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Joana Vasconcelos: Wedding Cake tours

10 Apr – 27 Oct 2024 (subject to availability)

Tours run every hour between 10.30am-12.30pm, Wednesdays to Sundays

Tickets: £15 Adult, £10 Child

Free-flow access is from 2-5pm, Wednesdays to Sundays

Tickets: £7.50 Adult, £5.00 Child


Explore Joana Vasconcelos’ extraordinary Wedding Cake, open again this summer at Waddesdon.

Wedding Cake, a 12-metre-tall ceramic sculptural pavilion in the form of a three-tiered cake, is a major Rothschild Foundation commission by celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos.

Open again this summer, the Wedding Cake stands within a grove of trees at Waddesdon beside the 19th-century Dairy. It’s a playful continuation of the history of placing fanciful buildings in gardens and landscapes, which at Waddesdon include the ornamental Dairy and gilded Rococo-style Aviary.

Visit the Wedding Cake 

Wedding Cake Close Up Exterior © Waddesdon Image Library_ Merriman Photography (2) (1)

Morning Guided Tours

Every Wed-Sun from 10 Apr to 27 Oct

Step inside this astonishing work of art on a guided tour and enjoy a unique, richly sensory experience. As part of the 45-minute guided tour, you’ll have the chance to explore the collection of contemporary sculpture in the Water Garden at the Dairy including Lafite, Vasconcelos’ magnificent sculpture in the form of two giant candlesticks made of wine bottles and work by other notable artists such as Elizabeth Frink. Tours run every hour between 10:30am and 12:30pm.

Adult £28.50, Child £7.50National Trust/Art Fund Member Adult £15, Child £7.50 Includes shuttle bus and grounds admission.

Please note that the Water Garden has uneven surfaces in places. Please contact enquires@waddesdon.org.uk with any accessibility questions.

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Wedding Cake 2 © Waddesdon Image Library_ Merriman Photography (1) (1)

Free Flow Visits

Every Wed-Sun from 10 Apr to 27 Oct

Free-flow access to the Wedding Cake is available every hour between 2pm and 5pm onwards for a chance to wander around the extraordinary pavilion and take pictures.

Last entry is 4.30pm.

Adult £21, Child £11.50National Trust/Art Fund Member Adult £7.50, Child £5 Includes shuttle bus and grounds admission.

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I want people to have three different approaches to it: looking from the outside, enjoying the surroundings from the different levels or balconies and rising to the top, finally completing the artwork with their presence. Above all, I always thought of it as a temple to love.

Joana Vasconcelos

The creation of Wedding Cake

Part sculpture, part architectural garden folly, the extraordinary structure is a celebration of love, festivity and joy. Inspired by the exuberant Baroque buildings and decorative ceramic traditions of Lisbon, where Vasconcelos lives and works. Thousands of gleaming, icing-like ceramic tiles glazed in pale pinks, greens and blues decorate the cake, all made in a traditional Portuguese manufactory. Further adorned with sculptural ornament and complete with the sounds of trickling water.

Wedding Cake is Vasconcelos’ most ambitious commission to date and a perfect complement to Waddesdon. The vision and imagination exemplified in the piece mirror the passion which drove Baron Ferdinand, the creator of Waddesdon, to build the Manor and the Dairy, where he intended that his many friends would be surprised and delighted at every turn. Traditionally-made ceramic tiles speak to the Manor’s world-renowned collection of Sèvres and Meissen porcelain. And the sumptuous decoration of the Wedding Cake reflects the architecture of the house, itself covered in intricate finials and ornaments.

Joana Vasconcelos at Waddesdon


Vasconcelos’ Lafite, two giant candlesticks made of illuminated Chateau Lafite Rothschild magnums, commissioned in 2015 by the Rothschild Foundation stand in the Water Garden at the Dairy and celebrate the family associations to the world of great Bordeaux wine.  In 2012, her Pavilon de Thé, a giant wrought-iron tea pot, was the focal point of House of Cards, a contemporary sculpture exhibition in the gardens, and in 2016  her Cup Cake (2011) was exhibited on the North Front.

Along with the Wedding Cake, these pieces showcase the defining characteristics of Vasconcelos’ practice. Her work is often playful, manipulating scale to dramatic effect and using familiar daily objects in surprising, charming and inventive ways.

Find out more about Joana Vasconcelos >

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