Story and Photos by Ashley Ruzich
Cakes and desserts are important highlights of the wedding day. During the reception, family and friends wait in anticipation for a taste of the wedding cake or perhaps other lovingly crafted desserts. Whether they select cake, pastries, cupcakes, or chocolates, modern brides and grooms choose wedding desserts that fit their personality and tastes.
While many alternative options are available, the wedding cake will always be a timeless icon of lasting love, symbolic for its sweetness and goodness. Karen Donatelli is one of Asheville’s premier wedding cake designers.
Her masterful creations are made to reflect the bride and grooms’ special requests. “All of my cakes are unique and special,” says Karen. “Each bride is different, and I love my work.” This love is apparent in each dessert she makes.
Biltmore Catering offers other classic examples of wedding cakes. One variety, which is certain to delight, features delicate layers of fondant reminiscent of rose petals.
Biltmore pastry chef Tara Lumley says, “Every couple dreams of the perfect wedding (with) a wedding cake that reflects the style and personalities of the bride and groom and is the centerpiece of the reception. The wedding cake is the last thing guests eat and leaves a lasting impression of the big day, so it must be both stylish and delicious.”
While cake is a conventional choice, many couples select a nontraditional wedding dessert for a variety of reasons.
For example, brides may choose cupcakes for ease of serving. Guests can simply pick their own and, as a bonus, cupcakes use less flatware.
According to Karen Donatelli, another current trend is providing guests with special desserts in addition to the actual wedding cake. “Brides like something for the cake cutting because it’s traditional,” but often brides want something extra like pastries or chocolates.
Filo offers wonderful pastries for the bride and groom who want something classic and beautiful yet different from the typical wedding cake.
Chef Duane Fernandes, of Isa’s Bistro, explains how chocolates make a great accompaniment or alternative to cake because “with chocolates, you can have many different flavors so you and your guests can try a something new with each bite!”
One thing is for certain, brides and grooms in Western North Carolina have seemingly unending choices for the wedding dessert of their dreams. Guests will delight in the distinctive selection that is characteristic of the couple and will indulge themselves in sweet treats on the special day.
Photos from top to bottom: Artisanal Chocolates by the pastry chefs at Isa’s Bistro. Wedding cake by Karen Donatelli Venue: Bunn House. Wedding cake by Biltmore Catering, photo courtesy of Biltmore Estate. Karen Donatelli wedding pastries and petit fours on a silver tray. Wedding pastries, vanilla creme vol au vent by FILO. Artisanal chocolates by Isa’s Bistro.
Pictured below: champagne, chocolate, and whipped cream gelée with blackberries, champagne and pomegranate with whipped cream gelée, gingerbread and lemon creme tartlettes all by FILO, venue: The Lodge at Bear River with service wear and china courtesy of Callie Wellendorf of RiverDance Bed and Breakfast.
Ashley Ruzich is a writer, photographer and teacher in the Asheville area.