A Surprise Wedding Cake

A Surprise Wedding Cake

When Estée and Andrew got married in Rye, New York, last Friday, they had a surprise for their guests. After dinner, the couple announced that the inside of their cake would be either pink or blue, depending on the sex of their unborn baby…

“Andrew convinced me to do it,” said Estée, who is six months pregnant, “When he first brought it up, I said, Noooo, I’m not doing that at my wedding, I’m already a pregnant bride.” But, she grew to like the idea. “When else do you have 100 of your friends and family in the same room?”

Two weeks before the wedding, the couple went for an anatomy scan. They asked the technician to write the sex down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. Estée dropped the paper off at the bakery, so the baker could make the right color cake. “The poor woman,” laughed Estée. “She tried to avoid all contact with me because she was so nervous she was going to spill it. She came up to me after we cut the cake and said, ‘Thank god, now I can speak to you again.'”

Standing together before their guests, Andrew held the cake knife, while Estée gave a short speech: “I said, ‘Most of you have asked if we’re having a boy or girl. Some of you have been hounding us. We don’t know… but we’re all about to find out.’ The whole tent burst into cheers. Time stood still as we were cutting into it, it was so quiet even though a hundred people stood around us.”

A Surprise Wedding Cake

It was dyed pink with strawberries, and Estée announced, “We’re having a girl!”

A Surprise Wedding Cake

A Surprise Wedding Cake

A Surprise Wedding Cake

“Everyone rushed up to congratulate us and give us hugs; my sister was crying,” Estée said. “It’s a big joke in our family that we like doing everything in one year: We bought a house, got engaged, found out we were pregnant, got married, and will have the baby all in 2015. We’re over the moon.”

A Surprise Wedding Cake

A Surprise Wedding Cake

How fun is that? Would you ever do a reveal cake for your baby? Here’s another sweet one.

P.S. Did you make out on your wedding night, and would you find out the sex of your baby?

(Photos by the wonderful Tory Williams)

  1. Marti says...

    This is just the sweetest! And the cake looks delicious :)

    More than anything, though, I want to know where that dress came from! Anyone have insider info?

  2. Barbara says...

    My friends just did this! They had two cakes (twins) and had a parent on each side cut into the cake. It was beautiful and so fun for everyone there!

  3. That’s quite an awesome idea !
    I wish, as a wedding photographer, I’ll get to have such a cake when I’ll be the photographer, it will probably end up in a huge bunch of lovely emotions all around the room ! :)
    Congrats² to them ! and thanks to you for sharing this ! :)

  4. Sydni says...

    Sex* reveal, not gender reveal.

    • Teri says...

      I don’t understand that distinction. Would you be offended if I asked you to explain, please?

    • emily says...

      Teri- Not the original poster, but I think I can answer. Sex and gender, although we use them interchangeably, are not the same. Sex refers to biological traits- whether you’re XX or XY or any other variant- and how that relates to sex-related traits- genitalia you’re born with, body hair, all that good puberty stuff . It’s things that are observable and measurable from a scientific standpoint. Gender is considered a sociological measurement- how you choose to express yourself. Do you take on masculine or feminine attributes? Or maybe both, or maybe something else entirely? Maybe you’re a woman in sex (XX), but you express yourself as male-gendered (this is where you start to get into conversations about trans* people, which I feel like I’m out of my element to discuss). Plus, you’ve got intersex people who may express outward characteristics of one sex, but be chromosomally the other- how do they express their gender? It gets very complicated, but the short version is sex = biology, gender = sociology. Since a baby in utero hasn’t been influenced by its outside environment, it’s only possible to determine its sex. Hope that helps!

  5. lola says...

    ahaha such a fitting story for me. i love it! such a great idea. im currently on my honeymoon/babymoon 3.5 months travel in Asia. then going home to get married in October and having baby in December! speaking of which i may just do this! jo, can i request a bridal fashion feature for knocked up brides! so hard to know what will look flattering!!

