Wedding Cake Traditions — just where does the tradition come from?
Wedding cakes are a long-standing tradition and have represented many different ideals over their lengthy history. Some wedding cake traditions have stood the test of time, while others slowly fell by the wayside.
The traditional wedding cake goes as far back as the Roman Empire. During nuptials, a simple cake made of wheat or barley would be broken over the bride’s head to ensure her future fertility. Guests would then scurry to attain a crumb of the traditional wedding cake for themselves. It is this custom that has led to the sharing of the modern traditional wedding cake. Of course, smashing the traditional wedding cake over the bride’s head is hardly practical in modern times (imagine what it would do to your hair!), so that tradition has disappeared over time.
In Medieval England, traditional wedding cakes were described as small buns that were stacked high. The bride and groom would then attempt to kiss over the tower of buns without knocking them down. If they succeeded, prosperity, health and fertility were inevitable. Eventually, the idea of neatly stacking the buns and frosting them together became a more convenient option. This tradition appears to have been recreated in modern times with the rise in cupcake wedding cakes. It is therefore safe to argue that cupcake wedding cakes can be considered traditional wedding cakes after all!
Previous to the Victorian era, highly refined sugar was used to make cake icing. The sugar would make the icing white. This icing was difficult to come by and expensive. Because of this, white icing on wedding cakes became a status symbol, showing that the family was affluent enough to afford refined sugar.
Couples feed each other a piece of wedding cake to symbolize the fact that the bride and groom should help, support and provide for each other throughout their marriage.
We are always amazed at all of the wedding traditions and were they came from and how they have evolved.
A new tradition is in the works, one that we LOVE. That is the tradition of brides having their wedding cakes made to look like their wedding dress. Simply beautiful!
What will your wedding cake look like? Will it be white or full of color? Will it be round or square? Will it be many layers or a few? Have fun with your design, customize it!