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Chinese Weddings

Dessert after traditional 10-course meal

We're doing the traditional 10-course banquet meal, where the last course is "Double happiness petits fours. Sweetened purple rice cream with taro and coconut."
If we also serve wedding cake afterwards as dessert, will people actually eat it? I think that for myself, after three hours of dinner and ten courses, the last thing I'd want would to sit down again for more food. Especially since it'll be close to 11PM by the time dinner is done.

I think that we're still going to get a cake either way, but I'm thinking that I should be able to save some money with getting a smaller cake. We're going to have around 120 guests (close to half will be FI's Chinese family, and the rest my non-Chinese family and our mostly non-Chinese friends, in case that matters), and I can't imagine that more than half will have cake.

As an aside, I don't think that I've ever in my life eaten cake at a wedding myself...

I'd appreciate your input. Thank you.
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Re: Dessert after traditional 10-course meal

  • edited December 2011
    Our wedding cake baker suggested that if you have other desserts, you'll only need enough cake for about half of your guests (Chinese banquet or not). My advice would be to order a cake big enough for 60-70 servings, and if you're worried about not having enough, ask your venue to cut small slices to stretch it out to a few more servings.

    If you have more than one flavour though, get a bigger cake as some guests will want to take a slice of each flavour.

    That being said, we had a 70-80 serving cake with 2 flavours for 160 guests. Our dinner wasn't a 10 course Chinese banquet, but it was a very large dinner.  It was served with the dessert buffet. We asked the venue to cut small slices but they cut rather large slices. Plus they gave us the top tier to keep, even though we hadn't intended to keep it. Apparently we ran out before a lot of people were able to get any. :( I have a feeling that some people wanted to take cake because they were scared of the ethnic desserts. If I could have done things differently, I would have ordered maybe 120 servings.
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  • edited December 2011
    we are doing traditional wedding cake, but a bit after the banquet.  The restaurant said they can get all 10 courses out in about 1.5 hrs, so we are planning:

    dinner 6-8
    first dance/toasts/boquet toss/ and some general dancing 8-9
    then around 9/9:30 we will do the cake-cutting

    I figure that way people have moved around a bit and are more up for cake.  Also, I'm not Chinese, so 1/2 the people we are inviting are not Chinese and would flip if we didn't have wedding cake ;) - we're doing a lot of mix-tradition things :)
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  • edited December 2011
    What about packaging the cake in cake boxes for your guests to take for later?

    "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." ~ Miss K ~
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone, that's very helpful.

    rbtrumpet, your caterers sound unbelievably efficient! The wedding coordinator at the hotel where we're having our wedding (hotel has great Chinese restaurant) said that it takes close to three 3hrs for them to do the 10-course banquet. We're doing church ceremony earlier in the day, tea ceremony at 5:30, cocktail reception at 6:30, then corralling everyone into the banquet hall for dinner at 7:30... so it looks for us like dinner won't be over until close to 11.

    ring_pop, your baker's advice confirms what I was thinking, thank you. Fours hour of eating (incl. hors doeuvres), plus most of the Chinese family taking off right after dinner, plus our friends more concerned with drinking than eating cake, all suggest to me that we don't need cake for all 120 people.

    kpwedkk, I agree that packaging the cake would be a nice thing to do... but it would definitely cost more money. And since we're already about 30% over the budget that I had proposed (although we've been dating for 8yrs, I only now realize how big of a princess I'm marrying) I'm trying to cut where I can.

    Thanks!
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  • mica178mica178
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    edited December 2011
    I don't remember ever eating wedding cake at a traditional Chinese wedding, but I always remember there being a cake.

    I'd order a cake for 50-70 people.  Your servers can cut it up and set the slices on plates on a dessert table.  Maybe after your friends have been dancing and drinking, they'll appreciate something to help absorb the alcohol.

    Hopefully your reception is near a good Chinese bakery?  Chinese bakeries often have very inexpensive wedding cakes, $1-2/slice with buttercream icing.  They won't be works of art, but they'll look fine in pictures and will serve their purpose as a late night snack for your guests.
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