A beautiful wedding cake is often the centerpiece of a wedding and typically sits in a place of honor at the reception. This carefully planned confection is a longstanding tradition dating back to Roman and Medieval times.
The White Wedding Cake
In Victorian times, white icing was a symbol of money and social importance. Therefore, a white wedding cake was a highly desirable part of the reception. The white sugar needed to create white icing was extremely expensive. Consequently, the lighter the cake, the wealthier the family would appear to their guests. Additionally, the white icing of the cake was a representation of the bride as the main focal point of the wedding.
Wedding cakes can be any color, but many people still feel that the base color beyond the decorations should be white. After all, white is the color of purity, and traditionally, this cake was referred to as the “bride’s cake.”
Cutting the Cake
Along with the first dance and bouquet toss, this charming tradition is one of those photo opportunities that graces every wedding album. The cake cutting represents the first activity done as a couple, although historically the bride did this act alone to symbolize the loss of her virginity.
Cake cutting became a more complicated process as cakes became multi-tiered and the number of guests reached the hundreds. These days, the bride requires the groom’s assistance and usually they do not cut the entire cake up, but instead leave that duty to the caterer.
The Bride and Groom Feeding Each Other Cake
The second act of the traditional cake cutting ceremony is when the bride and groom feed each other a small bite of cake. This can be romantic and sweet, symbolizing a commitment to provide for one another and a show of love and affection.
Unfortunately, this custom has evolved in some cases to the groom or bride grinding the cake into his or her partner’s face. Unless each person agrees beforehand to participate in this type of show, it is best to stick with a simple feeding.
Saving the Top Tier
Most couples cannot resist saving the top tier of their wedding cake to eat on their first anniversary or a christening ceremony. In the past, christenings were often within a year of the wedding so this made perfect sense. Now, most couples are more likely to create a small cake eating ceremony around their first anniversary. Sharing this small cake is a charming reminder of a special day.
A well-wrapped cake can easily survive a year in the deep freezer without too much damage, as long as the cake has no mousse layers or delicate fresh fruit fillings.
The Groom’s Cake
Early American weddings had groom’s cakes and southern states in the U.S. continue to continue this wedding tradition. Many modern weddings have resurrected the tradition of this cake to showcase the groom’s hobbies, individual taste, and even their favorite sports teams. Groom’s cakes are usually chocolate to contrast the actual wedding cake, although any flavor is acceptable.