A wedding is never complete without a wedding cake. This is one of the highlights of a wedding reception. The bigger it is, the grander the wedding reception seems. But have you ever wondered where the tradition of wedding cakes came from?
Wedding Cakes in the Olden Times
Wedding cakes are said to have come from the great Roman Empire. Before cakes and icings were invented, wedding cakes were usually loaves of barley bread made especially for that occasion. The groom will eat a piece of the loaf and break the remaining loaf over the head of his bride. This signifies the groom’s breaking of the virginal condition of the bride and his subsequent power and control over her.
Medieval England’s version of a wedding cake is little sweet buns stacked high in front of the couple. The newlywed would then kiss over this huge pile. If done successfully, then it is said that the couple will have many children to come.
Wedding Cakes and Guests
The bride’s pie was very popular during the 17th century. This is usually made up of sweet breads, mutton pie or mince pie that is to be shared by the guests. What makes this interesting is the glass ring that is hidden inside the pie. The lady who finds it is said to be the next one to marry.
The bride will pass a piece of cake through her wedding ring and distribute it among their guests. It was said that whoever sleeps with this piece of wedding cake under their pillow will see their future partners in their dreams.
White as the Color of Most Wedding Cakes
White has become a special color of wedding cakes for very obvious reasons as white signifies purity. But for practical reasons, most wedding cakes during the Victorian period were white not because it signifies purity but because ingredients for a colored icing were difficult to obtain. As refined sugar is its main ingredient, the whiter the wedding cake is, the more prosperous the family seems.
Modern Wedding Cakes
The cutting of the wedding cake is a tradition that we have witnessed a dozen times. The bride is the one who cuts the cake aided by the groom. Then they would feed each other a piece of cake from that first slice of the wedding cake. This symbolizes their commitment to one another and the promise that they would provide for each other. It is also said that the bigger the piece of cake fed to each other, the larger number of children that they will have in the future.
White is still the favorite color of the couple for their wedding cake, but other colors have been used as well to match the wedding gown or the motif of the wedding. Although single-layer wedding cakes are still popular, it is quickly being replaced by multi-tiered wedding cakes of two or even three layers. More detailed and elaborate designs are also seen in wedding cakes, adding elegance and unique personal touch to the wedding.