When deciding on which cake is right for your perfect day, there are many factors to take into consideration. When is you wedding? How big will the cake need to be? What flavor should you choose? What kind of icing is the best? What will it look like? If you feel slightly stressed and a little uneasy with all or some of those questions – don’t worry – Rita Curry has you covered.
Famous for her award-winning cakes, Curry has been making homemade desserts for over 30 years. Last year, her bakery, Desserts by Rita, was chosen as one of The Knot’s Best of Weddings: Cake Category winners. A select group of online blog users, customers, and editorial staff members were asked to choose their favorite wedding cake bakery the country. Dessert by Rita was chosen by popular vote.
Curry started her career as a cocktail waitress at a large hotel in Ocean City. She would often bake desserts, take them to work with her, and let her coworkers sample her tasty creations. One day, her boss, also the food and beverage director at the hotel , decided he was going to open his own restaurant and asked Curry if she would be interested in baking desserts at the new establishment. Excited about a new offer, the baker went to work at a new restaurant and began serving her desserts to the public. From there, Curry decided to open her own Bakery and create spectacular cakes for special occasions.
A wedding cake is meant to be the centerpiece of a reception and a reminder of a glorious wedding day on a first anniversary. The wedding cake is something everyone remembers. It’s something that everyone takes pictures of. It’ something that everyone looks forward to sampling, tasting, and then devouring.
Picking a wedding cake is an important decision and one of the most enjoyable parts of the planning process. Who doesn’t love taste-testing sweets? Yellow cake with buttercream icing is the most popular wedding cake at Rita’s.
“It’s nice, simple, traditional, and tastes really good,” she said about her best-selling bridal cake.
After sampling a few options and determining what type of cake is the best, it’s time to reserve a delivery date. When it comes to ordering your wedding cake, it really depends on the time of year your wedding will take place.
“I suggest that if you’re planning a late spring or summer wedding, that you place a cake order 4 – 6 weeks prior to the actually wedding date. A deposit will secure your date, from there we wait until all of your RSVPs come back so we know exactly how many people will be in attendance and how many guests we will need to feed,” said Curry.
Once the amount of guests is determined, the bride and groom can choose what size cake they’d like, figure out the decorating details, and wait anxiously for the big day to arrive. Many visiting couples that plan a wedding on the Eastern Shore are surprised by the economical pricing of Rita’s bridal creations. In most cases, Desserts by Rita’s offers prettier, better tasting cakes at a more affordable price that those west of the Chesapeake Bay.
The wedding season kicks off during late spring and continues, full throttle, until Labor Day. During mid-autumn, another round of seasonal weddings causes the bakery to be busy baking wedding cakes once again.
“Some of my clients come to Ocean City just to vacation, end up deciding that they should get married while they’re here, and come to me to order a simple two-tiered wedding cake,” said Curry.
Does that make Ocean City the next Las Vegas? A quick decision to get married on the spot? Not exactly. It means that couples are keeping things low-key, planning small weddings, inviting their closest friends and family to a beach location that’s centrally located.
“Couples are downsizing their wedding cakes. With the current state of the economy, people are looking for a cake that’s modest and easy to afford.”
Curry enjoys creating a treat that’s drizzled with sweet icing. Known as Rita’s Delight, this dessert makes for the perfect after-dinner delectable. Curry takes one of her favorite miniature cakes, creates a fresh and lite whipped cream topping, then adds a flavored liqueur to the top. She describes it as being ‘fresh and not too heavy after a good meal.
If you’re not planning a wedding, but would still like to taste some of Rita’s confections, head to the Wine Rack in West Ocean City. The Wine Rack has a large refrigerated case that’s filled with cakes created by Curry in her Bishopville bakery. Desserts by Rita typically creates cakes in three sizes, many times, she takes her smallest cakes to the convenience store located on the corner of Route 50 and Golf Course Road. Sounds like a tasty combination: fruity wine and sweet dessert.
Having two stores, one in West Ocean City and another in Havre de Grave, MD, Curry knows how to handle stress. During wedding season, May through July, Desserts by Rita creates roughly 8 – 10 wedding cakes each weekend. All cakes are created in her bakery on the Eastern Shore and trucked to both locations and then reach their final destinations at individual wedding receptions.
Curry believes that seeing the newlywed’s first reaction to their wedding cake is always worth the hard work that goes into making the masterpiece.