Is there some unwritten rule about how "big" the grooms cake can be?
A friend called, asking about a grooms cake and thought it was meant to serve 1/2 the number of guests (in additional to the wedding cake).
So if someone is expecting 150 people so they have a wedding cake with 150 servings? Or a wedding with 75 servings and a grooms cake with 75 servings........or does it even matter!
I was always under the impression that it really did not matter as far as how many servings. I know I never factored it in. It was more of a novelty - and there for the people who have to have chocolate!
It is my understanding that there are no rules as to the size of a groom's cake. It is meant to be a fun surprise gift for the groom from the bride. I always base the size of the cake on the design and what would look best. I always suggest that the bride select a flavor that is different that the wedding cake, just to offer another choice for guests.
A groom's cake is normally smaller than the couple's wedding cake, one to two layers only, and is decorated to reflect the groom. The history of a groom's cake goes like this. The groom's cake was not to be served to the guests while at the wedding reception, but rather it was to be sliced up, placed into packages and given to them as favors when they departed. Single women at the wedding would take their pieces of cake home and sleep with it under their pillows in hopes of dreaming of their future husbands. LOL With that I always think the groom cake's size doesn't matter much. The couple already has the wedding cake that will feed the guests the grooms cake is more for fun, so I dont think it has to be able to feed half the guests.
When I was growing up we would always be served a slice of ice cream for dessert at a wedding, usually Neapolitan or spumoni. The wedding cake was whisked away to the kitchen to be cut. They then gave everyone a slice packaged up in a little gift box, usually with a few Jordan almonds in netting, to take home. We were never served the cake as dessert and I've never seen a grooms cake in my entire life.
"Rules" for these things can be very regional. It's more of a melting pot now. But when I grew up, in my area you were either Italian or Irish. So lots of the area traditions came from things that were brought over from those countries. Thus the Spumoni. In PA, They may not have even known what Spumoni is. But they may have had grooms cakes.
I agree with artscallion, the grooms cake is a regional thing to the Southern States mainly. But it seems like its becoming more and more popular all around the U.S. anyway. As a wedding planner I see more and more brides wanting a grooms cake to surprise their grooms.
My friend is the groom's mom and she offered to get the groom's cake 'because they have to have a groom's cake". I don't think the bride or groom initially wanted or cared about the groom's cake.
My friend is on a budget so I don;t think she needs to order a cake that will feed 75 people........since the wedding cake (cupcake tower with a topper) will serve the anticipated 150 guests.
I think a grooms cake that will serve 50 should be more than plenty and will save her money.
The way I understand it is that in modern times the groom's cake is meant just to be a reflection of the groom and his tastes. While I don't think there is a size min/max, I would just make sure there was enough to go around depending on how much food was actually served. In other words, if the reception is mostly cake and punch, I would make a decent sized groom's cake to accomodate the crowd (or base it on the bride's budget).
Additionally, I have always been told that the groom's cake was for tradition. Originally bride's cakes were fruitcake (Like Will & Kate), and I believe it was Queen Anne who decided that in order to show her extravagance, she would have an all white cake because bleached flour was way more expensive and "fit for a queen". This started a trend for all white wedding cakes but some more traditional folks still longed for their fruit cake so they started the extra groom's fruitcake tradition. That fruitcake was mostly sent home with the guests and girls slept with it under their pillows for luck in finding that groom. Eventually Southerners decided they would rather have chocolate than fruit thus the Chocolate Groom's cake tradition was born.
I am sure there are hundreds of versions of the tradition and now its a have what you want kind of world because I have done multiple weddings with chocolate bride's cake and vanilla groom's cake... and the current bride's trend is cupcakes so there you go.