Day of the Dead weddings & sugar skull wedding cake

Angela Villalba
Day of the Dead Weddings“Til Death do us Part” is part of the traditional marriage vow. Some Day of the Dead lovers like to use this theme at their receptions using the Spanish translation of “Amor Eterno” or eternal love intertwined with skeleton decorations, floral design, reception favors and even magnificent, colorful wedding cakes

In Spanish, brides & grooms are called novios. We have sold skeleton bride & groom cake toppers by the hundreds, as well as all types of novio decorated sugar skulls, skulls, figurines, nichos, matchbook retablos & rattles. The most popular Day of the Dead wedding item are the papel picado banners which are customized with the hand cut names of the novios, as well as images of the skeleton bride & groom. This folk art tradition of papel picado at public celebrations began in the 1800’s.

When brides call me for advice, I ask them why they want a Day of the Dead theme for their weddings? There are basically 2 answers. First, many couples who understand the beliefs of DoD where the spirits of their loved ones return on November 1 & 2 to spend the day communing with their families; they want to honor their loved ones and express how much they wish their muertos could be with them on their special day by using Day of the Dead imagery. One bride couldn’t imagine her wedding day without her beloved grandmother, so she had many Day of the Dead sugar skulls & folk art with her name scattered about the reception hall.  This was a very sweet & unique expression of her love for her grandmother, but I had to tell her that Day of the Dead weddings were not traditional in Mexico. But in the U.S. brides can do whatever they damn well please!

The other group of couples that have Day of the Dead weddings just think it’s fun and love the meaning of the holiday. It’s unique, fun, colorful, interesting and they feel a reception with skeletons is a great way to celebrate their Eternal Love for one another. One couple who had a destination wedding planned for the Maya Riviera in Yucatan, not only ordered custom wedding banners in mango, lime green & rosa mexicana, but they ordered flaming heart milagros for the wedding party and 100 customized real sugar skulls with their names on them. (back when I had a sugar skull decorator working for us). They hauled all these things down to Mexico for a great wedding.

This wedding cake is a 4 layer traditional cake but with 3 Original Large decorated sugar skulls placed between the top & second layer of cake. A cardboard was covered with icing so they wouldn’t sink into the cake. The cake topper was one of our “Open Mouth Cake toppers made in Puebla, Mexico and our orange silk marigolds & tiny roses were scattered around the cake. The shiny colorful tin foils covered our Fiesta and Catrina chocolates sugar skull molds. And yes, this cake was shown at the New York trade show and it would have looked better and tastier if frosted with a thick white butter cream or royal icing.  The red roses were hand crafted sugar art. It was a show stopper!