  6. Sherri says...

    I love this idea! My husband and I did the same thing… everything in one year (got engaged, got pregnant, got married, then had our daughter). It was crazy!

  7. Dee says...

    That’s awesome! I love that!

  8. How adorable! I love that the cake still looked “wedding-ish” and seemed to match their theme. I wonder what it would have looked like if it had been a boy. Blueberries I bet ;) I just went to a wedding a few weeks ago for two of my best high school girlfriends (yes two girls) and their cake was just gorgeous on the outside, totally classic looking, and then when it was cut into we all found out it was a seven layer rainbow cake! It was a really cool surprise.

    x. Morgan

  9. How adorable! I love that the cake was still “wedding” is and classic looking.

  10. this is too beautiful!

  11. I love that the cake was a soft pink, done with strawberries instead of the normal bright pink or blue which always feels a little garish to me. The bakery did a beautiful job- it’s only 9:30 am and now the pictures have me craving cake. :)

  12. That’s such a unique and special idea!


  13. stella says...

    Can’t stop thinking about this post. The bride looks so beautiful and her sweet reaction really got me- especially the picture where the two are looking at each other. Passing this thoughtful idea onto my friends. xo

  14. So special! We did the same thing (on a much smaller scale, obv). We had been going through fertility treatments for four years and when we finally got pregnant, we wanted to share our joy with both families, since they supported us (and grieved with us) throughout our journey. Funny thing was that we thought we could see a darker color (i.e., blue!) coming through the white icing and “boy” was on our minds. So when we sliced into the pale pink cake inside, we were flat out shocked! One of the happiest days of my life.

    Kensley at Hot Mess Mamas

  15. Eliza says...

    I think it’s fun to find out the baby’s sex no matter when, if it’s at an ultrasound, or while eating a cake with friends and family, or right after the baby is born. Regardless of whether they are transgender (which is of course a possibility, though to my understanding not particularly a probability) or whether they’ll like the color pink or be straight or gay or whatever the case may be, it’s still a fun introduction to this new little person, whom you’ll love and adore no matter what.

    My husband and I recently had our fourth (and last) baby. With all four babies we waited to find out the sex until birth, and it was always this exciting, intimate culminating moment after labor and pushing was *finally* over!

    I thought the midwife’s comment, above, about moms not caring, was interesting, because I had that very experience this time. I had two boys and a girl, and I knew my daughter really wanted a sister. My whole pregnancy I was excited to find out. But when this baby was born, I honestly didn’t think to look at first–I just held the baby and cried with happiness. I was so relieved and exhausted and excited just to have this person in my arms finally. When I finally looked, I was overjoyed to see that we had a sister for our daughter. But I definitely had that experience of “Look at this perfect baby we have!!! (heart-eyes heart-eyes heart-eyes)” with zero thought of the baby’s sex in those first moments.

    I think the wedding cake reveal is adorable, and I love how happy the family all looks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a lovely comment, sending you a hug and big congratulations, Eliza!

  16. Nicola says...

    My husband got stuck in traffic the day we discovered the gender of our second baby. I was the last appointment of a long day, and the OBGYN doing the scan is a colleague, so I felt bad asking him to stay. He printed a 3D picture of our little boy’s genitals as proof…a good story for his 21st one day! (Luckily my husband arrived just in time for a peek at his unborn son)

  17. Jeannie says...

    What a beautiful couple! I love the looks on their faces when they found out the gender of their child. They both seem so genuinely moved and happy. I love her dress, too. I wish them all the best!

