When you think of a wedding, one of the first things that jumps to mind is the wedding cake - the visually stunning, wonderfully tasting food item that sits there just begging to be eaten! This article takes a closer look at some of the wedding cake traditions that have been passed down through the generations.
QUICK LINKS : Wedding Cake Directory Wedding Cake Ideas & Advice Wedding Cake Forum
Wedding Cake Traditions
From the colour and design, to to the cutting and storing of wedding cakes, there are a whole host of wedding cake traditions that have stood the test of time. Let's take a look at the most popular ones.
The Cutting of the Cake
The cutting of the cake is perhaps one of the most well-known of the wedding cake traditions. Performed together by the Bride and Groom the cake cutting has particular significance in that it is typically the first task that the couple carry out as man and wife.
As soon as the wedding cake has been cut, and to symbolise commitment to provide for each other, the Bride and Groom then traditionally feed each other the first slice.
A 'White' Cake
Whilst not essential, it is tradition for wedding cakes to be white, or at least incorporate a degree of white, into the design.
Rising to prominence during Victorian times, white wedding cake symbolises purity and innocence. The colour itself resonates throughout the wedding, from the bride's dress to the wedding cake itself and the colour pulls together the various elements of the day. As well as the symbolic meaning, white icing also symbolised wealth in years gone by, with pure white notoriously difficult and expensive to create.
Why the Tiers?
On of the most popular of all the wedding cake traditions is the incorporation of tiers into the cake design. An indicator of wealth and decedance, tiered wedding cakes were originally reserved for the nobility and upper classes when they first appeared at weddings in the early 19th century.
As the famous joke goes - 'it was such an emotional day, even the wedding cake was in tiers!' - but did you know that the original tiered wedding cakes were little more than a fake? Before the pillars, supports and stands that are a familiar sight at modern weddings were developed, cake makers faced little option but to manufacture false upper tiers to create the grandoise visual effect.
One Year On...
Our last offering is a wedding cake tradition that has largely died out - the preservation of the top tier.
Originally, the top tier was frozen shortly after the big day and then stored for the first year of marriage. The Bride and Groom would then celebrate their first full year together by consuming the top tier on their first wedding anniversary. However, modern ingredients dictate that, more often than not, the wedding cake needs to be consumed within a matter of weeks.