The tradition of having an elaborate celebratory cake at a wedding is an ancient one. Originally, the groom was expected to bust the breaded cake over the top of the bride’s noggin, which was a symbol of the purity of the bride, and the soon-to-be loss of purity. Undoubtedly, many newly married couples of today who take the opportunity to shove a piece of cake into their mate’s face have no idea what they are actually symbolizing. Until the late 1800’s, the wedding cake was not a cake at all, but some form of bread or pie. Things have improved considerably since then.
Many wedding traditions center on the cutting of the cake; this is supposed to indicate the ease with which the bride and groom will work together during their married life. When the cakes were a simple one-tiered affair, this may not have been so difficult, but when a couple is cutting into a massive and heavily decorated wedding cake, this can be a little trying. Historically, such elaborate cakes were allowed only for the upper crust of society. Today, anyone with sufficient amounts of money or talent can have the cake of their dreams of any color or style imaginable.
Another interesting phenomenon involves freezing a section or layer of the wedding cake to eat on the couple’s first wedding anniversary. This relatively modern idea has become very popular in America. Even though a top layer of today’s wedding cakes can take up quite a bit of room in the freezer, we have the appliances to match, and all over the country, a happy bride and groom can celebrate their very first anniversary as man and wife with left-over wedding cake. Most couples have their wedding photographers add the wedding cake into their wedding album.
Many brides see the wedding cake as the focal piece of her ceremony. By using colors, decorations or design, it can be used as a vehicle to express the bride’s ultimate taste. Superstition holds that if a cake is damaged during the wedding ceremony, this holds ill omen for the future of the couple. Wedding cakes can cost thousands of dollars, or be Styrofoam covered in a layer of real cake to cast the illusion of grandeur. Like the details of the dress, the flowers, the invitations, the wedding photographer and the groom, the choice of a wedding cake should be considered carefully.