  18. Mara says...

    This is an fantastic idea! And the wedding looked beautiful ;D

  19. Nataly says...

    My hubby and I asked the ultrasound tech to write and seal our baby’s gender in an envelope, we waited two whole months and one night when out on a casual date, we felt it was the perfect intimate moment to open the envelope together (I carried it around sealed everywhere with me!) it felt like such a special private moment at one of our favorite spots, activity bustling around us, yet we were in our own little bubble. Two weeks later we surprised our family with gender reveal cupcakes, basically to have a fun family moment. Until today when we go to or drive by that “spot” we remember the date night when we found out.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s so sweet! My friend did a similar thing — they opened it on a hike. Love all these stories.

    • Michele says...

      So impressed you kept it for two months without opening it! My husband and I tried so hard to do this with our second baby — we had the tech write down the sex and seal it in an envelope, and we meant to save it to open during dinner that night (just the two of us). But after we left the office and were walking down the street, the envelope was burning a hole in his pocket, and we kept going back and forth: “Do you just want to open it? I’m OK with it if you are,” “No, you decide,” “No, YOU decide!” Finally we went into a random deli and bought Snapple iced teas and opened it. Now, every time I see that deli, I think “We are the worst!”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my goodness I’m laughing out loud. You guys sound awesome.

  20. Mary Jenkins says...

    Great post! You can tell the love between the couple. They look so happy. You can just tell. And I like that it was the husband’s idea to do this. Very sweet!

    On the talk of weddings, have you Cup of Jo ladies seen the documentary called 112 weddings? it is by a weddings photographer who tracks down the people he photographed years before to see how their marriage and lives are going . I watched it the other night and it is very good.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I loved the documentary!!! So, so good. It makes you realize everyone goes through things in their lives; we’re all human.

  21. Molly says...

    Adorable, adorable, adorable. Best wishes, Estee and Andrew and your little peanut!

  22. That’s such a sweet idea!! loved how happy everyone looked!!

    Rachel x

  23. Love this! We did a cake reveal with a group of our closest friends at Sarabeth’s in Tribeca, and it was the most wonderful, joyous experience. Before we cut the cake, we passed around the latest sonogram and a sheet of paper with two columns, boy or girl, so everyone could take their best guess. It was such a surprise to find the pink frosting inside (we both thought it was boy), and I still love watching the video of our reactions and the excited squeals from our friends.

    Side note: I totally understand where some of the commenters are coming from in regards to gender issues. If our daughter ever comes to us and says she doesn’t identify as a girl, we would support her 100%. Our “reveal” was less about celebrating the sex of our baby and deciding her future for her and more about celebrating an exciting (for us) milestone in the pregnancy with those we love…and the end of morning sickness!

  24. Jackie says...

    First off the bride is gorgeous. her dress is beautiful. Secondly these photos had me crying on my walk home tonight, my congrats to the happy couple!!

  25. I’m old fashioned in many respects (sex and babies after marriage, wait to find out baby’s sex), but I love how shr embraced being a pregnant bride and announced in such a cute way!!

  26. Nadine says...

    I think it a personal choice whether the gender is announced before or after…I don’t think anyone has the right to way in on how others wish to share or when to share the news (we are all different in our approaches…yeah!). Do what you feel/think/trust/desire for your own family.

  27. Ah such a great surprise! Usually I’m not big on gender reveals, but this seems like the perfect opportunity. How fun. Beautiful bride and scrumptious looking cake too!

  28. Anitra Sweet says...

    I cried of course! so sweet!!!

  29. Lydia says...

    Billions of people born but it never gets old :) Also – I want that cake so bad!

  30. i love this so so so much. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your new family then this.


  31. Whitney Ortega says...

    My aunt did what I consider to be one of the best gender reveals ever! She had everyone grab a cupcake and bite into it. While we were all dutifully shoving the cupcakes in our mouths to figure out what the baby was she pulled out two little pink frilly socks! There was nothing inside the cupcakes aside from chocolate. She got a good laugh and my uncle got it on camera so we could all see our faces being sruffled with cupcakes. Hilarious!

