From the bouquet toss to carrying your partner over the threshold, many couples love to incorporate classic wedding traditions and superstitions into their weddings—and wedding cake traditions are no different. Cake traditions have come a long way since Ancient Roman times when a groom would break a loaf of bread over his bride’s head for good luck (seriously!). Here are some popular cake rituals and trends you and your partner can include in your wedding., as well as some myths about wedding cakes!
Your wedding cake should be white.
Back in the 19th century, Queen Victoria set many wedding standards with her wedding to Prince Albert. Not only did she make white wedding dresses a tradition that has carried on to this day, but she started the white wedding cake trend, too! White stood for purity and innocence, representing the bride as she entered this union. White frosting is created using refined white sugar. In the 1880s, this was an expensive ingredient! Therefore, a white cake symbolized one’s wealth. The whiter the frosting, the richer the couple. The color came to be synonymous with all things wedding related, and the tradition of white wedding cakes held.
While we still love the minimalist look of a clean, white wedding cake, there is no rule that says your cake HAS to be white. Choose a color that complements your wedding theme. You can incorporate detailed trends and techniques, or even go for the ever-popular naked cake! Whatever design you decide on, as long as you love it and it tastes good, no one will care if it’s white. However, you may want to stay away from darker colors like midnight blue, plum purple, or black, as the dye can stain your mouth!
Cutting the Cake
Tradition: It used to be only the bride who cut the wedding cake but today, both partners share in the cake-cutting ritual. Family, friends and photographers alike look forward to the moment the couple joins around the cake and cuts the first slice. Not only will your guests finally get to taste the gorgeous creation they've been eyeing throughout your reception, it’s also a classic wedding moment (up there with the first kiss and first dance).
Tip: Make sure your caterer gets a 15-minute lead time before you head over to cut the cake. They’ll need that time to refill champagne glasses and ready the cake table with all the necessary cake-cutting accessories!
Saving the Top Tier
Tradition: Back in the 19th century, couples saved their top tier for the christening of their first child. Today, couples generally wait a longer period of time after their “I dos” before having children, so they’ll save a slice or tier of cake for their first wedding anniversary.
Tip: If it’s well wrapped in plastic and sealed in an airtight container, you can keep your cake in the freezer for a year but I would advise eating it early (maybe your one month anniversary or while you’re reviewing your wedding photos three months later). If you do decide to save this layer, remember to remove all flowers, stems, leaves and other garnishes, and to wrap it carefully to avoid freezer burn. In my opinion, it was not worth it to keep it in my freezer to eat a year later - it wasn't so tasty! Would you rather a fresh slice? Have your baker make you a small cake with the same flavors and frosting on your first anniversary!
Cake Toppers - does it have to be a figurine of a couple?
Birthday cakes have candles, and wedding cakes have toppers! As the number of candles reflects the number of years you’re celebrating, the cake topper is meant to reflect the wedding day. That’s why traditionally it has been figurines of the couple.
Today’s couples have used their creativity to expand the traditional understanding of a cake topper. Some of the more popular toppers include: scripted words or phrases, flowers, banners, funny figurines, or simply no topper at all.
Wedding cakes come in a variety of sizes, depending on the number of guests the cake will serve. Modern pastry chefs and cake designers use various ingredients and tools to create a cake that usually reflects the personalities of the couple. Cakes range in price along with size and components. Cakes are usually priced on a per-person, or per-slice, basis. Wedding cakes and cake decorating in general have become a certain pop culture symbol in western society. In the United States, reality television shows such as Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes have become popular and are trending in today’s popular culture. At the end of the day, you can have your cake whatever flavor you want and however you want to design it! Today, some couples are opting for alternative dessert options for their reception - like donuts, cupcakes, or even mini pies!
What kind of cake did you/are you having for your wedding? Did you skip a cake entirely? Let us know in the comments!
We would like to extend a warm Harrybrooke Wedding Welcome to
Mildred and Jesus who booked their July wedding with us!
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Arielle Barker (Current)