood bride Misty Aguilar, who was married in May at Lake Lanier Islands, this meant sending her cake designer a picture of her dress so the designer could match the beading on it.
The cake — a four-tiered, more traditional white cake — also featured pink roses and ribbon details.
"That’s kind of what our whole wedding was, just simple," Aguilar said. "We’re not very elaborate people. We were just trying to find something that suited our personalities."
And it’s not just for the brides — groom’s cakes are also getting more and more specialized and elaborate.
Brousseau has done a peanut butter groom’s cake, as well as one with a golfing theme to compliment the groom’s favorite sport.
"They can go just as extreme in flavor as the wedding cake," Brousseau said.
Bembry’s groom’s cake was styled like her husband’s El Camino. Aguilar went with decadent double chocolate cupcakes.
Despite all the different choices — grand or simple, colorful or traditional — it’s really all about the couple’s personalities and tastes.
Brides are saying goodbye to flipping through a book and selecting option A, B or C.
"They’re making it about them," Brousseau said. "Now, the fillings and the flavors and the size and the shape and the colors are just the full, full spectrum."