  32. Kate says...

    I am going to be a wet blanket here, but I think “gender reveals” or “finding out” or whatever are super icky. What if your baby is intersex? Shouldn’t you consider that it might grow up into a trans/non-binary/gender critical adult? I don’t like that the first thing we celebrate about a new human is their sex organs. This whole trend just further commodifies sex and gender and I hate that we are starting that with babies before they are even born. And with the cake it has even weirder vibes to me, like, let’s sink our teeth into this pink pastry to welcome our pink girl child into the family? I couldn’t do it.

    • Robyn says...

      Gender is our second most basic identity behind human. Why not celebrate who your child is?

    • Laura says...

      Kate, I 100% agree! And the reason people give is so they can “get the right stuff” before the baby is born. Is a female baby going to refuse to wear a yellow onesie? And heaven forbid a stranger use the wrong pronoun! I’m a midwife and when I have the rare patient who chooses to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex, I make sure no one in the room announces it until the mom decides to look for herself. You’d be surprised how long most people wait and how little they seem to care. They’re just happy to a) be done giving birth and b) that they have a healthy baby

    • Kate says...

      Because you don’t know them yet! You should celebrate and support them as they grow and develop and discover themselves, not reduce them to a social construct or their genitalia.

    • Robyn says...

      Gender is not a social construct, we have different hormones, genitalia, and aptitudes, not to mention that our brains are wired differently which had been shown by numerous studies. Gender is a basic part of our human identity not a social construct. Writing it off as a social construct is a disservice to humanity. Gender reveals are cute and fun if you don’t like them then don’t have one.

    • Robyn, you are confusing gender with sex. Gender is absolutely a social construct; sex is not.

      I also have a problem with the term “gender reveal” as it’s impossible to know this early!

    • Teri says...

      Wow! I may be in the minority here, but I kind of appreciate the occasional “wet blanket” comment if it helps to expand our minds & increase our experience and understanding of other people. I kind of loved dressing my baby girl in royal blue dresses because they seemed to be her favorite color & I was shocked that I got more than one negative comment about it from strangers. It’s still a dress, folks. So, even though I love these little pink and blue parties, I can certainly appreciate leaving gender out of it. You Cup of Jo readers are amazing!

    • Christy says...

      TOTALLY agreed, Kate!

  33. Kelly says...

    sweetest story ever. Made me happy

  34. Sophie says...

    Whem i got married, i was pregnant for almost 3 months (it was my third child after my first marriage). We did not knew the gender at this time ( and we did not ask until she born ) , but during the wedding just before cutting the cake, my husband and I had a quick chat as we were so happy , to decide if we announce that i was pregnant or not, but we decided not ( our parents, sisters and brothers were not aware also).
    And we were glad we did not, this was our wedding and not baby announcement.
    Then one week after back from our honeymoon, some friends shared pictures ( we did not had a photograph) and one told us, sorry but one some , you have a little belly….
    That is when, whike laughing, we said no problem, pictures are nice, our baby is there… They were all amazed , but we were happy they did not know before as we danced all night during weeding and no one asked me to rest :-)

  35. gender reveals are not usually my bag, but this is so sweet! why is it all of a sudden so dusty in here?!
    and i agree with the other nora (!) above – my belly looked like an exercise ball at 6 months.

  36. This is the sweetest thing.

    Does the bride have light blue nail polish?? Love that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i think so! good eye! either that or silver… keep trying to zoom way in one the photo:)

  37. We’re due in 7 weeks, and we will be surprised when the baby comes out :) I figure it’s one of life’s last great surprises, so why not embrace the opportunity. Plus, I love the idea of having my husband announce it to me :) And either sex would be so, so fun — we’re just hoping for a healthy baby.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations, katie!! hope you’re feeling well!

  38. So sweet! Literally and figuratively! I swear, I started getting a little misty while reading that. Such a fun idea though, and a great memory.

