Over the weekend I had a client tell me she is a traditionalist when it comes to dessert at her wedding. She only intends to serve cake. I wondered just how traditional cakes really are.

According to Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge), modern wedding cakes evolved from many different traditions. The Greeks broke bread over the bride’s head to bring the couple good luck. The bride and groom had to kiss over a stack of sweet breads and a successful kiss meant a successful marriage in Medieval England. France borrowed that tradition and created a croquembouche tower (which is still popular today). In some traditions guests had to have a bite of the bride’s pie to bring good luck to the marriage and fruit cakes were supposed to bring fertility and prosperity to the marriage. Tiered wedding cakes didn’t appear until the early 1880s and even then, they were reserved for royalty.

Today, anyone can have a beautiful cake. Couples should expect to spend $3-$7 per slice. Many venues will also charge a cake cutting fee that can range from a flat rate of $50-$100 to a per slice charge of $1.

But do you have to have a cake? No! You can choose whatever kind of dessert you want. I’ve seen pies, cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, cobblers and ice cream sundaes. I had one couple ask all the women in the family to bake something and they created one of the largest dessert buffets I have ever seen.

So feel free to make the dessert as personal as the rest of your wedding day. After all a party without dessert is just a meeting.