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Sixty-Something: The Hamptons, Springtime Weddings And Wedding Cakes

T.J. Clemente

The author and his bride at their wedding. (Courtesy Photo)

My wedding day occurred in the height of an East End springtime day but during a nor'easter. Record rainfall flooded the parking lot. Funny thing is that I was hoping to have my wedding at the Rams Head Inn on Shelter Island. My wife did not want everyone taking ferries so we chose Sunset Harbor and even with the record storm all but six of our guests made it. Most of that day the Shelter Island ferries did not run, many say my wife is very psychic.

For a few years I used to write for the largest Hamptons weekly about the wonderful wedding options available on the East End, specifically in Montauk. I wrote about the Gurney's Beach weddings, the Montauk Yacht Club weddings and even posh ones at the Maidstone Club. However I was married on the banks of the Great South Bay and that day the bay, due to flooding, was in fact part of the parking lot. I laugh about it now, but not so much that day. I remember how proud I was of my family and 30 to 40 Hamptons friends who all drove through that storm to witness our big day.

I love wedding cake. I have always loved wedding cake since as long as I can remember. Needless to say I was really glad there was so much left over to take home after our wedding. There are many types of wedding cake, my favorite is straight vanilla. That's what our wedding cake was, but there are so many other types. In a 2014 Bride Box Wedding Album Blog, they listed their top 8 wedding cake flavors. As I reminisce about mine, I thought I would share the top options.

1. Red Velvet: "Appropriately named for its deep red color, red velvet cake is the perfect hue to represent love and romance on your wedding day. Its flavor is not quite chocolaty yet not quite vanilla either. It is rich and smooth and is frequently paired with cream cheese frosting." (Not a favorite of mine.)

2. Chocolate: "With so many different levels of richness and options for flavor pairings, chocolate remains to be one of the most popular wedding cake flavors of the year. What typically is a childhood favorite can be elevated to a sophisticated level when mixed with flavor accents such as mint, orange and strawberry."

3. White Chocolate with Raspberry: "Combining the sweet richness of white chocolate with the tart fruitiness of raspberry is a winning combination that is soaring in popularity. Whether it's a raspberry jam, raspberry cream or fresh raspberry filling, this delicious pairing is a refreshing take on the traditional chocolate flavored cakes."

4. Lemon: "Light and tangy, lemon cakes are one of the most popular flavor trends of the year. This citrus flavor is perfect for a spring wedding and is a great choice for couples who don't want a cake that is too heavy and rich. Pair with raspberries or strawberries and whipped cream for a tasty fruity blend, or stick to lemon buttercream frosting to complete the cake."

5. Vanilla: "You can't go wrong with plain vanilla, and many couples are choosing to go with tradition with a vanilla wedding cake. This is one of the most basic cakes and can be kept simple with vanilla frosting, or it can be dressed up any way you like with essentially any frosting, filling or fruit. " (I like it plain.)

6. Coconut and Lime: "Channel the tropics with this tasty flavor combo that is reminiscent of an island vacation. Rich and creamy coconut cake combined with tangy and tart lime filling or frosting is a match made in heaven." (Not sure if I agree.)

7. Pink Champagne: "Pink Champagne wedding cakes are unique in that instead of using water in the batter, champagne is used. The pink color is achieved with food coloring dye. What better way to celebrate than with some bubbly in your cake? Common fillings and toppings for a champagne cake include rum flavored custard, dyed pink white chocolate shavings and Bavarian whipped cream. (I have never seen this one, how about you?)

8. Carrot Cake: "The ideal cake flavor for couples who want to go the non-traditional route, carrot cake is a popular choice. This soft, dense cake is moist and has a lovely consistency due to grated carrots and nuts being main components of the batter. It is typically deliciously paired with a cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake is a great alternative to the more common flavors such as chocolate and vanilla." (Carrot cake is my wife's favorite cake.)

Hopefully very soon this spring you will sampling a wedding cake. I literally wrote this column today dressed and ready to head to a wedding anticipating what kind of wedding cake they will have. I can already taste it!

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