  39. Clare says...

    This is so sweet! We are finding out the sex of our unborn baby in less than a month, and our friend is going to make a small cake for my husband and myself. I like the idea of us cutting into the cake in the privacy of our home and being able to celebrate our baby without the ultrasound tech in the hospital. I actually made a similar cake for the same friend a year ago for her and her husband so she is returning the favor!

    • Isabella says...

      THIS is really sweet! I love the idea of having a private moment, away from the ultrasound lab, for just you and your husband — and one orchestrated by a close friend, to boot. I love this!

  40. gah, i’m totally crying! usually i’m not a fan of gender reveals, but that got me! what a beautiful cake and wedding too!

  41. Kate says...

    Incidentally, the family is totally bring their coordinating-but-not-matching dress game.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i know, they look so great.

  42. I love her dress… and that is exactly the one thing I’d do over at my wedding. The dress! I had a nice, simple, but pretty traditional wedding dress. I wanted to wear a less-formal, knee-length dress, which I think would have matched our wedding better (it was very informal) but my mom really bullied me into wearing the dress I wore. I remember actually saying the words to her, “If this is really what you want me to wear, I’ll wear it, but it’s not what I want.” She said, “Oh, good, you’ll wear it!”

  43. Taylor says...

    This is so sweet! I am throwing a gender reveal party for friends this weekend and we are going to shoot off a confetti cannon of blue or pink confetti!

  44. That’s really sweet. Beautiful cake too!

  45. Rebecca says...

    Very sweet photos – looks like a very happy time! Personally, I am completely mystified by the whole sex-reveal thing. I never felt the need to know what I was having, nor am I really interested in the sex of others’ babies. I mean, who knows if the child will even identify with a particular gender? But I don’t take it lightly that so fellow readers have such emotional reactions to this post. Just find it confusing!

  46. What a fun wedding!!! This is such a nice idea!
    I have to compare it to my actress friend’s wedding. We were all waiting for the bride and groom to say “I do” when suddenly we heard a woman’s voice shouting: “I won’t let you marry her!!” “You promised you would be mine!! ” and other phrases of that sort.
    People witnessing the marriage didn’t know whether to laugh or panic. Nobody knew who this crazy woman was. Finally, after a few minutes, the bride started laughing.
    We all returned to our normal breathing when we realized it was just a scene her actor friends had put together. I have to say it was too intense for my nonexistent acting background. It seemed so real. My heart rate was higher than ever and suffered for her through the whole thing.
    Be warned if you have any actor friends getting married! :)


    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my goodness, that is SO hilarious. i’m laughing out loud.

    • Oh my gosh, that would be so awful/funny!!

      I have a friend who was going to propose to his girlfriend on Halloween. He invited a bunch of their friends (instructed to arrive in costume) under the guise of it just being a regular Halloween party. All the guests understood this to be a surprise proposal that they would all be in on.

      What they DIDN’T know was that the couple had already gotten engaged, and this party was a surprise WEDDING! :)

  47. bisbee says...

    I like the surprise to be when you give birth…of course, I’m old-fashioned, I guess. When I was pregnant, regular sonograms weren’t the norm!

    They certainly are doing everything at once…wow!

    • Anna says...

      Bisbee, my husband loves waiting to find out until the baby is born. We’ve done it with all three kids (and will with our fourth who’s on the way :)), and while I initially thought he was crazy to want us to wait, I’m now totally into it!

  48. This story is really cute, but I just hate the idea of ‘gender reveal’ in general. It’s like, “Let’s assign a set of rules decided upon by marketers and popular culture to a baby who hasn’t even been born yet!” . What if their baby is trans-gendered? Or hates pink with a passion? I don’t know, it creeps me out a bit. Their wedding does look gorgeous, and I am not hating on them or anyone else who has done a gender-reveal, but I just think that tradition is so weird.

    • I think what they did is actually a *sex* reveal. Sex is based on a person’s anatomy. Gender is how someone personally identifies, and they can’t possibly know that at this stage :) But I hear you, many people confuse the two and have certain expectations / ways of treating children / preferred gifts / etc. based on their sex.

