Wedding Cake Traditions You Need to Know

Jun 26, 2022 | Wedding Tips

Photo credit to: Wren Cake Design

A fantastic wedding cake is often the centrepiece of the wedding celebrations, and many couples choose to both include a special cake and take photographs while cutting it. Having a cake at a wedding is a longstanding tradition dating back to Roman and Medieval times, and it is one most couples still choose to include.

But did you know there are a host of other traditions that surround the wedding cake?

Wedding Cake Traditions

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 symbolise 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.

Couples 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 very romantic and sweet, symbolising a commitment to provide for one another and a show of love and affection.

The Groom’s Cake

Early American weddings had groom’s cakes and southern states in the U.S. continue to perpetuate this wedding tradition. Many modern weddings have resurrected the tradition of this cake to showcase the groom’s hobbies, individual taste, and even their favourite sports teams.

Groom’s cakes are usually chocolate to contrast the actual wedding cake, although any flavour is acceptable.

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.

Sleeping With a Piece of Cake Under the Pillow

It is thought that a person sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow will dream of her future partner that night. This custom dates back almost 300 years and is often practically combined with wedding favours being tiny, perfect replicas of the wedding cake.

Cakes in modern times are sometimes not as firm as the traditional fruitcake used in the past, so having it under a pillow could get messy! A favour in a box is a much neater solution.

Wedding Cake Charms

The custom of baking charms into wedding cakes is a longstanding one which has fallen into disuse. It is an absolutely delightful tradition to try as long as you warn the guests to be careful and remove their charm before eating the cake!​​ A more practical variation is pushing the charms into a baked cake with a ribbon attached so the guest can simply pull the charm out.

The White Wedding Cake

White icing was also a symbol of money and social importance in Victorian times, so a white cake was highly desired. The fine white sugar needed to create white icing was extremely expensive and the lighter the cake, the wealthier the family would appear to their guests.

The white of the cake was simply a representation of the bride as the main focal point of the wedding. Many brides today mimic this continuity by creating cakes in the same hue as their dress or bouquet.

Not Cake!

Many couples now choose to forgo the cake, but keep the tradition, by having a range of cupcakes or doughnuts to replace the cake. Whatever type of cake (or not cake) you want at your wedding, Broadoaks in the Lake District is the perfect place to showcase the cake and celebrate your love!

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