A chance to have their cake and top it, too

The emerging gay wedding demographic has come up quite a bit here at Manolo for the Brides as of late. With the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling — go Cali! — you can bet that there are scads of couples are sprinting toward the altar.

You can also rightly assume that “gay weddings” (a term I really dislike because it’s not a gayyyyyy wedding, it’s just a wedding) are all over the news. Why, just this morning I was knocking back the first latte of the day and listening to NPR when a story came on about Renellie, maker of what they call the world’s first interracial and interchangeable wedding cake toppers.

I do dispute the claim, because there are plenty of topper shops that let you buy figurines individually, whether you want an Asian bride and an Asian groom or an African American bride and a Native American bride or just one white groom because your fiance is a furry and you’re going to pair it with a statue of an anthropomorphic fox.

And yet, I’ve got to hand it to topper designer Rena Puebla for loudly jumping on the same-sex-wedding-friendly vendor bandwagon because my own mother was pretty well ensconced in the proverbial closet not twenty years ago. We’ve come a long way, baby!

The idea for interracial, interchangeable wedding cake toppers sprang fully formed into Puebla’s mind when she, an African American chick engaged to an Asian dude, was unable to find a topper that looked like her and her intended.

“When two people fall in love and become engaged,” she says, “there is so much going on in their lives that the last thing they should have to worry about is the unfamiliar and awkward representation of themselves on the cake.”

So where do I stand on the toppers themselves? I appreciate that Puebla has good intentions, and $70 per couple isn’t entirely unreasonable for a 7″ handpainted figure. I would imagine — though I cannot say for sure — that it must be refreshing to see a statuette of oneself when one has been “left out in the cold” for some time. And maybe, just maybe, same-sex couples in the US have been barred from officially enjoying the traditionalesque wedding for so long that they crave matrimony with all the trimmings.

But really, when it comes right down to it, these toppers are just not all that attractive. I’d much rather see something kooky like two G.I. Joes or something indicative of the couple’s interests like, say, a surfboard and an astrological symbol*. How about some Matchbox cars or two different busts of Tutankhamen or a couple of those cute birds Ann Wood makes?

Heck, if you want a topper that looks like you, get some mini frames, take some cute snapshots, and stick ’em in the cake. Problem solved!

* I’m looking at you, mom!

11 Responses to “A chance to have their cake and top it, too”

  1. Twistie says:

    (looks mildly befuddled)

    Shouldn’t every wedding be quite a gay affair?

    Count me among those usually devoted to the anti-cake-topper lifestyle. I think this is a good idea in theory, but I have to say I’m underwhelmed by the execution. I’m sure part of it is the fact that I’ve never cared for little bride and groom figures on top of a cake, so I may not be the best judge, but for all the ethnic diversity…these all look pretty much the same to me.

    I much prefer those little birds. They just look so very ernest. I wonder if the artist would do a same-sex variation for those couples who are not the ‘standard’ configuration of spousal genders.

  2. Pencils says:

    I agree with you, I like more creative toppers. One of my favorites that I saw online was a couple that used a pair of Fisher-Price little people that looked remarkably like them (I think they may have altered them slightly.)

    I had a lot of ideas, from Superman and Wonder Woman (private joke) to using an antique topper. I did find an antique that I really liked, but it was too tall and heavy to use on our cake, so it ended up on the cake table. I never got it back, I wonder if someone dropped it. On top of the cake we ended up with a Wilton topper with two adorable lovebirds in a pretty little flower-bedecked cage. I joked that the cage was indicative our our marriage vows. 😉 That did survive the reception and now has pride of place in our home.

  3. Leah says:

    I happened to be looking for new desktop pictures on flickr this morning, and in the “Interestingness” stream there was a picture of a dartboard cake, which was SO AWESOME! I checked out this woman’s other cake photos, and found this:


    What a great substitute for cake toppers! Plus, it’s the whole wedding party! It really tells a story, and is far more personalized. Not all her cakes are wedding oriented, but they’re all really creative. I think she’s based in the UK.

  4. Toni says:

    My hubby and I got legally married exactly one year before the wedding, so that I could be on his health insurance. We had a small church ceremony that was only our immediate family, a total of eight people. Since this was a last minute thing, I called the grocery store and asked if I could order a wedding cake, to be picked up the next day. After the baker stopped laughing at me, I explained that I simply wanted a 10″ round cake, topped with an 8″ round cake, frosted in white. I stuck a $5 wilton bride and groom on the top, and called it a day. We then had a “reception” at Olive Garden. 🙂 I have much more fond memories of that mini cake than I do of the fancy one that we ordered for the wedding a year later.

  5. Roya says:

    I have to disagree, I think the couple cake topper is such a cliche that you sort of have to do it. I have several friends with similar experiences who had a hard time finding representative toppers, and quite a few who had odd ones just because they didn’t even think to look for something else.

    One site that I have seen though pretty extravagent is:


  6. C* says:

    I am anti-cake topper in every sense. We had fresh flowers on top of our cake and it was lovely.

  7. Dent says:

    I am not a huge flower lover and so I figured a cake topper would be better than a bare cake (plus my mother would have flat out refused to leave nothing on top!). We went with a less representational cake topper that looks a bit like this:


  8. Dent: I at first read the last bit of your comment as “a representational cake topper that looks a bit like US.” I was all excited because I finally had concrete proof that ghosts read Manolo for the Brides. Alas, the search goes on…

  9. Twistie says:

    We should so get the Ghost Hunters on that, NtB. Jay? Grant? Want to investigate?

  10. Val says:

    or just one white groom because your fiance is a furry and you’re going to pair it with a statue of an anthropomorphic fox.

    Caused me to snort soda up into my nose haha.

    I’m not crazy about the bridexgroom (or bridexbride/groomxgroom) toppers either. There are so many beautiful things you can get to put on the top layer, I just wouldn’t chose the ‘doll’ sort of topper.

    I’m loving the picture idea. The frames you linked to are gorgeous!

  11. maeva says:

    Just follow your instincts and people will love your wedding, no matter who you’re marrying.