When we got married, we didn’t really consider looking at wedding cake toppers. At the time, there was nothing out there that I thought was super cute, and it seemed easier to slap some flowers on the cake and call it a day. The weird thing is, in the years since our wedding, I’ve become sort of obsessed with wedding cake toppers. Given that I run a wedding media company, I’m able to enjoy this minor obsession without veering too hard into Miss Havisham territory. (Though also: Does anyone know a cool way to display an ever-growing display of vintage cake toppers, and how many is too many?)
The absurdity of my personal buying habits aside, collecting wedding cake toppers has made me fall in love with the tradition. I have cake toppers dating back to the 1920s (not to mention some super hip ones from the early 1990s), and each one is such a delightful and specific way to commemorate a particular wedding and moment in time.
We all know that the world of weddings is whitewashed (in pretty much every possible way), but the cool thing about wedding cake toppers is that it is the only corner of weddings I’ve ever researched that is somewhat diverse. If you’re ordering a realistic-style cake topper, you can usually pick skin color, hair color, dress color, and often even add tattoos. If you’re looking for a more minimalist modern take on the wedding cake topper, you can find wooden dolls with painted saris. And coolest of all, if you’re falling down the rabbit hole of vintage cake toppers on Etsy (and let’s not forget eBay), you can find diversity in cake toppers going way, way back. Turns out that for a hundred years couples have found ways to make those little markers on top of a cake reflective of who they are.
(Fun fact: My favorite vintage cake topper in my collection has a bonkers huge real lace skirt, and I recently realized that it was glued on top of a far simpler painted skirt. Some unknown bride in the 1950s looked at that tiny ceramic bride and was like, “Girl, my dress is five times this extra, and I have glue.”)
So with that in mind, we were delighted to dive into the world of cake toppers and find you this collection of dessert decorations that fit every style and taste. They range from modern to vintage, with a few great DIY ideas thrown in. And remember, after the wedding is over, these make a perfect addition to your bookshelf. And one day, a grandchild or great niece or nephew my swoon over your old wedding cake toppers.
Just Married: This just married cake topper is light as lace, while still feeling modern and fresh.
Flamingos in Love: It’s hard to top (pun intended) these two flamingos in love. Not only would they be great on a wedding cake, but they’d be adorable home decor forever after.
Hell Yeah: Keeping it clean, modern, and to the (effing) point. Say how you feel, after tying that knot.
Sleek and Vintage: Sleek 1930s style wedding dresses are back, and if you’re wearing one, you might want to consider getting a vintage cake topper to reflect your style. This particular cake topper is made of pressed salt, a Depression-era tradition, and is in rare beautiful condition.
Just Married: This wooden flower arch is modern, a little femme, and unique.
Chinese Wedding: For when you really want a double happiness cake topper for your Chinese wedding.
Paper Dolls: This artist creates one of a kind paper drawings to represent you and your partner. The only question is, how will you display it ever after?
New Year’s Eve: This cake topper comes via a real wedding that took place on New Year’s Eve. A vintage cake topper was modified with fireworks (and a tiny party hat). This goes to show, if you find the perfect vintage cake topper, the sky’s the limit when it comes to making it modern. (And check out the bonkers cake this topper crowned.)
Fireworks: If you’re in for replicating the DIY fireworks display above, but don’t quite know how, we got you this.
Love Birds: It just doesn’t get any better than Ann Wood’s handmade formal birds. These are the new classic for a reason.
Motorcycle Couple: Riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle? Yes please.
Custom Cake Toppers: These cake toppers from a real wedding are startlingly cool and amazingly simple. Their engagement photos were put on card stock and cut out.
Flower Arch: Sometimes you just need a wooden flower arch. (Pro-tip: What if you used the above photo cut out DIY, and put that duo right under this arch?)
Kitschy and Classic: If you’re going to go with a vintage cake topper, sometimes you have to go for the whole kitschy classic thing, and this cake topper is a perfect version of that.
Photo via Brit + Co
Shooting Star: This gold star just married cake topper is art, and you could frame it and keep it with you always.
Cactus: When you’re getting married in the desert, sometimes you just have to put a cactus on it.
Paper Flowers: These laser cut cake toppers are all the rage right now, but this version with the paper flowers is the prettiest we’ve seen.
Paper Lanterns: Make your cake match your wedding decor with these tiny DIY paper lanterns.
Tattoed Newlyweds: For when you want your cake topper to show off your tattoos. (These cake toppers can be made to match, well, you and your love.)
Graphic Love: This love cake topper is graphic, modern, and minimal.
Dinosaurs: Do you ever feel like two dinosaurs in love?
YUM: This DIY cake topper is shockingly easy (paper straws FTW), and you can spell out whatever your heart desires.
Sugar Flowers: Why did we put a flower on this list? Because it’s 100 percent edible and made out of sugar. Guaranteed not to die before your wedding day, plus you can put it in your mouth.
Twisty Calligraphy Topper: This DIY cake topper is a showstopper, and the crazy thing is that it’s made out of… wait for it… twist ties.
Mini Mylar: Balloons: the new frontier. This DIY topper couldn’t be cuter (or easier).
Rustic Wire: When you just want to say it (and be able to keep it forever). These wedding cake toppers are totally customizable and unique AF.
HONEYCOMB: Bring the party to your cake with this simple DIY topper.
Classy Cacti: Sometimes you just need your cactus to be formal, right?
Modern Family: When your wedding is a celebration of blending two families. (Pro-tip: Six kids not required.)
Doctor Who: When you need to tie in Doctor Who, Star Wars, and your blue dress into one little cake topper. (Spoiler alert: you’ll keep this forever.)
Balloon Garland: This DIY topper is modern, bright, and fun. Something we could all use more of in weddings.
The Leg Pop: This cake topper has a retro touch and is perfect if you’re wearing a short dress.