A well know florist located here in Richmond Virginia once told me that “God made all the colors to go together and it was only our interpretation that says some colors don’t match”. Florists are experts at presenting beautifully colored arrangements and use a well trained eye to achieve stunning results.
We also have the tried and tested theory of the color wheel, a segmented circular pie chart of colored sections that suggests which colors go together. For example, colors directly opposite each other are considered complimentary i.e. pink and green. Also, shades on either side of a color are said to go together.
As humans, we eat with our eyes and what we see often sends a signal to our brains, then our mouths, to prepare for the tasty treat by making us salivate in anticipation. But there is one exception where the opposite affects some humans and that is the color blue. Here’s a trick question, what food is naturally grown blue? There is no food that is naturally grown blue and if you were thinking blueberries- they are actually purple. So what can happen, when we see blue food, is that we do not salivate in anticipation but we do the opposite as it tends to make things look unappetizing. This does not happen to everyone and when it does it is unconscious.
So, how does this relate to cakes? Frosting can be tinted any color. When the bride has chosen blue as her wedding color, typically by the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses, we have to be careful how we incorporate the color blue.
How do we overcome this? Firstly, not everything has to match. If everything is the same color, it becomes boring to look at and monotonous after a while. Secondly, if the bridesmaid’s dresses are blue, chances are that the flower color will not be blue but a complimentary color. That complimentary color can be used on the cake and still be considered a wedding color. Third, if blue had to be used on the cake then the lighter the shade, the less the negative affect becomes. Forth, if blue flowers are available and used on a white or ivory cake we have put blue on the cake without the cake itself being blue and the eye notices the color but knows the flowers will be removed and not eaten. Fifth, if blue is used as an accent color the negative affect is reduced. Finally, we can use blue if we are ‘justifying’ the design, which means, if the couple is registered for Wedgewood’s tradition pattern, called Jasper, and wants the cake to match we have to do it in blue.
We all know that the customer is always right. However, if the couple insists on using the color blue, as a professional, our job is to guide and advise as to the potential consequences of such a decision, something they may not be aware of.