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.

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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.

laser cut white cake topper reads "Just Married" with flowers

Just Married Cake Topper via BHLDN ($12)

Just Married: This just married cake topper is light as lace, while still feeling modern and fresh.

two flamingos forming a heart

Flamingos Cake Topper by Annwood via Esty ($108)

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.

typography topper that says hell yeah on a gold and floral print tiered cake

Hell Yeah Cake Topper via The Roc Shop ($16)

Hell Yeah: Keeping it clean, modern, and to the (effing) point. Say how you feel, after tying that knot.

1930s couple salt pressed wedding cake topper

Pressed Salt Wedding Cake Topper restored by GuldenBrownGowns via Etsy ($169)

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.

colorful wooden wedding arch cake topper that says just married

Just Married via Madeline Trait ($50)

Just Married: This wooden flower arch is modern, a little femme, and unique.

golden cake topper with Chinese symbols

Double Happiness Cake Topper by EkaDantaTop via Etsy ($10.80)

Chinese Wedding: For when you really want a double happiness cake topper for your Chinese wedding.

two groom paper dolls on wedding cake

Custom Cake Banner Kraft by ReadyGo via Etsy ($35)

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?

vintage couple with fireworks cake topper

Photo by Nirav Patel via Martha Stewart Weddings 

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.)

sparkly golden stars wedding cake topper on white cake

Gold Glitter Star Cake Topper via When It Rains Paper Co. ($8)

Fireworks: If you’re in for replicating the DIY fireworks display above, but don’t quite know how, we got you this.

bird couple dressed in vintage clothes

Lilly and Purcell by Annwood via Esty ($252)

Love Birds: It just doesn’t get any better than Ann Wood’s handmade formal birds. These are the new classic for a reason.

black bride and groom on a motorcycle wedding cake topper

Motorcycle “Get-Away” Wedding Cake Topper by Wedding Collectibles ($59.95)

Motorcycle Couple: Riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle? Yes please.

cutout of bride and groom cake topper

Photo by Kathryn Bernard via Martha Stewart Weddings 

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.

wooden flower arch cake topper

Rose Topper via Madeline Trait ($50)

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?)

vintage cake topper with flowers and lace

Mid-Century Wedding Cake Topper by Blast From Past Toys via Etsy ($39.99)

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..

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