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Need ideas for a beach themed wedding cake that does NOT look Hawaiian

I am doing a cake (and the catering) for a bride.  She emphatic that it is a SoCal beachy theme and not a luau or any type of Hawaiian theme.  My dilemma:


All these cakes either look Hawaiian or East Coast Beach. 


I'm not seeing anything that looks SoCal beach.  I live in SoCal.  The beaches are ugly here.  They are boring, nondescript and the water is filthy.  In fact, when people ask me what do I miss most about living back east - my first thought is always, bar-none - "the Beaches!"


I could make it SoCal in a heartbeat if it weren't a wedding cake and was a novelty cake, surf boards and woodies go hand-in-hand to represent SoCal beaches.  But that would instantly tacky up the cake.


Right now I'm settling on a cake similar to this (because I love it so much)

and I know the bride will love it - but it screams Charleston, Dunes to me.


Does anyone have any ideas out there?  I love SoCal... but I'm drawing a blank.



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What do you think if I do a cake similar to the one I referenced bu had the background fondant be of sunset coloring?  Do you think that would work?  SoCal is known for it's sunsets.


I'm grasping here, people - I need a lifeline!!

What about something like this?


I know when we lived in San Diego - mosaics were EVERYWHERE on everything.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea though.

ooo- very pretty!  I don't think that's what the bride has in mind.  Although, I don't even know what she has in mind. So who am I to say?  LOL.


Yes, in SD mosaics are everywhere.  You are right about that.  Not so much in Surf City USA. 


OH!  That may help others help me.  We not only live in SoCal, more specifically we live in Surf City USA (Huntington Beach proper, also referencing Dana Point, Newport and Laguna).  North (Orange) County Beaches.  So, UGH!  They are very pretty beaches.  I'm thinking I should just do a big rock pier with the tide coming in all around it! - LOL - that'll teach her for making this so hard!

It is a beautiful cake. What if you start the bottom tiers with an evening water-y color background and advance to the sunset background? In my head I see looking over the water towards the sunset. I'm just not sure it would translate to the cake.
Thanks, Deah.  I'm going to run that by the bride.  That's kind of where my thoughts are leaning after talking to my other half.  I just really want the cake to be more on the elegant side.  So there can be a fine line if I do it wrong.
Dawn, I know this is just a birthday cake, but the colors are so beautiful, that it may give you a little inspiration. It wouldn't have to be quite so vivid if you need it toned down for a wedding cake.
Here is another one that may give you some inspiration.

Linda!!!  You've been busy.  Thanks for those.  The second one you sent I saw earlier when surfing the net.  It's so nice.  I'm going to try to do a muted version of a cake pulling something from many of these ideas.



What about .. A cake with  the sand on each level with shells and at the top 2 pairs  of flipflops one for bride and one for the groom... and you dont have to do the covering of the cake very dark you could do it in a light blue or even white.... its simple  an not hawiian

 to me if you add palm trees thats hawiian..

Here are a couple of ideas

Thanks, Treciescakes.  That was for a job I had back in September.  They actually ended up going with a dessert bar.  This is one of the tables I did:!/photo.php?fbid=10150336854652771&set...


I was glad when it was all said and done because I have decided there's no such thing as an elegant west coast beach themed cake.  They all (to me anyway) look either east coast or tropical.  To make it obvioulsy west coast it loses any elegance.  Sad, but true.

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