    • Laura says...

      I’m with you. It’s amazing how many educated people still confuse biological sex with gender.

  49. Amy Lauree says...

    Such sweet photos! I love the one of her sister crying at the end with her and the mom.
    I personally wouldn’t ever do something like that…mostly because finding out the sex of your baby might not be 100%. We told everyone the sex of our babies after the ultrasounds but I don’t know…a big even like this, I would be hesitant. :)

  50. This is the most endearing wedding and baby story! The baker was a good secret keeper who never messed up or spilled the beans! xo

    adorn la femme

  51. What a beautiful idea! Why NOT compound your joy and the joy of your guests on such a special occasion? Goosebumps! I would love to see this done as a wedding day pregnancy announcement for couples who aren’t as far along but have happy and supportive families.

  52. this is such a fun post! i literally have tears in my eyes. so sweet!

  53. Sianna says...

    So sweet!! On a side note — I love her wedding dress!!

  54. Ann says...

    Phew, I am COVERED in goose bumps from reading this. What an amazing moment. They all look so happy!

  55. Kadija says...

    This is so fun!! Congratulations to the beautiful couple and parents-to-be! <3

  56. Such a cute idea. It’s fun that they hid it from themselves as well. :]

  57. Oh my gosh! How sweet! Such a great way to do it! She looks fantastic!!!

  58. Abby says...

    This is so sweet and how generous of them to let their friends and family share in this moment with them!

    Editorial note: is there a reason that it says “gender reveal” (which is technically inaccurate) in the title but then the article accurately talks about them finding out the sex of their baby?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note, abby! because there are so many baby products on the market called “Gender Reveal” we thought it would be easier to understand that way, but you’re totally right, so we changed the headline to match how we talked about it in the rest of the post. thanks so much for your comment.

      ps funny story: i was auditioning potential teachers for Kaplan (when i used to teach the LSAT for them) and everyone had to teach something non-academic for five minutes, so we could see their teaching style. so a woman got up there to teach the difference between gender and sex (which is where i first really learned the difference) and drew a big cartoon penis on the dry-erase board to illustrate her point. she did a great job, but at the end, when she tried to erase the drawing, she realized she had used the wrong marker — a PERMANENT one. we were all in hysterics, even her. it was such a funny moment. now i’ll never forget the semantic difference between the two words.

    • Abby says...

      Oh my goodness! I bet you’re not the only one who still remembers that to this day!

      Thanks for the alteration — it is an established term, but I think it’s nice to deliberately choose to be part of the turning tide sometimes, especially when you can, in one fell swoop, be accurate and inclusive of those who aren’t cisgendered.

  59. Nora says...

    Cute idea. Can’t believe she’s 6 months pregnant though, she looks amazing! I’m also 6 months along with the second one and look like a whale already… :)

  60. Ugghhhh since having a baby I’m such a sap for baby-related stuff! I’m not usually a fan of big “gender reveal” events, but this story is so sweet. Totally teared up at my desk reading this. Thanks for sharing, Joanna!

  61. what a great story! we did our gender reveal with a christmas tree. it was around the holidays, we threw a holiday party and placed a flocked tree decked in pink and blue lights on display. Our close friends had gone with us to the scan, got the gender on a little piece of paper, and helped plan our party. Once reveal time came, our friends pulled the plug on the strand of lights that was not the gender, leaving the gender color on the tree! they also had us open a box of goodies in the gender reveal color. lots of action at once but seeing everything turn blue was such a moment! tears and shreaks and clapping all around. It was great we got to experience the suspense and reveal with all our family and friends.

  62. Katie says...

    I was just taking a little “brain break” at work and read this… and promptly teared up (thank you crazy period hormones). That is just the sweetest idea. What a special thing to share with their friends and family.