Topping it Off

There are more options than ever before in the world of wedding cake toppers.

Lovebirds capture the animal topper trend

Heather Rice |

When Larry Bach, owner of Sprinkles Custom Cakes in Winter Park, was married 36 years ago, he and his bride were bothered by their wedding cake topper. “There was this really ugly cheap couple figurine on top of this cake,” Bach says. “My wife took one look at it and said ‘yuck’ and threw it away.” His enterprising bride then took some fresh flowers from a table arrangement and put them on top of the cake instead.

Bride and groom miniatures were customized to look just like the newlyweds. | Heather Rice (

Like the Bachs, modern couples are tossing those traditional generic wedding couple toppers for something more unique. Even the aforementioned floral topper has evolved over the years, notes Sarah Kinbar, a designer for Bay Hill Florist. “Traditionally, florists have used sweetheart roses for cake toppers—delicate and petite flowers so that the topper doesn’t go beyond the circumference of the top tier of the cake,” she says. “Now, those boundaries are eliminated and the flowers explode above the cake.” She notes that large-scale flowers such as hydrangeas, agapanthus and peonies are replacing the more modest blooms of the past.

Those who still want a bride-and-groom topper can now order custom-made miniatures to resemble themselves, right down to hair, eye color and wedding gown details. That’s what Carly Gramer did when she wed Imar DaCunha in Orlando in January. The wooden figurines she chose were hand-painted to match the information she provided, and she was pleased with the results: “They captured all the lace details of my dress. I loved the groom; he was perfect.” This topper will serve double duty for the DaCunhas: they plan on repurposing their topper figurines into Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree and enjoy each year.

Bold flower toppers are fun and fresh | Sarah Kinbar

Newlyweds Alan and Summer Peters’ cake topper, a pair of retro-primitive lovebirds, serves as a permanent keepsake of their wedding day that they showcase on a bookshelf next to their wedding album. “Since the wedding was in the spring, we wanted something that reflected the season and not the typical ‘people on top of the cake,’” says Summer of their Paradise Cove nuptials. “I saw lovebirds one day and I knew that was it.” The Peters’ choice taps into another trend that Bach says is a popular one: animal cake toppers.

Toppers have been an integral part of wedding cakes ever since the 19th century, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s cake was crowned with figures of the royal couple. It’s an enduring tradition that continues to evolve as trends and personalized options give couples more choices than ever before.  

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