As the wedding industry drives brides into bankruptcy staging the party of a lifetime, those same brides are looking to save money wherever possible. One of these ways is the traditional wedding cake.

A staple of society weddings (make that any wedding) since Queen Victoria — they don’t call it royal icing for nothing — the average multi-tiered extravaganza delivered to the wedding reception can set a bride back an average of $543, with the ultimate, elaborate concoction of fondant icing and gum paste going for $10 a slice.

But before going without one, remember that the bridal cake has been in the wedding picture as long as there have been brides. Ancient Roman grooms broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head and guests scrambled for the crumbs, since to grab some meant good luck in the next year. The Romans also threw a great many other things in the bride’s direction, which eventually evolved into confetti, and bread gradually gave way to more elaborate pastry. The bride’s pie, sometimes with a whole chicken and eggs inside, was once a requirement to many a lady’s big day, and not to eat a piece was considered an insult. Pie evolved into cake — still often broken over the bride’s head — but just as Her Majesty ushered in the white wedding dress, Victoria likewise brought into being the elaborate wedding cake we know and love today. Americans have never looked back.

Until now. Sadly, some substitute cheaper cupcakes and those wishing to ditch the wedding tradition altogether have pointed out that a fancy wedding cake can be eliminated since many guests are too drunk to care.

Maybe just eliminate those guests.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Bridal shower brunch

Absolutely the most elegant event we’ve seen all summer. Bride-to-be Tori Lamson was honored with a Saturday brunch by hostesses Krista Meier, Kellie Breaux, Morgana Lamson, Tiffany Lamson and Tara Norman. Twin bouquets of blossoms and ribbons festooned the doors of Meier’s Fernewood home, while inside an “Aloha” centerpiece announced that Lamson and groom Joah Perrodin have chosen Hawaii for the big day. There was every bonne bouche and frill a bride could want, from pianist to silver coffee service to hand-decorated sugar cubes, and among those in attendance were mother-of-the-bride Theresa Cummings; Tiffany, Morgana, Amanda and Tasha Lamson; Kathryn Weaver; Carol Trosclair Lamson; Lauren Luquette; Monique Perrodin and mother-of-the-groom Simone Simmons. The couple will be married at a beach wedding in September.

Coney Island baby

From Coney Island to Times Square to St. John Fifth Avenue, Penny Edwards did it all on the Fourth of July. Her New York City excursion took her from the beach to “Jersey Boys” and then some, accompanied by good friends Lou and Fatima Clinton, their sons Jonathan and James, and Sydney rugby pals on holiday from Australia. It also appears there may have been some serious shopping involved. We’re blaming it all on the nights on Broadway.

In the heat of the night

Temperatures thinned the crowd at July ArtWalk, but there were persons of interest nonetheless. Town crier Rick Rowan told passersby of Professor Phineas Sinclair’s Medicine Show, one of a new series of monthly performances at Feed & Seed, while inside the Acadiana Center for the Arts community development director Gwen Richard highlighted the Crowley Art Association. “We are the only parish to have free art lessons for children,” said CAA President Robert Baxter proudly. And probably playing the only nyckelharpa for miles around was San Souci’s Alice Wallace, whose “Foggy Dew” is without question the most haunting melody you’ll ever hear.

New members social

The Krewe of Victoria barbecued at the Fatima Knights of Columbus Hall, a casual new twist for ladies used to champagne teas. Mike Crochet brought his mobile pit, “a pit that don’t quit,” and we promise the KC Hall never smelled so delicious. “It was time to do something else,” said dame Commander Lynn Crochet. “We’d gone to the Evangeline Downs Clubhouse for 20 years.” Looking pretty good themselves were tennis-tanned Barbara Bloomer, Jeanie Simon Domingue, past queen Emma Carruth up from Texas, new member Pat Vallery, and Carolyn French and company, who are headed to Istanbul later this summer.